After the last fast-paced episode of Castle, I was looking forward to seeing the conclusion this week in “Linchpin.” Unfortunately, in what appears to be a running theme for the week, this episode was disappointing.
It started off exactly where “Pandora” left off, with Beckett’s car plunging into the river, Beckett and Castle trapped inside. This was the best scene of the episode, equal parts awesome and scary. I found myself holding my breath as the car sank deeper and deeper as Castle searched frantically for Beckett’s gun so they could shoot out the windows and she tried desperately to get her seatbelt dislodged. Even though I knew that the two main characters were not going to die, I was still scared for them. The way the scene was shot made me feel like I was trapped in the car too and I wanted out immediately.
Needless to say the CIA was not happy that Beckett and Castle had gone off books to meet with Blakeley on their own and Sophia basically tore Castle a new one, calling him a jackass and throwing them both off the case. As Beckett and Castle stood in the elevator, tense silence surrounding them, Beckett finally said, “So you slept with her.” Castle confirmed that he did and the two squabbled over it as they went into the lab where poor Alexis had to hear their entire conversation. Awkward.
When Castle returned home, Sophia was waiting for him. She told him that it had all been an act for her superiors and she still wanted him and Beckett to help her with the case because she knew he wasn’t going to give up looking. Sophia gave Castle a piece of paper containing account numbers that Blakeley had used. She couldn’t look into them since she was a CIA agent but Beckett could. (That made no sense to me but I just went with it).
There was over $2 million in the offshore account and all the money had come from nonprofit organizations. They assumed it was some sort of funding for the linchpin. Ryan and Esposito went to several chess parks, showing people a picture of Blakeley until they found some people he used to play chess with, including an economics professor. He was able to lead them to the apartment Blakeley was using. When Castle and Beckett arrived, they found this room that had the linchpin mapped out and the complicated formula led to World War III and started with a young girl. Suddenly, Gage showed up and blew up the room, ordering Castle and Beckett to leave with him.
It turned out he wasn’t the bad guy after all, something Castle and Beckett were having a hard time believing. Gage pointed out if he was the bad guy, they’d be dead. He said someone inside the CIA was setting him up and he needed them to tell him the identity of the linchpin. They were hesitant and then Sophia and other CIA agents arrived. Sophia told them Gage was lying but Beckett had her doubts. Either way, Sophia was convinced Gage had another partner and they needed to track that person down while they tried to figure out who the girl in the picture was.
Gage mysteriously ends up with a bullet in his head after he is interrogated. They put the CIA facility on lockdown while they try to put a trace on who messed with the video feed, allowing the killer to slip in and out of the interrogation room. After a false lead, the trail leads to Agent Martin. He grabs a hostage and disappears into the elevator. He gets away, but they’re more interested in finding the girl. She’s not popping up on facial recognition software so Castle suggests searching for the mountains in the background.
The girl is the 10-year-old daughter of a Chinese businessman who has close ties to the Finance Minister. I’m not even going to pretend like I understood all this economics stuff. Basically, the plot was to kill the little girl and that would make China angry enough to stop buying U.S. debt. That would cripple the economy (more than it already is?) and lead to World War III. Oh, and the girl and her father were arriving in New York City that day.
Sophia, Castle, Beckett and another CIA agent whose name I either didn’t catch or they didn’t bother to give me, rush off to stop Martin from killing the girl and starting the war. But of course it’s Sophia who is the real bad guy and she and her unnamed partner pull guns on Castle and Beckett. Sophia isn’t even an American, she’s Russian, former KGB. (What?) She’s going to kill Castle and Beckett while her partner kills the girl.
Obviously Castle is upset since he trusted this woman, based a character in his first novel on her and slept with her (ew). But then she shocks Castle by claiming that the reason he got access to the CIA in the first place was because of his father. Castle has tons of questions but she refuses to answer them. She goes to shoot him but Martin arrives and shoots her before she can. Then Martin and Beckett rush out and tackle unnamed CIA guy before he can shoot the girl and all is well.
They never found out who was behind Pandora and I assume it will be one of those things that will never be mentioned again. The implication that Castle’s father could a CIA agent is interesting or like Beckett told him, Sophia might have just been lying about that. At the end of the episode, Castle asked Beckett if she thought the linchpin would have worked and if they’d just saved the world. Beckett tells him that they saved a little girl’s life and that was enough.
Maybe for them, but not so much for the viewers.