Recap: Castle 4×16 – “Linchpin”

Holy two-parter. The Castle writers did not disappoint on the show’s annual two-part event, which was packed with unexpected twists that left us guessing until the last minute. And it wouldn’t be Castle without a few moments of “Will They/Won’t They” tension between our star crossed writer and detective.

Going into a Castle episode, it is rightly acknowledged that there is no room for the classic “Whodunnit?” mystery perspective. As diehard fans of the show are aware, the murder mysteries on Castle are not just about finding the killer; they are about uncovering the reasons behind such acts of malice and bringing justice for those who have been silenced. So it became quite clear from the beginning of Part 1 that there was much more at stake than just the person behind the plot against the government.

The first part of the event left us with an explosive cliff hanger; Castle and Beckett lose their primary source of information in Dr. Blakely when he is gunned down in an abandoned area. Immediately after, Beckett’s car is pushed into the harbor with Beckett and Castle in it. The first scene of Part 2 focuses on their escape and, while it is a close call, the duo does in fact make it safely back to the surface.

But there is no time to ponder what just occurred because almost immediately after they are saved, Castle and Beckett are summoned once again to the CIA headquarters where Castle’s former “muse”, CIA agent Sophia Turner (guest star Jeniffer Beals), awaits them. In her anger at the team keeping Blakely a secret from her, Turner dismisses Beckett and Castle from the case, as well as slipping in the fact that she and Castle had at one time slept together.

Beckett seems more than a little jealous of Castle's relationship with Sophia Turner.

Cue the little green jealous monster inside Kate, as she grills Castle about his relationship with Turner. This facet of the Castle storyline is one I’ve always personally enjoyed. Although Beckett tries to remain nonchalant in recent episodes, the look on her face says it all; she’s in love. And we don’t think it’s much of a reach to say that Castle is too. But the romantic tension on the show would come to a halt if the two lovebirds got together, and that would probably result in a rating slip, so for now it seems that the writer and his muse must stay apart. Sigh.

Although they have been kicked off the CIA case, the homicide team still has a murder on their hands, and decides to continue the investigation. Beckett’s resolve in this moment is to be noted. We’ve learned many things about this character, but one thing the writers continue to reinforce is that Kate Beckett does not back down. She is tough as nails when it comes to her job. A CIA agent (and one of Castle’s former lovers, no less) is not going to stop her from delivering justice.

Believing that Sophia is finished with him, Castle goes home for the night. Much to his surprise, however, Sophia is waiting for him inside his apartment. She reveals that rebuking him and Beckett at headquarters was simply an act, and that she really wanted Castle to continue investigating. This probably should have turned on a red light for Castle who, as we know from almost every episode of the show, picks up on small details that pass most people by. However, I’m willing to overlook this minor plot detail because several other twists catch us off guard later on and guide us far away from the assumption that Sophia is indeed behind this.

Through a hint given by Sophia and a series of escalating clues, Beckett and Castle are able to find Blakely’s work which all points to one small “linchpin,” as Blakely called it. A picture of a young Asian girl seems to be at the center of Blakely’s work and it is the key to stopping major chaos from breaking out. After taking it to the CIA, the picture is run through a database and the girl is discovered to be the daughter of a major Chinese businessman who is cahoots with the finance minister and members of the ruling political party in China. The team uncovers the plot to kill the young girl in order to anger her father and use his considerable influence to cease debt spending to the United States. This would eventually lead to an American deficit so large that the country would fall to its knees and be powerless in a world war.

Things begin to move quickly at this point. The businessman is in New York with his daughter and could at any moment be put in danger. On the way over to stop the potential shooting, Sophia and her CIA cohort turn the guns on Beckett and Castle. It is revealed that Sophia was behind all this, and that she is the mole inside the CIA who has been taking out people who got in the way of the shooting of the young girl.

Sophia turns the tables by revealing she is behind the plot to kill the young Chinese girl.

It is at this point that my favorite line in the episode comes up. Castle asks Sophia why she would betray him like this and threaten his and Beckett’s life. Sophia articulates beautifully the essence of Rick Castle’s character. “Because you just don’t stop. You need to know the story, the whole story, and if something doesn’t add up you just don’t let go.” This line really resonated with me because the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was both Castle’s most endearing quality, and his fatal flaw. His inability to let go of a story until he understands the entirety of it allows him to solve murders like nobody’s business. But it also has, on several occasions, brought him to the point where he was shaking hands with death. The duality of Rick Castle often astounds me, but Sophia’s words kind of exactly encapsulate who Rick is, and never do we see it more than when he is with Beckett.

Our favorite crime solvers are heroes once again when they stop the shooting and leave the Chinese businessman in the dark about the conspiracy. The writers did leave some room for plot development when they introduced the idea that Castle’s father may have been involved with the CIA. After countless episodes revolving around Kate’s mother’s murder, it will be refreshing to follow the past of a different character, and perhaps even bring the lovebirds closer together.

Sidenotes:

  • I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to Beckett calling Esposito anything other than “Esposito.” “Javi” and “Espo” just don’t sit well with my for some reason.
  • I would have liked to know what language Sophia spoke at the very end, when she revealed that America was not her country.
  • That little nudge Beckett gave Castle at the very end. Will those crazy kids just get together already?!

All images are property of ABC.

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About Neda

Lover of food, feminism, and television. I walk the fine line between devoted fan and crazy person.

One Response to “Recap: Castle 4×16 – “Linchpin””

  1. I just watched these episodes recently, so this recap was a really great read. I definitely agree about Castles father, I would kill to see that be a long running story line, Kate’s mother’s murder has been a central thing for so long it would be a nice change.

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