If you subscribe to the magic bullet theory (or THIS), than perhaps you didn't like Monday night's 'Castle' two-part conclusion.
But if you're a conspiracy theorist who lies awake at night wondering about Lee Harvey Oswald, 'Castle' delivered a wonderful episode following last week's "Pandora."
Or, if you're like me and blame Kennedy's assassination on Lyndon B. Johnson [editor's note: this nutjob does not represent the opinion of the site], then you can't fully decide on whether "Linchpin" was a great episode or if it sucked. And considering I'm currently writing a review of the episode, I should probably make a decision, huh?
Whether or not you believe in the conspiracy theories that are out there, chances are that they intrigue you in some way. They're fun to try to piece together, to disprove, or to debate. They are also fun to watch, especially when played out with two characters that I think everyone who watches this show really likes.
So even though I didn't buy the likelihood of a CIA agent turning against the United States in a ridiculously crazy plot to start a World War III, I can still enjoy the episode for what it was.
And for a show with little mythology (we'll get to that later), we just want to have some fun in the week-to-week cases. Plausibility, while bothersome sometimes, doesn't matter much.
Normally when I watch procedurals on TV, I just sit back and let it happen. Perhaps I'm in the minority here, but I don't try to solve the crime before they do. Maybe it's because I'm lazy (or stupid). But with a crazy conspiracy going on in this episode, I tried.
I went into it thinking it was Gates, but should have known better that they wouldn't have just introduced our bad guy in the previous episode without some sort of twist. So I automatically believed him when he said there was a CIA traitor. So then I assumed it was Danberg, since he conveniently didn't notice Gates getting murdered and it had to be someone we knew, not some random CIA agent.
And my suspicion appeared to be confirmed, when the computer hack was tracked back to him and he took a hostage to escape (it was fun to see everyone turn on Agent Tran for a few seconds first). But when Sophia went on the elevator to go after him and told them to lock the place down, I wondered why should she be allowed to leave? What if she was the traitor?
Despite figuring it out before Beckett and Castle did, I have to give this episode credit for all the twists and turns and the utter chaos in a fun and unique story. Problems or plausibility aside, that's still better than a run-of-the-mill murder episode.
And this was no ordinary episode. While we still aren't any closer to figuring out the Beckett sniper situation or her mother's murder, we have a new mythology aspect to the show that we will constantly wonder about: who the hell is Castle's father!?
CASTLE TO BECKETT, in the submerged car: "Stay here." (Um, yeah, where was she going to go?)
ESPOSITO, complaining about not knowing what's going on: "I was special forces. I used to eat classified for breakfast. And writer boy can know? ... I'm glad you're OK." (It should be Ryan who is complaining, because I think I saw him for a whole two seconds in this episode.)
SOPHIA, YELLING AT CASTLE: "You're the same reckless, immature, self-centered jackass that you always were and you put this investigation at risk. You're sorry? We're on the verge of the next 9/11 or worse. This isn't one of your damn books, Rick. This is real life and when things go bad you can't just re-write the ending like you did with us." (Seems like she was more angry about the relationship than with the world coming to an end. Just saying.)
CASTLE: "I thought you were the bad guy?
GAGE: "If I were the bad guy, you'd be dead by now." (Why didn't I think of that?)
--I much prefer "linchpin" to be spelled with the 'y'. Lynchpin. Yes, that looks better.
--So Castle has a touch-screen board trying to decipher the Beckett sniper situation. Pretty cool. Remind anyone of this!?
--I know cops are bad-ass and all and need to stay calm, but neither Beckett or Castle freaked out while underwater? Forget the fact that I can't swim, I would be going crazy. And be dying.
--That scene was pretty intense for a brief moment, but it would've been nice to fully see how they got, but instead the camera panned out, we heard some gunshots and then all the sudden Beckett and Castle are on the beach. Disappointing.
--Poor Castle saves Beckett's life and then gets grilled by her about his previous sexual relations with Sophia. Where is the appreciation, damnit!?
--Does it bother anyone else that on television it ALWAYS comes down to the final second? 'Chuck' bomb defusals almost always have one second left, the games on 'Friday Night Lights' always come down to the last play and the bad guys on 'Castle' always gets taken down right before they do something bad. That happened twice in this episode alone. I get that it adds to the suspense, but man this is getting old already.
--Sorry, 'shippers, but it looks like Sophia is the new reason why Castle and Beckett won't hook up for a while. She said she regretted sleeping with Castle and ruining that burning desire. That may cause Beckett to think twice about hooking up with Castle.
SCORE: 89 out of 100
It was a good conclusion to a fun little mystery/conspiracy. It could have been better and more realistic, so I'll take a few points off for it. But ultimately, who cares. It's an episode I'll look fondly back on. I mean, who doesn't love see bonding over near-death experiences and asking who's your daddy?