Props to 'Castle'.
It's not easy to deliver a great episode during "sweeps". The networks resort to "stunt-casting", spend a ton of money promoting the special episodes and shoot for the moon plot-wise with them -- resulting in unrealistic expectations for viewers. So it's easy to let them down, especially in a two-part episode like this.
Part 1 was good and left people excited for the conclusion and I don't think that anyone left disappointed with Installment #2.
While the majority of the episode left Beckett, Esposito, Ryan and Captain Gates on the sidelines (fairly surprisingly but understandably), we at least got some good dialogue from our friends at the precinct and yet another great scene from Beckett getting angry and physical in the interrogation room.
As sweet as that was, I'm sure the majority of you want to talk about the big reveal of who Castle's father really is and how Alexis was the target all along. The second James Brolin's character appeared on screen, I had already known that he was NOT "Jackson Hunt". (God damn interwebs always spoil the good stuff.) But for those of you who didn't know, that moment when he tells Castle that he's his father must have been pretty damn awesome..
Castle's dad provided some great moments: the reveal of his identity, the skeet-shooting of Castle's phone, the heart-felt conversations with Richard and the bad-ass plan he devised to get Alexis and Castle back to safety. Loved it all.
HOWEVER, as much as I enjoyed that plan and liked the execution of it, I can't help but think the episode would have been better and far more powerful if Mr. Castle had gone in there and taken a bullet to the head in exchange for Alexis as the kidnapper had asked. It would have been a noble sacrifice from a father who owed it to Richard, while also serving as a heartbreaking moment. It would have been great TV.
But they did the expected and cliche happy ending instead, which allows for James Brolin to return and re-visit his relationship to Richard. They clearly have more stories to tell there, so I understand why they did what they did.
"Hunt" had all the drama, all the emotion and all the "wow" moments you want from episodes like this. If you felt differently, let me know why in the comments.
QUOTES OF NOTE:
--MARTHA: "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
--CASTLE: "Getting my daughter back."
--RYAN: "What, so he's Liam Neeson now?"
--ESPOSITO: "Neeson? The dude is barely Ashley Judd."
--BECKETT: "Look, he's acting like a father and I have to act like a cop."
--BECKETT: "My partner's daughter is missing and YOU ... are in my way."
--CASTLE: "My daughter, my money -- I'm coming."
--JACQUE HENRI: "I value my life more than my word. If I had known who was really holding your daughter, who your daughter REALLY is, I would have NEVER TAKEN THE JOB."
--JACKSON HUNT: "Given how you feel so bad about your 200-buck phone, you might want to pick up that $3 million dollar briefcase."
--CASTLE: "Sounds made up."
--JACKSON: "It is."
--PAPA CASTLE: "Because she's my granddaughter. Richard, I'm your father."
--PAPA CASTLE: "What do you say, kid? You've been playing cop for years, you ready to play spy?"
--"He's expensive." Why did that guy bother saying that to Castle? He's rich. Clearly he can afford any price and would clearly be willing to pay it.
--OF COURSE the one picture of the dead guy with a bullet in his head lands perfectly next to, and facing, his girlfriend in the interrogation room. How many throws of that folder would it take for that to actually happen?
--Is the same person in Hollywood used as the Police sketch-artist in all the shows? I need to know this.
--It drives me crazy when the main character of a TV show is one second away from dying and someone saves them. It's ALWAYS one second. It's more dramatic that way, you say? My counter to that: it's not dramatic when you know what's going to happen and the exact second that it's going to happen. Counter that, bitch!
--I know you were literally a second away from dying and all, but how could you forget about your briefcase with $3 million in it? Amateur.
--It was obvious that Jacque was going to back-stab Castle, but I still loved him. He was a bad-ass.
--I came close to crying two different times. Now I'm a wuss, so that's not a surprise. But still means the episode did something right.
--Everyone's father is a spy except for mine.
--The on-location filming was solid. Always nice to see.
--VOLKOV! Really!? That villain name has been taken by a far superior show, dammit. I don't care that they spell it differently, still copying.
THE GRADE: A