Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"Veritas" 06.22 -Castle

"You know, Castle, my mom had a saying...vincit omnia veritas. Truth conquers all.”

Last night's episode of Castle was without a doubt, one of my most fulfilling experiences in this fandom. "Veritas" the team's penultimate episode of the sixth season was set up with the highest of expectations, and proceeded to shatter every single one of them.

I would like to take pause before my recap and further opinions and say, that from the writing, showrunning, acting, lighting, cinematography and scoring, anyone involved in the making of this episode not only brought their 'A' game, but they were playing on an entirely new level. 
Photo Credit Twitter @Castle_ABC
And with that,.... away we go. 
Castle's voice over immediately had me on edge, it has been ages since we've had a "previously on Castle sequence". His voice was so stark and striking; it immediately set the bar very high for what was to come. (Personal admission, there were already tears at the 0:03 mark, I'm still not and never will be over Montgomery's sacrifice.) We've had trips down memory lane before, but the walk down the Johanna Beckett case has always been a hard one to make. And although difficult, it added such a weight to the story that has been playing out for us over the past 6 years. 

The episode opens, we see Kate on a stakeout, but what we don’t see is her badge, her fiancĂ©, or her backup. She busies herself with the pictures and notes of a one Jason Marks, only pulling back when he climbs into a suspicious looking town car.  And as dawn breaks the next morning, Kate is pouring over her spoils from the night before. I will tell you right now that the smile that broke out on her face at Castle’s call melted me. We find out that this project, “their project” has been going on for quite some time. Ever since the file protecting them was destroyed, they’ve been searching for evidence to finally bring Bracken to justice.

As Kate heads to the body drop, with the reassurances that Castle will soon be home to help, Ryan’s revelation is enough to shake Kate to her very core. Our victim is none other than Jason Marks. Her one lead that she had, her slim chance at nailing Bracken has been stolen from her yet again. Kate uses her ill-gotten knowledge of his goings on last night to help determine the exact details of Marks’ murder.  We find out that the driver of the town car is none other than our old “friend” Vulcan Simmons.

With Castle back at the precinct, we get a glimpse of just how deep Kate and Rick are in this search. Rick realizes that this gives them an opening to see if Simmons will turn on Bracken. However, after the Simmons connection is made, Gates in all fairness does exactly what she should do and removes Kate from the case, given her past and most recent history with him. Gates has always been more intuitive than the team has given her credit for and she is trying to save Kate from diving back into this head first and compromising any chance to get Simmons at all.

After his lawyers get him off on a technicality, come on, we all knew that Simmons wouldn’t be an easy catch. Kate becomes ever more driven, dangerously driven to find something that will place him on the hook for the murder of Jason Marks. And find something she does, leaving Castle asleep in the loft, (completely ignoring my shouts of, “go back!”, “NO!”, “Stop!!!” and “go back and cuddle that ruggedly handsome fella!!”) Kate stumbles upon the town car, which Vulcan has very arrogantly left in its bloody state. But that is not the only thing stumbled upon, Vulcan, seemingly lying in wait for her, plays all his cards on the table. He knows that however desperate she is, she won’t shoot him, he plays those cards one by one: 1) She’s trespassing  2) Given their history, him ending up dead would be a career ender for her 3) Kate didn’t have a warrant (Thusly all evidence is ill-gotten and inadmissible) Beckett still unhappy with the outcome presses forward for answers.

The phone call reinstating Beckett to the Simmons/Marks case comes in, to a confused Castle, who in his dreary state covers for his betrothed in any way that he can. Castle reiterates the concerns Gates had over Kate’s involvement, only to be informed that those no longer are applicable as Vulcan Simmons has been found murdered. With an eyewitness report and a ballistics match to her backup piece, the murder is pinned on Kate, who is now on the run from both Bracken’s men and her own police force, with the exception of “this immediate family”.

The swings. They used the fonting swings. As if the gravity of Kate being a fugitive and Castle vowing that he is in this with her, no matter what, wouldn't have been grasped enough, they share this moment at their swings. Kate knows now that Bracken is making his move, to frame her, and ultimately put an end to her and the knowledge she has on him. 

With all the old players making their appearances it is only fitting for Smith to come back from the 'dead'. With time and resources running out, Castle enlists the help of Esposito, to track down the Dr. that signed his death certificate, hoping against all hope that he will be the lead they are looking for. Their plan works, a little too well... Smith knows just how close they were to the truth, and just how close the danger is to them. The only advice he has for them is to run, run and you might live. 

With Ryan and Espo doing everything they can back at the precinct, while trying to fly below the radar of Internal Affairs, Gates finally asks what she has been putting off for three years. And in one of my favorite moments of the night, they let her in. She becomes part of "this immediate family" and with that the knowledge of just how deep this goes. The respect that she hoped to one day earn from Kate has and will come back four fold. And she will prove to be invaluable. 

Against Kate's will and that inner voice that is echoing "Vencit Omnia Veritas", it is decided that they will run. Castle sets about gathering resources, while Kate is to change her appearance. Armed with scissors and a bottle of hair dye ("Nope, nope, nope" was my mantra right about then) Kate retreats to the bathroom. As she takes off her moms' ring, you can feel the despair of a child not wanting to let her mom down. But the despair quickly turns to terror as she realizes that she isn't alone.

The stand off with Bracken is over as quickly as it began, with the three to one odds,  a now unarmed Kate didn't stand a chance. In true villain fashion Bracken is granted his platform to extemporize his grand plan. Bracken seems to want credit for provideing her with the out that she didn't take. To have Kate thank him for pushing her to become the individual she is today. 
Knowing what her fate is to be, Beckett makes a last attempt to let her murder be the one that will finally bring Bracken down. She begs to have him be the one to pull the trigger. As he informs her that he has ‘people’ for that, he also speaks his last goodbye to Katherine Beckett.

His two goons set upon her, but she isn’t going down without a fight. (I was actually yelling at my television by now!) As they are forcing pills and liquor down Kate’s throat, she proves that she might be a better actress than she was last episode… They intend to stage it like a suicide, a rogue cop that couldn’t take it anymore. But just as they position the gun, Kate turns it on them. (Way to go 6 years of proving she can hold her liquor!) She gets a couple of shots off, and is nearly in the clear till one of her assailants smashes the liquor bottle against her head. She proceeds to put 3 more rounds in him, just to make sure he is super dead. As she stumbles out of the room, Castle finds her just in time. (FYI: This was not the Beckett getting drunk and Castle taking care of her scenario that we were expecting) 

Cue the flashback, (and the ugly crying). It is early 2000's and Beckett is still a rookie, with more baggage than she ought to have. We've seen this scene described through Montgomery's eyes, but now we see it through Kate's. She let's him know she's looking into her mom's case, and even though it could be his downfall, he encourages her even then. To find the justice and speak for the victim. She remembers him saying something very specific about a cassette tape and wakes up, knowing just where to look. (The salute killed me) However, she finds out when she comes to, that she and Castle are very nearly to Canada. She implores him to go back, that what she remembered will be worth the risk.  

Since her apartment is on lock down, they call in a favor from Ryan and Espo once again. Which is exactly what gets them busted. But before IA can make the raid, Kate and Castle look through Johanna's belongings and discover that Montgomery had indeed had the evidence and had given it to Johanna, who then passed it to her family. So although she didn't know where it was, Kate has been in possession of the evidence the whole time.

IA brings the whole team back to the 12th in cuffs, much to the surprise and dismay of Captain Gates. As heartbreaking as any of the scenes thus far had been, Kate saying goodbye in her own way to Castle hurt, because you knew her level of hopelessness. Bracken could and would get to her, and most likely Castle in prison, this would be the end of them. And in that moment it hits her, "the elephants" Something passed down from Johanna to Kate, something that represented family.  Concealed inside was the tape Montgomery had made incriminating Bracken. 

At a press conference to outline his plans to run for the presidency, Bracken is immediately shaken by the mere sigh of Kate. His stuttered, "You can't be here..." only followed up by the fierce glint in her eye as she tells him that she's got the tape, and that "It's over." is an amazing scene from both Jack Coleman and Stana Katic. 

And finally the words that Kate has waited 15 years to say, "Senator Bracken you are under arrest for conspiracy, fraud, and the murder of my mother, Johanna Beckett."

With Bracken in custody, the weight of her mom's case finally off her shoulders, you can see the change in Kate almost immediately, she is free. She is safe, the people that she loves are safe. I love that the entire team had a hand in apprehending him. Rick makes the moment that much sweeter, by telling Kate, "that where ever her mom is, she's proud of her." Followed by Kate's admission that she, "never could have done this with out him." As the melt into each other and the scene cuts to black. 

It was an emotional ride and well worth the wait. The commitment to continuity never ceases to amaze me. There were so many callbacks to moments, objects, and words spoken, that I wouldn't even know where to begin the list. This felt like closure for not only Kate, but for the fans as well. Now, I'm not saying that Bracken is done being a problem, but at least the world now knows of his deeds.  We’ve only been a part of this story for six years, but for Kate, this spans back to a cold winter’s night in 1999. This has been her reality for 15 years. That is 15 birthdays, Christmases, graduations,…. life events that she never thought her mom wouldn’t be a part of. And for a little while, she lost both parents, one to a coffin and one to a bottle. She grew up, she got strong, she got determined. But that determination made her hard and it almost got the best of her more than a few times. And then by some miracle the man whose words were her strength when she had no one to turn to, slowly and surely became her perfect half. For the past six years he has figuratively and literally been her tether to the world.  This arrest and eventual conviction puts to bed the last 15 years of the voices in Kate’s head. She got the justice, she spoke for the victims, all of them. She continued the fight for her mom, she proved to Roy that amidst the battles, there can be victories. She’s made them proud. 

Whew, that was a long one! I knew it would be and thank you to anyone who has made it this far!!! ;) I'd love to hear what you thought about the episode in either the comments or tweet me @CamiFaith

Good luck to everyone already for the next episode! I'm just going into it with the hold on tight and "In Marlowe We Trust" philosophy!

Don't forget to enter our Castle giveaway! The drawing will be held May 13th after the finale has aired! Good luck to all who have entered! 


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