|Pic: from Cafepress.com|
Previously on Castle... Captain Montgomery was revealed as the third cop involved in the underworld abductions that led to Beckett's mum being murdered. But rather than hand Beckett over to the killer hired to clean up the trail, he sacrifices himself to keep her safe and takes out the bad guys in the process. Team Beckett agree to keep Montgomery's involvement secret, but then at his funeral a sniper shoots Beckett in the chest. Castle tries to tackle her out of the way, and tells her he loves her before she passes out.
Phew. Writing it out like that reminded me how emotional the last episode of season three was! I wasn't sure what to expect from the season four opener and I was really really hoping the show didn't use the reset button to wipe away the emotional scars of the cliffhanger by the credits. And thankfully, it didn't. Much. The usual murder of the week is here, but what makes the episode work is the overwhelming feeling that, like Ryan says, "it''s not like it was before."
Stana Katic is great in this episode, presenting a tough but more vulnerable Beckett than we've ever seen before. The look of terror on her face when she has a gun pointed at her for the first time since her shooting is unnerving. I was annoyed that writer Andrew Marlowe deployed the amnesia device to avoid dealing with the aftermath of Castle's "I love you Kate", but quickly forgave him when she fessed up to the psychologist at the end of the episode. I should know better than to judge an episode before I've finished watching it...
All in all, the 12th precinct isn't what it used to be. New Captain, broken Beckett, and Castle trying to figure out who is behind the shooting without anyone finding out. I'm looking forward to where this season takes us.