Before we take a look at Castle’s first outing of 2014, let’s look back at where the show left us before its Christmas hiatus. Castle and the team investigated the murder of a man found dead in a church, and the case of a missing baby. While seeing Castle and Beckett’s opposing views to having kids, it turns out the unlucky guy had a jackpot-winning Lotto ticket on him. Talk about bad ways to go. The guys put it together quickly, realise that the ticket must be the motive (a move Sherlock himself would be proud of) and put the case to bed, not before celebrating Thanksgiving in good fashion. Well, apart from Beckett.
So, in Under Fire, the team’s first case of the year, we’re thrown straight into the action. Ryan’s fiancée is on the phone to Beckett who tells her to, “relax, something’s happened,” before rewinding 12 hours. So, not only is the burning building behind them fitting of the title, but the main punch point of the episode is given away in the first two minutes. Thanks, guys!
Now, Beckett, Castle and Ryan are walking through a fire scene discussing baby names and weddings, (as you do when standing over a BBQ’d body!) Lainey then tells them there’s a bullet hole in the victim, before the usual song and dance and, “I’ll let you know more when I get back to the morgue.” These we’re the kind of scenes we were praying for towards the end of last season, but now we’ve got them back they feel the same as before.
They put their heads together, and figure that the victim must have interrupted the arsonist and got himself killed, before going after the building’s owner. He doesn’t know anything, and it wasn’t a huge surprise when an entire four minutes later, the fire investigator finds the accelerant and knows exactly who the victim is. I don’t know if it’s just lazy writing, or a need to move the story on quickly, but she just came right out with all the information. Not only was her partner dead, but he was killed by the same arsonist he’d been investigating for years.
Conveniently for the team, the victim had written down the name Adam Ferguson. Ferguson was put in jail by the victim and had recently been released. (By now I’m really losing faith in the writers) When they catch up to Ferguson he tells them he was helping the victim find the arsonist, so that theory goes out the window.
By now we’ve come a full 360 and are back at the start of the episode. Ryan and Esposito find the victims car, his files on the arsonist, and decide to investigate. What they don’t realise is they’re about to stumble into the suspects lair, until….
Ok, so by now Esposito and Ryan and trapped in the burning building, Castle and Beckett are outside with the firefighters and Ryan’s pregnant wife shows up in labour. (Because the guys need all that extra shiz to deal with right now) Luckily, an ambulance is already there and Lainey takes her to give birth. Not like they needed it for the two guys trapped in the fire or anything!
The fire crew won’t go in, the building is too far gone and it’s too dangerous. For a good five minutes things are looking pretty bad for our beloved cops; until the arsonist is captured. A pretty tough job seeing as he was just standing around Instagramming the whole thing.
But in true ABC style, the ‘sub-basement’ where they are trapped is actually an escape route out of the arsonist’s lab, (take note all you voyeur Walter White’s!) so the day is easy saved. Ryan and Esposito make it out alive just in time for everyone to have one more feel good moment before the end of the episode.
I’m the first person to admit that I’m a fan of castle, but something needs to change. I’m as happy as the next one of you that they brought Beckett back from DC and forgot all about that FBI bs, but it needed to come back as a different type of procedural. Instead, we’re stuck with the same old formula, and if they don’t do something to turn it around soon, we could really be in the last season of Castle.