Wow. Just, wow. It’s hard to know where to begin regarding “Setup”. The intensity and sheer edge-of-your-seat suspense of this episode left me (and probably every other viewer) eager, anxious, dare I say desperate for more. So much happened in “Setup” and I can’t possibly cover it all, so I think I’m just going to highlight some of the moments that leapt out at me.
Everything changes in this episode when Beckett’s radiation detector goes off (the first time) in the storage locker: the story is catapulted into the realm of life and death scenarios in a heart beat. Castle, in a potentially life-saving act, sends his daughter and mother out of town much to the chagrin of Alexis. Nathan Fillion continues to impress me in the acting department, and the scene in which he tells Alexis to go with Martha is beautifully played by both Fillion and Molly Quinn. The tears shining in both their eyes say it all.
In fact, the acting by the entire cast is top-notch in this episode. Like in last year’s two-
parter, I feel that all the actors are bringing their A-game, and thus the stakes are raised much higher. Castle and Beckett, after their conversation in the Hazmat tent, seem to have a stronger connection than ever. Case in point: the scene when Fallon outlines the plan to the precinct and Beckett and Castle are standing on opposite ends of the room. Ryan and Esposito nervously discuss their attempts to send Jenny and Lanie out of town. This might be something that I just randomly picked up on, but hearing this discussion about the safety of loved ones/significant others, Castle immediately looks over at Beckett and there is a lingering eye-lock between the two of them. In this extended glance, we see the grimness of the situation and the fear they each have for the other’s safety. Again, subtle and moving performances from both actors. I wonder if there’s also a tiny bit of comfort in knowing that they will be facing the risk together. When Agent Fallon takes them to task for contacting the Syrian diplomat, we certainly see Castle and Beckett allied staunchly on the same team. I love their reactions to being busted by Fallon: it’s like two naughty kids being called to the principal’s office, knowing they’re in big trouble!
Fallon quickly demonstrates that he is a force to be reckoned with. I thought nothing could rival the hard-core interrogation scene in “Knockdown” (when Beckett slams a suspect into a pane of glass), but Fallon’s interrogation of Amir’s wife comes pretty darn close. Beckett is a stand-in for the viewer in this scene, and our horror at Fallon’s treatment of the widow with a screaming baby in her arms is played out on Beckett’s face. It’s a terrifying scene, and Fallon’s insanely aggressive behaviour encourages Castle, Beckett, and the viewer not to trust him.
I have to say, this episode had me in such suspense that by the time Amir’s murdered cousin was revealed in the freezer at the end, I literally gasped out loud and involuntarily clasped my hand to my mouth. On that note, kudos to the music team on this episode: the rhythmic drumming ratcheted up the tension with Battlestar Galactica-esque intensity.
H & S, I look forward to hearing your views on Castle and Beckett’s VERY important discussion in the Hazmat tent and Dr. Motorcycle Boy’s role in all of this. Also, I must admit, I kind of hated Beckett’s boots at the beginning of the episode, but I loved the hoodie-leather jacket combo at the end. You guys must have some thoughts on this. Ooh, and I am also continuing to appreciate Nathan’s blue shirts; they really bring out his eyes! Finally, I have to mention one of my favourite exchanges of the whole episode, when Castle asks Beckett for her take on Fallon:
BECKETT: Smart cop, driven, killer instinct. As a person? Kind of a douche.
CASTLE: An open-minded douche?
What oh what will happen to our intrepid duo trapped in a freezer? (When that door locked I nearly jumped out of my chair) How will they get out? Do you think there will be some new relationship developments while Castle and Beckett are once again confined in close proximity? “Countdown” can’t come soon enough for me!