Well, we made it! It’s been a long wait for season 4 of Castle, especially after last season’s shocking cliffhanger. We were left anxiously awaiting Beckett’s fate after she was shot in the chest at Montgomery’s funeral. “Rise” picks up pretty much where “Knockout” left off, with Beckett being rushed to the hospital and losing vital signs before our eyes. At The Viewing Party’s viewing party, we cringed through both the gore-filled surgery (though H seemed fine with all that blood) and some of the lines of dialogue associated with Dr. Motorcycle Boy operating on his girlfriend. Suffice it to say: buh-bye, Josh.
And as a side note can I just mention that, to be honest, we were all quite certain Beckett was going to survive: there’s no Castle without Beckett!
S wrote beautifully about the high emotional stakes in her review of “Rise”, so I’m going to pick up on some favourite scenes and moments. Firstly, I loved the initial meeting between Beckett and Captain Victoria “Iron” Gates. Beckett just walks into the Captain’s office (kind of barges in, actually) and then knocks afterward; it’s pretty clear she’s accustomed to doing whatever she wants. What follows is a battle of wills as these two fiercely opinionated people face off. Beckett’s a great cop and she knows it, but she’s used to other people knowing it and respecting it too. Under Montgomery, she went rogue and disobeyed orders all the time without any serious punishment. Now suddenly she’s faced with Gates, who doesn’t see Beckett’s stellar record as a justification for insubordination. Much as we hate to see anyone opposing Beckett, I think that Gates is actually acting responsibly and ethically in not letting her officially investigate her own shooting. I’m looking forward to more interactions between these two! (Oh, and I like how Gates addressed the ridiculousness of Castle hanging around the 12th, even though she was overruled by the mayor.)
A good chunk of this episode was understandably focused on Beckett, and I thought the Castle team did a good job showing the complex emotional state(s) of the character. Enacting the symptoms of PTSD, we see her freeze up in a gun stand-off, something she’s handled successfully countless times before. Now she’s physically and emotionally immobilized by the sight of a gun pointed at her. I must say, seeing her hand trembling like that seriously freaked me out because of how in-control she usually is. Beckett also overreacts big-time at the fire station when she and Castle are searching for missing files, and implies that the fire chief falsified documents. Castle has to practically drag her from the station as she hurls threats back over her shoulder.
Then, in the saddest scene for me, Beckett breaks down in front of Castle at her apartment. She can’t accept a dead-end in the investigation of her mother’s murder because it means that she has nowhere to start, nowhere to go, and nowhere to hide. She’s confronted with the fact that, as far as she knows, anyone who could help her make headway with the case is dead. As she lists all the people associated with the case who are now gone, it becomes clear that she’s dealing not only with the loss of any solid leads, but the loss of the people she loves all over again. Beckett starts the tirade with anger, but we hear her voice falter when she says Montgomery’s name, and by the time she gets to her mom we see her vulnerability, heartache, and devastation in full force. Stana Katic did an excellent job in this scene (as usual) – it was hard to watch her face crumpling without wanting to give her a hug.
So basically, Beckett’s messed up! And she should be! Not only has she been shot and gone into cardiac arrest, she is seriously questioning her identity as a cop and a person in the face of so much loss. How could she not be devastated? She should be falling apart after everything that’s happened, and she is. Beckett’s actions and words point to her emotional fragility, something which is reflected in her physical appearance as well: she looks gaunt, haunted, unstable. Luke Reichle, the costume designer, said that he even deliberately oversized Beckett’s grey turtleneck to emphasize her post-surgery weight loss and frailty when she returns to the precinct.
All of this contributes to why I think the creators made smart decisions with this episode. As S said, Beckett is honest with Castle about not being able to fully commit to a relationship until her mother’s case is put to rest. She’s got a lot to work through. It’s good for both Castle and Beckett that she’s not just diving into a romantic relationship with him, and I think the writers and actors handled this with care and truthfulness.
As they say in the episode, is it enough? It’s enough for now. Andrew Marlowe & Co. have given us lots of emotional progress, some major secret-keeping (Beckett remembers everything! Castle has the files!), and they’ve left us wanting more. We are for the moment content to return to the witty banter of Castle’s lighter episodes, all the while hoping and yearning for more steps on the road to little Castle babies!
Some other things to note:
- Ryan and Esposito at the beginning. They both cut fine figures in their uniforms! I would have liked to see even more of their reaction to Beckett’s shooting, their anger (we saw some from Esposito), and their frustration at not being able to solve the case
- Beckett saying, “I want. My gun.”
- Who signs the front cover of a book? Apparently Castle, but um, don’t you sign it on the inside…?
- So happy to see Michael Dorn as Beckett’s therapist. This show really is Beckett and her space boys! Now we’ve got three substantial sci-fi shows represented on Castle: Firefly (Nathan Fillion), Battlestar Galactica (Michael Trucco AKA Demming), and Star Trek: TNG (Michael Dorn). I hope we see Worf…I mean, Beckett’s therapist…again.
- Hair! And clothes! And hair!
We love to hear people’s thoughts. Did “Rise” live up to your expectations? What were your favourite scenes? Share them in the comments!