Guts, Guns, and Grief: J Reviews Castle 4×01 “Rise”

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!

Castle-Season-4-rise-Beckett-GatesS 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.

Castle "Rise" Stana Katic as Detective Kate BeckettSo 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!

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11 thoughts on “Guts, Guns, and Grief: J Reviews Castle 4×01 “Rise”

  1. Pingback: Castle (4×01) “Rise” Review: One Step Forward | The Viewing Party

      • The picture of the fireman is on screen for a second or so on the right sitting on top of a document that says “FDNY” in big block letters. I think it is a copy of the report the fireman turned in that said the fire was not arson. The fact that it is in the package sent to Mr. Smith suggests to me that Beckett’s challenging the fireman was what caused Mr.Smith to call him and tell him about the “Insurance Policy”.

        Thinking about this call, it looks to me like might open up at least two possibilities for getting a new lead back into the investigation: Castle uses media archive sources to build a biography of Montgomery looking for someone that might owe their life to the Captain who would also be a candidate to receive the files. The benefit of this approach is that Castle could credibly do it with out involving Beckett, who knows nothing about Mr. Smith, until he thinks he has a real chance at a breakthrough that won’t endanger her.

        The second might happen if the “Dragon” decides, for reasons I haven’t yet hypothesized, the fireman is a risk and kills him, Beckett and her team investigate the murder with out interference from Gates because she has no clue it might be related to the attack on Beckett and the Dragon.

        • Those are some very compelling theories.
          I like to think the (not)arson case isn’t entirely a dead end, Castle could do some discreet digging around the fireman and his contemporaries and try to find some connections there too. Regardless of how much Castle investigates without Beckett we all know she’s going to find out sooner or later and I imagine that will be some nasty fallout.
          Do you have some good screenshots to share with us?
          I have such faith in Andrew Marlowe & co to provide something brilliant, meanwhile I’m looking forward to the more lighthearted fare next week in “Heroes & Villains’

          • No screenshots. But it’s definitely there, at least enough of it to make it quite recognizable, for about a second. It’s so short it’s almost a subliminal event.

            Three other paths back into the investigation occurred to me: Joe Pulgati (spelling?) is alive and might know something, but talking to him would be dangerous. If Beckett wants to do that, Castle may have to hold her back. And the murder of an FBI agent must have been investigated by the FBI. It may be possible, but also dangerous, to get some data from their investigation that could provide a lead. Beckett may stumble across what her mother found that got her interested in re-opening Pulgati’s case. I don’t remember that information ever coming to light.

            So that’s 5 ways back in. I can hardly wait to see what Marlow surprises us with.

            Meanwhile, I am looking forward to a lighter episode or two before we get to the Castle/Martha hostage episode. That one might cause Kate to have some significant emotions about losing Castle. Seeing Katic play those on screen ought to be a moment worth waiting for. She is way way over due for an Emmy.

  2. I also wonder about Pulgati – I think it’s possible he knows more than he told Castle and Beckett in their first meeting. I was always kind of curious as to why they didn’t just ask him who shot Armen in the alley, or on the other hand, why he hasn’t been killed off for what he knows by “the Dragon” (given that basically everyone else associated with the case has been killed). I guess it was assumed that Montgomery would keep the secret about shooting Armen, and that Beckett would never get that far in the investigation. It did take 12 years after all!

    I’m excited for the hostage episode as well. We’ve seen Beckett get injured or put in compromised situations a lot and we’re pretty clear on how Castle feels about that. It makes sense that at some point Castle would also be in danger, so I’m glad we’ll (hopefully) get to see how Beckett reacts to that. And I couldn’t agree with you more about Stana Katic being so very deserving of an Emmy!
    – J

  3. Pingback: Castle ‘Rise’ Season 4 Premiere (Review) « G33KPRON – Games, Comics, Movies, Gadgets, Music, Cosplay & Girls

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