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Castle – Target – A Review

by on February 26, 2013

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First of all, I’m terribly sorry for how ridiculously late this recap is. This week has been hell for me, so I haven’t really had the opportunity to sit and write it before now. However, it’s Castle talk, and the way I see it, Castle talk is better late than never.

“Target” is the first episode of this season’s two-parter, and it was a fabulous one. It starts with the usual: someone is murdered, Beckett and Castle are called to the crime scene and the investigation begins. But the initial case is put in the backburner when the girl that the victim was murdered trying to protect, Sara El-Masri, is kidnapped – and so is her close friend, Alexis Castle.

“Target” was a case-focused episode, obviously, but not much actually happens on the investigative front. We see the team track down the van that took Alexis and Sara, along with the driver and another man involved, and the farm where they were initially taken. But the actual investigation pales next to the emotions unleashed by this case. This episode was a stellar chance to showcase the stunning acting abilities of both Nathan Fillion and Molly Quinn, something that we had not really had in a while. Castle’s pain and terror at the thought of losing his daughter are palpable, and it allowed Beckett – and us – to see a side of him we did not know he had: the ruthless side. We don’t actually get to see what he did to get the van driver to tell him where the girls were, but we don’t need to. The screams are enough to get an idea.

It was also an incredible episode for Alexis. I might or might not have screamed at the TV when we find out that the kidnappers knew exactly where to find them simply because Alexis had shared her plans for the weekend on her vlog (seriously, I’m all for having an Internet presence, but for heaven’s sake, don’t give every crazy person out there the means to find you wherever you go. On a different note, why did they look for Alexis’ vlog if the target was Sara? There must be more to it than meets the eye), but I quickly remembered why she’s considered so intelligent most of the time. Because, you know, minus some errors of judgment (see above), the girl is hellishly smart. She and Sara quickly figured out how to get an approximate idea of where they were, and once they were transported somewhere else, Alexis managed to open the door of the room where they were kept with a hairpin.

Like father, like daughter, I guess.

But it doesn’t end there. She finds a phone and Skypes Castle, but has to end the conversation quickly when she hears footsteps coming up. The call is tracked down and she runs out onto the roof. That’s when all Alexis, Castle, the investigative team and the viewers all find out where she is: in Paris. Yes, the episode ends with a scene of Alexis Castle staring open-mouthed at the Eiffel Tower and a man coming up behind her and snatching her up again.

There are cliffhangers and then there’s this.

I also loved how supportive the whole team is of Castle. Beckett throws caution to the wind and hugs him in the precinct, not giving a damn if Gates sees. Gates, for her part, tells Beckett to do whatever it takes “to get him back his little girl”. I also enjoyed Ryan’s comment, “It’s Alexis. He’s gotta be wrecked. Hell, I’m wrecked”. Ever since the fourth or fifth episode in the first season, when Beckett, Esposito, Ryan and Montgomery were playing poker with Castle and Martha, I’ve loved the relationship the team has with the entire Castle family, and this episode was fabulous for that bond.

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