Castle, 6x22, "Veritas"
First of all, the idea that Beckett (with Castle's help, this time!) has been secretly conducting surveillance, tailing and other background detective work to try and find a way to link Vulcan/Bracken to criminal activity and take them down, blew me away in the first five minutes. I liked all his cautionary warnings and how -- at least at first -- she actually listened to him and avoided unnecessary risks. I also liked how eventually she couldn't help herself and took enough risks to land herself in hot water. And things just escalated in a fascinating manner from there. I mean:
-Lainie's shaking hands/voice while informing Kate about the ballistics report
-IA coming for Beckett, and Castle's super casual/innocent response to where she is: *looks around* "I have no idea."
-The helpful cop buying time for Castle/Ryan/Esposito as he escorts Castle out
-Covert C/B meeting at the swings (adorable hug!) with gift of matching GPS-free burner phones for "the couple who has everything."
-Mr. Smith's fake death
-C/B confronting the doctor who helped Smith fake his death, and fleeing the scene once again when her fugitive picture on TV catches staff attention
-Gates standing up in staunch support of Beckett, ballistics reports be damned, and secretly teaming up with Ryan and Esposito
Bonus sweet moments: Beckett & Castle posing adorably so they can listen in on the same phone (twice)
(also, his stunned face upon hearing "Vulcan was killed with your gun" is a beautiful thing to behold)
But what really blew my mind was Castle not even hesitating to use his every connection and privilege of wealth possible to fly the coop with her. To the point where, as always, I'm a little insulted that he puts her ahead of Alexis without any apparent provisions to make sure Alexis will be okay, but if I pretend he did...yeah, wow. I've watched this episode or parts of it 3 times now, and every time we get to the hotel room with a bottle of hair dye and plans to get a car "no questions asked," I'm still like, "How did we get here??" and "WHO IS THIS MAN."
Bracken's coordinated hotel room attack was every inch as heart-attack-inducing and scary as the torture in episode 17. The episode was visually dark, too, all bleak and washed out. (Don't think I don't notice this somtimes.)
Best part of this: Castle coming back to find her lying on the floor of the hallway, half-conscious and bleeding. Thumbs up to the blurry and disorienting camera work showing his face from her perspective before he picks her up and drives like hell for Canada...almost.
BECAUSE WAIT, THE EXCITEMENT ISN'T OVER YET.
I loved them charging into her apartment (with a little help from their friends), only to be caught red-handed and taken into custody. That is by far the closest they've ever come to complete hopelessness, and kudos again to the writing for making this bleak ending believeable. I loved that final handhold and "whatever happens" kiss/forehead touch. Everything I love about them, right there.
Or almost everything. Because Beckett's sudden flash of genius about the elephants -- WOW. Oh, wow. So many clues and pieces falling into place, especially with the exciting backdrop of her being literally dragged away as she's struggling to open it, a last Hail Mary pass. Better than any mystery novel I've ever read.
And what a triumphant ending. Our long national Bracken nightmare is finally over. (right?)
Plus a bonus long hug to close out the credits!
P.S.Funny Quotes from The Three Minutes Before It Got Dark
Castle: So you know what that means? I'm coming home!
Kate: *yawning in exhaustion* Oh.
Castle: Try to contain your excitement.
Beckett: Have a safe flight, OK? I love you.
Castle: Yeah, well, you better. It's 2 weeks to the wedding and it's too late to return the tux.
P.P.S. OH HEY LOOK THERE'S A BONUS FEATURE CALLED "EXTENDED ENDING." And it consists of an extra 40-second scene featuring Castle watch Kate put the ring-on-a-chain back in a little box, briefly voice their anticipation for the wedding, and seal it with a long kiss. GOOD HEAVENS, THE JOY.
Which I'm going to need. Because I'm five minutes into the finale and I just remembered the rage tizzy I went into last spring when I heard about them pulling the punk-ass "lol accidentally already married" card that simultaneously ruined the long-cherished season 1 quote, "I'm a one and done kind of girl." So much for thinking I was about to move forward on catching up on this show. RS OUT. (on indefinite grumping hiatus)
Sneak peek on what I know about the rest of this episode and season 7, by the way:
[season 7 spoilers]
I know the cliffhanger on which this episode ends (rage tizzy, part II). I also got spoiled on when the wedding happens (you'd better find a reason for me to not hate the timing), and I know how beautiful and happy they look at that point. I know roughly what their vows or other mushy sentimental comments were. But that is it. I know NOTHING else about season 7 except that 3XK arc might resurface at some point, and since we're more than halfway through it, I am very proud of myself for this fact.