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Castle - 5.15 - Target - Recap/Review

In the first of two parts, Castle starts with a man running down an alleyway before turning and shooting at the person in the van bearing down on him. In Castle’s apartment, his mother attempts to make pancakes for Rick because she misses Alexis. Who can blame her? Castle tells her that Alexis will be back.

At the crime scene, Beckett notices Rick’s newfound Zen attitude towards Alexis leaving the nest. Lanie tells them about “man versus van” being knocked out of his shoes. Castle freaks out when the vic is said to be from Alexis’s school. Assault charges were filed against him by Bram Stoker, not the writer but a TA from a class on Joyce. He had gotten the restraining order against Hasim because Hasim threatened to out his flirtations with co-eds.

Espo is the first to float that their victim might have been a terrorist. Unfortunately the dojo in his living room and the arsenal in his cabinet do not refute this. Castle has found info that he was in the Saudi Special Forces and was apparently invisible. Castle quips that maybe Jack Bauer was driving the van. The apartment belonged to one of the students in the Joyce class and was on Stoker’s flirt list. Said girl, Sara El-Masri, gets out of the van on the video Ryan and Espo have found and is pulled back in looking scared for her life by a yet unknown assailant.

The FBI have been updated as to the abduction but they haven’t been able to find out more. It’s looking more like Hasim was stalking Sara. Castle suggests that Hasim was trying to protect Sara after learning of a plot to kill her by doing something else. The parents are understandably distraught and think it’s about money or that father’s business. Landing in the US from Egypt, Mr. El-Masri had hired Hasim to protect Sara. He offers to pay anything to get her back.

The FBI Agent, Harris, has been brought up to speed and says that distraught parents are better than angry or defensive. Kate wants to find out what she was doing in lower Manhattan while Castle tries to put himself in the El-Masri’s place. Her roommate thinks she was going to see something to do with science. The one, a lecture on climate change, matches the location and reason for being in the area. She was with a young woman and stayed thru the Q&A. The description of the woman is of Alexis and a quick scan of the quest list confirms. Castle calls his daughter and recognizes her ring tone coming from the lost and found box. They took Alexis as well…

FBI Agent Harris tries to placate Castle but all he wants to know is that facts. The phone has been placed outside the hotel at the same time he and Sara left the event likely taken because of wrong place wrong time. They have an id (Roger Henson) of the man in the video. They are searching for him but as a career criminal, it won’t be easy. “Locating him could crack the case”. It’s possible that El-Masri’s daughter was kidnapped as revenge but not necessarily to ransom, but they might recognize Alexis’s value. FBI guy leaves and Caskett embrace. Captain Gates gives Kate full latitude to do whatever it takes to get Castle’s “little girl” back. Kate says they find the van, they find Alexis.

At his apartment, Castle apologizes to his mother who tells him the only person to blame for this is the people who took Alexis. The van has been lost but luckily in an area that’s boxed off to twenty square blocks. Not ideal but better than the whole New York area.

Castle sits looking at Alexis’s videos marveling at her. The end of the video is of Alexis telling the viewers about the lecture. Kate thinks that the kidnappers would have known Sara was her friend. I think that means Alexis was the true target. Castle begs her to trace all the IP addresses that accessed the vlog after 2 pm and Kate starts to make a promise she might not be able to keep before Rick shuts her down.

“I’d never be able to forgive you any more than I’d be able to forgive myself.”

Castle gets off the phone to tell his mother that the police have found the van. He thinks that they would have called by now if Alexis was alive. He goes to Greenpoint where he yells at Beckett for not calling him. They’ve found the van, yes, but they’ve found the back covered in blood. Lanie asks for Alexis’ blood type and it’s not hers. The entire force lets out a small sigh of relief. Kate promises to find the lead if there is a lead to be found. They always do. The El-Masri’s tell Rick, it’s not Sara’s blood either.

Alexis is not dead and neither is her friend. They are in a small but long concrete cell with blue lights. They have standing room but maybe a foot and a half about that. The door is locked and Sara tells Alexis the likely motive for kidnapping. Alexis finds another door at the back of the cell that’s unlocked. Inside is a bathroom with fully stocked towels. “Must mean they want us alive.” They receive food.

The blood is from the driver which is likely from when Hasim shot him. Somebody had returned the getaway car to be supercharged. Sara worries that maybe no one knows they’re missing. Alexis urges her to figure out where they are. The floor tells them that they are not in the basement and that the building is old. The lack of sound that the room is either “seriously soundproof” or not in New York. Why couldn’t it be both? The sister of the getaway driver called in sick to work. Kate bursts into the woman's bedroom and finds her brother, Douglas Stevens, bandaged on her bed. He’s under arrest.

Stevens refuses to talk so Kate tells him he’ll go down for all of it and that he’s looking a triple digit jail time. Castle asks for a minute with Stevens and Kate gives it to him. Whatever it takes. Castle closes the door and tells him that he’s not a cop but the redhead’s father. Stevens looks appropriately scared before Castle tells him that the cops are his and his daughter’s friends. Stevens offers to press charges and the man refuses to talk so Castle turns it into a physical confrontation.

Gates tells him that the officers will do whatever it takes to get Alexis and the other girl safe. The property their being held at belongs to not one and the feds are at the scene. Inside, Castle goes over the protocol with Sara, who’s learnt it her whole life. Kate tries to reassure Castle. “It’s all happening to fast and too slow at the same time.”

Kate is surprised to learn Castle has that side to him but she hasn’t seen the way he protected her before Montgomery’s secret came out. Alexis and Sara try to make their captures see them as human. It doesn’t work. The FBI burst into the farm.

Castle gives a beautiful speech that I won’t attempt to recaps ending by saying his life had changed the day Alexis was born and it’s about to change again. The farm house was empty, Alexis and Sara not there. They do find Alexis’s coat meaning that they had used the house as a waystation before taking them elsewhere. The driver was tortured and then killed after delivering the girls.

Kate promises Castle that they’ll find the girls before sending him home with decaf coffee. He takes it knowing that she means only the best for him.

Alexis is trying to crack the lock and after a few seconds, she does. They creep along a silent hallway slipping into an office. Alexis uses the phone in there to Skype her father. Her phone’s about to die and the men are coming back. Rick begs her to go so she drops the phone and runs. By leaving the phone on, they stand a better chance of tracking it. Alexis runs out onto a rooftop. In France.

To be continued…

Next Monday: Castle meets his father as he goes all Liam Neeson. And since ABC loves us, here's a sneak peek.

What worked:
♥ Andrew Marlowe was not kidding when he said that Nathan delivered an amazing performance this episode. The two parters aren’t as fun dramedy as the rest of the season tends to be but the one thing you can count on is that they will deliver two incredible hours of television. And this week’s first part did not disappoint showing Nathan to be an incredible actor. I’ve been watching him be amazing for years and was still entirely blown away by this week and will never ever underestimate his abilities again. ABC, whatever you’re paying this man, is not enough! And also renew the show now.

♥ I really liked the red herring of the barn. Obviously, they weren’t going to find the girls but it was so well executed, I actually found myself hoping they would find them.

What didn’t work:
The initial assumption that Hasim was a terrorist. It might have been warranted after the found the guns because really, who needs that many weapons but they were suggesting it ahead of the reveal. Boo. Not all middle eastern or middle eastern looking people have to be stereotyped to be bad guys. Seriously uncool.

Well, those are my complete thoughts on this week’s episode, what did you all think?