Castle Review: Checkmate!

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Castle aired the second hour of the annual two parter this week, as “Linchpin” picked up right where we left off last Monday and was arguably the quickest hour of television in history. So let’s get into it, Castle Fans.

This series is great at putting out kooky episodes that are light-hearted and entertaining. They are also usually tremendous at each season’s double dose of a case, too. Even though season four’s was good, it wasn’t as strong as some before it.

Case Wrap-up. Let’s start by saying: Sophia, you will not be missed. Jennifer Beals rocked it last week and still put on a great performance, but I can’t say that I was sad to see her fall. 

Sophia Turner and Company

The usual twists and turns took place from Blakely to Gage to Danberg to Sophia. The camera views started to make it pretty obvious that Danberg was going to be the next person to blame, and there is no fun in knowing the criminal before the last 10 minutes. It was a great twist to make Sophia the mole, even if it was a bit predictable. 

Didn’t expect Sophia to be from another country, let alone masterminding the linchpin to start WWIII. Let me ask a question to viewers: Was it really believable that a Chinese businessman’s daughter could start a domino effect leading to another world war?

Regardless, the case was interesting and entertaining from start to finish, just the way we like it.

Crash Into Me. The hour picked up with Beckett and Castle’s car crash, which felt a bit shortchanged. First, it didn’t make you nervous like previous two-parters. There was no way both were going down in an accident. We didn’t get to see the actual escape, making it seem like a bit of a shortcut by the writers to just give us a cliffhanger from week to week. 

The Triangle Gets Chatty. Secrets came flying out between the partners and some were juicy.

  • Beckett straight up asked Sophia about her past with Castle. Jealousy was getting to our girl when Castle admitted to sleeping with her.
  • Sophia spilled the beans to Kate that after hooking up with the writer, the tension got lost and there was nothing left. Of course, Kate is thinking the same thing could happen. 
  • Kudos to Castle for manning up to his girlfriend partner about his relationship. 
What’s to Come. We know that the two have to eventually address Castle’s, “I Love You.” But don’t forget Castle’s working on Beckett’s mom’s case. The writers use this arc as a backbone to the series. We know he works on it, now let’s see him doing so. 

After Thoughts:
  • Stana Katic is gorgeous. The girl knows how to work those curls and can even work car crash wet head.
  • How intense was Blakely’s room of connections? Loved it.
  • There was minimal time for Ryan and Espo and no love for Gates. Hopefully they are back in a bigger way next week.
  • Alexis overhearing Beckett tell her father to “sleep with whomever you want, the more the merrier” was priceless. 
This was a solid ending to the fourth season’s big case. It doesn’t rank as the best they have done (that award still goes to "Tick, Tick, Tick" and "Boom!"), but it was entertaining, kept you on the edge of your seat, and proved once again that Castle knows how to bring the suspense. These two-parters are another reason to love this series and I know I am not alone, even into the fourth season.

Fanatics, hit the comments and let us know what you thought of “Linchpin.” Was the actual linchpin a let down? Were you able to predict that Sophia was the mole? Did you think Kate was warranted in her jealousy? How does Season Four’s two parter rank with the other seasons? 


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (316 Votes)

THIS MIGHT BE A BOOK SPOILER, READ WITH CAUTION Wanted to point this out, in the books, there is a character aslimir to Special Agent Lundy. So aslimir he's even involved with Debra for a time. But anyway he has his scare a time or two and if Lundy is anything close to that, they'll keep him around a bit longer. I realize the show and the books are two totally different universes but I really like Lundy's presence, he keeps Dexter on edge while making everyone work harder around him. It would be great if they said he's in a coma or massive blood loss, critical condition, something like that.


i know most of you castle fans are really gonna hate me but i loved the intense relationship between castle and sophia and i also love jennifer beals and wished she and rick got together! sorry but thats my opinion. dont hate me!


These comments are very interesting. Most people appear to have very strong feelings one way or the other. What surprises me is that I no longer do. I was a rabid fan for three years, but now find that the series just leaves me lukewarm. I long for the early days - Rick a smartass, but kind and good to his family; Kate smart, funny and good to her team. I understand that characters need to change and develop - I want them to. But Rick now just comes across as weak and, frankly, whipped. He never stands up to Kate anymore, just blindly follows where she leads. He actually said as much in this episode. And a jealous Kate? OK, it's now been done to death. I agree that the writers have too many balls in the air right now. If the show doesn't get renewed (and the ratings are down), there are going to be a lot of unresolved issues.


Suspense was there, but missed the main ingredients that make it a lovable fantasy show. I mssed the interactions with the cast that makes Castle a complete show. No Gates, no Martha,it seemed like they made Sophie the main charactor, with Castle playing support, and Beckett got to be on camera. Where was the scenese where they brainstormed and come to the same next lead?
So was Sophie making a lie when she told Kate she wished she never had a fling with Rick?


I don't think castle lagged behind at sophia's body because he was mourning her. I think he wasn't over the shock of hearing that his father was CIA and a key instrument in bringing him on his previous CIA experience. The only person who could give him answers dropped dead in front of him, he was probably just processing it.


@Richard - agreed. A lot of what used to make the show FUN seems to be gone. The incongruous pop music introducing us to the corpse, Castle's lackadaisical self-confidence, lampshading the cliches and one-liners. Alexis' playful mothering of her father. Martha's eccentricity. Where did all that go? I still love the show, but I miss all that.


Suggestions for TPTB: How about cool music again to start each episode?
Mmmm, perhaps Castle was kicked out of the poker game?
Lanie's character needs a jump start, as do the others.
And finally, Beckett has to be the one to change the game.
I suggest, instead of all this nod and wink crap,
she just grabs Castle unexpectedly, kisses him
and lets her feelings out in big explosive scene. It would be better than what loyal fans have been getting the past 2 seasons.
Check around the web, polls, and ratings are turning. They will be renewed I'm sure for a 5th season, but I hope
they, TPTB are worthy of it, and worthy of the continued support and adoration of a loyal base of viewers.


It was a good episode, but weaker than previous ones. The sinking car was just too obvious not gonna happen. And also the cat and mouse thing with Sophia was in the end a little too obvious. But enjoyable, the character scenes were on the other hand really good. Alexis overhearing was nice, or Beckett questioning for their history.


Okay - now for the episode. Not the best Castle has done, but still quite enjoyable. The car escape scene was a bit of a cop-out - we should have seen more. And I miss the days when they would lampshade all the tropes they use! I disagree, though, that the life-saving should have a more emotional response. Rick & Kate have been saving each other's lives for almost 4 years - this is almost part of their day. I think the "thank you" is fitting for THEM. No one's talking about Esposito? His indignation at being left out was the funniest thing of the episode! From "writer boy" to "eating classified for breakfast" the end where Ryan was messing with him - I loved it. I sort of miss the old, fun, cocky Rick Castle who knew he was hot stuff. Being faced with that kind of exposure of his saucy past escapades, the old Castle would have sooner had a "yeah, I hit that" attitude, than an embarrassed, apologetic fumble.


1. I've been nursing a theory for a while now (that I was afraid to mention before, you fans are rabid :-D) - since the beginning of season 4, I've had the feeling that Castle's father would have something to do with Johanna Beckett's murder and cover-up. I've always had the feeling that Martha knew more than she was telling (apart from the Maury Povich show, how many women REALLY don't know their children's father?), and that part of Castle's access was from someone pulling strings to keep him there. I actually think that would be a really cool plot twist - and I actually think that would bring Castle and Beckett closer together. Can you imagine if it comes down to Rick having to choose between his father and Kate? He would choose Kate, no question - and the woman would have to have a heart of ice not to beg to be with him...

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Castle Season 4 Episode 16 Quotes

I guess the good thing about having your daughter at crime scenes is that she can bring you dry clothes.


Life is a journey