Castle Review: The Bad Guy Is Back

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Now this is the kind of Castle episode viewers have grown to love. Tension filled, high action filled and drama filled and filled. The perfect combination for this series. Let’s talk “Recoil."

The Return of Senator Bracken. Jack Coleman returned to play the evil senator once again. This man really knows how to make you feel uncomfortable. Even with a generic face, it is still enough to make you shiver. This character is a bad man and Coleman plays him really well. Just as well as he played Caroline’s father on The Vampire Diaries and HRC on Heroes.

The case centered on an attempt to kill Bracken after one of his aides is murdered. Beckett is put on the case to protect the man who killed her mother. Seriously, how would you even attempt to do this?

The scenes between these two characters were nothing short of great. They were well acted and felt so sincere. Kudos to Coleman and Stana Katic

Beckett vs. Bracken

Framed. Turns out that a father was framed for attempting to kill Bracken after he went off the deep end following the death of his son. Not surprisingly, the son worked as an intern for the senator who gave the impression he was involved in his death.

How does a man do this? How can someone in such a powerful position have people killed like it’s no big deal? Many agree that a lot of politicians are corrupt. Could you imagine if someone in office was really like Senator Bracken? Creepy.

The Case Continues. The situation with Bracken is not closed...yet. The man was brought back in for an episode where the writing made it seem perfectly comfortable in the story. This is not a character that should pop up every week, but is welcome to creep us out when the arc fits.

So, we already knew that Castle, Espo and Ryan knew about Bracken killing Kate’s mother. Gates overheard in the interrogation room. Will the Captain join the team to take down Bracken?

Side Notes:

  • No Martha or Alexis in the hour. Anyone miss them?
  • Are we all in agreement that when Castle shows up in his “Writer” vest, the episode instantly gets better?
  • How does Kate help save the life of the man who murdered her mother? 

Overall, a fun and enjoyable episode that lived up to the Castle standards. What did you think, TV Fanatics? Did you enjoy the hour or was is a little too all over the place to keep your attention. Sound off below in the comments and let us know what you thought of “Recoil."

Check out the Castle quotes page for some great comments from Esposito and don’t forget to check back later this week for the Castle Round Table. 

Until next time, Castle fans!


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (290 Votes)

Great episode. However,reading these remarks, it is obvious that like anything else,everyone sees different things in different ways.The characters are growing and so are the storylines. I myself love the conspiracy of Beckett's mother.Fifty years later I still enjoy hearing new theories about President Kennedy. As far as C&B,who doesn't want more? This show always left alot to the imagination. Who didn't want to see more of Ryan's wedding,the burger Kate bought for Rick, the Old Haunt after the piano man scene? If Kate would go to the loft more,that would put them in more scenes together solving cases over dinner.Just a thought. I still really love the show but sometimes,I think we over think. I see imperfection in movies with big budgets and we have to pay to see them.I think there is alot of story left to tell and remember,all good things come to those who wait. Let's just enjoy this great show for the entertainment it is and hope we get more seasons.


*sorry, got cut off*
Season 4 was a bit dark but still had some humour as well. And to me Season 5 has been very enjoyable also - almost back to the fun old days.
Anyway, don't get me wrong, I don't ever miss a show, I do like some of the serious episodes, but like I said just a bit fed up with this story. And I also started watching the show because of Nathan Fillion and I agree that he is being under-utilized.


Hmm, I'm sure people will definitely disagree with me here, but personally, I've had enough of this story line - I mean almost 5 seasons long? Isn't that a bit much?
I may be in the minority here but I started watching Castle because of the light-hearted nature of the show. It was a show that was guaranteed to make me laugh out loud. Ok, sure there have been some serious episodes, but those have not been the majority. Looking back, the cases to me have always been a bit far-fetched - but that's what I liked. This show has never really been a crime drama and it cannot even be compared to shows like Law and Order, Criminal Minds or NCIS (none of which I watch, by the way). This show is called Castle - it started as a show about a writer who ends up following a homicide detective and her colleagues on their investigations. I miss that. And if anyone disagrees with me here, I challenge you to watch a marathon of the past 4 seasons - season 4 was a bit dark but it still had the humor at times. And most of season 5 has been a blast as well. Anyway, I just prefer the funny to the intense. Just my opinion.


I wonder how much longer they are going to milk Beckett's mother's murder.


" I do think that there should at least be a moment between castle and Beckett every episode and some episodes ought to devote 5 or 10 mins to them actually being in a relationship. We waited 4 years for it and it seems like it didn't even happen." tvjas, for you maybe the above is so. But I signed on to watch Castle for the mystery solving, the fun and comedic moments, and the flirting. I never ship lead actors because I often find it takes away from the show. For eg I watch Criminal Minds for the show and not for who is with whom, and they leave out lots of that relationship stuff. I think if you want romance, stick to Lifetime movies.


I agree with what most are saying about the lack of Castle. The show has become very Beckett focused and Castle is just sort of there sometimes. He usually has some sort of insight into the case but that hasn't really been so lately. And I miss his poker games with his fellow writers! Those were some of the best scenes. I did miss Alexis and Martha but agree it was better of them not to force the two into the episode where they didn't really belong. Plus they did still mention Alexis so that was good. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who loved seeing the return of the Writer vest!


@Mica: you know, the really cool thing about this website - especially the Castle forum - is that people tend to discuss their opinions about their favourite shows and agree to disagree without being rude. It's quite refreshing. Please don't ruin that.
I don't think people aren't complaining about the lack of Nathan - dude's always there. We're mentioning the lack of quality material for his character. He hasn't had to really flex an acting muscle since the beginning of the season. I'm sure the upcoming two-parter will be a welcome change.


I don't know why are so many people complaining about the lack of nathan..the double episode it's about him and only stop the idiotic nagging!


Loved this Ep.
Thought at the end they would have been of the sofa together which is what me and the missus normally do not sitting side by side like friends do.
It appears the writers saw the need for them to get together due to pressure fans actors etc put them together and that's all.
Every series has the bad guy, farscape had scorpius, hell on wheels had the swede, the audience need to have someone to hate.
Good ep.. Writers making caskett seem like friends though, hate that.


I thought that this was a solid episode, if predictable. It was going to be tough on Kate, she would wrestle with her demons, want the Senator to get injured, but protect him in the end. Seen it before, but it was handled just fine. I missed Alexis and Martha but they didn't belong in the story so I was glad they weren't forced into it. I love how Castle is supportive of Beckett, even more than I love his awesome Writer vest. He's got her back. But, I do wish the writers would give Fillion more to do. As much as I've enjoyed their honeymoon period, I want to see Castle have his own storyline. Two interesting things to me: how Ryan would protect the Senator but Javi would not. And I wonder when and why Beckett calls in that favour. I think Gates bought Castle's story that Beckett was just making up a story to coax the father into trusting her. For now, anyway.

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Castle Season 5 Episode 13 Quotes

You know, I was really hoping the next time I saw this guy it would be down the barrel of my gun.


This is it, Castle. This is my chance to finally make him pay.