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)

In a nut shell - I loved the episode. Ditto to those who commented on Beckett and the Senator. He gives me the creeps. What happened to Beckett and Castle? I'm missing any warmth between them so it seems as though they are no longer in a relationship. I know from experience that many shows have writers who write different episoden. I would also like to see Nathan Fillion have more strength in Castle. He seems like a lovesick puppy - cute but it only goes so far.


I agree,great episode. That nasty scar on Brackens cheek wasn't big enough for me.(Beckett smashed him really hard from episode "After the Storm)


I thought this episode was pretty good - one of the better ones they've had in a while. Every scene with Jack Coleman was just fantastic. Jack Coleman and Stana Katic had some of the best scenes; they really played well off each other. Even Castle and Bracken shared an awesome scene. And YES to the return of the WRITER vest!! That being said... I enjoy watching Stana Katic nail it every week, but quite frankly, they're under-utilizing Nathan Fillion in every possible way. The writers need to give him a little more to do, both comedically and dramatically. Cause really, without him, "Castle" just becomes "Law & Order: Beckett". It's that aspect that makes me miss Martha and Alexis. When they're not there, it gives Castle even less to do.


"Recoil" was an excellent Castle episode; one of the Top 5 episodes this year. Stana, Nathan, & Jack Coleman were mesmerizing. Surely,some of the things which transpired will pop up elsewhere this season now that we are in the second half. Did anyone else wonder why the victim's last name was "Rogers", as in Martha Rogers and Richard Rogers, aka, Rick Castle? Certainly that was not a coincidence on the writer's part. I concur with one of the other commentators - we have not heard the last of Mr. Smith. To be continued...


I was so disappointed that bracken wasn't blown up I forgot to say (on Twitter) that this was a great and Intense episode. Kudos to Stana and the evil Senator - great acting! Can't wait for Karma to kick in so that he finally gets his due. Evil man! 5 stars.


Don't shoot me but it seemed like last season was mostly about Beckett. She seemed get the meatiest parts. This episode was the same. Castle is just kind of along for the ride. When he has a bigger role he seems to be portrayed as a lovesick bumbling idiot. I'm incredibly disappointed that we know nothing that goes on between these two. Are they living together? Do they even see each other outside of the precinct? I want to see more (or any) of them actually in a relationship. I'm here because I like Nathan Fillion but I don't think the writers do. I don't think Martha and Alexis have to be in every episode and it was fine that they weren't in this. 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.


i continue to watch Castle because on occasion they have a serious episode, like this one. i tire of Castle's moronic humor and alexis and his mother can become maudlin. i didn't miss them at all. this episode had meat on its bones and kept my interest throughout.
i hope we get to see more quality episodes like this one in the future.
bring it on.


I loved this episode! The intensity and emotion, especially in the scenes between Beckett and the Senator, were awesome! It was such a compelling storyline that I didn't even realize we hadn't seen Alexis or Martha until I read this review. And Gates walking in on Beckett's interrogation...oops! Somehow, I don't think she bought the whole "it's a tactic" line. The killer caught me by surprise. I figured out the long-haired guy was being set up, but I figured the Senator was behind it to use the "threat" to boost the immediacy of his message at the conference.


Part II - Sorry! I meant to say - there isn't anything I could DISAGREE with Ms. Morrison's review .... I agree with everything she said.


There isn't anything I can't agree with on Ms. Morrison's review - when Kate & the Senator's face were just inches apart & they each spoke slowly to each other made those scenes so dramatic. They both kept their cool. And HOW does Kate remain so in control when dealing with the Senator? I am thinking she sees the big picture & for now is slowly handing the Senator inch after inch of rope & when he hangs himself, all she will have to do is reel him in. I also love when Rick has the writer vest on - when I see it, I kind of laugh but I know he is serious & I take it that way. The thing with Kate & Rick's relationship, is it starts with their jobs & then goes deeper. He fully supports what she is doing & why she is doing it & now she allows him to. And now it will be interesting to see how Gates handles the fact of hearing Kate say the Senator is responsible for her Mother's death.

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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.