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)

Excellent episode. Just excellent. I was glad when she told Castle what she'd done. Excellent ending as well ... I loved Castle telling the guy he would have stood there and watched him blow up. Take that, douche bag!


This was Castle at its very best. An excellent episode. Had me on the edge of my seat all the way. Great scenes with Bracken and Beckett, beautifully acted as well by Jack Coleman and Stana Katic. Kudos to all involved Finally I did wonder about the remote myself as it was isolated on the ground in a screen shot. I'm sure we will see more of Bracken in the future.


First of all, Senator Bracken is just a notch below J.R. Ewing on the bad-guy-you-love-to-hate scale. Jack Coleman's mastery of the character is mesmerizing. Next, I did miss Martha and Alexis, but I agree that their presence would have been a distraction to the arc of this story. Captain Gates WAS there...and, I can't believe she bought the line that Beckett's admission to the suspect about her mother was a "tactic" to get the guy talking. Finally, and most of all, Stana Katic's acting is WITHOUT PEER on television. She is such an underrated talent; I hope somebody recognizes it soon!


I actually thought and still do that the real person behind the bombing was Mr. Smith. Bracken basically says its him when he says its a person who is behind the scenes blackmailing other people to do his bidding.


Stana was fabulous again. Writing was also great.


And The Oscar goes to-------------------------> Stana Katic A M A Z I N G


One of the best episodes for a while. Didn't need Caskett scenes in this episode - wouldn't have fitted with the storyline; just having Castle support Beckett, that was enough. Roll on next week!


I loved the episode! About the acting? Just by looking at Bracken´s face while he was talking I wanted to punch him and that says a lot, ha,ha! Really amazing by both Stana Katic and Jack Coleman. And I would like to have him back (somehow I started to think that maybe he´s not alone in this and he may not even be the leader). I didn´t miss Caskett scenes, the ones we had were great, IMO (between these two it´s always about subtext).
About no Martha or Alexis, I honestly didn´t miss them because I don´t think they would feet in this subject...I mean, I suppose Castle may have told Martha something about the senator, but I´m sure Alexis doesn´t know anything...


Coleman's Senator in The Office is not really corrupt, he's just a closeted gay man who's unfaithful to his wife. This has nothing to do with political corruption. "Even with a generic face, it is still enough to make you shiver." A generic face? But I can't agree with that! D: Great episode, Katic and Coleman were really perfect. Here's hoping he comes back to the show for emore episodes. It's a pleasure watching him playing all kinds of morally grey/ambiguous/creepy characters. He's so perfect at playing them.

Jose t

Hahaha i loved the episodebut there were no caskett scenes (i know they shRed scenes together but no kiss, hu, sexual innuendo etc?!?!), this has to be the worst bomber ever...... He lets bracken walk right next to the car but triggers the bomb when he is 20 feet paased the limo........come on writers!!!!

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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.