Castle Round Table: "Recoil"

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On Castle this week, the Dragon returned in a strange twist, as the man who ordered the murder of Kate Beckett's mother suddenly needed the detective to save his life. 

As Jack Coleman told us in his earlier interview, Senator Bracken pulled Beckett into the darkness in "Recoil" and. Could Castle help her resist?

Below, our Castle Round Table team of TV Fanatic writers Jim Garner, Chandel Charles, and Christine Orlando are joined by Castle fan Erin from the 12th Castle fan boards as they debate whether Beckett's conscience is clear and which of us would stand back and watch with Castle.


What was your favorite scene?

Jim: I really liked Kate's discussion with her therapist. Beyond the fact that Michael Dorn has such an amazingly soothing voice, it was awesome to see her struggling to hold on to being "the good guy."

Chandel: Probably that little bit at the beginning where Castle was explaining how any serious boyfriend of Alexis' needed to be thoroughly intimidated before approval.

Erin: There are two scenes that I found equally powerful. Both the scene with Castle and Beckett finding out that Bracken is involved with the case and also the scene with Beckett and Dr. Burke. Both scenes give a little insight into the struggle that Beckett is facing: first with realizing that she has to face Bracken again and then the internal debate that Beckett is having with herself over whether to destroy the one piece of evidence that might tell them who they are looking for.

Christine: The scene where Kate comes clean with Rick about the letter and why she didn't shoot McManus. She's so torn up over it. Rick is the person she shares her fears and guilt with and he's completely nonjudgemental and has her back. It really highlighted how strong their bond has become.

Castle RT - depreciated -

Should Beckett have taken herself off the case?

Jim: I'm surprised Gates didn't have this very question for her after hearing her talk about her mom's death to McManus. Prior to that it would have really opened a dangerous can of worms to recuse herself.

Chandel: Given that very few people know what transpired between Beckett and the Senator - including Gates - it would have seemed a little suspicious if she had recused herself. It would have forced her to perhaps voice her suspicions, etc. Too much trouble!

Erin: Given Beckett's past with Bracken she should have stepped aside. At the same time it would have proven pointless because given who was involved Beckett would have kept working the case.

Christine: It certainly would have made her life easier but Gates would have asked so many questions I'm not sure it would have been possible without completely coming clean with her.

Why do you think Beckett didn't shoot McManus?

Jim: She said it herself, she saw her own pain in his face. As it turned out, McManus was innocent anyway so it was a good thing she didn't shoot him.

Chandel: I'm still struggling with that one. She said she saw the pain in his eyes, but I couldn't help but get the feeling she was off her game and one step lagging behind throughout the course of the case in a lot of ways. It could be a combination of both!

Erin: I think Beckett was in conflict at this point in the episode. What she longed to do herself was reflected in McManus and Beckett was probably willing to let him go so that her longing would be fulfilled.

Chrisitne: Stana Katic did a fantastic job of portraying the complexities of Beckett's struggle. I do believe she felt a connection to McManus' pain but earlier we saw her almost burn that letter.  She has a dark side too. I don't think she's entirely certain why she didn't shoot him.

Would you have chosen Beckett's route (saving the Senator from the bomb) or Castle's (watch him get blown to bits)?

Jim: For better or worse, my nature is like Beckett. I'm pretty sure I would do the right thing and save the Senator if it came down to the situation where I'm running on instinct. Though I did love Rick's digs at the Senator afterwards.

Chandel: I was constantly rooting for Kate to do the right thing this episode, and I believe that perhaps saving Bracken's life will pay her in dividends at a later time, so for that reason I think that doing the right thing is generally the right policy because you never know what they might yield.

Erin: Knowing what Bracken has done would certainly sway my option towards Castle's line of thinking. However, and I might be in the minority, but I'd still take the risk to save Bracken from the bomb.

Christine: I'd like to think I'd choose the light and be a Beckett but I'm afraid I've got a fair amount of Castle's dark side. I probably would have stood and watched.

Do you believe Beckett will ever take down the Dragon?

Jim: I don't know, I would like to believe so, but the chase is so much of who she is. I don't know if she would know what to do with herself afterwards.

Chandel: Certainly it will have to happen eventually. But I am more than willing to wait!

Erin: I do believe that Beckett will take down the Dragon. Also it is only fair that Beckett be given the right to take him down because Bracken has caused too much personal pain in Beckett's life.

Christine: I envision Kate and Rick taking him down in the last season and then the two of them living happily every after.

What should Rick and Kate get one another for Valentine's Day?

Jim: His and Hers matching bullet-proof vest with hearts on them. Oksy, maybe that's too much. How about His and Hers fuzzy handcuffs?

Chandel: This is a toughie because I don't even know what I'm getting my sweetheart yet. I am highly unqualified to suggest gifts for others at this point!

Erin: It would be touching if each got the other a small memento with the word "Always" engraved into it. This would be something that symbolizes what Rick and Kate and, at the same time, Castle and Beckett mean to each other. (Work relationship and personal relationship combined)

Christine: I hate to be so traditional but Kate did hint about jewelry for her birthday (which we never saw) I think he needs to get her something simple but beautiful. For Him… perhaps Kate could show him the book he signed for her and tell him the story of how she became a fan. I think knowing that he'd been helping her deal with her mother's death even before they met would mean more to him than any material present.

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such a great episode! the intensity towards bracken. And beckett being torn between good and bad. "Maybe the right choice is the one you can live with"
She couldve just let him get murdered but then there wouldn't be justice for the victim and thats the one thing she always does. Honors the victim and brings them justice.


Overall fantastic episode. Stana Katic was amazing. And Jack Coleman also did an excellent job with his portrayal of Bracken. Can't wait to see the next installment of this story arc. Christine, I love your suggestions about their Valentine Day gifts!


1 - Favourite scene? Hard to pick, as I loved all the episode, but maybe Beckett confessing to Castle (because it really showed how different she is now).
2 - It would be hard stepping back without explaining why...
3 - Like others said, she saw her pain in him...
4 - Knowing myself, I would chose Beckett´s way... but not without having a battle with my darker side:)
5 - No idea, I´m bad picking presents...but I like the idea of Beckett showing to Castle the book she got him to sign:)


My last comment got cut off- apparently there is a character limit and I talk to much ;) 4. I'd like to believe that I would take the high road and saved his life. Ryan said it perfectly when Espo said he wouldn't have stopped the shooting- that would make him (me) just like Bracken. 5.I think eventually she will take him down. To me the mention of him running for President is foreshadowing about the situation that will require her to get involved again. 6. I have no clue what he should get her but I love the suggestion of Beckett finally telling Castle how much his books mean to her.


1. It's a toss up between the scene where Kate confessing to Castle about the letter and missing McManus and the combo of all of Castle's interactions with Bracken. I loved him staring him down in the initial scene with Gates, telling him he wouldn't have saved him and the little remark about "Just like you would have done" when talking about the money. I loved the Castle/Beckett scene because it speaks to how much their relationship has grown. I loved the Castle/Bracken interactions because he never backs down and makes it very clear to Bracken what he thinks of him. 2. Technically she should but she couldn't without explaining everything. As it is, I'm curious if Captain Gates will bring up what she heard in interrogation. 3. She said her self- she looked in his eyes and instantly saw the same pain that she lives with. She couldn't have shot him, it would have been like shooting herself. 4. I'd like to believe that I would take the high road and saved his life. Ryan said it perfectly when Espo said he wouldn't have stopped the shooting- that would make him (me) just like Bracken. 5.I think eventually she will take him down. To me the mention of him running for President is foreshadowing about the situation that will require her to get involved again. 6. I have no clue what he should get her but I love the suggestion of Beckett finally telling Castle how much his books mean to her.


Favorite scene? Beckett confessing to Castle. She was talking to US though Castle, reaffirming our faith in the character.
Beckett off the case? Hell no. What for?
McManus shooting? She identified with the guy. Anyway, dude was unarmed, wasn't he?
Beckett's or Castle's route? Would hope I went Beckett's way, but probably would have hated myself after I chose to watch.
Do you believe Beckett will ever take down the Dragon? Once Gates is on-board, yes.
What should Rick and Kate get one another for Valentine's Day? Skipping this one, as I am anti-Valentine's Day (long story)...


I thought Stana was incredible in this episode. When she had to converse with Bracken you could feel the intensity. I see a time where she is going to need his help. That was quite an offer from a guy who could probably grant anyone whatever they want. The writers have set it up and I am sure it will surround saving Castle or his family.


1. This episode was intense and there were many great scenes. My favorite was Kate coming clean to Rick about finding the letter and her moral dilemma. In the past she would have kept this information to herself, but I am so glad they are finally being honest with each other.
2. She probably should have taken herself off the case. But, how would she explain that to Gates and then we wouldn't have had a show to watch.
3. Kate was in conflict about McManus from the start. She had a moment on indecision and then it was too late. He was fleeing anyway and didn't seem to be a threat. So, I am not sure why any shots were fired.
4. I would like to think I would have chosen Beckett's route.
5. I don't think the Dragon issue will be resolved until the end of the series. It's like the One Armed Man.
6. Jewelry for Kate. I love you for Rick!


FABULOUS everyone! AMAZING episode, and LOVED the comments from everyone! I loved the fuzzy hand-cuffs gift, and Christine, love your honesty about wanting to let Bracken crash & burn. I am certain with Kate doing the right thing, the payoff in the end will be great! Kate & Rick are going to take him down together. I have no doubt! Erin, my thoughts mirror yours. And Christine, I think that the Valentine gifts you suggested are brilliant! It would would be amazing to witness them receiving each of them!
Great job! THANK YOU TV FANATIC for the round table on this most excellent show!

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.