When Detective Kate Beckett took on an undercover meet for Narcotics, she thought she'd be home for dinner. She couldn't have been more wrong.
Below, TV Fanatics Chandel Charles, Robin Harry, Jim Garner, and Christine Orlando are joined by Bobbie from the Castle Fan Forum the 12th to discuss the surprise return and which scene had them on the edge of their seats in Castle Season 6 Episode 17...
Did you expect Vulcan Simmons return or was it a surprise?
Robin: I was totally surprised. When I saw him I had an immediate flashback to Beckett slamming him against a two-way mirror. Good memories!
Chandel: I knew I had seen that guy before the minute I saw him and I instinctively knew the gig was up for Kate. Took me a minute to remember from when, and then I remembered her shattering glass in the interrogation room a few seasons back! Nice callback.
Jim: Totally surprised. Especially since they didn't do the classic "previously on..." which normally gives away someones return.
Bobbie: I'd been reading other people's guesses about who the returning character would be and Simmons was mentioned by many people. I agreed that he was a logical choice so I wasn't really surprised.
Christine: I'd kept away from all spoilers so I was totally surprised but I recognized Vulcan Simmons's voice before I saw him and my stomach dropped for Kate. There's no way you forget a woman who tries to put you through a wall.
Should someone have called Castle sooner?
Robin: They should have called him the minute the whole precinct got involved in finding her. He's both part of the team AND her fiance - he shouldn't have had to come down to find out something was wrong.
Chandel: No, he really didn't have any reason to think anything was wrong. If anything, I'm with Robin on this. Ryan and Espo should have called him in the minute Kate's rescue became priority one at the precinct. The onus was definitely on them for this one.
Jim: If not call, at least answer the damn phone! I'm kind of surprised that Rick didn't call Gates directly when nobody else would answer.
Bobbie: I can't fault them for not calling Castle because the situation escalated so quickly and their top priority was to find Beckett. I did very much appreciate the way Gates handled the situation when Castle arrived at the precinct.
Christine: I can understand the boys just wanting to find Beckett so they wouldn't have to break the news to him and things were definitely happening quickly. I felt horrible for Rick as he waited at home and just knew that something had gone terribly wrong. However, as Bobbie said I was happy with the way Gates handled things once he got to the precinct.
What are your thoughts on the Senator Bracken/Future Forward story? Love it, expected it, or wish it would go away?
Robin: I had a feeling "Lazarus" was Bracken, and the feeling was confirmed as soon as Elena said that Lazarus owed Beckett. I'm sadly not a fan of this story line though - the suspension of disbelief gets harder as Bracken gains power and political conspiracies get more convoluted and messy. I feel like I'm watching "Scandal."
Chandel: I was definitely glad they found a way to get back to this storyline and the reveal was unexpected. I think it's one of the best tie-ins back to her mom's case for the series so far.
Jim: The twist and turns make it very interesting. I'm really curious to see how it comes into play going forward.
Bobbie: I liked the way they twisted this to tie back into Bracken and they've certainly upped the stakes now that he's repaid his debt to Beckett by saving her life. However, I really don't think the story should continue beyond one or maybe two more confrontations at the most.
Christine: I'm torn. I love how it ties the series together going all the way back to Castle season 1. I also like Jack Coleman as Senator Bracken and his steady rise to power. I had no doubt he'd eventually make a presidential run and I look forward to seeing how Rick and Kate take him down. But I really just want my favorite couple to be happy so I'll be happy when they no longer have him hanging over their heads.
What was the scariest or most intense moment of the episode?
Robin: The ice-water torture was pretty intense - though it reminded me of when that was done to Ryan in Castle season 3. I would have loved to see Beckett follow through on her threats of "undignified" revenge on Vulcan though!
Chandel: When Kate was getting water-boarded, hands down. I knew she would have to live, but I was truly at a loss as to how any rescue would come about at that point.
Jim: Kate's water torture was pretty intense, but the scariest for me was watching her write a goodbye letter for Rick, that destroyed me!
Bobbie: There were so many scary moments! Searching Kate for a wire and wanting to see the murdered guy were right up there for tension, but the most intense part for me was when they were torturing Kate and then they just dumped her on the floor. That was very difficult to watch.
Christine: It was easily the most intense episode of the series. The water torture had me cringing. Harden scanning her for the bug had me holding my breath and that walk down those stairs to the basement put a knot in my stomach.
What was your favorite scene of the episode?
Robin: I loved the lengths that Beckett went through to make sure that Castle would get the letter that she wrote to him. The letter was beautiful, but even more symbolic was the notion that she loves Rick so much that she would bleed just to get a message to him.
Chandel: Right there at the beginning when Kate and Rick were enjoying their day in PJ's. It's a dream of mine and I hope to emulate it someday. It was also the lightest moment in the episode, which helped it stand out in comparison to what followed.
Jim: I loved the opening, we don't get enough of Rick and Kate just lounging in their PJs!
Bobbie: I loved the voice over of Kate writing the letter but my favorite scene was when she and Castle were back together at the precinct and she told him she never felt alone. She was so earnest and I was so glad that they kissed too.
Christine: The letter. Hands down. "I need you to know that our partnership, our relationship is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. You are an amazing man and I love you with all of my heart. Always."
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.