Castle "Target" Review: Going Liam Neeson

Castle S05E15: "Target"

You know, I think I did myself a favor not reading up on this week's episode of Castle ahead of time. Normally I at least take in a plot synopsis, but realizing that "Target" was the beginning of a bigger two-part arc, I came to the conclusion that I'd be better off just going in cold. I was correct. Not only did the episode surprise me in a number of key areas, it kept me at rapt attention pretty much from beginning to end. As big, crazy Castle arcs go, this one couldn't have kicked off much stronger.

"Target" opened with a kidnapping. Or, well, to be more accurate, it opened with a man firing off round after round at a speeding van that plowed straight into him, knocking him out of his shoes and into oblivion. The man, a former Saudi special ops soldier, happened to be a student at Columbia, where we all know Alexis goes to school. What an odd coincidence, Castle thought to himself, before brushing the whole thing off. After all, his opening scene this week had him discussing with his mother why he needs to give Alexis some space and stop worrying so much about every little detail in her life. I should have known this would be foreshadowing.

But before we got to the big story, we learned why the man was shooting at the van. He was apparently a hired bodyguard, tasked with the protection of Sara, the only daughter of a wealthy Egyptian businessman whose many enemies would love nothing more than to hurt him—perhaps by, say, kidnapping his child. Sara—also a Columbia student, hence the bodyguard's presence there—was indeed kidnapped by these men, but when and how was initially a mystery. The parents were of no help, providing no concrete details as to who might have done such a thing, and the FBI agent tasked with running point on the crime (Nip/Tuck and Unforgettable's Dylan Walsh) had little to offer beyond the usual procedural stuff. Finally, a lead brought the team to a hotel in lower Manhattan, the location of a scientific conference Sara had apparently planned to attend. The event manager at the hotel remembered Sara, and even remembered the friend she was with: a pretty young redhead with pale skin. Sound like anyone we know?

Castle figured it out pretty quick, and immediately and almost giddily dialed up his daughter, expecting to hear her voice and to get some answers about the previous night's happenings. When the phone began ringing audibly inside the hotel, and tracked back to a lost-and-found box, it was like all the air was suddenly sucked out of the room.

Yes, Alexis had been kidnapped alongside Sara. Suddenly, Castle was no longer just a willing participant in the investigation. He was now an affected party.

This storyline represents an interesting departure for the Castle character. He's had plenty of personal beefs to overcome over the years, but the kidnapping of his only daughter puts us in a surreal and unfamiliar place. Castle, ever the jokester, is now despondent, frightened, and more than a little angry. Even in the most dramatic episodes, we're usually only one or two Castle quips away from lightening the mood. In "Target," the mood went from lighthearted to grim within the opening 15 minutes, and it never shifted back.

Grim might not normally be Castle's forte, but I was genuinely surprised by how well "Target" put its characters through their paces. With Beckett, Esposito, and Ryan scrambling to acquire new leads that might bring some clues as to Sara and Alexis's whereabouts, all Castle could do was quietly brood while waiting for a phone call, a nugget of information, anything that might help him find his daughter. It's an uncomfortable position to see him in. He's always the guy on the sidelines helping to rally the troops. Now, all of a sudden, he's damaged goods. He can't be directly involved in the investigation because he's too close to it. Not that that stopped him from showing up at a few key moments, but generally speaking, this was as out-of-the-loop as we've seen Castle in a long while.

Credit to Nathan Fillion for selling it in a way that felt about as close to understated as this series gets. His sadness, distress, all of it, rang true in a way that reminds you Fillion can be quite the actor when he steps outside his charming, quip-heavy comfort zone. This was especially true later in the episode, when the injured driver of the getaway van was found holed up in his sister's apartment, recovering from a gunshot wound. The driver wouldn't talk to Beckett, so Castle asked for a minute alone with the perp. My immediate reaction was to groan, as I have a hard time imagining Fillion as a threatening presence. But color me shocked when he went straight into Liam Neeson mode, quietly and unnervingly threatening the man without so much as raising his voice beyond a casual, conversational level. The scream that came from behind the door (which Beckett rightfully winced at) was the only hint of violence we encountered involving Castle. That he was able to pull off that moment so well, make his unhinged state of mind so crystal clear with just a single conversation, is a testament to how good a performer he can be.

During all of this, the episode often cut away to Alexis and Sara, trapped in a nondescript room. They were uninjured, still fully clothed, and the room itself had a bathroom, towels, and even a clean change of clothes. Alexis noticed immediately how odd this was, and immediately started going through the various investigative tricks her dad had taught her over the years, while also plugging Sara for any information she might have. Sara, as the child of a high-profile person, had of course been trained by her father's corporate security in kidnapping protocol. She mentioned attempting to gain sympathy from her kidnappers, trying to make some kind of connection with them. But when one of them opened the eye slit in the door that was locking them in, he spoke in a mixture of English and Arabic, and seemed utterly uninterested in anything they might have to say. This concerned them both.

Meanwhile, the tip Castle extracted from the injured felon led the FBI to a farmhouse about sixty miles outside the city. There, presumably, is where they would find the girls and the kidnappers. Instead, the FBI arrives to... nothing. The house was empty, save but for the girls' discarded coats, and the body of the other kidnapper. A webcam outside was apparently feeding a signal to the kidnappers, wherever they may be, but they were untraceable.

Castle was crestfallen, but not for long. After Alexis realized Sara had bobby pins in her hair, she decided to try the oldest trick in the book in picking the door's lock. It worked! She demanded that Sara and she split up and find alternate exits, so that the kidnappers couldn't corner them both. In the process, Alexis stumbled upon a control room of sorts, and found a cell phone on the table. She couldn't dial out, but was able to use Skype to ring up her dad. For a few fleeting seconds, they were able to talk, but Alexis didn't know where she was. She heard the kidnappers coming, and made a break for a nearby exit. Meanwhile, the FBI was furiously trying to trace the call. Alexis burst out into the daylight just as the FBI landed on her location. She, and they, both incredulously, made the same discovery.

She's in Paris?

And that's where the episode left us. How did they get to Paris? Why are they in Paris? Just how in the hell is the FBI going to get them back? These dangling questions were joined by several more in the preview of next week's episode. Apparently, this entire story arc will tie into the mysterious background of Castle's father. What? How? I don't know! This whole thing could turn out to be a supreme mess, but considering how expertly the tension was built up this week, I'm kind of hoping that this Castle's dad business doesn't muck everything up.


NOTES


– The Castle's dad aspect of this storyline really did seem to pop in out of nowhere in the promo for next week's episode, "Hunt." We've known for a while that Castle's dad is some kind of spy, but how he figures into all of this? No clue.

– I appreciate that Castle's writers have decided to not only indirectly pay tribute to the Taken film franchise, but expressly mention that they are doing a Taken riff by having Esposito note that Castle is going "all Liam Neeson" next week. Castle does have a very particular set of skills, but most of them pertain to witty repartee and crime investigation, not torture, information extraction, and assassination. So we'll see how he does next week, I guess!

Comments (78)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
2 parter Castle's are always my favorite ones, because Nathan shouldn't be able to pull off anything that isn't comical but he does, and he does it brilliantly which is a test to how fantastic of an actor he is. The moment the connection was made that Alexis was also missing I literally muttered the TV "Shizz just got real!" Alexis is his heart and soul, one of my favorite father daughter relationships on TV ever! I knew we would see that other side of Castle and I couldn't wait.. I was not disappointed. The Paris thing blew my mind. I immediately thought of human/sex trafficking which is more common in America than anyone even realizes, and both girls looked the part and were the perfect age for it too. But I love Alexis, it was so great seeing her have more to do and I love that she stayed true to being the smart character that she is, even while being held captive. She had her head on straight, she used skills that she had learned over the years, she was smart. Leaving the cell phone on so it could continue to be traced while she bolted was smart, even though it possibly could have been smarter to just take the thing with her. But in general she just wasn't that helpless victim that is typically shown and I loved that. I also loved Captain. Because even though it's no secret that Castle gets on her nerves, you don't mess with her people, and Castle is one of her people.
More+
1
Reply
Flag
I always watch shows "going in cold". I don't watch promos,don't read what will happen,who guest stars will be and who they will play...ok,I watch promos for Dexter and I only started it,because of it's 6th season. Other shows,I don't wanna know a thing. Ok Survivor isn't in the same category,since it is different kind of show. Dexter and Survivor....that's it.

I loved episode,but hated few scenes with Alexis at start. That video blog she had,wanted to throw up at how cheesy it was. And I like cheese:D...grilled one,all warm and soft:D

Great episode,loved how dark it got. Wanna see more!
Reply
Flag
I rarely use this word but it fits "awesome"
1
Reply
Flag
I really loved this one.
I've been expecting the "Alexis gets kidnapped" episode since the beginning. By giving Castle a teenage daughter, it felt sort of inevitable. But then the storyline never happened, so I figured they just might not ever go there with Alexis. I always wanted to see this story though because I knew the performances would be great, and they didn't disappoint.
I can't wait for the next episode.
2
Reply
Flag
LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm so excited for next week
Reply
Flag
"I appealed to his humanity"
3
Reply
Flag
This episode was soooo great! For me the scene with bloody van was much more intense than the driver scene though. Fillion is doing a great job! So are the other caracters - it's all around freakin' fantastic!

Im almost bummed they need to bring Castle's dad into it - this is good enough to stand on it's own, they could have saved that tidbit for later...
3
Reply
Flag
I actually thought it was a good story for castle as he was an emotional wreck over alexis being kidnapped.

1
Reply
Flag
It was a great episode with a shocking ending, but I didn't buy "dark" Castle. I'm not sure if it's the performance or that the character is usually more of a clown, but the "I'm gonna torture you" scene almost made me laugh.

Also, Alex Navarro, it's a good thing you didn't know much about this episode in advance but you decided anyone who read your review should have spoilers for next week's? Shame on you.
2
Reply
Flag
Very well said, I'm really unhappy he spoiled the thing about Castle's Dad, it's supposed to be a review article not a preview of next week's episode.
2
Reply
Flag
This is a discussion forum for crying out loud. The promos are pat of the show.
2
Reply
Flag
I've never watched a promo for a show other than very early pre-pilot promos, certainly never watched a promo for an ongoing show, I also don't ever watch the "next time on...", hell I don't even watch the spoiler segues in the two NCIS shows and close my eyes when they're on screen.

TV show writing has reached such a stagnated condition there is so little surprise left in TV shows I find it bizarre that anyone would want to spoil the next episode.
1
Reply
Flag
I was pretty bugged by the number of false assumptions that they were making. It wasn't Castles normal story telling speculation, it was them assuming the Saudi Operative was a terrorist. At the beginning of the show, they didn't treat him like the victim, they treated him like he was the one at fault and the fan must have been trying to get away! They also continue on with the assumption that Alexis just got caught up in it, and the other girl was the target. To me, this SCREAMS that Alexis is actually the real target, and I now have the added evidence, thanks to the reviewer spoiling an aspect of next weeks show for me.

Also, didn't realize Fillion could be a threatening presence? Did you not ever see Firefly or Serenity? There are moments in both of those that you should be very afraid of him.
2
Reply
Flag
And Nathan Fillon's first acting gig for Joss Whedon as the evil Preacher Caleb in Buffy The Vampire Slayer - he was very, very scary.
3
Reply
Flag
Fillions performance was good but not great. He only convinced me in the vlog-scene.
2
Reply
Flag
You should review the episode, not share spoilers for next week's episode, I choose not to watch promos and you've just spoiled a very key fact for next week's episode, not impressed, at all.
5
Reply
Flag
Yeah, I agree. Bad form.
5
Reply
Flag
this is a discussion forum for crying out loud. The the promos are part of the show.
1
Reply
Flag
The one thing I don't get is why if the guy was a former Saudi special ops soldier just kept firing at the van and never attempted to move out of its way. Some soldier. Aside of that, the episode was incredibly good specially because the kidnapers decided to take things out of the country. This doesn't happen often. And it was nice to see Gates show compassion for Castle; she's not that bad at all. And Beckett comforting him, knowing that their relationship could have been exposed. Love that.
2
Reply
Flag
Fillion picked up the show and carried it on his back. It was a total "find someone to carry you" moment. They need to give him more. I get it Stana is hot, but Fillion is the show and not just stupid relationship drama. He needs the reins. He was so good and he was so sad I almost cried and I only cry on TV shows when someone loses their family pet or Sam and Dean have Christmas from the gas station. Go Alexis and Go Castle. Get your Taken on and let's see those skills again.
2
Reply
Flag
It seems like Castle will make new political stirs while trying to save Alexis and Beckett is going to be pushed into a dilemma to seek Bracken’s help to resolve it safely! Or Castle might make political enemies internationally and Beckett might be pushed to seek Bracken’s help to protect him!
Reply
Flag
I felt they didn't pull this off well. Fillion was great when they found the blood in the van and especially in the room with the driver, but the other actors honestly didn't seem to care. Outside of those 2 scenes it lacked the drama I was hoping for. Also I didn't really like that they showed things from his daughter's point of view. I prefer when the audience is just as much in the dark. Lastly I like his daughter, but the smug dreamy voiced video blogs annoy me quite a bit. I was honestly hoping they'd cut off her ear and mail it to Castle. Perfect way to give a nod to Firefly right?
Reply
Flag
"the other actors honestly didn't seem to care". Well, they are police and they need to be doing their jobs, not letting their personal feelings get in the way.
Reply
Flag
Loved the review, Alex. I think Alexis was the target and not Sara. Great show and I love Castle!
Reply
Flag
It crossed my mind too. Maybe a way to lure Castle senior out of hiding endangering his grandkid - it would be a little convenient though that they spoke arabic then... not a smooth coincidence
Reply
Flag
There were too many deus ex machina in this episode, but at the same time they had to squeeze a lot of events in an hour episode. The Arabic was not convincing and not any of the colloquial dialects (certainly not the very distinctive Egyptian), so I am dubious that they are Egyptians,if Arabs at all.The place seems to be one of the cheap hotels found in Paris, this is the Rive Droite, so it must be either the 9th or 14th Arrondissement, districts with many tunisian and Algerians. Maybe some place near Belleville.
To have flown them all the way to Paris, and the choice of Paris itself,is not a logical choice. If these were Islamists, then they would have been somewhere in the suburbs, mostly the 93. Also, why not take them directly to Egypt? I am simply not convinced beyond the fact that they wanted us to see the Eiffel Tower.Also, she phoned without using the international code and got through?
Somewhere, someone mentioned the improbabilities of using Alex's web page and all the "coincidences" involved.Even if Alex does get out, the American Embassy is at the other side of Paris, so good luck getting there. Castle in Paris will not have more luck, even with the help of the French and American authorities.
Well, I am curious to see if they can pull it through and stay in the limits of the plausible, but if this episode was any indication, I will not hold my breath.
More+
Reply
Flag
Consider the target audience. You obviously do not have the same background and perspective as most of the viewing audience, or any of the writers. Your objections may be valid, but they are not going to matter to most who watch. If you continue to expect the show to match your specialized knowledge, you are doomed to be disappointed.
3
Reply
Flag
You are right , of course. I have the illusion that writers will be more professional and seek verisimilitude and plausibility in their plots. There was a time when writers did a cursory research, and sometimes an in depth one; but this is no longer the case.I am not as much disappointed as saddened that this is the case, because otherwise it would enhance the genuine appeal and suspense of the show.
Reply
Flag
To answer two of your questions, I think Paris may either be because Alexis is the real target. Or, if Sara is the target, why can't the "Islamists"(kidnappers) have a base in Paris?
Also, if the "Alexis is the real target" theory holds, then the kidnappers tracking her blog makes sense. All that remains is to figure out why Alexis (possibly Beckett may be the target, not Castle at all).

Second, she used Skype to call, and that works internationally (I know, I use it with friends/family everywhere around the world.

Also, Castle is network TV. Give them a break with nailing down a dialect. Authenticity isn't really a strong point in this show.
2
Reply
Flag
Your points are valid. I did not pay attention whether it was Skype, but then why would she use Skype before knowing she was not in the US? Regarding the Islamist not having a base in Paris, simply because there are very few of them in Paris itself, most live in the suburbs where even French police cannot enter.These are genuine outlaw places, where police is identified and alarms go off long before they can raid these places. These virtual ghettos called ""zones of banishment" or "the lost territories of France"are the places where she would have been kept with Sara.. You can Google it, if interested.
If Alexis is the target, then why involve the wealthy Egyptian refugee, which would attract the FBI, CIA, and other law enforcement agencies in major force, while her kidnapping alone would have not necessarily attracted the same attention; and all the Islamist sub-plot would seem itself out of place?
Still, why not Egypt itself, while they were at it?You are right as far as language authenticity is concerned, but the character Sara should have known, even if the audience of the TV show wouldn't; if you follow my drift.
Reply
Flag
My guess about Skype is that after getting the "odd" failure signal upon dialing 911, Alexis thought phone service was out of range and tried using Skype because it connects over the internet, which could be available without phone service through wireless. I will admit she thought of that a lot faster than I would have.
Regarding Alexis as the target, the wealthy Egyptian girl simply may have been the "tag-along" victim as Alexis was first thought to be, and her wealth/status/father with lots of enemies is merely a coincidence. Paris, as a holding spot, may have more meaning if Alexis is the target instead of Sara. The kidnappers may have targeted Alexis to flush out Castle's father (who may be, as has been hinted, in the CIA).
3
Reply
Flag
First, thank you both daveahlman and fourniermarti for your replies. I am a stickler for consistency because I think that otherwise writers become too lazy and complacent to make the effort. I have had time to think about the Alexis as target alternative. I am starting to believe that Sara's kidnapping was a false one; that either she wanted to escape her parent's authority for reasons of her own and that Alexis was caught by mistake initially. The plan changed at the farm and Alexis may have become a target, not for extortion or political gain, but as a distraction.The second solution is that Sara has joined the opposition to her father and that Alexis is a political hostage, which would explain Paris very well. In which case, the plan is to get money to pay the way for the opposition and still use Alexis in some nefarious way, making Americans believe that she was kidnapped by Islamists.For the moment, I am leaning towards number two.
Flag
Dialing 911 in Europe redirects you to 112. But let's say it's for the show.
1
Flag
Great review of a great episode Alex. You hit all the high points really well, so nuff said. It's been a long while since we've had a really gripping Castle episode, which they do really well in two episode arcs. I'm thinking season 2's "Tick Tick Tick" and "Boom". Not so much the disappointing "Pandora" and "Linchpin" in season 4. But so far I think this two-parter will be up there in the Castle pantheon.

I think Martha calls Castle's dad when she learns Alexis is being held in Paris. Perhaps all these years she's had a way to get in touch with him, but because of his occupation they mutually agreed to keep their distance. Anyway that may be one way he becomes involved. Or maybe he sees the FBI bulletin regarding the kidnapping and knows that Alexis Castle is his granddaughter. In any case for the first time in a long time I can't wait for the next Castle episode.
Reply
Flag
One of the most entertaining episodes in years!
Now Alex, you shouldn't be surprised as how well Fillion can play the dark side! Didn't you ever see it in Buffy?
6
Reply
Flag
Yeah playing Caleb all he did was intimidating and evil. and yet in this episode he brought it from a completely new direction. I gained new respect for him as an actor with this episode.
1
Reply
Flag
Oh man yes! Loved the episode plus I have been waiting for them to address Castle's dad situation. I hope it will pan out well.
Usually I watch Castle as it is supposed to be watched: a serialized crime investigation series, watching it as a routine of mine. But now I suddenly cannot wait for next week! What is even happening?
1
Reply
Flag
i wondered if they were ever going to the "alexis gets kidnapped storyline" (i mean, a procedural where a guy has one daughter you can pretty much guarantee she;d be kidnapped at some point) but i was surprised at how well they pulled it off, and it left me really excited for next week!
8
Reply
Flag
I, as a lot of people, also think this might be connected to Castle's dad rather than Sara's. Maybe his father has been keeping an eye on him all this time and that's how 'bad guys' got to Rick.
1
Reply
Flag
It just occurred to me that such resourceful kidnappers wouldn`t kidnap anyone by mistake...maybe it was all planed as it happened. Alexis was the target and they also kidnapped an important man`s daughter to cover it up. The FBI would focus more on Sarah and her dad`s enemies running in circles while the real target would get to serve it`s purpose. this would tie in nicely with the whole spy grandfather theory (probably in conflict with other spies)
5
Reply
Flag
I had pretty much given up on Castle and thought I'd just take a look at the latest episode. So glad I did. It was well paced, tense, not too predictable and Fillion's worried, crying father was completely believable. I am pretty sure I had a tear after he saw the blood in the van.
Most Castle storylines have exactly the same tone which I guess would be classed as light entertainment. This was a step above and I wish they would attempt it more often.
1
Reply
Flag
actually if he went the "Taken' route and started killing bad guys i'm all for it. it's his daughter so i can see him do that now, that one scene where it doesn't show him with the guy. that convinced me that would be NICE if he went that route.
Reply
Flag
I was a little disappointed that the team hadn't guessed that the first victim might be a bodyguard, to me that seemed like a real possibility given the evidence almost to the point where I was going to shout it at the screen.

The use of Alexis' video diary (I refuse to use the term "vlog") to track Sarah seemed a little backwards, it required too many leaps of faith to get into - Alexis having a site, Alexis being close friends with Sarah but not so close as to mention it to her dad, Alexis getting tickets to an event and mentioning that she and Sarah were going. Until the video discovery, I was confident it was the tickets themselves that were the cheese in the trap, that Alexis or Sarah received the tickets from the kidnappers and that'd be how the team would track them down partway.

Other than that, the episode held up for a TV kidnapping of a major character's daughter. Castle's torture scene was interestingly handled, his face full of regret and anger at the same time, and the chilling conversation he had with Beckett about it afterwards. I think this show usually sells Castle short, just because he's a wealthy writer doesn't mean he's soft or stupid, he's had training and has acquired a lot of skills (if not a particularly set) in researching his novels, it seemed like the pre-torture scene used that threat well -- even if the majority of data out there says torture isn't effective for gathering intelligence, TV still claims otherwise. The "I don't know why they'd kidnap my daughter, but I just want to pay them, I know nothing" other dad pretending to be innocent was a bit obvious but at least that was saved for drama in a later episode, here he just continued to be sympathetic to his wife and to Castle.

There was one tech silliness stumbling block at the end though, the cellphone didn't connect a voice call to a tower so Alexis uses Skype to contact her dad, yet the FBI tracks the cellphone through a tower... Skype is an internet service, that's all they had to track. Granted, the reason it didn't connect is that she dialed 911 where France uses a different number (112), but the phone was using internet data to connect, not a voice signal, and even if it was using a 4G mobile broadband connection instead of wifi to make the Skype video call, they wouldn't have access to its tower data through its internet call, they'd have to take time to backtrace the IP of the phone first and then ask the carrier where the device was pinging from.

At least Alexis' bobby-pin knowledge was accurate for once on TV, if they're going to bother with such a silly trope then at least they did it correctly (although most modern bobby-pins wouldn't work as they aren't straight but zig-zag, and they have globs of rounded glue protecting the ends).
More+
2
Reply
Flag
It was established almost 4 episodes ago that Alexis had a website. I thought it was clever that they brought it up again. The fact that Castle would check his daughter's site as he's being forced to just sit there and wait for news... It's no different than someone looking at pictures of their baby or watching a home video.

Also, the episode starts with Castle saying that he's been giving Alexis space, because of their argument also a few episodes ago. So, no, he hasn't been hearing every detail of her life. He's trying to let her live that life on her own. He's never even met this elusive boyfriend of hers, and I don't think he has any idea what he looks like either. So, the fact that he'd not know Sara is not a stretch.

And in that same episode where the vlog is mentioned, Alexis is shown giving intimate details of where she's going. She announces to the world that she's going to the ice rink with this boyfriend of hers, so the fact that she'd mention going to a very public conference? Also not out of the question.
1
Reply
Flag
Did they do the site thing for her before? I watch 'em all, but I don't carry every detail with me, it obviously didn't stick and they didn't refer to it enough in between to make it part of her character. It's still part of the logic-leap though, you have to follow it down the rabbit hole to get to Alexis being involved - it was distractingly convoluted IMO.

Castle is just now giving her space, we have to believe that she's been close enough friends to refer to Sarah in her video, yet not so close long enough to have mentioned it to her dad before this "giving her space" element - it's not impossible, but it is a leap none the less.

You then have to assume all that is true AND that somehow the kidnappers knew of the friendship, knew of the website of this otherwise random teenage girl, were patient enough to wait for the remote possibility that Alexis would mention Sarah, and were correct in guessing that an otherwise busy conference would be a great place to kidnap someone - that's a stretch.
Reply
Flag
Which makes it all pretty obvious - to me at least - that Alexis was the target all along. I believe this will be the reveal next week. Sarah was the collateral damage all along... not Alexis like they've been believing.

But, I dunno, the Alexis vlog thing was a pretty big deal in the episode. They had a huge fight about it, and Castle and Alexis don't fight, so it wasn't like it was something that happened all the time. Because it was a big deal, the writers probably didn't feel the need to remind people every episode that it existed. Also, because this fight happened several weeks ago (before Christmas, I believe), we can assume that Castle has been trying to give Alexis space since then. Which means that she has at least a month to meet knew friends... Starting with this new semester and new classes, the most likely place for college students to meet each other.

When I was in college, I had a new best friend every month it felt like. My parents probably couldn't remember a single name WHILE I was friends with them, and me and my parents are pretty close too. It's not really that big of a stretch. That's college life (for some).
More +
Reply
Flag
Agreed. I didn't even notice the "more" link so I just replied to the one bit about the bodyguard.

As far as posting stuff on her vlog... yeh I'm not surprised. People post the most inane stuff on their blogs and vlogs. Stuff about their day, if they had a funny-tasting hot dog, they found a rip in their dress, etc. So in the realm of blogs / vlogs mentioning a conference is probably one of the more interesting things you'd find.

And as for Castle saying he was giving her space: it worked on multiple levels. It fit some past conversations AND paved the way for him being caught off-guard about Alexis disappearing.
1
Reply
Flag
It was obvious... but on TV they have to balance A) making it easy for the viewer to figure out and B) not TOO easy.

Remember, viewers want to feel smart.

Meanwhile, the characters (and/or the viewers) were probably thinking the big "T" word... that rhymes with guitarist.

Reply
Flag
Yeah, "terrorist" doesn't rhyme with "guitarist". "Wearer twist" or "rarer fist", maybe. It would have to be a match where the accent is on the last syllable. "Castle's pissed?"
1
Reply
Flag
THANK YOU. I never would have got that reference on my own.

Obviously they wanted the Saudi guy with a house full of guns to suggest terrorist, they even said as much, but the evidence wasn't pointing that way.
Reply
Flag
I hear ya, but if viewers that aren't privy to more details than the show's heroes are smarter than the characters they are watching, it undermines those heroes (or that entire universe). Castle's job usually in the beginning of episodes is to throw out any and every wacky idea (zombies?) as well as plausible stretches, yet every turn here felt like they were a step behind the story. It's a delicate balance but it matters, I think.

The big "T" word??? TARDIS?
Reply
Flag
Or maybe I'm wrong on that last one and they did a simple IP trace on the call, but I was almost positive they said they traced it via a tower, and they showed equipment displaying tower data.
Reply
Flag
If you're tracing a mobile device by IP, the closest you can come is the location of the router it's connected to. TV shows where they pull up a nice street map with a dot on it (and know the floor it's on!) is TV, not reality.
1
Reply
Flag
When Castle saw Alexis's video they already knew that she and Sara had been taken from the lecture. I think that just showed them how the kidnappers found out they were going to be there. I'm still not sure how that was helpful.
Reply
Flag
In my comment you're responding to, I was referring to the tracing of the Skype video call at the end of the episode, not the tracking of the visit to Alexis' video diary.
Reply
Flag
it wasn`t... it was strange. why would they survey Alexis when they were after Sarah?
2
Reply
Flag
"I have a hard time imagining Fillion as a threatening presence" - go watch Firefly or the last few episodes of Buffy; where Nathan does that whole dark, brooding and threatening thing. He's actually pretty good at it.

And I think that MissMunchkin is right about the kidnapping, one girl was the target the other was in the wrong place at the wrong time but the police have it the wrong way round.

We know the kidnappers speak arabic but as they are in France maybe they are Algerian and not Egyptian. As the CIA has a bit of a history in Algeria that might be how Castle's father is involved. But Algerian kidnappers would show some poor taste or at least bad timing by the show's producers given what happened there last month.
2
Reply
Flag
Fillion in Buffy the Vampire Slayer was genuinely creepy. It took me a while to see him as anything else. Good that he's been given a chance to stretch his acting muscles again...
1
Reply
Flag
Yeh that was one of my thoughts too.. a nice twist. Everyone thinks that Alexis was in the wrong place in the wrong time but in fact she was the target all along.

Maybe this is involving Castle's dad? To bring him out of hiding or something?
Reply
Flag
Amazing episode, like the reviewer I hadn't read up on the kidnapping, and I had a moment of "holy hell!" when Alexis' phone rang in the hotel.
Fillion had to sell this episode, and boy did he ever. The looks and actions going from rage, panic and sorrow over and over as things were progressing were brilliant. Well done!
Can't wait for the sequel...
4
Reply
Flag
Maybe his dad has kept an eye on him all these years and when he heard, that his granddaughter was kidnapped and his son was going "all Liam Neeson" decided to help him out so that they both do not end up dead
Reply
Flag
Agreed.

And considering Alexis's kidnapping is tied to the kidnapping of a big guy's daughter by some potential uber-bad guys... alarms probably went off left and right.

Or perhaps Castle has a "life line" He found out something about his dad and has a number that he may monitor. And left a message asking to help his granddaughter.
Reply
Flag
Nathan Fillion does great with his "Peter Pan" role / persona, but his creepy / dramatic persona is solid as well. So I think he really CAN pull of a Liam Neeson homeage next episode if they really wanted to. After all, we know he can shoot :-)

His part of Firefly (and eventually Serenity) could occasionally lose it and go quite dark side... the result was sometimes chilling.

And while his "Caleb" role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer wasn't my favorite, he played a solid villain.

A few females friends loved him on his role of Desperate Housewives where he supposedly played a more serious role. But I didn't see it so I can't confirm.
2
Reply
Flag
I haven't really seen a lot of Buffy, but this episode did remind me of Nathan Fillion's role in Firefly, where his Mal Reynolds had some really dark moments. I think this is a very nice touch, and I am glad to see more depth in the Castle character. I also agree with some of the theories that Alexis might be the real target, rather than Sarah, so it will make a very interesting episode next week.
2
Reply
Flag
Firefly.... the name makes my soul die a little bit more every time I hear it
Reply
Flag
Such a good episode! Like you, I didn't read the synopsis. I just knew it was part of a 2-parter. And now I am freaking out! I can't believe I have wait an entire week to see what happens next...

I had a suspicion that his dad might be involved since I knew that he had been cast, and this just seemed like a great moment to bring him in. My guess? Sara is not the target like everybody seems to think. I think Sara will get away, and the kidnappers will just shrug their shoulders, because Alexis is their real target and has always been.

Also, I love that aspect too. I'm still cringing slightly at the thought of Alexis being sold into a sex ring, though. If that's where this is headed, I sure hope she gets rescued before anything happens! Alexis's innocence is one of the best parts of Castle!
1
Reply
Flag
The more I think about it, the more it makes sense that Alexis is the target, it would make more sense that they would follow her blog and take her paris, where Castles father might be stationed/undercover
Reply
Flag
I like the idea that Alexis is the actual target, her grandfather being who he is I am sure he has enemies. It would also had a great twist to the story.
Reply
Flag
That was a good episode. It was nice to see Castle go to that place and see that he is capable of that. Plus I am interested to see how his daddy is going to be.
4
Reply
Flag
The father connection will make sense as long as you operate under the assumption his father has creepily been stalking Castle his entire life without announcing it.

It has already been stated that his father not only is C.I.A. but has clout in the organization (the credibility of the person stating it was the issue, though she had no reason to lie about that fact).
If that is the case, and there is an international kidnapping it may make more sense to have the CIA involved instead of the FBI.
2
Reply
Flag
I'd go one step further and say that not only may it make more sense to have the CIA involved instead of the FBI, but legally they have to be. Or at least, the FBI shouldn't be involved at all. The FBI isn't supposed to operate outside the U.S., and this really doesn't seem to be the kind of case where they'd have to go rogue or anything like that. It's two girls being kidnapped, not a terrorist attack or anything like that (at least, not yet anyway). Besides, you have some powerful people with a lot of clout who want these girls back, so the French authorities will be very cooperative. Although, the NYPD would definitely not be involved in a kidnapping in France, in the real world of course, but obviously that's going to happen. There's no way Castle, Becket, and the rest of the gang won't be involved, so the FBI may as well come along for the jurisdictional nightmare as well.
Reply
Flag
The FBI can be involved and usually are in many countries around the world when US citizens are involved. But they have to be "invited" by the host country and they have no official authority. Usually they are present to "consult" and liaison with the investigating authorities.
Reply
Flag
You're right, I was a bit too literal in my description of what the FBI can and cannot do. Even so, it's a tough enough sell getting the FBI to do more than observe, and to rather "consult" as you so nicely put it, seeing as they technically aren't supposed to have any authority. So I'm curious to see how they're going to try and argue for the NYPD getting involved as well.
Reply
Flag
I have one thing to say. I want to be kidnapped and be brought to Paris, France.
3
Reply
Flag
I agree if I had to be kidnapped I would want to be brought to Paris to, because once you are rescued free trip to Paris.
1
Reply
Flag
i really hope your wish isn't granted
2
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook