It’s May Sweeps and TV finale time. Among the series wrapping up for the spring, ‘Castle’ brought its season to a close last week with a return to the storyline about Beckett’s investigation into her mother’s death. Did we finally find out who was behind the murder? No, of course not, and I’m not very happy about the big plot twist that the show’s writers threw in arbitrarily.
‘Castle’ is a formula show, and I have no problem with that. The series works best when it sticks to the case-of-the-week structure and doesn’t take itself too seriously – which is most of the time. However, over the course of the past season, the writers have attempted to amp up the “mythology” story arc for Beckett. These more serious episodes feel out of place and forced. Unfortunately, that’s where the finale, ‘Knockout’, goes.
Beckett had already arrested the man who killed her mother, an assassin named Lockwood (Max Martini). What she doesn’t know is who paid him to do the job. She’d been harassing him in prison on a weekly basis to get him to talk. In this episode, Lockwood manages to break out of prison, and goes gunning for Beckett to stop her from digging any further.
Beckett is left pissy and on edge. Everyone worries about her. Captain Montgomery orders her to stand down from the case, and tells Ryan and Esposito to take no chances with Lockwood. If they find him, they’re to take him out immediately. Beckett of course isn’t paying any attention to these orders.
Beckett’s estranged father pays a visit to Castle to ask for his help. “Don’t let her throw her life away,” he pleads. Castle confronts Beckett and begs her to walk away from the case. They have a huge fight, and she throws him out.
In reviewing all the case material, Beckett, Ryan and Esposito come to the conclusion that there must have been a mysterious third cop involved with the original cover-up. (Lockwood already killed the other two.) While we were watching, Mrs. Z called it pretty early on that Captain Montgomery would turn out to be that third cop. I argued that this would make no sense at all. And I still think that, but nonetheless, she was right. That’s exactly what happens.
Montgomery isn’t evil, though. He was a rookie cop when he got caught up in the corruption with his two mentors. After they killed Beckett’s mother, he cleaned up his act and dedicated himself to being the best cop he could, and to protecting Beckett when she joined the force.
Lockwood shows up at Montgomery’s house and threatens to kill his family if he doesn’t lure Beckett into a trap so that Lockwood can kill her. Montgomery brings her to a helicopter hanger that had been relevant earlier. He admits his involvement but won’t tell her who’s behind it all (because it’s “too dangerous” for her to know, or something). He tells Beckett that he’s really set an ambush for Lockwood and is going to sacrifice himself to save her. Beckett resists, but Montgomery has Castle drag her out of there just before Lockwood shows up. (This all seems like a poor plan to me. He should have told her all of this somewhere else earlier, rather than bring her right to the place where Lockwood was planning to kill her.)
Lockwood and his cronies walk into the hangar. Montgomery pulls a gun and blows away four or five of them instantaneously like he’s Clint Eastwood on speed or something. He and Lockwood exchange fire. Montgomery is hit and falls to the ground, but manages to lure Lockwood in close so that he can pull another gun he’d hidden up his sleeve and kill him. They both die together.
All of this superheroics stuff is a bit much. It’s far too convenient that Montgomery would be able to take out a whole squad of Special Forces guys all by himself.
Beckett, Castle, Ryan and Esposito band together and agree to cover up Montgomery’s true involvement in the case. The police department gives him a hero’s funeral. Beckett stands up to speak, when a sniper shoots her dead-center. Castle rushes up to her, and tells her that he loves her just ask she closes her eyes and looks like she’s dying. And thus we have a cliffhanger.
It seems fairly safe to say that Beckett isn’t going to die. My assumption is that she’s wearing a bulletproof vest because this is some sort of a trap to see who would come out to kill her. (Never mind that a real high-powered sniper rifle would tear right through Kevlar. This is TV, where a paper-thin vest can block any bullet.)
Who’s behind it all? Mrs. Z thinks it’s Beckett’s own father, and I have no reason to disagree. It’s awfully coincidental that he’d show up out of the blue for this episode. I guess we’ll get the answer to that next season.