Castle Season Five Premiere: “After the Storm”

The season opener starts with Kate and Rick in bed. Enjoying their coffee, they talk about how wonderful the previous night was and Castle even talks about how he hopes it wasn’t just a circumstantial episode. Just as they are about to start another round, Castle’s mom, Martha, shows up and Rick sends Kate and their relationship into the closet—literally and figuratively. Beckett’s not happy, and why should she be?

Turns out Martha came home early from the Hamptons because Alexis darling got too drunk at her graduation party and is now super hung over.

While Castle, Martha, and Alexis discuss how this happened, dear Kate has to resort to sneaking out of the house in a scene that would have made Lucille Ball proud had her show been filmed after the year 2000.

Gates and Ryan continue to their partnership. Ryan discovers that the deadly Cole Maddox (the bad guy who almost killed Beckett in the season finale) was after the Montgomerys’ photo album.

We flash to Cole, he has trapped a badly beaten Smith. Whatever Smith has been hiding to protect Beckett can’t be far away.

The lovers retreat to Kate’s apartment. She is annoyed that she had to flee Castle’s place in shame. Ryan shows up and Kate wants Castle to hide. He hypothesizes that since he is wearing clothes, it’s okay if he’s there. Ryan comes in and it’s awkward, but Ryan hasn’t figured out the relationship shift yet.

So many pieces!
So many pieces!
Ryan has come to tell them that Cole Maddox is still out there. He has brought a copy of the photo Maddox stole from the Montgomery wedding album. Castle recognizes him as Smith and tells Beckett how Smith protected her.

Ryan and Castle talk about how to help Smith. Castle traces Smith’s whereabouts and identity via luxury goods and country clubs.

Espo is following other leads. He meets with a former military friend and asks him to tap into the DOD database looking for Maddox. That’s a pretty big favor, but his friend helps him out.

Ryan is closer to Gates than Espo this episode. It doesn’t feel right.

Castle and Beckett find Smith. He’s still alive but he has been beaten pretty badly. They get him to the hospital and under guard.

Smith tells Castle, “86” as they are taking him to the hospital. Castle is convinced it’s a clue of some kind. They tear apart his apartment looking for anything that says 86 (am I the only one who immediately thought of Maxwell Smart as soon as the number 86 popped up?) They find a street address with an 86 in it in Smith’s paperwork. They go there and find that Smith had an office on the 5th floor. Cole Maddox had deduced the same thing but he thought ahead and had his gun at the ready.

Maddox is there to find the “file” that was protecting Beckett.  Maddox binds Castle and Beckett’s hands with zip ties. They can’t get free, but it doesn’t matter much because Espo shows up into time to set them loose so they can witness Smith’s booby-trapped safe explode.


Bye bye, Cole!
Bye bye, Cole!
Bye bye, Cole Maddox. You weren’t half the super big bad guy we thought you were.

Now that an incendiary device has exploded the police are called, so Gates comes to the scene. She wants to know why Kate, who has resigned, and Castle a civilian were there. They say they were “just in the neighborhood.” Gates doesn’t buy it. Ryan for once, doesn’t answer all of Gates’s questions and she knows it.

Castle, Kate, and Espo meet to discuss the case. Ryan shows up with the pieces of the file that were blown up with Cole Maddox. The fab four tries to assemble this really complicated puzzle. They discover a money order with an account number. This account number should lead them to the power behind all of the assassins that have come after Beckett, the person who killed Montgomery and Beckett’s mom: Senator William Bracken.

They go see Smith to ask him about Bracken. Smith knows Bracken is guilty but he doesn’t want to help. He says he and Kate are both going to wind up dead. Smith is right about himself, at the very least. He is dead within the hour.

Castle wants to take Beckett away—“Someplace safe.” But Beckett tells him that no place is safe.

Beckett decides to confront the Senator and leaves alone. Castle is worried that her intention is assassination. He, Ryan, and Esposito head for the Senator’s next public appearance to stop Beckett.

Beckett reaches the fundraiser first. Kate confronts the Senator, but not to kill him, she makes the same deal that Smith had. She hits him on the face so it will leave a scar, she tells him “Every time you see it, think of me.”

I suppose that’s all she could do right now, but since it didn’t work out so well for Smith, it can’t be such a great plan. Castle, Ryan, and Espo arrive right after she lets the Senator go.

Wait, you’re NOT resigning?
Wait, you’re NOT resigning?
As it ends, Beckett and Gates are talking. Gates tells Beckett that she knows who she has been protecting and that she thought very highly of Roy Montgomery. We didn’t see that coming and neither did Beckett. Gates tells Beckett that she admires her loyalty. Beckett talks her way out of her resignation, but both she and Esposito have to serve out the terms of their suspensions.

And in the meantime, Castle and Beckett can have some quality time.

I liked this episode but it didn’t qualify as the cheeky romp that the cast has promised this season would be in interviews. It very much retained the dark tone of most of last season. I want Kate and Rick to be able to tell their friends they are together. I want Ryan and Esposito to have a chance to work things out. It was a fine piece of drama and I am looking forward to a little of that famous Castle humor in future episodes.

What did you think of the season premiere of Castle?

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Deborah Lacy is an avid mystery reader and aspiring novelist.  You can follow her on Twitter @quippy.

Read all of Deborah Lacy’s posts for Criminal Element.


  1. Carmen Pinzon

    I’m just gratefull Castle and Beckett are behaving like (semi)adults about their new relationship. I hate it when the writers blow hot-and-cold to keep the “drama” going. And I sure hope they spend quality time working out Espositos and Ryan’s relationship.

  2. Saundra Peck

    I am glad that the writers are continuing the story line and do not just make Rick and Kate do it to do it…. This show has always been cheecky and cheesy, so continuing that feeling will be easy. That is why I love it!

  3. Herewiss13

    This episode was very much about tabling the conspiracy plot arc (for the time being) so that we can focus on Castle and Beckett being goofy together. I predict a very large number of farcical interuptions and close-calls before they come-clean to everyone. Possibly even a romantic getaway interupted by dead body. Ought to be very funny.

  4. Becky Hantsbarger

    Maybe not quite the cheeky romp, but it worked for me. I agree with Herewiess13…the goofiness should only be getting started. I’m just happy Castle is back!

  5. Joanne McIntyre

    I think the writers are dipping too deep into the “spy/thriller” genre, and losing the fun/simplicity of the original detective storyline of the series. I just loved the part where Becket/Castle fell out of the bed together! Ouchy!

    This Senator storyline will probably play out ad infinitum/ad nauseum, but that’s not what I watch the program for.

  6. Deborah Lacy

    @bugluna – I totally agree about hoping they continue to act like adults. It took us too long to get to this point.

    @sk1336 – great comment

    @Herewiss13 – I wonder if they really will be tabling the conspiracy plot and for how long. The Senator seems more dangerous than Cole Maddox. I’m OK with it though. I think you’re right about goofy close calls in their future.

    @BeckyIA – Me too

    JMcI – You may be right about the Senator story line. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  7. ronnie

    I like the idea of a secret relationship between Castle and Beckett, at least for a few episodes. I think it could be entertaining, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I’m going to miss most of the episodes because I work at DISH when the show airs, but I have the Hopper DVR, which has Primetime Anytime. It automatically records all the prime time shows on all four major networks (including Castle), so I won’t have to worry about setting a timer every week. I hope the writers use this season to lighten things up from last year’s drama, even though the first episode was still a little dark.

  8. Deborah Lacy

    @ronnie – The secret relationship could work as you say for a few episodes, but for me it might get old fast. That’s quite a DVR set up you have there!

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