Castle Season Four Finale: “Always”

Nathan Fillion and Stana KaticIf you haven’t watched all of this season of Castle yet, stop reading and go catch up. This episode is worth it.

Who Killed Beckett’s Mother?

We start out with a recap from seasons past to remind us how we got here. Flashes of Beckett’s dead mother fill the screen. Captain Montgomery reminds Kate that these guys, “. . . are coming to kill you and I’m not going to let them . . .” Then we see Roy Montgomery fulfilling this promise with his own death.

Beckett, Ryan and Esposito in Castle
The terrible three.
We move forward to Beckett, Castle, Ryan and Esposito sitting together, “No one outside of this immediate family ever needs to know about this,” says Beckett. Then we see Beckett get shot in the cemetery at Montgomery’s funeral. They don’t show Castle telling Kate that he loves her. The writers know we remember that part.

Roy Montgomery’s friend calls Castle. We don’t know his name and neither does Castle. Get Beckett to stop the investigation and she will be safe, he says. All Castle has to do is convince her.

The screen goes black.

The Other Shoe

Beckett hangs from the side of a building. Her feet dangling, she calls for Castle as her perfectly manicured fingers start to slip from the concrete edge . . .

. . . cut to three days earlier as Alexis stresses out about writing her valedictorian graduation speech. Her dad’s big advice? 

“The most worthwhile things in life are often the most difficult.”

Castle goes off to case-chase with Beckett and invites her to watch a double feature at his house on Alexis’s graduation party night. We can tell by his face he doesn’t think she will say yes, but she does and it’s a date.

This is a detective show, so we have a murder to solve. This week’s victim was shot and he has burglary tools on him. It turns out he had spent the previous night breaking into the Montgomery house—stealing Roy’s files and his laptop. It can’t be a coincidence Beckett decides. And now the thief is dead.

Kate tells Castle that she has been thinking about the shooting and Roy sacrificing his life for hers, but she doesn’t know how or why she is still alive. She’s feels like they are still out to get her and she is just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Beckett Won’t Stop

The following morning, Castle brings Kate coffee and tells her she’s not in this alone. They briefly hold hands until Espo and Ryan show up. They interview a suspect but his DNA does not match the DNA found underneath the victim’s fingernails so he can’t be the killer. The DNA does match the DNA found on a gun used in another shooting—the one that put a bullet in Beckett’s heart.

Beckett doesn’t want to tell Captain Gates. Castle wants her to give up the case. Kate refuses. Ryan wants to tell Gates. Ryan and Espo argue.

Montgomery’s “friend” calls Castle and reminds him that if Beckett doesn’t stop investigating her mother’s murder, the bad guys will retaliate.

We find out the murder victim knew his killer from the military and our heroes discover a video. Now we know what he looks like and it’s Tahmoh Penikett (Helo from Battlestar Galactica.)

You Woke the Dragon

Ryan still wants to tell Gates what’s going on. Beckett says no. She reviews the evidence in her mother’s case, while Castle worries about her. Castle can’t stand it anymore. He tells Kate she needs to stop the investigation. He tells her about the deal—as long as she backs off the investigation, she is safe. She’s furious and asks him how he could do this to her.

Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle
That’s not his I love you face.
“Because I love you,” he says, “But you already knew that.” He begs her to stop the case, “If you care about me at all, just don’t do this.”

But it’s not good enough for Beckett because it’s her life and she’s not scared.

“Let them come.”

“You’re right Kate. It’s your life, but I am not going to stick around and watch you throw it away. So this is over. I’m done.”

Moving On

Castle and Alexis talk about her graduation and the speech. She’s scared about, “moving on.”

“You’re right about that,” Castle tells her echoing the change in his relationship with Beckett.

Back at the station, Beckett tells Ryan and Espo that Castle is “off the team.” We find out the bad guy’s name is Cole Maddox. Espo and Beckett are determined to go after him. Ryan doesn’t want them to go without backup.  Beckett says no because the backup team or Gates could be compromised. Espo sides with Beckett.

Castle goes to Alexis’s graduation. Espo and Beckett go into Maddox’s hotel room and they find the Montgomery’s wedding album. The guy protecting Beckett is pictured in the album. This is really bad news for Montgomery’s friend.

Maddox shows up and a chase to the roof we saw at the beginning of the episode ensues. We know Kate is going over the side of that building. Cole Maddox leaves Beckett literally hanging which is interesting considering she left Castle metaphorically hanging all season.

Kate starts calling for Castle. We hear a male voice say, “Beckett hang on,” just as her fingers slip. He catches her. Beckett is pulled to safety. But it’s Ryan, not Castle. And he’s got Captain Gates with him and she is ticked off.

Chief Gates puts Beckett and Esposito on administrative leave and asks for their badges.

Beckett resigns.

Everything Eventually Ends

Proud papa Castle attends Alexis’s graduation and as she delivers her speech about endings we see Kate packing up her desk. Ryan tries to explain himself to Esposito who isn’t listening.  We now have a serious loyalty rift in one of the best bromances in detective history.

“Today we say goodbye to everything that is familiar. Everything that is comfortable,” Alexis continues as we see Beckett walking outside in the rain and then on a swing set alone. “But there are some people, who are so much a part of us that they will be with us no matter what.  They are our solid ground, our north star and the small, clear voices that will be in our hearts . . . Always.”

Castle is back at home—ready to watch the movies he was supposed to see with Beckett on their date—alone. She calls but he chooses not to answer.

There’s a knock at the door.

Stana Katic as Kate Beckett
What do you think she wants?
Kate’s there.

“Beckett, what do you want?” he says annoyed.


Then she kisses him.

Apparently, all Kate could think about while she was on the side of that building was Castle. They kiss again, hold hands and walk toward the bedroom.

But we are not done with season four yet, because Cole Maddox still has work to do. He’s waiting for Roy Montgomery’s friend whom Cole calls, “Mr. Smith.” Kate’s protector reminds him that they had a deal. But as any fourth-grader who watches TV can tell you, bad guys don’t keep deals.

Maddox wants the information that Mr. Smith has been using to protect Beckett. And once he gets it, Cole Maddox intends to kill Beckett. He sounds like he means it.

So, what did you think of the finale? Do you think the show has room to run now that Castle and Beckett are together? What do you think of Cole Maddox and his merry band of well-connected assassins? Will Ryan and Espo ever trust each other again? Was Kate’s resignation final?

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. Terrie Farley Moran

    The finale was the perfect set-up for an awesome season next year. I’ve always enjoyed the tension between Beckett and Castle and I am sure they are still going to have their moments where he’ll want to stop her from doing something, or where she’ll get exasperated with his behavior. In the meantime, there will be crimes to solve and of course this grand conspiracy about Beckett and her mom to unravel. Ryan and Espo will work it out–partners always do. Their lives depend on it. And Beckett takes back her resignation. Ta Da! We’ll see if I am right. Wonderful recap.

  2. Deborah Lacy

    @Terrie – I agree. I loved this finale. Our post-graduation to Caskett will be new and exciting, plus there is a ton of evil out there trying to kill Beckett and in their minds Castle will just be in the way.

  3. riterrebs

    I agree with Terrie. It is a perfect set-up for next season. Also, I’m sure that Caskett will try to keep their relationship a “secret” from Esposito and Ryan.
    BTW, no need to watch the show. Your recap was spot on.

  4. Deborah Lacy

    @riterrebs – ooooh – good point about keeping it a secret at the office. I don’t think that’s going to work for very long.

    ABC just posted this episode online, and you can see it and others for free here:

  5. Heather Waters (redline_)

    Great recap! I only caught the last few minutes of the episode last night (will have to catch up on the whole ep ASAP), but as a romance fan, I was digging that ending for sure and look forward to seeing where Castle/Beckett go from here.

  6. Deborah Lacy

    @redline – I’m with you on the romantic ending. We’ve been waiting four long years and finally. I am really intrigued with why these people need to kill Beckett so badly and what their end game is. That’s been going on for way more than four years.

  7. Kerry

    The only thing we didn’t think made sense was that why did Mr. Smith use the material to keep them awaw from Beckett (aparently it didn’t work because she continued to investigate and they continued after her) when he could just release it and keep her safe for good. Makes no sense to me.

  8. Deborah Lacy

    @Kerry – I guess it depends on what the information might be and who it’s about. I don’t think the information will put them behind bars but it might make one very powerful person’s life miserable. Maybe that’s the threat. I’m having so much fun watching, I’m willing to wait to find out.

  9. tylepard

    I loved the finale. I’m so excited that Beckett and Castle are finally together! And it was great to see Tahmoh Penikett (even as a bad guy). Thanks for the recap, Deb!

  10. Peachie

    Loved the recap but wondering if maybe I’m the only one thinking the ending was a dream sequence of some sort. It was all a bit much for the happy couple who couldn’t get it together for almost four seasons. Can’t wait for the next season.

  11. Deborah Lacy

    @Tylepard – It was great to see Helo in a new role. He plays a bad guy really well, and this guy is really, really bad.

    @Peachie – Ooooh a dream sequence didn’t even occur to me. I really hope it’s not. That would tick me off at this point.

    FYI – Castle has been officially renewed. No surprise, but excellent to have it confirmed nevertheless.

  12. DianneCan

    Thanks for the great recap Deb! Coming in late to the game… OK, I wanted to watch the ending over and over and indulge. That much build-up is, well, exasperating. Are we really going to see Caskett in a “relationship”? Or will they immediately get pulled apart again and resume the tension? I don’t think it can move backwards, so bring on the relationship foes. They’ll drive each other crazy. Will we enjoy it? You bet!

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