Castle: Knockout – A Review of the Season Finale

Castle: Knockout

Heart wrenching pain. Betrayal. Forgiveness. Second Chances. Love… So much emotion packed into one fantastic episode. So much so, I don’t even know where to begin. With Rick’s desperate attempts to protect Kate? Roy’s betrayal, or Kate’s forgiveness? I’m simply stunned.

Melanie Atkins

The parts that took my breath away:

• Rick’s deep concern for Kate when she falls back down the rabbit hole of her mom’s case.

• Kate throws herself on top of Rick to protect him when Lockwood’s accomplices throw the flash bangs in the courtroom.

• Jim Beckett goes to see Rick to find out who’s after Kate and asks him to talk her down. Fabulous scene.

• Rick confronts Kate in her apartment, mentions the kiss and the freezer. Emotionally charged incidents they never talked about. He asks her to walk away, to drop the case and stand down. And Kate refuses. She pushes him away again… even though she really doesn’t want him to go. She’s so caught up in the case, so focused, she won’t let anyone stop her crusade to find justice for her mother. Not even Rick.

• Rick’s heart-to-heart talk about his fear for Kate with his mother Martha. He’s a wordsmith, a writer, and he can’t get the words out to say that he loves Kate. But Martha knows. She tells him, “Don’t waste another minute of it.” That scene brought tears to my eyes. I absolutely couldn’t breathe — even when I watched it twice more.

• Kate goes to Captain Montgomery to ask him to kick Rick out of the precinct — and Roy agrees! She’s flummoxed. She really doesn’t want Rick to go… a fact made obvious by the look on her face and her bumbling attempt to question him about it. The thought of working without Rick by her side is a daunting prospect, but she’s so used to pushing people away she doesn’t know how to accept help. Or true love.

• Ryan and Esposito discover the identity of the third cop: Roy Montgomery, their captain. The ultimate betrayal. They’re so stunned, they come to blows over it… and must forgive each other in order to go on.

• Roy’s act of love at the hanger to protect Kate. He has Castle meet him there and orders him to take Kate away before shots ring out. Before Roy gives his life to save her.

• Rick hauls Kate bodily out of the hanger and holding her while she wails. They both know Roy is going to die, and they are powerless to stop it. So heart wrenching.

• Kate’s decision to keep Roy’s betrayal a secret. Only she, Esposito, Ryan, and Castle know the truth. Her eulogy for Roy makes him out a hero, so his family will never know what really happened… so touching.

• Rick’s attempt to save Kate at the cemetery. He’s good, but he’s not fast enough to stop a bullet. He begs her to stay with him, then finally says those three precious words: “I love you. I love you!”

Is he too late? I think not… but we won’t know for sure until the first episode of season four. From what I’ve been able to gather from Twitter, that one will pick up where this one leaves off. My question is: Was Kate wearing a vest? Hmmm…

I love this show. Four months without a new episode. Will I survive it? How many times will I watch the finale over the summer? How many times will I wish for September to hurry up?

Thank you, Will Beall. Thank you, Andrew Marlowe, Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Seamus Dever, Jon Huertes, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Susan Sullivan, and Molly Quinn. What a fantastic finale!!

Okay, enough of the mushy stuff. Lets get to the cop stuff.

Lee Lofland

But, before I do, I feel as if I have to say this…again. We write this part of the review (about the police procedure) merely to point out things that aren’t exactly correct so writers (and others) won’t make the mistake of thinking that’s how things are in real-life. Again, I know the show is fiction. I know it’s not supposed to be realistic. And I know you love the characters. But YOU (writers) asked me to do this! So please, no emails telling me how dumb I am for not realizing this show is fiction and that it’s not a police procedural. I know this. And yes, I like the show. Especially this episode. I must say this was one of the best yet. Maybe it was so good because Lanie only had two lines to deliver, and they were believable. Amazing!

– Beckett goes to the prison (a state prison not under the control of NYPD) and totally takes control of an emergency response team who’s mission is to raid Lockwood’s cell. She even gives the team the command to GO! Ridiculous. Those teams practice together as a team on a very regular basis. Each person has a specific duty and they operate as a unit. They would not allow an outsider to join them, especially as their leader. Besides, she has no authority inside a prison.

A bit of explanation regarding the prison part of the episode:

Ad Seg, where Lockwood was housed, is Administrative Segregation. That’s where they keep inmates who either need protection or they pose a threat to others. There are a few other reason prisoners are housed in ad seg, but these two are the major ones.

General Population – Where the majority of prisoners are housed and are allowed to mingle with other prisoners.

Collect Calls from prisoners – I believe it was Ryan who said Lockwood was making collect calls to a number that wouldn’t accept the calls. Most prisons require prisoners to submit a list of names—a phone list—and numbers of the people they’ll be calling during their incarceration. Authorities check the numbers to make sure they don’t belong to co-conspirators or victims, police officers, judges, etc., and those are the only numbers the inmates are allowed to call. The system does not allow random calls or calls to unapproved numbers. The calls are also monitored (randomly, or if officials have reason to monitor a specific inmate).

– Ryan and Esposito hand Castle a beer they’d been keeping cold in the evidence room refrigerator. Castle grimaces at the thought of what else is kept there, on ice. Sure, it happens. I’ve seen it in morgues as well – a six pack of Diet Coke sitting next to John Doe’s body. Or a box of warm doughnuts beside a brain bucket in the autopsy room.

– There was a bit of a problem with how things progressed when Montgomery “took the bullet” for Beckett. As tough as she is and she simply stood by while her captain was murdered? No way. And, this whole thing was so out of character for Montgomery. But, when you’ve got to get out of your contract, you take a bullet, right?

As for Beckett getting shot…you bet she had on a vest (remember, they were gunning for her). And you can take it to the bank that she conveniently won’t remember Castle’s words.

Montgomery’s funeral was nicely done, including the riderless horse. I remember the days of working plainclothes for years and years and then trying to squeeze into the old uniform for a special occasion. Well, let’s just say that Beckett and crew seemed to fit into theirs a little better than I did. I’m just saying…


*     *     *

This season of Castle is over, but we can always have a Castle chat session at the Writers’ Police Academy. Melanie and I will both be there. Will you?

18 replies
  1. Valerie Hansen
    Valerie Hansen says:

    I have to admit that I was so “in to” this episode I hardly noticed procedural details. The one thing that did grab me, however, was Kate firing a pistol at a moving helicopter, shooting into the air, with all those high rise buildings in the line of fire. I don’t even shoot armadillos on the ground when there’s a chance a shot will go wild – and, yes, I do hunt them when they show up in my garden. A .357 is a real ‘dillo stopper.

    Other than shooting wild, I absolutely loved this episode. What I hope is that they don’t bring in some new boss for Kate who tries to lure her away from Rick. If they so, we’ll just have to mount a counter offensive.

    Thanks for a great season, Lee.

  2. melanie atkins
    melanie atkins says:

    This week, in an article in Entertainment Weekly, Andrew Marlowe says that Kate was NOT wearing a vest — and that bothers me. I thought she was smarter than that. But, like Lee said, it probably wouldn’t have mattered.

  3. PatMarin
    PatMarin says:

    The graphic novel cover was at the beginning where Castle dropped it on the desk and the new Nikki Heat was the post that he tossed the drink at. I have the new novel or order already.

  4. Elysabeth
    Elysabeth says:

    My friend and I discussed writing some episodes for the show for next season. The amnesia thing came up. I’m perplexed about the vest because when you see them carrying the casket and standing there she definitely does not look like she is wearing a vest (to me the bosom would be flattened out or nonshaped at least with a vest).

    Some other discussions we had were – wondering if Jim Becket is Kate’s biological father; and then ways the show could turn – lol.

    I didn’t realize it was a Deric Storm cover he threw the drink against – thought it was a new Nikki Heat cover (third one)

    Truly love the show and it’s been a while since I’ve read the reviews; thanks for doing this, Lee.

    See you all in the postings – E 🙂

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

    Where will the adventure take you next?

  5. JonathanQuist
    JonathanQuist says:

    Speaking of super slow motion…

    On a whim, I went back tonight and looked at Montgomery’s final scene. The camera work and editing make it seem like he was wearing a Wild Wild West style derringer up his sleeve.

    There was no actual mechanical extender visible – I think that was a bit of creative visual effects – but as he pulled the trigger, during the two frames of muzzle flash, I was surprised to find very clear printing in the middle of the screen. From that, a quick Google revealed that Montgomery’s backup gun was a Bond Arms Snake Slayer IV derringer, in .45 caliber. It’s got a 4.5 inch barrel, and overall length is 6.5 inches. As Bullwinkle always said, “Nothing up my sleeve…”, except this time, there was.

  6. PatMarin
    PatMarin says:

    Lee, I knew you’d have things to say about the prison scene with Beckett taking the lead. I knew it was wrong but I’m glad you explained it.

    I also questioned the Ryker shooting angle. Although the explanations here give it better credence.

    Regarding the lovely Beckett at the prison, our SinC group toured the local prison. We had a young, blonde female in the group who we worried about on the tour, but it was the older couple that the prisoners singled out to verbally pick on. Although one woman walked to close to the door where to food is handed in and trays out, I pushed her away just as one of the orange-suited guys reached out and tried to grab her. We had been told to stay in the center of the hallway.

    Another great job, Lee. Enjoy your time off with the Castle hiatus.

  7. Sally C.
    Sally C. says:

    Who shot J.R.–er, Beckett? What a cliff hanger, although we all know she’ll pull through.
    I loved the “Derek Storm” graphic novel at the beginning. Is this for real like the “Nicki Heat” books? Hmmm…another marketing opportunity.
    How did the flash bombs/gun get inside the courtroom? I though all courthouses have metal detectors for visitors. Or was this lawyer able to enter through a side door?
    I admit I suspected Montgomery several episodes ago. They kept talking about “a third cop with authority” and the chief was the only other cop we saw on the show. And the look on Montgomery’s face in the scene by the whiteboard gave it away. You could tell from his expression as the others talked that he was THE ONE but nobody else noticed.
    Yeah, some continuity problems. Last week the chief said he was retiring. So why didn’t he retire and he wouldn’t be responsible for stopping Beckett’s investigation? We never saw much of the chief’s personality in three years, so this sudden revelation at the end was a bit stunning.
    Nice bit of drama in the hanger when Kate tells Rick to stay and Montgomery tells him to go. He’s been taking orders from Beckett all this time but now he disobeys her.

  8. MaryQuinn
    MaryQuinn says:

    When they showed Beckett running thru the prison with the guards and then giving the order to ‘Go’, I thought Lee’s going to have a comment about that.

    And what about her shooting at the helicopter as it takes off? That didn’t seem safe. There were a lot of buildings nearby. Not being a gun expert, I do wonder how good/lucky shot she’d have to be to hit it, too.

    Time of death while the body still sat in the chair?

    Was that legit when Ryan, Esposito & Castle had beers while still in the office?

    Well, I’d say it’s a safe bet that Beckett lived. The only mystery is what storyline they come up with for how she survived.

    Have enjoyed your reviews, Lee.

  9. JonathanQuist
    JonathanQuist says:

    I did have one issue with Lanie’s statement, though it’s really more a matter of a goof in the physical setting.

    When they stormed Ryker’s house, he was sitting in his recliner in front of the TV (tuned to static – why, in a digital age when it would go blank instead, but I digress). The top 1/4 of Ryker’s head was visible above the back of the chair. The exit wound was on his forehead above his left eye, and Lanie said the bullet entered the back of his head, exited the front, and landed in “the cabinet” (only thing visible was the furniture the TV was sitting on). If the entry wound was not visible from the rear, then the trajectory doesn’t work. (And she made this statement, along with time of death estimate, while Ryker was still sitting in his chair.)

    At first glance, I thought the exit wound was too small. On close examination, it looked more reasonable. (Judicious application of raspberry jam, but it was only seen in sweeping flashlight beams, so that’s okay.) But on very close examination…

    Well, if you have the show on DVR, go in 19 minutes, and wait for them to storm the room, then single frame it. The makeup job on this barely-seen head wound was actually pretty incredible. There are striations on the forehead from the massive energy the bullet released inside the skull, as if his forehead was on the verge of exploding. I’d have to ask a real medical examiner just how realistic it is, but in terms of attention to detail, my hat is off to the makeup artist for this episode.

    All the same, I’m not convinced that the body position, given what we can see of the wounds and what we’ve been told of trajectory, is plausible. Lee?

    Oh, a gotcha moment. My TV clicked off just before Castle said those 3 words at the end of the show, and by the time I flipped it back on, he was done. Damned auto timers!

  10. TheJZB
    TheJZB says:

    I want to add that Daniele Watts, the actress who played Montgomery’s wife, was stunning.

    The growth in Castle’s character is clear when I compare this episode to those from a couple of years ago. He’s gone from a self-absorbed party boy to a self-sacrificing grownup. I imagine that’s been difficult for the writers to pull off, keeping him fun while making him grow up.

    Which is not to say that the continuity and logic issues don’t make me a little crazy (Johanna Beckett morphing into an older version of Kate, and the lack of police perimeter protection at the cemetery, and why Montgomery had to have Kate show up as literal bait when he had no intention of letting her stay — did the bad guys even know she was there?). But…whatever.

    Thanks so much to Lee and Mel for making Tuesday mornings such a treat! I look forward to you guys ushering us through Season 4!


  11. melanie atkins
    melanie atkins says:

    Yes, Lee! A WPA Castle chat session at the bar. Sounds like a plan. lol

    Good to know about the vest. I watched it again, and saw blood on her glove. So she definitely was bleeding. I agree that it was probably a through and through, and that Rick probably saved her life. And ix-nay on the amnesia. I hope she heard every word he said.

    And TVFanatic… yes, that scene tore me up, as did the one with Castle and Martha. OMG.

  12. TVFanatic
    TVFanatic says:

    Yep, I agree with everything you said Lee. Plus, no prison warden in his right mind would allow a woman that looks like Beckett loose in a prison full of men. At the least they would have put them on lockdown before letting her anywhere near the cell block area.

    Melanie, OMG the scene where Castle hauls her out of the hanger. I was nothing but a pile of mush. I am not ashamed to admit that I watched it in slo-mo a few times and the tenderness between Castle and Beckett was beautiful. Blink and you would have missed it, but the way she touched his face…

  13. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    I’d heard that one of the regulars was going to bite the bullet, but I didn’t know which. I have to admit that I hoped it was Lanie for Lee’s sake. Last week I even envisioned Lee going into apoplexy with Lanie’s especially absurd comments. Lee–get out of my head. Seriously.

    I thought it was a great episode in spite of the plot holes. Certainly it was the most raw emotionally and the cast is so good and so together that the emotion was almost brushing up against “Southland.”

    My first thought after Kate was shot was “vest,” but Steve made some excellent points. I know she’ll live, it’s just a question of how bad she’ll be injured. As for Lee’s prediction of amnesia or whatever, all I can say is “God I hope not.” For the show to retreat right back to the cat and mouse would just be WRONG after this episode.

  14. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Good idea, Steve. Maybe so. I agree about the vest and the high-powered rifle. However, this is the show with the fantasy forensics and wacky police procedure…so anything’s possible. I wouldn’t even rule out her badge stopping the round, or her ink pen, a signed copy of Castle’s book under her shirt. Or, perhaps Voodoo M.E. Lanie cast a spell on the bullet as it made it’s way to Beckett. I also think she’ll begin to remember, at some point, but I hope it’s not slowly through soap opera-type flashbacks.

  15. steveperry
    steveperry says:

    That was a rifle scope lined up on Kate, so the vest she’d be wearing under that tight shirt wouldn’t be enough. Any assassin going after a cop would use a weapon with enough punch to defeat the standard vest, and anything heavy enough to stop a high-powered rifle would look like a padded quilt.

    Me, I’m betting that Castle pushed her just enough so the bullet missed her heart and was a through and through from which she can survive. And she’ll eventually remember what Rick said …

  16. Lee Lofland
    Lee Lofland says:

    Yeah, I’m thinking Beall’s cop pension will be a drop in the bucket compared what’s in store for him.

    So you’re hosting a Castle chat session at the WPA hotel bar?

  17. melanie atkins
    melanie atkins says:

    Ooh… a Castle chat session at the WPA. I am so there. lol I look forward to discussing the show with everyone.

    And Lee… I definitely questioned Kate going into that prison with the security team and also for standing by while Montgomery fought Lockwood. Still… I think the episode rocked. Will Beall is a fabulous writer, and I’m sad that he won’t be writing any more Castle episodes. He’s working on a major feature film right now. I sense great things in his future.

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