Maya Zach ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Staff
“Dreamworld” begins right where the premiere left off, with Castle ( Nathan Fillion ) just discovering that he has been poisoned and only has 10-12 hours left to live. The only antidote was stolen with the toxin, but Kate ( Stana Katic) has no leads as to who stole it and where it could be. A few years prior, a reporter Brad Parker wrote an article about Dreamworld that was never published. Parker opens up to Beckett when he is alerted of Bronson’s death (the soldier who was poisoned in last week’s episode), that Dreamworld is a launching pad for covert special ops. The article was killed by Secretary of Defense Reed (Glenn Morshower) himself, which arouses suspicion.
After Beckett nearly blows up at him, Secretary Reed drops his clueless act and spills (off the record) that Bronson assisted in taking out al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Anwar Zawari, in an airstrike in Jalalabad. The new team explores the option that al-Qaeda was finally retaliating; they track down Waqas Rasheed, a relative of Zawari and an electrical engineering student living in DC. Though he has the means to execute such an elaborate plan and has been spotted with Bronson, Kate believes that he didn’t commit the crime. It turns out that after the airstrike, Bronson pulled a servant woman’s corpse out of the building. When Rasheed caught him, Bronson allowed him to live as long as he never shared his secret.
After some great technical and logical teamwork from Richmond (the tech guy) and Castle, they manage to piece together an incredibly redacted case file. The word “Valkyrie” that Bronson uttered in his last breath was the codename of an American asset who perished in the airstrike. Farrah Ussman was the servant woman who Bronson was ordered to remove from the building. Out report Brad Parker, happens to be her fiancé, and a combat veteran who pieced the story together. The Secretary of Defense did not wait for Farrah to exit the building before ordering the airstrike. To retaliate, Parker wants to kill the woman whom he holds most dear to his heart–his wife. Luckily, Kate manages to figure this out before any real harm comes to her and gets the antidote before Castle takes his last breath.
When Castle wakes up, he finds Kate watching over him. Across the bed are Alexis and Martha, who he kept the truth from throughout the episode. He didn’t want his mother and daughter to worry about him, even though he was sure he wouldn’t make it through the night. Alexis had realized that he sounded strange over the phone and grew worried. She and Martha tried to get information out of Kate, Ryan, and Esposito, but no one would tell them anything.
Earlier in the episode, Beckett comes close to throwing her career away when Castle’s life hangs in the balance. She disobeys a direct order when she threatens Secretary Reed in the hopes that it will give her a lead–which it does. However, under other circumstances, she is revolted by others not playing by the rules. McCord lets her know that Reed is not going to be tried for his crimes, because not everything is black and white in DC. Kate seems horrified by this idea and it creates the perfect set up for her to decide to leave the Attorney General’s office to return home to New York.
The scene where Castle collapses before receiving the antidote is a beautiful recreation of the season three finale. Rick collapses, Kate leans over him, strokes his face, and whispers something to him…just as he had done two years earlier when he first professed his love to Kate.
The music does a surprisingly excellent job of heightening the tension and suspense throughout the episode. One shot in particular stood out: when Beckett swerves the car after the realization that Reed’s wife is the target. Prior to this, the music is barely audible, but immediately changes to a fast-paced, intense beat and then returns to a quiet hum in the background as the radio chirps on. Another great use of music was the reprise of the song “I Just Want You” by Robert Duncan, which played when Castle and Beckett first kissed.
There were quite a few cheesy lines in this week’s episode of Castle, which appears to be the new norm for the show. Though a couple of them are expected during a near-death situation, they were laid on pretty thick. Most Castle fans will swoon during these lines, but they are incredibly clichéd nonetheless. Otherwise, “Dreamworld” was an excellent episode with a complex plot and nonstop action, similar to the season’s premiere.