We all know Castle and Beckett have been less than forthright regarding their feelings for each other. Things look like they are finally going to change for the better during their latest investigation. Then they don't. This is one case that proves to be emotionally draining in more ways than one. Here's why.
TV field reporter Leann West is covering a protest rally at a downtown plaza. BOOM! A massive explosion rocks the area behind her. Five are dead, many others injured. The feds are running point on the investigation. That leaves Castle, Beckett and the rest of the team to interview friends and family of the victims. It's a series of heartbreaking chats. Beckett says, "It makes you think about all those things in your own life that you don't want to put off anymore." She looks like she wants to say more to Castle before being interrupted.
The bomb went off at a lamppost. The location was all clear at least 47 seconds before the blast according a cell phone photo. The team is tasked with interviewing the 300-plus witnesses who were in the area. An woman mentions seeing a Middle Eastern man carrying a box, but the guy was simply delivering takeout. A homeless man on meds says he saw Beethoven at the scene, but the long-dead composer also has a pretty solid alibi.
The recruiter for the takeover movement was a man named Jesse Friedman. He was closest to the bomb when it detonated. Lanie says his body was covered with blue fabric that came from a canvas bag. It's a huge break in the case, but one Castle can't act on right away. He must deal with a more pressing issue. Alexis is clearly upset by all that's happened. That's why her dad knows it's time to take her home. Beckett watches as her partner rescues his daughter from the sadness and horror of the moment.
Alexis later makes her dad some "Emergency Cheering Up Pancakes." This particular meal is usually reserved for breakups and Dancing with the Stars eliminations. It makes Castle think that his daughter shouldn't have to see the awfulness that's out there in the world. Alexis lets him know that her job makes her feel like she's doing something valuable. That's why Castle does what he does, right?
Martha has a heart-to-heart chat with Castle. She lets him know that his relationship with Beckett is not as complicated as he claims. After all, nobody's tomorrows are guaranteed. Castle takes his mother's words to heart. He later hands Beckett a cup of coffee. Nothing unusual about that, right? But then Castle speaks of missed opportunities. Beckett appears to know where he's going with this. She doesn't seem to mind at all. Castle is about to pour out his heart, but a break in the case puts everything on hold again. So close.
Captain Gates made a call to a friend at Homeland Security to gain access to all the GPS-activated cell phones at the explosion site. They believe a counter-demonstrator named Andrew Haynes is the bomber, though the suspect claims he lost his phone during the protest. A street performer fingers a young Hispanic man named Bobby Lopez as the person with the blue backpack. During the interrogation, Beckett reveals that she remembers every detail of the day she was shot. She has no idea that Castle is watching on the other side.
Castle now believes that Beckett doesn't share the same feelings he has for her. That's not going to stop him from doing his job though. Martha says, "You can't work side by side with her and not feel anything." Castle responds, "Watch me." Not good. When he returns to the precinct, Beckett senses something is different. Again, not good. As for the case, Bobby Lopez is a pickpocket who tried to steal the backpack. He left in by a pole when the rightful owner gave chase. That man is Jesse Friedman.
The team believes Jesse planted the bomb to generate publicity for his movement. No one would get hurt with the backpack placed between two dumpsters. Things changed when Bobby Lopez swiped the device. Jesse tried to call off the detonation by phoning his partner. He was too late. So who was his partner? Castle deduces it was the one person who could give him the publicity he needed. That would be his old college friend, ambitious TV reporter Leann West. Case closed.
Captain Gates thanks her entire team for the effort they made in this case. She even paid Castle a compliment at one point, thought she still doesn't like him. As for the situation with Beckett, Castle remains true to his word. He tells his partner that what he began to talk about earlier isn't important. Then Castle abruptly heads home for the night leaving a somewhat perplexed Beckett behind. Ever since her shooting, Beckett has known for sure how Castle feels about her. Or perhaps we should say how he "felt" about her. We have no idea where these two stand right now. Told ya this one was emotionally draining.