Kate Beckett is also changed. Her strength and independence are not gone, but her capacity to hide her pain behind a mask is. She’s stubborn as ever, but also a complete mess: she’s tired and hurt, she breaks down, loses her temper, and truly shows her fragility. Stana Katic pulls off portraying Beckett’s vulnerability, both physical and emotional, so spectacularly that watching her is a little sickening; it’s almost like watching a wound bleed because no one, not even Castle, can make it stop.
Of course, no episode is perfect, and there are a few things that could be better about this one. There’s little of the usual humor, and the murder mystery in this episode is so bland that it might as well not be there. Nevertheless, the important things are there and the necessary questions are dealt with; this episode leaves great things to hope for from the rest of the season.