Castle Recap: “Kick the Ballistics”

The much-awaited resurfacing of 3XK finally arrived. Well, sort of. We didn’t see the man, but we certainly saw the ramifications of his actions.

In case you forgot, 3XK was a serial killer from last season who knocked Ryan out and stole his gun and badge. They never mentioned him again after that, but this week Castle said he has spent a year thinking about him and wondering when he would pop up. This week’s murder victim was a college student who spent all her free time tutoring people for extra money, and it turns out she was shot with Ryan’s stolen weapon.

It was great to see Ryan so prominently featured in the episode, even though the circumstance wasn’t ideal. He struggled with the guilt of letting his weapon get stolen and used that to become a super cop and solve the case. The victim’s ex-boyfriend put her in touch with a Chinese drug lord because his son needed a tutor, but they ended up falling in love and planning to run away. The ex-boyfriend, afraid the family would blame him for their son’s betrayal, called another one of the sons who said he would “take care of it” – not realizing his plan was to kill her. The family lawyered up after Ryan came down hard on them, pretty much ensuring they wouldn’t be able to prove guilt.

The captain (who I still haven’t warmed up to) told Ryan to take the rest of the day off, but he pulled a Castle and decided to take the investigation into his own hands with Esposito’s help. They dressed like college kids – which resulted in one of my favorite Esposito moments ever – and went to the kid’s school to talk to him. Ryan was able to convince the boy to help him get a confession from his brother by saying he would be doing it for the girl he loved. So that murder was solved, they found the gun but we never saw 3XK. It was a great set-up for a future episode this season that will hopefully bring 3XK and the 12th precinct cops face to face again.

A couple other things from the episode: Alexis seems to be mostly out of her funk about not getting into Stanford. She decided to take on more extracurriculars to beef up her application for when she reapplies, but she doesn’t love her new student government role. Apparently all she does is listen to people complain – I can see how that gets old. Beckett’s stitches from her surgery were acting up, which prompted Castle to ask if she really doesn’t remember anything from that day. When she said she doesn’t, the look on his face clearly suggested he doesn’t believe her. Smart man, that Castle.

It looks like next week will bring a love interest for Castle, and Beckett isn’t going to like it. It would be a great time for her to admit she loves him too, but something tells me that’s not going to happen just yet.

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