There's nothing like going to the dentist for your biannual cleaning only to be taken hostage by a manic woman who claims she's being set up for the murder of her boyfriend. Unless you're Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion), the woman's favorite author, who gets called in as hostage negotiator. That may have been preferable to having his mother, daughter, and his daughter's new boyfriend invading his and Beckett's (Stana Katic) privacy back at the homestead.
Aside from the odd request for Castle to prove Emma's (Alicia Lagano) innocence, the other point of interest in the opening minutes of "Number One Fan" is that Beckett didn't automatically get her job back with the NYPD after being fired by the FBI on last week's episode of Castle.
Instead, she spends the episode as more of a tag-along, while Gates (Penny Johnson Jerald), Ryan (Seamus Dever), and Esposito (Jon Huertas) - who were sidelined during the D.C. arc - get the job done. And Lanie (Tamela Jones) gets her first appearance in season 6. Go team!
Meanwhile, all Castle has to do is talk, and true to Beckett's assertion, he excels at that despite high-strung kidnapper Emma who insists she didn't kill her boyfriend no matter what the evidence says. Evidence that is stacked to the roof, with this most recent killing mirroring one that was sealed in Emma's juvenile record, along with a long list of circumstantials. Only Castle's Spidey sense keeps the cops from taking her in.
Over and over, however, one location keeps popping up: Scarsdale. And it proves to be the scarlet tread that weaves the sordid tale together. That's where her boyfriend was going when she thought he was cheating on her. Where he - illegally - picked up her birthday present. A birthday present that got himself on the radar of a prominent lawyer. A lawyer married to Emma's half-sister who views Emma as a threat to his rich father-in-law's trust fund. And Scarsdale is just outside the Home for Girls where Emma's biological father and mother left her as an infant.
Plenty of action is provided in this episode, including a loose-cannon hostage named Mickey (Billy Miller) who takes things into his own hands. The end result of that debacle is the police bursting in on Emma brandishing a gun over a fallen Castle. Fortunately, this third setup proves to be the charm and sets the team on the path to find the truth. There's also a great scene with Ryan and Espo putting the screws to and getting a confession out of the real killer, lawyer Raymond Vance (Patrick Heusinger).
As it turns out, the whole episode is something of a setup that places Beckett and Gates directly in the favor of Aaron Stokes (Tom Amendes), Emma's father and a golfing buddy of the police commissioner in charge of hiring. One happy coincidence and a cashed in favor later, and Beckett is back on the force. And Gates' engagement present is allowing Castle back, too, so all's well that ends well.
How about you? Any favorite one-liners that appealed to you? Anything you wish had been done differently? And how long do you think Marlowe and company will drag out this engagement?
Castle returns next Monday with "Time Will Tell" @10pm on ABC.