If all the ABC dramas take place in the same universe, then “Castle’s” Senator Bracken should have something to do with Fitz’s shooting on “Scandal.”Also, “Nashville’s” Juliette should perform at one of Senator Bracken’s fundraisers. It would be a double crossoveer since Hayden Panetierre played Jack Coleman’s daughter on “Heroes.” That’s a long way of saying that this week, Senator Bracken (Jack Coleman), the man responsible for Beckett’s mother’s death, returned this week in one of the season’s strongest episodes.
The Senator’s Lover is Murdered: A homeless person finds a charred body in a garbage can. The victim is a woman who was shot. All her teeth were knocked out to make it impossible to identify her. The killer did not realize that the victim had a titanium dental implant with a serial number that makes it easy to figure out who she is. Oops. So much for the perfect crime. The woman, Melanie, is an engineering grad student who made a bunch of phone calls to Washington D.C. in the days before she died. She also left a voicemail for her sister saying that if anything happened, XT3 right before she was shot. There is another sound on the voicemail — which Beckett (Stana Katic) realizes is someone opening and closing a cigarette lighter. In real life, nobody would be able to figure that out. It turns out that Melanie was calling Washington D.C. because she was having an affair with Senator Bracken, much like Chandra Levy and Gary Condit.
The Big Twist: Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) tell the Senator that Melanie is missing. He claims she was helping him with a piece of legislation. He realizes they work with Beckett and clams up. He has an alibi. When the team locates the garage where Melanie was murdered, they find a car with an XT3 license plate. Inside the trunk is a sniper rifle, a map of the hotel and pictures of Bracken with devil horns. They realize Bracken was the target, not the killer. As Beckett says, “I’m protecting the man who murdered my mother.”
Will Beckett Let the Senator Die?: Beckett quizzes Bracken about his enemies. He thinks this scenario is a dream come true for Beckett. She tells him, “In my dreams, I’m the one who gets to pull the trigger.” Beckett and Castle read crazy letters that people have sent to Bracken searching for one that matches the suspect’s handwriting. Beckett insists to Castle (Nathan Fillion) that this is like any other case. But it is quite an ethical dilemma. If she lets someone assassinate the senator, then he would finally pay for ordering the hit on her mother and numerous other people She finds a letter with handwriting that appears to match. Instead of pursuing the lead, she speaks to her therapist Worf (not his real name, but Michael Dorn will always be Worf) about the situation without going into details. He tells her the right choice is the one she can live with. She lights a match and prepares to burn the letter, but of course she is too moral to go through with it. She still hides it from the rest of the precinct until she sees the victim’s sister crying and feels guilty. But before she can say anything, another lead comes in. The police are able to identify the suspect as a Schizophrenic named McManus whose son died. When Beckett comes face to face with him, he flees. She fires a shot at him, but misses. She admits to Castle that she thinks she missed on purpose revealing that his leter accused Bracken of killing his son. She thinks he might be right. She worries that she wants him to kill Bracken. It turns out that McManus was building a bomb. Beckett realizes innocent people could be hurt and she must stop him. Fortunately, Ryan and Esposito find McManus.
Beckett Saves Her Enemy’s Life: Beckett interrogates McManus, saying she understands his rage, because she is one of Bracken’s victims, too. He refuses to say anything, The Feds find the bomb in a P.O Box. Bracken thinks that Beckett deliberately missed. Beckett shows Castle a photo of the C4 vest. It seems too professional. McManus didn’t have a cigarette lighter. She thinks he is being framed and that a real bomb will go off at the senator’s keynote address. Castle warns Beckett she has no evidence and stopping the speech could be career suicide. She calls for the hotel where he is speaking to be evacuated anyway. Bracken is furious. Becket tells him that she believes he was set up by someone he knows who has access to his letters. He thinks Beckett is deliberately destroying his career and he is going to take her to the review board. Beckett sees a man clicking his Zippo lighter. She chases after him as he is about to press a detonator. The senator’s car blows up, but Beckett has tackled Bracken, saving him. Bracken assumes a “kingmaker” paid his driver to kill him but won’t reveal who. He is now in her debt since she saved his life, saying, “It’s a dangerous life. You never know when you might need a friend.” In this week’s clip, (see above) Benjamin Moss, who runs a PAC is arrested after the FBI traces payments he made to the driver’s account. Beckett realizes that Bracken has now become a folk hero. This could get him elected president. She tells Castle, “He’ll slip up eventually, and when he does I’ll be ready.”
Watch Monday’s All-New Episode of “Castle”: