When the news broke this summer that Andrew Marlowe was stepping down as Castle showrunner, I can’t say that I was actually all that nervous. David Amann was already a Castle writer and I just had a lot of faith in the writing staff to protect Marlowe’s project, especially since 1. He’d still be around (he’s writing 7.02!) and 2. His wife still writes for the show. And after that premiere, I feel safe in my faith in the show going forward. Six plus seasons is a long time to keep things fresh—a typical procedural relies to cycling through “ripped from the headlines” cases and replacing the cast when necessary, not Castle. They somehow brought us fresh dynamics to fuel us throughout the season while keeping the characters the same.
The beginning of the episode was stunning. Kate in her beautiful dress reaching towards the flames, then getting doused in water as she waited for the confirmation that Castle wasn’t in the car. (I’ll forgive them for letting Kate stay that close to a car that could explode at any moment.) After the moment of despaired silence, the action kicks into gear as Kate does what she does best, look for clues. I loved the Sergeant who was so eager to help out, especially after Kate’s “he’s one of our own.” Castle has been granted this treatment before, but it’s always so great to hear. Esposito and Ryan are dashing detectives as they start the investigation still in their tuxes, doing whatever they can for two of their favorite people. Our team finds the SUV that ran Castle off the road, just as it’s being flattened—Beckett takes that to heart as she tackles the junkyard employee flat to the ground.