Castle Season 6 Review “In the Belly of the Beast”

Castle Season 6 Episode 17 In the Belly of the Beast (2)

On a decidedly tense episode of “Castle,” Castle himself took a backseat to Beckett in this journey “In the Belly of the Beast.” Not unlike the episode earlier this season that referenced the “3XK” Killer, this was an episode that you didn’t realize was canonical until it was revealed late in the game. In this case, it proved to be related to the death of Beckett’s mother, albeit somewhat tangentially.

Basically, it was an undercover episode, in which Beckett, equipped with the ability to speak Russian, a rare commodity in the area, apparently, was tasked with impersonating a woman scheduled to meet with her higher-ups for the first time. The people in question were involved with a shadowy drug syndicate known as the Ring, though what it actually reminded me of wasn’t an Asian horror movie franchise but rather “The Wire,” in that the methods used were super-complex and hyper-intelligent. Or super-paranoid and hyper-risk aversive, if you prefer.

Whatever the case, it was an “in” for the task force looking to bust the Ring, and they weren’t about to let it slip through their fingers. Enter Beckett, who, in true “Clerks”-style, “wasn’t even supposed to be there today.” Nonetheless, she volunteered for the job on her day off, and at the expense of a love-fest with Castle at that. Should have stayed home, sweetie, because things did not go well, to say the least.

First, she ended up getting kidnapped by that guy from “The Shield” (Kenny Johnson) then she was taken to what looked like David Lynch’s house crossed with Scarface’s. Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, it turned out the woman she was impersonating wasn’t a courier for drugs at all, but an assassin- and one who had escaped from the hospital after a supposed attempted “suicide” and was en route to reclaim her job. Quick thinking on Beckett’s part got her out of killing her assigned target, only to be busted on sight by who she thought was the mysterious Ring-leader (literally, in this case), but was actually one of the guys she accused of killing her mother, Vulcan Simmons. Awkward!

In the end, it nearly got her killed, and I must say, even though I knew deep down they were never going to kill Beckett like this, it didn’t seem like a pretty inescapable situation on her end. Granted, they pulled the typical bad guy move of torturing her, then telling someone to take her out to the woods and kill her, so you knew something was going to happen, likely that Beckett would pull out some dope martial arts moves and get the better of “The Shield” guy. Instead, the Russian assassin showed up out of the blue and killed him and let Beckett go! That was unexpected, I must say.

Ah, but there was a method to the madness, as the real Ring-leader, aka “Lazarus” was almost certainly the nefarious Senator Bracken (Jack Coleman, late of “Heroes”), who you might recall Beckett saved the life of once upon a time, only to later discover his involvement with her mother’s death. Whoops! Well, apparently Bracken’s not the type to be in debt to people, because he repaid the favor by letting Beckett off the hook, which makes them even, Steven. (Or should I say, Dos vedanya, Stana!)

This was a great, intense episode with some nifty twists and turns, and some definitely unexpected developments throughout. Granted, like I said, I didn’t really expect them to take out Beckett, but things certainly got pretty nasty in that basement. How freaky was that scene before that, where there was an endless line of money counters, made up of scantily-clad women, which reminded me of yet another source, the movie “Blow.”

Yes, there were admittedly a lot of borrowed ideas here, but the way they were put together was neat, and Beckett was undeniably bad-ass through most of the episode, even when she was a bit on the terrified side. (The ketchup and beet juice “blood” mix was certainly inspired!) I also have a fondness for sexy Russian assassins, so Elena was right up my alley, and I hope to see her crop up again. Hopefully, Beckett will stay on her good side in the future, though.

What did you think of “Castle” this week? Did you like the whole “Ring” gambit? What did you make of the whole “Lazarus” thing? Do you agree with Beckett’s assessment that it was Senator Bracken, or was that a ruse? Did you get a kick out of Beckett speaking Russian? How about those swanky digs? Sound off on this and more down below and see you next time!