Castle “Hollander’s Woods” Review (Season 7 Episode 23)

PENNY JOHNSON JERALD, TAMALA JONES, MAYA STOJAN, SUSAN SULLIVAN, MOLLY QUINN, NATHAN FILLION, SEAMUS DEVER, STANA KATIC, JON HUERTAS

Considering all of the recent buzz and speculation surrounding the fate of Castle’s 8th season and whether or not lead star Stana Katic will return, the 7th season finale had somewhat of a happy ending. But the episode didn’t start out that way.

After seven long years of cases and back stories involving our favorite Castle characters, the show runners brought us back in time to see one of the biggest life events for Castle that motivated him to become a mystery writer.

The Case

Beckett and Castle are called in to investigate the death of a woman by the name of Emma, who was struck and killed by a truck after being chased through the woods. The strange part – she has crosses carved onto her face – something Castle has seen before.

The Mystery

Flashing back in time, we see Castle at age 11, playing in a dark and scary looking New Hampshire forest, Hollander’s Woods. He stumbles upon a dead body with an “x” carved into a women’s cheeks. Suddenly, he is pushed up against a tree by a masked man donning a hood. The guy warns Castle never to say anything or he will kill him. The whole scene is scary and spine tingling.

The Suspect

The first suspect in the case is a mentally unstable man by the name of Noah. Unfortunately, he isn’t the murderer and Kate and Castle must keep digging, but not for long. After talking to Noah’s Doctor, Castle is sure there is something eerie and suspect about this guy. He knows that voice, and it turns out it was from when he was 11 years old, playing in those woods – the masked man!

Rick pursues his inclination that Dr. Holtzman is the murderer with the secret help of Beckett, who can’t help thanks to a lack of evidence. In the end, Rick comes face to face with the crazy doctor, who in a struggle he shoots to save his own life.

Kate’s Future
While all of this was going down, Kate was faced with some challenges of her own involving her future as a detective. After passing her captain’s exam with flying colors, Beckett is being courted from an entirely different position – one on the New York State Senate. Yes, it looks like Katic may be staying as the show’s writers take us on a new adventure in season 8!