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'Castle' season 7 premiere recap: Where in the world is Richard Castle?

Season 7 | Episode 1 | “Driven” | Aired Sept 29, 2014

A wedding day in the Castle universe is nothing without a little blood, some sweat, and a giant water hose spewing all over a blazing car fire.

The season 7 premiere picks up right where the finale left off in May: Beckett received a call alerting her to Castle’s wrecked car, which is being hosed down because it’s in flames. From there we embark on a clue-by-clue hunt to find Castle, which begins with Beckett, Esposito, and Ryan hitting up a local junkyard to try and get a hand on the Escalade that was used in Castle’s abduction.

The car is crushed before the crew can get to it, leading them to a small-time crook, who was ordered by Castle’s old acquaintance (and notorious New Jersey mobster) Vinny Cardano to make the vehicle disappear.

Vinny informs Beckett’s team he was paid a hefty sum of $10,000 for the car-crushing. But the story takes a turn for the weird when security footage reveals Castle himself dropped off the money for Vinny, who claims he had no idea Castle was involved in any way.

But it gets even weirder from there: When the FBI gets involved (ugh, pesky FBI), it’s revealed that the money Castle dropped for Vinny wasn’t just any money—it’s the same money he withdrew days prior for his and Beckett’s honeymoon. Which means (it seems), Castle knowingly withdrew those funds to pay for whatever it is he got himself mixed up in.

The trail seems to hit a dead end, when a classic Castle montage tells us that two months—TWO MONTHS—have passed with no sign of Castle. As far as Beckett’s concerned, she is never going to see her fiancé again. (But you and I both know that if there’s anyone who would never give up on Castle, it’s Beckett.)

Cut to a small dinghy floating adrift at sea. Its only contents? An unconscious Castle, of course.

Castle is rescued and taken to a local hospital, where Beckett & Co. eagerly await answers. As Castle remains unconscious, Beckett is still hot on the trail of just what in the hell happened to him. When they find the area from which Castle must have departed on the dinghy, they find a tent and plenty of evidence that Castle was there—and a man named Henry Jenkins claiming to be a witness—but nothing pointing them in the direction of an actual explanation.

So when Castle finally wakes up, Beckett is hopeful he holds the answers. But upon waking up, Castle has no recollection of any of it. The only thing he remembers is the car crash and waking up in the hospital. AMNESIA! Excellent.

Castle doesn’t remember anything after the crash—dropping off the money, getting shot (yes, he was shot), where’s he’s been, or being adrift at sea. Beckett must not only grapple with the fact that Castle may have been involved in something secretive and seedy and possibly faked his own abduction to escape his life (yeah right!), but the fact that the love of her life can’t remember anything from the past two months.

When Castle and Beckett venture back to the site of the evidence to speak with Henry Jenkins—DUN DUN DUN—the real Henry Jenkins tells them he hasn’t been home in months, which means the man Beckett spoke with was an impostor. AN IMPOSTOR!

So who is the fake Henry Jenkins? Why was Castle abducted? The preview for next week’s episode teased an unidentified voice on Castle’s phone asking him if he’s ready “to hear the truth.” I’m very curious to see the mystery of Castle’s disappearance unfold over the rest of the season.

Oh, and by the way:

  • Welcome! I’ll be recapping Castle this season here on the EW Community. Glad to have all you Caskett fans here with me.
  • The look on Beckett’s face when Esposito brings her coffee like Castle always does make my heart hurt.
  • I know it is easy to jump to conclusions, and we all know Beckett has done that many times when Castle has been concerned (when 3XK made it appear he did bad things by hiring a double, for example), but just once I would like Beckett to not immediately jump to being angry and skeptical of Castle. She’s marrying him, and even though the evidence may seem damning, give him a little more credit! He has done nothing but prove his loyalty and love to you over the last six years. I’m sure there’s an explanation. (Maybe she should get that on a shirt.)
  • Fake Henry Jenkins is played by Scandal‘s Matt Letscher, who is pretty much excellent in everything he does. Looking forward to seeing more of him!
  • Should we start taking bets on how long it will take to actually get these two kids married? My bet is on the Christmas special, mainly because if they make me wait until the season finale next May, SO HELP ME …

Get more of Brandi’s take on all things entertainment over at ReelSnarky.com!

 Castle, rated TV-PG, airs Mondays at 10/9C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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