There are two points of note for the Castle episode “Number One Fan:”
One, the episode opens with a young woman fleeing her apartment, the police hot on her trail, and a man lying dead on her living room floor. She escapes out a window and holds up at a dentist’s office locking the door and holding them hostage – setting up the rest of the episode.
Second, Kate Beckett is not taking unemployment well. How many times has she told Castle him staring at her is creepy?
Well, she returns the favor by staring at him while he sleeps, then begins calling his name to wake him up. She quickly answers the question on everyone’s mind – with Beckett fired, when is she coming back to the 12th as a detective? According to Beckett, not anytime soon since the commissioner has enacted a hiring freeze, so Beckett is out of a job for the first time since she was 15. She is completely lost on what to do next.
Beckett’s job options: Mall cop (hey Castle thinks she would look great on a segway), she could just sleep in and wait for the phone to ring (works for Castle but not so much for Beckett), or option three – Castle informs her she is with him now and doesn’t have to work. Beckett really isn’t looking to turn Castle into her sugar daddy.
The sugar daddy comment was very subtle. It really shows the difference between Castle’s relationship with Beckett and with the other women he has either married or dated. All the other love interests in his life have wanted something financially from him, but all Beckett wants and needs is his love and commitment. Third time really does seem to be the charm for Castle.
As Beckett wallows in job woes, she does so in a full house – literally. As Castle and Beckett discuss her job situation they are interrupted by Pi – dressed only in a towel and wanting to borrow one of Castle’s razors. Beckett is wondering why Pi is still sleeping on Castle’s couch and so is Castle.
As an audience we are also wondering why Pi is still in the loft. When is Castle going to kick this freeloader out of his house?
The open door to Castle’s bedroom, thanks to Pi, allows Martha to come in bearing two cups of coffee and informing Castle and Beckett she will be doing one of her classes from her acting class in the living room. Audiences may miss it but watch Beckett when she takes a sip of the coffee Martha offered – Beckett is not a fan, she quickly spits it back in the cup and lays it on the bedside table.
Alexis joins everyone else in Castle’s bedroom and wonders if there is a house meeting – Beckett and Castle both say no at the same time. Alexis says Captain Gates is on the phone, but hold on Beckett she doesn’t want you, she wants Castle.
The young woman at the beginning of the episode, Emma Riggs, will not negotiate with anyone but Richard Castle. Gates thanks Castle for coming and apologizing to Beckett for not being able to hire her back and then introduces them to the hostage negotiator.
Castle calls up the young woman, Emma Riggs, but she doesn’t believe it is him – after a few rounds of Richard Castle trivia she believes it is him. Just trying to help in the situation, Castle inadvertently opens himself up to coming in to see Emma after she agrees to let a young girl and her mother go.
Beckett is helping Castle put his “Writer” vest as he gets last minute instructions. It is worth mentioning how she lovingly helps put on his vest and then strokes her hand across the word on the back. The hostage negotiator wants Castle to think of a safe word and Beckett says Castle likes cheeseburgers, when it was suggested he use a favorite food, so that word is chosen.
Before Castle enters the hostage situation Beckett informs Castle that she expects to spend the rest of her life with him so he better not do anything stupid. As Castle walks into the building, where Emma is holding the hostages, Beckett spins her engagement ring around her finger – yes this is the first time we see Beckett wearing her engagement ring on her finger since the season finale.
Emma goes over her tale to Castle – she wakes up this morning to discover her boyfriend, Angelo, dead on the floor. She panics and leaves her apartment – she has asked for Castle because all of the murder cases he has solved with Beckett and she doesn’t trust cops.
Beckett is allowed to assist in the investigation meeting Ryan, Esposito and Lanie at Emma’s apartment. Lanie wants to know why Beckett is there and not picking out a wedding venue. Beckett imparts another piece of news for her friends and the fandom – she and Castle have not chosen a wedding date and are just enjoying their engagement.
From here the investigation swings into high gear. Is Emma telling the truth? Is she really just a psycho – after they find anti-psychotic meds in her apartment?
Twists and turns abound and once again, Castle’s “look for the story” pays off. Emma’s boyfriend was not cheating, when he was making mysterious visits up state, he was looking to obtain Emma’s sealed foster records which has the name of her birth parents –it was to be his birthday present to her, the name of her real parents.
An overzealous hostage had been plotting his attempt to overpower Emma throughout the episode and just as Castle puts all the pieces together of the case the guy strikes. As the trio struggle for the gun, Castle is shot. This sends the police outside into action and Beckett rushing in to check on her man.
Castle turns out to be fine and is even excited the bullet dotted the “I” on his writer vest.
The case wraps up when the information leads to Emma’s unsealed juvenile records and in turn adoption records stolen by Emma’s boyfriend for which he was murdered – but the killer couldn’t find them (Angelo had wrapped them as a birthday present for Emma). Turns out Emma is the illegitimate daughter of real estate mogul Aaron Stokes.
Is Stokes the killer? Captain Gates doesn’t want Esposito and Ryan to commit career suicide by interrogating Stokes because he is golfing buddies with the commissioner. Beckett says she will go with Gates since she doesn’t have a career to jeopardize.
In the course of interrogating Stokes both Gates and Beckett realize Stokes is not the killer. He regretted giving away his daughter – the product of an affair while married. In the end it is revealed Stokes’ son-in-law is the killer – he knew Stokes was going to transfer the bulk of his fortune to his daughter – thus the son-in-law would benefit as well. An illegitimate daughter would cut seriously into what would be dispensed.
Stokes meets his daughter Emma and then goes to thank Gates and Beckett on how they handled the case. He calls Beckett detective and she says she isn’t a detective anymore. Gates adds she should be, but Stokes’ golfing buddy, the commissioner, has sliced the budget and she can’t hire her back.
Beckett joins Castle, Ryan and Esposito just as Castle admits he may have his writer vest framed as the bullet is still lodged in there. Esposito notes it was great working with Beckett again and that is the opening Beckett needs – she holds up her badge and says that is good because “I’m back.”
Ryan announces “Beckett is back” which brings about a round of applause from the precinct. Castle is so happy for Beckett but then he wonders if he is back too? Yes, he can consult – and the commissioner is aware of their engagement. Gates states if they remain professional at the precinct all will be well – it is her engagement present to them.
Castle leans into kiss Beckett to seal the deal of her return to work – but pulls back. PDA in the workplace – he isn’t starting their return on the wrong foot. Beckett reminds him she doesn’t officially return until the next day and so they kiss to end the episode.
One other note for this episode – it is apparent the writers and producers have listened to the fandom and their displeasure about the end of season five. It seemed at times Castle and Beckett weren’t even a couple in season five – that has changed in season six. Every episode has referenced their engagement and three of the first four episodes had at least one Castle and Beckett kiss. It reflects Castle and Beckett’s commitment to each other and the writers and producers’ commitment to the fans.