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‘Castle’ Season 7 Episode 17 Recap: “Hong Kong Hustle”

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The time has finally come on Castle for Kate Beckett to look at her life and see where she is and where she wants to go. After the opening of the episode sets up the murder of the week, a man murdered in the park, the next scene is some home life for Beckett and her husband Richard Castle.

Beckett is looking at an article about a police academy friend who has just been named the captain of a precinct. She laments to Castle that she thought she might be further in her career or at least leading her own team. This life assessment from Beckett sets up the underline theme of the episode. Where is Beckett in her life and where does she want to be?

As Beckett, Castle, Esposito and Ryan look into the murder case of the victim, Henry, it leads Ryan and Esposito to Henry’s apartment. It is there that the two men get their guns taken away from them from a very skilled woman who tells them she is part of a Chinese/American task force. At the precinct, they learn the woman is telling the truth and she is looking into Henry’s murder. Henry was a childhood friend of the woman, Zhang, and she is asked to help in the investigation.

To Castle’s chagrin Beckett begins to compare herself to the Hong Kong super cop and, at times, Beckett finds herself lacking. Beckett tells Castle about Zhang’s seemingly perfect life with her movie star husband and two perfect kids. Castle tells Beckett she has “Patterson Syndrome,” a phrase he coined to describe himself whenever he feels envious of author James Patterson; every time Castle writes one bestseller, Patterson ends up writing six.

In the end, after following all the evidence, Beckett, Zhang, Castle and the boys find out a young waitress in a Chinese restaurant killed Henry. Henry did some dealings with the Chinese restaurant owner Mimi Tang, where he frequented, to plant some drugs on a developer that would send him to jail. Tang said she would release the woman Henry loved from servitude if he did this. The woman Henry loved couldn’t bare being left behind so she killed Henry.

Beckett also finds out Zhang’s life isn’t so perfect. Zhang is separated from her husband and she never really has time for her kids. So, the grass is not always greener on the other side.

All of this does get Beckett thinking and she closes out the episode typing up a list of goals on her laptop. She decides that whatever is next for her, she never wants to compromise her priorities or neglect what matters most. “You cannot leave behind what is always at your side,” Castle informs her. Beckett smiles and climbs on top of Castle, claiming he is so much better then Patterson as the episode ends.

Will this epiphany of life goals lead Beckett to pursue the rank of Captain like her literary counterpart Nikki Heat? Or will her goals hit closer to home, with her deciding she is happy with her life professionally, but maybe ready for motherhood?