Ryan Roars in ‘Kick the Ballistics’

Posted on October 15, 2011


Ryan finds himself in a fix this week when his missing gun is linked to the murder of a young girl.

While investigating the mysterious shooting death of a young woman, Castle and Beckett face a cop’s worst nightmare when they discover that the gun used in the killing is Det. Ryan’s old service weapon – the one that was stolen by the serial killer, 3XK. Now with the clock ticking, the team must work to solve the murder, track down 3XK and retrieve Ryan’s gun before the killer strikes again. (Synopsis from IMDB)

Seamus Dever, I don’t know if you have any Irish blood or if you’re just playing the part but I feel qualified to give honorary citizenship after the performance put in for this episode.


For probably the first time in the series the heat has been taken properly off Beckett and Castle somewhat, such to the extent that when Castle did figure out the connection between the Li family, you were kind of taken aback by the fact that he was still there. I found his decision to comb the files rather than go with Beckett or Esposito quite unusual but a nice touch. Either Castle really wanted to help Ryan or he was a little apprehensive about possible running into 3XK again. Either way, it was nicely played and also a good way of removing Fillion from the team for a little while.


The episode belonged to Seamus Dever though, no question. You could see the anguish, the anger and the torment in his face at every turn. When he talks to Finn McQueen in the cells, he’s just stunning – it reminded me of Al Pacino the way he used his hands and the inflections in his voice, it was just brilliant. He hasn’t had the chance to really show it before on Castle but he’s a very emotive actor and this scene, for me was the best in the episode.


And speaking of Finn McQueen, Billy Lush was one of the best supporting characters yet in the series. His breakdown under Ryan’s scrutinising is equally impressive from the tiny spark of recognition, through the beginning of loss of control and into the tears for his ex-girlfriend. He was excellent.


So 3XK really didn’t have lot to do with this episode except to supply the gun for our eventual killer. The end of this episode was really well executed. The confrontation with Philip Li worked really well as did the aftermath of his shooting of his brother.


The final scene between Ryan and Ben is great and warm. Ryan has gotten some peace in that he at least managed to save Ben’s life in everything that happened.


This episode was a welcome break from the first three Castle-Beckett heavy episodes and it was good to show that our other characters have just as much going on. It would have been so easy to make this episode a 3XK episode and make Castle’s interaction with him the focal point. But I think Marlowe did the right thing in touching on the “cop thing” that Beckett mentioned.


Ryan deserved to shine. And shine, he certainly did.


Caskett Watch:


Sparse enough tonight although there was the conversation at the start where Beckett, (like St Peter!) denied knowledge of the shooting for the second time. I wonder will we hear a cock crowing when she denies it a third time. Perhaps it will coincide with the entrance of next week’s romantic interest for Castle.


For me though, there was a very definite moment at the end when Beckett commends him for “thinking like a real cop”. To me, I read pride on her face. She’s proud of the integrity he’s showing. Castle from two years ago would have pushed for the deal in return for what could possibly have been bad information. It shows how much he’s grown. It’s quite obvious that Beckett sees that too. It also acts as Castle’s vindication in the episode. At the beginning he tells Martha how he thinks he’s just been play-acting. The significance of that comment gets lost a little as Ryan takes over but on second viewing, you can see the nice way that his insecurity gets closure. It fits too because for large parts of this episode, Castle looked uncomfortable in the precinct. It was subtly but very well done.


 Bromancing the Stone:


Oh there’s a whole separate post on this one but there’s a clear winner in Ryan and Esposito’s horrendous attempt to be teenagers. Jon Huertas is brilliantly over-the-top and also about two, if not three decades old in terms of fashion! Castle’s sneaky photo of them afterwards should come back to haunt them. I also like their response to Beckett telling them they took a hell of a chance.


Esposito got the line that said it all though, “Wherever you’re going, I’m going with you.” Perfect.



Line of the Night:


This week, the line belongs to Ryan, as did the episode. Standing over his principles, Ryan lashes out at the Captain when she effectively says they can’t investigate the case.


“So, what? We just write the name of Jane’s killer in a file and let them walk free? That makes us clerks, not cops!”


~ Follow me on Twitter at @ahayzer42