'Castle' post-mortem: Stana Katic on the reappearance of [spoiler]!

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Image Credit: Colleen Hayes/ABC

He’s baaaaaaaaack. Well, sort of.

The presence of Castle‘s resident bad guy Sen. Bracken (Jack Coleman) was felt throughout Monday night’s episode, but the politician wasn’t exactly seen.

You see, after Beckett (Stana Katic) went undercover to infiltrate a very powerful (and apparently high-paying) drug cartel, she found herself in the perfect position to go after the organizations big boss, Lazarus. After setting up a meeting with him — and proving herself in order to be deemed worthy of the meeting — she found herself face-to-face with Vulcan Simmons (Keith David), the man once accused of murdering her mother. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a happy reunion.

A brief (and terrifying) session of water torture later, she was out in the woods with one of Simmons’ hired assassins about to be killed. Then, a surprise: the assassin spared her life. Why? Because Lazarus — the real one —  ordered it.

So who was the real Lazarus? There was no evidence that would hold up in court, but Beckett had loose connections that proved it was Sen. Bracken, who, as you’ll recall, owed her a favor for saving his life. With their score now even, in normal circumstances, Beckett would be in big danger — but there’s a new factor also in play. Beckett pieced together (again, in a way that would not hold up on court) that Bracken had been laundering money into an organization to fund his run for the presidency. Yes, Bracken is running for president. And. This. Changes. Everything.

“All that means is that Beckett as a threat to him is bigger than before, and he’s going to try to take care of it,” says Katic, who says she was happy to see the Sen. Bracken storyline revisited. “I think that the stakes are much larger for the Bracken character, which makes him a greater threat. It’s a different game at this point. “

Following the reveal, however, fans shouldn’t expect to see Beckett go off the deep end in search of bringing down Bracken. While that may have been her reaction at one time, Katic says Beckett has “evolved.” “She was initially reactive. It was an emotional trigger for her to [revisit] that part of her history. And at this point, she’s evolved into a more lethal weapon. She is a character who is able to receive the information and assess in a less emotional, more responsive way and in a more Zen-like manner, which makes her a viper, I think,” she says. “The triggers aren’t there anymore. She can assess the situation. She can keep herself protected and get the bad guy. And I think that that’s a really interesting character evolution.”

Also notable in the nail-biting episode was the scene in which Beckett wrote a heartfelt letter to Castle, and hid it for him to find in case she didn’t make it out of the dangerous mission alive. “What’s nice about that scene and the love story in this episode is that we get an insight into the inner monologue that goes on inside Beckett,” says Katic. “We don’t often get to have those private conversations with Beckett…and in this episode, we get a chance to see how deep that love is for him.” Katic saw the scene as a nice callback to the character’s infamous “one and done” line from earlier in the series. “You know, this is it for her. She’s found the love of her life and when a character faces their own mortality, they want to make sure that everything is taken care of and the people they love the most know it,” says Katic. “You see that in that scene. It’s nice the way they laid that out.”

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