Castle Recap: “The Human Factor”

By May 8, 2013

A drone strike on American soil, a dead activist, and stone-walling by the government? Time to call in the big guns! Carlos Bernard, 24’s own Tony Almeida, guest stars as Jared Stack, special investigator from the Attorney General’s office.

Something’s wrong when the NYPD detectives are thrown out of their own crime scene. After a car explodes, the FBI comes in, sending away CSU and threatening Beckett and Castle with obstruction of justice. What little evidence CSU managed to collect leads to a disturbing realization: a military drone destroyed the car, killing the anti-government activist inside.

The military agrees to take a meeting with Castle and Beckett…only to take the opportunity to find out where the evidence is and seize it. Their only hope is the victim’s assistant–but he bails when he realizes he’s being followed by Stack. Beckett arrests Stack, then strikes a deal with the Attorney General; she’ll release his employee in exchange for cooperation on the case. They listen to the drone pilot’s frantic call to HQ; the missile was being controlled by outside forces.

Beckett and Castle track down a lead: Warburg, infamous drone creator and hacker…the only person capable of hacking into a drone. On his remote property, a drone fires at the pair; they shoot it down, only to discover it had been firing blanks–a deterrent against trespassers. Inside, Warburg confesses to killing Dale Tanner…but he doesn’t mean he pulled the trigger. Rather, he designed the drones that were used in the attack.

It turns out that Warburg was trying to help Tanner in his quest to take down the drones. He’d given him a flash drive, containing the codes to hack into the system, and was hoping to put them on the open market, effectively killing the entire program. Turner backed out, but it was too late; someone had already copied the drive.

Was it Tanner’s assistant, now making an attempt to flee the country? Not so fast. His escape attempt was out of fear–not of being caught, but of being killed by the same people who murdered his boss. He didn’t copy the USB…but there was one other person who could have: Dale’s son. Angered by his affair, Sean stole the hack and used the drone to take out his father.

The case is solved, and Stack’s ready to head back to DC…but not before making an offer to Kate. There’s a job opening at the Attorney General’s office, and he thinks she’d be perfect for it. She agrees to think about it, but doesn’t tell Castle.

Given that the core of the show is the dynamic between the pair–and their job at the NYPD–it’s hard to believe that Kate Beckett will really leave. Still, it looks like a wrench will be thrown into Caskett’s relationship as she considers it in the season finale next week.