“Rise” picks up moments after last seasons cliffhanger as Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) is rushed to the hospital following her shooting. As she struggles for her life, and later recuperates in a self-imposed exile away from her friends, Castle (Nathan Fillion), Esposito (Jon Huertas), and Ryan (Seamus Dever) attempt to find the shooter and tie him back to the death of Kate’s mother and Captain Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Hudson).
For a single episode quite a bit of time passes including Kate’s recuperation, nearly all of which takes place off-camera except for a single, somewhat grueling, scene between Beckett and Castle in the hospital (although not as emotionally charged as the hospital scene which opens the episode). Castle gives Kate her space, and it takes her three months to get the courage to ask him for help once again. Their reunion is pure Castle at a book signing and then later at an abandoned park as Katic adds yet more adorable scenes to her reel.
The show includes a mystery of the week that is mostly handled by Esposito and Ryan, although Castle’s influence of looking beyond the obvious facts do lead the pair (with the eventual help of Beckett and Castle) to find the real murderer. We also meet the precinct’s new captain (Penny Johnson) whose far less impressed with Castle’s involvement in homicide cases than her predecessor, as well as an appearance by a Star Trek: The Next Generation alum as Beckett’s psychiatrist.
The real crux of the story is the Castle/Beckett relationship that’s fractured by her injury and prolonged disappearance, but slowly rebuilt over the course of the episode. We also learn Kate’s amnesia about the attack is more convenient than she initially let on. Throw in a cryptic phone call and Castle’s need to keep Beckett out of her mother’s case for her own safety, and you’ve got the makings of not only a good episode but a solid opener for another great season.