The discovery of the body of a college student shot and left at a construction site becomes much more than a typical homicide when the ballistics comes back identifying Detective Kevin Ryan’s (Seamus Dever) gun as the murder weapon. This is the same weapon that was taken from him last year by the 3XK serial killer (Michael Mosley) before he escaped.
The search for 3XK is complicated by an undercover cop (Ross McCall), a forbidden love story, and an unexpected connection the victim had to the the local Godfather (François Chau) of the Chinese mob. As Beckett (Stana Katic), Ryan, and Esposito (Jon Huertas) run down leads Castle (Nathan Fillion) looks through prison records looking for a connection between the serial killer and the Chinese mob. What he finds puts an entirely new spin on the case.
Aside from some unexpected twists and turns, including two in the final five-minutes (the second of which gives the ending a happier, but less moving, ending), the episode is fueled almost entirely on raw emotion. It’s nice to see Dever get a larger role for an episode and show a different side to the normally happy-go-lucky Det. Ryan, and he makes the most of it.
The final twist bugs me more than a little (without which you’d have to seriously consider this as one of the show’s best episodes), but it’s really the only complaint I’ve got for a strong episode. The 3XK storyline also remains open but I’ve no doubt we’ll see more of this arc before the end of the season.