The "Castle" Season 5 premiere episode, "After the Storm," was filled with unexpected outcomes. It exceeded expectations in every sense, especially after a somewhat disappointing Season 4 (except for the finale). The final scene last season was the cliffhanger of the series, as Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) finally decided to take the plunge and sleep together.
The secret relationship
The opening scenes did not disappoint. Castle first wakes to find that Beckett is not there after all. Oh no! Was it all a dream? Is this all going to be a big waste of time, once again? No, they wouldn't do that to us after all this anticipation! Beckett walks in with coffee, ruffled hair, and a look of complete satisfaction. Sigh of relief, we can all relax now. The most anticipated moment of the series did not go to waste.
The beginning scenes also gave us our first humorous moment of the episode, as Castle's mother and daughter can be heard at the front door while Castle and Beckett are in bed together. Castle completely freaks out, forcing an unwilling Beckett to hide just as his mother walks in.
When the roles are reversed, Beckett freaks out, too, when Ryan (Seamus Dever) comes over to her place while Castle and Beckett are talking, and she pleads with Castle to hide. This time Castle refuses, since he is fully dressed. The writers, directors, and actors captured these moments perfectly. The two characters reactions were surprisingly realistic for such a humorous, almost sitcom-style circumstance.
The hunt for the protector
Ryan gets Beckett involved in her mother's case again, after causing her to quit her job by exposing her involvement in the first place. Perhaps he is trying to get back in her good graces, except for the fact that he nearly turns her in again later in the episode! That man is a walking contradiction.
Beckett, at first reluctant to get involved, dives in head first after some coaxing from Castle. Castle and Beckett realize that Mr. Smith (Geoff Pierson), Beckett's protector, is in great danger, and they need to find him. As they get to work, it's amazing to realize that Castle and Beckett have the same relationship they have always had. Fans will be happy to see that the relationship has not changed one bit, other than the fact that it's now gotten physical.
The hunt for closure
Castle and Beckett finally locate Mr. Smith but are nearly too late. Luckily, they receive a clue as to where the file that Beckett needs to protect herself is hidden. Maddox (Tahmoh Penikett) follows them and gets to the file first, but Smith has left a bomb that is tripped as he lifts the file, blowing away the evil Maddox.
The team pieces together enough fragments from the ripped-apart file to figure out who is behind the entire plot from a bank account number, but Smith is mysteriously murdered (supposedly) while in the hospital. The file is ripped to shreds except for one number, and Beckett is left completely unprotected with no file to serve as proof.
The dissatisfying closure with caveats
The ending was completely unexpected, and everything a fan could hope for. It was also disappointing in the sense that Beckett does not get the kind of closure she wanted. It turns out that a senator, who is planning to run for president, is cleaning house by having everyone who has any type of dirt on him killed. That included Beckett's mother and now Beckett.
With almost nothing to go on, Beckett is able to threaten Senator Bracken with the one sliver of evidence they gleaned from the file: the bank account number. She doesn't get her revenge kill, or even complete safety from harm, but she is able to transfer Smith's deal with the senator to herself: hurt me or anyone I care about, I release the file.