Episode Report Card
DeAnn Welker: B+ | Grade It Now!
The Next Generation

Castle. Chuck, Sarah, Casey and Vivian are coming up with a game plan. Vivian fills them in on her daily routine, which they'll have to stick to exactly. But we jump forward, and Sarah's the one playing Vivian, with a short red bob wig and riding gear. Vivian tells her that, since the details should be right, she should take her necklace. She puts it on. Vivian worries about Sarah, but Chuck assures her she's been doing this for years, plus Casey's going to be watching. Sarah rides off into the woods (I guess part of Vivian's routine?), where she's eventually spotted by Backseat Driver, who tells his own guys (and there are a bunch of 'em) that it's time. They start to surround her, but she's not aware yet. She eventually hears a twig snap and radios to Casey that something's wrong and she's not to where he is yet. He says he'll come back to her, but Backseat Driver turns on some sort of high-pitched-sounding device that spooks the horse, which bucks her off. Casey is still on his way, but the horse takes off and ends up back at the stable with Chuck and Vivian.

Chuck radios to Casey and Sarah, and Casey answers and tells him to stay with Vivian. But she's all geared-up and ready to go. She jumps on the horse and tells Chuck she's not letting someone die for her; she's spent her whole life hiding, and that ends today. She reaches for him to get on the horse with her, and he's inspired: "Let's do this." In the woods, the bad guy checking out Sarah sees a blond lock of hair and radios to Backseat Driver that it's not Vivian. Backseat Driver tells him to kill her and find Vivian, but Casey kills the guy first. Sarah, groggy, tells Casey there's too many of them and Casey should get Chuck. Casey tells her to shut up; she knows he's not leaving her here. Meanwhile, Chuck and Vivian are being chased on horseback by what look like equestrian riders. Weird way for Backseat Driver's bad guys to dress, I think. She tries to outride them with her years of equestrian training, but Chuck says they're carrying too much weight. He tells her not to stop for anything, then flashes on a tree above them. So he jumps up and grabs the branch, then does some crazy gymnastics, including kicking the two bad guys off their horses and dismounting perfectly. He even nails the landing. Then he radios Casey and Sarah.

No one answers because Casey's busy shooting all the bad guys, one by one. He even aims at Chuck as he runs into the clearing, but recognizes him. Chuck runs to Sarah, who groggily asks where Vivian is. She's arriving back at the stables and radios Chuck, who tells her to stay right there; they're on their way. She's approached right away by Backseat Driver, who tells her to give him the key and he'll make her death painless. She says her father didn't give her a key, but he says Volkoff did, when she was young; a token of his affection. Like A NECKLACE, perhaps? (However, if Backseat Driver knows this much, why did he have to go on his killing spree to get here?) But she still looks confused and says she doesn't know. She says her father didn't want her involved in any of this, but Backseat Driver points out her skeet shooting, karate and economics lessons, all readying her for this day of succession. But Backseat Driver says Volkoff was wrong about her; he couldn't recognize that she's an indecisive, weak, little girl. She taps her horse in just the right spot and he jumps up. She pulls a hidden gun out of the saddle and shoots him. It's a shotgun, too, so it's not pretty. And not at all clear if this is a new thing for her, though she looks sufficiently shocked and there's no one there to even witness that. I'm going to believe she's been a good person, telling the truth, up to this point. Even if she is played by Supernatural's Bella.

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