Castle: The Time of Our Lives begins with a courier, with a silver briefcase handcuffed to his wrist, getting ambushed and murdered, along with his driver, and has his hand removed so the culprits can steal the case. Rick and Kate are in the kitchen discussing the fact that he cannot sleep and what their lives would be like if they had never met. This little exchange, where Martha comes in trying to decide whether she needs to audition for a Stoppard play, sets up the tone for the rest of the show.
Kate and Rick are called to the courier crime scene and Castle notices that the handless victim has coal dust on his shirt and he tells Beckett that there is a location on the “way home” that has a lot of coal dust in it. The two go and find not only the briefcase but an Incan artifact which the writer immediately picks up and sets off an alarm. The bad guys show up and while exchanging shots with Beckett, toss a stun grenade towards the detective and Rick. He lunges through a door and when he opens his eyes everything has changed.
Castle walks out into the area of the shootout and finds Kate, the briefcase, the bad guys, and most importantly the Incan artifact, gone. The writer rushes to the precinct to get help for Kate and once there he learns that Beckett has no idea who he is. After talking about the case he was just on with Kate, the writer gets arrested and has to call Martha to get him out. Things get stranger for Rick when he learns that his mother is a successful star, on Broadway, and that she shares his home and pays half his mortgage. He also learns that he and Alexis are basically estranged.
Richard decides to research parallel universes, based on a comment made by Alexis, and he finds the artifact along with “testimony” by people who claim to have been transported to an alternate reality after touching it on the Internet. In Castle: The Time of Our Lives the writer decides he has to get back home to his world and convince the Kate in this dimension to help him. During the course of the show, Rick mends fences between this version of himself and Alexis and tries to help Ryan and Esposito, as well as Beckett.
He figures out what caused the artifact to move him into this reality, while holding the Incan item, he was thinking that Kate would have been better off if they had never met. Later, he explains to Beckett that he is basing his latest character on her and she wants to know just how Castle knows so much about the crime scene. As Ryan comes into relate the specifics of what was in the stolen briefcase, Rick reveals just how much he knows and helps the detectives. He also learns that in this world Esposito does not trust him or like him.
Learning more about where the crime took place, Ryan and Esposito go to check out their lead and Castle is allowed to tag along. On the ride there Rick learns that in this world Jenny and Ryan never got together. Once the three arrive, Rick is told to stay in the car and Esposito tells the writer, just as Kate did when they first met, that if he gets out of the car he will shoot him. Castle ignores the command to stay and finds the “artifact.”
He learns that the one he found is a fake. He also learns that in this reality Kate Beckett is a closet Castle fan. Listening to Ryan and Javier questioning the suspect Rick is caught by Kate and thrown in a cell. Martha refuses to bail him out and Beckett lets him go. She tells him that the two of them did meet before when she stood in line to get an autograph. The detective asks Rick why he killed off Derek Storm and Ryan comes in with the latest information in the case.
Castle asks Kate if she will come with him for a drink that he will tell her why he killed off Storm. He finds out that in this world, she never solved her mother’s case and Kate realizes that Rick brought her to the bar where their suspect may be. She finds him and arrests the tattooed man. At the police station, Beckett tells Rick that the case is solved, while the suspect’s lawyer listens with interest, and Kate tells Castle to leave.
At home Rick mends the rift between him and Alexis. The next day, the writer has an epiphany that he and Kate should be together. On his way to the station Rick is kidnapped by the men who stole the artifact and it turns out that the villain has worked out that Castle is in the wrong world because of the artifact and he wants Rick to tell him how it works. Beckett shows up and after a brief shootout, Rick gets the artifact back and leaps in front of Kate to keep her from getting shot. As he dies, Rick comes back to “my you.”
Now back in his world, he finds out that the bad guys are the same people, he tells Kate what she was like in the parallel world and he then asks Beckett to marry him again, “right now.” Kate agrees and they get married. In Castle: The Time of Our Lives featured different dimensions, other realities and the fact that in either world Richard loves Kate and vice versa. During the ceremony, the two exchange some heartfelt vows that will cause many a fan to shed a tear or two and the meaning of the episode’s title is revealed. It is finally Caskett time and next week the two will be on their honeymoon. Long live Caskett.
By Michael Smith