|In the Belly of the Beast|
|Season 6, Episode 17|
|Air date||March 3, 2014|
|Written by||Andrew W. Marlowe and David Amann|
|Directed by||Rob Bowman|
Beckett is recruited to assist on a Narcotics investigation, but a routine mission turns deadly when an undercover operation goes array. To survive, Beckett must engage in a battle of wits against some of the most dangerous men in the New York underworld – including a powerful enemy from her past.
- Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle
- Stana Katic as Det. Kate Beckett
- Jon Huertas as Det.Javier Esposito
- Seamus Dever as Det. Kevin Ryan
- Tamala Jones as Dr. Lanie Parish (credit only)
- Penny Johnson Jerald as Captain Victoria Gates
- Molly C. Quinn as Alexis Castle (credit only)
- Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers
- Carlo Gomez as Captain Fowler
- Jonathan Adams as Vulcan Simmons
- Jack Coleman as William Bracken
- Al Sapienza as Mr. Jones
- Kenny Johnson as Harden
- Daniel Hugh Kelly as Evan Potter
- Maya Stojan as Tory Ellis
- Britt Rentschler as Elena Markov
- Regi Davis as Dr. Bailey
- Meg Cionni as Tessa
- Stephanie Escajeda as Tourist
- JJ Snyder as Anchor
- Beckett's fluency in Russian was a plot point in Deep in Death and was mentioned again in Smells Like Teen Spirit.
- This episode includes numerous callbacks to previous events in the investigation of the murder of Johanna Beckett.
- As Vulcan Simmons describes, he was at one point a suspect in the case. Beckett questioned him, and he was able to taunt her into throwing him against the interrogation room window, breaking it. This forced her to release him. As in that episode, Simmons has been released without charges.
- Elena Markov explains as she saves Beckett that "Lazarus" owed her. If this is indeed Senator Bracken, it might be a reference to Recoil, when Beckett saves Bracken from a car bomb.
- Drowning Beckett in ice water as a torture technique was used by Bracken's assassin, Hal Lockwood, on Ryan and Esposito. In both cases, the torturer promised that the victim would get a clean, painless death if they talked, and in both cases the technique was unsuccessful.
- The almost impossibly thorough scrubbing of evidence of the drug operation occurred in merely a couple hours, and included elimination of blood evidence from the prior victim Simmons killed, which had poured down a rusty sewer, as well as millions of dollars in cash.
- Bracken's presidential ambitions were previously raised in After the Storm and Recoil. At this point, he has now formed an exploratory committee to run for President, the last step before actually declaring his candidacy. The news report Beckett watched identified him as already being the front-runner.
- The story claims that Super PAC money is untraceable and resulted in large, legal, untraceable donations to the Bracken exploratory committee. This is incorrect, at least as of airing in 2014.
- Super PACs cannot donate to candidates, or even coordinate with them. Though they can support a particular candidate, their activities must be entirely independent.
- There is no limit to donations given to Super PACs, but the donations and their sources must be publicly disclosed on a monthly or quarterly basis. So even assuming the police can't get a court order to receive the report early, it will be a matter of public record within three months. (The misunderstanding is based on the fact that donations in the final months of a campaign won't be reported until after the election.)
- Assuming Lazarus really is Bracken, it seems tenuous that he actually saved her. Elena Markov went to the police on her own, misrepresenting herself as a translator in Russian, and then faked a suicide attempt rather than cooperate on the meeting.
- As Gates points out, there was only one detective in New York who could have taken Markov's place, Beckett. Combined with the fact that Bracken would certainly know that Beckett and Simmons knew each other, it seems clear that Bracken arranged the entire thing.
- If this is the case, Bracken was simply using Markov to tie up his loose ends with Simmons prior to closing down the drug operation. Arranging a situation where Beckett was sure to be killed and then saving her discharged any obligation he might have felt toward her. (Of course, Bracken still believes that Beckett has incriminating information on him that she will use if he attacks her directly. This might be a more logical reason why she was spared.)
- It's also possible that another party that opposes Bracken used their knowledge of his relationship with Beckett to arrange this, so that she might be motivated to come forward with whatever information she had.
- Promo materials (including ABC's clips) and some reviews describe the torture technique used on Beckett as "waterboarding". This is incorrect.
- In waterboarding, the victim is strapped on their back to a bed or board, then tilted backward until their feet are above their head. A rag is placed over the face and water is poured on them. The victim feels like they are drowning, but suffers no actual physical harm (though a doctor must be present because the panic can trigger a heart attack).
- Simmons's attempt to torture Beckett shows the weaknesses of the technique he used. Because he actually was drowning her, Simmons had to stop periodically (giving Beckett a chance to collect herself). Eventually, Beckett was hurt enough by the technique that she could no longer be questioned.
- U.S. Presidents are limited to two 4-year terms. Since President Obama (pictured in a photo in Montgomery's office) is in the midst of his second term, both American parties will be nominating candidates. Therefore, the fact that Bracken is running for the nomination does not reveal his party affiliation.