'Castle' Season 5 Finale Recap: Will Beckett Say Yes to D.C. or Castle?

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CASTLE - "Watershed" - In the Season Finale, an interview with a high-profile federal law enforcement agency forces Beckett to reconsider what she wants out of her job -- and out of her relationship with Castle. Meanwhile, the body of a young woman is found floating inside the water tank of a skid row flop house, but as the team investigate, they discover that her final resting place is just one of many strange things about her death, on "Castle," MONDAY, MAY 13 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Richard Cartwright) STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION

It all came down to love vs. career on the Season 5 "Castle" finale, "Watershed," as Det. Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) deceived her beau and crime-solving partner Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion). She wove a pretty tangled web, but we're not too mad at her. Sometimes it's hard to navigate life's crossroads, and she is at a doozy. After sneaking off to a life-changing job interview with Deputy Det. Anthony Freedman (Kyle Secor) in Washington and getting caught red-handed by Castle, their entire relationship is called into question. Will she or won't she go? Will it spell doom for Caskett? And, oh my goodness… will she say yes?!

So busted

It's obvious to Det. Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Det. Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) that Beckett's distracted. She keeps her job prospect hush-hush, but she should have known that keeping a secret from NYPD Captain Victoria Gates (Penny Johnson Jerald) is near impossible. An all-business Gates calls Beckett into her office to inform the detective that the FBI has reached out to her. As a nervous Beckett gulps, Gates says, "I just want to tell you that I gave you my highest recommendation. This is an incredible opportunity." Gates also shares the inside scoop that Beckett is on a short list of applicants being considered.

Gates isn't the only one who uncovers Beckett's secret; Castle finds her used D.C. boarding pass and is heartbroken to learn that she's been lying to him. His trust in her has clearly been broken, and he believes that her following this opportunity will spell the end of their relationship. "Castle, this isn't about you. This is about me. This is about my life," she says, but Castle is not ready to see it that way and walks out.

Blood is thicker than water

The Castle and Beckett drama absorbed most of our focus, but there was a case on the docket, and it was a puzzler. It also compounded how much we'd miss Beckett if she left the NYPD and Castle for D.C. (tear!) because of how gracefully and effectively they worked together to solve this week's murder: a Harvard honor student, Erika Albrook, who disguised herself as a prostitute to uncover the truth behind her best friend's death.

When Albrook's body is found in a water tank on the roof of a seedy hotel (the showers were raining blood!), it seems like a run-of-the-mill murdered-prostitute case -- but the truth is anything but. Results from some DNA evidence reveal that she was actually a gifted student and the daughter of a well-off family. Her parents thought she was backpacking through Europe with friends and have no idea how she ended up at the flophouse. "Our daughter would never stay in a place like that. Detective, this isn't her," her mom says.

Beckett suggests Albrook maybe needed a life change or broke under the pressures of school, but Castle sets her straight, suggesting that descending from honor student to hooker in less than a week is a little too quick a change. Agreed. Not to mention that Medical Examiner Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones) says that Albrook had definitely not been having sex prior to her death.

When a patron of the hotel confessed that he could see into Albrook's room from his closet, the investigation heats up. Apparently Albrook sat typing on her laptop all night with a CD of "intimate sounds" playing. No wonder her neighbors thought "something" else was going on.

Mother (and father) know best

Castle goes to his mom, Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan), for advice, and she doesn't pull any punches, telling him that Beckett is talented and should be interviewing for a job like the one in D.C. Her tough love continues, when she says that it's absurd for Beckett to pass up an opportunity when neither she nor Castle knows where their relationship is headed, adding, "Darling, this is who she is." She drives her point home by suggesting that deep down, Castle's always known that this relationship wasn't going to really work.

When Beckett goes to her dad, Jim (Scott Paulin), for guidance, he's also brimming with wisdom. He knows that she tends to hide in her work when she's scared to confront obstacles. She admits to feeling like she's standing at the crossroads of two possible futures, and she feels like she and Castle have been doing a dance for five years. "What happens when the music stops?" she asks. "What if all we were in love with was the dance?" Her dad insists that she make her choice based on what she wants, not because she's afraid. She admits she wants the job. "You have to tell him," her dad says.

'A tragic, yet not-so-familiar tale'

Hmm… this case gets pretty complicated as the team peels away stinky layers of lies and cover-ups. Leads on a credit card and an elevator surveillance tape reveal that Albrook was, in fact, a computer hacker looking into the confidential files at the law firm of Banks and Bower. (Looks like her computer science studies came in handy … or not.) Once her laptop is discovered and the team closes in on the truth, the bodies keep piling up. Not only is attorney Ian Blaylock -- the man Albrook was seen fighting with (and the team's main suspect) -- found murdered in his apartment, it's discovered that he had been laid off from Banks and Bower just months previous. Another revelation: Her best friend, Pam Bonner -- who was killed in a car crash leaving a Banks and Bower summer party -- used to intern at the law firm.

A friend of Albrook's tells the NYPD that Albrook never believed that Bonner was driving drunk, as the reports said. Plus Bonner was discovered driving in heels, which Albrook knew she'd never do. As it turns out, Colin Rigsdale III, a member of a prominent political family who was being groomed for Senate seat, was also at the summer party. So what happened? He crashed the car with Albrook in it, abandoned the vehicle, and had his lawyer, Blaylock, cover it up. After that, a guilt-ridden Blaylock's life fell apart. Once Rigsdale caught word that someone was looking into the case, he had Blaylock and Albrook murdered. Who was hired to do the deed? Rigsdale's black sheep half-brother, Martin Tillage, who -- under Beckett's brand of eloquent interrogation -- agrees to implicate Rigsdale in both murders and the accident. Looks like that jerk's political prospects are null and void.

Shocking proposal!

Beckett receives bittersweet news that the federal job is hers, and all signs point to her taking it. As she strolls through the station after making her suspect sing, it's obvious that she's taking in her surroundings -- the place that's been her life and her home for years. Did she just solve her last case in New York? It's very possible.

She meets with Castle in the park, on the swings, of course. After she apologizes ("I'm sorry. I shouldn't have kept secrets"), it seems that Castle is going to break things off with her. "It's who you are. You don't let people in. I've had to scratch and claw for every inch. I want more. I deserve more," he says. Just when we're sure he's ready to call it quits … he drops to one knee, pulls out a ring, and asks, "Will you marry me?" Does she say yes?! We'll have to wait breathlessly until next season for the answer and to find out which path Beckett chooses.

More notable events

It's impossible to top Castle's surprise proposal, but we have to say congrats to Det. Ryan, who -- while hunting down Albrook's laptop with Esposito -- shares that he and his wife are expecting a baby!

Also, Alexis (Molly Quinn) is heading to Costa Rica for a six-week expedition through the rainforest. Castle had a hard time letting his daughter go, given that she was kidnapped on her last international trip, to Paris, but he comes to his senses and realizes that holding her back won't keep her safe or happy. Much like Beckett, she doesn't want to let fear win.

Watch the full episode: