09/30/2014 12:49 pm ET Updated Oct 02, 2014

'Castle' Recap: Season 7 Premiere Leaves More Questions Than Answers

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Where in the world was Richard Castle?

This wasn’t the only question left unanswered in the season 7 premiere of Castle on Monday night.

The roller coaster ride of a kickoff left fans with even more questions than the tragic season 6 finale when Richard Castle was run off the road on the way to his wedding to Kate Beckett.

Season 7 starts where we left off, with Beckett in her wedding dress, desperate to know what happened to her fiancé. The search is on as soon as she realizes he was dragged off in a black SUV before the car burned on the side of the road.

After a quick wardrobe change and some detective work from the hard-working Ryan and Esposito, the three detectives end up at a junkyard where Castle’s cell phone is ping-ing. They arrive just in time to see the black SUV where Castle was taken being flattened like a pancake.

At this point not even ten minutes have passed and we’ve already had 2-3 minor panic attacks, but things just keep getting more complicated.

Beckett pushes it a little too far while interrogating Gary, the guy who squashed the SUV. Noting her escalating desperation, Espo and Captain Gates make sure to tell her she needs to stay in control if she wants to continue on the case of her missing fiancé.

The FBI gets involved, discussing possibilities with Beckett. Yet nothing seems to truly click until Ryan discovers that the man who had Junkyard Gary crush the SUV was none other than Vinnie Cardano, the scarred mobster from “Murder, He Wrote” in season 5. Cardano confesses to having the Escalade crushed for an anonymous client. Tory then finds footage of the drop that was made after destroying the vehicle and when she zooms in we discover that the man making the drop is none other than Castle himself.

Our heads are spinning at this point.

Is Castle involved somehow? Was the pressure too much and he decided to disappear? Is there a dark side to everyone’s favorite mystery writer?

These are the questions on everyone’s mind as more and more evidence starts to point at Castle being part of a cover-up: the money used in the drop matches the money Castle withdrew for his honeymoon, he had a friendly relationship with Vinnie Cardano from the Hamptons and, of course, the apparently un-doctored footage showing a very much alive Castle leaving the money after his supposed abduction.

Special Agent Connors from the FBI makes sure to point all this out to Beckett and suggests that maybe Castle wanted to disappear.

The FBI slowly backs off from the case but Kate continues her tireless search for the love of her life. Two months pass and there are no leads, until the coast guard finds a dehydrated Castle unconscious and adrift at sea on a sky blue dinghy.

In the hospital Castle is still unconscious and sunburnt. Kate asks her medical examiner friend Lanie to look over him and try to find clues as to what he’s been through. Lanie, as always, comes through and discovers three things:

-A key sewn into the lining in his clothes with the number 38 printed on it.
-Antibodies for dengue fever in his blood work.
-A scar from being shot a couple weeks back.

Ryan and Esposito figure out the sky blue dinghy came from Gloucester, Mass and Kate and Esposito head over there and interrogate the owner, Henry Jenkins. Jenkins says he noticed the dinghy was missing but figured it drifted off or had been stolen. He then claims he’d seen someone matching Castle’s description camping not far from there. The detectives find a tent filled with Castle’s belongings, including his wedding tux, and newspaper clippings about his disappearance.

Kate returns to the hospital more confused than she’s ever been and a conversation with a freshly awake Castle, who’s already joking, reveals the obvious plot twist, he remembers nothing. Castle believes he went straight from the crash to the hospital so Kate fills him in on all the details of his disappearance. Shocked, Castle assures Kate “I wouldn’t just leave.”

In typical Castle fashion he then insists on joining the investigation and heading up to see the campsite for himself. While there, he reveals that it couldn’t have been him due the tent being too close to the water and his “irrational but overpowering fear of tsunamis” thanks to some research he did for “Tropical Storm” a book he never published. The framing theory seems more plausible when the couple head over to re-interrogate Henry Jenkins and discover a different man. Kate realizes the Jenkins she first talked to was an impostor!

Back home with Alexis, Martha and Kate, Castle is more determined than ever to untangle the web that is this apparent conspiracy. At bedtime we finally get some Caskett alone time but the weariness of the situation is palpable as Kate explains how she never lost hope. He apologizes for what she’s been through and tells her, “I do know I missed you terribly ‘cause there’s no way I wouldn’t.” Aww!

Acknowledging that they can’t really just pick up where they left off an amnesiac Castle insists “We’ll get there, we’ll find our way home.”

We hope they find their way back to that wedding pretty fast.

Worth noting:

-Beckett's face when Esposito gives her coffee à la Castle is heartbreaking.

-Kate's spectacular tackle of Junkyard Gary is just another example of why we can't get enough of #BadassBeckett.

-"Sky blue dinghy" is a phrase worthy of a drinking game throughout the episode.

-We truly wish Nathan Fillion would live tweet every episode.

-There could've been at least one kiss after the couple reunites!

Quote of the week:

Castle awake and seeing Kate for the first time: "Just so you know the doctor said kissing will speed my recovery."

"Castle" airs on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. EDT on ABC.