Castle Official Site

The Time:
Mondays, 10:00 PM, ABC

The Show:

Castle is a rambunctious and wisecracking best-selling author of crime
fiction who has just killed off his golden goose main character because
he was bored with him.  Now, he’s beset by writer’s block and
is wondering what his next move will be.  That is until the
no-nonsense and driven Detective Kate Beckett pays him a visit and
informs him that his help is needed on a murder case.  The
womanizing and smarmy Castle is instantly smitten with her and throws
every cheap line and innuendo her way and generally makes a nuisance of
himself at every opportunity, which Beckett is forced to tolerate for
the sake of solving the case.  But aside from the hijinks,
Castle also brings a keen insight and plenty of connections with city
government into the case that proves useful.  Once the case is
solved, Castle convinces the mayor to allow him to tag along on
Beckett’s future cases as he researches a new female detective
character for his upcoming book, much to Beckett’s chagrin.

The Stars:

•  Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle
•  Stana Katic as Det. Kate Beckett
•  Susan Sullivan as Martha Heath
•  Monet Mazur as Gina Cowell
•  Ruben Santiago Hudson as Capt. Montgomery
•  Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle

The Episodes:

“Flowers For Your Grave (Pilot)”
“Nanny McDead”
“Hedge Fund Homeboys”
“A Chill Goes Through Her Veins”
“Always Buy Retail”

The Lowdown:

When I first caught the previews for this mid-season show, I thought it looked like fun, especially considering that it had Nathan Fillion – a guy who hasn’t had the best luck in television shows in his career but is a highly entertaining dude – as a wisecracking author pestering a hot, no-nonsense detective.  It came off as NYPD Blue meets Moonlighting.  After having just completed the season, I’d say that that’s a pretty apt description.  The show’s a lot of fun, and Fillion and Stana Katic, who plays Det. Kate Beckett, have a great chemistry.  It might have seemed that Katic would be swallowed by Fillion’s shenanigans, but she balances him out nicely and the episodes never lack for interesting interplay between the two.

Fillion describes Richard Castle as “a bit of a douche” with “a bit of a Peter Pan syndrome” stemming from a lack of “real male adult role model[s] in his life.”  Fillion also provides that Castle’s family dynamic is unusual because is he is “mothered by his… daughter, [then]… turns around and mothers his own mother”.  Initially, as Beckett’s unwanted tag-along, he makes as much an annoyance of himself as she can stand, and then some.  But she’s taken aback by his exuberance for the new opportunity presented him to study her and how she works.  She’s also surprised by just how much he can contribute to her investigations.  Though Beckett would never admit it, it’s clear early on that she’s having fun with Castle around.

Since the show is often compared to Moonlighting, one thing it would need to be worthy of that comparison is interesting cases.  And so far in the ten episodes, they’ve investigated a woman who was drowned in a tub of motor oil, a frozen body at a worksite, another broken body stuffed into a safe, a nanny found in a building clothes dryer, two bodies murdered in a voodoo-like ritual and most recently, a plastic surgeon suffocated in his car with his fingers broken.  The show is pretty procedural about how they start to investigate the cases, but invariably, some twist is added and the hunt for the killer becomes a maze with several interesting dead ends. 

Since seemingly every show has to have a mythology these days, the big secret of Castle is that Beckett’s mother was brutally murdered and the killer has never been found.  Castle correctly figures something to this effect in the first episode, and Beckett confirms that it was her mother half way through the season.  Castle checks out her mother’s file without Beckett knowing and in the finale, learns something that’s been overlooked in the case.  But he also learns that Beckett wants him to have nothing to do with the case because she spent three years and a year in therapy letting the case go.  She warns Castle that if he looks into it, their relationship is over. 

The mythology was put out there and addressed, but didn’t hang over the series like a lead weight ready to crush the narrative.  It also provided a nice cliffhanger.  Castle shares something in common with Chuck in that the premise of the show features a scenario that is transitory at best.  Castle can’t tag along with  Beckett forever, and if the show does get a multi-year run, I’m figuring the status quo will be shaken up at some point.  But for now it’s a source of good entertainment.

As of this writing, Castle hasn’t been confirmed for a pick up for next season, but I’m optimistic that it will be.  I think it’s a fun show and would recommend it as a summer filler if you haven’t watched it.  

Season: 8.2 out of 10