Monday, October 21, 2013

TV – Castle Season 5

Note: This is part of my ongoing reviews of the Castle television show’s seasons, the books written by “Richard Castle”, and some events related to the show.  For the parent post with links to all of these, please click here.  In the coming days I will post reviews of the three newest books.

Note 2: There are spoilers for Season 4 in this post, especially the final episode of that season since it directly relates to the events of Season 5.

This season picks up the morning after Season 4 ended.  Beckett had finally admitted her desire for Castle and had shown up at his apartment.  As the season opens Castle wakes up alone in bed.  Was it all a dream?  Nope.  Beckett comes in with a couple cups of coffee.  Castle quizzes her.  Does she regret it?  Was it a one time thing caused by the trauma of almost dying and then quitting the police force?  Nope and nope. 

Basically, show creator Andrew Marlowe was addressing all the concerns of the fan base that had grown cynical when the characters were being kept apart for increasingly ridiculous reasons.  He wanted the fans to know that he was serious about Castle and Beckett finally being together as a couple.

The characters decide to keep it a secret.  There’s a funny scene where Martha and Alexis come home unexpectedly that morning and almost catch Beckett.  She gets mad at Castle for not wanting anyone to know, but later when he is at her place and someone shows up, she feels the same way. 

The other events from the end of Season 4 are still ongoing, too.  The man who almost killed Beckett is after the man who has been protecting her with documents incriminating to whoever had Beckett’s mother killed.  The killer finally catches up with that man, but not before he is able to warn Castle and Beckett.  They find enough of those documents to finally figure out who ultimately ordered the death of Beckett’s mother.  It will be a face familiar to anyone who watched the TV show Heroes.

That’s just the opening episode.  Beckett goes back to being a detective and several cases come up early on that almost let the cat out of the bag for Beckett and Castle.  There’s a departmental policy that co-workers cannot be in a relationship, since that would be unprofessional.  Castle points out that he’s technically not an employee, but Beckett tells him that Captain Gates would not hesitate to have him banned for that reason anyway. 

For anyone who wants to see them just be a couple, there’s a nice episode where the two go to Castle’s house in the Hamptons.  There’s a murder there, of course, and there’s plenty of humor from the two of them trying to help the local police Captain without anyone back at her precinct finding out.  It’s titled “Murder, He Wrote” and yes, similarities to the TV show Murder, She Wrote are entirely intentional.

There are serious episodes with the return of the 3XK killer, Castle and Beckett on the run from people who want to kill them, the return of the man who had Beckett’s mother killed, one that focuses on Detective Ryan’s past, and the annual February two-parter.  This time it’s a much more personal story for Castle and he gets a major revelation.

Fun episodes include ones where a Santa Claus falls from the sky, a death at a Comic-Con like event which includes so many references and familiar faces that it will cause any geek to go into happy spasms, Alexis’ mother reappearing and wanting to stay at Castle’s place, the death of a reality show participant (which will make Firefly fans happy since it includes Gina Torres), and the 100th episode that is this show’s version of Rear Window.

Towards the end of the season they did two things that did not fit well together.  They had an episode that was half original and half a clip show.  Beckett ends up stepping on a trigger for a bomb in a building so she cannot move or the bomb will go off.  Castle stays with her and to distract her they reminisce about past events on the show.  By itself this is a great episode.  Unfortunately, Andrew Marlowe decided to then immediately follow it with a couple of episodes where they have the cliché of the woman wondering “where is the relationship going?”  The bomb episode completely answered all of that before these episodes ever aired, so they just came across as poorly placed.  They lead up to a season ending cliffhanger, something the show had not done before.

Overall, it was fun seeing Castle and Beckett finally get to be a couple.  Show runner Andrew Marlowe couldn’t even give them a full season of happiness, though.  He took the lazy writer’s route of having questions about the relationship come up.  Fans were not happy about this, but what can you do?  It’s his show.

Chip’s Rating: Four stars out of five

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