Sunday, October 19, 2014

TV – Castle Season 6

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 also post reviews of the latest books.

Note 2: There are spoilers for Season 5 in this post.

This season picks up right where Season 5 ended.  Castle has just proposed marriage to Beckett.  The context at the end of Season 5 was one where it seemed more likely they were going to break up than they were going to get engaged.  It was then surprising for the fans that show runner Andrew Marlowe actually had her accept.  Most fans had grown cynical of Marlowe’s apparent continued dislike for the two of them as a couple.  It’s possible the network had a word with him and told him that they wanted ratings, which meant giving the fans what they wanted to see – Castle and Beckett as a couple, or “Caskett” as some fans referred to them. 

There’s still the little matter of her accepting a job in Washington, D.C. and the first three episodes deal with that.  It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that she soon ends up back in New York and the show goes back to the formula that has made it successful.  It was interesting to see the characters in different situations, though.  And in another change from prior seasons the dramatic two-parter that usually runs during February sweeps instead was the first two episodes of the season.

Because of the engagement there’s a running bit over the course of the season with the two of them talking about the wedding, making plans, a fun bit with Ryan and Esposito competing to be Castle’s best man, etc.  Those are never the foreground for the show until the final episode of the season, though.  They instead provide some welcome continuity during the year.

As always there are a mix of serious episodes and lighter episodes.  A couple of running storylines – Beckett’s mother’s murder and the 3XK killer – have episodes related to them.  The 3XK one is genuinely creepy.  For anyone who may have felt they’ve milked the mother storyline long enough there does appear to finally be closure on it.  There are also episodes where Castle is dying, Beckett is in deep trouble undercover, and Ryan and Esposito are caught in the basement of a burning building.

Fun episodes include ones with the return of Castle’s father, a possible time traveler (played by Chuck’s Joshua Gomez), and one where for reasons I’ll let you discover they all end up acting like it’s the 1970s.  And you know how Castle is always tossing out the “ninja assassin” theory?  Well, what happens when not one, but two ninjas show up?

They also continue to mine other shows, movies, and current events to do their own spin on things.  They have versions of Miley Cyrus, The Devil Wears Prada, Terminator, The Davinci Code, and others.  And it’s a time honored tradition on TV that no wedding can go smoothly.  In this case what happens when just a few days before the wedding Beckett finds out she’s already married?

And like two of the last three seasons they end on a cliffhanger.  This one was more annoying than suspenseful.  As I write this the first three episodes of Season 7 have aired and there’s actually potential for them to now add another continuing storyline to the overall mythos of the show, so perhaps the cliffhanger wasn’t all bad.

Overall, in Season 6 Castle and Beckett got to be more of a couple than they did in Season 5.  In that one they first were trying to hide it from folks, then Marlowe quickly turned to having questions about the relationship come up.  In Season 6 they are an engaged couple, fully committed to each other, and whatever questions come up are more related to wedding jitters than anything else.  In regards to the two of them as a couple this season was a little more satisfying, although Season 5 had higher high points because of the newness of it all.

Chip’s Rating: Four stars out of five

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