In its most bold, darkest year yet, Castle picks up after a devastating third season conclusion. Those of us who are avid fans of the show “knew” that Detective Beckett wasn’t to perish but this didn’t mean viewers didn’t awaits the eventual conclusion!
Castle, Season Four (2011) ABC TV Show Review
Time stops. This is where the life of writer-turned-amateur detective Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) sits. His real life “Nikki Heat,” Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) takes a sniper bullet to her chest and despite catching the glint of the rifle, it’s a moment too late. Castle is only able to whisper his confession of love to Kate before her world goes black. Barely surviving surgery, Kate makes a full recovery but claims no memory of the shooting, or Castle’s profession. Instead she requests space from Castle while she heals, a process that takes her away from the city. Months later when she finally returns to active duty, she finds the politics of the office much different.
There is a new boss at the 12th precinct in Captain Victoria Gates (Penny Johnson Jerald). Beckett’s return also forces the truth that despite detectives Esposito and Ryan (Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever), and Castle investigating, no one has a solid lead on her shooter. At home, Castle struggles with letting Alexis (Molly Quinn) plan for college, especially as her choice involves a boy!
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Ah! Castle and Beckett, or “Caskett” as is their ship name (kind of morbid right!?), is back for another season of crime-fighting and fun! Going into this, fans did have warning of a “darker” season. That said, I didn’t find much altered in this series of installments save for the emotional feelings and failings of Beckett as a direct result from her shooting. This emotional journey also turns Kate into someone different, and as a viewer, if you invest in characters, it’s hard to see her go through this. She pushes people away, but then, when it comes to the finale, there is change that makes things a little less sad.
Before moving on, I should mention that my pet peeve is premises that refuse to move forward, and unfortunately, Castle is one that seems stuck in the past. Then again, I never did buy into the argument of cursing this show if its protagonists were to get together. If you watch ABC, some of the best episodes in this season are the parodies of some of their reality TV including a hilarious spoof of Dancing with the Stars (“A Dance with Death”); the ripped-from-the headlines case in a “Occupy Wall Street” type case; easily one of the best episodes is “47 Seconds”; and a fascinating case in “Once Upon a Crime” that pays homage to ABC’s Once Upon a Time.
So (SO) much about this season is brilliant not the least of which is seeing a “vintage” Beckett and Castle; or Kate being taken from Castle’s waiting arms when a British agent partners with them. Oh! We also see Castle work with another detective that Ryan calls “cheating” on his team. Really, there isn’t a subpar concept, case or subplot in the entire lot. As usual, I adore the father-daughter bond. Seeing her intern with Laney is a new addition that is quite good (for her and the viewer).
For the few of you who may not have seen the much talked of finale, seeing it really is the icing on the cake. I love that Kate laid most, if not all of her demons to rest after nearly dying (again) because of her obsession. What makes it better is the interaction between Stana and Nathan who have, if possible, more sparks this time around. Let’s just say, it’s one ending that even Castle couldn’t write better.
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Content: There are some winking references between Beckett and Castle and some minor, flirty sexual dialogue. Some cases involve sexual dalliances including a victim who slept with multiple women prior to his death; Laney comments once that she and her ex occasionally enjoy “booty calls” with no strings attached. Victims die numerous different ways, sometimes with more blood than others [one victim is naked, appropriately covered]. Bodies are seen in the morgue usually covered appropriately with a sheet. Swearing is infrequent but includes standard issue uses [da*n, sh*t, GD, etc.]. The rating is TV14.