I have been a dedicated Castle follower for the last five years. The Season 6 of Castle premiered last Monday on ABC in the US and the new episodes come available on iTunes here in the UK just after they have aired in the US. Season 6 brings a new, but yet the old Castle back. Situations and locations have changed in our favorite Murder He Wrote series, but the season premiere proved that it’s as sharp as it has ever been.
If you have not ever watched Castle here’s the story in a nutshell. Richard Castle (Nathan Fillon) – a ruggedly handsome (his words not mine) successful mystery writer, who is suffering from a writer’s block – gets involved with the New York Police Department when somebody starts murdering people the same way as in his books.
The investigation is led by the no-nonsense Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), who so happens to be a closeted Castle fan. Sparks fly between Castle and Beckett immediately and Castle starts helping the NYPD to find the ‘copycat’ murdered. This process – or should we say Detective Beckett – invigorates Castle’s writing and he has found a new heroine ‘Nikki Heat’ for his new book … amongst other things.
With a little help from his friend in a high place (only the Mayor of New York) Castle ‘joins’ the NYPD to do some research for his books. Here begins a long and windy road as Castle – the Writer – and the Beckett – the Police – get to know each other while solving murders together. Helping them are Beckett’s team at the precinct with Detectives Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and the Medical Examiner Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones). Castle’s home team include his daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn) and his live-in mother Martha (Susan Sullivan).
Castle has it all! Likeable characters, fantastic casting (would there be anybody better than Nathan Fillon to play Castle or Stana Katic to play Beckett), witty one-liners, quirky supporting cast and all around good writing. It’s entertainment at it’s best!
Season 5 finale left us wondering what will happen to the now-together Castle and Beckett, as Beckett interviewed for a job in Washington D.C. and Castle popped the big one. Luckily the wait is over and the Season 6 began with a several awww!-moments as Beckett said YES! to Richard Alexander Rodgers Castle (now there is a mouthful) after Castle – queue another awww! – explained to her that he was not proposing to keep her in New York.
Fast forward two months and we see Beckett working at the FBI in Washington D.C. with her new partner Rachel McCord (Lisa Edelstein of House).
Castle returns home from a book signing tour to find that his daughter Alexis (Molly O’Quinn) has returned from her trip to Costa Rica with a souvenir called Pi (without an E) who makes papaya steaks (who does that?).
After Beckett has to cancel her trip to New York, Castle flies to D.C. to surprise her but gets – voluntarily and involuntarily – mixed with Beckett’s new highly classified case as he tries to make things ‘be like they used to be’. Oh Castle, your very endearing habit of not being able to let go before you find the story behind a case has really gotten you into a toxic air (I know, I know – it does not really work) this time. The main suspect in Beckett’s national security threat case is a former Marine, who ends up kidnapping Castle at a gun point and forcing Castle into his car. This is already very dramatic, but then things turn bizarre when Jack – the ex-Marine suddenly starts taking weird stuff and just plain – dies.
And now for the part why I love Castle. Even when you think that ‘this episode might be bit blaah, blaah, blaah’, don’t be fooled there’s always a BOOM! Castle manages always to surprise you either with a plot twist, a laugh or just plain wittiness. In this episodes the BOOM! is the last scene of Castle sitting in an FBI interrogation room with Beckett telling him that while he was in the same car with the now-deceased main suspect, Castle inhaled a lethal chemical toxin and now has 24 hours to live. WHAT?! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! TO BE CONTINUED…
Of course in a true Castle-manner Richard Castle will make a Jack Bauer like recovery (hey, he’s cheated death before), but still I – for one – did not see that coming. And yes – that’s why I love to watch Castle. That and the witty one-liners.