‘Castle’ Returns With a Mystery

As we move into another week of Fall TV Premiere Season some more of my favorites make some pretty dramatic returns. As you’ll see below, not all shows left us hanging off the cliff with their season ending storylines. However, let’s tackle the big one first.

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I have been very vocal about the season 6 finale of “Castle,” even going so far as to wonder if the show might have jumped the shark so far as to not being able to come back as anything worth watching. While the premiere didn’t exactly restore my faith in the show, nor was it as satisfying as I’d come to expect of the writers, it was ok enough to keep me watching. It should be no mystery that Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) is still alive, as the show bears his name, but what happened to him seems to be as needlessly mysterious as the inexcusable cliffhanger wasn’t. If its only purpose was just to postpone his wedding to Beckett (Stana Katic) for another whole season then there should be serious consideration given to ending the show this year.

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On the flipside, a move that could have easily derailed “Once Upon a Time” into the land of no return seems to have actually worked in its favor. To the cynical-minded, introducing characters from the less than a year old hit film “Frozen” could easily be seen as desperation on the part of the veteran show. However, Elsa (Georgina Haig), Anna (Elizabeth Lail) and Kristoff (Scott Michael Foster) bring a breath of fresh, chilly air to the proceedings and their story enriches the already multi-layered backstory of the show. Of course, everyone, both audience and characters, are wondering if Regina (Lana Parrilla) will give in to her dark side again now that her love-life has been derailed. By the end of the episode that question leads to an even more intriguing question no one has thought to ask since the beginning of the show.

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One of the best acted and best written cop shows on television makes a spectacular return to its Friday night home. “Blue Bloods” consistently keeps my eyes glued to the screen and the premiere was no exception. While there was no cliffhanger to resolve, the show still managed to surprise, especially during a rather insane shootout early in the episode. Tom Selleck is always riveting in every scene he’s in and Donny Wahlberg always excels, but Will Estes really gets his due in the kick-off to the fifth season. Estes’ Jamie Reagan is forced to seriously ponder something that has been apparent to everyone for the last year, namely possible romantic feelings for his partner, Officer Eddie Janko (Vanessa Ray). Still, Selleck steals the show with a final scene monologue that will leave you thinking long after it has ended.

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Meanwhile, on “Blue Bloods” lead-in, the cast has grown a little. Michelle Borth may have left the series, but Chi McBride is now in the opening credits as is Jorge Garcia. Garcia’s Jerry Ortega is welcome comic relief, but the highlight of the premiere is the opening mandated therapy session with McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno (Scott Caan). One of the underlying gags of the series is the way the two behave as a couple, so basically seeing them in “marriage counseling” is sublimely amusing bordering on laugh-out-loud hilarious. Apart from that we get a mechanized threat to the whole island of Oahu, plus a couple of breadcrumbs as to some over-arching plot threads for the season. Aloha!

Most everything has premiered for the season and we’ll be checking out the stragglers as they air over the next few weeks. Check back Thursday to see how these new and returning show we’ve been looking at are faring in their second outings of the season.

joseph Dilworth Jr.

Joseph Dilworth Jr. has been writing ever since he could hold a pencil. Back then it was one of those big, red pencils, the Faber-Castell Goliath.  Remember those? Now, that was a pencil! He has been writing for the Internet for nearly ten years and for six years he served as founder, editor and lead writer for Pop Culture Zoo. He is currently co-host of the weekly The Flickcast podcast, is contributing two essays to the upcoming book The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes and is writing a reference book about the TV series Fringe for Hasslein Books.