Just like that, the producers of “Castle” have brought me back 100%. I don’t even care that the missing months of Castle’s life are still staring at us like the drunken elephant in the room. The couple known as Caskett have finally tied the knot and on their way to the alter also reminded me of why I love this show.
“Castle” is, and always has been, a show that never goes at something directly. Much like the solutions to its cases-of-the-week, the show puts its own unique and twisty spin on every storyline. When the slow march to a big gala wedding during the back half of last season got curtailed with an automobile inferno, I was thrown. And angry. And disillusioned. I’ve been very clear about that as well as remaining skeptical about the whole Rick-returned-with-amnesia storyline. Now that we’ve gotten the wedding that the characters, the show and the fans deserve, I realize I should not have lost faith.
In dispelling my accusations of the show committing the biggest of Television tropes, that of jumping the shark, the writers chose another well used plot device – “It’s A Wonderful Life.” I wrote in my last article about “Hawaii Five-0” having just used that premise in their most recent episode, but that was just a character’s drug-induced hallucination. On this show, Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) appears to literally be sent to an alternate dimension by a mysterious artifact. In this alternate universe Castle never consulted with the NYPD, so Beckett (Stana Katic), Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) don’t know who he is. More importantly, we see how their lives would have been without his presence.
Since he never wrote his bestselling Nikki Heat books, based on his adventures with the NYPD, Castle is a washed up has been author in this reality. He grew distant with his daughter, Alexis (Molly Quinn) and his mother, Martha (Susan Sullivan), had to continue acting to help pay the bills. Castle remembers his old life and has to weasel his way into the police investigation of the latest case in order to recover the artifact and return home. Of course, many wacky hi-jinks ensue, but the whole escapade only serves to make his determination to marry Beckett ever more solid. Once he gets home and recounts his tale, the couple finally break the golden rule of Television couples and get hitched.
The best shows give you what you expect in new and unexpected ways and this is one of the very best strengths of “Castle.” It has always served up a rich blend of misdirection, humor, drama, mystery and wonderful acting. Thankfully, it has always treated the Castle-Beckett relationship in an organic way, letting it age like a fine wine over several years before giving us and the characters the wedding we never knew we wanted. Generally, shows like this end with the leads getting married. We’re barely a third of the way into the new season so atypically we’ll get to see how they behave as a properly married couple. This isn’t the first series to dive into these waters, but it’s rare enough to have reinvigorated the show.
So, yes, I can admit when I’m wrong and in this case I happily do so. It’s never fun when an old favorite loses its shine, but in this case they’ve managed to recapture the magic. They could still choose to go out on a high note and make this season the finale one, although I no longer think they should be leaning in that direction. It took this long for one forgivable story slip up and I hope for many more high quality episodes to come.
Sticking with ‘Castle’: Time to re-evaluate whether or not ‘Castle’ warrants continued viewing
‘Castle’ Returns With a Mystery: Plus Storybrooke freezes, Five-0 expands, NYPD under fire