Castle: The Human Factor

“Nothing. It was nothing.”

A standalone, one episode from the season finale? An interesting choice that didn’t work.

This is going to be a very short review because most of what happened we have seen many, many times:
  • Castle playing with his toys, although I did like Beckett turning the tables on him
  • Federal agents coming in, getting in the way and then being won over by our gang
  • The obvious red herring suspect who nearly gets away
  • Castle’s OTT theories felt forced this week; a killer drone is out there enough
  • Someone in authority telling Beckett what to do, but she ultimately gets what she wants

As soon as Warburg said the killer had to be someone close to Tanner, I knew who it was. Even his motive was startlingly familiar. A father who chooses his mission over his son? That’s close to home, isn’t it. Even worse, the kid is a minor and confessed without having been read his rights or with an adult present. Any mediocre attorney will get it thrown out.

Nothing of any significance happened until the end and even that was so clearly telegraphed that it was not a shock. Caskett have taken yet another step back. Something as significant as a job offer and Beckett is lying about it. Of course she is, because we have to save all the dramatic tension for next week’s finale.

Here’s my problem. Does anyone really believe that Beckett is going to move to Washington? Or, if she does (cue next week’s cliffhanger), that she’ll stay there? As much latitude as I give this show, and it can be a lot, this is a stretch too far. I don’t see the producers retooling the show to such a degree.

Hugely disappointing, especially for the penultimate of the season. One out of four toy tanks.

Tidbits:

-- First Ioan Gruffudd, now Carlos Bernard. Be still my heart.

-- Storm Season was an interesting choice to show as one of Castle’s books. It would be on the discount table, because it is one of his older books. In our reality, it has only been released as a graphic novel.

-- A myriad of movie references this week, including Mission Impossible, The Terminator, and North by Northwest.

-- Has anyone else noticed that whenever Castle pours the two of them a glass of wine, they end up doing something else besides drinking it?

Soundbites:

Beckett: “Well, we don’t have a body, we don’t have a crime scene, and we don’t have any witnesses, but…”
Castle: “At least we have each other.”
Beckett: “We still have a homicide to solve.”
Castle: “And that.”

ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen or with a book in her hand.

12 comments:

Mark said...

I think one star is a bit harsh. This stand-alone felt like it had some wit, which the 1-star episodes did not (in my opinion).

The job offer will only make sense if it is a symptom of a different problem. Is it that Castle never completely opens up (which was hinted by his ex-wife)? Or is it that Beckett has never chosen a really serious relationship until now, and her change of self-identity is spooking her?

I really believe that Beckett will move to Washington (to create a season cliff-hanger), and that she will move back in the next season opener (to restore the status quo). I only hope that the writers decide explore some meaningful character development, in addition to the pedestrian storytelling.

migmit said...

"It's field marshal Pervert to you".

I liked it. Yes, it felt familiar, but in a warm and fuzzy way. Sometimes good old stuff is not just old, but also good.

sunbunny said...

Yeah, not great. They do get points for tackling a topical subject but there was really nothing special about this one. Beckett's obviously not going to move to Washington and stay there. Obviously. I just hope that they don't break Beckett and Castle up. If they did, they would only get back together, but they've made such progress together. Does this feel like the end of Season 1 of HIMYM to anyone else?

Tammy Madden said...

I agree with you completely. The storyline is forced...hinging on things that have never even been an issue...just for the "drama" factor...ugh. The are going to lose this show if they don't take it back to what made it a hit to begin with...and can they do that with Castle and Beckett as a couple? Sure they can...not everything has to be a soap opera drama fest...ugh!

celticmarc said...

I agree with Mark's points. But we'll see in September if he got that right.

ChrisB, you were a bit harsh, a 2 instead ? It wasn't bad, neither great, just average. Even average Castle is (relatively) good. Still a pleasure to see Exposito's eyes rolling and Ryan "what if?" look at Castle's theories.

celticmarc said...

ohhhhhhhhh

forgot to mention :

a) "kafkaesque meeting": I thought of someone over here.

b) the expression "person of interest" was mentioned twice; and the red targeting square kept me thinking about that show. Forgive my Imagination...

nancy namaste said...

We always have to end the season with a cliffhanger but really - what WOULD be the big deal if Beckett moved to Washington DC. It's 30 minutes by air from NY; she's not moving to Australia.

I don't know about the 1 star either. I enjoyed it, while knowing that the plot was ancient and creaky. The toys were fun though.

Any season that has Ioan Gruffudd, in any capacity whatsoever, gets an automatic gold star from me.

Mark said...

@nancy namaste: I would guess the big deal would be the job she is taking, in addition to the distance to travel. Castle does not have to live in NYC (can write anywhere, Martha can use a smaller apartment, Alexis is in college), but the job offered to Beckett would involve significant travel, high risk, and massive amounts of "can't talk, it's classified".

It just occurred to me... If the job is not the cliffhanger, if the writers decided that Beckett has changed enough as a person that she is no longer being driven to accept a job like this... then we have to decide what IS the cliffhanger. Would it be too soon for a proposal?

ChrisB said...

The reaction to this episode, both here and abroad, is divided. Some hated it; some liked it. I have yet to find anyone who loved it.

I understand why some of you think that one star is harsh and, perhaps, I was being too critical. My problem is that I know the show can do much, much better than this and the same old stories are just dull. As I was thinking about this series yesterday, I wondered if moving the show to DC for a while might not work. Yes, I would miss the people we know and love, but it would certainly give the show a needed kick.

Of course, they will won't do it and Beckett will stay in NYC. I believe the move/job is the year's cliffhanger. It just feels too early for a proposal.

Anonymous said...

Not great, but not quite that bad..Imho of course..
The cliffhanger will be the job offer..or Castle will propose and Beckett refuse for now. She won't move or just do so for while.
We'll see.
Anna

Anonymous said...

Becket will take the job and there will be harsh words between her and Castle, leading to their breakup. Beckett won't return immediately in next seasons's premiere, though. Instead, there will probably be several episodes which alternately show a despondent Castle -- drinking too much and suffering from writer's block -- and a highly successful, yet unhappy Beckett in Washington. Then, several episodes into the season, there will probably be a case that leads Beckett back to New York and brings her and Castle back together again.

Kimberley@sunnykimmylovinglife said...

I don't think Beckett's moving to Washington. I'm pretty sure she decided in Watershed to stay. But like Marc I don't think that's the point of this job offer.

This job offer is pretty much going to blow the lid off what these two have been cooking up all through this season. They have been avoiding and ignoring so much, sweeping stuff under the rug. The pressure's been building and this job offer is like the last drop in the bucket, the catalyst. It forced them to take a hard look at their relationship, at what they want and move forward. And we know that high stakes situations is how these two operate, it's the only way to get them to take action, to make big decisions in their relationship.

So hopefully this job offer will finally get them to talk about things and explain to each other where each of them is coming from, because they still don't know that about each other.