Castle: Driven

“Don’t you think Castle deserves the benefit of the doubt?”

In those ten words, Kevin Ryan (and, inadvertently, the writers) summed up this season opener perfectly.

After I watched this episode for the first time, I was dismayed. Amnesia? Has this show seriously devolved to that level of soap-operaness? There was a fair amount of cursing and shouting at the television set. Was I really going to have to review this POS? Disgusted, I walked away, had another cup of coffee, and a long think about it.

The more I thought about it, the less I hated it. Don’t get me wrong. I am in no way implying that I liked it, but it wasn’t as bad as I had initially thought.

One of the weaknesses of the sixth season was the lack of a long-term story arc. Yes, Johanna’s murder was finally resolved, but it played a part in only a very few episodes. So, perhaps this is the beginning of an arc that, as we come to the end of the season in May, we will remember fondly.

There is certainly room to work here. Castle’s been shot; he’s been in the tropics; he was found unconscious in a boat off Delaware; the fake Henry Jenkins is intriguing. There might just be one hell of a story to tell.

It’s time to tell Castle’s story. We’ve peeled the Beckett onion long enough and I would like to spend some more time with Castle’s backstory. It seems fairly obvious to me that this abduction will have something to do with his dad, but I’ve been wrong before. One way or the other, there is a lot about this man that we have yet to discover and I am hopeful that, as he regains his memory, we are treated to some real character development.

It didn’t start at all well. Why the assumption that his disappearance had something to do with a case? Why not some crazy fan of his fiction? Why would everyone at the 12th immediately leap to the conclusion that he went off the rails? Did it occur to no one that he was being threatened unless he dropped off the money? Why did Castle apologize to Beckett? Unless he is faking his memory loss, it is once again Castle doing what he must to maintain the status quo. Doesn’t she have just as much to apologize for? Finally, we have met many, many people from the alphabet soup of Federal agencies. Where were they while all this was going on?

Moving forward, I have two heartfelt pleas for the writers and producers:
  1. Let’s not drag this story out for the five years it took you to resolve Johanna’s murder. I’m fine with a season arc, but let us end this one way or the other in or before May.
  2. Do not, I repeat DO NOT, split Caskett apart or make their next few weeks/months together full of angst. I understand that they will need to resolve some things, but let’s get them resolved and let’s move on. If this season’s cliffhanger is another problem with the wedding, God help me.
As Ryan says, this is a show that deserves the benefit of the doubt. I am willing to wait and see what happens, but not for long. A disappointing season opener. Two out of four weirdly staged campsites.

Tidbits:

— In honor of the beginning of the seventh season, Nathan Fillion was the subject of The Playboy Conversation. He really seems like a nice guy, doesn’t he?

— You really must check out sunbunny’s tweets from last night as she watched the show live. They are better than the show was. I laughed out loud more than once.

— Gary Duffin sounds an awful lot like MacGuffin.

— The look on Beckett’s face when Esposito brought her the coffee was heartbreaking.

— The suspects: Senator Bracken, 3XK (Jerry Tyson), Mickey Barbosa was a mob figure from last year’s season finale. Vinnie Cardano turned up the last time Caskett were in the Hamptons.

— Is Castle faking this memory loss or does he really not remember? Only time will tell, of course, but I foresee trust issues between Caskett rising again. Don’t forget, Beckett faked that she hadn’t heard Castle tell her he loves her for a year. I’m sure that some part of her brain is niggling with that fact.

Soundbites:

Beckett: “I will find Castle with or without the FBI.”
Agent Connors: “You’re assuming he wants to be found.”

Beckett: “You guys, none of us knows the truth about Castle. Not yet.”

Castle: “Just so you know, the doctor said that kissing will speed my recovery.”

Castle: “I do know I missed you terribly because there’s no way I wouldn’t.”

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.

2 comments:

sunbunny said...

I definitely think this is wrapped up with Castle's dad too. I just can't figure out if he's faking the amnesia to protect Beckett or if it's real. And I agree about the Caskett angst. It's enough already.

nancy namaste said...

Sunbunny's tweets were the best part of last night's Castle. OK by the end I was mildly intrigued but they have not started the season out very well IMHO.

Plus they ruined that gorgeous dress and Beckett's hair. That's unforgivable.