CASTLE Season Premiere: Deep in Death - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CASTLE Season Premiere: Deep in Death

September 22, 2009 by  

The first season of “Castle” had its ups and downs, many of the latter occurring in the first several episodes which was to be expected for a new show trying to find its footing. By the second half of the year, however, the budding relationship between Stana Katic’s Beckett and Nathan Fillion’s Castle became much more interesting and frankly, better executed. While I will be the first to say that Beckett was one of the weaker characters on the show, along with some of the supporting members of the N.Y.P.D., Katic found her rhythm and the by-the-rules lead detective became a driving force in Castle’s otherwise juvenile lifestyle.

By season’s end, the partnership between Beckett and Castle that took much of the season to solidify and cement as a believable yet quirky friendship of sorts, took a turn for the worst when Castle revealed that he had looked into the murder of Beckett’s mother on his own, potentially damaging her trust in him forever.

So as “Castle’s” sophomore season began, the big cliffhanger was: Will Beckett and Castle solve cases together? And if you thought the answer would be a resounding no, then well, you’re a little clueless. Castle is still the same Castle, albeit a little more mature; but a little in this case amounts to only a pinch here and a pinch there. The weekly poker games with well-known authors of contemporary mystery novels – the ones Castle writes – are still weaved in seamlessly into the fold. Castle is still a hit with the police department and the mayor. Beckett is still an enigma waiting to be solved, with thin layers being peeled off by the episode. (Last night, we found out she studied abroad in Russia in the middle of junior and senior years in college and that she can pull off a mean Moscow accent.) And as usual, everyone is still enamored with the celebrity of Richard Castle.

The case plays second fiddle on this show, unlike a “CSI” or “Law & Order,” but like I’ve mentioned previously in last season’s recaps, I prefer it that way. While the week’s crime might provide a metaphor, a parallel or some sort of symbol in the lives of Beckett and/or Castle, those two polar opposites are the show’s running storyline. Like when the two find out that the victim was a drug mule for powerful Russian mobsters to provide for his family after the victim’s former co-worker (a Maxwell Haverstock) revealed that they were both laid off from their jobs, that that same life-death situation came up later on in the episode when Castle was in danger off getting his head blown off by a mobster with the prosthetic finger (can you say disgusting?) in the kitchen of a dingy Chinatown hangout and Beckett – clearly still harboring feelings for Castle – opted to risk her life to save his by doing something she didn’t have to do.

Or when Castle’s daughter, Alexis, posed an innocent question after being stood up by her boyfriend (or is it still boy friend), Owen, on a movie date and having to deal with some stupid excuse instead of the actual truth: “Why do boys act like that? Why can’t they just say they’re sorry?” Castle’s eyes lit up, because he knew his teenage daughter was right – and he’d been wrong all along with the way he handled Beckett’s mother’s murder. Sometimes the simplest answers are the best ones – and it proved right when Castle apologized like he should have in the finale.

Here are some thoughts and observations:

  • It’s all about family: Castle is undeniably a great observer of detail and a resourceful investigator of sorts, but the most interesting aspect of his life is his family; the strength of the show is his diva mother and extremely mature daughter. The first moment we see them this season, things have stayed the same (thankfully) – except they’ve been let in on Castle’s not-so-evil plan to win back Beckett’s trust. Plus, we knew the new movie “Fame” (smart marketing, by the way) was way more important than Castle’s safety when he could have been shot point blank in the back of the “morgue mobile”? A little hit at the movie industry lacking original ideas (“A Christmas Carol” anyone?) was a nice touch too.
  • Bloody Sunday: Ruh-rh. When Beckett and Castle interrogate Maxwell Haverstock, they find out that the victim has been lying to his family about his position in the company he worked at. In fact, he wasn’t a high-level manager who fired dozens of employees, but was one of those let go. When the team gets a lead that the victim’s body is found – again – but this time without his organs, Castle can’t help but speak his mind: “Somebody hated his guts.” Literally.
  • A fourth “CSI”?: While the morgue girl conducts some obligatory tests to a bloodied glove that was filled with drugs, the always-aware Castle quips about other crime-centric shows, like “CSI,” who usually make the testing process far cooler and gripping than it actually is. Even though there are far too many of these shows on TV today, “Castle’s” post-postmodernistic approach is exactly what set it apart from those straightforward procedurals. If someone can provide a running commentary on society and popular culture at large, why not have it be Captain Hammer himself?

What did you think about the first episode of the new season? Did the “resolution” to the Beckett-Castle fight satisfy you? Did you think it happened too soon? Did you like this week’s case? What sort of conflicts do you want the characters to tackle, both in their personal and professional lives? What was the best Castle-ism of the episode?

Philiana works at an entertainment trade publication in Los Angeles and recently graduated from the University of Southern California. Her favorite new shows are “Glee” and “The Vampire Diaries.”


10 Responses to “CASTLE Season Premiere: Deep in Death”

  1. Patty on September 22nd, 2009 2:56 pm

    I love this show. I love Fillion’s Castle and all his crazy family and the best part of the show was when he said “I’m sorry”. If every woman didn’t melt at that? They are pretty hard hearted and I am stone cold and I did.

    I found the dialog humorous and everyone just kind of fit. It was a joy to watch after that lump that was OTH this week.

  2. Kimber on September 22nd, 2009 3:18 pm

    Loved the new season/episode of Castle! It’s been a long summer without it, and I’ve missed Castle and Beckett and their bickering filling my screen! Even the cop guys, whom I remembered, but can never remember their names! And the boss guy. Is the ME new, or did I just not pay attention to her last season?

    Like the TV fan I am, I watch the opening credits (or, in this case, the names scrolling along the bottom) for names I’m familiar with, and was happy to see Laurel Holloman’s name. I know her from both Angel (crazy, anyone?) and more recently, The L Word, so it was nice to see her again. Also, the guy who got the murder victim involved in the drug mule stuff … he was SO familiar, but I have no idea where I know him from!

    My favourite part of Castle is the humour, which Nathan Fillion pulls of oh so well! His bit about the ME printing the gloves, and how “on CSI they would have put it to music” was hilarious! I also “awww”ed at every scene with his lovely daughter, Alexis, and the end where she spoke of how Owen had been a jerk, and what Castle took from that … priceless! Castle and Beckett are a beautiful team, but I’m hoping the show doesn’t go and exploit that relationship (see: Bones), and keeps it with the cuteness, but professionalism. For now.

  3. Jim on September 22nd, 2009 4:03 pm

    Very enjoyable show. Glad to see the supporting cast got some strong lines. When Beckett told Castle why he’d dug into her mother’s case, selfishness, and he recognized she was right, that took the relationship to a new level. It will be interesting to see where they take that element.

    Looking forward to the rest of the season. Hope they don’t mess up the writing.

  4. Michele on September 22nd, 2009 4:59 pm

    Love Castle, love Nathan Fillion! And a great recap. ♥

  5. Philiana on September 22nd, 2009 5:43 pm

    Kimber — I agree. The show is pretty much all Nathan Fillion and the way he balances the humor with the heaviness the cases sometimes bring. And like you observed, I hope the writers make the Castle-Beckett partnership (in whatever state it is now) refreshing and realistic. It’s already going toward the “Bones” route, but hopefully they’ll figure out a way to keep us viewers on our toes.

    Patty — Must admit I did catch part of OTH this week and I am over the constant music over 85% of the scenes. What is up with that?! Anyway .. let’s talk “Castle,” haha. Oddly, I was hoping that the episode would’ve ended with Beckett tearing into Castle because I thought that would’ve made their dynamic a lot more interesting to watch — but since the show is based around the police department and actual cases, that might’ve been difficult to pull off .. bummer.

  6. Kelly on September 22nd, 2009 5:49 pm

    I love Nathan Fillion. Period. I’m a little new on the Nathan train (my first exposure to him was on Dr. Horrible), because for some reason, even though I love Joss, I missed Firefly when it first came out and I’ve never watched it because I’ve heard so many great things about it and I get sad when I watch great shows that were prematurely canceled. (Whew, long sentence! 🙂 )

    Anyhoo, Nathan Fillion (and somehow I can never just say “Nathan” — it’s always “Nathan Fillion”) is just so darn charming that I would probably watch the show even if it sucked, but thankfully it doesn’t. I like that Castle and Beckett have chemistry, but it hasn’t devolved into a stale will they/won’t they.

    I thought that last night’s ep was a good season opener. Of course, it was clear that they’d reconcile by the end of the episode, but it didn’t come off as rushed because Castle was just so sincere in his “I’m sorry” speech to Beckett.

    Yay for a new season of Castle!

  7. Sarah (seeleybaby) on September 22nd, 2009 10:20 pm

    Hey Philiana! congrats on graduating; that’s cool. I haven’t seen the season two premiere yet, but i was so pumped to see you’ll be covering the show on GMMR again this year. Yay!

  8. susie on September 23rd, 2009 1:08 am

    Perfect show for 10pm! After a long day at work and even more work at home- dinner, laundry, cleaning, etc… This is a great show to unwind with! Humorous, clever, sexy, and it’s not necessary to use your brain to watch this show!

    If anyone is old enough to remember, Castle reminds me of a cross between “Hart to Hart” and “Moonlighting”. Does anyone agree?

    Glad the networks decided to bring back the detective/couple scenario. About time. And there is great chemistry between the two main characters. Looking forward to all the episodes this season!

  9. OldDarth on September 23rd, 2009 11:12 am

    The show is a light confectionery but Nathan Filion pulls it off. Again. I will follow this man through hell and back.

  10. tw111 on September 23rd, 2009 9:06 pm

    I love it…. Beckett and Castle remind me of Tracy and Hepburn in old movies.
    Wasn’t she in 24?
    It’s hilarious when Beckett tries to glam it up and go all feminine for a night out….. her obvious discomfort juxtaposes so well with the fact that she’s gorgeous and doesn’t know it. Refreshing. And I like the daughter/grandmother subplot, too.