Castle: The Best and Worst Episodes of Season 4 (Thus Far)

Standard police procedurals rarely deserve much examination beyond the entertainment value of the crime of the week being solved, but Castle has never been a standard police procedural. More a cross between Murder She Wrote and Moonlighting than a typical NYPD cop show, Castle has found a viewing audience that most other procedurals never will, largely because of the unquestionable charm of lead actor Nathan Fillion. For as much as Fillion is playing a character on Castle, he's also leveraging that unique mix of self-effacing goofiness and straight-up niceness that makes him such an endearing actor. And that's why people keep coming back: to watch Fillion be Fillion week after week.

The last couple of seasons of Castle have been a bit rockier than the early goings, mostly due to the writers' apparent desire to push more overarching plotlines and traumatic character drama than in the more freewheeling early days. Sometimes it's worked, sometimes it hasn't. This season in particular has been especially up and down, with an abundance of perhaps overly gimmicky episodes and a much more pointed push toward maybe, just maybe, hooking Castle up with his sexy-yet-troubled partner Kate Beckett, dutifully played by Stana Katic. Everyone's been on pins and needles over that last bit, not just because of the overwhelming desire to see those two finally hook up, but also out of palpable fear that Castle might truly go the Moonlighting and lose all its momentum once the sexual tension between Castle and Beckett is eliminated. Will tonight's season finale finally make good on all those wayward half-glances and repeated bouts of unspoken jealousy? Or will we be left dangling until next season? And regardless of which path the showrunners choose, will we actually still care about all this by the end?

I have no idea, because I haven't seen the episode yet. But since we haven't covered Castle a ton, I thought it might be fun to take a quick look backward at some of the best and worst examples from this season of what Castle as a show can be. So, without further ado, here are the best, the worst, and the best/worst episodes from Castle's fourth season, listed according to the order in which they aired.


WORST: "Kick the Ballistics"

Season 4's early episodes relied a bit too heavily on the show's long-tail plotlines (Beckett's shooting at the end of last season especially) for my tastes. I say this because I personally do not watch Castle for its deep back story, nor for its Very Serious Moments. I watch it because Nathan Fillion could charm the communism out of Stalin, given five minutes in a room with the guy. He's a magnetic, hilarious, deeply sympathetic presence in nearly everything he does, which is why episodes that push him to the back burner tend to be the worst among the show's catalog.

"Kick the Ballistics" simultaneously pushed Castle aside while setting about a plot that recalled Season 3's as-yet-unresolved serial killer plotline. Season 3 had its problems, but the 3XK episode, which revolved around the sudden return of a previously dormant serial killer, was one of the few that actually did the more dour drama relatively well. Not so much this time around.

Instead of any real resolution to where the 3XK thing might be going long-term, the episode was more of a reminder of, "Hey, this killer still totally exists!" than full-fledged forward progress. It doesn't help that the crux of the episode, which centered on Detective Ryan's lost service weapon (lost to 3XK, in case you forgot) coming back as a ballistics match in the murder of a young girl, was a total dud. Rather than push any meaningful connection to 3XK, the crew was instead led to a shadowy Chinatown Triad and the son of the Triad head, who had a relationship with the dead girl. It was a throwaway mystery that misused its own comparisons to Romeo & Juliet frequently in addition to just not being all that interesting. Oh, and the actual 3XK connection? It turned out that 3XK shared a jail cell with the episode's killer one time, and at some point following last season's fracas, 3XK gave him the gun, knowing it would be traced back to the cops as some sort of convoluted revenge plot. Look, I'd love for the 3XK thing to see some legitimate airtime, but this was just a waste all around.

Lone Redeeming Quality: The appearance of François Chau as the patriarch of the Triad family. You may remember him as Dr. Pierre Chang of Lost fame. Pity he didn't have more to do here than be a menacing-looking Chinese guy.


BEST: "Eye of the Beholder"

For all intents and purposes, "Eye of the Beholder" was a gigantic Thomas Crown Affair rip-off. It had the elaborate art heist, the sexy, head-strong insurance investigator (played by the wonderful Kristin Lehman), and ample flirtations of romance between the two leads of the episode. Granted, Fillion is an altogether different brand of charming than both Steve McQueen and Pierce Brosnan, but in his own goofy way, I'd certainly put him on a similar "cool factor" pedestal as those renowned actors. And that's a big part of why "Eye of the Beholder" worked so well: It was a Castle episode that was extremely heavy on the Castle.

Beckett's role in "Eye of the Beholder" was mostly to look either irked or kind of sad about Fillion and Lehman making googly eyes at one another—especially Fillion, who might as well have let out a hearty "AWOOOOOGAAAHHH" with steam shooting out of his ears the first time Lehman came on screen. And while I've said before that I don't find the bulk of this season's dances around the subject of will they/won't they very interesting, Katic's moping around and general hostility toward Lehman was surprisingly fun to watch. This pretty much happened all over again in the Firefly fanboy squee episode "Headhunters" (featuring Adam Baldwin as a rugged, renegade cop who Castle immediately regretted deciding to hang out with), but by that point in the season the whole "will Castle and Beckett frigging kiss already" thing had more or less run out of steam. Here, it still felt fresh enough to elicit a response other than one of utter indifference.

The main plot, in which a fake sculpture called "The Fist of Capitalism" (literally a giant golden fist stuffed with cash) was stolen during an art gallery exhibit at which one of the curators of the exhibit was also found murdered, mostly played second banana to Fillion being the best example of Fillion the Goof ever and Lehman charming circles around everybody via the best impression of Rene Russo circa 1999 in human history. But it was still a decently twisty little mystery that managed to loop back around to a conclusion that was both satisfying and totally insane. Just like a good Castle plot should.

Best Moment: Pretty much everything involving Lehman. I wouldn't mind it terribly if the writers somehow shoehorned in at least one art theft per season just to keep her coming back. Maybe she can flirt with Esposito once Castle and Beckett finally consummate this damn thing.


WORST: "Heartbreak Hotel"

I'm pretty sure the sole reason for this episode's existence was to get Nathan Fillion into an Elvis costume. That has to be it, because apart from that wonderful image, this was less than a nothing episode. It was a vacuum of interest, sucked down by a murder plot of no real consequence and an over-reliance on the other male detectives' ability to carry an episode.

I say again, Castle is Castle because Castle is Castle. I enjoy Esposito and Ryan as foils and cheerful info-dumpers, but when an episode's focus shifts so significantly to the two of them, I tend to tune out. Not to belabor the Moonlighting comparison, but it reminds me a bit too much of that show's fourth season, where several episodes had to be reworked to focus on supporting players because Cybill Shepard was out delivering twins and Bruce Willis suddenly realized he was in Die Hard and therefore didn't really need to be on TV anymore.

It's not as bad as all of that, but the episode's lame-duck riff on a casino crime thriller set in Atlantic City was too convoluted to gain much traction, especially without Beckett around to help balance out the investigation. And on that note, this episode also spoke rather clearly to why I don't enjoy Penny Johnson Jerald as Castle's new police captain. She's a fine actress (I've been a fan since her turn as Captain Sisko's love interest on Deep Space 9), but the character is solely defined by her absurd need to micromanage and her abject hatred of Castle. There's literally nothing else to her, and the fact that she's the one Beckett interacted with most in this episode did it no favors.

Redeeming Qualities: Castle's daughter, Alexis (Molly Quinn), having a giant rager of a house party while her dad is out of town and suddenly realizing she's way too nerdy to host a giant rager of a house party. Also, the aforementioned Fillion in Elvis regalia.


BEST: "Cuffed"

I don't know exactly why this was my favorite episode of the season, though I assure you, it's not because it reminded me of a Star Trek episode (TNG's "Attached"). I think it's most likely to do with the fact that much of this episode involved Castle and Beckett, and only a fraction of it involved them making vague metaphors about their stalled pseudo-romance while trying to maintain the illusion of casual conversation. "Cuffed" featured Castle and Beckett handcuffed together in a dank, dusty room that looked like a rejected Jigsaw real estate venture, while trying to piece together the events that led them there because neither of them remembered what happened.

What actually did happen is less important than the consequences of that thing happening. Beckett and Castle were shown together for long stretches, both flashing back to the investigation that led them to this apparent impending doom, and trying to work their way out of the situation they found themselves in. It worked because, again, Castle and Beckett are the characters you're ostensibly supposed to care about on this show. That doesn't always work out for Beckett, whose sole character traits more or less amount to a traumatic family history, a gruff demeanor that only Castle can melt away, and a borderline insane need to constantly deride Castle's silly theories as implausible, even when Castle is very clearly saying things he knows are implausible because they're funny. She's the Omar Epps to Castle's Hugh Laurie, except there was never any threat of House and Foreman humping—though if there had been, I might have actually stuck with that show.

The trick here is that when Beckett was presented with a troubling situation and she was more or less stuck with Castle, the writers fond ways to keep their banter relatively light, even in the most desperate of times. It was great fun to see them together, even when they were discussing the logistics of one of them severing a hand in the name of escape. And hey, even Esposito and Ryan were pretty good in this one! Because there was so much Castle and Beckett, we weren't forced to endure too much of The Other Guys' investigation into where the hell Castle and Beckett got off to, but there were enough decent character moments among them to justify their place in the episode.

Also, there was a giant, angry tiger in this episode. I'll leave it to you to discover the context for that.

Best Moment: See above, re: giant tiger.


BEST: "The Blue Butterfly"

I've lamented Season 4's over-reliance on gimmick episodes, but "The Blue Butterfly" is one of the few that was truly done right. This episode, which featured a fairly elaborate '40s noir flashback/fantasy plot, could have so very easily flown off the rails into cloying parody, but it managed to stay right on the edge from start to finish, while remaining on the side of "enjoyable gimmick episode" in the process.

The mystery involved a missing piece of jewelry (the titular Blue Butterfly), an unsolved 60-year-old murder, and the mysterious journal of a former private detective, who as you might imagine, was the most private detective-y private detective to ever call himself a gumshoe. It wasn't especially great, but the flashbacks to the '40s, with various Castle regulars fitting into the various hero and villain roles of the episode's noir plot, were surprisingly fun. Of course Fillion hammed it up as the detective who wrote the journal, but his enthusiasm for the ludicrously overbearing detective speak reminded me more of Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Dixon Hill" noir throwback episodes. Also, this story is going to be nothing but Star Trek and Moonlighting references from here on out. Sorry.

What's more surprising is how much fun the rest of the cast had with their parts. Esposito and Ryan as Cuban and Irish thugs (working for a mobster played by Lost's Jacob, Mark Pellegrino—okay, yes, I'll throw in some more Lost references too—were stupid good, while Susan Sullivan and Molly Quinn seemed to relish their roles as Fillion's secretary and a young Southern belle, respectively. Even Stana Katic, who I would not call an actress with a particularly grand range, managed to provide a little bit of amusement as the arm candy of the aforementioned mobster, who of course Castle (as the detective) fell in love with. It's the little details in the performances that sell these gimmicky episodes. If the actors find ways to make them entertaining, they work. If the actors don't seem wholly bought in, well, then you end up with episodes like "Undead Again," which I'll discuss shortly.

Best Moment: The sweet, if utterly obvious ending, which reminded us of just how painfully adorable old people who are still super in love with each other can be.


BEST/WORST: "Pandora"/"Linchpin"

This one's a real head-scratcher. On the one hand, the "Pandora"/"Linchpin" two-episode arc had a number of good qualities. It was another good excuse to separate Castle and Beckett from the rest of the crew for a Very Special Adventure, and it introduced a couple of interesting guest stars in Jennifer Beals—as a CIA agent and Castle's former espionage novel muse—and the always welcome Timothy Carhart as a crazy-yet-correct doomsday theorist. Unfortunately, all of that was in service of a plot that can only be deemed a colossal, nonsensical waste of time.

Sometimes I enjoy big, idiotic Sweeps Week plotlines on shows like Castle, and this one actually started out on a positive note. For two whole episodes, Castle and Beckett were segregated from the rest of their precinct by top CIA agent Sophia Turner (Beals) after they stumbled upon the apparent murder of a CIA assassin by a rogue agent, which eventually dovetailed into a massive anti-American conspiracy that has far-reaching implications. But the result of the story was a whole lot of noise about very little.

In this regard, I suppose I'm assigning a "Best" to "Pandora," and a "Worst" to "Linchpin." The set-up was grand, intense, and still full of plenty of Beckett-brand jealousy and Castle-brand one-liners. The other guest star, David Chisum as the rogue agent, was a completely perfect blend of full-on menace and a knowing demeanor that says "you don't know the half of it, you idiots." Even Carhart's late-episode introduction as a former CIA operative whose job was to find global scenarios that could potentially unmake America as we know it was pretty great. Then they killed him off almost as quickly as he arrived, and we were left for a week to ponder whether Castle and Beckett would survive a dunk in the river while still seatbelted into their car.

Of course they did, and of course they kept on investigating despite their near-death experience, and of course the whole plot unfurled with more twists and turns that eventually implicated someone other than the person we'd been expecting to be the bad guy from the get-go. Unfortunately, it was all just limp spycraft from there. Too many red herrings, not enough actual intrigue. And once the doomsday scenario was revealed, it was exactly as anticlimactic as it had to be. With all that build-up, of course America's future rested on something as simple as a child dying. Yes, a child dying was all it would take to start the dominoes falling toward World War III. So Castle and Beckett saved the child of the future, and...that's it.

This could have been a really neat story arc. Instead, it was a heavier than usual distraction with multiple wasted guest stars and two straight episodes of the Stana Katic jealousy face. Still, Beals clearly had a good time riffing on a bunch of CIA agent cliches, and the abundance of Fillion spread throughout the two episodes was just about perfect. Hence the split reaction.

Best/Worst Moment: I am always a sucker for that shot in movies and TV shows where the good guys wander into a conspiracy theorist's den of craziness, and the moment when Castle and Beckett first walked into Carhart's apartment, which looked like a schizophrenic sixth grader's room-sized school project, was pretty awesome. I just wish the ultimate realization had been...I don't know, cooler?


WORST: "Undead Again"

Possibly the most obnoxious of the season's gimmick-based episodes, and tragically, the last episode to lead us into tonight's finale. Look, this is a season that has featured elaborate noir dream sequences, murder victims dressed like fairy tale characters, superhero vigilantes, a renegade cop who doesn't play by the rules, a murdered ghost hunter, and Nathan Fillion wearing a frigging Elvis costume. This season has been ridiculous, but even in its silliest moments, it still felt grounded in some kind of identifiable reality. "Undead Again" had its roots in reality, but it repeatedly insulted the audience's intelligence with allusions of "Yeah, but what if...?"

Specifically, WHAT IF ZOMBIES ARE REAL?!? It's an agenda that Castle actually pushed as a possibility when two men were attacked in a parking garage by what the one surviving man described as a straight-up zombie. There was even video footage that proved it! Until, of course, the plot got around to unproving it. No, the episode did not feature actual zombies, and it even afforded Castle a line to explain that, no, he doesn't really believe in zombies, but he does like driving Beckett nuts by pretending he believes in zombies. Unfortunately, the writers spent wayyyyy too much time nodding and winking in a halfhearted attempt to sell this "Yeah, but what if...?" scenario before they get there.

There was even a commercial break where Beckett and Castle suddenly found themselves surrounded by a horde of zombies (who were actually a flash mob), and we were supposed to think what, that Beckett and Castle might get eaten? Of course not, and within seconds of returning from commercial, Beckett snapped to how stupid it all was and yelled that she's a cop, sending the faux-horde to a screeching halt. It was a terrible tension-building concept, because there is no way the Castle universe is suddenly going to introduce zombies into the mix. We knew they were just a flash mob, so why even tease us with the supposed moment of peril?

It was lazy, hacky stuff, made even worse by the convoluted explanation for the whole zombie murder thing, which involved motion sickness drugs, a jealous fiancee, and a man literally thinking he was a zombie, all of which was tied up via a ruse so idiotic, it belongs in a bad Scooby-Doo episode. That the one truly sweet moment of metaphorical romantic exposition between Castle and Beckett came in such a direly uninteresting episode was tragic, since its impact was ultimately lessened by what came before it. The end of "Undead Again" left us believing that Castle and Beckett were supposed to be back on the road to potential romance, but after 40-some-odd minutes of them chasing after druggies in zombie makeup, I had a hard time really caring. Here's hoping tonight's finale closes out the season on a higher note.

Redeeming Qualities: Either the callback laser tag scenes (in which we discovered that Castle's daughter has repelling equipment just lying around for use in their apartment), or this shining, two-second example of Nathan Fillion's awesomeness. What I'd have given to be that extra.


What do you guys hope to see happen tonight? Do you want to see Castle and Beckett shut up and kiss already? Or is the torture of protracted non-romance more appealing than watching these two crazy kids get together? Comment away, and while you're there, be sure to list your favorite Season 4 moments!


Castle's Season 4 finale airs tonight at 10pm on ABC.

Comments (77)
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"Heartbreak Hotel" is the worst episode

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I won't go into how horrible this article is since it's so old, but I'm really surprised no one mentioned Kill Shot as one of the best episodes of season 4. Stana was phenomenal. She's the one who keeps me watching the show.
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Wow, seriously? Nathan Fillion is the reason I stopped watching. He doesn't have enough appeal to keep me interested long-term..his acting schtick (you know the whole..."wink, wink, nudge, did you get that joke, audience?") began to really get on my nerves. The only reason I kept watching all the way to mid-season 5 (because I agree that the writing has gotten progressively worse - and it didn't start out as Shakespeare to begin with), is Stana Katic. She's interesting.. I definitely think she has more "watchability" appeal than Nathan Fillion. Your review confused me.
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Alex Navarro you're a f*cking jerk and you SUCK. That's all I'm gonna say. Your opinions about the episodes of Castle doesn't matter, because ALL episodes of Castle rocks. Respect all the cast of Castle, not just Nathan Fillion. And almost all your friggin opinions have NATHAN FILLION on it. Are you GAY? F*ck off from the show, jerk. By the way, I bet - I KNOW - that the cast, creators and directors of Castle, are WAY BETTER than you are.
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Cops and Robbers, undead Again, Rise and the list goes on for great Castle episodes. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion so I guess its your right to write this horrible article. Stay away from Castle and write about the incredibly distasteful reality shows that seem to cloud the airways. I think Castle is great and it has earned its legion of fans. At current...I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Season 5 and a whole new life for Caskett!
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Yeah, you forgot COPS AND ROBBERS! Is a brilliant episode too
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Undead Again was actually quite awesome and you left out Cops and Robbers as one of the best of the season..
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While I mostly disagree on the majority of your article and your word choices, I appreciate the publicity for the show.
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Castle is best written crime series of all times. Ending was pretty much perfect, altough there were no actual surprises. Still I have very big hopes considering next season. It's like Grey's Anatomy is this season better than it has ever been, I expect the very same thing when it comes to Castle. My fav episodes this season: Cops & Robbers, Killshot, Cuffed, The Blue Butterfly and Always. Can't wait to see what happens next, It doesn't matter if the main couple is dating, if the writing keeps stories interesting the show just keeps growing. That's what Im looking for.
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a great idea -to review a show for at least once a year, a general review- and a great article.. castle actually does deserve much more attention than this but still I glad that it received any.. the whole show is like a textbook example of how most procedurals should be if not all.. it is light hearted without becoming a caricature, the characters are belivable and lovable (and all of them are, even the boring captain) and fillion rulez.. "unique mix of self-effacing goofiness and straight-up niceness", "...magnetic, hilarious, deeply sympathetic presence.." amen to all of these! but these are true not only for castle but for everyone in the show.. I watch it for castle as well as beckett, esposito, ryan, the mother the daughter.. god the daughter, is there any other representation of teen better than her in the entire tv world? it is so relieving to see some proper people with proper behaviours making up a good, nice, watchable show.. this show is a living proof that characters close to normalcy with only decent amount of eccentrism can also make a show that people like, it does not always have to be marginal personalities with marginal flaws.. I like it that it takes it self seriously just the right amount: not too much to become boring, and not too little to insult the audience..



so I practically agree with most of what has been said in this article but I like to extend it to the whole crew.. without them being just as likeble as fillion is, it wouldn't have been this good..
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Nathan Fillion tweeted this. It said "Dear Alex Navarro, I love you. That is all."
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First, I really liked Always.

I found this article because of a tweet by Nathan Fillion, someone I have really enjoyed watching. What I expected to find was a fluff article singing his praises. Instead I discovered that Nathan is somewhat self involved and willing to allow Alex Navarro to essentially trash all of his co-workers, as long as he gets his praise. Sad, very very sad. I'm not sure I will find the "nice, supportive guy" he plays on Castle to be as believable from this point forward. It also makes me suspect that things are not as great amongst the Castle cast as fans have been lead to believe. Unlike Alex Navarro, I do not call myself a "critic", which is just as well, as I am not someone who sees the value in being nasty when a nicer and equally effective approach will work. I really did not like the tenor of Alex's nor Nathan's comments. However, I will say, that while I think the entire cast does a great job. If the writing is not good, it doesn't matter how great an actor you are, it just doesn't work. I am a huge fan of Castle and while I particularly enjoy the give and take between Beckett and Castle, I think the excellent work of the rest of the cast lends an essential element to the show. This increase in the angst and level of distress between Castle and Beckett IS becoming somewhat boring. It's also unfortunate that the writers have seen fit to essentially make the Captains character non-existent in a harmful way. It appears someone is mourning the loss of Captain Montgomery and taking it out on Captain Gates. Finally, I agree with the assessment that the show had much more light hearted dialogue in the first 3 seasons, but that's not to say it hasn't been entertaining during season 4. Nothing is all fun and games. A little seriousness makes you appreciate the lighter moments. And kids let's not forget, a couple who are "together" can have just as much, if not more fun with sexual innuendo and "sword play" than a couple who are still in the "will they/won't they" mode. The possibilities become endless, if the show's writers will just appreciate them. Again, I really like this show and watch it faithfully.

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A TO THE MEN.
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Alex Navarro, I so don't agree with you! "Undead again" was so funny and so in Nathan Fillion's style. And why do you have problem with romantic side of the show? I think Castle is so great because there is so much more in it then just a crime. Of course, there is Fillion - I agree he is master in goofiness. But there are some funny episodes, like "Undead", some serious stuff, several mysteries - 3xK, Castle's father, murder of Beckett's mother, influential and dangerous people in the shadows... And there is that great connection between Rick and Kate, that makes you (well, not You obviously) keep your fingers crossed for them. I've watched last episode, it gave some answers, but also opened a completely new possibilities for the next season. The season I'm looking forward with hope and excitement.
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I thought Undead was great and I still do...
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I was kinda agreeing with you, the season was kinda rocky and all with ups and downs, but you totally lost me at Pandora/Linchpin. yeah, Linchpin had a few clichs and a lot of stuff packed in just one episode (thus making it a little rushed) but they were done so well. even if the plot was garbage, Jennifer Beals would have saved it all
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All of your criticisms are simply that you don't like the premise of the show. Castle is not meant to be a procedural drama. There are enough shows out there like Criminal Minds, CSI, JAG/NCIS and The Law And Order group. This is SUPPOSED to be light and fun, and all about the relationships. I prefer shows about relationships, and I LOVE the humor of the writers. What you call hackneyed and lazy, I think is pure humorous genius. And, yes, it's all about Nathan's niceness and his self-effacing humor. His "man-child" character, and the way Kate challenges Castle.

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I JUST WANT THEM TO MAKE OUT AND MAKE PRETTY BABIES....... gosh.
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Can't wait till tonight!
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Don't agree on quite a few comments about which were best/worst. It just shows that different people watch the show for different reasons and place importance on different aspects of the show - some prefer less Caskett-ness and more simple fun, some prefer more Ryan/Espo screen time and character development, some prefer only goofy gimmicky episodes to the more serious ones.



Just goes to prove the showrunners can't please everyone, but they try their best to balance every aspect and so far, they're doing a pretty good job considering the circumstances. I'm actually looking forward to the "lighter" side of Castle to return in Season 5 as promised by Marlowe.
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I love Nathan Fillion's words in his profile on Twitter: "It costs nothing to say something kind. Even less to shut up altogether!"
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I pretty much agree with everything in this article. I don't watch Castle to get those Very Serious Moments, I watch it to laugh at Nathan Fillion acting like a charming man-child. I would chose to watch the gimmicky episodes hands down over the serious ones (except the zombie one--I agree that it was horrible). As far as their relationship goes, at this point it's become completely ridiculous that they haven't hooked up. I used to love watching the chemistry and angst between the two of them, and now I just roll my eyes when a new obstacle is created. C'mon! I don't care how traumatized you are, no one could resist that man for so long.
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Nathan Fillion loves this article because it trashes stana Katic. I have no doubt now that our leading couple hate each other (at least Nathan does) Im dissapointed on him.
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I think you're totally off about Nathan Fillion. First of all, by all accounts of people who have worked with him in the past, he is known as a really nice guy, charming, funny and a prankster. The interview posted below in no way portrays him in a negative light. He was probably joking around and people who don't know his sense of humor took it the wrong way. If you think he and his costars hate one another, go and watch all the bloopers and outtakes of the show. People who hate each other do not have that good of a time together, especially not behind the scenes.
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watch this interview, hes horrible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAh6XM6AMjU
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Well ,this interview proves my point . thank you
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Actually, what you've wrote proves only one point - that some Stana's fans are quite... interesting. Especially in their judgement of Nathan.
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omg, don't you people have better things to do with your lives... its called an opinion. LOOK IT UP.
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Um.. I really don't see where in this video he's acting like a douche.. (?) And by the way I think he read first paragraph of this article singing him praises and tweeted it without reading the rest of it. Sure you can have your opinion all you want but I never heard anybody say anything bad about Nathan Fillion. He's like a golden standard of niceness in Hollywood or something. Of course I might not know facts as I am not much of a fan really, but if this article and vid are your only proofs of his douchiness I am not impressed.
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Hun, no one is judging Nathan, we are simply just stating FACTS and sharing videos to PROVE them. I love Nathan, actually, quite frankly im creepily obsessed. I have pictures of Nathan's bum as my background. It's just that in this video, FACT IS, he's acting like a douche. But, like i said, i still will be a creepy fan.. ALWAYS.
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Haha wow you have a depressing outlook on things. Judging from interviews with Nathan he's like the most polite person in the world. I doubt he hates many people at all, much less his co-star. He was just digging on the praise (and probably, the fact that there was such a big write-up for Castle).
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Stana Katic is a wonderful actress playing a character who works hard to be self-contained. The Castles show runners created two wonderful characters who in delightful ways inspired each other to grow. However, this entire season has been a disappointment -- they dropped promising plot lines, like Castle's father and his purchase of the amazing NYC bar with all its plot possibilities -- and dribbled along with what seemed like spec scripts. Can they not even have a consistent nickname for Esposito? The goal of this season seemed to be to extend everyone's contracts but it has taken the fun out of the show. If the finale is another disappointment, I am done. I love this forum -- it certainly beats the self-promotion the Castle creators put out on Twitter. I hope they get it together. These two could have been Nick and Nora or Heart to Heart. I am not optimistic. Hope I am wrong
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Me ha gustado mucho este artculo sobre Castle, mi serie favorita ahora mismo, aunque quiz lo haya encontrado un poco condescendiente hacia Nathan Fillion, al mismo nivel que desconsiderado con la labor de Stana Katic.

Creo que es cierto que la personalidad de Nathan es arrolladora, que tiene un encanto que se le rebosa y que gran parte del xito de la serie est en que Richard Castle es Nathan Fillion haciendo de s mismo, pero estoy segura de que el xito de la serie est en la relacin entre los personajes de Beckett y Castle. Sin ellos, sin la qumica que desprende su relacin, no habra serie. Por eso pienso que es importante que se valore igualmente la labor de Stana.

Estoy de acuerdo con la valoracin que se hace de los captulos, salvo en que el ltimo captulo, el de los zombies, se valore como malo. A m me pareci un captulo muy divertido, de los mejores de la temporada.

Por ltimo, espero que Castle y Beckett se len en este ltimo episodio. No tengo miedo a las maldiciones, estoy segura de que los creadores y el equipo de guionistas tan estupendo que tiene la serie podrn escribir grandes episodios con esa relacin. Slo hay que ver lo geniales que son los momentos familiares de Castle (con su madre y su hija), para saber que igual de buenos pueden ser los momentos entre Castle y Beckett como pareja, por no hablar de los desafos que su relacin podran tener en su trabajo.



Siento expresarme en espaol, pero es que mi ingls escrito no es todo lo fludo que quisiera. Viva la globalidad!
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Estoy de acuerdo ,me parece raro que Nathan haya amado este artculo que habla tan mal de su compaera de trabajo . Eso no habla muy bien de Nathan.Yo debo confesar que empece a ver Castle porque el personaje de Nathan era divertido y Nathan estaba hot.Pero ahora miro mas la serie por stana , seamus y Jon que por Nathan .El tipo esta tan pasado de peso y demacrado que parece el padre de Stana y me distrae mucho eso , como que ya no tienen el mismo atractivo como pareja que tenan en las dos primeras temporadas..
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Te entiendo Claudia. Creo que la intencin del periodista no ha sido echar por tierra la labor de Stana, pero al ensalzar tanto a Nathan ha resultado ofensivo hacia ella, por omisin...

No me gusta pensar que haya malos rollos entre Nathan y Stana, me da pena slo de pensarlo. Yo creo que simplemente este periodista le est haciendo mucho la pelota con lo que dice y a l le ha hecho gracia. Aunque a veces no dejo de pensar que hay algo raro entre ellos, como si hubieran peleado por algo, en algunos captulos de esta cuarta temporada les he visto como desganados, sobre todo a Nathan, perdi un poco de su chispa habitual. Espero que sean profesionales y que dejen a un lado sus malos rollos, (si es que los tienen) y nos den lo que queremos (diversin y caskett).

Es verdad que Nathan tiene algunos kilos de ms y que est desmejorado, pero a m me sigue pareciendo un to muy atractivo. Es que es muy guapo, el jodo... Mira la primera foto del artculo... es que cuando se re se me olvida lo chulo y niato que puede llegar a ser...
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De acuerdo con los dos! Y s a mi tambin me pareci muy divertido el episodio de los zombies! jajajaja.

Slo espero que resuelvan rpido para verlos como pareja. No entiendo el miedo a verlos juntos...
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Very well written article. I love this show, and all the characters on it, except the Captain. I have watched it from the very beginning, because of Nathan Fillion. This article was pretty spot on. For tonights episode, I would love to see the two of them hook up. Although this causes two issues. I love the sexual tension between them. Its awesome the Beckett has the upper hand, and frequently makes Castle bite his hand from some of the things she says. That being said, if they do hook up, I hope the writers do it in such a way that it doesnt follow in the footsteps of Moonlighting. I would hate to see this show fall apart. The chemistry with all the characters is awesome, the writing is crisp, sharp and fantastic. The show is just plain fun, and its one of the few I watch. Please writers, dont screw this up.
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Ok so maybe the fact that I think Stana Katic is awesome is clouding my judgement but is she really that poor of an actress?

I love her portrayal of Beckett, and it's surely the chemistry of both characters that makes the show worth watching in spite of some of the crazy plot lines.

As much as everyone would like to believe the casts of their favourite Tv Shows get along, Nathan posting this article on twitter seems a little odd. :/



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Did I actually call her a poor actress? I didn't mean to imply that, necessarily. This is just my take on why I watch the show and what I enjoy about it. As far as Katic goes, I don't think she's the most versatile actress, but I do believe that in the best episodes of the show, it's the chemistry of the two of them that usually carries them. I think most of my issues with the episodes have more to do with the writing and characterizations than the specific actors/actresses.
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If you want versatility out of her, watch the third installment of "The Librarian", the TNT movie series (I forget what specific title that one had). Hilarious and instructive as a how-to of what NOT to do in writing, though these actors (the main two at least have some talent) give it absolutely all they can in trying to legitimize the absolutely horrid writing.
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I don't think Nathan paid much attention to what was said about his cast members. He was just thrilled with the "Nathan Fillion love/praise" he received from the article.

But no, your judgement is not clouded. She is a fantastic actress and her other roles, projects, movies, etc prove that. People just have a hard time seperating the character from the actor.
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Nice piece of writing Alex. The line "Nathan Fillion could charm the communism out of Stalin" is both true, and well done. To answer the question you've posed to readers: I can't take another "near Miss" where Castle runs into the arms of an ex wife, old girlfriend, or airline Ho because Kate has spurned him again (or he thinks that she has). Been there, done that, seen it, lived it, know it. It's like walking on broken glass at this point. Hook up, and run with it. Force the writers into something new. Take the risk.
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Glad to see Castle get some recognition, but I do not agree with your opinion that Stana Katic is not just as much responsible for Castle's success as Nathan Fillion. It is the chemistry between the two actors/characters that carries the show, PERIOD! And to imply that Stana has less range tells me you haven't seen some of her other works and that you have made an assumption based on opinion, not fact. The person who hooked me to Castle was Stana Katic in the pilot episode when Castle "read" her. It was incredible acting and has kept me coming back week after week for 4 years. Give credit where credit is due, one person does not make the show.
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thank you for this comment, this article really rubs me the wrong way because at the end of the day, there's more to Castle than Nathan Fillion.
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Fine, fine write up! Hear, hear! Castle is usually the highlight of my week, always delivers giggles, inside nerdy jokes, silliness and joy that only Fillion can dish out. I adored "Headhunters" as those two have great chemistry and that 'High-5' moment last week made me squee really loud! Awesome! (Do not use awesome, you're a grown woman!)
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Everyone is entitled to their opinions and I am just as entiltledd to disagree! I love Castle! I love Nathan Fillion AND Stana Katic! They play wonderfully off each other. Stana, God what an actress! Beauty, brains and eyes that make every action, word and deed believable...she IS the charactor she is portraying better than any other actress or actor I have ever seen- and that is many times many of them! My favorite episode was Season 4 - epsode 2 where Beckett was dealing with her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder! I have had it, but for different reasons. Her portrayal was not only astonishingly great but something many people need to understand, especially today with our soldiers! She brought it front and center with the aid of the writers. Together they brought PTSD to the world! There is not one episode of Castle I dislike in any way really. I also don't fear Castle and Beckett getting togther! After all - they still have Beckett's moms murder to solve and Beckett to save and protect! Nathan will also have his share of close calls after tonight's episode...his family may be in danger now too! As long as the writers stay focused and not overdue things...Castle could last several more years!
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I love most of this article, I just disagree that the commercial cliffhanger in "Undead Again" was a terrible concept.



Doctor Who did the exact same thing in "The Empty Child" (spoiler) where all the gas mask people have The Doctor, Rose and Jack backed against a wall, it cuts to black for a second and it's solved by The Doctor telling them to go to their room. Granted, that solution is a lot more awesome than Beckett just saying she was a cop, but still, it's the same concept and that is one of the best Modern Doctor Who episodes.
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Like Lexivy said, Nathan Fillion said he loved you on twitter (won't post the link again) but you've summed up the reason why most of us watch Castle, its because of Nathan but your also spot on about the other stuff too..
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Thanks for the article! I love Castle! I started watching it because of Nathan Fillion of course but then I grew very attached to the rest of the cast... Kate, Alexis, Martha, Esposito, Ryan, Lanie, they're all awesome!



BTW Nathan Fillion LOVES YOU! https://twitter.com/#!/NathanFillion/status/199594531572826113
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I do love this show, and you are right, it's because we love Nathan Fillion. That said, I enjoy the gimmick episodes, and I don't think they went any further with the zombie thing this last episode than they did with the vampire thing in season 2. And I am all about "Cops and Robbers" as the best episode of the season. But then, I do love hostage situations. Predictions? They're going to kiss. It's about time. Also, Kate's going to get overly involved in a dangerous situation and the writer with little training is going to insist to the trained police officer that she's in a situation that's over her head.



Also, I would have paid money to have been that extra in this last episode.
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Wow! Finally a lengthy article on Castle, nicely done.



I will not go into any speculations about The Beckett/Castle relationship, there's plenty of room for that in the Forum section.



I agree with your "worst" picks, but what about "47 seconds", "Heroes" and "Once Upon A Crime" for the best? I think those were pretty ace.
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Had I more room, "Heroes" would have been on the best list. I just wanted to keep this thing (relatively) short.
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Great job :) I'm glad you agree (i hope?) :))
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I'll call Castle out when it needs to be, like last season's murder of a magician and how they found his magic lair by footprints walking into a wall, that's total Scooby Doo Move, however I thought some of the episodes you listed as "Worst" were actually fairly good.

Like, Undead Again had an interesting plot line, and a great sub plot with Castle and Alexis's final game of laser tag.
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It's become rather predictable over the years but I've always enjoyed their balance between goofy/campy/ feel good type of detective work, with it's highly implausible and bordering on ridiculous and frivolous storylines that involve zombies and soap opera stars etc...and the more serious, more action packed thriller-esque long arch episodes like their infamous two parters and Beckett drama. It's predictable...and consistent..but it works. I'm also fond of the other characters as well so I don't mind when they choose to branch out and focus on Ryan aka Castle Jr. and Esposito because they are such interesting characters in their own right who deserve some fleshing out and screentime as well.
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Yeah TVD/TSC team!!!!!!!
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<3 you!
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"it belongs in a bad Scooby-Doo episode." So... any of them, then?
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I never really cared much for law and order svu.
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This is pretty much the best reply ever.
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I don't remember most of the episodes enough to have much of an opinion on which episodes were really good and which were really bad.



The Zombie episode, as the most recent, is really the only episode that's still relatively fresh in my memory bank, and I remember it being... okay. The concept of having a zombie episode was cool, as were a few scenes here and there (like the hi-five GIF up above), but I didn't much care for the revelation at the end regarding the murder. I also agree that the scene in the alley where Castle and Beckett were surrounded by zombies was quite lame particularly because they went to commercial with it -- I'd have liked it more if they went to commercial after Beckett yelled she was a cop and the zombies broke character.



Anyways, the main thing I really didn't care for this season was the way the writers had Castle overhear Beckett saying she remembers everything when she was shot. I had a fairly hard time with Castle immediately believing what Beckett said considering she was interrogating a suspect at the time, as it's quite believable that Beckett would just say something like that for the sake of trying to break a suspect (from Castle's perspective). It also sucked, of course, because it resulted in Castle acting like a big baby for a few episodes. I understand he'd be upset and I could get behind the actual drama that follows from it, but Castle acting like a douche wasn't particularly fun to watch.
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the hi-5 --- awesome! :D
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I agree with you that the reveal was not really believable for the reasons you mentioned.

But I found the whole idea of Castle knowing that Becket remembered to be the best part of the season. It shifted the dynamics and I was so hoping the writers would finally get their act together and have Becket express her love in order not to lose Castle forever. Or that Castle finally grows a pair and flips Becket off to go find himself someone who doesn't enjoy keeping him on a leash for four years.

But instead they chickened out and kicked Castle in the crouch to keep him from chewing on that dog-leash.
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Undead Again had another redeeming scene, when the "dead" guy woke up on the ME's table. They all freaked out, and Stana's reaction (including drawing her gun) was hilarious.
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For once i am not going to over think or have crazy expectations. I am just going to let it ride... should be bomb-tastic though
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look at Chuck they did get Sarah and Chuck together in 3 season. And for me it was still a pleasure to watch their interactions. enough is enough. 4 seasons of sexual tension? I know for characters it must be three months )) but please Castle writers stop being a pussy
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Actually on the show it has been 4 years. Most shows follow the idea that one season is one year. Which makes this whole thing just obnoxious. I've really grown to hate the character of Kate Becket. She's constantly leaving breadcrumbs for Castle but doesn't ever give him anything more.
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it's odd I've read an article recently at Salon about how mediocre actors (like Katic and Jones) could rely on TV coz there are different rules. and here we go again. I just never thought about it watching Castle (sporadically). I'm easily bored with procedurals. And charm of Nathan Fillion is not enough for me. may be coz I'm not a girl) he's funny yes. and I liked some of episodes. but i cannot watch this kind of shows just for standalones (charming Fillion's antics) like in your case. I want seriousness coz goofyness all the time is a drag) and I want proper deep long arcs background (not silly serial killer all the season) but in case of Castle I don't see it. and interactions between wooden Beckett and lively Castle are not enough for me. but I'll follow your advice and watch episode with Kristin Lehman I like her too)
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beckett is an idiot. no woman, troubled or not, would turn down nathan fillion. i mean, c'mon!!! reality check, people! you got fillion, you take him and run like there's no tomorrow.



also, she embodies something i detest in most shows, specially procedural: what kind of cop runs around in skin tight jeans, stiletto heels and evening make-up? she needs a little time with mary mccormack from "in plain sight" or mariska hargitay from "svu". those women make badass look hot.
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Watching Castle and Becket the last season is annoying. Also I don't understand why writers nowadays are so scared of leading characters having a relationship. Sure sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But good writers can make anything work, except for stringing us along for 24 episodes and dragging it out even further. Also why Castle didn't confront Becket when he found out she had heard everything is beyond me and showing up with that stewardess like a six year old was idiotic. Becket moving in with Castle, Alexis & Martha puts 4 great characters with their seperate dynamics, who all can learn and grow from each other in one house. So stop the chickenshit writing and have them hook up already. Not sure if I'm still hanging around for season 5 if they don't. A bit of an empty threat.. I mean it's still Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic...but it won't be the first show I'll watch, just saying.
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In the beginning that tension between the two leads was really fun to watch. The will they/won't they worked well. But after four seasons that is what's dragging the show down. Me and my brother were huge fans at the start but now we feel it's almost a chore to watch this. I can't count how many times Kate has "almost" told Castle how she feels only to be interrupted by something in the last second. If the writers are going to push these moments between the two something needs to happen. Four seasons of stolen glances and almost moments pile up to become extremely frustrating and annoying for the viewer.

It works great for one or two seasons. After that they either need to act on it (no matter if it works out or not), put it in the background or just let it go and have our heroes hock up with other interesting characters.

If they don't resolve this by the end of this season the chances of me returning is getting a whole lot of slimmer.



On a sidenote.. Castle getting cancelled could be a good thing. It'd free up Fillion for a possible Firefly reunion now that Baldwin is also free and the rest of the cast can easily be snatched up from what they're doing.

A man can dream, can't he? :)
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On the one hand, the writers are trying to give you what you liked about on the show in the first place. On the other hand, if you have characters who don't change meaningfully season after season, you start to wonder what's wrong with them.
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i agree on all points
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nice list IDK if i could make a worst castle episode list myself (they all have their moments) granted some are not as good as others but they are still more fun then most other procedural shows.

As for Castle and Beckett maybe i am in the minority but I really do not care. long as the show is fun i will keep watching. I just hope the ( INCOMING POSSIBLE SEXIST COMMENT) female demographic sticks around so the show does not get cancels once it happens.

Altho I will admit it does feel as if they are stretching it out to long. Perhaps they should have them get together and (hate myself for typing this) have Castle get hurt midseason next year. Then Kate could call things off because she will retreat back into her shell so she does not get hurt
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Castle had so much more spark in the start... But now, as you say, the only reason I tune in to each episode is Fillion. This series is a really good example of writers losing their way through the seasons. They have lost everything that was good about the story. Nathan's charm, however, is something no one can write off.
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I'm in agreement with ya. What really made the show stand out in the beginning was that they had a character (Castle) who wasn't a cop or from a cop background. He sees things from a different angle. And that angle is in most cases hilarious.

What I've seen in the last two seasons is how the writers are trying to make the show more serious. Castle has been toned down in favour of the obviously gimmicky emotional and serious episodes.

Note that I use gimmicky to describe episodes that aren't goofy or revolving around a "fun" case. For me the gimmicks are the attempts at being super-serious. Like the bomb going off at the protest. Every character goes into this strained super-serious mode. It all reeks of bad writing to me when they need to employ bombing a crowd of people to make it serious. The bomb is in this case the gimmick.



Maybe the fact that I'm Swedish and don't have the same frame of reference as an American changes my view on this? All you Americans here, is this just a cultural difference?
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Yep, agree on all your points. Except for Nathan's charm, it seemed like they did try and partially succeded in writing it off. For what? Doing some ridiculous "serious drama" stuff no one could possibly believe in, after a gimmick ep previous week? You see, charm isn't needed in a NYPD Blue type of show. Looks like they try really hard to smother everything Castle used to be and turn it into something entirely different. In short, this season sucked balls
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