Castle's Season 5 Premiere: Lovers in a Dangerous Time

Castle S05E01: "After the Storm"

Castle and Beckett are doing it.

There's no flirtation anymore. No wayward glances. No longing expressions of seemingly unrequited love. If there was any lingering doubt as to the long-term prospects of Castle and Beckett's long-awaited coupling at the end of last season's finale, "After the Storm" answered them in resounding fashion almost immediately. Castle and Beckett are doing it, and will continue to do it for the foreseeable future. And with enthusiasm, to boot.

"What does this do to the core dynamic of Castle?" you may be asking yourself. Now in its fifth season, the show has relied almost stubbornly on the romantic tension caused by Castle and Beckett's obvious attraction for one another, and related refusal to do anything about it. Now they've done something about it, which leaves the show suddenly in a rebuilding phase. No longer is Castle about a possible relationship between its two principal characters. It's about the fallout of that relationship coming to fruition.

Oh, and it's also still about a big, ridiculous conspiracy involving ex-military assassins, NYPD's top brass, Beckett's mother, and, now, a corrupt senator seemingly so powerful, he can just have anyone killed whenever he feels like it. But more on that later.

I'll give "After the Storm" this much: It made me okay with Castle and Beckett as an item—and no, I will never refer to them as Caskett, so don't even bother bringing it up. When you go back and look at other will they/won't they shows that petered out after eventually answering with "yes, they will," the reason they petered out is typically because the new dynamic just didsn't work. With Castle, the point could be argued that the old dynamic had hung around for far too long. So maybe that's why I was so totally okay with seeing a post-coital Beckett wander into Castle's bedroom the next morning with coffee and a thoroughly satisfied look in her eye.

Beckett's stiffness has always been the character's weak point. One could waste far too many words arguing whether that's a result of writing or Stana Katic's sometimes one-note acting. But when Castle and Beckett were less close, and more playfully snippy with one another, it was fine. Then, as they glacially moved closer and closer, that stiffness just wouldn't quite give way. Now, all of a sudden, Beckett seems fun, relaxed, and thoroughly at-ease with her place as Castle's special lady. Katic rarely has looked more in her element than she did in last night's premiere, which is good considering nearly the entire episode focused on her.

When the episode was about Castle and Beckett, it mostly held up its end of the bargain. Turning their first night's sexual congress into a wacky teen comedy sketch involving Beckett hilariously tip-toeing out of Castle's apartment—while his mother and daughter obliviously never looked in her direction—was maybe not the best start to things. But as the episode rolled along and Katic and Nathan Fillion were afforded more opportunities to explain themselves, their intents, and frankly just have some fun with one another, things just kept improving. By the end of the episode, I even gave a hearty chuckle to Katic's clandestine junk grab in the elevator. I am actually pretty into seeing these two in this new dynamic. It seems to have breathed some life into Beckett's character, and Castle seems no worse for the wear. Let's just dispense with the whole pretending-we're-not-boning thing, though. There's no need for it.

Less admirable, though probably unavoidable, was the handling of the big conspiracy. After so much focus on it in last season's finale, there was no question that this season would have to wrap some of that stuff up. And last night it did, albeit in as rushed and ham-fisted a way as possible.

It's been so long at this point that I often have to go back to old recaps to remember exactly why all the conspiracy stuff is happening. And even after re-reading all the old twists and turns from previous seasons, I don't think I would have foreseen an all-new villain in the form of a corrupt senator rearing his ugly head pretty much out of nowhere.

"After the Storm" couldn't have been in a bigger hurry to tie up all the loose ends from previous seasons. It dealt with the shadowy figure Castle had been talking to in order to protect Beckett by very quickly—and unceremoniously—killing him off. It did pretty much the same thing to Maddox, the badass killer who nearly sent Beckett flying off a roof last season. All of this previous backstory was blown through in order to introduce us to the new focus of Beckett's ire, all done in service of setting up Jack Coleman as the man who can apparently order secret murders whenever he feels like it, all just to cover up his former indiscretions involving taking dirty money from the mob. Considering most politicians can't even use the men's room without the story becoming a Law & Order episode, I maybe have a hard time buying into all of this.

For his part, Coleman made for a compelling villain. When Beckett tracked him down and began threatening him with potential exposure, his creepily affable response let us know that this guy isn't just some desperate criminal. He believes his own self-created narrative, and his murderous tendencies probably lean more toward sociopathic vacancy, rather than typical criminal desperation. While I found it a tad unsatisfying to see Beckett let him walk with little more than a pistol-whipping to remember her by, that was the corner the writers put themselves in by going in this direction. Any other outcome would have just been silly.

So now Beckett and Castle are an item, Beckett and Esposito will be back on the force once their suspensions are up, and everything seems to be getting back to normal. Presumably, the next few weeks will wander back into the comforting arms of procedural cop comedy, letting Castle and Beckett return to their reality-defying crime-solving operation while also enjoying each other's naughty bits. While I could give or take much of what happened in "After the Storm," it was at least successful at making me look forward to how this new coupling will evolve throughout the season. This relationship has started off on solid-enough footing. Let's see where things go from here.


NOTES


– You can practically see the writers furrowing their brows, trying to make Esposito and Ryan into more dynamic characters, but it's not working. Ryan shouting into a telephone about how he needed that phone trace right now, dammit, just made me burst out laughing. For a scene of supposed tension-building, maybe that's not the reaction the show ought to try to inspire.

– Jack Coleman's casting all but assures that there will be more visits from our evil senator this season. He's a good actor, and it's nice to actually be able to put a face on this conspiracy nonsense. I'm just hoping he's not an overbearing presence throughout the season. The conspiracy episodes tend to be more effective with a fair amount of spacing between them. At the earliest, I don't want to see him again until late November.

– Nathan Fillion attempting to stand "naturally." That is all.

– My girlfriend didn't realize last night's premiere was happening, and now refused to watch the episode because "she's not ready" to see Castle and Beckett together. I didn't know how to respond to that last night, and I still don't now.


What'd you think of the episode?




Comments (41)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
"Stana Katic's sometimes one-note acting" Was your girlfriend breathing down your neck while you wrote that? Beckett WAS supposed to have a 'stiffness' and SK played it extremely well. She was a tease, stiff, playful, angry or hard Right on Point! Beckett is a complex character and watching Stana playing it is delightful.
2
Reply
Flag
Pretty good episode. The best thing about it was that it concluded (for now) the conspiracy storyline. As is stated in this review and by commenters, I didn't particularly care for it. It's just... a bit too out there. It's also not what I watch this show for.



It's good to see Castle and Beckett enjoying themselves. I thought the writers might go the route of making it awkward and having one or both of them (more likely Beckett) regret it afterwards, but I'm glad they didn't. With the show currently concluding the conspiracy and Castle/Beckett enjoying the sex (hehe), it appears the show will just go right on back to its usual procedural style, which is best.



Yes, Castle trying to stand normal was quite funny. More so because he didn't go over the top with it... it was pretty subtle, but still cute.
1
Reply
Flag
Hey Alex! Liked your review!

I like the show basically because of the leads. I'd prefer if Fillion spent a little bit more time hitting the gym (or actually going to the gym full stop, but I think the "doesn't do gyms" LOL) or even maybe yoga... Coz man he's barely 40!!!

Anyway, I have never watched the show for the exciting cases... some have been good... some were terrible! Most of them predictable... but still it was all the sexual tension and all that was fun to watch. Now I do not know what it is, or what might have transpired "behind the scenes" but I actually feel both of them less enthusiastic in their acting. Beckett more erratic maybe because of the way her character is written...

I do know one thing and that is that the editing is absolute crap!!! Anybody else has any comments on that?

Reply
Flag
One of the things i love about this show is that it can pull off intense drama and light hearted comedy not just from one week to another but within the same episode. It isn't as heavy as other crime procedurals and as someone who watches those among other things I enjoy that about it.



I was curious as to how they would handle the whole Beckett and Castle being together thing. I so agree with the reviewer btw about Beckett, she's become a gem in the recent seasons but she did start off as a one note type of girl and Nathan Fillion almost had to carry her through scenes. I think they handled them being together quite well. It won't be the end of the show as we know it now that they're together, because there is all the fun things that come with them trying to keep their relationship secret, but with Beckett's life still being in danger despite her agreement with the Senator, and the lives of the people she cares about being in danger by association, it's only a matter of time before THAT comes between Castle and Beckett at some point or another. It's enough of a thing to make her distance herself again at some point, no doubt about it. So they've essentially surpassed the "will they won't they" phase and now they have other angles that they can work w/o them being this happy blissful couple.



I actually appreciate them giving Esposito and Ryan more to do. I love it when those guys get some spotlight thrown their way and I do find it believable that Ryan can do intense. He's like that nice guy who has a temper if pushed too far.It's realistic. I personally feel that a show is only as good as it's least developed secondary characters...they too have to thrive to make the dynamic of the show great. I've even found myself enjoying Sir more. And naturally it's near impossible to not enjoy Martha and Alexis. I only wish they did more with Lanie.



The conspiracy thing seemed far fetched and by the end of the episode I came to the conclusion that this won't end until the end of the series. As taboo as it is to bring up Castle and The Mentalist together, Kate's mom's case and all this conspiracy stuff revolving around it, is this show's Red John. It'll last for as long as the series does.
More+
Reply
Flag
Jack Coleman! :D I've been waiting for this episode since his casting was announced! As a fan, I strongly disagree with your sentiment. There is no such thing as too much Jack Coleman, he can only make a show better.
Reply
Flag
I knew there was something funny about the title, then I remember Richard Castle, charter Derrick Storm. This is basically the title of a Derrick Storm novel.
Reply
Flag
I think you guys put too much criticism and thought into this show. Castle is fun light-hearted romantic comedy, and even at its darkest it is still entertaining. That's the reason we watch TV in the first place, to be entertained. Castle is my favorite show, because it still entertains me. I don't watch it just because I feel like I should just to finish it, like I do with so many other TV shows. Castle genuinely makes me happy, and that's why I watch it. Even the conspiracy episodes, because a show can't be funny all of the time. There has to be some drama, and the conspiracy episodes definitely bring the drama. Overall, their relationship is going to be hilarious, and it seems like this season will be pretty epic. That makes me happy, so don't harp on it.
2
Reply
Flag
amen. i feel like castle is one of those shows that seem so heavy and dense if you don't watch it or think too deeply about it. chill, and bring out your inner nathan fillion and keep shippin' caskett <3
Reply
Flag
always cool! love the subtle comedy!!!!
2
Reply
Flag
I agree with most that this is just a fun show to watch. It's pretty much always watchable and doesn't take itself too seriously, so I don't. Just a fun bunch of people to watch week to week...
1
Reply
Flag
Why did they have to kill Cole Maddox off so quickly?!?! They could have made his character arch a little longer :(
Reply
Flag
Yeah, any time Tahmoh is on screen should be prolonged. I still miss BSG.
Reply
Flag
Everyone likes different things, and I think nitpicking is just how some people get by. I completely enjoyed last nights episode. There should've been a bit more with Alexis and being hungover, cause that's new. But. They had a lot to do to get clear for upcoming episodes. I would've been upset had there been one more setback for the team with the conspiracy theme. So, last night was a nice leg up in that. With the hook-up. It was handled good and in a humorous way.. Castle is and shall remain one of my favorites.
1
Reply
Flag
You accuse some of these commenters of nitpicking?!?!?! How dare you, sir? How dare you?
2
Reply
Flag
I was worried as well as to where the show was going after they hooked up, and my fears were alleviated when Martha came hone and Castle banished a semi nude Beckett to the closet. From that moment on I knew the writers had found a new source of comedy for the series, the pair doing the deed and trying to hide it from family and friends. My girlfriend equated the lovey dovey romance stuff to bones by saying "Oh so now they're suddenly in love, this is Bones all over again" and I told her there was no suddenly about it, the show has been all about their burgeoning romance since the get go. Now they can show it openly.
1
Reply
Flag
The previews with Castle and Beckett hooking up sounded quite nice and I was hoping we would get the old and fun Castle back. The "Previously on Castle" however made me fear we were again going to be bored to death with the who-killed-becketts-mother story line. And yup after 5 minutes of fun we were back in the tedious story line. After 10 minutes, I decided to just stop and scrap Castle from my viewing list. A shame as it used to be so good. Add your comment...
Reply
Flag
For the most part, that conspiracy of Beckett's mother kind of concluded in this episode. I suppose it'll still come up every now and then but I don't think it'll be featured again and again to the point of giving up on the show because of it.
2
Reply
Flag
You should watch the promo for next week. It looks like they are going back to the old fun model 100%. But with sex!
1
Reply
Flag
Sorry man, something went wrong with the comments.
Reply
Flag
"The difference being: I have my pants on."
1
Reply
Flag
I'd say its awesome that you guys decided to review Castle from this year, but does it really warrant a review every week? Its just a fun show with the occasional overarching plot thrown in. I liked the episode even though it felt a bit rushed. I'm totally on-board for their relationship this season. If anyone can make it good, its this pair other than Olivia-Peter, of course.

P.S: I don't think a guy who thinks Katic is 'one-note' should be doing any reviewing for this show.
2
Reply
Flag
Agreed! Who dares to say Stana Katic is 'One-note'? We should hit him with a shovel!
3
Reply
Flag
He also reviewed Newsroom, which he hated. It was not a joyful process. I was really hoping he and TV.com had decided to part ways.
Reply
Flag
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I think Navarro was slammed by Stana Katic when he tried to get a date with her. He obviously doesn't have a clue about good acting.
3
Reply
Flag
I like Nathan Fillion, I like Stana. This show isn't going to win any awards. But it is just fun TV. It gets a first aired viewing from me.
1
Reply
Flag
I stop reading after "One could waste far too many words arguing whether that's a result of writing or Stana Katic's sometimes one-note acting." yeah whatever
3
Reply
Flag
I agree. I think Katic is a very good actress. One point in season 3, I even wanted her to be nominated for an Emmy.
2
Reply
Flag
Yeah sometimes it doesn't really seem like the author likes this show all that much in the first place...
3
Reply
Flag
Frankly, one of the best season premiere episodes. Some fun scenes, glad they wrapped up for the time being the conspiracy plot, allowing the team to focus on solving cases and gallivanting. I'm not bothered so much by the possibilty of Castle and Beckett playing house. I'm expecting more of a "Nick and Nora Charles" sort of development, which would be just great.
Reply
Flag
HRG!!! Love that guy.



why are you reviewing Castle? Surely your talents could be better used elsewhere. You might as well be reviewing NCIS and CSI too. (note: please do not start reviewing NCIS and CSI). It's a good show, but not enough happens on it to require a weekly review.



As for your girlfriend, bitches be crazy, what are you gonna do, ya know?
Reply
Flag
I'm gonna guess that this wont be a weekly thing. I think almost every season premiere is being reviewed, so maybe this is just a 'once every 10 episodes' or 'once for the premiere, once for the finale' type thing. Well, it should be anyway... you're right, reviewing a procedural weekly is pointless.
Reply
Flag
Yay for the HRG love! :D
Reply
Flag
Agreed! Why review any procedural? The only thing that distinguishes this one from others is that it has a very likeable character (Castle) in the lead.

I gave up on this show after a couple of seasons. (I wouldn't have watched that many episodes if it hadn't been for a friend who insisted that the show is awesome). I got sooo sick of the formula after a while that I couldn't watch *any* similar shows after that.
Reply
Flag
I only watched this episode because of Jack Coleman. I too gave up on this show after two seasons. I don't think it's bad or anything, it has a certain charm, but I think I'm really sick of procedurals nowadays. They bore me to tears.
Reply
Flag
Maybe in the past I'd say that, but with the whole relationship thing I think it warrants more frequent reviews/updates. That said, I'm not sure he will be reviewing it weekly.
Reply
Flag
So Jack Coleman is playing two senators now.
Reply
Flag
Why not? We've got 100 people playing senators IRL at this moment. :)
Reply
Flag
They waited so long I think the chemistry might be gone. When I watch "Fringe", I see the chemistry between Peter and Olivia, I feel it. But Castle and Beckett... like "Bones", it's old news. No wonder "Bones" went right into family mode: that story line is no longer exciting. It's settling down, having babies and the occasional kiss.



Nathan Fillion trying to stand normal is the kind of thing that shows what a great actor he is. Hilarious!



And the conspiracy?? Oh boy, somebody put Beckett, and myself, out of our miseries!
Reply
Flag
I for one was glad they rushed through the conspiracy stuff. After so long, I just don't care anymore and want to get back to good old Castle and Beckett crime solving. Now the show can focus more on the fun and romance and leave behind most of that drama.
1
Reply
Flag
I enjoyed it. It felt like 5 episodes rolled into one for plot points, which I don't mind. I'm also looking forward to seeing how Castle and Beckett pans out, but I hope they don't just have a big argument after 10 episodes and start an annoying 'on again, off again' dynamic.



Considering the show is about a novel writer named Castle, why is there no mention of him writing any more? Is he retired??
Reply
Flag
I agree that all the conspiracy stuff seemed kind of hurried and wasn't that fun or interesting, but the Castle and Beckett scenes were a lot of fun. I'm also excited to see more Jack Coleman - he makes a great villain - as long as it's not TOO often.
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook