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Castle S06E01: "Valkyrie"


Cliffhanger endings live and die by their ability to keep the audience rapt with anxious interest between the time one episode ends and the next one begins. This is especially true of season-ending cliffhangers, the likes of which must find ways to sustain audience speculation for months of dead air, as opposed to just a single week's time. When one of these endings is done particularly well, they'll stick in my brain like a bug, burrowing ever deeper until the anticipation of seeing the payoff becomes almost too much to bear.

I can't say that any season-closer of Castle has ever quite successfully reached burrowing-bug status in my mind, but there have certainly been times where I've wondered over the course of a summer what might happen to intrepid investigators Richard Castle and Kate Beckett; this was especially true after Season 3's capper, which featured Beckett on the wrong end of an assassin's bullet. But as for Season 5's ending, which saw Castle and Beckett's still burgeoning relationship hit a particularly rough snag following a new job offer for Beckett in Washington D.C.—as well as Castle throwing down the gauntlet with a marriage proposal right at the tail end of the hour—I can't say I've really given it much of a second thought over the last few months.

Some of that undoubtedly had to do with the relatively rushed nature of both the job offer and the proposal, the former of which only became a factor in the second-to-last episode of the season, and the latter seeming wildly out-of-the-blue, given the short amount of time the couple has actually been a couple. Good cliffhangers build on existing storylines to create a feverish level of interest and then cruelly (but effectively) cut off right before the moment of highest anticipation occurs. Last season's finale felt like a hasty build-up to a problem and solution nobody had much time to wrap their heads around, nor really invest in. I spent most of Season 5 liking Castle and Beckett together, but the manufactured job offer seemed like a nonstarter, not only because it had no time to breathe within the season itself, but because it barely seemed like that big of a problem. As I said in my review of last season's second-to-last episode, "The Human Factor":

"This dangling job offer was presented as a potentially relationship-destroying event that will have to be dealt with in next week's finale, but isn't Castle a super-wealthy man of means who could potentially just pick up and go anywhere Beckett does? Yes, Alexis and Martha are in NYC, but D.C. isn't exactly an insurmountable distance from New York—hell, it's just a three-hour Acela ride away. Unless the job includes some kind of "no relationships" clause, I'm not entirely sure I see what the huge, world-destroying issue is here."


Evidently, showrunner Andrew Marlowe and his staff couldn't quite bring themselves to mine any meaningful, lasting drama out of this scenario, either. As Season 6's premiere, "Valkyrie" demonstrated as it picked up right from last season's moment of truth, Castle is still pretty much the same show, except now Beckett is living in D.C., has a super clandestine job, and Castle has to go visit her sometimes. Which is hard, I guess.

Maybe I'm selling the moment where this all came to fruition a bit short. It was sweet to see Beckett's face go from sheer terror to a kind of giddy excitement as she realized Castle wasn't trying to talk her out of this new job, but simply to confirm his commitment to her, regardless of where she ends up. It made all the dumb drama of the last couple of episodes seem even more superfluous, but having her accept the engagement with the freedom of being able to further her career the way she wants to was pretty great. I might not have been looking forward to seeing how this played out, but I was glad for how it eventually did.

It's where "Valkyrie" went next that I became progressively less and less enamored with. Following the accepted proposal, time jumped a few months to find Beckett already on the job in D.C., albeit still in something of a training capacity. Her opening action sequence saw her chasing down a perp, only to be gunned down after a hostage situation turned out to be a double-cross. Of course, this was all just an exercise, emphasizing that Beckett still has a ways to go to learn the ropes in her new position as a government agent. This fact was repeatedly pointed out by Beckett's new partner, a.k.a. Cuddy from House (Lisa Edelstein).


Meanwhile, Castle was just coming home from a whirlwind book tour, and both were lamenting the lack of time they'd been able to spend with one another. Beckett had been scheduled to head out to New York for some R&R, but then a new case hit her desk, and she was stuck working for the weekend. Castle was crestfallen, but, being the man of means that he is—and also facing a newly returned Alexis and her fruitarian space case new boyfriend (more on him later) staying at his house—Castle did the only sweet-if-intrusive thing he could think of and jetted off to D.C. to surprise Beckett.

Unfortunately, Beckett's life is not what it once was. While NYPD cases required a degree of discretion, her current workload is legitimately classified, meaning that Castle's endless curiosity is now far more of a detriment than the boon it used to be. When Beckett took off to head to work and inadvertently left behind a case photo of a serial number from a recently exploded transformer, Castle couldn't resist calling up his old buddies Esposito and Ryan to help him track down what he claimed to be "research" for a new book, but obviously was anything but.

This resulted in Castle and Beckett both ending up at the same golf course, which served as an exit for the thieves involved in the heist Beckett had been assigned to. This particular heist involved a device of some import, taken from a government lab near the greens during a blackout in a highly coordinated operation. Definitely the kind of thing civilians aren't supposed to know about, making Castle's presence wildly inappropriate. Cuddy (sorry, I know that's not her name, but I'm having a real hard time summoning any other identifier for her) was not pleased, but an incident was essentially avoided when she admitted her own accidental indiscretions from her early career to Beckett. Now these two have something in common, in that they have both accidentally leaked classified materials at various points in their lives.


All of this stuff worked reasonably well, mind you. The fumbling nature of Castle and Beckett trying to establish new boundaries while still allowing for some openness between them made total sense, and both Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic played the misunderstandings for decent drama and laughs. The problem with "Valkyrie" came as the case itself began to bloom into greater and greater nonsense. As it turned out, the heist itself was a distraction for a much bigger crime, but before anyone learned that, the presumed suspect of the robbery, an ex-military man who was spotted at the golf course, actually took Castle hostage, having spotted him when Castle went to do his own investigatin'. By this point, Castle had agreed to excise himself from any investigations whatsoever, and was actually just out buying dinner for Beckett. Now, all of a sudden, he was trapped in a car with a gun pointed at him as this seemingly raving lunatic shouted random questions about something called Valkyrie, and a mysterious military base called Dreamworld. All this, just moments before the guy passed out dead and wrecked the car into a bus stop.

Things only get more convoluted from there. Castle was briefly interrogated by Beckett's boss before being sent back to NYC. Meanwhile, Beckett was hunting down the (now dead) suspect's girlfriend, only to eventually realize that it was all just a cover-up, a staged operation designed to distract the authorities from something even more dangerous that'd been stolen from a top-secret lab a few floors above the one they were originally investigating. And then, just as Castle returned home long enough to have an awkward conversation with hippy boy and type the words "ghost base" into a search engine, he was already on the way back to D.C. to learn that he'd been poisoned with a chemical weapon. Yes, that weapon was what was stolen from the top-secret lab, and that weapon was what killed the previous suspect. Castle had been infected too, and according to Beckett, he only had a day to live.

Gosh that's an awful lot of crazy stuff to shove into the back third of an episode that's already trying to: 1) orient the audience to a new locale, 2) transition into a new situation for the main characters, and 3) to find room for its previous supporting players. As much as I still think the show is trying to eke too much out of too little with this long-distance relationship, "Valkyrie" kicked off by actually throwing some meaningful stakes in there. Beckett's life is markedly different than what she and Castle had become accustomed to, and while the addition of an engagement solidifies them a bit, there are still numerous changes to be made before the two of them are actually be able to share a life together. "Valkyrie" had just barely started playing with those concepts before this freight train's worth of high-octane military drama came crashing into the mix. It's like someone found a way to weaponize NCIS and detonated it in the middle of a Castle episode.

Of course, Castle's sudden lack of time left on this Earth, as well as the whole of this theft case, will almost assuredly be wrapped up by next week, at which point we'll be able to see what kind of rhythms this newly long-distance series might fall into. I just worry that putting Beckett in the middle of these higher-stakes government investigations week after week is going to push things to a place where the show will habitually be trying to make things even crazier and crazier. With the NYPD, Castle was primarily focused on murder investigations, with the occasional evil Senator or initialed serial killer popping up from time to time to dial up the drama every now and again. Now that she's in D.C., we're already off to the races with shadowy forces, ghost bases, deadly chemical weapons, and a main character only having one day left to live. That's a lot to throw at an audience that's already off-balance coming into this season. Considering how hit-and-miss a lot of Castle's crazier stories can be, I have my share of concerns over how this season may play out. We'll see, I guess.



NOTES

– I'm guessing this episode was written and produced before the whole thing with Syria and its chemical weapons flared up, but man, talk about weird timing, eh?

– I scarcely know what to think about what will happen to Esposito and Ryan. Castle calling them up at the old squad room felt more like the show trying to find a way to establish their continued existence than a meaningful plot point. Like, there's some part of me that worries this will be the only way we see these guys from here on out, though I'd just as soon assume I'm wrong about that. I give them crap for not always being the most useful cogs in the Castle machine, but here's hoping they aren't about to be thoroughly reduced in screen time.

– Now, about Alexis's new boyfriend: Was this really necessary? The "girl comes home from college/trip/finding herself with new idiot boyfriend" trope has aged to the point of being rotten, and having this new boyfriend come in expressly to annoy Castle in the middle of everything else that's going on felt like one obnoxious detail too many. The joke that the guy is a spaced-out fruitarian wasn't even particularly funny, nor was any of the banter between him and Castle. So what is the point here? Did Andrew Marlowe just happen to catch a mid-afternoon cable showing of Pauly Shore's Son in Law and laugh way too hard at it? It just seemed senseless.

– Just a heads-up that we won't be covering Castle on the regular this season. Since this week's premiere turned out to be a two-parter, I'll be back next week to cover that one as well, but beyond that, we'll probably just check in on the show from time to time to see how it's progressing.


What'd you think of the season premiere?

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I did not care for the premiere. I like for "mother & daddy" to get along...to be happy. When they are not, I don't watch...poor Castle...At least the writers brought them together with 10 minutes of the show being in Castle's favor...we shall see....
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And the way he raises his daughter come on fathers who allows there to run them it doesn't happen this show should be re done the whole show from season 1 cause who ever wrote this character who they based him he pulled it out his ass and must have no kids........
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I just call it how i c it....... im a dad
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I think this show is good except how they based castle no one would allow themselves to be around sum scum bag like castle no way people need to start making shows & movies a little more real.......
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I think this show has jumped the shark. Becoming a government agent, with a new set of boring characters, that really do not gel well together at all. The only way that it will work is if she goes back to NY. But the only thing I can think of is her getting fired or quitting. But then, going from an agent back to the police department will seem cheesy. They should have ended this at season 5. They will run this into the ground.
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Haven't you read any of the other comments? Kate most likely won't stay in DC, especially since the actor who plays her partner is only hired for 3 episodes...

And you don't know what they will put out as the reason for her going back? To quote Castle: "The heart wants what the heart wants."

We have seen numerous things in the first two episodes that indicate her desire to return to NY. Just take the look on Kate's face when she enters her empty apartment (house?) before Castle surprises her. Her admitting, she misses working with him. And several more things in episode 2, that I won't mention here because I don't know if you watched it already.
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I keep trying to figure out people seem to pick at the most ridiculous things, blow them out of proportion and then whine about them. Now I would have understood if you had a problem with the fact that "the fakeout robbery to cover up another robbery" has been so overused on TV that is not even funny, in fact the whole concept of a crime used to cover up another crime is not all that new to this show itself (Pilot episode anyone). But the fact is all the complaining about nearly made up issues with the episode is just plain annoying.
For those thinking Beckett will be back with NYPD by the end of next week's episode - bad news folks you're off on that one. How far off is not clear yet but since L. Edelstein is singed up for 3 episode my guess is the return will happen either at the end of ep.3 or at the start of ep.4.
SPOILER ALERT
I saw an interview-clip today that included some backstage video of them filming ep. 7 and Beckett is clearly back with NYPD at that point.
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For those like mr. Navaro that actually thought that Beckett will be staying in DC long term I just have this question - exactly how easy are you? Seriously, the level of secrecy inherent of Beckett's new job means she can't work with Castle on a regular basis and that is what the show is build upon. They're doing this two-parter now, and Beckett's new agency will be getting involved in and taking over an NYPD case in ep.3 (that info is being pretty openly dispersed along with promo pics for that ep. so it's not really a spoiler). Just how many more way do you think there are to get around the limitations of the new situation, I mean ones that are believable in any way. This is all common sense and I can't understand how anyone can buy into the idea that the DC thing will last more than a handful of episodes.
I will concede one point though - season finale cliffhangers should keep you speculating and interested for the next season's premiere. This one did not. The S3 finale was spot on, the S4 one managed to fuel plenty of speculation and more than a few gigantic high quality fanfics. This summer to most prominent driving force of bridging fanfics was a new attack by Bracken or the return of Jerry Tyson. The implications of the closing scene of the season were secondary. To me that means that the episode and the closing scene itself failed in their purpose. The reason for that vary from one individual to a another but for me it was simply that I expected exactly what we got in the first couple of minutes of the S6 premiere - Beckett said yes to Castle and the job and he obediently followed her lead. The only thing that id surprise me was the fact that Castle somehow didn't sound like a complete wimp.
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The frutarian boyfriend plot was a low point for me in this episode. The guy is just plain annoying without any of the redeeming qualities that allowed as along with Beckett to tolerate Castle early on. Because he was just as annoying but he was also entertaining. Nothing about this Pi character is entertaining and if he is indeed some sort of payback from Alexis for apparently finding out about about the engagement second-hand then all the progress she made between Hunt and Watershed just went down the drain. Since early S2 I have been more and more disappointing that the supposedly mature for her age Alexis kept behaving more and more like the 12 year old people keep accusing Castle of being. After Hunt I finally saw some growth in her personality and if she is just using this guy as some form of payback then that is a massive step back for her. It's also another instance of the writers putting drama over substance, to a degree where the manufactured drama took away from the substance of an episode, a trend that started in the second half of last season and kept up until the last scene. I was dearly hoping we would be free of that after they had all summer to come up with scripts for the new season.
Now having said all of this I have to make one thing clear - when I just watched the episode without dwelling on what possible implication unclear detail might have in the future, and without looking at every little thing as an opportunity to trash the show (I'm looking at you Mr. Navaro), I actually found the episode quite enjoyable.
So here is a piece of advice to all the people complaining about any detail they can think of - stop acting like this is a documentary with a claim of absolute accuracy. It's TV. Entertainment. Sometimes it requires suspension of disbelief and the fact is Castle has required it far less and in a lot fewer instances than a lot of the more "serious" procedurals out there. So how about this - if you're watching because you love the show just try to enjoy it, and if you're just looking for something to bitch about GO DO IT SOMEWHERE ELSE.
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So here's one thing I intended to bring up but forgot. The notion that it was too soon to propose. I'm not completely disagreeing with it because there were thing they should have dealt with before going there but the thing that irritates the hell out of me is the fact that most people base the statement on the amount of time Castkett have been an official couple. And that is just plain lazy thinking. You know why most couples would consider a year too early in the relationship for a marriage proposal? - Because most couples only start getting to know each other once they start dating.
Castle and Beckett went the unconventional way - they'd know each other 3,5+ years ( I refuse to count S1 as a full year) when Beckett showed up at his doorstep freshly resigned and looking like she just swam across the Hudson. And the fact is with the exception of Castle's hissy-fit after "47 seconds" they had been a couple for more than half a year in terms of emotional entanglement - the biggest change that Always introduced was that they finally added sex to the relationship. Of course it was more complex than that, there are a whole mass of things that became possible once Beckett finally decided she was ready to give it a go but the fact is neither showed any interest in other relationships during S4 and they clearly gravitated towards each other. Now we were never given any insight on how much time they did spend together when she was off the clock and that would have a significant impact on how close they actually were but the fact remains - they were clearly committed to the idea of eventually becoming a couple. Having known each other for years, having spend a lot of time together during those years, they would have gotten to know each other quite well, at least when it comes to the more surface and basic parts of their personalities. And I think most of us are aware how certain personality traits can kill a relationship once the initial haze of attraction wears off. So if you bother to look at their relationship fully, you'll realize it's not really rushing it to have the marriage proposal at this point in time. Basically Marlowe had them go through some of the tricky early relationship obstacle before they became a couple - getting to know each others quirks and irritating habits (at least the ones that come out in public), building up genuine trust, one based on who the other person is rather that who you hope they are, sharing difficult times and having each others back (and not just in the professional partnership sense). Stages that every couple that lasts more than a few weeks goes through and really when you add the pressure of trying to make it work because you're already together, compromise is made out of necessity and not because you actually feel it's the right course of action. And it's what trips up most couples - at some point the compromise you didn't want to make gets to be too much and it breed resentment and things just implode. Caskett got to skip a lot of the drama of these stages but they still went through them. Their biggest stumbling block is their reluctance and inability to communicate on personal matters. So looking at the larger picture the proposal was not rushed at all, in fact it came at pretty good point in time, the problem I've had with it is that it came in the wake of another fight that was not properly resolved. So one more time - if you want to say that the proposal came at the wrong time because clearly they have some serious issues to resolve I can agree with that. But saying it was too soon because of how long they've been a couple in every way is not only oversimplifying things, it's actually lazy and more than a little naive.
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The stupid end and cliffhanger left me mad. Of curse, he is not going to die, so why do that? And the boyfriend... Dirty, stupid and annoying....
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The point is not IF he survives but HOW they will solve this...
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And will be a dumb response. I drop the series for Hostages... Something fresh is required.
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In season one Castle was a suave, self confident, intelligent man. Now he's just a baffoon. And Beckett sure has gotten soft too. If the old Beckett had seen Castle in EMS, she would have looked at Cuddy and said, "Arrest him!"
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Yeah, but they are a couple now and maybe her feelings for him outweigh (plus the concern for his health since he was in a car crash) the possible outrage she feels.
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My bet is that Castle and Beckett end up married, some kind of 'I want to spend my last day married to you' cutesy stuff. Then Cuddy (Cant call her anything else either, keep expecting her to make mean cripple jokes at Beckett) comes back to NY with Beckett to join the NYPD then the season becomes about how they got married way too fast and getting back into the swing of things in NY.... Loved Ryan trying to swaddle the baby though, my best friend did the same thing before both his kids were born HILARIOUS
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Man so many whiny babies about everything these days. Did the episode entertain you? Yes or No should be that simple. Not this BS of Oh it entertained me, but Castle had more wrinkles on his face than needed".
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No, it didn't. In previous episodes I was engaged, the story worked logistically and Castle's actions were believable. Now the story is incredulous, and Castle's actions make me cringe. The rest of my whining is why it doesn't work. No different that all (most) of male america whining about why [insert professional sports team of your choice] is losing, or playing poorly.
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Review is right on the money, even if it took a surprisingly long time to get into the meat of the episode. And why does the Hollywood studio backlot for DC look so much crummier than the ones they use for New York on this show? Oh, because they weaponized ALL of N.C.I.S. including its crappy use of the shoddy studio city-street stages.

I would have liked to have seen Castle straight up die in this episode, not because I want him to leave the show, but because then something challenging would have happened instead of the pretense of something about to happen.

I strongly suspect by the end of next week, Beckett will be back at the NYPD. If not, then Castle will still pal around with Espo and Ryan since he is using it for research.

Alexis' boyfriend was the nadir of this episode, what a clumsy way to get Castle to want to leave his home.

I understand and respect the site's choice to stop reviewing Castle regularly, there's no point anymore, every episode is turning out to be identical to one from a previous season now, it's like reading a series of romance novels.
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It was either Castle leave or punch the guy in the face. Vegetable boy volatiled the word steak!
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sucked. get Beckett back in New York. do the suits look at facebook comments or does someone print them out and give to them? I have seen nothing positive posted on this episode...
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The first 2 episodes will end up being a dream sequence. The episode was all over the place and full of innuendo about dreams which would make perfect sense. At some point in the next episode Castle will wake up and realize it was all a bad dream.

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I want to start off by saying that I agree with most of your points. However, I have to say, do you really think the show is going to be staying in D.C. from now on? I really doubt it. Something will happen to make Beckett realize she wants to go back to the NYPD. It may be next episode, or they may drag it out a little, but I think by midseason, at the absolute latest, she'll be back in New York with her old PD. Which means back to her old kinds of cases, and of course, back full-time with Ryan and Esposito.

I also thought last season's finale was pretty terrible, for all the reasons you mentioned, though, like you, I enjoyed its solution at least a little bit. Overall, I did enjoy last night's episode, but yeah, the cliffhanger thrown in with Castle being poisoned at the end was ridiculous. Mostly because, you know, he's the title character, so he's obviously not going to die.

And sure, we've had cliffhangers about Beckett or Castle maybe dying, but those worked for reasons other than us being concerned they might actually die. Like Castle and Beckett getting locked in the freezer in Season 3(?). That was a cliffhanger more because it seemed like they might confess their feelings to each other. Beckett being shot at the end of Season 3 worked because it opened up this new mystery of who had shot her. Those cliffhangers were actually about the fact they might die. But I don't see anything else to this cliffhanger with Castle being poisoned, so it's a cheap shot. Much like, I must say, the cliffhanger in last season's finale.
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The thing about the Castle-may-be-dying Cliffhanger, and what most people don't seem to realize is, we know that Castle won't die (as he is the titular character). So the reason to tune in next week is not to see IF he survives but HOW they'll get out of this situation and how it will affect them.
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I didn't like the last season finale. As convoluted as it was, I am glad they didn't force a tense situation between Castle and Beckett just for the heck of it. Nice to see Cuddy on Castle!
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I feel like we've gotten to the point in this show where the audience has realized that the absolute main focus of the show should always be Castle and Beckett, but where the showrunners still wanna pretend the main focus is solving crime. Not saying one can't exist without the other, but most of the time these big cases seem ridiculous, because they don't feel genuine. The case about Beckett's mother always felt so relevant and real, until they tried to make that "big" as well.

Now I love this show, I adore it and everybody on it. But when Beckett sat Castle down and told him he only had one day to live, I laughed and waited for her to say "JOKE. Here's what's really going on... ". But alas, we got yet another cliffhanger. I'll never watch this show for the crime element, but I'll also never stop watching it, because Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion just knock it out of the park every week for me. Especially when you consider the stuff that they have to work with.
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I agree with your point about the cliffhanger with Castle, it was ridiculously overdramatized. However, I think the mystery cases are still one of the best things about this show, when they're done well. Obviously they're not always done well - Monday's episode was proof of that - but I would argue that most of the time they are done well.

Castle and Beckett's relationship, on the other hand, was not done very well in Season 5, so I wouldn't want the show to begin to revolve only around the two of them, not with their relationship in its current form.
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Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the show should revolve around them, I just feel like they are the strong point of the show. When given the opportunity of course. I actually liked their relationship in S5. It wasn't overhyped or too dramatized, not until the last few episodes that is. I actually feel that the cases in S5 were some of the worse to date, so my hope is S6 will cut back on the ridiculous a bit.
Nathan and Stana know their characters in and out and the way they portray them in love is perfect in my eyes. So I suppose I wish the writers would focus more on the cases and allow Fillion and Katic enough room so they can show what they've got.

I do wish they would get back to Beckett's mom a bit. Again not to make it TOO big, but to at least bring some closure for Beckett and the audience. I still say episode 13 of S3 brought some of the best drama and action this show has seen and a great part of that was the investment in Beckett, Castle and that case.
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Kate definitely doesn't have double D's
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I hope Kate gets fired by the FBI :p and returns to the NYPD... :lol: ;)
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I was hoping there would be a dramatic situation in NY that would cause Beckett to see that if she hadn't been in DC, she would have been able to save a bunch of people. Hence she belongs in NY.
It could still happen. If she finds out she was needed more in NY. Things only she can solve and so on. Guess we will tune in and see what happens. But, after going so many years as a loner, I would think the very partnership with Castle is something she would hold dear. Professionally and personally.


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I wasn't too thrilled to see this DC move. I agree it would give Beckett the chance to say she tried it & add this insecure side to her. I WANT more of Rick Castle scenes, doing what he does best!!!! But, I do not like the NCIS spy crap either. Castle has a charm about it in NY. I don't need a bunch of stupid fake "agents" running around with computers to solve what?
And "Cuddy" & her band of agents pale compared to Kevin, Javier, Lannie and Gates. I hope this new story winds up soon and we see the gang back with new stories in NY.
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I actually enjoyed this episode quite a bit. And I felt that the "a lot thrown at us" worked well with the fact that all the characters are indeed out of their usual situation and trying to figure it all out.
Plus I liked the FBI characters.
As for the case of the week, I'm sorry but did we watch the same show? The murders of the week in NY were crazier one after the other, and involved some pretty thin lines. I don't see why we should mind the crazy and thin lines in FBI business when we gladly went along with it in NYPD business. It only makes for a new playground for the writers and us ;)
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"Cliffhanger endings live and die by their ability to keep the audience rapt with anxious interest between the time one episode ends and the next one begins. This is especially true of season-ending cliffhangers. . . ."

Here's how I deal with season-ending cliffhangers. . .I don't watch the final episode of the season. It's much more satisfying to watch the repeat of that episode, just before the new season starts. That way, I don't have to wait several months to find out what happened.


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Castle without Esposito and Ryan is just not the same series I have loved so far.I haave to admit disappointment, but who knows they might still come back.
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nothing remarkable and a very disappointing start for the new season .
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Ye gods, this was so boring. It feels like they are trying sooo hard to be something they are not (and acting has gotten really really bad) and whoever started watching this show for, say, Nathan Fillion and his quirky need to follow around his cold muse, no longer finds any of those reasons six seasons in.
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This was actually one of the more enjoyable episodes in many seasons. They really need to get away from the terrible cookie-cutter format of the past where they jump from suspect to suspect, go back to one that seems most likely, and then finish with whatever recognizable guest star they got that week to play the killer.

I know it'll go back to the same tired formula in NY starting with episode 3, but I would really prefer it didn't.
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Actually, this premiere really worked for me. I had had some issues with the show last season but I really liked how it turned out.
Even if it were a lot of things being thown at us, I don't know I enjoyed it. I found it funny at times, didn't feel forced. Like their relationship as well as Espo and Ryan was just what it needed to be.
And I found this quite surprising given that I've been very critical of season 5. The cliffhanger left me saying 'OMG' and all...

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This could still work. Kate, right now is in training. She could be assigned to New York, recruit Esposito and Ryan in a Task Force and continue this but with better cases. Cuddy, seems forced, the whole character, the whole interactions with the character. Castle getting some sort of high classified chemical weapon is silly, because the show is called Castle and there is little to worry about.

The boyfriend thing is already past it sell by date. The actor is annoying, the character is unbelievably annoying. If I were Castle I would push him out the window.

Overall it is a little of a step down. I don't really care about Esposito and Ryan, mostly because of the horrible writing in their respective episodes last season.
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I actually really like this idea. I had assumed she would end up quitting the FBI and going back to the NYPD, but your idea about her being assigned to NY could work, too.
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I think the only thing that was really missing last season was a good set of stories. I can understand that they were trying to set up the relationship. But now that it is set, they can bring in some better stories.
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Too soon for Beckett and Castle to be engaged? Not at all. In my opinion, Castle and Beckett have been a couple since their first few cases together--they just didn't know it. I thought their engagement was sweet and wonderful for both of them--a real step forward instead the usual are we together or aren't we together stuff these shows force to keep a romance struggling.

Otherwise a pretty good review, especially the part about the boyfriend--ugh. I guess I like this show a little more than the reviewer though.
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the assumption of this review is that they are trying to establish the whole DC situation as permanent.
I disagree things will return to the status quo in about two episodes. The next one will wrap up this story line and the one after that will be back in new york.
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I agree and don't understand why others don't see the obvious. First, this show is about Caskett working together and with the other cast members. Castle can't keep "crashing" her cases in D.C. Lisa Edelstein was hired for 3 epps. Kate is already seeing that their relationship won't work long distance. She will realize that Fed agents are married to their job and she doesn't want that anymore. She misses working with Castle and she sees that he has taught her more than she will learn at this new job. Fed agents don't think out of the box and Castle seems to be one step ahead of them minus all the technology. Kate sees that being a great crime fighter requires seeing "the story." Castle always looks at the story to solve crimes. This show is about " the story."
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Completely agree with both of you. I'm surprised so many people think they will stay in DC. I think Monday's episode already brought up a lot of problems for Beckett in the FBI.
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Lets not make assumptions as to why Kate would go back to NY. She stated it herself that the federal job was her dream. Lets just see what'll happen
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Well, I like this show because I like the main characters, and I usually find most of the episodes entertaining: like a fresh crispy batch of pop corn.

I do not know why people expect complicated things from it though... If I want complicated & brainy there are others shows for that.

I will keep watching it until... "the pop corn gets stale" so to speak... That is it!
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I agree. I 'm am always entertained by watching an episode of Castle. I really like Nathan and Stana. They have great chemistry and seem to have a lot of fun making the show. There are other shows that challenge me intellectually (Homeland, The Newsroom), but they entertain me as well.
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I have to wonder if there is more going on with Alexis's boyfriend... like he was sent there to infiltrate the Castle family either because of
[A] Kate's new job
[B] Kate's ongoing "You killed my momma" story
[C] Castle's dad

Granted the Alexis storylines are usually forced and cliche teenager stuff anyway... but coinciding with something like this I wonder if he's a plant.
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His reaction to Castle's question about how long he'll stay and that he lost his Passport says a lot (especially since he had to use it the day before to get back from Costa Rica
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Favorite line / scene was Castle's "crap" after realizing his golf story lacked the obvious props.
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I don't see how this new job will end soon in anything other than Kate leaving the job (quitting or being fired). Maybe next episode, maybe later in the season, but it's gonna happen.

Otherwise it's a big shift in the show: cop-Kate to federal-agent-Kate working on classified things. And the "old gang" from the precinct would either have to disappear or be shoe-horned in like last night.

I don't see how the feds would allow Castle to tag along... they were "kind" to him last night and even then they were still annoyed and let him stew in the interrogation room for a few hours. Castle doesn't really have the kind of National pull so he couldn't really force his way into the job like he did with the cops. And Castle talking to himself about the case was just weird.
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The problem the job offer caused wasn't that "Oh no, Castle has to choose between DC and NY"

Kate's job would [A] send her all over the country (not just DC) and [B] be confidential so Castle could not participate or follow her around. Sure, her home office might be in DC and she's hanging around there training... but my impression was she could go anywhere at the drop of a hat.

That would cause an issue with their relationship. They'd go from hanging around each other 24/7 and participating in each other's lives, to Kate disappearing for days at a time and then not being able to talk about her day to Castle. Obviously some relationships are fine like that, but in this case jumping from one end of the spectrum ALL the way to the other would cause issues. And in many cases, kill a relationship.
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Ummmm.... I was under the impression that this whole long distance thing was gonna be like a 1-2 episode type situation, this review is pretty much saying sit in tight kids for this long distance, everything in DC, Ryan and Espo dont exist anymore show.

P.S. if I have time i might review it in the future.
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I hope you do review it
Castle is a fun show, well acted and mostly well written - there are often plot holes or contrivances, but the cast chemistry makes up for this.
Its a pity that tv.com has so many contributors but so few are willing to actually review a show.
Out of the 15 contributors, 4 reviewed shows last night and Kaitlin Thomas reviewed 3 shows.


I get the impression that the move to DC is not permanent, but i think it will probably stretch to 4 episodes
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I will review it butI live in Australia and illegally (shhh...) so if it is on in US on a Monday night I download it about 2 hours after it airs which is after 4pm on the Tuesday, so I will try to get it up as soon as possible.
I will start on the 3rd episode because Kaitlin is doing the 2nd episode as it is a 2 parter.
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I don't think it will be season long. All the reports say that the woman who plays Becketts partner will be there for a couple of episodes, not the whole season. How great would it be if the reason for Beckett's return to NY and her old job would be the return of 3XK :D
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I don't think Beckett will stay in DC. I think it's to late in the seasons to make such a big change. Even though Ryan and Esposito were side characters, they have been really good side characters that we have grown a connection too. Ryan is the biggest side character I feel since the audience has gotten quite a few Ryan episodes and also him having a lot of big moments on the show (proposing, getting married, going to have a baby). Maybe if they had slowly moved these characters out, like Ryan retiring and getting a safer job so he spends more time with his family, and maybe Esposito being called back in to special operations or moving to another police division. Having Beckett then take the job in DC would fit well and we wouldn't mind not seeing Ryan and Esposito and the other side characters that much anymore. It would then help to build new side characters in DC and having Beckett connect with them. We could even have the door open up for Castle to join Beckett again in DC, maybe with his dad making a couple calls on his behalf, or even being given special clearance to work with Beckett because he helped solve the case or something. In the end though I think Beckett will end up back in homicide in new york, either by choice or because she gets in trouble and is sent back there.
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The Show needs Ryan and Esposito! What made the show work was having Castle, Beckett, Ryan and Esposito interact and play off of each other. It was strange having the guys literally phone it in with Castle! Send the show back to New York! Also, how is Castle going to help Beckett with her cases in D.C. Yes, having him help the N.Y.P.D was a stretch, but it was clever and the show has always been over the top in a nice way. There is no way that Castle can realistically be made an honorary FBI agent. After all, we found out that when Castle got in trouble with the NYPD, his relationship with the mayor allowed him to stay with the gang. As far as we know Castle does not have a relationship with the President that can gain him access to the FBI. I am a huge Castle fan and want to see Castle continue on the road that it has been on for the last five seasons! Get Beckett fired and send the show back to New York.
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I agree, even though the story is all about Castle and Beckett, Ryan and Espo have made a big impact as well. Having them brushed to the side like they have been just doesn't feel right. If thy are going to drop their roles to really minor side characters then at least do it in a good way that lets them go out with a bang. Also it may be a stretch for Castle to get onto the FBI, but we do have to remember he did shadow a active CIA agent for a year so it's not totally out of the realm of possabilities.
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"It's like someone found a way to weaponize NCIS and detonated it in the middle of a Castle episode." GREAT LINE!!!!
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Just who was it that decided that every show needs a "cliffhanger" at the end of the season?

And why is it that the cliffhanger is always the same. . .the lead character will die; the team will be permanently disassembled; the team's headquarters and everyone in it has been destroyed, etc.

I love Castle, but am extremely irritated at this phony "new job" pretext and am (rather impatiently) waiting for this nonsense to end and for everything to get back to normal.

I am also disappointed in the Alexis diversion. Suddenly, the most mature, wise beyond her years daughter is smitten with a poor imitation of the son-in-law from Last Man Standing?

Otherwise, the season-ending "cliffhanger" and the two part episode season opener are a massive disappointment.

Can you say "lazy and stupid writers?"

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I agree completely with your Alexis comment, though maybe she has been too goo all these years and is going into her rebellion stage now.
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and if lisa didn't appear in episode 3 !!!!! then we will be on the edges of our seat because that means FBI is not done with our beloved beckett ... i hope she get back to NY so soon
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'Cuddy' will only play in three episodes, meaning that Beckett will be back in NY after two or three episodes. As she said that she might be back in later episodes dependanton her availability, it's not because she might be kiled.

The charm of Castle is in the interaction between Castle and Beckett (and the other characters in the NY office). If the writers know that (and they're not that stupid, arent they?), they'll have to find a way they can work together almost all of the time. I can't imagine they'll try to take the series into a complete different direction with the risk of losing the audience.
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The inter-reactions between Castle and Beckett and the others of the NYPD, are a must if the series is to continue to be enjoyable as it has been, up to now, so Beckett has to return to New York. Particularly enjoyable is Beckett's visual reactions to Castle's suggestions. Stana has to be one of the most beautiful ladies on TV. Long may the series reign
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will I love the episode soooooooo fu***** much ... but i have a bad feeling that tells me every minute of every second that next week's episode it's not the end of it ... i mean maybe there's a third part episode or somethings will not be solved that easy ... Lisa Edelstein contract says that she will appear for 3 episodes ... i din't know maybe i'm nervous about the 4 months hiatus it was one fu***** long hiatus
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Is it just me or did they set up this new Pi guy to turn out somewhat bad? They (Pi and Alexis) were in Costa Rica and yet he somehow managed to lose his Passport in NY on the cab ride to Castle's loft so he can't return to Amsterdam? Beckett's reaction to the proposal was cute to watch
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AWESOME!!! This was just perfect, and Castle in true form! I loved every minute of it! Having this as a two-parter is brilliant too...why the hell is everyone else complaining about this? Geez! Stop watchin tv then.
True, their wasn't enough Ryan and Esposito, but that's where the storyline took us from last season and i loved how they opened the episode too, with no bullshit...and you know things will be back to normal...just enjoy Castle in all his glory. Again, AWESOME!!!
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I don't know what to think about this first part of the 2-part season premiere. maaybe there was too much stuff in it and the change was drastic. the ending was too much but it could be the thing that would bring the show to its "old" pattern.
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You guys need to watch both parts of the two parter before you throw the whole show off a cliff.
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In the next episode Beckett will break the rules to save Castles life and because of that she will be sent back to the NYPD. And things will go right back to where they were. That´s how procedurals work.
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Or somehow case moves to NYC,because Espo knows a guy,who knows a guy. Case could move to NYC,because people would start dying same way as this guy in this episode and from there they would try to solve this mystery.
More and more I think about show,more I am ready to just call quits on it.
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I've made it pretty clear in my episode review that I think the show is in great danger of throwing itself off a cliff if it doesn't get itself sorted out PDQ.

This episode was just a mixed up mess, jumping to and fro between Washington and the old precinct.

It simply beggars belief that they can keep using Ryan and Espo like this. And where's Lanie and Gates in this mix?

As for that waste of air Pi, I know where I would have liked to shove his "Fruitarian" burger.

Obviously Castle MUST survive but if the writers don't get this sorted, I doubt there will be a season 7.
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Couldn't agree more with your post or your review.The writers clearly learned nothing from the complaints about how the last season ended.My issues with those shows and this one stem from exactly the complaint Alex has with this whole dream job out of nowhere that is supposed to create such an existential crisis.And why is this Beckett’s dream job?Before her mother was killed she wanted to be a great lawyer, even Chief Justice.Then her mother is killed and her passion turns to making sure cases that others are too lazy to work are solved so that murderers are brought to justice and the families get closure.Both of these careers revolve around the idea of public justice.So what about this new job would be even remotely interesting to a person so motivated?So she can run around being super spook keeping secrets, including from loved ones, and never having time for any kind of personal life, including a relationship?From her mother’s motto of the truth will set you free, to the truth needs a bodyguard of lies? Nope, her sudden desire for this job is completely contrived.

As for Valkyrie, we continue to get Castle the doormat who allows everyone to impose on him and never stands up for himself and the ridiculous you have less than a day to live cliché.Really this toxin is so deadly the military decided it was too dangerous to use, but it takes more than a day to kill someone?I think the military has had more deadly things for centuries called bullets and bombs.

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Alright. It's a little disappointing to have a two part episode at the season opener. Whoever thought this would be a good idea, should be taken out back and shot. Beckett: As a Fed? It could work. But not with those people. There's no chemistry. It's obviously that Kate does not fit into this world. Lisa Edelstein is fine actress. Just not in this case. -- Castle: First off. How did he not grab his daughter and ask "Why is that guy in my home and I was not even given the courtesy of a phone call to ask if it's alright for him to stay?" Second: Castle was behaving as you'd expect him too. He's got a curious mind and well, tell someone they can't and what the one thing they want to do? Oh yes. Meddle. :) I know at some point, the crew will all be back in NYC where they should've never ventured from. But I guess, the writers needed a little shaking up. I just think they should've left the characters alone while they shook.
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Castle will live, because you can't kill off the TITLE character at the beginning of the season, honestly it would have been a better story line for the series ending 2-parter (as much as I have enjoyed this show, just give us the wedding and end it this season). I'll bet Beckett won't have this job much longer, plus I don't trust her "boss" he tends to get cast as a good guy that is secretly a "sorta bad-guy" (see Warehouse 13 and the Knight Rider reboot). before the midpoint (if we even get 1 or 2 more episodes) all the main characters will be back in NYC and the show will return to its normal state with a wedding on the horizon and here's to hoping a pregnancy to wrap the final scene.
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If Stana Katic had full say about the direction, by season 7, Beckett and Castle would have a son (she said as much). So, if there's a season 7, I think we might see progeny. If season 6 is the last, I'd like to see it end with a wedding and a montage of their future (with kids, age etc)
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Like the proper Scrubs ending, before that final season (spinoff thing)?
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Never watched scrubs sorry ^^ What do you mean?
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http://youtu.be/uduAw8FqrBA
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Oh my...it sucked. Castle(show) just has no idea,what to do anymore,before they get canceled. New 2 characters are idiots and I hate them. Of course Alexis is with someone,who should be comical,etc. but actor and character are beyond stupid...it's insulting. "I'm a vegetarian",,,"of course you are..."....this "joke" done so many times. New partner of Beckett is even more stupid.
And Beckett...did they dumb her character down? As well as Castle? Boring plot with this stupid DC...will give few more episodes a chance for old time sake,but if it's gonna be like this,I am done with this show.
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