Highly anticipated season opener that mainly lived up to its promises but felt a bit rushed.
I got the feeling while trying to sat the pace for this season they were forced to rush the storyline in order to get everything into the first episode. Especially Beckett's time away felt kind of awkward. I hope they'll get back to that and her stay at her father's cabin in later episodes.
Then we meet the new captain, which obviously won't win a lot of hearts. ;-) And we have Ryan's and Esposito's case, for me the weakest part of the episode, because it was totally unnecessary. It was not much of a real investigation and even if I acknowledge the fact that they used it to get Beckett back on track I can't help but think that it felt staged and misplaced.
I liked the way they handled Castle's "I love you" and the "surprise" at the end that she actually heard him. And though we know nothing significant will happen between them for now, we get the feeling that they are getting somewhere eventually. Of course only if they can side step the 600 pound gorilla in the room, which is Castle secrect about the mysterious caller and the consequences that come along with it.
So all together I really enjoyed the season premiere, but wished they had split it up into two episodes or had left out some of the minor plot lines. Definitely looking forward to the next episodes.