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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Castle "Rise": AKA: My Most Anticipated Series Return

So I know this years big thing on Monday nights is supposed to be The Playboy Club, which is happily living on my DVR at the moment waiting for me to take a peek & see what all the fuss is about, and to be giddy over Sean Maher, of course.

Loyalties run deep though and prevented me from watching last night as it was also the season premiere of Castle. I remember watching the series premiere with my father four years ago. He told me I had to stay up and  watch this new series on ABC that was, as he put it, supposed to be "like Murder She Wrote, but with a guy". Of course the min. Nathan Fillion appeared on my screen I squeaked something about Captain Reynolds, and after that first episode, I was hooked. When eventually The Boy and I moved in together I got him hooked as well. Before our lovely DVR, we had a standing Monday night date to, no matter what, at 10pm be snuggled up on the couch watching Castle.

Needless to say, the season finale had us in shock, first with the involvement of the Captain in Kate's mother's murder and then his ultimate sacrifice while trying to protect her. Throw in Kate being shot at his funeral, I mean we all knew she wouldn't die but still it didn't look good for our beloved Kate, and it was a LONG four months.

So with the countdown finally over The Boy and I, armed with drinks & snacks & my laptop where we gathered in an I'm chat with four of my fave ladies, who had also been eagerly awaiting the premiere, to see what this season had is store for us.

They opened, after a quick refresher, where we'd left off, with Kate being rushed to the hospital, Laney frantically trying to keep her alive and getting pushed aside by the hospital staff. I think the most telling scene was in the those first few moments, seeing how everyone reacted to the situation, and how important Beckett was/is to them. Laney, usually so calm and collected was beside herself. Ryan and Esposito began almost immediately to focus on the only thing they knew they could do in the situation, which was to hunt the bastard down. Castle blamed himself, even Martha and Alexis seemed distraught. Then you have Josh, who had to start the procedure on her, which, um awful, who also blamed Castle for what had occurred. Anyone else really wanted Alexis to slug him for that?

After all that, and nice little fake out, a doctor comes out to let them all know, Kate has survived, shocker I know. When she is well enough for visitors, Castle, flowers in hand, rushes to see her. Of course Kate claims to not remember anything, including his declaration of love, which he after seeing her with Josh, doesn't remind her of. She tells him she needs a few days and will call him.

Meanwhile a mysterious man, who's mailbox goes by the name Smith, receives the package went out by Captain Montgomery before his finally stand off. We learn the package consists of information on Kate's mother's murder & the conspiracy behind it, it was the Captain's insurance envelope.

Cut to three months later, Kate's return to the precinct. Ryan and Esposito greet her like two happy puppies. Have I mentioned how much I love those two? I also find it beyond endearing that although she clearly hadn't contacted either of them while she was out, they both assumed she'd be in close contact with Castle, and were genuinely surprised when she said she hadn't spoken to him.

They fill her in about the new Captain, who has Ryan all paranoid, which is somehow beyond adorable. Captain Victoria "Iron" Gates, seems to have been terrorizing the precinct in Kate's absence. Having coming with a background that includes IA, she runs "her precinct" by the book, and demands to be addressed as "Sir" or "Captain". Ok, the whole sir thing, kinda bothers me. It is as if she is saying that a woman can't be strong and authoritative. I wouldn't call myself a feminist, and I understand that it is often hard for a woman in a traditionally male dominated job, but that really irks me, she should be proud to be a powerful female, not attempt to squash it. Plus she kicked Castle out of the precinct, and although from a "cop" point of view it makes sense, don't mess with my Castle lady! You just know when Kate handed her the target to reapply for her gun that the whole time she was shooting she was picturing Gates.

Ryan and Esposito go off on a fresh homicide case, which gives us our second storyline, and we learn Kate hasn't been in contact with Laney either. Ok, so I understand why she'd be afraid to call Castle, but Laney? Come on, Beckett!

Meanwhile, Kate shows up at Castle's book signing, where our usually plucky leading man seems more and more depressed with each signature. Naturally, he's hurt and more than a little  pissed she hasn't called, and she all but flat out tells I'm just not ready to be in a relationship yet, so please wait. I have to say I was impressed that Castle told her off, rather than just pretend the lack of communication was no big deal. Ironically, it was he who was out of contact after the first season, though admittedly circumstances were different then.

Once things are patched up for the time being, Castle much to the annoyance of Gates, gets himself reassigned to the precinct. Not as if there was any doubt, I mean if he didn't there wouldn't really be a show, would there. Mystery man calls up Castle, telling him that for her safety Kate needs to back off of her mother's case, and naturally the crew solve our B-storyline case.

Really this episode wasn't about what was happening, but rather how the characters were handling the situations. It's rare that Kate allows her venerability to show through, but last night we were able to see that the Captain's death, her shooting and even Castle's confession have really thrown her for a loop. She froze a bit when faced with a gun, by the way how cute was Castle's pep-talk to her during the final gun scene?, and she broke down to Castle about her need to see her mother's case through.

Castle also isn't dealing with the whole Kate's-near-death-situation very well either, it was revealed at the end of the show that he has his very own, high-tech, murder board in his home office. I am praying that they don't decide to make him go all obsessive.

Ryan and Esposito both really stepped it up in this week's episode, they were really given the chance to shine in Beckett's absence, stepping up and doing everything possible to find the shooter. Despite the threat of loosing their jobs, they still have been working tirelessly for Beckett. 

Even Alexis was deeply affected, practically begging her father not to go back to the precinct, as he was standing right next to Beckett, it could have been him.

I have to admit I would have liked to have seen Josh have more of an exit than Kate merely telling Castle that they were no longer together, I get that it wasn't really a necessary scene, but after all he did save her life, not once but twice. Remember in "Countdown" when he is responsible for saving both her and Castle from Hypothermia?

I found it really interesting that they didn't wrap everything up this episode, really we are no further along in Beckett's mother's case than we were four months ago, and while that is slightly frustrating, it's what makes the show so good. Wrapping everything that has been building for three years in two episodes would have been hollow, a quick fix. Once again we are left to wonder what exactly is going on, and I, for one, can not wait until next week.

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