Recap of the "Castle" season finale, with comments from very, very happy fans. http://tvline.com/2012/05/07/castle-season-4-finale-post-mortem-recap/#more-327048
I like this show a lot. I've even gone so far as to buy the DVD collections of the series, because you never know, the day may come when I don't have satellite TV anymore, and while I am certain it will be syndicated, I like all the people involved so much that I relish the special features.
"Castle" has so much great mystery source material behind it - I see everything from "The Thin Man" to J.D. Robb's Eve Dallas series - that, if there ARE any mystery readers out there who do not watch, I would like to smack them. Just a bit.
Here are some things I like about the lead character.
Rick Castle: the rich guy, with the actress mother, who made his fortune as a mystery writer. That is, I think, a unique character as the protagonist of a TV series. What are his defining qualities?
He is smart. He does his research. He is capable.
This is not the funny sidekick who has to be rescued all the time - he's made real contributions to solving various cases, through the expertise he's accrued from research for his books. He is also quite acute psychologically: he doesn't misunderstand people very often, and he communicates well.
As expertly played by Nathan Fillion, charm and wit are the FIRST things we see in Castle, closely followed by intelligence, imagination, and a willingness to say what other people might be thinking but are afraid will sound goofy.
He's brave. He goes into situations that scare him in order to support his team. And he takes the notion of "team" quite seriously, always respectful toward his official counterparts.
He's consistently kind, patient, and generous with his sometimes flighty mother and is an involved, loving, and insightful parent. These are not characteristics many male TV characters share.
And finally, while assertive, Castle is not bossy: he treats his partnership with Beckett as just that - a partnership.
So, there's my little appreciation of a great TV character. I'm glad the show runners finally brought the Castle-Beckett romance to a consummation. That relationship was not one of those that is confected by writers merely to add something for the characters to do when they are not fighting crime; it was built quite naturally over time, and the characters have been so consistently engaging that fans like me wanted it to work.
Beckett has been a less engaging character in part because of the through-story's structural limitations: the underlying conflict storyline of her mother's murder, which will clearly be a big part of season 5, established character conflicts that pretty much precluded Beckett's being open to a real relationship. The push-back has been almost entirely from her side. But thanks to good writing, she has never come off as an irrational harpy.
I am quite interested to see what the writers do with the team now. With Beckett off the force (at least temporarily - unless she decides to fight crime as a lawyer, I can't really see her staying out of the street side of law enforcement), Esposito suspended, Castle giving a crap primarily to the extent that he can work with Kate, and Ryan left all alone, there are lots of possibilities for extralegal investigations, operations, and complications.
I am hoping for a nice juicy pair of episodes dealing with the "second couple" of Ryan & Esposito. Those two good actors have had a lot of different stuff to play, but mostly in small bites. I'd like to see a storyline that puts them front and center.