Castle ended last season with some pretty awesome twists: the beloved Captain who always seemed like a straight arrow was involved in a major corruption ring and then sacrificed himself in order to save Kate's life. But at his funeral, a sniper shot Kate and Castle tried to get her out the way, but was too late. So he professed his love instead. For a show that usually consists of light-hearted banter with some grisly cases, this was pretty heavy stuff. So I had high expectations of the premiere... and they weren't exactly met.
The series seems to have gone further down the dark alley that it went into last season, forgetting that it needs to balance that out with humor. Instead, we saw Kate nearly dead (though, obviously, they were never actually going to kill off the lead of the show) on the operating table and then pushing Castle away, claiming that she didn't remember anything about the shooting (naturally, she lied, as we later find out during her therapy session). When she goes back to work three months later, Castle's left the building because the new Captain (Penny Johnson Jerald) is no-nonsense and has little tolerance for his quirky ways. But he's still helping Ryan and Esposito track down the shooter (and, subsequently, the person/people responsible for her mother's death). But Kate came back to the job miserable and uninterested in really doing her job or in responding to authority. She also broke up with her doctor boyfriend because she has a wall that has magically appeared, but is tied to the death of her mother from years ago.
Meanwhile, Castle is all depressed about the fact that the woman he loves is completely ignoring him. His scenes are mostly filled with his daughter suddenly hating that he works with the cops, his typically self-involved mother being more of a sounding board than anything and a mystery caller threatening Kate's safety unless the investigation is dropped. So Castle tries to dissuade her and tells her to focus on actual current cases. Finally, more than 45 minutes into the episode, she does that and solves a murder that no one else was able to crack. It almost seemed like old times.
When they lock up the bad guy, Castle asks if her it was enough and she responds "It's enough for now." It's the same response he gave Alexis when she asked if working with and protecting Kate makes him happy. But really, this show shouldn't be about two miserable people just making due. I'm okay with it for an episode or two, but I hope they get back to the easy way between them during the course of this season. Given that the trailers for next week involve a murderous superhero, there's some hope of that, but at the same time, in light of that image of Castle ignoring warnings and still investigating who shot Kate, it also seems like more jovial times may be short-lived.
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