This week on the fourth season premiere of Castle
, the doozy of a cliffhanger from last season is resolved but mysteries still abound. The most mysterious might be how Beckett feels about our favorite debonair crime writer. Also, there's that little lingering case about her mother's murder and the conspiracy keeps getting twistier. Good thing Castle has a high-tech computer board to keep track of everything. It's like Castle has his own version of the Situation Room in his study. Besides the messy feelings and labyrinthine plot twists, the episode also introduced a new "iron" police chief and a case so insubstantial that the approximate two minutes of screen time devoted to it seemed excessive. Want to know how Lanie felt about all this? Click here for BuddyTV's interview with Tamala Jones.
How to Save Beckett's Life
The episode begins by transporting us into an episode of Grey's Anatomy
. The role of McDreamy will be played by Josh, Beckett's boyfriend, who suddenly finds his lady love on the operating table. Remember Josh? Because I'll be honest, I really didn't. Still, he makes a lot of really handsome concerned faces during the operating scenes while Beckett's blood gushes everywhere. Replaced in the ER because of the conflict-of-interest factor, Josh immediately gets into a fight with Castle. This is awesome mostly because Alexis jumps at him, ready to pounce on him like the honey badger. You go girl.
Unfortunately the altercation fills Castle with guilt and makes him all too ready to accede to Beckett's request for space. Sitting up in bed Beckett has the messy hair of someone who just recovered from major surgery but the flawless makeup of someone about to shoot a Cover Girl commercial. Sadly the only thing she shoots is Castle, right in the heart when she tells him she doesn't remember anything that happened after she was shot. That means she missed those three little words Castle finally dropped in last year's finale. That great wailing sound you just heard was the Caskett shippers.
Three months later and Beckett is back and ready for action. She also hasn't contacted Castle during all that time, which even Ryan and Esposito think is stone cold. Someone else who's stone cold? The new police chief Victoria Gates, a steely policewoman from internal affairs that likes to be called "sir." Beckett takes an immediate dislike to her new boss when she suggests that Kate re-qualify for her gun.
Beckett is totally angry at this completely reasonable by-the-book request, because in case the audience has forgotten over the summer, Kate Beckett is a wild card who plays by her own rules. This starts Sir Chief Gates and Beckett off on a bad foot. It doesn't help that Sir Gates also realized that it's absurd that Castle is still skulking around a working police station and kicked him to the curb. Despite not being that weird guy that hangs out inappropriately in the police station anymore, Castle is still looking into the case of Beckett's shooting.
State of the Relationship
At a book signing we know Castle is out of sorts because he's signing the cover of people's books, not the inside page like any self-respecting writer. When Beckett shows up he's initially mad at getting blown off for months. As soon as Beckett drops the little fact that she and McDreamy have broken up though, he's tailing after her like a Labrador puppy. She tells him that she doesn't feel like she can commit 100% to any relationship until she closes her mother's murder case.
So the Beckett-Castle relationship is apparently at a standstill. Or is it? At the end of the episode, Beckett reveals to her psych evaluator that she actually remembers everything from when she was shot. Dun-dun-DUN!
That harsh, high-pitched squeal was ... yeah, it was the Caskett shippers again.
The Mystery Gets Extra Mysterious
You'd think with introducing a new character and making the Beckett and Castle emotional rollercoaster even more seasick-inducing that there wouldn't be much room for complicated conspiracies. You would be wrong! The mystery around the conspiracy, murder and cover-up of Beckett's mother takes a couple more twists and turns.
It involves banking statements, a fire at a warehouse and a possibly-doctored fire report. It also involves a mysterious stranger named Smith, an old friend of Chief Montgomery who he sent files directly before his death. These files are damaging to people in high places and at one time assured the safety of Montgomery's family and Beckett. But mysterious stranger tells Castle he can only assure Kate's safety if she stops digging in her mother's murder case.
So after a fight with Alexis, who rackets up the most badass points this week by easily a mile, Castle decides to talk Beckett out of investigating further. This also means that their relationship is stuck in neutral.
Also did I mention Castle's gigantic, Wolf Blitzer-like case file board? Could we viewers please get a copy of that? This conspiracy is starting to make my brain all mushy.
Oh, and There was a Murder to be Solved!
Because there wasn't already enough happening, the show felt the need to stuff this already overstuffed premiere episode with a case-of-the-week. The case, about a murdered socialite who's band member boyfriend is suspected, only served to allow Kate to overcome being gun-shy. It also served to underline the episode theme of hiding. The killer hid under the bed just like Castle is hiding his feelings and his investigation and Beckett is hiding her knowledge of his love.
As soon as Beckett says "Looks like they found a killer hiding place," you know she'll be just fine. It takes a certain amount of emotional and professional stability to think up puns that bad.
It was an episode stuffed to the brim with action, drama, emotional stakes and a rather pointless case. While it might have been trying to accomplish too much in one hour, the premiere still started the fourth season out with a bang and set up future storylines. Next week the crew gets back to doing what they do best: solving quirky murder cases while Castle geeks out.
What did you think of the fourth season premiere? Are you upset that Castle and Beckett have even more roadblocks ahead of their relationship now? Sound off in the comments!
(Image courtesy of ABC)