'Castle' Season 5 Premiere Review: The Fun, Romance and Mystery Are Back!
'Castle' Season 5 Premiere Review: The Fun, Romance and Mystery Are Back!
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Castle is a fun show.

Yes, it has mystery and romance and tragedy, but Castle is, at its heart, a whole lot of fun. And if you remember that, you will not be at all surprised to learn that the Castle season 5 premiere, "After the Storm," is one of the most excellent, romantic, intriguing and -- of course -- fun TV episodes you will see this fall.

When we last saw Castle back in season 4, fun wasn't the main theme. Beckett had almost been killed (again) by a man hired by those who once murdered her mother. Both Beckett and Esposito were on suspension. As for Castle, he was mourning the loss of Beckett after she felt betrayed by him.

And then Beckett showed up at Castle's door. There was kissing.

This brings us to Castle season 5. The episode starts out with the aftermath of that kiss, in Castle's bed the next morning. The storm is over and warm sunlight filters down onto rumpled sheets and steaming coffee cups.

Make what you will of that.

At this point in the Castle review, it is of course necessary to address the romantic elephant in the room: the Moonlighting curse. This would be the commonly held belief that will-they-or-won't-they couples on television can never get together because that would kill the romantic tension and thus kill the show. Despite numerous examples to the contrary, we all worry about this.

We can stop worrying, at least in the case of Castle. The playful tension between Rick Castle and Kate Beckett is not based solely on sexual attraction -- if that were the case, the two would have dived into bed four years ago. Instead, these are two people who choose to interact like teasing 10-year-olds. They bicker. They share jokes. They laugh.

In short, Castle and Beckett are a lot of fun. How on Earth could sex change that?

It's also important to remember that Castle is not just a romantic comedy. The show is also a mystery and a drama, two traits that often bring along dark and serious consequences. The season 5 premiere brings in these aspects beautifully. Beckett's would-be killer is still out there and looking to destroy anyone connected to the case. Ryan and Esposito -- both of whom want to help bring this murderer to justice -- are dealing with their own betrayal issues. Beckett herself has to face the fact that she can't just stay away when there is neither justice nor closure in her mother's murder.

All of this has a place in the Castle season 5 premiere. The result is a master class in how to seemingly change everything on a TV show while simultaneously changing nothing. No matter who went to bed with whom, this is still Castle. We will get mysteries to solve. Partners will banter as they crack the toughest of cases. Darkness will occasionally descend before the lighthearted fun at the center of Castle cheers up the world again.

It's just that now there will be more kissing. And what's more fun than that?

Castle season 5 premieres on Monday, September 24 at 10pm on ABC.

Use Twitter to keep up with everything Castle! @BTV_Castle for show news and @really_mzungu for even more from Laurel Brown.

(Images courtesy of ABC)