This week on the season 6 premiere of Castle
, we finally get the answer to the two big cliffhanger questions left over from the finale ... and that's only in the first five minutes of the episode!
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And the Answer to the Proposal Is...?
left Beckett with two major decisions: would she move to DC and would she agree to marry Castle? Season 6 picks up seconds after that momentous proposal, as Beckett seems just as dumbfounded as the audience over Richard's shocking question.
Thankfully, the show is smart enough not to make the audience (or Castle) wait in agonizing suspense any longer: the answer to both questions is yes.
Beckett is going to take the job in DC and she also agrees to marry Castle. She's going to have it all! Of course, if we've learned anything from workplace think pieces and borderline offensive movies starring Sarah Jessica Parker, it's that "having it all" isn't as easy as it seems.
Last season left the Caskett relationship in rocky waters. Before Castle got down on one knee, it seemed just as likely the pair were going to split instead of saying "I do." So I remain impressed by the creative team's decision to stay committed to showing their relationship as functional, happy and loving -- although not without its road bumps. Beckett almost immediately says yes to the marriage proposal without a lot of angst.
This is a couple whose problems last season revolved around miscommunication, not a lack of affection, and it shows throughout the premiere. Despite the problems they face as a long-distance couple, they're still very much in love. And even though they're no longer partners in the conventional sense, Beckett still seems more bemused than put off by Castle's wacky antics.
Welcome to Washington, DC
Perhaps the decision to keep Castle and Beckett together has less to do with appeasing the fans of the relationship and instead works as a way to ground the show in familiar territory as the new season immediately jumps into some unfamiliar waters. Two months after taking the job and accepting Castle's proposal, Kate is training and working in DC.
It's an interesting choice to uproot the character and really shows a different side of Beckett than the one we're used to. It not only gives her a chance to shine and show off her own deductive leaps without Castle around providing inspiration, but it also gives Stana Katic a chance to play a fish-out-of-water Beckett.
In the opening moment of Beckett's time in DC, she immediately fails a training exercise and seems more flummoxed than we've ever seen her. The strict rules of DC are way different than the comfortable precinct she shares with Ryan and Espo back in New York. The stakes are much higher in her new office, and the potentially lethal repercussions of Castle's nosy ways ruthlessly drive that point home.
Will Castle keep Beckett in DC or somehow send her back to New York City? It's really too soon to tell from this premiere. Yet at the very least, the world of DC is interesting and intriguing in its ability to present different shadings to familiar characters. One of my favorite differences is watching the high tech command center in DC and comparing it to the traditional whiteboard used back "home" in the New York precinct. Beckett's not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Lisa Edelstein's Rachel McCord also presents an interesting counterpoint to the usual partner relationship we've become accustomed to between Castle and Beckett. A tough, by-the-book investigator, McCord isn't without feeling, but she is the consummate professional. She's the kind of partner Beckett would have wished for back in the first season of the show, but Kate has certainly changed a lot since being paired with someone as imaginative and goofy as Castle.
Yet we get to see several times how Castle's logic leaps and intuition have shaped the kind of officer Beckett has become, like when she realizes the initial case is a smokescreen for something much more nefarious.
The final cliffhanger moment of the episode, however, is a bit toothless: who really thinks a show named Castle is going to kill off Castle? The larger question in my mind is how long we'll spend with Beckett in Washington.
Is the show willing to shake up the formula that dramatically and keep Beckett in the Capitol for more than a handful of episodes? Or will she be returning to New York at the end of this two-part season premiere? It's tough to say right now, but I'll admit I like the dramatic tension of keeping Beckett there for at least a few more episodes.
Elsewhere in the City That Never Stops Swaddling...
-- Alexis is back home from her summer trip with an exciting new boyfriend named Pi. Pi, like the Greek alphabet and not the desert -- although what is with spelling anyway, man? -- is just as terrible and amazing as his name implies. Castle is stuck with him crashing since Pi lost his passport. But at least he can presumably cook a banging papaya steak. I love Alexis so much, and this hippie phase she's going through right now is incredible. I can't wait until she goes to Burning Man and stages an Occupy protest in her dorm to fight the lack of vegan options in the dining hall.
-- There's four months until Jenny gives birth and already Ryan is the greatest father of all time, obsessively practicing his swaddling on a baby doll.
-- If you ever need to blackmail Ryan and Esposito, their Kryptonite is Knicks floor seats.
-- In a fast-moving episode setting up a lot of new characters, scenery, and storylines, there are still a few really solid laughs. My favorites are a tie between Castle pretending to golf without golf clubs and Beckett's new boss casually leaving Castle in an interrogation room to "sweat it out" in order to teach him a lesson. The humor is a lot darker and drier in Washington!
What did you think of the premiere? Are you psyched Beckett accepted Castle's proposal? How will Castle get out of his "24 hours to live" pickle? Will he live to taste the sweet flavor of victory and papaya steak? Tell us what you think in the comments!