Castle returns from the summer with a bang. The first twenty seconds of the episode revolve around around Castle running for his life inside a warehouse under gunfire, only to run into Beckett. Cue tense standoff between Castle and Becket where they fire upon each other, and then cut to three days prior. It’s a pretty intense way to get your fans back into the show, and I think it works well. Of course there’s no way that either one would actually shoot each other in the first episode of a season as that’d be a very awkward way to run a whole season. On the other hand, as a viewer, it does compel you to continue watching to find out how they ended up in this situation. There is even a bit of additional support that Castle has fallen from the law with his appearance at a murder scene armed with a gun.
The gang has obviously missed Castle who has spent all summer away writing his latest novel Naked Heat, and the whole episode revolves around the grudging disappointment the gang has against his not calling or staying in touch all summer. As is common in Castle episodes, the emotions of Becket and her crew are simplified and reflected in Castle’s daughter Alexis’s personal life with her summer boyfriend not calling her after his extended trip abroad. The whole parallel lines work well enough to illustrate to Castle is thoughtlessness, but I sometimes wonder how it’s possible that a writer of his caliber is so oblivious to the emotional needs of his friends in the department.
Overall, I’d say it’s a decent start to the third season with a lot of signs of sticking to a formula that has served it well the past two.
- Beckett is now single again.
- No signs of Castle’s ex-wive/publisher.
- Castle is a pretty good shot.