Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Castle & Chuck in Charge

Apart from being Monday one-word shows that begin with a C (with the title being the name of the main character no less), Chuck and Castle are both shows I enjoy watching even though their fates last season were a bit hazy. With NBC's fortunes dwindling and its Heroes franchise losing major buzz, Chuck's "just okay" ratings and plenty of buzz should help it go for another season. Castle, in the meantime, seems to be enjoying an upsurge in viewers and it's about damn time, people. Last night both shows delivered one of their best episodes of the season, so I thought I'd give them some ink...

This past season of Chuck has mostly been dealing with Chuck's new goal of wanting to be an official spy. In last night's episode, he finally became one changing once again the ever-evolving relationship he has with Team Bartowski, but more specifically, Sarah. I am actually totally loving the complexities of Sarah and Chuck's roller coaster relationship. Sarah is pulling away from Chuck because he's becoming less the person she fell in love with while Chuck, on the other hand, is thinking that the only way he could be with Sarah is to be a real-life spy. Yay for Catch-22s!

And while Chuck has gotten much better at lying and even hurting people, he's still not a murderer, something he'd have to be if he wanted to pass his final spy test and be a "real spy." Fortunately, newly-civilian John Casey was there to help Chuck kill his target. So he passed. But in turns out he got the worst of both worlds in return. Knowing he didn't really pull the trigger, he still doesn't consider himself a real spy worthy of Sarah's love even if he has the official badge and gun. And of course he also loses Sarah since she believes he actually killed someone.

Last night's Castle really gave the show much needed urgency. It's already a fun romp, but this episode ramped up the darkness and suspense. When a serial killer targets Nikki Heat aka Castle's character based on Detective Beckett, things get a little too personal for both of them. With things getting a little heady, the FBI steps in with their fancy gadgets and Agent Jordan Shaw, the federal version of Beckett, played with aplomb by Dana Delaney.

It was nice seeing Beckett just a wee bit jealous of the quick rapport that developed between Castle and Shaw, but the show is at its best when Beckett and Castle bounce off on one another be it in front of a crime scene, the white board, or in Beckett's apartment. Speaking of, he stayed the night and made her pancakes in the morning. Nothing happened, but still... aww. Since this was the first part of a 2-part episode, it had to end in a cliffhanger and what a cliffhanger it was: Beckett's apartment blowing up while she was still in there. Clearly, she's not dead (please?) but with Martha possibly moving out, Castle does have a spare room now. Let it be so.

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