Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Castle: "Rise"

When I was looking over Emmy submissions a couple months back, I was taken aback (though not completely shocked) to see that Castle was listed as a drama. I mean it's not exactly a sitcom, but it definitely feels funnier than some of Showtime's half-hour offerings. With that said, when they do ramp up the drama such as last season's finale and last night's season's premiere, they do it just as well as anybody on TV.

The premiere opens up at the hospital moments after the big cliffhanger finale last season when Beckett was shot at Montgomery's funeral, drifting off into unconsciousness as Castle told her he loved her. The opening scene before the commercial hit all of the right emotional beats with a distraught Castle and Lanie, a fired-up Josh, a worried Martha and Alexis, an anxious father, and an angry-focused Esposit0 and Ryan. All of their emotions were real and paid heed to all the while the audience are treated to an ER-esque hold-your-breath surgery that ends in Beckett flatlining.

Manipulative? Probably a little especially since as the lead female character, everyone knows she would always survive. And that she did, albeit a bit worse for the wear. The show jumps three months with Beckett taking some time for herself not talking to any of her friends and more important not talking to Castle. In her absence, her boys try to track down the shooter, but after months of no viable leads and a new more restrictive boss (played awesomely by 24's Penny Johnson Jerald), the case has been closed. Upon Beckett's return, the team comes back together to do what they do best and more importantly for Beckett and Castle to reunite. He's angry she didn't call him and secretly frustrated that she doesn't remember him confessing his love to her. She needs to put all of this whole drama behind her before breaking down the walls around her that make it impossible for her to get involved with anyone.

The case of the week is an afterthought, which I actually was okay with especially with all the emotions and setting up that needed to be done to the characters. It did enable Beckett to slowly get back into the field and confront yet another gun pointed at her. This new character who warns Castle to steer Beckett away from her mom's case is pervasively creepy and I'm looking forward to seeing where that goes. Of course, the twist ending is that while Beckett has stopped, Castle will continue to dig. Little does he know that she has a secret of her own... she remembers everything. That sound you heard last night was a bunch of shippers fainting and/or screaming at the top of their lungs. B+

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