This was the season where Castle hit its stride. Beckett and Castle are in a good place after the first couple of episodes, they’re in their groove, and they’re even making progress on the conspiracy that claimed Beckett’s mother.
EPISODES THAT I LIKED
For me, almost every episode hit the mark this season. Sixteen of the 24 eps, I rated four stars or higher. E01 started off solid with Castle as a potential suspect, particularly as he’s back in town and not calling. We moved on to psychics (E02), steam-punk (E04), extra bodies in coffins (E05), strippers (E07), the X-Files (E09), actress wanting to be Nikki Heat (E11), magic (E12), terrorist threats (E16 and E17), dead jurors (E19), and Beverly Hills (E22).
But the four stand out episodes were a little bit different. We have the Triple X K killer, with twists and turns galore (E06). Then a ho-hum mystery (a subway lightbulb changer gets killed) but expertly done (E08). And E24 is a huge reveal on the conspiracy around Beckett’s mother’s murder and how it all ties in. Yet I think my favorite one of the season was a softer one about speak-easies, pubs, and a modern take on the mystery (E10).
EPISODES THAT WERE WATCHABLE
Only two episodes really just walked in at the mid-point for quality. E03 dealt with an old partner of Beckett’s, and E13 when there’s “almost” a reveal on the conspiracy.
EPISODES THAT I DIDN’T LIKE
So here’s the weird part. After a huge batch of awesome EPs, there are a full six that were yawners, all in the second half of the season. We had lottery winners (E14); old school chum of Castle (E15); soap operas (E18); pizza wars (E20); swimmers and steroids (E21); and a beauty pageant murder (E23). Bad plotting, obvious suspects, and not very interesting dialogue.
|S03E01||A Deadly Affair||Castle’s back, and standing over a dead body? Kinky|
|S03E02||He’s Dead, She’s Dead||Castle’s right — the psychic didn’t see it coming|
|S03E03||Under the Gun||Beckett’s old partner comes back around, but not on the job|
|S03E04||Punked||Steam-punk, revolvers, and a death in the park|
|S03E05||Anatomy of a Murder||Extra body in a casket, jail breaks, and drug dealers|
|S03E06||3XK||Twists and turns, turns and twists…and then another twist|
|S03E07||Almost Famous||Stripper in cop uniform leads to business fraud|
|S03E08||Murder Most Fowl||How many lightbulb changers does it take to witness a murder?|
|S03E09||Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind||The truth is out there, and MIB too|
|S03E10||Last Call||A speak-easy beckons, along with a modern day mystery|
|Nikki Heat||Wannabe Nikki actress does Beckett better than Beckett|
|Poof! You’re Dead||Abracadabra, jackass, and the hunt for magic is on|
|Knockdown||Raglan is about to talk, and then he gets whacked|
|Lucky Stiff||A lottery winner with a guilty conscience? Yawn|
|Final Nail||Never trust old school chums|
|Setup||Syrian cabdriver mystery goes radioactive? Call in Homeland|
|S03E17||Countdown||Survive a freezer, let’s try aiming for a dirty bomb|
|S03E18||One Life to Lose||Death on a soap opera? Usually it’s not permanent|
|S03E19||Law & Murder||Dead juror? No end of suspects and intrigue|
|S03E20||Slice of Death||Pizza wars? Not terrific, or authentic, or even interesting|
|S03E21||Dead Pool||Swimmers and steroids? It isn’t rocket science|
|S03E22||To Love and Die in L.A.||Beverly Hills Cop, Beckett style|
|S03E23||Pretty Dead||Beauty pageant murder? Blackmail? Definitely not pretty|
|S03E24||Knockout||Hitman Lockwood escapes, Beckett makes progress finding 3rd cop|
THE BOTTOM LINE / TWEET
Beckett and Castle are in the groove
MY OVERALL SEASON RATING
I received no compensation in exchange for this review. I am not personal friends with anyone involved in the production, nor do I follow any of them on social media.
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