Richard Castle is a successful best-selling author, twice married and twice divorced, living in a spacious Manhattan condo with the single actress mother (Martha) who raised him and a bright teenage daughter (Alexis). He has money, toys, and rotating women, but he’s bored. So bored in fact that he has killed off his best-selling character, Derrick Storm, a rogue prone to danger. Castle’s looking for something new.
Enter Kate Beckett, a strong forceful female homicide detective. A serial killer is committing murders and staging them to look like kills from Castle’s books, so while she doesn’t think that he’s likely involved, she has to interview him anyway. He’s all play, she’s all business.
Murders based on his books? Castle is hooked, and it doesn’t hurt that Beckett is also hot. He convinces the mayor to let him work the case as a consultant/advisor, much to Beckett’s dismay, and the game is afoot. Castle helps solve the case, and Castle convinces the Mayor to let the successful partnership continue so Castle can do research.
As the opening narration reveals, every writer has his muse, and Castle thinks he’s found his in Beckett. He even bases a new character on her — Nikki Heat. A strong forceful female homicide detective who works with a roguish mystery writer to solve cases. With a small difference — in his books, the two are lovers, which Castle wants to replicate with Beckett. But, as I said, she’s all business.
Episodes That I Liked
The season premiere of the short 10-episode season was the best of the bunch. It established Castle as the bored playboy looking for meaning and Beckett as the uber-serious detective in need of some enjoyment in her often-dark life. After that, prep school punks (E03), political intrigue with the city council (E04), home invasions (E07), a link to an old eco-terrorism case (E08), and a child kidnapping (E09) are no match for Beckett and Castle, with Beckett grudgingly beginning to accept that Castle has something to offer besides annoying her.
Episodes That Were Watchable
Episode 5 deals with a dead girl, found frozen but thawing, and while her story is interesting, the real contribution is you get to hear Beckett’s origin story (how her mother was killed in an alley, nobody caught for the crime). It should have been awesome, it should have been riveting. But except for a couple of decent scenes, the episode was rather ho-hum. The last episode of the season looks at a dead surgeon and the mob, but again, except for a final scene or two near the end dealing with Beckett’s mother’s murder, the episode is rather lacklustre.
Episodes That I Didn’t Like
Both episodes 2 and 6 are mostly odd…a dead nanny with a weird motive that comes out of nowhere and voodoo killings that have nothing to do with voodoo. Plus some overwhelming backstory with Castle’s ex-wife that is excruciating. They are definitely the weakest two episodes of the season.
List of Episodes from Season 1
|S01E01||Flowers for Your Grave||Castle wants new, and Beckett is certainly that||★★★★★|
|S01E02||Nanny McDead||Nanny dead, and no butler to blame||★★☆☆☆|
|S01E03||Hedge Fund Homeboys||There’s no honour among adolescent wanna-bes||★★★★☆|
|S01E04||Hell Hath No Fury||Politics? Hookers? Murder? Just another day in NYC||★★★★☆|
|S01E05||A Chill Goes Through Her Veins||Every story has a beginning, even Beckett’s||★★★☆☆|
|S01E06||Always Buy Retail||Voodoo rituals and whirlwind Meredith? Both blow into town||★★☆☆☆|
|S01E07||Home is Where the Heart Stops||Jewelry thieves, violence, and ball gowns||★★★★☆|
|S01E08||Ghosts||Eco-terrorism, ghostwriters, and poker showdowns…I’m all in||★★★★☆|
|S01E09||Little Girl Lost||Child kidnapping, an ex-bf, and a stuffed bunny||★★★★☆|
|S01E10||A Death in the Family||Send one hitman after another…oh, about your mother||★★★☆☆|
The Bottom Line (★★★☆☆)
Beckett brings the serious, Castle makes it fun