Building off Season 3, this season really starts to gel in certain areas. Which is odd, because the characters are written so they are NOT gelling…Castle finished off Season 3 with a big pronouncement, and Beckett says she doesn’t remember it. So they are at odds for most of the season. They have their moments, and then they have stumbling blocks. While a lot of Seasons 1-3 were about Castle growing up a little, finding something to care about besides being a playboy writer, this season is about Beckett growing as a person, finding something to care about other than her job.
Episodes That I Liked
The season has surprising depth in it, including Beckett adjusting to life after being shot (E01) and dealing with a sniper (E09). And they have some solid fun episodes with superheroes (E02), ghosts (E06), hostages (E07), politics (E12), and eager reporters (E19). But even beyond those 7 episodes, they have another 7 that just rock…Beckett and Castle wake up cuffed together, and there’s a tiger in the room next door? (E10) Awesome! There is a WILD episode just watching some pick-up artists describe their buddy’s operation (E11), plus a two-parter dealing with the CIA (E15, E16). And while every procedural wants to deal with the drug ketamine, this one was different enough to be interesting (E22).
But the two outstanding episodes are one in the middle of the season and the last one. The season ends with Castle and Beckett reaching an impasse — Castle isn’t willing to watch Beckett keep putting herself in danger with no backup, and she’s not willing to yield or bend (E23). Yet the EP that blew me away is the mid-season one (E14, The Blue Butterfly), where an old case is re-imagined with all the regular Castle characters playing parts in the old case, done up Chicago noir-style, very Chandler-esque.
Episodes That Were Watchable
So there are fourteen EPs that are great (above), and then 4 here that are blah — E04 for family intrigue for Romeo and Juliet done gangster-style, E08 that should have been awesome with the boys in Atlantic City, E17 for a bit of the supernatural with vampires, and a romantic interest for Beckett from England (E20).
Episodes That I Didn’t Like
With those other EPs out of the way, there are 5 others that just fail to deliver…some need a better plot (E03 about Cryogenics, E21 with Castle working with Slaughter); another needs a better motive (E05 about a museum murder); and two others try to go topical with reality TV and dog shows (E18 and E13), with the gimmick just not working for the episodes as nobody cares who killed who.
List of Episodes from Season 4
|S04E01||Rise||Beckett has trouble post-incident, including dealing with Castle||★★★★☆|
|S04E02||Heroes & Villains||Superhero murderer? Epic investigation||★★★★☆|
|S04E03||Head Case||Cryogenics…nothing to lose your head over||★★☆☆☆|
|S04E04||Kick the Ballistics||Even without the Capulets, the Montagues are messed up||★★★☆☆|
|S04E05||Eye of the Beholder||Awesome methodology, routine motive for museum murder||★★☆☆☆|
|S04E06||Demons||Who you gonna call, Ghost Murderers!||★★★★☆|
|S04E07||Cops & Robbers||Die hard in a bank! Oh, wait, it’s Castle…Murder He Banked||★★★★☆|
|S04E08||Heartbreak Hotel||Casino hijinks, dead partners, and undercover Elvis||★★★☆☆|
|S04E09||Kill Shot||Sniper attack in the city? Not so fun for Beckett with PTSD||★★★★☆|
|S04E10||Cuffed||Beckett and Castle wake up cuffed, after being drugged, oh, a tiger!||★★★★★|
|S04E11||Till Death Do Us Part||Weddings, pick up artists and sexpionage…awesome||★★★★★|
|S04E12||Dial M for Mayor||A murder linked to the mayor? How very impolitic||★★★★☆|
|S04E13||Embarrassment of Bitches||Best in show vs. reality show…tough choice||★★☆☆☆|
|S04E14||Blue Butterfly||Old story reimagined from noir style Chandler…awesome||★★★★★|
|S04E15||Pandora||Domino theory, the CIA and a Jason-Bourne-style killer…cool||★★★★★|
|S04E16||Linchpin||Swimming in the big pond, economic theory, and the CIA…really cool||★★★★★|
|S04E17||Once Upon a Crime||A murder worthy of the Grimms||★★★☆☆|
|S04E18||A Dance with Death||Dancing with a murderer?||★★☆☆☆|
|S04E19||47 Seconds||Bombing with live coverage? Interesting||★★★★☆|
|S04E20||Limey||Scotland Yard helps out on a case||★★★☆☆|
|S04E21||Headhunters||Rough and tumble detective is fun to watch||★★☆☆☆|
|S04E22||Undead Again||No problem, just arrest the Zombie Killer||★★★★★|
|S04E23||Always||Beckett and Castle, hanging by a thread||★★★★★|
The Bottom Line (★★★★☆)
Time to rename the show Beckett, cuz she ran the season