Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review - Castle Season 3 Episode 24 Knockout

Here's one of my big problems with Castle: why can't the writers blend the "Knockout"-style episodes with the usual, fun, charming episodes? A few times in a season, Castle will turn to serious mode--there is a huge crime, lots of people are in trouble, and Castle and Beckett almost kiss. Then there's Castle in normal mode--fun, lax, and generally not that intense. The result is that the serious episodes have better plots while the normal episodes are more enjoyable if one isn't into super-intense episodes.

The structure is Castle is so that episodes like "Knockout" stand out, relative to the other episodes where nobody important gets killed and Beckett isn't as emotionally invested. In effect, the episode seems much better than it is, because the writers undershoot the other episodes. If the writers had the right mix--beefier plots to go alongside the funny--Castle could be greatly improved.

"Knockout," like those other special episodes is a lot more intense than normal episodes. The stakes are higher, the plot is directly related to Beckett, and the possible romance between Beckett and Castle, one of the drawing points of the show, is teased to death. What makes the episode work is the involvement of Montgomery in the events that led to Beckett's mother's death, We learn why he's so supportive of her and why he cares about her so much before his valiant death. He committed a crime in the past and did his best to make up for it. It's hard to fault a man for that, so I think Montgomery was given a good send-off.

The episode ends on a "cliffhanger," which was unnecessary and clich├ęd.We know Kate won't die unless the entire show goes through a DNA resequencer. We already knew someone was gunning for Kate. And after years of insinuation and non-action, was Castle saying "I love you" supposed to be the tipping point? Obviously this is another ploy to get the viewers to believe something will actually happen when the show returns in the fall.

Score: 8.8/10
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