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DVD Review: Castle: The Complete Third Season

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ABC’s Castle: The Complete Third Season comes to DVD this Tuesday, September 20th, the day after season four premieres. These episodes aired from September 2010 until this past May, the most recent season to air. Season three provides many of the stand-alone mysteries viewers have come to expect from Castle, as well as a handful of episodes that play into larger arcs.

As season two ends, Castle (Nathan Fillion) heads off to the Hamptons with his second wife and editor, Gina (Monet Mazur), just after Beckett (Stana Katic) breaks up with her boyfriend. Season three finds Castle dating Gina for awhile, before the relationship implodes. But the time that it does, Beckett finds a new guy to date. So, of course, the two lead characters never do find the opportunity to hook up. However, in the season three finale, Castle tellz Beckett that he loves her, so it will be interesting to see what the ramifications of that moment will be.

Though Castle and Beckett don’t get lucky in love, they seem to be the only ones. Among the other relationships that play out during the third season, Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) gets serious with her first real boyfriend, Ashley (Ken Baumann, The Secret Life of the American Teenager), so much so that, after a fight, they decide to try the long distance thing as he goes off to college. Ryan (Seamus Dever) proposes to his girlfriend, and she says yes. Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Lanie (Tamala Jones) try to sneak around, and for awhile, their friends allow them to believe it’s working. Martha’s (Susan Sullivan) beau dies just as she is about to decline his marriage proposal.

But romance is a small part of Castle, while murder is a much bigger part. There are a number of cool, memorable cases that Castle, Beckett, and company solve during this third season. The team works with Agent Mark Fallon (Heroes‘s Adrian Pasdar) to stop a dirty bomb in a gripping two parter. Actress Natalie Rhodes (Laura Prepon, October Road, That ’70s Show) helps out on one case while studying Beckett, as she will be playing Nikki Heat in a film based on Castle’s books. Beckett’s old mentor, Royce (Jason Beghe), returns, only to be killed, and Beckett and Castle have to travel to Los Angeles to find his murderer.

Of course, the biggest episode of Castle‘s third season is the finale, “Knockout,” which continues the investigation into Beckett’s mother’s murder, an arc spanning the series thus far. Esposito and Ryan learn that Captain Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Hudson) is part of the cover up conspiracy. Montgomery faces the hired killer himself, losing his life, but saving Beckett’s. There is also much examination by Castle over his feelings for Beckett, while trying to convince her to stop digging before she gets killed. “Knockout” ends with Beckett being shot as Montgomery’s funeral, and Castle professing his love, as mentioned above, before her head lolls back. What an exciting cliffhanger!

Interestingly, unlike other ABC releases, Castle‘s bonus features are spread across each disc in the set, rather than packing them all onto one disc. This certainly makes sense for the audio commentaries, which are provided for a few of the more memorable episodes. It’s also convenient for the deleted scenes, too, keeping them near the episode that they belong with. Those are all pretty standard, nothing shocking or exciting to set Castle‘s apart from any other show. Though it is fun to see Castle bumble in front of Beckett’s father (Scott Paulin). You can skip watching them, and won’t miss anything. The longer features are all on the final disc, so the setup works pretty well.

One three and a half minute feature examines how the twelve murder boards on set are used to film each episode, as told by Kurt DeFilipps, the man in charge of doing so. A just over two minute music video called “Get On the Floor” comes from an episode during the season, expanded with scenes from the show added in. The obligatory four minute blooper reel begins semi-seriously, giving it a fun, unique spin. It also exposes the cast’s potty mouths.

Castle Goes Hollywood” is an eight minute short about filming in Los Angeles for one episode. Actually, Castle always films in L.A., but the cast and crew talk about how they had to adapt, since usually they are concerned with making L.A. pass for New York, and this time, they can embrace the city where they live.

Finally, “Murder They Wrote” is a twenty-two minute roundtable discussion with series creator Andrew Marlowe, executive producer Rob Bowman, author Michael Connelly, graphic novelist Brian Michael Bendis, and star Nathan Fillion. The guys discuss the writing process and the realism of the show. They also go into detail about the books and graphic novel that have been released in conjunction with the series. Fillion talks about his experience on Firely, always a treat. Plus, they remember Stephen J. Cannell, author and former guest star.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com