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TV Review: Castle – “Deep in Death”

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He's back! For the second year in a row, Nathan Fillion returns with all new episodes of his hit television show Castle. The premise is simple enough. Fillion is Richard Castle, a bestselling author whose work is strikingly similar to crimes committed outside the written page. Once the police figure out they most likely have a copycat killer on their hands, the author is teamed with a female detective, Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), so his expertise can be used as a way to close the book, as it were, on many more crimes. The chemistry between Fillion and Kantic cannot be stressed enough. It's almost Moonlighting, only with more wit.

When we last left these two, Castle had something to tell Beckett. This was not just any random piffle, but it concerned her deceased mother ("A Death in the Family"). Hard enough under regular circumstances, but Castle knew Beckett told him to stay away from the case, since it was clear homicide. If he chose to ignore her, their partnership would be over.

Whoever hired these two actors made a smart move indeed. Watching Fillion try and redeem himself while Kantic seethes in a steady rage makes me want to see much more. There is a touching vulnerability of each person having to confront feelings long thought buried. I look forward to seeing more of this storyline. A serial killer might be involved. Why maybe? A major metropolitan city has things go on each day where more than one person gets hurt or dies. I'm not willing to connect the dots just yet.

Season two starts out when a man dies and his body is found in a tree. Welcome to New York. Somehow, this seems perfectly natural. The ride to the morgue brings a twist which I'll let you watch for yourselves. The rumble almost gives everything away, but Lanie,the medical examiner (Tamara Tunie) and Castle are surprised anyhow. Go take a look.

Stephen J. Cannell and Michael Connelly make guest appearances in this episode. They play themselves, in a nice clip which discusses motive. Poker playing is only a prelude to the undercover gambling in Chinatown with the Russian mafia. Speaking of which, Beckett speaks Russian! She explains by mentioning a semester in Kiev to Ryan (Seamus Deaver) and Esposito (Jon Huertas), her astonished colleagues. Considering how unusual Katic's name is, I think she is probably part Russian herself.

Part of the reason this show works so well is the glimpses of Castle's home life. Daughter Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) and mother Martha (Susan Sullivan) provide a good balance to offset the grittiness of police work. Each character is strong in her own right which helps when being thrust into the spotlight upon Dad's success.

Could Beckett's dad show up sometime later? Perhaps. The actor would have to be old enough to have fathered a woman now in her 30s. Kevin Tighe of Emergency fame? Sixty-ish or mid- to late 50s would work. I get the impression Castle no longer has a living father.

Now that the first season has gotten its kinks out, it is time for some of Fillion's former cast mates to show up. Firefly has some nice ideas, but it could be a bit tricky prying a few away from other series. Adam Baldwin is a prime example. Chuck takes up most of his time, and he's critical to the plots each week. Sean Maher makes sense, as does Alan Tudyk. Of course, Tudyk has Dollhouse and V on his plate already. Morena Baccarin is a series regular on V, so she's out. Jewel Staite? It could work. Gina Torres was supposedly in this episode. I don't recall seeing her, so let me know in the comments if you did. Once Summer Glau finishes with Dollhouse, she could be available for Castle.

Here's another idea. Somebody could come from Desperate Housewives, except Dana Delany. She is far too involved right now to appear anywhere else. My best guess is a dead person. Easy enough to retrieve one.

Sullivan is known for her work as Maggie on Falcon Crest. Robert Foxworth would be a great guest star! Lorenzo Lamas is getting his own reality show, but Ana Alicia is an option.

Tune in Mondays at 10pm for all new episodes of Castle!

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About NancyGail

  • Tim

    Tamara Tunie is not on CASTLE. She’s on LAW & ORDER: SVU. Your information is wrong.

  • http://th3tvobsessed.blogspot.com/ TV Obsessed

    I think the acting is the strongest part of the show. Nathan Fillion especially, and Stana Katic are really great. The downfall of the show is the writing. To date, no crime has been particularly compelling. Hopefully the story with Beckett’s mother will be a step in the right direction. Full review of the episode on my blog.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/fran-parker/ Fran

    I have loved just about everything that Joss Whedon has done. Between Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, and the rest of the cast, particularly Castle family, this show could go very far. I hope they will not cancel it like they do all the good shows.

    Thanks for reviewing this great show. I hope more find the show! And don’t forget you can watch last season on Hulu if you missed it (to catch up).

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/fran-parker/ Fran

    Thanks! I went to see the Season 2 “Deep in Death” on Hulu and ….

    After waiting anxiously for the new season, it was wonderful to see such a great start! I can’t wait to see each one. I know Joss Whedon can keep up the momentum and I am not worried about the acting; Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic and the supporting cast are exceptional. This kick off was definitely outstanding! I look forward to the next episode with great anticipation.

    NOTE to NBC: Please don’t kill this show!

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Joss Whedon DIDN’T create this show. Andrew Marlowe did. Although Nathan Fillion is lead role, Joss Whedon’s newest creation is Dollhouse starring Eliza Dushku.