Castle: Season 3 In Review

It has been a week since the quite explosive season 3 finale of Castle and tonight will be the first Monday night without our favorite show for the next four months. I know, I am depressed too. I don’t know about you guys, but I have still not recovered from the avalanche of information (and feelings) that poured out of my screen last week and I am willing to bet that most of you feel the same way.

So now that the season is over, it is a great opportunity to look back and see what worked, what didn’t, what we wished had happened and what we can look forward to in season 4.

I can only rely on my own experience with Castle and season 3 was the first season that I actually got to follow on ABC. I only started watching Castle last summer — after procrastinating for months — and it was love at first sight. I basically did a marathon and watched seasons 1 and 2 in a week and a half last June. So I was completely spoiled having watched a total of 34 episodes back to back.

When season 3 started in September, I admit I was still a little green in the Castle fandom and my involvement with the community developed a lot over the season. I don’t know what was going on in the fandom last summer, but from what I have seen around the internet throughout the third season (plus my own opinion), the general consensus is that this was the best season by far.

However, not everything was perfect, as we are all well aware of the show’s faults, but for the most part, things seemed to have gone smoothly.

The Good

Character development

This is a huge part of why I love this show so much. Over the course of three seasons, they have managed to develop interesting characters and I am not even counting the leads. Season 3 was a huge step forward for Ryan and Esposito as they both got involved more and more in the storylines and had their background stories further explored. While other characters like Alexis and Lanie were criminally underused, Detectives Ryan and Esposito shined all season long, culminating with their heartbreaking fight scene in the finale when they find out about Captain Montgomery’s betrayal.

Castle: Season 3 In ReviewBut the gem this season was really Castle and Beckett. However frustrating their dancing around each other may be, we have to admit that they did a great job at deepening their relationship, showing their trust and respect for each other. If we look back to the end of season 2 and compare that to the season 3 finale, the contrast couldn’t be any more obvious. Where as in the season 2 finale Beckett was tentatively willing to give Castle a chance, in ‘Knockout’we had them laying all their cards on the table. Of course the fact that (should I still do a SPOILER ALERT warning for this?) Beckett got shot in the end of that episode puts a damper on things, but this is not something they can back away from. I just hope Andrew Marlowe and co. handle it well in season 4.


More screen time to secondary characters

Castle: Season 3 In ReviewOf course the story revolves around the two lead characters, but season 3 was a nice refresher in the sense that we got a lot more screen time with everyone else. While in the other two seasons, 99.9% of the scenes had either Beckett or Castle on screen, season 3 allowed characters like Ryan, Esposito and Martha to have their moment in the sun. Martha wasn’t on all that much, but when she was, it was almost always for an important scene. I wish Alexis and Lanie had gotten more time, as well as the Captain (especially now that he is gone), but they managed to do an incredible job with the other three.

The balance between drama and comedy

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not usually a comedy fan. Castle is probably the one exception for me and that’s because it is not a full out comedy. Because of that, I confess I enjoy the more dramatic episodes a lot more than the funny ones. That said, I think they did a really good job this season balancing out the comedy and drama throughout the twenty four episodes. Even though there were hilarious episodes (‘Nikki Heat’, anyone?), the darkest episodes still tend to stick more with me.

Castle: Season 3 In ReviewIt is no secret that I absolutely loved both ‘Knockdown’and ‘Knockout’. A huge part of that is because episodes like those allow us to dive in head first into the characters’minds and that is what is fascinating to me as a TV fan. ‘Nikki Heat’was probably the one exception that helped us understand Beckett a little bit better, but I find that the funny ones are usually the episodes that serve as fillers or do little to further along the storyline in terms of character development; as opposed to the more dramatic ones, which usually set the pace of the storyline of the season.


The acting

Sure the cast was great in the first two seasons, but I think season 3 really gave them some really fantastic material to work with. Whether it was a funny scene or a really powerful dramatic one, the cast really hit the ball out the park. Again, I really hope Stana Katic gets her way overdue recognition for her work because that girl can play the hell out of any scene. I still can’t watch the hangar scene in the finale without feeling Beckett’s pain and desperation.

The Bad


Okay, so they tied some loose ends in ‘Knockout’and we were all excited about it. While I understand the need to only address those issues in the finale, I am still ticked about how they handled it throughout the season. It’s okay if it’s part of the characters’personality to not talk about it and confront the issues head on, but it’s not okay to completely ignore those issues all season long. Sure we had some sort of closure in the finale, but the path they chose to take us on until then pissed off a lot of fans. They didn’t have to talk about it, but some subtle signs — subtlety is, after all, the trademark of the show — would have appeased the more enthusiastic fans. Here is hoping they handle this particular aspect better in season 4.

Significant others

Castle: Season 3 In ReviewWhen season 3 started, we were all well aware that both Castle and Beckett would be in a relationship with other people and that it was a device to keep them apart for longer while they worked their issues out. Gina was out of the picture halfway through the season so there were high hopes that Josh would follow in her footsteps soon. After ‘Setup’, fans were anxiously awaiting the moment Motorcycle Boy would be kicked to the curb, especially after Kate’s admission that things weren’t working out.

Then ‘Countdown’happened and the fandom exploded. The feedback following that episode was incredible and not in a good way for The Powers That Be. Fans were pissed off and feeling cheated when Beckett did a complete 180 and decided to give Josh another chance. After that, we had another seven episodes to wrap up that particular storyline and it didn’t happen.

Castle: Season 3 In Review

Okay, so maybe it will be kicked to season 4, but what bothers me is that we have no idea how this relationship is going for Beckett. In the finale, she pretty much admitted that there is something there between her and Castle, they had that big fight, she acknowledged that she wants him to be the one to stand with her and he told her he loves her.

Throughout that we heard nothing about Josh’s whereabouts. Is he in New York or did he take off on a mission with Doctors Without Borders again? Are they still together or has she broken it off with him off screen and we just haven’t heard about it?

It just feels like there was a lot laid out on the table, but there is still this huge chunk of information missing.


What can we expect for season 4?



The ‘Knockout’cliffhanger

Andrew Marlowe has already stated that the cliffhanger will be dealt with, so we will probably pick up right where they left us in ‘Knockout’. However, there will most like be a time jump to show Beckett’s recovery. It is also likely that we will see Josh early in season 4. After all, Beckett was shot in the chest and Dr. Motorcycle Boy just happens to be a cardiac surgeon. I just hope this is where they’ll wrap up this storyline.

Castle’s love declaration

According to Marlowe, the fact that Castle said the L word will not be ignored. However, it will not be confronted head on as it usually is the norm with the show. I am not sure how I feel about that yet.


We will revisit the 3XK storyline and deal with the fact that he stole Ryan’s gun and badge.

Castle and Beckett

There will probably be a whole new dynamic between those two. A lot has been said, especially in ‘Knockout’, and it’s just not something they can back away from. Castle will also be crazy protective of Kate now that there is someone out there determined to kill her and they still have no idea who that someone is.

So there you have it, Castle fans. What did you think of season 3? And what are your expectations for season 4?

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