Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Castle - XY / XX

Castle's two-part season premiere introduces some new faces as well as a new longterm obsession for the NYPD's sexiest detective. When the newly-promoted Captain Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) disappears on her very first day Castle (Nathan Fillion) becomes increasingly concerned, especially after he discovers she is tied to a shoot-out in an abandoned auditorium. While "XY" follows Castle and the NYPD attempting to find the elusive Beckett, who makes no effort to reach out to her husband or colleagues, "XX" gives us Kate's version of the story filling in gaps from the first episode of the season and explaining her odd behavior which is all linked to her short stint at the Attorney General's office and her old enemy William Bracken (Jack Coleman).

Although Beckett's disappearance and time on the run dominates the first two episodes there's also several other plot threads being woven. To begin with the season premiere reveals Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) has become a resourceful young detective in her own right closing cases that her father was too busy to solve. The season also gives the private investigator's office an expensive new redesign (which will play into the climactic gun battle) and introduces us to new characters we'll likely being seeing more of in Hayley Vargas (Toks Olagundoye) and Castle's stepmother (Ann Cusack) who shares Beckett's new obsession.

Despite several pieces of the episode which I enjoy, including the new characters, the ratcheting tension, and finally an interesting turn for Alexis, I have trouble buying Beckett's rationale for keeping Castle in he dark (particularly as she would know he wouldn't stop searching for her putting him in even more danger without her protection). The episode also reminds me of last season's switcheroo of Castle's mysterious disappearance (a plotline I still haven't' forgiven the show for) whose sole purpose was to inject some unnatural tension and distance between the characters. At all times Beckett and Castle are best together be it when they were single, when they were dating, or now that they are married. And, for whatever reason, it seems the only ones who don't understand this are the show's writers.

I don't know what Locksat is, and honestly don't care, but I find Beckett's immediate obsession with it (despite it being in no way tied to her mother's death) as disconcerting as her husband does. Nor did I ever buy the questionable motives of Vikram Singh (Sunkrish Bala) who had plenty of opportunities to kill Beckett before the short-lived mass confusion began as to whether he was friend or foe. And as for our once happy couple, no doubt the characters will find their way back to each other but how many episodes with them split-up (and later awkwardly reconnecting) will be subjected to in the meantime? Too many.

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