Tuesday, April 7, 2009

TV Review: Castle "A Chill Goes Through Her Veins"

Season 1, Episode 5 (Original Air Date: Monday, April 6th 2009, at 10/9c on ABC)

The Plot: (From Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) investigate the murder of a women found frozen and tangled in steel bars at a construction site. The case leads them to looking into an old case and also has Beckett thinking about some memories from her past.

The Review: Castle is officially my favorite show currently on TV. For starters, Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic are two of my favorite actors working today, as well as some of the most underrated. Nathan Fillion has been under-utilized since Firefly, but at least he enjoys modest fame as a geek culture icon (possibly the next Bruce Campbell). Stana Katic, on the other hand, has never really had a project of her own. her career thus far has consisted mainly of guest spots in various TV shows, though I know her best from her endearing and drop dead hilarious performance in The Spirit (seriously, she was the best part of the film). You might remember her as the Canadian spy chick from the end of Quantum of Solace, as well as that computer controlling Israeli girl who showed up in the first season of Heroes, only to disappear with no explanation. Both of them are always a joy to watch, and they bring their A-game to everything they do. And fortunately for this show, it turns out they have great chemistry with each other and do well together.

But more than great casting, this show has great...well, everything. The closest thing to a complaint I can come up with is that the buddy cop romance crime show has been done before...a lot. But this common & minor lack of originality never affects the quality of this show, at least not for me. Making one of the main characters a writer is a big bonus for me, being a writer myself. I can relate to how Richard Castle looks at the world. Poet Muriel Rukeyser once said "the universe is made of stories, not atoms", and there's not better way to describe Castle's (or my) thought process. He thinks outside the box, because he's always looking for inspiration, looking for a story. Sure it's pretty implausible that this would routinely lead to him to the truth of every murder week after week, but hey, that's TV for ya.

Castle has only aired five episodes so far, but so far it has never failed to thoroughly entertain me week after week. The humor, the mystery, the romantic tension, it's all great stuff. But this episode is one of the first to really brought the heavy stuff. When Beckett has to choose between letting a murderer go free or dividing a happy family forever, it's truly moving. Her character is one we still know little about, or didn't until this episode. And even though it seems the mystery of her past has more or less been revealed, some thing tells me there's more to it than she's telling us. Maybe it's just the writer in me.

Click here to visit the official website for Castle.

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