Second season of Castle is almost indistinguishable from the 1st one. Most of the case stories are completely separated from each other and have no impact on the overall development. The arc I was expecting did not happen: although there were certain movements in that direction, it ended up in a disappointing deadlock. By far, the only significant thing in the show that actually evolves is Castle-Bennet mutual appetency.
So, that thing with investigation into Bennet’s mother’s murder manifested itself first in Bennet making peace with the case being revived (couple of first episodes); and second, in discovering that the murder was a hit, executed by a hired professional (episode 13). Unfortunately, the fact that the hitman was killed before he could reveal the name of his client, left very little hope on decent continuation of the storyline; for the rest of the season, there wasn’t even a hint at it.
The most exciting part of the season was a double episode (17&18) about a serial killer, who chose Bennet as his target believing that she’s a real-life Nikki Heat. The piece in quite fascinating in itself: there’s the FBI involvement with subsequent friendly rivalry between Bennet and the agent in charge, there’s the influx of impressive technology (even though some of it look like bullshit); but the most interesting thing about it is that it is all provoked by the growing mass of Castle-Bennet professional alliance. Too bad, there were no more stories like this.
Finally, there’s the story of emotional attraction between Castle and Bennet, full of unresolved issued and conflicting desires. Interestingly enough, the writers manage to pull it off without actually sliding into melodrama; this development looks quite serious, but it doesn’t dominate everything else. I’m afraid, though, that without sufficient counterbalance of the professional part of their relationship (which, by the way, was very much present in The Mentalist), it might as well turn into soap; at least, there is an alarming tendency towards it.
All in all, watching the show is like processing ore: in order to get an ounce of gold, you have to dig through at least 2 tonnes of useless material. Episodes 13, 17 and 18 might be worth checking out, everything else – not so much.
Created by: Andrew W. Marlowe
Directed by: Rob Bowman, Dwight Little, Bryan Spicer, John Terlesky, Karen Gaviola, Jonathan Frakes, Helen Shaver, Tom Wright, Rosemary Rodriguez, David Barrett, Bill Roe, Ron Underwood
Written by: Andrew W. Marlowe, David Grae, Moira Kirland, Alexi Hawley, René Echevarria, Terri Miller, Jose Molina, Terence Paul Winter, Elizabeth Davis, Will Beall, Kate Sargeant
Performed by: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Tamala Jones, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Molly C. Quinn, Susan Sullivan, Arye Gross, Michael Trucco, Dana Delany, Diana Maria Riva, Phil LaMarr, Leonard Roberts, Danny Nucci, John Brantley Cole Jr., Stephen J. Cannell, Michael Connelly, Scott Paulin
Time: 17h15m (a. 24 episodes)
Entertaining quality: 4 out of 5
Art quality: 3 out of 5
Links: (website) | (wiki ~show) | (wiki ~season)