Kaycee Hendricks ‘15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Castle, ABC’s long-running cop drama, started off its seventh season where it left off—up in flames.
Just hours before Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) and Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) were to get married, Castle’s car is found in a ditch and on fire; everyone thinking he is still inside. Instead, we discover that there is no trace of him in or near the wreckage, which catapults the episode into a manhunt, with everyone wondering where he had gone and who had taken him.
Fans of the show will love how the episode jumps right into the edge-of-your-seat action, which never slows down. The ever-resilient Beckett never lets up and stops at nothing to find out where Castle is. With her tag-team of buddies right behind her, we see Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) join her quest to get Castle back. Who was in that SUV that ran down his car? Did they kidnap him? Does this have any relation to Bracken or is this a new enemy we haven’t met yet? It is a storyline that seems like one we’ve seen before, but it quickly turns into a hybrid of mishaps that leave us unable to see what is coming. The answers to our questions are few and far between during the premiere, but the information given is exhilarating, leaving us on the edge of our seats.
When the team finds the SUV in a junkyard being impounded, they gather suspects and witnesses, but no one gives them any viable information at first. Soon, they figure out that Vincent Cardano (Don Stark), a New Jersey mobster that we’ve met before, had been paid to have the SUV crushed. That leads them to a video of said client leaving the payout in a dumpster, but who they find in the video is a major surprise to everyone. With a significant jump in time that happens halfway through the episode, the team is at the end of their wits. We, as the viewers, are given Beckett’s point of view as the story continues .The precinct even brings in the FBI to try and help the case, although all they did was heighten the awareness of the situation and the idea that this will not be resolved within one single episode.
This premiere episode has more than one plot twist, and giving any of them away would take out a lot of the fun of watching. There have been few episodes that take us on such an unpredictable ride, and this just may be the one that kick-starts the life back into the show; as fans have complained that a lot of the last season was flat, predictable and ‘soft’. It’s hard to tell if this tone will follow throughout the new season, but without a doubt, this storyline seems a lot more promising. Even Castle’s mother Martha (Susan Sullivan) and daughter Alexis (Molly C. Quinn), question how well they really knew their beloved Rick Castle.
If the writers can keep up this level of surprise and tension, we are in for a good ride with season 7; an exciting idea, seeing as shows often get tired and repetitive after such long runs. We didn’t get to see a lot of that smart, quick humor we are used to between the characters during this episode, but tensions were high enough to make up for it. Some might be happy that they decided to add more tension between the characters. Others might be upset that they didn’t let Castle and Beckett finally have their happy ever after. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, this season of Castle looks promising, with twists and turns we might never have expected. With “Driven” leaving us on a semi-cliffhanger, you definitely will want to tune in for more.
Castle airs Mondays at 10pm on ABC.