After a serial killer imitates the plots of his novels, successful mystery novelist Richard "Rick" Castle receives permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with an NYPD homicide investigation team for research purposes.
Richard Castle is a successful best-selling author, twice married and twice divorced, living in a spacious Manhattan condo with the single actress mother (Martha) who raised him and a bright teenage daughter (Alexis). He has money, toys, and rotating women, but he’s bored. So bored in fact that he has killed off his best-selling character, Derrick Storm, a rogue prone to danger. Castle’s looking for something new. Enter Kate Beckett, a strong forceful female homicide detective. The fact that she’s also hot is irrelevant to her, but not to Castle. A serial killer is committing murders and staging them to look like kills from Castle’s books, so Beckett needs to interview him. He’s all play, she’s all business. She doesn’t think that he’s likely involved, but she has to interview him anyway. Castle is hooked. He convinces the mayor to “let” him work the case as a consultant/advisor, much to Beckett’s dismay, and the game is afoot. Castle helps solve the case, and the successful partnership continues so Castle can do research. As the opening narration reveals, every writer has his muse, and Castle thinks he’s found his. He even bases a new character on her — Nikki Heat. A strong forceful female homicide detective who works with a roguish mystery writer to solve cases. With a small difference — in his books, the two are lovers, which Castle wants to replicate with Beckett. But like I said, she’s all business. Season 1: Beckett brings the serious, Castle makes it fun. 4/5 Season 2: Season 2 starts with Beckett and Castle on the outs, as she’s pissed at him for looking into her mother’s case at the end of season 1. By the end of the season, Castle is starting to give up the romantic chase, just as Beckett starts to think she likes the chase. 3/5 Season 3: This is the season where Castle hits its stride. Beckett and Castle are in a good place after the first couple of episodes, they’re in their groove, and they’re even making progress on the conspiracy that claimed Beckett’s mother. 4/5 Season 4: Building off Season 3, this season really starts to gel in certain areas. Which is odd, because the characters are written so they are NOT gelling…Castle finished off Season 3 with a big pronouncement, and Beckett says she doesn’t remember it. So they are at odds for most of the season. They have their moments, and then they have stumbling blocks. While a lot of Seasons 1-3 were about Castle growing up a little, finding something to care about besides being a playboy writer, this season is about Beckett growing as a person, finding something to care about other than her job. 4/5 Season 5: I really want to love this season, and there are some seriously good episodes, like Ryan going undercover or the Rear Window episode. And while the average is higher for individual EPs, driving the season up to 4.0 overall, my overall satisfaction was down — the backstory just wasn’t working for me any more around Bracken, 3XK, Beckett’s mom, and the wildside of Castle’s Dad’s story (great premise, not awesomely executed). 4/5 Season 6: The season starts off with Beckett working in Washington, and the whole dynamic just doesn’t work. I like the 3XK stuff, and a Carrie-like prank. I’ll even accept the wedding episode. But not a great season overall, one of the lower average scores so far. 3/5 Season 7: As I watched the episodes, I frequently felt, “Okay, last season”. Quite a few Eps seem like repeats of story ideas they’ve used before or promising ones that go nowhere. I was initially skeptical of the “Castle as P.I.” plot device, but it isn’t completely batty in its execution, and it does work for the most part. Washington? Not so much. 3/5 Season 8: There is an episode near the end (E19) that is one of the best of the series…it is funny, it is interesting, it is vintage Season 1 and 4 all together in a big bowl of mystery with comedy sprinkled on top. A complete palate cleanser from all the Eps filled with Angst. Yet by the time I got there, the first half of the season was almost making me wonder if I would continue watching. Definitely near the bottom of the seasons. 3/5