Hard Truths, Love & Betrayal – S on Castle 3×24 – “Knockout” (Season Finale) Review

As always in the Knock-series episodes the tone of the show is shockingly different, the colours were intense and mixing hot and cool feelings throughout the episode.

Knockout was a brilliant hour of television and such a powerful finale. The term game-changer tends to be overused, but I’m not the least bit hesitant to use it when it comes to Castle’s Season 3 Finale. When a show is entering into its fourth season there is no room to be stagnant and rest on its laurels of being simply enjoyable. Creator, Andrew W. Marlowe and the entire Castle team of writers, actors and everyone else behind the scenes continues to push forward, staying consistent an true to characters while creating new avenues for the story to grow, the characters to adapt to new situations and power dynamics.

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Top 5: Fun Star Wars References, May the 4th be with You

In honour of Star Wars day we decided to round up some fun Star Wars parodies and references from some of our favourite TV shows. Star Wars has had such an enormous impact on our culture it was nearly impossible to just choose a few [B did fight hard for Family Guy's inclusion], but few we did choose and in no particular order.

Enjoy and May the Fourth be with you.

5) Scrubs – My Two Dads (1×05)

The first of many, many Star Wars spoofs and references in Scrubs . In true JD fashion everything is about him, and in his head it plays out like a scene from Star Wars with two forces battling for his soul.

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Grotesque Mountain of Muffins: Or, Oh My God What’s Happening to My Heart??! – J on Castle 3×21 “The Dead Pool”

For obvious reasons, this review will focus mostly on the last three minutes of the episode “The Dead Pool”.  But before I launch into a discussion of the scene that prompted the titular quotation, “Oh my god what’s happening to my heart??!”, I think it’s only fair to address some of the other good stuff from this episode.

It’s become a familiar device on Castle to have the murder plot mirror the more personal plot (kudos to H for figuring out who the murderer was early on in the episode based on this!).  In “The Dead Pool” we see the mentor/mentee relationship played out between the victim and murderer as well as between Castle and the up-and-coming novelist Alex Conrad.  Castle quickly realizes that he would rather not have Alex around, and his subsequent reactions to the young writer’s interest in Beckett are lots of fun.  I love his response when he discovers the muffin basket was sent to Beckett from Alex: the once-alluring baked goods are suddenly seen for the “grotesque mountain of muffins” that they truly are (thanks to H for the quote).  When Castle entices Alex to his mystery writers poker table, the latter becomes the butt of some cutthroat jibes and insults from Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane…all according to Castle’s plan!

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Narrative is Imperative, but Meta is Bettah! – J on Castle 3×18 “One Life to Lose”

Breaking the fourth wall is something actors are warned against, and yet somehow when it happens on Castle, the results are humourous, clever, and fun to watch.  “One Life to Lose” is a perfect example of this.  Even the title of this week’s episode signals right off the bat that some meta high jinks are going to ensue: “One Life to Lose” is a playful allusion to Nathan Fillion’s acting origins on the soap opera “One Life to Live”.  From there, we are thrown into the world of soapy drama, over-acting, and of course some good old-fashioned sexual-tension-filled banter.

“Meta” can encompass anything that highlights its own unreality and artificiality, referring directly to itself (I love the Oxford English Dictionary).  While Castle has always been a show that draws attention to its actors’ past roles (look no further than the multiple Firefly nods scattered throughout the show, or the Halloween episode “Vampire Weekend” in which Castle, Ryan, and Esposito all dress up as characters the actors have played in other projects), I feel like the self-referential fun came to a head earlier this season in “Nikki Heat”.  In this episode, Castle and Beckett solve a crime with the help of the actress Natalie Rhodes, who is playing Nikki in the upcoming movie of Castle’s book “Heat Wave”.  At one point, after Beckett asks Castle why he didn’t sleep with her doppelganger Natalie, Castle replies: “A fictional character that I wrote, based on you, played by Natalie Rhodes…that’s just way too meta”.  Then try adding the level of storytelling that exists outside the show’s narrative: Laura Prepon plays Natalie Rhodes who is playing Nikki Heat who was created by Richard Castle and based on Kate Beckett.  Enough layers?

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