Castle (4×01) “Rise” Review: One Step Forward

Castle Rise in the hospitalThere was a lot at stake for Castle’s season 4 premiere. The show has always had a pretty healthy mix of light and dark, and usually the dark episodes offer enough comedic relief so that the overall tone of the show is on track. Last season raised the stakes for Castle’s dark side. Kate Beckett has always carried the demons of her mother’s unsolved murder with her, but last season the investigation turned alarmingly real, dangerous and heartbreaking. This sets different expectations for this season: to handle this darkness and incorporate it into the ongoing story–because how can you not–but also to remain a comedy at heart.

I love the dark Castle as much as the comedy and I’m thrilled to see how this season will incorporate these new challenges. If “Rise” was any indicator of where the season is headed I can’t wait for next week, and the next week (and so on). In a recent interview with Daniel Fienberg on Hitfix, Nathan Fillion talks about the balance between lighthearted comedy and the darker stuff. He spent time with real NYC Homicide cops and says “They’re not brooding, haunted people, tortured by their job and murder. They are very funny. They’re very funny, very relaxed, very light-hearted. It’s just that all of their stories start with, ‘So this guy gets killed…’”. Castle seems to take this truth to heart in their depiction of the fictional precinct and it works beautifully. Continue reading