Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Castle, Season 7 (2014)

Season 6 of Castle ended with a big cliffhanger.  It wasn't really something that the show had done before and it doesn't really feel like something they knew how to do, because it kinda gets parked after episode 2, and is then pretty much forgotten except for in episode 20, where they (partially) resolve it, largely via the means of a big exposition dump from a character we have never seen before (and according to IMDB, will never see again).

That failed experiment aside, how is the show's seventh year?  Well honestly, it's clearly a bit tired.  The program's signature "wacky" mystery scenarios are growing ever more improbable (there's a stealth super-suit, possible parallel universes, and action movie stars who are actually action heroes, just to name a few); and the character beats are by this stage growing very familiar.  It doesn't really feel like any of the cast have changed or grown much over show's run time, despite the things they have been through.  On the other hand, that kind of "the more things change, the more they stay the same" status quo is a pretty common element of the kind of easy to digest TV comfort food that Castle aims to be.  And to be fair, it is mostly successful in that aim.  You're not likely to embrace every episode, but you're likely to find at least some entertainment here.

That the show mostly succeeds in its admittedly limited ambitions can largely be attributed to the cast.  I personally found myself growing a little tired of Nathan Fillion's mugging in this season, but there's no denying he has charisma, and the rest of the ensemble all do good work.

This season also includes the final 3XK story (an antagonist I never found as interesting as the show's writers seemed to, but it's nice to have closure on him, I guess), and features a pretty solid ending that makes a good spot to leave the show.  While there was an eighth season made, I've heard less than stellar reports about it, and the conclusion here seems like as good a send off for the characters as I could hope for, so I will not be watching it.

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