Castle: Season 3
DVD | Box Set
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Famous mystery novelist Richard Castle and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett return for the suspenseful Third Season of ABC's brilliantly funny series, CASTLE. Enjoy every inspired idea and flirtatious moment as this fiery duo solve the strangest homicides New York has to offer. It's the most entertaining season yet as Castle's wildly funny storytelling skills work their way into every case. Between his mixed-up partnership with Beckett and his relationships with his diva mother and his clever daughter, Alexis, Castle is always on his toes. Crime fighting has never been this much fun! Get on the beat and relive every wild and witty moment in this 5-disc DVD set.
Castle continues its strong run through its third season, mixing the grim work of the New York Police Department's homicide investigations with a light touch of humor based in its characters. The cast remains essentially the same: bestselling novelist Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion), who shadows Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) as research for his character Nikki Heat; bromantic detective partners Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas), Captain Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Hudson), and medical examiner Lainie (Tamala Jones); and Castle's mother (Susan Sullivan) and daughter, Alexis (Molly Quinn). And while romance develops for a number of them, Castle and Beckett continue their interplay of flirtation mixed with exasperation. Add another character to the mix: the city of New York, which reveals its many sides--Central Park, the subway system, the bar and steampunk subcultures--in many of the weekly murders.
Castle might be best epitomized in consecutive midseason episodes: in the first, Laura Prepon guest-stars as actress Natalie Rhodes, who has been cast to play the big-screen version of Nikki Heat, and the cast's differing and revolving reactions to her are very funny. The following episode ratchets up the intensity in the newest development in the search for the killer of Beckett's mother. There's also a notable two-parter in which Castle and Beckett are trapped in a freezer as they try to find a dirty bomb somewhere in the city. Other guest stars include Lance Henriksen as an alien-abduction expert, Corbin Bernsen as a soap-opera star, Jane Seymour as a soap writer's mom, Adrian Pasdar as a Homeland Security agent, Bruce Davison as the DA, Michael McKean as a beauty-pageant sponsor, and Gene Simmons as himself. Also appearing are mystery writers Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly, who leave an empty place at Castle's poker table for the late Stephen J. Cannell. The core of the show, of course, is Castle and Beckett, from the opening of the season when Castle hasn't called or visited the department in months, to Beckett's complicated relationships with her original training officer, Royce (Jason Beghe), or her perpetually absent boyfriend. Then not long after one breathless moment in which it seems "Casckett" might become a reality, things come to a head in the season-ending cliffhanger. --David Horiuchi
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I tend to be a TV snob, watching mostly documentaries and movies that have some artistic or social quality. That doesn't mean I'm too good for some basic, fun to watch entertainment, and this does the job. Castle's character is a successful millionaire, but just goofy and vulnerable enough, plus ok looking but not over the top good looking to keep him from seeming somewhat believable. Beckett's character is so good looking, confident, and successful that it's hard to imagine her ever seeing anything in Castle, but the chemistry is undeniable and they use that to tease the viewer into coming back episode after episode and season after season.
The plots are, for the most part, original and refreshing, but far enough from reality that you have to just go along and stop reminding yourself that these things would never happen in real life and that nobody would survive the predicaments that confront the characters on each episode. I am former law enforcement and know that none of the things on this should would ever happen, but again ... I don't care. Sometimes you just need to escape reality for an hour or two.
One of the real surprises for me has been Susan Sullivan. After watching her as the uptight Kitty Montgomery on Dharma and Greg, I couldn't have imagined her playing any other character. In Castle, she plays Martha - Castle’s whacky mother, who is an over-the-top, past her prime actress, with a multitude of character flaws, but who is nonetheless loveable.
- Lanie the medical examiner: "Stabbed in the back of the neck with an ice pick and then stuffed into the sofa."
- Castle: "So she didn't see that coming."
After eyeballing the hi-tech crime-solving equipment seen in shows like 24 and BONES, there's a cool, old-school quaintness to Detective Kate Beckett's murder board. To sort of piggyback on that observation, sometimes you can have all the fancy bells and whistles, but if you don't have that core foundation of a good cast with terrific chemistry, then you ain't got diddles. Regarding the palpable heat generated by Stana Katic and the awesomely awesome Nathan Fillion, only Boreanaz and Deschanel have got them beat. And shallow guy that I am, I admit that Stana Katic coming in to Season 3 with longer hair makes her look even more stunning. It's also nice to see her Detective Beckett loosening up and having more fun this season. You can only do "icy" so much.
Bestselling mystery novelist Rick Castle must have some kind of pull with New York City's mayor, because he's still going on extended ride alongs with the 12th Precinct, still in the inner circle of the 12th's best homicide detectives, still offering his outside-the-box insights on gruesome murders. Castle's writer's block - which is what led him to his association with NYPD - is long over. Castle has produced two recent best-sellers featuring Nikki Heat, his latest character and based on Detective Kate Beckett. You and me, we know Castle is only sticking around because of Beckett. And, really, with mad respect to Detectives Ryan and Esposito, two fantastic supporting characters, it's Castle and Beckett's interactions that keep me coming back. The homicide cases are occasionally intriguing, but nothing I can't find in other police procedurals. I do like Castle's relationship with his very wise 17-year-old daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn, wonderful). Even if I feel that sometimes, thematically, Castle's domestic complications seem to parallel the murder of the week too often. But Alexis, this season, lands a steady boyfriend, giving Castle a whole new set of headaches.
The humor is great, the banter flows naturally. I love the meta-touches, such as Castle promoting his Nikki Heat books and the Derrick Storm graphic novel (all of which actually now exist) and Castle's poker nights with fellow writers such as Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, and the late Stephen J. Cannell (and I love the touching tribute the show pays to Cannell). And, not to flaunt my nerdiness, but did you also catch Fillion's nod to FIREFLY in the episode "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind"?
Mulling over Season 3, stream-of-consciousness style: Feuding pizza shops. Murder on a soap opera set. A treasure hunt solved by MAD magazine. The validation of a medium. There's even a vic what gets killed by a 200-year-old bullet, to which Castle remarks: "Two hundred year old bullet can only mean one thing... Time traveling killer." But, as good as those episodes are, they aren't the cream of the crop.
But these are: The cat-and-mouse "3XK" episode has Beckett's team tangling with the notorious Triple Killer. "Nikki Heat" guest stars Laura Prepon (That '70s Show) as the actress cast in the film role of Nikki Heat, and this fun episode finds her tagging along with Beckett and Castle on a case. In Season 2's "Sucker Punch," Beckett was forced to kill the hitman who had murdered her mother before she could learn who ordered the hit. Season 3's "Knockdown" has Beckett following up another lead in her mother's murder. Adrian Pasdar plays a tautly wired Homeland Security agent in a two-parter ("Setup" & "Countdown") which has the team frantically combing New York City for a dirty bomb set to explode in mere hours. "To Love and Die in L.A." has Beckett and Castle taking a trip to Los Angeles to conduct an unsanctioned investigation. (We also get a chance to see Stana Katic in swimwear, so there are no losers here.) In the explosive season finale, "Knockout," Beckett makes more headway into the conspiracy behind her mother's murder, but the cost is the gut-wrenching death of a regular supporting character and a suspenseful cliffhanger.
It's no coincidence that these episodes are compelling because they feature a more emotionally-invested cast of characters. And, like all savvy television shows, CASTLE knows how to tease the audience, almost getting the boyish writer and the distant cop together, but then wrenching them apart. You need that element of pining. Season 3 has Castle reuniting with his ex-wife and publicist, while Kate Beckett hooks up with a dashing, motorcycle-riding surgeon. But we realize that these are temporary barriers, and don't pose near the threat to our two leads getting together that Beckett's damaged psyche does. I like the crime-solving bits. But the show's not about that.
- Cast & Crew Commentary for 2 episodes, except I'll only mention the cast: "A Deadly Affair" (with Nathan Fillion) and "3XK" (with Seamus Dever & Jon Huertas)
- Deleted Scenes (and plenty of 'em)
- "Murder They Wrote" - a round table discussion with creator/exec. producer of CASTLE Andrew Marlowe, exec. producer Rob Bowman, mystery writer Michael Connelly, comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, and Nathan Fillion (00:22:00 minutes long)
- "CASTLE Goes Hollywood" - Behind the Scenes of shooting the "To Die and Love in L.A." episode (00:07:58 minutes)
- Bloopers (00:04:12)
- "Murder Boards" - Propman Kurt DeFilipps explains the process of producing Beckett's murder boards (00:03:22)
- "Get On The Floor" Music Video