THAT was the Season Finale?

I am very confused by the Castle season finale, not gonna lie.

And by "confused" I mean: sort of blindsided, sort of underwhelmed, but not quite invested enough for any sort of extreme emotional reaction.

I mean really, what was that?

"A Deadly Game" was certainly not up to the high standard I was expecting from a major Castle episode. I mean, yeah, the case was pretty cool. Really cool. And one of those situations that Castle can get away with that no other show would be able to touch because of the sheer ridiculousness. We think we're getting a spy thriller and we end up with a pretend spy thriller? Fully awesome, I will admit.

The downside to having that excellent revelation mid-show, though, is that the latter half of the episode seemed totally lackluster in comparison. A letdown, if you will.

To clarify, I am definitely not talking about how Castle and Beckett didn't do the whole Feelings Sharing Thing. Because, while that is sad-making, it is a of the Are-They-Aren't-They-Relationship-A-La-Moonlighting process. Hate to burst your bubble, fanatic shipper kiddies, but it would just not be okay for them to actually make that much emotional progress by the end of the second season. Not if we're expecting Castle to last at least four or five, anyway (which I definitely am). I'm not complaining about the lack of progress in that area...although I will say, those last moments were intensely depressing.

What I am talking about when I say the second half (and really all of the episode not focused on either Alexis or the case) was totally lacking is how everything seemed so excessively cheesy and brooding. There was only a minute amount of plot matter, if you think about it, but all the hemming and hawing and sidelong glances took the whole episode. Think about how long that shot of Castle's empty chair by Beckett's desk was. In a forty minute show, there should not be enough excess time to spend thirty or forty seconds zooming in on an empty chair. The emotional content came across as diluted to me.

For example, Beckett's tiny moments and eventual break-up with Demming? Didn't feel a thing. I like Demming and I liked that relationship so I'm really disappointed it's conclusion didn't get more time (which there certainly was enough of). I'm even more disappointed by the fact that there seemed to be such a lack of emotion on both sides. Maybe the actors were tired, or maybe I just wasn't far enough into the fourth-wall-empathy-zone, but something was missing and its absence was felt in the worst way.

Don't even get me started on Castle and Beckett - no, really. My favorite thing about them as a pair has always been that they're a totally fresh take on this relationship type and that they don't do a whole lot of sighing and brooding. They did it all and then some in this episode and I am sorely disappointed.

The revelation from Castle's writer poker game, that they were focusing too much on the spy game and not on the victim, who was really the important part, is a concept I think can be easily applied to the episode as a whole. "A Deadly Game" focused too much on the case to be an episode about the emotional storyline, and the emotional storyline focused too much on Castle's moping even though the real focus of the episode was What's Beckett Gonna Do? There was too much attention to the things that didn't matter, and not enough on the things that should have - like, for instance, guest stars Mitch Pileggi and Michael Trucco, who were both painfully underused. The latter would have been a phenomenal addition to the emotional plot if he'd had more than thirty cumulative seconds of screen time, and...well, I just really like Mitch Pileggi. But he was a major comedic point in this episode and there was a distinct and uncharacteristic lack of comedy.

Depressed as I already was that Castle is ending for the summer, I am now even more so in light of the second season's finale. Even discounting the sad-making conclusion, it was a real letdown in a lot of ways.

So now I just want new episodes sooner than they'll come to keep my reaction to this one episode from totally polluting my love of the show as a whole.

(This review also posted on my blog at



Default avatar cat
May 19, 2010 3:51AM EDT

I have to disagree with your review. I felt it was a totally worthwhile conclusion to the season. The case was fully awesome, and I felt like the break-up with Demming was, if a bit abrupt, very realistic and emotionally effective. Yeah, Kate and Castle did a bit of brooding, but love is like that sometimes. I thought the episode covered a lot of ground and set things up nicely for some good Castle/Beckett tension in the fall. Kate will take the summer and toughen up again, I'm sure, and we'll get a banter-filled, comical new season. I can't wait!

Default avatar cat
May 19, 2010 7:56PM EDT

I really liked this episode. And i hate to disagree with you on this, but i thought that the show was very emotional and really highlighted Becket's feelings that were slowly surfacing. Yes, it was way more dramatic than the other episodes (the shot with the chair, and when Castle tells Becket that this was their last case together) but i enjoyed that. I thought that it was something different, something new.As for the break-up between Becket and Demming, i thought it was pretty short. But then again the whole episode is focused on Becket's feelings, and i don't think she was really that sad to see Demming go now that she wanted Castle. I really liked Demming too, and i think he played a great role in conveying his side of the breakup for that brief moments saying things like "is it something i did or something i said?".It wasn't as comical as usual, ill give it that. Although Castle's "skinnydipping" joke made me smile.Overall i think it was great, and as Vixel mentioned Kate is going to try and get over Castle over the summer, and Castle will start to miss Becket next season. But i do hope that there is more comedy than there was in this episode, although there probably will be because this episode was the "turning point".Anyways can't wait till next season!

Default avatar cat
May 31, 2010 12:44PM EDT

Well, unlike Karinaa.xox, I'll gladly disagree, the episode was amazing. Yeah it was a bit cheesy at times, but it managed to get away with that(in my opinion) because they've had this tension of "Are-They-Aren't-They" between them for so long, and while she's thinking it's now or never, he's thinking he's lost his chance, so he should just get over it.The scene with Castle's chair that you've mentioned, C'MON man, who didn't love that!! Castle had told her that this was his last case, and she was about to breakup with her boyfriend for Castle, AND she was about to tell Castle how she really feels.IF THAT DOESN'T DESERVE A FEW SECONDS OF CONTEMPLATION I DON'T KNOW WHAT DOES.

Default avatar cat
Jun 3, 2010 12:38PM EDT

this episode was amazing!! the plot line was great and the emotion was fantastic. it made me as a viewer to switch from no dont do it becket! to what?? why'd you do that castle!! becket was gonna say something!!there was so many good moments in the show and i just absolutly love the show even more for the cliff hanger and me wanting new episodes soon.. alot also makes me want to predict what'll happenmy guess is that demming will return soon

Jun 22, 2010 1:08PM EDT

It broke my heart seeing Beckett about to admit her feelings than In a second Gina appears to be with castle again !!! For god's sake she's his EX-Wife what was he thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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