CASTLE: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
I’ve never been a fan of the “shit gets real” storyline in procedural television series. These are the stories when the events of an episode hit particularly close to home for a character, often endangering their family or bringing some dark secret to the surface. The storyline gets personal, and while it results in more meaty acting opportunities for the cast, it’s usually painfully cliched and completely out-of-character.
“Castle” is a perfectly charming series that I have enjoyed watching. Usually the “shit gets real” stories are contained in the first one or two episodes at the beginning or end of a season. Unfortunately, the fourth season sees a lot of these episodes while Beckett deals with the attempt on her life. This messes with the otherwise adorable chemistry between her and Castle.
For most of these “shit gets real” episodes, it’s a bad season. Fortunately, there are some decent episodes that go back to the charm that made this series fun in the first place. Plus, we get to see more development of Molly Quinn as Castle’s daughter Alexis. She gets more involved in the show and asserts herself in the family without becoming the cliched rebellious daughter.
“Castle: The Complete Fourth Season” holds onto the charm of the series, but just barely at times. I hope things take an easier tone in the next season.
The five-disc DVD set includes all 23 episodes from season four. There are audio commentaries and deleted scenes on selected episodes throughout the set. The final disc includes the bulk of the special features, which includes bloopers as well as two featurettes: “Submerged: An In-Depth Look at Stunts” and “Bowman, Bowman & Castle,” which looks at the familial connections on “The Blue Butterfly” episode.
For fans of Nathan Fillion and his other works, one of the better special features is “Fillion and Friends: Castle Goes Radio,” which features the cast guest starring in an old-time radio podcast. The sub-menu of this section includes complete episodes of the radio series.