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An entertaining season with much character development,
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This review is from: Castle - Season 4 [DVD] (DVD)
This was an entertaining season with much character development, so it was not just more of the same, and the lives of several characters move forward.
The previous season ended with the shooting of Detective Beckett, and this season opens as she is rushed off to hospital. Needless to say she survives, but the `post traumatic stress' caused by the event carries through the series, leading to a serious reaction in a later episode when Becket confronts a sniper with his finger on the trigger. Castle, having declared his love for Beckett as he tried to staunch the bleeding at the shooting scene, is left bereft for much of the series as Beckett has declared that she remembers nothing of the event. However, she is consulting a therapist during the course of the season - which allows her to explain her inner workings to the viewer - and so we know stuff that Castle doesn't...
Castle is contacted by a mysterious figure who explains that the late Police Captain Montgomery, who was involved in the death of Beckett's mother (see the previous series for the long story) has sent him his files on the case, and that he has made a deal with the `conspirators' that Beckett will be left alone if she stops investigating the murder. He tasks castle with keeping Beckett away from the case.
There are a number of interesting episodes in the series. An early one focuses on a costumed wannabe-superhero, which allows for a visit to a comic shop and the blatant advertising of the first graphic novel starring Derrick Storm - one of the fictitious Castle's fictional characters - see Castle: Richard Castle's Deadly Storm, which is actually a reasonably good comic book. Later, in a two-parter, Castle and Beckett are kidnapped/recruited by the CIA, and we meet the CIA agent who, like Beckett and Nikki Heat, was the model for Storm's CIA handler... with the expected fireworks.
On the home front, Martha sets up an acting school (helpfully giving her and Castle a reason to be in a bank when it is held up), and Alexis must deal with her college applications, while interning in the morgue alongside Doctor Parish.
Eventually, Castle discovers that Becket remembers his declaration of love, but has been avoiding discussing it, which leads to him drifting away from her - and in one episode, teaming up with rogue detective Adam Baldwin, though Beckett has to eventually rescue him from his folly. Later, Beckett discovers that Castle has been in contact with the mystery figure, and they have a breakup, which coincides with a burglary at Captain Montgomery's house and the theft of his files. The Conspirators are looking for the man with the blackmail evidence, and their hit-man has a confrontation with Beckett on the roof of a building, and one of them takes the quick route down...
This series definitely does not maintain the status quo, as several characters undergo major changes and progression in their lives. While the individual episodes keep the murder of the week format, there are definite changes in the relationships and circumstances of the main characters, and I found that I had to keep watching two or three episodes at a go to see what happened next.