I was admittedly pretty hard on Castle in most of my recaps last season. I felt like the show had lost that special something that made it awesome and for awhile, I was teetering on the edge of dropping it for good. But the show started to find its grove again with the last few episodes of the season and of course I wasn’t going to walk away when Castle and Beckett were finally (finally!) admitting that they wanted to be together.
The Season 5 premiere screener landed in my inbox today and I was pretty excited to watch the episode and see if the magic from the finale held up…and I wanted to see what was going on with Beckett and Castle and all that naked time. The title of the episode, “After the Storm” was very fitting because not only was it a new day in New York, it felt like a brand new day for the series itself and I loved every moment of it.
Before I get into the premiere, I just want to do a brief recap of some of the things that were left up in the air last season: Beckett had resigned, Esposito had been suspended and he was not happy with Ryan for letting the captain in on what was going on. Alexis had graduated from high school and headed to celebrate with her friends as Martha went to the Hamptons. Meanwhile, Castle remained home alone until Beckett showed up and proclaimed that what she wanted was him and Caskett shippers rejoiced.
However, on the not so great side, Michael Smith, the man who had once worked with Captain Montgomery and who had been trying to help Castle keep Beckett safe all of last season, was having an extremely unpleasant encounter with the man who had shot Beckett. He wanted information out of Smith and was willing to get it by any means necessary.
Without giving away any spoilers, I will say that I smiled so much it hurt during the first five minutes of the premiere. It was classic Castle as Castle and Beckett managed to have a serious conversation, but still get in plenty of banter followed by some really, really funny moments that might have been ridiculous on any other show, but worked perfectly on this one. All the actors have excellent comedic timing and they play off each other so well that sometimes all it takes is a raised eyebrow to make the viewers crack up.
The mystery of who exactly Michael Smith is and how he was tied to Montgomery and the murder of Beckett’s mom plays a big part in the episode. I’m not sure there are enough words in the English language to describe just how amazing Stana Katic is. Beckett goes through just about every emotion there is throughout the episode and Katic nails each and every one of them without missing a beat. It’s impossible to look away from her when she’s on the screen and there’s one moment where she sheds a tear and it just about broke me.
Ryan and Esposito both play big roles in the episode and there is still a lot of friction between them. (Remember, it’s been over three months for us, but it’s only the next day for them). But even when they’re not seeing eye to eye, their bromance is one of my favorites on TV and it is well-represented throughout the episode as is the way they work so effortlessly with Castle and Beckett.
Jack Coleman (Heroes, The Vampire Diaries) joins the cast as a senator, who plays a very key role in one of the mysteries the gang is investigating. I don’t want to give too much away so I will just say that Coleman is incredibly engaging and polarizing in his role and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him this season.
Martha and Alexis didn’t have much to do in the episode, but they were part of that opening five minutes I mentioned earlier so I enjoyed them. There was no Laney (boo!), but Captain Gates made a few appearances and she continues to be awesome. She’s another character who tends to say more with a simple look than most people do with a monologue. Basically, this episode had a little bit of everything and it made me very excited for the upcoming season.
Season 5 of Castle premieres Monday, Sept. 24 on ABC.