Castle: The Complete Third Season Review
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In its three seasons, ABC’s Castle has become (and remained) a weekly TV favorite, offering the perfect blend of mystery, comedy, and drama. With each new episode, though, it seems that the characters become deeper and more developed—and their story gets more involved—so, before you dive into the show’s new fourth season, you might want to begin with a third-season refresher.

This season finds best-selling crime novelist Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) returning from a relaxing summer in the Hamptons with his on-again ex and getting back to his work with the NYPD—much to the delight of detectives Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) and the chagrin of tough-as-nails detective (and Castle’s reluctant muse) Kate Beckett (Stana Katic).

The show’s writers definitely know how to start a season off with a bang. The first episode opens with Castle and Beckett in a Mexican standoff—and, from there on out, it’s loaded with murder and intrigue, blackmail and backstabbing. But there’s so much more to the series than just its action and suspense.

In addition to the weekly murder mystery (this season, some of the strange deaths take place in a pizza oven, on the set of a soap opera, and at a beauty pageant rehearsal), there’s always plenty of character-driven drama. As always, Castle and Beckett continue their will-they-or-won’t-they relationship, which continues to build throughout the season. And, at the same time, Beckett continues to investigate her mother’s murder, which eventually leads to some shocking revelations.

Meanwhile, in its third season, Castle falls into a kind of formula, generally opening with some kind of story involving Castle’s mother, Martha (Susan Sullivan), and his brainy teenage daughter, Alexis (Molly C. Quinn), and following it up with some kind of bizarre murder mystery that’s loosely connected to the family drama. At times, the stories involving Castle’s family feel a bit trite—and Alexis sometimes comes off as obnoxiously perfect—but Martha and Alexis also help to ground the show, making it about more than just crime-solving.

Though the season’s formulas tend to feel a bit tired at times, the show itself is anything but. The cases are still as quirky as ever, the writing is still clever, and the cast’s chemistry just keeps getting better. With its lovable characters, its quirky sense of humor, and its heavy dose of mystery and suspense, Castle continues to be must-see TV. So if you missed the show’s third season, be sure to pick up a copy on DVD.

DVD Review:
The five-disc DVD release of Castle’s third season includes 24 mysterious and fun-filled episodes, along with loads of extras—like three short deleted scenes, a lovably wacky blooper reel, a music video and a few behind-the-scenes features.

Murder They Wrote is a 22-minute roundtable conversation with the series creators, graphic novelist Brian Michael Bendis, and crime novelist Michael Connelly. While sitting around Castle’s beloved poker table, they discuss the writing process, the show, and Castle’s regular writers’ poker night.

Castle Goes Hollywood follows Castle and Beckett to Los Angeles (which is where the series is actually filmed), discussing what it is that makes the LA episode so completely different. And Murder Boards shows how Kurt DeFllipps creates various versions of the murder boards for each episode.

The season’s special features capture the show’s personality well, balancing both the mystery-writing aspects (in Murder They Wrote) and the quirkiness (in the blooper reel). So Castle fans will want to check out the collection’s extras, to get a closer look at the show, its cast and crew, and its smart (and sometimes silly) sense of humor.

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