TV Review: Castle Returns, But Where Is He?!?

My wife is a HUGE Castle fan, which makes me, to paraphrase Jules Winnfield, a Castle fan, too. Of course, being a member of the Cult of Whedon means I check in occasionally anyways to see what the great Nathan Fillion is getting up to.

Despite the overwhelming silliness of most of the cases last season, Castle went out with a fiery cliffhanger. The car Castle was driving to his wedding is found ran off the side of a country road and engulfed in flames. Driven, the seventh season opener, picks up almost immediately where this left off, and if you’ve seen any of the promos ABC is running then, this will be no spoiler. Beckett, still wearing her wedding gown, is on the scene as firemen contain the blaze and discovers Castle is not in the car at all.

So, where in the world is Richard Castle?

This is the question the premiere seeks to answer. Castle as a show has slowly grown the relationship between the two core characters, Beckett and Castle, into what I think is a rather sweet couple. The chemistry between Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion is quite enjoyable to watch, especially considering that in Castle’s early days, it felt more like a Fillion vehicle. This adds an extra element to Driven, as we watch Katic take us through a range of Beckett’s emotions, from loss and sadness, to the drive and passion to get the job done no matter what. Beckett incessantly hunts down leads on her husband to be, whether its desk work, or putting the muscle on more criminal elements. Driven is definitely Beckett’s episode to carry and Katic does the job with ease.

Driven also introduces us to a new story direction as the hunt grows. How well do we really know Castle? Without giving too much away, and I was sternly warned by ABC, the more Beckett chases after information about Castle, the more troubling her discoveries become.

Driven should no doubt please Castle fans who having been waiting anxiously for the show to return from that cliffhanger. It’s a character focused premiere, that also features a return to a more streamlined storytelling. And did anyone really think we were going to get a wedding that easily?

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