Castle: Valkyrie Part One, Review

Castle returns for the season six premiere with a two-parter that's full of surprises!

After settling contract negotiations with star Nathan Fillion, Castle is back in full force for the premiere episode of its sixth season. Is it really the sixth season already? Seems like I was just told about this new show about a writer that helps cops solve cases in NYC. Naturally every writer wants to eventually venture their way into crime-fighting. Yes…including me.

We start right where we left off with Caskett at the swings and a very tense moment as we await Kate’s answer to Castle asking her to marry him. All through the summer I never once thought about the way it played out in tonight’s premiere and it was perfect. Cut to two months later in Washington and Beckett is in the middle of federal agent training. After blowing an exercise, we meet her new boss (played by Lisa Edelstein of House), gives her usual solid performance and is a welcome addition to the cast. After a potential national security breach in the shape of a blackout, it is Beckett’s chance to prove herself and she calls Castle to cancel their set plans after his West Coast book tour. But smooth as ever, Castle shows up inside Kate’s apartment that night and they um, well…you know.

The morning after over coffee, Kate is going through her classified notes which piques the curiosity of Castle, who is always looking for a new book idea. When Beckett accidentally leaves a photo behind he just can’t help himself. After calling Esposito and Ryan up in NYC, Castle gets a lead and is one step ahead of the Feds. The team knows that an encryption program was stolen after a blackout and need to recover it immediately (I was validated later on when my hunch hit that maybe the encryption system was just a red herring).

Castle is abducted at gunpoint by special ops officer Jack Bronson. While he is behind the wheel with a gun on Castle, Bronson goes into some kind of shock and dies saying the words “dream world…Valkyrie.” I like McCord and this character is kind of three notches up from when she played Dr. Lisa Cuddy. She’s tough and spunky and a good mentor for Beckett in the federal world. It is soon revealed that the blackout was just a cover for something dastardly and much more serious than codes and encryption. I didn’t realize just how bad it was until the last few minutes when all was revealed.

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Whoa! A two-parter as the season opener? Now that’s moxie! Castle is working on a  different level now where there is more at stake but I don’t think that they can have each episode center on Beckett’s new life in DC. It just doesn’t make sense to stay in DC with NYC playing such an important character on the show through the years. I would hate for the lighthearted Castle begin to dive into 24 territory. The lack of Esposito, Ryan, and the complete absence of the Chief were most definitely noticed and the episode didn’t have that feeling of “home” that I always get when everybody is in New York working together. But I do like that they are at least trying new things while other hour long programs are still finding their footing!

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