The Fourth Season of Castle finds mystery writer Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) working alongside New York Police Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) for another season of crime solving while refusing to admit their mutual attraction to each other. The season is highlighted by the two-parter that introduces Castle’s first muse – CIA Agent Sophia Turner (Jennifer Beals), a Firefly reunion with Fillion and Adam Baldwin, a 40’s film noir episode, Castle and Beckett cuffed together while trying to outwit smugglers and a tiger, Castle and Martha (Susan Sullivan) stuck in the middle of an unusual bank robbery, and the season finale which finally links Beckett and Castle romantically.
Aside from the “will-they”/”won’t-they” arc, other ongoing stories include Detective Ryan’s (Seamus Dever) nuptials, Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Lanie’s (Tamala Jones) failed romance, Alexis’ (Molly C. Quinn) pre-college trauma, and the ongoing investigation into the death of Beckett’s mother and search for the sniper (Tahmoh Penikett) who shot Kate in the Third Season finale.
The five-disc set includes all 23 episodes, deleted scenes, bloopers, a Castle radio performance by Nathan Fillion and Molly Quinn, featurretes on the underwater car stunt in “Linchpin” and a behind-the-scenes look at “The Blue Butterfly,” commentaries for three episodes (“Rise,” “Cuffed,” and “Blue Butterfly”) by series creator Andrew Marlowe, director Rob Bowman, writers Terri Miller and Terrence Paul Winter, costume designer Luke Reichle, Fillion, Katic, Sullivan, Quinn, Huertas, Dever, and Tamala Jones.
There’s plenty here for fans of the show to enjoy including some cool stand-alone episodes and, even more importantly, the show finally throwing caution to the wind and putting Castle and Beckett together. Although not every episode is great, the super-hero episode feels far too forced and the trip to Vegas doesn’t quite pay off (even with Fillion’s Elvis impersonation), all the mysteries are solid and filled with the show’s trademark zany humor. The season also leaves quite a bit of fallout, including Beckett’s future with the NYPD, to be dealt with when the show returns on Sept. 24.