The previews for Nathan Fillion’s new show, Castle, which premiered on ABC this past Monday night at 10 p.m EST, described a type of story not entirely dissimilar from that of the second season of Michael C. Hall’s Showtime hit Dexter: A genius, if you will, of his craft becomes wrapped up in an aspect of his own work. The difference, of course, is immediately apparent: in Dexter’s case, he finds himself investigating murders that he committed (genius murderer), whereas in Castle’s case he volunteers to “help” investigate a string of murders modeled after those featured in his bestselling books (genius writer).
What viewers found out last night, however, is that Castle’s involvement in the investigation of copycat murders ends before the first episode is even over. In fact, it is Castle who facilitates the lightning-speed resolution with insight he garnered from writing his books, calls to the Mayor to expedite evidence processing, and even some well-placed maneuvering that allows police to apprehend the murderer. So is Rick Castle too smart for a television series? After all, in one episode he solved a story line that could have (and some argue should have) spanned most of, if not an entire, a season.
Perhaps Rick Castle is simply on his way to proving how perfect he really is for a television series. Although Dexter Morgan’s strategy of using his position to manipulate the actions of those around him in order to prolong the process and prevent his colleagues from uncovering the truth isn’t applicable, perhaps Castle’s knowledge of the psychopathic mind will help Det. Beckett to move through cases faster, making Castle a new kind of Law & Order—one with a snarky and only moderately attractive female detective and a narcissistic, egocentric know-it-all who somehow manages to be both funny and adorable at the same time (perhaps because I’m not the woman dealing with him? Or maybe it’s just because it’s Nathan Fillion…).
Speculation aside, we will all have to wait until next Monday to get a better idea of how Castle will play out this season. A few pleasant surprises that I discovered upon watching the first episode included: 1) Nathan’s character has a daughter, and she’s a very well crafted, interesting character who has the potential to contribute a lot to the show; 2) plot concerns aside, the show’s writing is extremely good—the dialogue is interesting and flows naturally, and the characters are, for the most part, believable; and 3) Rick Castle really isn’t as much of an asshole as Captain Hammer.