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Castle Season 5 Report Card: A-

by at . Comments

With a long, hot summer looming ahead, TV Fanatic is going back and grading the best - and worst - of the 2012-2013 season. 

Having submitted our report cards for The Mentalist Season 5 and Once Upon a Time Season 2, we're taking out our proverbial red pen and moving on. It's time to grade this season of Castle.

Did Kate and Rick's romance work for you? Did the season finale leave you yelling at your TV? Check out our report and then tell us what you thought about Castle Season 5.

Caskett Sighting

Best Episode:  "Still"  Yes, it was a clip show but is was the best damn clip show ever! Watching all of the love, laughs, and drama from all five seasons was a treat. Having Castle stand by Kate even as a the bomb ticked down was a bonus. Finally hearing Beckett tell him she loved him and that they were just beginning…sigh. I'll be rewatching this episode all summer long.

Worst Episode:  "Swan Song" While there were some fans that enjoyed this episode's unique mockumentary style, I felt the entire concept fell flat. Watching Castle and Esposito mugging for the cameras while Beckett and Ryan shyly tried to avoid them worked…for about the first ten minutes. Then it quickly became an annoying gimmick and I found myself wishing it would all be over.

Biggest Improvement:  Caskett. After four long seasons of its audience wishing, hoping, and begging, the show finally made our dynamic duo an official couple.  Nothing was better than watching these two smile at one another over their coffees…while in bed. It's about damn time.

Most Frustrating Moment:  Plenty, I'm afraid. The most annoying thing about this show is that these two incredibly intelligent, likable characters rarely talk to one another.  At times it feels as though every important conversation gets interrupted never to be finished. Like in "After Hours" when Castle begins to address Kate's concerns about them being so different only to be cut off.  And did anyone else have their fingers crossed during "Significant Others" hoping that Kate would find out that Meredith cheated on Castle during their marriage?  It's the missed opportunities on Castle that make me crazy.

Character We Saw in a Whole New Light:  Detective Kevin Ryan. Yes, Ryan has always been adorable and good at his job. We love his bromance with Esposito and his relationship with Jenny, but "The Wild Rover" was a revelation.  Who knew Kevin Ryan could be such a bad ass? In one episode he went from sweet sidekick to an undercover cop with a dangerous streak. Seriously hot!

Character We Need to See More Of:  Dr. Lanie Parsh. It's been five seasons. Why don't we know more about this sassy, sexy lady besides she's Kate's best friend and Esposito's on again/off again booty call?  Lanie Parish is far too dynamic to be kept in the background.

Hopes for 2013:

  • Less Fear:  Or at least have them deal with their fears together. I have loved Kate Beckett since Castle's season one premiere but even I found her frustrating over the last few episodes. Deep down, Kate is afraid that the moment she's all in, Castle will get bored and leave. And Castle has kept things status quo all season because he's terrified that if he pushes for more he'll scare her off. I get it…but that doesn't make it fun to watch.  No matter what the answer is to the proposal at the end of "Watershed" I'm hoping it pushes these two to open up and face their fears…together.
  • More Down Time:  Yes, I know Castle is a crime procedural but to be honest, I don't tune in for the murder of the week. It's the characters that keep me coming back for more and the scenes I love the most are the casual scenes outside of the precinct. Let's see the gang hanging out at the Olde Haunt or another poker game at the loft where Martha can flirt with Esposito.  Those type of scenes from season 1 were huge fun and I miss them.
  • More Romance:  There were some episodes where we didn't even see our favorite couple holding hands and more kisses were cut short than completed.  Thankfully things picked up over the last few episodes and I hope that's a trend going forward. I'm not asking for sex scenes (although I honestly wouldn't complain) but it's the small, intimate moments that make this show and this couple such a joy to watch.

Castle Season 5 Report Card:  A-

Now it's YOUR turn Castle fans. Grade the past 24 episodes:

 

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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With that said as a season, you can measure it 2 ways- they went from I want you to a proposal which could be viewed as great (I absolutely don't see it that way), or the feeling that stays with me is they went from- I want you; screw the job in S4 finale to I want the job; screw you in S5 finale. Regardless of the answers to the season ending decisions that is where we are. In its intended sequence, after Still, the dissolution of the characters and relationship was painful and confusing (much has been made of this so no need to belabor the point). I will concede that this represents enormous opportunities for an absolutely great S6- (again check out the Life Changes Sad Faces thread which has a lot of great discussion and suggestions)that can be satisfying and rewarding and still honest and real.

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I agree missed communication and lost opportunities are frustrating- almost kisses, almost bedroom scenes, almost dialogue.... I understand the fear of Moonlighting Curse and treading carefully, but the audience knows the tone of the relationship and the series is altered; they are grateful for it- no need to be frightened. Much of this was handled great- at the beginning. But we do need passion and flirting. It doesn't have to be between the sheets. It could be in the elevator, at the movies, a dinner, on a couch.... We need more talk, communicate, share, reveal.

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The moments I liked came when there was talking,revelation, vulnerability, caring and growth-, and what is fascinating is they never take long- all through the series, the highlight scenes rarely go to 2 minutes- think new Christmas traditions, handshakes, Beckett revealing a bit in Final Frontier and asking Castle not to make fun, Beckett in Murder he Wrote hesitating on the lawn only to be told there were others but none were her, giving Castle a drawer for Valentines, Jordon, Kate on Castle's bucket list, Castle insecure in Significant Others and Beckett reassuring, sharing fears in After Hours. There were lots- thank you AM and Co. But there was also lots missing, and they seem to have become old married way too soon. I'm sorry I never saw them dating. Aside from the party scene in Lives of Others, I don't think I saw Beckett dressed up once for a nice dinner, or Castle event.... I agree missed communication and lost opportunities are frustrating- almost kisses, almost bedroom scenes, almost dialogue.... I understand the fear of Moonlighting Curse and treading carefully, but the audience knows the tone of the relationship and the series is altered; they are grateful for it- no need to be frightened. Much of this was handled great- at the beginning. But we do need passion and flirting. It doesn't have to be between the sheets. It could be in the elevator, at the movies, a dinner, on a couch.... We need more talk, communicate, share, reveal.

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I really hope the writers read this thread and the reviews. It captures what seems to be the essence of audience reaction to S5 (also check out Life Changes /Sad Faces which has close to 400 entries). I think I'm like most people in that I watch Castle for the characters,their interactions and the relationships. Frankly, the interesting murders set a tone and are entertaining, but ultimately, they are nothing more for me than an interesting backdrop for everyone to do their thing. I look for the moments, the highlights, the character revelations and the growth. There was much of that, but there was also tons and tons of frustration.

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Agree with all your comments. Especially the part about Meredith's cheating. This should have been addressed during The Squab & The Quail as it would have explained to Beckett why Castle was freaking out about her spending time with Erik alone in the hotel suite overnight, who she didn't hold back that she had a crush on (as did Lanie), as well as where a huge part of his trust issues come from. If the writers don't have this as part of some conversation during Season 6 will be a big misstep.

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PLEASE LET THEM STAY TOGETHER!

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I would love to see more of the "tongue in cheek" appearances of Nathan's "brownshirt" companions.

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there were 2 episodes that i thought were bad which was the guitarist episode and the star trek episode all the rest were good.

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I agree with your report card and article. 100%!! Thank-you for saying it so well and so clearly!!

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Rich Abey, Really, I'm not a perv. I don't need to see action between the sheets. I just want passionate kisses, romance, etc. New couple stuff, not old fogie stogie stuff. For example: have them drive somewhere to search a property or something such, at night, and end up necking in the car for a while. They ride a lot of elevators so have them squeeze into a corner out of SV camera range and sneak kisses. Have Kate wear a hot dress and then they go dancing. But this time, when Kate sways her hips, Castle gets to come up behind her and swoop her up. How about movie night at Castle's loft, but they end up laying on the couch making out. Funny romantic play is great too. I am reminiscent of S5E1 at the end where Beckett grabbed Castle's crotch in the elevator. Hilarious.