I think the critics need to go back through the last 4 episodes and just watch the scenes with Beckett in them. Without all the sidetracks and distractions (eg Alexis the PI and her "mentor" Hayley, and 50 year old bottles of scotch) the storyline makes much more sense, particularly if you pay attention at the end of episode 2 where Rita is giving Kate a stern message about the risk she is putting herself and therefore Castle in by wanting to get justice for the AG team and put an end to the corruption.Smith tells her the same thing, but I think she has said in the past that she is done hiding from these people not knowing when they will strike again.As Captain she is in a much better position to follow the trail but the risk to others persists if they are willingly involved. I don't think it is the storyline that is so much at fault as the way it has all been sliced and diced and put together with new characters some of whom almost seemed to want to take over the show, overly busy plots, and of course the inevitable ad-breaks.
As I recall the "approval" was to do with Paddy and his girlfriend giving up Maura for adoption to keep her safe from Paddy's mob-boss father who did not approve of his son's relationship. The story line was very well written. Paddy had been keeping tabs on Maura, but Maura had no idea about him, and only found out by accident. All very dramatic. And now I want to get the DVDs out and watch those episodes again.
For once I can see for sure why a scene was deleted, because I can see nothing at all. Maybe you could try reloading it - or I'll wait till I see it on DVD - because I think this is a great show.
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