Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Love You Kate : Review of Castle 3x24 'Knockout' (Season Finale)

So was last night mind blowing or what?? I already knew somebody was going to die. That isn’t what shocked me, but boy did the ending leave me speechless…

For the most part episodes of Castle are self-contained. Yes the sexual tension between Castle & Beckett is apparent in every episode, but plot heavy episodes only happen every once in a while.

Going into last night’s episode, we all knew that we would be diving back into the murder of Joanna Beckett. Because of this we assumed that this episode would be very plot heavy. We expected to come out shocked. And usually when a viewer goes into an episode with such high expectations it jinxes it. The viewer comes out feeling un-shocked and unsatisfied. Well this was certainly not the case with this finale. When this episode ended I felt like I do after an episode of Fringe. Okay well maybe I wasn’t that confused, but I definitely didn’t know how to process everything that just went down (speaking of which I still haven’t posted about the last episode of Fringe. Ha did that episode mind f*$k me).

Getting back on track, this episode dealt with concepts that Castle just doesn’t talk about. For God’s sake Castle & Beckett discussed feelings. I mean what IS THIS?! The scene between the two of them in Kate’s apartment was just…amazing. Seriously I applaud Nathan and Stana. For those of us who watched the sneak peeks, we knew a talk like that was coming, but I never imagined the factors that would lead up to it. Castle being told by the captain and Beckett’s dad that he needed to stop her…genius. When Beckett’s dad came to see Castle I was floored. He was the last person I expected to see in this episode. The fact that he knew so much about Castle spoke volumes about his relationship with Beckett. And the look on Castle’s face when Daddy Beckett was talking to him…priceless. I basically felt like Beckett’s dad was giving Castle & Beckett his blessing or something (Let’s face it. These two are destined to get married. It’s okay to admit it to yourself). Daddy Beckett put so much trust in Castle, solely based on what he’s heard from his daughter. Now if that doesn’t say something, I don’t know what does.

And then the captain. Jeez. Yeah there was a lot of shit that went down involving him that I’ll get into a little later, but the stuff he said throughout the episode about Beckett & Castle’s relationship was heartwarming. He knew Castle allowed Beckett to have fun. He knew Castle would be the only one to get Beckett to back down. He knew that if he told Castle to go to Beckett that Castle would listen .

So Castle went to Beckett and took Daddy Beckett and the Captain’s advice. But of course Beckett stayed true to her character and refused to back down. I was so happy that the writers had Castle bring up how this was affecting Beckett’s loved ones. When Daddy Beckett appeared earlier in the episode I kept thinking “Kate, can you at least give this up for your father? He’s still alive, and he deserves to have you in his life. Don’t do this to him.” So when Castle brought that up I was stoked. When he brought Josh up I was a little less stoked, but hey I understood. And then..the moment we’ve all been waiting for…Beckett threw Castle a curveball – “What about you Rick?” Castle exploded and I LOVED it. The way he went off on her about how they never talk about their feelings was breathtaking. Everything he said was so true, and she knew it. She tried to push him away by telling him he doesn’t know her, but we all know that’s BS. Their relationship has been built up so that they affect one another in a way that no other person can (hence Martha’s line “There’s only one person on the planet that could make you this upset”). So when Beckett finally felt her walls crumbling, in true Beckett fashion she retreated. Let’s face it, she might be kick ass physically, but emotionally she definitely has some issues. She kicked Castle to the curb and went running to the captain to get Castle removed from the 12th permanently.

And even though she went to the captain with the intention of getting Castle thrown out, we all know why she really went there. She knew the captain would tell her how ridiculous she was being. She knew the captain would never let her throw Castle away. So when the captain simply went along with everything she was saying she went crazy and I loved it. That scene was hilarious and Stana played it so well. When he said “Okay” Kate literally looked at him like “WTF did you just say?!” It. Was. Wonderful.

Okay, breaking away from Castle & Beckett for a moment, I’m going to talk a little about the captain now. From previous episodes we already knew a ton about Joanna Beckett’s murder. We knew cops were involved. We knew someone hired assassins, but we didn’t know that the captain was involved with the case. How many of you saw that coming? I was completely blindsided. When it came out that he was the 3rd cop I felt just like Ryan and Esposito (BTW their fight really got me worked up. I was screaming at my TV “YOU’RE BEST FRIENDS. CUT. IT. OUT."). Like R & E I wanted to deny what I was hearing. I wanted it to not be true. The captain has always seemed like a father figure for Beckett, so knowing that he had any part in her mother’s murder was devastating. But because the Castle writers are so awesome, they were able to still redeem him in the end.

The captain loads his gun, brings Kate to lure in the bad guys, and has Castle there to take her away. That man seriously had everything thought out. What he was saying to Kate made so much sense. He hadn’t intentionally tried to hurt anyone. He got in too deep as a rookie, and when she came around he saw it as a chance at redemption. Everything he did for her might have had an ulterior motive, but he still truly cared.

When Castle carried Beckett away (her screaming “I forgive you” was heartbreaking) I went nuts. We’ve never seen Beckett have a meltdown like that, and the way Castle held her and comforted her was perfect. Now the one thing to me that didn’t make sense in this scene was the moment that Castle let Beckett go. How on earth would he know that what he had just heard was the final gunshot? Lockwood could have very well still been alive and ready to take her away, but Castle let her run off. It made no sense. So if anyone has any explanations hit me with them!

So then the final scene happens: the funeral procession. We assume that the drama has mostly stopped at this point. Yeah, we all knew a cliffhanger was coming. But I for one assumed it would be another Castle is about to tell Beckett how he feels, Josh miraculously falls from the sky and rides off with her on his horse motorcycle moment.

But no that doesn’t happen. Instead we see a freaking SNIPER. And before we have any time to fully process what’s going on BECKETT GETS SHOT. WHAT THE HELL? Obviously she isn’t going to die, but still, WHAT THE HELL Castle writers?! Once again I applaud you because I did not see that coming. When Castle told Beckett he loved her I nearly fainted. I wanted her to say it back so bad, but obviously that’s coming.

Now my predictions for the future? Well since Kate was “horribly injured” stupid Josh is probably going to come in and save the day with all of his doctor skills. As much as I really don’t want that to happen, I would not put it past the writers. I could even see them having Kate not remember what Castle said right before she went unconscious. I mean, the girl had just been shot. She was definitely going into shock. So while I don’t expect there to be huge progress between them right away next season, I’m still happy Castle got his feelings out there. We finally got to hear him admit that he loves her, and more importantly, Castle got to hear himself admit it.

This episode was magnificent just like the entire season has been. I could not have expected anything better, and I am so pleased with what we got. This episode was a definite WIN. Do you guys agree? Did you love it?? Hate it?? (How could you hate it?) Chime in below!!

Oh and quick side note: Who do you think the captain sent those files to? People are probably assuming he sent them to Castle, but I’m not so sure. Castle showed up at the hanger because the captain called him, not because he had seen the files. But then again the creator did say that Castle will know more about the murder come season 4, so maybe he did get those files after all. Unfortunately we won’t know until September. But until then just remember these four words "I love you Kate."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Why Shouldn't I Eat The Soup? : Review of HIMYM Season 6 Finale 'Challenge Accepted'

Wow I haven’t written a review in awhile. Glad I get to start up again with a review of my favorite show: How I Met Your Mother. And boy did tonight prove why it ranks number one on my list.

Typically How I Met Your Mother knocks its season finales out of the park (with the exception of season 5, but hey that whole season was off). So I admit I went into this episode with high expectations. I was nervous that the episode wouldn’t come close to what I was expecting for multiple reasons.

First off I am a HUGE Barney & Robin shipper. Those of you who have read my previous blog posts already know that. Going into this finale I knew Barney & Robin were going to spend a lot of time together. I also knew that Nora was going to make an appearance. So at the beginning of the episode, I really wondered if there was going to be enough Barney/Robin moments to satisfy my shipper needs. Well let me tell you there were more than enough.

Barney and Robin’s cab moment was so freaking cute. Speaking of cabs please buckle your seat belts while I switch lanes for a second (Ha! See what I did there? Corny? Fine you don’t have to rub it in).

Anyway my FAVORITE recurring character made an appearance in this episode—RANJIT! I absolutely adore him. Seriously I love every episode he’s in. He always shows up in pressure situations and manages to lighten the mood. But that isn’t even what I love most about him. Ranjit was there from the start. He was in the pilot episode and clinked glasses with the gang during the last scene. Carter & Craig always said that scene made them feel like this show was going to be a success, and well, look at it now! Every time Ranjit shows up I think about that scene and really feel like the story is coming full circle. Ranjit just makes me so happy.

BACK ON TRACK—So Barney & Robin shared that cutesy scene in the cab which I loved. They also simultaneously tackled Ted which was AWESOME. They ALSO shared that moment when they were telling Ted he needed to move on. And yeah all those moments were fabulous, but they didn’t even come close to my favorite Barney/Robin moment of the night—when Barney sees his necessary yet meaningless future girlfriend Nora. Now I know some of you are probably saying “Why on EARTH does she love that scene?!” Call me crazy, but to me it sealed the deal that Barney & Robin will get back together. I mean come on! Nora tells Barney “It’s never too late” and the camera flashes to a sad Robin? Do I really have to spell it out for you guys??

Oh and to top it all off what scene comes after that one? Oh yeah…BARNEY’S WEDDING. By the time the scene with Nora started, I had completely forgotten that this episode was supposed to touch on the “infamous wedding” seen during the season 6 premier. I was so engrossed in everything else going on that it just wasn’t near the forefront of my mind. But for some reason as Barney was talking to Nora, I remembered that we were supposed to learn more about it. I got super excited because the episode was almost over and they hadn’t mentioned the wedding yet. Lo and behold directly following that scene we flashed forward to that moment.

The last scene of tonight’s episode showed Ted going into the church to check on the groom. As Ted opened the door to make sure the groom was okay the camera panned to who the lucky husband to be was—Barney. Now I’m sure this shocked a lot of people, but it makes sense. HIMYM loves to trip us up, so why not have it be the wedding of the dude that once said “marriage…is…stupid”? The fact that it was Barney’s wedding says a lot. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s pretty likely that Robin will get married in the future too. And since Lily appeared to be a bridesmaid…well I’ll let you guess who the bride is going to be. ;)  

So aside from my awesome gut feeling that Robin will in fact become Mrs. Barney Stinson someday (so weird to write that) a lot of other awesome things went down in tonight’s episode: 
  1. Ted got to push the button to destroy the Arcadian
  2.  Marshall had his dream interview (which I actually think went rather well…vomiting aside)
  3.  LILY IS PREGNANT (but we all saw that coming right??)
The scene that flashed between the Arcadian erupting and Lily telling Marshall she was pregnant literally brought tears to my eyes. It was such a moving moment and was quite reminiscent of the season 4 finale. Like the closing scene in “The Leap,” the mashup of the Arcadian being destroyed/Lily announcing her pregnancy really showed how much our characters have grown this season. What made this moment even better was Marshall’s little monologue that came right before it. I loved that he talked about his dad dying and all the other shit he’s gone through this season. It did a nice job of summing everything up, which made it even better when Lily told him she was pregnant.

Sidebar: The song playing at the end of the season 4 finale, “Prophets” by A.C. Newman, is amazing.  I recommend you go listen to it once you finish reading this article.

Now while a lot of you might think Lily being pregnant was “too predictable” I say psh. We have been waiting for that girl to get knocked up since Alyson Hannigan had her baby in real life two years ago…so I’m pretty sure it’s about time. Also, the writers did such a good job being unpredictable this season (“Bad News”) that something happy and predictable was more than welcome.

When it comes down to it I give this episode a WIN. Normally when the season finales don’t focus on Ted it kind of bothers me, but not this time. All the things touched on tonight were very important to the central story of the show. So yeah, we might still not know who the mother is, but tonight gave us a lot of things to look forward. Now all we have to do is sit back and look forward to the next two seasons. It might be challenging having to hang on for two more years without knowledge of who the mother is, but you know what? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! ;)

Thoughts on last night's episode??? Chime in below!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I'll have a mohito and you'll have a no seat ho!: Review of HIMYM 6x22 'The Perfect Cocktail'

Oh HIMYM…how I love you so. And although my love is unconditional…well let’s just say last night’s episode wasn’t my favorite.

This entire season has been brilliant. Most episodes have contained a wonderful mixture of comedy and drama, something that is rare for a sitcom. And while each episode has continued to knock it out of the park, sadly I don’t think last night’s episode continued that trend. To me “Perfect Cocktails” felt kind of like an episode out of season 5--heartless and just kind of silly. Don’t get me wrong, I love Barney & Marshall. I love Lily & Robin. I’m happy we got an episode that focused on both of those friendships, but I feel like the writers could have created better storylines.

It makes sense that Barney & Marshall would have a feud over Marshall quitting his job (especially considering both men are emotional right now due to some pretty deep daddy issues). But the way the fight played out, it just didn’t feel that believable. It seemed like the writers were trying to force an unrealistic fight down our throats just for the sake of comedy. I mean yeah Marshall might be pissed that his former boss trashed him to a prospective employer, and he might want to rebel against GNB because of that, but would he really go against Ted? I’m sorry, but I just don’t see that happening.

If there is one thing Marshall is--it’s loyal. He cares so much for his family and friends (especially when it comes to Ted). So even though Marshall might be “emotionally struggling” right now, this felt very out of the blue to me.

Now it makes sense that Barney would act petty. Barney ALWAYS acts petty, but last night it just wasn’t funny. For most of the episode Barney & Marshall were drunk so their reactions were based mainly on what they had been drinking. While it’s interesting to see how certain drinks would affect them, it’s kind of silly to base a whole episode around it. By seeing those guys only act how their drinks “made them act” it took away from the individuality and creativity their characters usually exude. I just think that if the writers wanted to do a “fight” between the two they could have gone about it in either a funnier or a more serious way. This whole alcohol thing just seemed like an easy cop out for the two to express their feelings.

And then on top of it all, it turns out that Marshall & Barney drank too much and don’t even remember the night?? So everything we saw was pointless anyway? I’m sorry but that just wasn’t funny to me.

I thought Lily & Robin scheming to come up with drinks and “cross-referencing the effects” that the drinks would have on the boys was pretty funny. But it still just felt like filler to me. I dunno. Nothing was really laugh out loud funny in my opinion (Besides when Lily ordered a mojito and said that the booth stealing lady would be getting “no-seat-ho.” Now that line was full of win).

And while I didn’t like the main plot of this episode, the side plot bothered me even more. Okay by now we know for sure that Ted & Zoey aren’t going to last. There really isn’t any need for the audience to put any type of emotional investment into their relationship because well, it just isn’t going to go anywhere. So when Ted & Zoey started bickering about the Arcadian again last night, I thought “Okay here we go! Finally these two are getting closer to breaking up.” But no. Instead Zoey gives Ted this heartfelt story about how she grew up in the Arcadian which causes Ted to say that he loves her. What the hell?

After a season like season 5, the writers should realize that the audience loves HIMYM because of the story it tells. Even though it is clearly taking forever to find out who the mother is, the audience is able to handle it as long as the story keeps moving forward somehow. But to me last night didn’t move forward; in fact I think it moved backwards. We know Zoey & Ted won’t end up together so why are we going around in circles?

Okay, so while I really didn’t care for this episode there was one part that made me very happy: the return of the COCKAMOUSE. I love when TV shows make ancient callbacks, and the fact that they brought up something from season 1 last night just made me smile. When I saw that little rat scurry across the floor I started to say “Please let that be the cockamouse. Please let that be the cockamouse!” And when Ted confirmed it was indeed the cockamouse I was SUPER happy.

But sadly even the golden reference did not save this episode for me. When it comes down to it I am going to give this episode a LOSS. Yes, this season has been awesome, and it saddens me to do that, but hey not every episode can be gold. Hopefully next week the show will come back stronger than ever- and will set us up for a LEGENDARY finale.  What did you guys think?? Am I being too harsh?? Chime in below.