Monday Night Dramas: The Following, Bones, and Castle

Two season finales and a clip show.  In one night.  Bam, said the lady!

All three of my go-to Monday night dramas had new episodes last night.  I was a little disappointed (read: left on the edge of my seat because of a cliffhanger I wasn’t expecting) in two of my dramas because of their finales, and a little disappointed in one because it was a clip show.  And I hate clip shows.

But let’s start at the beginning.

(Warning:  I DO plan to include spoilers, so if you haven’t seen these episodes yet, please come back.  Unless you like spoilers like me, then by all means, continue reading)

The Following

I can’t tell you how much I have a love/hate relationship with this show.  Sometimes it’s just so gory and dramatic it makes me not want to watch.  But then I MUST see what happens next just to resolve everything that has already happened.

Last night’s episode was the culmination of the entire season, where we finally get to see the “good guys” get saved.  Only, do they really get saved?

When we last saw our characters (last week), Agent Parker was being buried alive, Joe was stealing away on boat taking Claire to an undisclosed location that he would only tell his “followers” and Ryan, and Ryan was trying to redeem himself by saving everyone.  Kevin Bacon – I love you, I really do.  But you cannot save the world.  Even on TV.

So, while being attacked in the woods by a sniper after finally finding an almost legitimate location for Agent Parker, Ryan and Weston grab the sniper, beat him to a bloody pulp to make him talk, and drive to Parker’s location.  Only it’s a little too late, and by the time they get there, Agent Parker is dead.  In her coffin was a copy of Joe’s manuscript with the “final” chapter conveniently left out, which leads Ryan to abandon Weston in the woods and go off to find Joe before he kills Claire.

Cut to the lighthouse where Joe is keeping Claire and some random guy his cult paid to take a boat there.  Claire is crying because she feels responsible for the deaths of all those girls Joe killed.  He can’t bare to lose his spotlight, and kills the extra guy to demonstrate the difference between actually killing someone and what Claire had done, which was nothing.

Ryan gets to the “island” only to be drugged and taken to the lighthouse where Joe is keeping Claire captive.  Ryan makes jabs at Joe being a hack writer which sets Joe off and throws him off guard (allegedly) and they get into a tussle where Ryan is able to escape and chase Joe out to the garage.  Joe lights it on fire, and it explodes leaving everyone to believe Joe is dead, including his cult followers.  HOWEVER, whether or not he is really dead has yet to be determined because he could have switched bodies with the guy he killed.

Meanwhile, everyone has a false sense of security, including Ryan and Claire – but they are quickly attacked by one of Joe’s cult members who stabbed Joe and Claire, possibly killing Claire…

To be continued…

I hate cliffhangers.  I like the idea of setting up suspense and I like speculating on what’s going to happen next.  BUT, I don’t know if this show is being renewed yet.  Mostly likely it will, but as a midseason replacement like it was this year.  So that means I have to wait even longer to find out what is really happening.

Bones

Ugh.  I really do love this show.  And like many of the fans, I’ve been waiting FOREVER for Booth and Bones to be together.  And now that might not happen again.  Sure, they have a kid, but they’ve got some pretty serious stuff by the end of this episode to deal with.

So… this episode marks another return of the famed serial killer, Pelant, who is once again terrorizing Booth, Bones, Sweets and the gang.  Not surprisingly, he’s causing chaos by hacking into computer systems and wreaking some serious havoc on the Squints’ ability to solve their current case, which just so happens to be mimicking unpublished papers Sweets wrote.

This time Pelant seems to be targeting Booth using Sweets’ research.  He uses a surrogate to murder two FBI agents who were with Booth a number of years ago during an incident called Crystal Creek.  This leads the gang to believe that Booth is the target this time, and by the end, he somewhat is.  But Pelant has set up such an intricate plan that it ends up being Sweets that is the target.

In true rational fashion, Bones finally proposes to Booth using jerky, and of course Booth says yes.  Cue fangirl squealing.  Pelant doesn’t like the idea of not being the center of attention, and Sweets points out that Bones’ proposal is doing just that: taking the spotlight off him.

After wreaking havoc and Sweets being saved from the almost murder, Pelant contacts Booth and tells him that if he marries Bones, he’ll be killing five innocent people at the park.  Booth can’t ignore that, and that night at home he tells Bones they can’t get married.  But he can’t tell her the real reason.  He only says that she didn’t really want it in the first place and the fact that they love each other is enough.  Bones is heartbroken, and with good reason.  After making a carefully thought out, rational, Bones-like decision, her proposal was denied.

I read an interview online with the creator of the show who said that the relationship between Booth and Bones was never going to be easy.  And they have a lot to deal with going into next season.  The fact that they are lying to each other about the reason for not getting married and being okay with not getting married is something that will test their relationship.  But don’t forget about Hodgins feeling responsible for the FBI agents dying – he could have killed Pelant when he had a chance in a previous episode.

Yup.  I’m sad Booth and Bones won’t be getting married anytime soon.  Like I said, I’ve been rooting for them since the beginning.  They have an unconventional relationship which makes it exciting and unique, but it is also complicated.  And I guess if it was easy, it wouldn’t be as satisfying.  I’m just hoping for a resolution that comes quickly next season.  But we’ll find out in September.

Castle

And then there was one…

Beckett stepped on a bomb.  Actually, she stepped on the triggering device for a bomb while investigating a possible crime scene.  And therein lies a clip show.

While the gang and the bomb squad tries to diffuse the bomb, Castle stays with Beckett trying to keep her spirits up and focused on other things rather than a bomb exploding under her feet.  The reminisce about their entire relationship, from the time he joined the precinct as a nuisance tagalong writer all the way up to them finally getting together.

Castle was incredibly brave by staying with Beckett.  But I expect that from Castle.  After going through a few hairbrained ideas that turn out to be completely off track, Castle comes in at the last minute with a revelation about the man who set the bomb, with less than two minutes to spare.  As it turned out, the bomb was not meant for the cops, but instead someone who had information about the criminal’s son – and that was the code to disengage the bomb.

Not at all predictable, but Castle and Beckett are often in danger.  And I love the fact that Beckett didn’t die, and they didn’t break up as a means of termination to avoid a messy goodbye because of the bomb.  And it was nice to see clips I hadn’t seen before, as well as clips put together in clever montages showing the cute, funny, and serious sides to Castle and Beckett’s relationship.

Can’t wait for the season finale.  And I’m happy this wasn’t it.  Why waste a finale by doing a clip show… ugh.

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Castle: Probable Cause, S5 E5

“Probable Cause” (S5E5) was probably THE best episode of Castle I’ve seen in a long time.  Maybe ever.  And I love Castle.  And I think every episode is great.  Especially when Nathan Fillion makes a Firefly or Buffy reference.  Oh, and when Castle doesn’t get special treatment because he’s in trouble?  Love it.

So, back to the episode last night, “Probable Cause.”

While investigating a shocking ritualistic murder, Beckett and her team uncover surprising evidence linking Castle to the killing. As the evidence against him mounts, loyalties are tested, and when surprising revelations come to light, Beckett begins to wonder how well she really knows her new lover and partner of four years.

I need to stop gushing about how much I love this episode.  But first, here’s what happened…

First up, there’s a murder.  No surprise there.  It seemed pretty standard for our gang to go and investigate the crime scene as they usually do.  Found evidence of murder, some fingerprints, the usual.  EXCEPT.  The fingerprints belong to Castle.  The ones they found at the crime scene.  And they were there BEFORE the gang got there.  Mysterious.  And makes Castle a murder suspect.  Only they try to dismiss it when they find another suspect who was a lover to the victim, Tessa.

The next piece of evidence is jewelry that Tessa received from her alleged lover.  So the gang follows that lead.  Straight back to Castle.  Castle allegedly made a withdrawal for $12K in a cashiers check and took it to the jeweler where the alleged lover purchased Tessa’s earrings.  So the evidence is piling up.  And Castle keeps denying.  And Beckett keeps questioning.  It’s hard to see her question Castle because they’ve been partners and are now in love.

In an effort to relieve Castle of his murder suspect status, they go to the chief who orders his apartment be searched, his computer swept.  More evidence.  They found gloves, and that Castle’s computer had been wiped clean.  They found a deleted file that contained a story idea for the perfect murder.  And emails to Castle’s alleged lover, Tessa.  Beckett is overwhelmed.  Esposito and Ryan finally admit they know the two were dating.  And the other alleged lover of Tessa’s alibied out.  Castle has no alibi and  is officially arrested for Tessa’s murder.  And Castle still denies it.

Beckett has a really nice moment with Lanie where she tells about all the alleged emails and Castle’s alleged lover.  Beckett gives Lanie this really concise, genuine and sweet description of Castle and how he can’t be the killer they think he is:

You should have seen him, Lanie.  He looked like a little boy, he was so scared.  I know him, Lanie.  He is an immature, egotistical, self-centered jackass sometimes but he’s not this.

Castle in the holding cell is a whole other plot twist of drama.  Tyson, or 3XK, shows up as a cop to threaten Castle.  He killed Tessa and framed Castle.  Way to go for exposition.  He explains how and why he framed Castle.  He wanted to disappear and for no one to be looking for him so he could start killing again.  Tyson said it wasn’t about the killing, it was about the planning and the preparation.  The perfect frame job.  Tyson isn’t seen in the holding cell because he’s slick and tampered with the surveillance footage.

Castle confesses to Beckett about Tyson being there, and she finally sees that the case makes sense and that Castle is being framed.  In a desperate attempt to save Castle’s life, Beckett goes back to the chief to beg they keep him there instead of sending him to central booking.  No such luck.  But Castle manages to escape custody and meet up with Beckett in the NY Public Library, where she first arrested him.  Castle has a lead on the case.

Tyson hired a lookalike to pose as Castle to withdraw money and purchase jewelry.  He also got Castle’s fingerprint, and was able to plant the rest of the evidence.  Charges were dropped, but Castle escaped from custody, so he’s still in trouble.

Beckett takes Castle back to the precinct to deal with his escape from custody, when they get caught on bridge while it’s opening.  They were planted there by Tyson, who rearends them, then captures Beckett to draw Castle out of the car.  Castle shoots Tyson, and he falls over the bridge into the water, never to be found.

Castle finally puts together the last of the puzzle.  Everything had been set up so Tyson could disappear.  He planted everything, and wanted them to find all the evidence.  Public and dramatic and final, so he could go back to killing with no one knowing.  Talk about an unfinished ending.

I love how characters keep coming back.  I never really like Tyson, or his murderer person, 3XK, but it makes for a great season to season story that never seems to be finished.  And I can’t even begin to gush about how much I love the plot twists and Castle being framed and not being the golden boy for a minute.  Nathan Fillion really nailed this character.  And the fact that Castle played true to his nature of having to solve the case when he is the suspect.  Classic.  Castle and Beckett really do make a great team.

What did you think about last night’s episode?