I don't watch many procedurals, because by their very nature they tend to be more formulaic than most TV shows. Dead body is found, team investigates body, team interviews suspects, team looks for clues, team finds random clue that breaks case open, killer turns out to be random person from earlier in the episode who didn't seem like a suspect at all.
"Castle" is no exception to this formula, but I love watching it because the people in the show, particularly Nathan Fillion, make the show so much damn fun. Last night's episode was a perfect example of that. If you break the episode down to its core, then it was nothing more than the formula, applied to a new crime. But the extra layer of storytelling was captivating, as it usually is with this show.
In large part, the show appeals to me, personally, because Richard Castle is who I'd want to be: a successful author, good with the ladies, a fine liquor connoisseur, but when you get down to it a good friend and great to his family. Instead, I'm a mediocre single blogger who drinks mid-priced vodka and doesn't see his family nearly enough. Oh well. In "Last Call", Castle was in perfect form, with his glorification of "old" New York, the prohibition era, and even the murder they were investigation. Fillion continues to pour so much of his energy into the character that it completely overtakes the show's flaws.
The secondary story with Alexis's old elementary school friend, who had moved to Kansas but came back to visit and turned out to be a goth girl, did nothing for me, but Alexis's sub-plots are always hit-and-miss. I did think guest star Jillian Claire was kind of cute, and yes, I checked to confirm that she's 18 before writing that (though she still falls short of the half-plus-seven requirement).
The final scene, with Castle finally getting a bottle of the rare Scotch, then insisting that they all share it together at the bar he'd just bought (the same one that was the centerpiece of their investigation) was incredibly cheesy, but, again, they made it work. You get the sense that everyone's fully buying in to how ridiculous some of the things that happen on the show are, so they might as well own it. And I'll sit at home watching and enjoy every minute of it.
For more coverage of the 2010-11 television season, visit the AdamReisinger.com TV Reviews home page.