'Castle: The Complete Eighth and Final Season'
(Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan, Molly Quinn, Jon Huertas, et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / 2016 / ABC Studios)
Overview: Their fiery love affair has kept your pulse pounding week after week for the past eight seasons. Now, the heartfelt final chapter of Rick Castle and Kate Beckett comes to an end as one of the most beloved couples in television history match wits with their ultimate rival in a fight that will define their future. Experience every riveting moment and sizzling, emotional encounter with 'Castle: The Complete Eighth and Final Season', including exclusive, never-before-seen bonus features!
DVD Verdict: [SPOILERS!!] Well, yes, as we all now know, 'Castle' came to an end ... but in the most ridiculous and sadly pathetic way known to man re: cinematically, sorry! I personally have enjoyed all eight seasons of the fun cop crime drama, however the actual ending of Season 8 was a HUGE disappointment. I refer to the part where are two heroes, after solving the big ongoing case of the season, are suddenly ambushed in their own kitchen by a "dead man"!
Obviously, ABC Studios didn't know when they shot that ending that the show would not be coming back for a ninth season, so the fact that both Castle and Beckett lay there badly shot on said kitchen floor should have been the Season 8 cliffhanger. But, being that the show was cancelled, well, if you wait a few seconds, the camera pans to the right, fades, children's voices are heard, and yup, we're years into the future, both the guys are just fine, and have three children running around also!!
It was as HORRIBLE, cheap and nasty, tacky and unappreciated tag on ending as I have EVER seen on a long running show - even a short running show, for that matter! It was, as they say, a Plan B ending.
I must admit that I had LOVED the show from episode one. It was a fun, clever procedural carried by the considerable charm of its stars. Nathan Fillion entered the series as the guy with the cult fandom and the crazed devotees, but it was clear from very early on that Stana Katic was, at least in this context, entirely his equal. Their joint chemistry, which in my opinion never required they become a romantic couple, was there when they were bickering co-workers brought together by Castle's persistence and it was there when they were friends and productive co-workers.
But let's be brutally honest here, the show didn't run out of ways for Castle and Beckett to do their jobs while also being a couple - it barely even tried! Castle was abducted on his way to their wedding, setting up one extended and wholly artificial separation. Beckett dove into a high-level conspiracy and imposed a second extended and wholly artificial separation that sullied most of this season's episodes.
So, why did the show end? Well, there was an ongoing conflict between the two stars. This may have contributed to some of the worst scripts that I have ever seen on the show. The decision not to offer two of the female cast a contract was probably related to that problem also, but I still think Castle himself could have reigned supreme on a ninth season re: his detective agency and yet still running into both "Ryan" and "Esposito" at crime scenes each week.
The actual dispatching of LokSat, at Beckett's hands, was anti-climactic and devoid of freshness, but I thought it was going to be the most anti-climactic moment in the episode until out-of-nowhere, Caleb (Kristoffer Polaha), previously thought incinerated appeared in Castle's apartment and shot Castle. And then Beckett came out of the bathroom and shot Caleb and took a bullet herself. The season was going to end with Castle and Beckett clinging to each other and clinging to life. We're to assume that if we returned for a ninth season, Castle was going to have survived and Beckett would have died?
And there we now are, full circle, lying on the bloody kitchen floor. In truth, and in wrap, I'm not sure what else to say. The finale was a wreck, and even with a better last two minutes, the resolution of the LokSat arc wouldn't have magically been good. And the season leading up to it wasn't good either so perhaps, just perhaps the show ended when it needed to. Still, for the most part, 'Castle' was GREAT TV series and got me through many a cold, wet evening stuck in. These are all widescreen Presentations (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
The Great Escape: The Castle cast are locked in an escape room - and the clock is ticking. The challenge: To see how well they've honed their detective skills after eight crime-solving seasons together Can they work as a team to identify suspects to solve the mystery and escape before it's too late?