Valkyrie: Preview & Episode Details About The Season 6 Premiere

When the fifth season of Castle ended with Beckett (Stana Katic) getting her dream job in D.C. and then getting proposed to by what so many fans hope is her dream man, Castle (Nathan Fillion), I argued that there were no stakes because a procedural with all of its core characters in one precinct would never send a character to another district, let alone another state. I felt like there was no way Beckett could take the job, and I really didn't want her to become a stereotypical "I choose my man over my career" woman either. That's not the kick-ass Beckett we've known her to be. But thankfully Castle's sixth season premiere answers those concerns within the first three minutes of the episode, setting out to prove Beckett can have her cake and eat it, too. The show might still be named for the author who tags along as what should be a major liability partner for "research" (and love), but "Valkyrie" is most certainly a moment for Katic to stand alone and shine.
"Valkyrie" opens in the moments immediately following Castle pulling out the ring, allowing the characters to discuss how serious he was and how it sounded like he was breaking up with her but also allowing the audience to get her answer immediately. But then
it catapults the show-- and Beckett-- in time and distance to her new FBI training, where she isn't the self-assured, always hero she has been within the NYPD. Instead she makes mistakes. Big ones. She has to relearn a lot of things and rid herself of other habits. She is no longer looking at evidence but intel, and the instincts that made her such a good detective, caring about victims and witnesses and hostages, can and will trip her up in the bigger leagues. It's great to finally get to see a different side to Beckett and some different vulnerability from her, too, even if it is a bit short-lived. It's even better to see her play off Lisa Edelstein, as her senior partner who seems to see a lot of herself in Beckett, flaws and all.
Castle has always been a procedural, even if a character driven one, and this episode is of course no different. Therefore, it doesn't take long for Castle to pack up for an impromptu weekend with his lady in D.C. and just "happen" to stumble upon a piece of evidence in her classified case. Like the overgrown child that he is, he decides he just has to investigate even when told not to. It's out of sheer curiosity and the hope that if he helps Beckett solve it fast, they'll get more time together (you know, not realizing, even after all of this time, there will always be another case and the ones she is working now are matters of national security) so he calls up old pals Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Ryan (Seamus Dever) for some very minimal aid. It's a way to get the gang back together, but again, in a very minimal way. It gives Esposito and Ryan some brief face time but not anything real to do. They're basically sounding boards, and that means extensions of scenery. It's a shame and will be a huge waste of their talent if it is a long-term plan solution to keeping the original cast active.
Something that is impossible not to notice is just how dark the world of the FBI is here. Not only to Beckett, who does carry herself differently, more uncertainly, within its walls, but physically as well. It's like they couldn't afford their electric bill anymore. That's an extremely uncommon representation; on television shows, usually the higher you go, jurisdiction wise, the brighter and flashier and full of more technological toys it is. It's supposed to entice and intrigue. But not here. Here it certainly seems the show is telling the audience that the FBI is supposed to be the opposite of what you want for Beckett-- that she thought it was what she wanted.
Here it also strips the charm and humor right out of Castle himself and exposes him as the liability you kind of forgot he was.
Had Beckett chosen Castle and her "big fish in a little pond" immediately without giving her dream job a shot, she would have regretted it, and a good chunk of the audience would have rejected her for it. Instead, though, the audience has given that new and different world a chance, even if a biased one. That way if Beckett goes back, they can say she gave it the good ole college try, but it wasn't what she thought, and it puts the people she loves in much too much danger-- more than anything 3XK ever did. Of course, it also certainly isn't a way to keep the story and characters as you've known them unfolding, and isn't comfortable and safe better than new and different and scary anyway? With "Valkyrie", Castle as a show is having its cake and eating it, too-- too.
Captain Founder, Administrator, Editor and Writer

The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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