Season 5 DVD Review





DVD Review: Castle - The Complete Fifth Season (ABC, $45.99)



Together at last! After four seasons of sparring and heated banter, TV's dynamic crime-solving team finds romance in ABC's Castle: The Complete Fifth Season. Relive all 24 unforgettable episodes, complete with never-before-seen bonus features only available on DVD, in this spectacular five-disc set. Now that Castle and Beckett (aka "Caskett") have finally given into their true feelings for each other, how will it affect their work together? As they try to keep their new relationship under wraps from their co-workers, the unlikely duo must track down the murderer of Beckett's mother, find the perpetrator of a major conspiracy, and untangle a line of investigation that links Castle to a ritualistic killing. The action and passion heat up like never before in the brilliant fifth season of ABC's Castle on this 5-disc set packed with bonus features! 

The series will return to its Mondays at 10PM timeslot on ABC this coming season following Dancing with the Stars once again. The series stars Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett, Jon Huertas as Detective Javier Esposito, Seamus Dever as Detective Kevin Ryan, Tamala Jones as Medical Examiner Dr. Lanie Parish, Penny Johnson Jerald as Captain Victoria Gates, Molly Quinn as Alexis Castle, and Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers. Among the recurring stars are Arye Gross as Medical Examiner Dr. Sidney Perlmutter, Scott Paulin as Jim Becket, Juliana Dever as Jenny, and Geoff Pierson as Mr. Smith. Among the guests this year are Jack Coleman, Darby Stanchfield, Jack Wagner, Mark Deklin, Kelly Hu, Gina Torres, Patrick Fabian, Gail O'Grady, Dylan Walsh, Wes Craven, Brad William Henke, Kyle Secor, Raphael Sbarge and Catherine Dent.


The fifth season was as usual great and Castle and Beckett are finally together and it is steamy! It's the most watched season yet and the show celebrated its 100th episode this season. As I keep saying, I don't like most crime shows of today, but this one is a throwback to the ones of the past and focuses on characters than more about the case. I like that! As far as memorable episodes, we have the season premiere "After the Storm," and it picks up where left off on the fourth season finale on the proverbial morning after, with Castle and Beckett facing new questions -- Was this a one-time fling, or are they now a couple...but before they find the answers, they must take on the forces responsible for Beckett's mother's murder that now threaten Kate Beckett's life. In "Murder, He Wrote," Castle and Beckett's plans for a romantic weekend in the Hamptons are interrupted when a dying man stumbles into Castle's backyard, collapsing into his pool and unable to escape the lure of the investigation they join up with the small town's well-intentioned, but inexperienced sheriff to find the killer. In "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. In "After Hours," in the aftermath of a disastrous "Meet the Parents" dinner, a bickering Castle and Beckett are sent to retrieve the only witness to a murder, but when they get ambushed, they're forced to take the witness on the run and stranded in the middle of the night in a bad part of town, with no phone, badge or gun, Castle and Beckett must find a way to protect him from a team of mobsters who want him silenced -- that is, if they don't kill each other first. 



In "Recoil," while investigating the murder of a young woman, Castle and Beckett find evidence that links her death with Senator William H. Bracken, the man responsible for Beckett's mother's murder, and determined to finally bring Bracken to justice, Beckett soon realizes that things are far more complicated than they seem. In the first half of a two-part story arc, "Target," Castle and Beckett find themselves in a race against time when they unearth a plot to kidnap Sarah el-Masri, the daughter of a powerful foreign dignitary, and the stakes are raised when they learn that Alexis was also kidnapped, and every lead they follow ends with the discovery of another dead body. In the powerful conclusion of a two-episode story arc, "Hunt," when the FBI fails to get his daughter back, Castle takes matters into his own hands, reaching out to a shadowy fixer to help him recover Alexis, but Castle soon learns that his daughter's kidnapping may be part of an even more sinister agenda. In the show's 100th episode, "The Lives of Others," Castle finds himself in the unfortunate position of NOT being able to work a case, while he's holed up in the loft with a broken leg, Beckett goes off to investigate the death of an IRS agent without him, leaving Castle miserable and bored, but when he thinks he witnesses the murder of a young woman in the apartment across the street, he is thrown into a "Rear Window"-esque murder mystery that hits much too close to home. In "The Squab and the Quail," when Beckett is assigned to protect Erik Vaughn, a charming billionaire entrepreneur whose life is in danger, she's forced to reflect on her relationship with Castle which has begun to plateau, while consumed with jealousy, Castle goes to extraordinary lengths to solve the case and separate the two of them. In "The Human Factor," when Homeland Security inexplicably seals the crime scene of a car bombing, Castle and Beckett find themselves with two mysteries on their hands: who murdered the victim, a government whistleblower, and why are federal agents trying to take over the case? In the must-see season finale, "Watershed," an interview with a high-profile federal law enforcement agency forces Beckett to reconsider what she wants out of her job and out of her relationship with Castle, while the body of a young woman is found floating inside the water tank of a skid row flop house, but as the team investigate, they discover that her final resting place is just one of many strange things about her death. 

The episodes run usually 42-43 minutes...unedited of course with all the great music intact. See the runtimes below:

Disc 1

1. "After the Storm" 43:01
2. "Cloudy with a Chance of Murder" 42:24
3. "Secret's Safe with Me" 43:01
4. "Murder, He Wrote" 42:44
5. "Probable Cause" 42:59

Disc 2

6. "The Final Frontier" 42:59
7. "Swan Song" 42:52
8. "After Hours" 43:01
9. "Secret Santa" 42:50
10. "Significant Others" 43:01

Disc 3

11. "Under the Influence" 43:01
12. "Death Gone Crazy" 42:55
13. "Recoil" 42:58
14. "Reality Star Struck" 42:59
15. "Target, Part 1" 42:52

Disc 4

16. "Hunt, Part 2" 42:58
17. "Scared to Death" 42:40
18. "The Wild Rover" 42:59
19. "The Lives of Others" 43:00
20. "The Fast and the Furriest" 42:33

Disc 5

21. "Still" 42:57
22. "The Squab and the Quail" 42:14
23. "The Human Factor" 42:37
24. "Watershed" 42:58

Packaging has a thin outer box that you can remove from the top or bottom to get to the case inside, just like the previous sets. Both the thin outer box and case have the same artwork for both the front and back. The cover has another nice (and sexy) shot of Castle and Beckett as they are both handcuffed. The show logo is present in white lettering towards the bottom. The tagline "Caught in the act" appears above the logo. The back has a dark brown background with information on the set, four episodic screen shots from episodes and also a nice photo of Castle & Beckett in black. There is also a box detailing the bonus features with technical specifications also.

Opening the case, on the left side we see an inserts which includes an ad for the upcoming Castle book Deadly Heat. There is also an ad for the Castle graphic novels and the Castle video game. We also get three Castle Trading Cards on this set -- how cool! They are officially coming out in Winter 2013! Back to the case, on both the left and right panels we have many episodic photos and a disc-by-disc breakdown of episode titles below that. The discs are on plastic holders, like the previous set, that you can flip a page in a book. The first plastic holder holds disc one on the front side and disc two on the back side. The second plastic holds disc three on the front side and disc four on the back side. Disc five is on the right panel itself. Disc artwork is very nice and has that dark brown background, matching the set's color scheme. Disc one has episodes 1-5 with artwork of Richard Castle. Disc two has episodes 6-10 and has artwork of Kate Beckett (in a trench coast with sexy hair, Jesus!). Disc three has episodes 11-15 and has artwork of Ryan & Esposito. Disc four has episodes 16-20 and has artwork of Alexis & Martha. And disc five has episodes 21-24 plus the bulk of the bonus features and has artwork of Lanie & Captain Gates. This style is similar to the previous sets.


The menu screen starts in the style of the opening title from the series with the theme music in the background, then we get to the main menu where we see moving video images with the closing theme playing in the background, similar to the previous sets. The options on the main menu are Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, Bonus Features (or Deleted Scenes), and Sneak Peeks. But before the main menu screen comes on disc one, we get some auto sneak peeks:Revenge Season 2, ABC TV on DVD, andOnce Upon a Time Season 2. Sneak Peeks option is only found on disc five on the main menu and has an ABC Image promo and a trailer for The Lone Ranger. Set Up section has the option of subtitles in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese and how you can register your DVD. The Episodes option gives us the episode number, title and a screenshot. Bonus Features option has all the extras listed and this is on every disc once again, rather than just disc five. All of the sub-menus have different background music from the show. Catchy!

The video is digitally mastered and is in widescreen and looks very good! The audio is great and sounds very good, as it is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Both the audio and video are similar to the previous sets. This is from 2012-2013, so it had better be good. There is nothing to complain at all here...it is perfect! Perfection here. There are about 7 chapter stops per episode. We get to hear the closing theme as well, whistles and all! All of the "previously on Castle" teasers that were used in a few episodes are intact. Not much to report here, but that is a good thing since this part of the DVDs are always perfect. I wish we had a Blu-ray version of this show and that would be beyond perfection! Imagine watching Stana Katic in Blu-ray (or Nathan Fillion for you females out there)!

Moving on the bonus features. For disc one, we have three deleted scenes from the episode "After the Storm" (0:37, 0:21, 1:10) and a deleted scene from the episode "Probable Cause" (0:16). For disc two, we have a deleted scene (0:14). We get audio commentaries again, for the third straight set. We have audio commentary for "The Final Frontier" director Jonathan Frakes, star Nathan Fillion and costume designer Luke Reichle. This is very informative and fun as these are a fun group of people. On to disc three, we have a deleted scene from the episode "Recoil" (0:27), then a deleted scene from the episode "Reality Star Struck" (0:23) and a deleted scene from the episode "Target" (0:23). We also have an audio commentary on the thrilling episode "Target" from executive producer/writer David Aamann, Director Bill Roe, and stars Susan Sullivan & Molly C. Quinn! These guys are just as fun as the guys from the other audio commentary! For disc four, we have a deleted scene from the episode "Hunt" (0:42) and two deleted scenes from the episode "The Lives of Others" (0:20, 0:58). We also have audio commentary on "Hunt." This was part two of the two-part thriller and commenting are creator/executive producer/writer Andrew W. Marlowe, executive producer/director Rob Bowman, and stars Nathan Fillion & Molly C. Quinn. We get more facts from part two of the two-part episode! Disc four also has another audio commentary for the episode "The Lives of Others." Commenting on the landmark 100th episode are Andrew W. Marlowe, writer/producer Terri Edda Miller, editor Marta Evry and composer Robert Duncan. 

On to disc five, where the bulk of the extras are! We have a deleted scene for the season finale "Watershed" (1:14). Onto the main features, we have "Martha's Master Class" (7:39). Castle's mother Martha herself recaps the surprise birthday stunt for her son. This is cleverly done. Up next we have "Your Home Is Your Castle" (22:20). On this featurette, interior design star Vern Yip gives fans exclusive access to Castle's penthouse and Beckett's loft. On the way we meet Alfred Sole (production designer), Damon Hight (propmaker foreman), Sabrina Kleier-Morgenstern, Martha Kleier & Samantha Kleier-Forbes (Kieler Residential), Stana Katic, Andrew W. Marlowe, Nathan Fillion, Molly C. Quinn, and Susan Sullivan. Then we have "Lot Cops" (12:12). The always unpredictable Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever bring fans along on a tactical training course to ensure authenticity in the series. We see technical advisors Mike Lee and Tony "Kicker" Nevada do some training with them. Finally, we have some "Bloopers" (6:14)...yes all the hilarious flubs and outtakes! See all the goofs and play on the set, as we two minutes more of bloopers this time! Wow! 

Another wonderful season and set! Season 5 is a landmark season, as not only because we get the 100th episode, but Castle and Beckett are finally together and it is everything we want it to be! I recommend this series and set once again...it is an ABC Studios DVD, so it is good and filled with special features. This series thrived in this fifth year, from start to finish. Season two was when it started to break out, and it continues and gets better each season, I think. This DVD is awesome as we get of course all 24 great episodes from the fifth season, great packaging, and great extras. The DVD is coming out on Sept. 10, just in time for the sixth season premiere on Sept. 23 on ABC. ABC has been re-airing the show this summer on Sundays before moving back to Mondays in late August. So I hope you saw them all, if not, for sure get this DVD. And if you've never watched an episode, the series airs in syndication on TNT weekdays and in weekend syndication in broadcast syndication, so check your local listings for time and station! Everyone needs to be watching this show because it's just not bland procedural as this has a bit of everything (romance, comedy, drama, action and mystery). The season finale ended in another cliffhanger and we will see the conclusion on the season premiere. I've seen that premiere already and it is AMAZING! Tune in, but before that...get this DVD! The electrifying chemistry between Fillion and Katic continues, and you all need to buy the set by clicking below to see it for yourself! So, yo, get this DVD before Espo gets mad!

(4.5/5 stars)

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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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