Driven: Preview

Spoiler Alert: Within the first few minutes of the premiere episode, we learn that Castle was not in the car, as we knew he wouldn't be. Thus, the main storyline revolves around solving the mystery of his disappearance: trying to discover what happened to him, where he is and if he's even still alive. Perhaps more importantly, it lays the groundwork for a season-long mystery arc, something that has been sorely lacking of late.

Season 6 was not Castle's best, partly because there was no long-term storyline except for a few minutes of wedding talk per episode. (The Bracken storyline was condensed entirely into a couple of episodes, so it barely counts as non-episodic.)

While there were some great standalone stories, the episodic formula wasn't as compelling as the show has been in the past, especially with progressively more ridiculous cases appearing without a serious counterpart to balance the show's tone.

"Driven" is very much in contrast with all these weak points. Castle's disappearance is a genuine emotional drama, and Stana Katic does a wonderful job making Beckett's struggles both heart-wrenching and convincing.

The mystery itself is more exciting and less predictable than many of Castle's recent cases have been. The entire perspective on the case changes every five minutes, calling into question everything from a possible return of Senator Bracken to how much the team really knows about Castle himself.

By the end, both Beckett and the audience are questioning everything they thought to be true.

If the twists and turns are a little over-the-top, that's to be expected; Castle has always delighted in putting its characters through the same pulp mystery-esque stories its main character writes, and "Driven" maintains a good balance of this homage and emotional gravity.

It's impossible to determine what the rest of the season will be like from one episode. But "Driven" gets season 7 off to a strong start. The resolution (or lack thereof) of some story elements may be frustrating for some viewers, but personally, I can't wait to see what happens next.

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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