‘Castle’ Season 6: A Look at the Show’s Six Season Run

Castle The Blue Butterfly Season 4 Episode 14 (23)

Back on March 9, 2009, a new mid-season series called Castle debuted on ABC, airing 10 episodes during its premiere season. The series starred ‘Firefly’ alum Nathan Fillion as mystery novelist Richard Castle, who just killed off the main character, Derrick Storm, in his long-running book series and relative newcomer Stana Katic as Kate Beckett, a dedicated NYPD detective, who questions Castle about a copy-cat murder ripped from the pages of his books.

Due to some deep-seeded writer’s block, Rick is intrigued by Kate and he decides to use her as the model for his new character Nikki Heat; and thanks to his connection with the Mayor, he charms his way into shadowing her on her cases.

The first season of ‘Castle’ was a relative success for ABC, earning an average of 8.3 million viewers, and it returned as a regular prime-time series the following September, running 24 episodes in its sophomore season. That season averaged 9.4 million viewers, an obvious increase in viewership over its short debut season, allowing the series to return for another season from September of 2010 through May of 2011.

That third season also consisted of 24 episodes, garnering an average of 10.7 million viewers during its season long run. This continued improvement in the ratings saw the show return to ABC for its fourth season from September of 2011 to May of 2012.

While the fourth season of ‘Castle’ continued to pull in great ratings, the average for that year did not alter – earning an average of 10.7 million viewers over a 23-episode season – which, of course, was more than enough to have the show come back for a fifth season.

All shows work toward the hope of making it to 100 episodes and ‘Castle’ was able to do just that within the run of its fifth season, which ran from September of 2012 until this past May. The coveted fifth season of the series consisted of 24 episodes, earning an average of 10.2 million viewers, only a slight drop from its previous season.

Now in its sixth season, ‘Castle’ is still going strong, averaging 11.1 million in ratings and airing 115 episodes to date; and it should be noted that since 2011 ‘Castle’ has been the highest rated drama on the network.

In honor of those nearly six full seasons of one great show, the following is my top 10 list of the best episodes of ‘Castle’:

10. “Disciple” – This season six episode took a decidedly creepy direction when two murder victims bears exact resemblances to not only Lanie but also Detective Esposito. What was even more disturbing was the fact that the 3XK, the serial killer who has been the major nemesis of Kate and Rick since the third season was behind it all with the help of a plastic surgeon, who created the Lanie and Espo doppelgängers. Original Airdate: November 18, 2013

9. “3XK” – In season three, the infamous Triple Killer, who became known as the 3XK, made his first appearance in the show, drawing Kate and Rick into his very tangled and complicated web. Original Airdate: October 25, 2010

8. “Cuffed” – This fourth season episode found Castle and Beckett waking up in a sealed room handcuffed together. To make matters worse, after trying every possible way to escape the room, they discover that someone is in the room next to them; but that someone actually turns out to be a tiger. Original Airdate: December 5, 2011

7. “Flowers for Your Grave” – Every show has a pilot episode and this was the debut episode of ‘Castle’, showcasing just what this show would be with Kate investigating murders that resemble those depicted in the pages of the novels by author Richard Castle. Without this episode there would be no show and that would truly be a shame. Original Airdate: March 9, 2009

6. “Knockout” – This was the season finale of the show’s third season, focusing on the assassin who had knowledge of Kate’s mother’s murder escaping from custody and the revelation that Captain Montgomery was inadvertently involved in the group behind it all. This episode was the first time a series regular was lost – Montgomery sacrificed his life to save Kate – only to have a sniper gun Kate down at his funeral with Castle finally telling her that he loved her. Original Airdate: May 16, 2011

5. “Pandora” and “Linchpin” – This was a big two-part episode during the show’s fourth season that had Castle and Beckett investigating an international conspiracy that not only led them to the CIA operative who was the inspiration for one of Castle’s best-known literary characters but also nearly to the brink of World War III. This episode also gave us an interesting hint into the possible identity of Castle’s biological father. Original Airdates: February 13 and February 20, 2012

4. “The Lives of Others” – The 100th episode of ‘Castle’ did not disappoint with Castle being stuck at home and bored after a skiing accident left him wheelchair-bound. As he starts to watch his neighbors, ala Rear Window-style, he believes that one of his new neighbors was murdered and his girlfriend was the culprit. In actuality, the murder mystery was set-up by Beckett as an elaborate birthday present for Rick. Original Airdate: April 1, 2013

3. “Target” and “Hunt” – The show has become known for airing daring two-part episodes and this particular two-part episode was probably the biggest one of them all, starting out with the kidnapping of a powerful foreign dignitary. But in truth Castle’s daughter Alexis was the real target in an effort to bring out international spy (and Rick’s biological dad) Jackson Hunt out into the open by a deadly Russian seeking revenge. In the end, Castle risked his life in Paris to bring Alexis back home. Original Airdates: February 18 and February 25, 2013

2. “Always” – This was the season finale of the show’s fourth season in which the murder of Kate’s mother was, once again, the focus with the sniper who shot Kate back in the picture. After coming face-to-face with Cole Maddox (the sniper), Kate is nearly killed, she and Espo are suspended, Ryan and Espo are at odds with each other and Kate finally admitting her feelings to Rick as they share a passionate kiss. Original Airdate: May 7, 2012

1. “The Blue Butterfly” – This is clearly THE best episode of the show’s entire six season run. The episode played out with Castle reading a diary written in the 1940’s by a private detective, a diary that was found in the effects of a murdered modern-day treasure hunter. As he reads the diary, Castle envisions all of the team members as the people contained within the pages. And, the focus of the mystery is the location of a beautiful necklace owned by a dangerous mobster known as the Blue Butterfly. Original Airdate: February 6, 2012

So, that is my list of the top 10 episodes of ‘Castle’. What do you think? If you are a fan of the show, what are your favorite episodes? Please share your thoughts below in our comments section. And remember ‘Castle’ will be back with all new episodes on ABC starting on January 6 at 10/9c.