This short summary contains spoilers from seasons 1 & 2, and 3rd season episodes prior to “Nikki Heat” airing January 3rd, 2011.
Castle follows Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle, a famous mystery novelist who has published two novels in a new series of books following the character of Nikki Heat – Heat Wave and Naked Heat. The movie version of Heat Wave is about to go into production. Castle based the character on Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) whom he shadows thanks to his connections with the mayor’s office. Beckett usually has to scoff at one wild theory from Castle’s active imagination per episode, but he often ends up being useful because he can see things the way he would write the crime. Castle’s insights into motives and clues often help solve the murder of the week. There is a romantic tension between Castle and Beckett that so far they have not acted on. It turned out that Beckett was a fan of his books despite her initial hesitation to work with him.
At home are the actress Martha Rodgers (Susan Sullivan) who is Castle’s mother and Castle’s teenage daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn) who often acts like the grown-up in the household. Det. Beckett and Alexis have formed a friendship and occasionally Alexis will turn to Beckett for advice before her father’s. Castle’s two ex-wives appear occasionally for short-lived flings but for the most part are out of the picture. His first wife Meredith (Alexis’s mother) is a flighty actress. His second wife, Gina is also his publisher. Castle and Gina most recently gave it another go between season 2 and 3 and it fizzled out again earlier this season.
At the police station are Detectives Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) who are buddies and on Beckett’s team. In one episode Ryan and Esposito got their own separate case but it became intertwined with Beckett’s by the end. Esposito’s personal life is the biggest mystery of the core cast, but Ryan is dating the seldom seen (but frequently calling) Jenny. Captain Roy Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Hudson) and medical examiner Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones) round out the police station cast.
A recurring thread in the series has been the decades old mystery of who killed Beckett’s mother. When Castle got involved in bringing it all back to the surface, the fallout almost destroyed his and Beckett’s friendship. So far the contract killer “Rathborne” has been found (and shot dead by Beckett in order to save Castle’s life) but the identity of who put the hit out remains a mystery.
The books Naked Heat and Heat Wave are actually available in the real world and in similar fashion to the show’s premise there is a character named Jameson Rook who shadows Nikki Heat. However, in the books Jameson and Nikki have a sexual relationship.
Season 1 and season 2 of Castle are available on DVD, current season episodes are available from Hulu, Amazon, and iTunes.
Castle airs locally on ABC (WJXX 25) at 10 PM Eastern on Monday nights. Comcast, DirecTV, Dish and AT & T U-verse subscribers check your programming guide for channel numbers and OnDemand availability.