Usually, Richard Castle's overactive imagination is a good thing — so good that as he helps his NYPD buddies solve scores of murders, you often wonder how they'd ever get along without him. In the set-up for Castle's clever lark of a 100th episode on ABC (Monday, 10:01/9:01c), they're forced to go solo as Castle (Nathan Fillion in rare form) stews in boredom in his apartment, nursing a busted leg. Until he picks up his new birthday binoculars and goes all Jimmy Stewart-in-Rear Window, convinced he's witnessed a murder across the street, eventually drawing his beloved Beckett and intrepid daughter Alexis into the Hitchcockian-homage intrigue. The more agitated Castle gets, the more skeptical everyone else becomes, and as the twists and comically suspenseful close calls pile up, leading to yet another chewing-out by that spoilsport Capt. Gates, we're treated to an entertaining object lesson in the "seeing isn't believing" playbook. Well done, including the timely subplot involving the murder of an IRS agent which, even when chair-bound, Castle can't help inadvertently helping his friends figure out.
Several months ago, The Cape's creator, Tom Wheeler, clued me in that he planned to kill off a series regular in his first season finale. Then ratings fell, NBC cut the show order from 13 to 10 episodes, and now the season finale appears to be the series finale. But for those loyal Cape fans out there, there will still be a significant death before the Cape hangs it up for good.
The concluding chapter will be available for viewing at http://www.nbc.com/the-cape/ beginning at midnight tonight, Friday, March 11.
NBC has renewed Chuck for a fourth season, and announced it will be joined in the fall by four new series — including one produced by Conan O'Brien.
Chuck, which will wrap its third season May 24 with a two-hour finale, has averaged a respectable 6.6 million viewers this season. NBC did not specify the number of episodes ordered for Season 4.
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The network also picked ...