'Castle': Season finale smackdown
"A Death in the Family" (2009): The case: A plastic surgeon with ties to the mob is found dead in his car.
The characters: Alexis prepared to go to her first prom as Castle struggled to deal with the thought of his little girl growing up.
His own childish impulses, however, shined bright as he ignored advice from, well, everyone, and investigated the murder of Beckett's mother, against her expressed wishes. What did he find out? Viewers had to wait all summer before finding out...
"A Deadly Game" (2010): The case: Castle and Beckett investigate the death of an intelligence operative, only to find out he wasn't a spy, but instead a player in a massive real-life role-playing game.
The characters: Alexis left to spend the summer at a Princeton summer program. Poor Castle, feeling lonely, decided to invite Beckett to join him in the Hamptons -- strictly as friends, he claimed. She didn't jump at the offer.
When Beckett's coworkers told her that Castle was obviously shadowing the NYPD just to get close to her -- and not in a platonic way -- she realized she needed to make a move before he gave up. Beckett dumped her boyfriend and pulled Castle aside at his going-away party, but it was too late. He had reunited with his ex-wife the night before.
Our pick: At the risk of alienating all of the "Castle" fans out there, we have to go with "A Deadly Game." Yes, we had some words for Castle after he got back with his ex, leaving poor Beckett in the dust. And we stand by them. But at the same time, it was a good episode. The case was one of the best the series has done to date. And we liked the Season 1 cliffhanger, but we're more emotionally invested in the relationship stuff at the end of Season 2. We're dying to know what will happen next with Castle and Beckett. Who knows how long his renewed relationship with Gina will last, but we're guessing the whole situation will lead to a new level of delicious tension when "Castle" returns.