While everyone’s attention is seemingly focused on the upcoming series finale of LOST, another ABC show keenly incorporated an alternate reality game into the plot of their season finale. Over at her Giant Mice blog, ARG pro Brooke Thompson pointed out that the recent season two finale of ABC’s Castle dealt with ARGs. Hit the jump to find out just what it was about.
For those that don’t follow the show, Richard Castle (played by geek-god Nathan Fillion) is a big time mystery novelist who works with the NYPD to help solve homicides. In the show’s finale, Castle and Detective Kate Beckett believe they are working on a case involving the murder of a spy. In reality though, the individual is no spy, but rather the player in an elaborate ARG game. Rather than spoil the remaining twists of the episode (they are quite good), I suggest you watch it for yourself below or over at Hulu.
Thompson also notes that of the few instances where ARGs have been used in television shows (she references episodes of CSI: NY and Numb3rs, though an early episode of CSI should also be included), all of them have in some way been connected to murder and crime. Is this a coincidence? Are ARGs deliberately being stereotyped and given a negative connotation? Nobody can know for sure, but I expect that as the presence of ARGs become more established in today’s media culture, their role in film and television storylines will be much more diverse than they are now. Just give it time.
While I am not a devoted follower of Castle, the few episodes I have seen throughout this season have been quite entertaining. Season three of Castle will return to ABC next fall.