Grading the Season Finales 2014: Castle

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who’ve read and commented on my Castle posts this season. It’s been a fun ride, and I can’t wait to discuss Season Seven with all of you in the fall!

Source: tvline.com

Source: tvline.com

Title For Better or Worse (6.23)

Written By Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller

What Happens? Three days before their wedding, a wrench gets thrown into Castle and Beckett’s plans when it’s revealed that Beckett is actually a married woman—and not married to Castle. I turns out that a drunken visit to a Vegas wedding chapel when she was at Stanford ended in a marriage that she thought wasn’t legally binding to Rogan O’Leary, a con artist and criminal.

As Castle stays behind to continue with wedding preparations, Beckett heads to a small town in New York to get Rogan to sign the divorce papers. He won’t do it until she helps him break into his ex-girlfriend’s car to help him get his belongings back after their breakup. After Beckett fulfills her part of the deal, she goes back to O’Leary’s place, only to watch him get kidnapped. After Beckett relays the story to Castle, he agrees to join her to wrap up this problem as soon as possible.

It’s not only the kidnapping of O’Leary that throws a wrench into Castle and Beckett’s wedding plans. Ryan’s tuxedo doesn’t fit, their rooftop venue was destroyed in a fire, and Beckett’s dress was ruined when a pipe burst in her apartment building. Beckett worries that these are all signs that this wedding isn’t meant to happen, but Castle reassures her that all great love stories face obstacles. In order to get the fairytale ending, you have to keep pushing through the bad times.

As Castle and Beckett investigate O’Leary’s disappearance, they come into contact with a biker gang, a stripper, and a reverend who are all connected to Beckett’s newly-discovered husband. It turns out that O’Leary has photos of the stripper with the reverend but also with a mafia hit man who has been on the run from law enforcement for years. The hit man is behind the kidnapping, and he seems intent on wiping out O’Leary as well as Castle and Beckett, until they run into the biker gang again. After learning of the reward on the hit man and knowing they have strength in numbers, the gang removes the hit man from the situation, leaving O’Leary free to sign the divorce papers, which leaves Beckett free to marry Castle.

Despite all of complications, Martha and Alexis move the ceremony to their Hamptons house, and Lanie gets Beckett an even better dress to wear: her mother’s. But as Castle drives to the house after getting their paperwork filed, he’s followed by a dangerous-looking SUV. After he fails to show up when he was supposed to, Beckett gets a call and races to an unknown location in her wedding dress. After she gets out of her car, she sees Castle’s car, which has gone over a cliff and has burst into flames.

Game-Changing Moment For much of this season, it seemed Castle was leading up to a wedding that wasn’t exactly like the one that was planned but was still a happy and hopeful occasion. And while I had some doubts about whether or not the wedding would actually happen in this episode (I thought the lack of huge promotion and the lack of snippets of the wedding ceremony itself in promos was a bad sign), I certainly did not expect such a dramatic way to end the season. It doesn’t get much more game-changing than appearing to kill of your show’s title character. And while we know that won’t be the case, this is going to impact the show in a huge way—no matter who was in that SUV. (My guess: 3XK or someone connected to him.) It added another obstacle to Castle and Beckett’s love story, it prolonged the lead-up to the wedding (presumably so there would be viewers tuning in for the wedding this week and then tuning in again when it actually happens—I’m guessing around the midpoint of next season), and it gave us a moment that we’ll be talking about all summer. Whether or not that talk will be all positive is a different story, but if the job of that plot twist was to shake things up after a season of happy wedding planning, then its mission was accomplished.

Finale M.V.P. Susan Sullivan wasn’t in the episode for long, but she made the most of every second of her time onscreen. I loved that Martha’s more grounded self came out in this episode (as it does in most Castle finales, now that I think about it). I liked that she was included in the little meeting after Beckett’s marriage was discovered, and I loved the moment of parental concern when she asked if Beckett’s father knew. It was a nice way to tie in the fact that Martha and Jim Beckett did bond over their children at one point, and one parent would be concerned about the other’s reaction in that kind of situation. But she never judged Beckett for it either, which was very in-character for who we know Martha to be. It was also a pleasure to see Martha get to lend a helping hand in moving the ceremony, too, since her floral arrangements were rejected not too long ago. But where Martha—and Sullivan—really got a chance to shine was in her moment with Beckett when she gave her the earrings. Sullivan brings such class and understated power to Castle, and she brings something lovely out of Stana Katic whenever they get to share moments like this one. Martha is not a woman known for her softness, but when she shows it, it always feels genuine because of Sullivan’s talent. I found myself moved to tears when she told Beckett that those family heirlooms had been waiting for her. Sullivan has such a gift for making a moment resonate without making the emotion feel forced, and that was what was so special about this scene. Martha’s joy that her son had finally found a woman of substance—a woman worthy of his love—was palpable without being overblown. And in such a beautifully subtle way, Sullivan conveyed to the audience that she understood the importance of this moment not just for Martha but for Beckett. Martha can never replace Johanna Beckett, but no woman should be left without a mother figure on her wedding day. Martha’s gift was about being there for Beckett in whatever small way she could, and Sullivan played all of those layers in this small moment to absolute perfection.

Most Memorable Line “You can’t give up. That’s the deal. We want the happy ending, we can’t give up.” (Castle)

What Didn’t Work My biggest criticism with “For Better or Worse” is that it felt lazy. It could have been so much better than it was—even with the episode still ending with Castle in peril and the wedding not happening. Instead of shaking things up in a creative way, it used two tropes to put roadblocks up for Castle and Beckett’s wedding: the “already married to someone else” trope and the “car crash on the way to a big event” trope.

I’ll admit; I didn’t mind the plot about Beckett being married as much as I thought I was going to after seeing spoilers about it. It provided some fun moments of comedy, but I still ultimately found it unnecessary. I know Beckett went through her “wild child” phase after her mother’s death (which is completely in-character), but for her not to think a Vegas marriage is legally binding just makes her look stupid when we know she’s anything but (especially because Rogan knew they were married the whole time). Also, how would this marriage not have showed up at all during any of the various background checks she would have had to undergo for the NYPD and the FBI? I can usually ignore logic problems, but when an entire episode is based around something that should have been noticed a long time ago, I get frustrated.

I think my ultimate problem with the Rogan story was that I just didn’t care. I didn’t care about him, and I didn’t like the fact that I had to watch Beckett jump through hoops (including breaking into a car) for a character I didn’t care about in a season finale. I know the plot of this episode was supposed to be lighter than past finales, but this actually could have been a midseason episode’s plot if it wasn’t for the pressing wedding, which I think we all knew around the 45-minute mark of the episode wasn’t going to happen (because a wedding six years in the making deserves more than 15 minutes). Coming off the emotional high of “Veritas,” I think I forgot to temper my expectations, and that did me a disservice.

Where I think I helped myself, though, was in my belief that this episode was probably not going to end with the wedding. I had a bad feeling about it from the moment we saw the brief clip of Castle driving to the ceremony in the promo—nothing good ever happens after a shot of someone smiling behind the wheel of a car. But just because I knew something was going to keep the wedding from airing in this finale, that doesn’t mean I’m okay with it. It felt like a ratings stunt to advertise the episode, especially on Twitter, as the big “Caskett” wedding, only to pull the rug out from under the fandom in the final moments. There was just something about that final image of Beckett running to the burning car in her wedding dress that was just too much. It made me feel emotionally manipulated.

Last night, I felt cheated. Thankfully, that anger has somewhat subsided. It is frustrating to think that Castle and Beckett’s whole arc this season was about preparing for a wedding that didn’t happen, but I know it will still happen someday. It’s just very disappointing that a show that was so intent on (and successful at) tearing down the “Moonlighting Curse” felt like it had to manufacture drama to prolong this couple’s journey into marriage—both on the small scale (with Rogan) and on a large scale (with this cliffhanger). Happily married couples can still have drama. Heck, Castle could have been attacked after the wedding. But to have Beckett face such emotional damage again after just finding peace in “Veritas” was overkill. I’ve been spoiled lately with favorite characters of mine finally getting their chances to be happy, so I should have known happiness wasn’t going to last long for Beckett. But the fact that what could have been the happiest day of her life became another day marked by tragedy left me with a bad taste in my mouth, especially because it didn’t have to be done in such a melodramatic way.

What Worked It’s amazing how a good cast can make up for lazy writing choices. There were two specific scenes in this finale where I thought, All of this muddling through clichés was worth it to get this moment. One was the aforementioned scene between Beckett and Martha, which was everything I’d ever wanted in a wedding day interaction between them. The other was the beautiful scene between Beckett and Castle on the bench when they talked about fighting for their happy ending. Stana Katic did a great job of making Beckett’s panic over all of the wedding details falling apart feel realistic. She didn’t collapse, but you could see the stress wearing on her. That’s a different kind of emotional reaction than any we’ve ever seen from her before because it’s a kind of everyday emotional breakdown that isn’t often shown on television because it’s not particularly glamorous. But in Katic’s capable hands, I could feel Beckett’s disappointment in such a real way.

And then there was Fillion in that scene. The man can deliver grand, romantic speeches in such a way that I always believe him. I think it’s because the dialogue never feels too hokey. This was all about the work that has to be put in to get the happy ending, which is a bit of romantic realism that isn’t touched on enough in the media. True love takes work to find and maintain, and I love that Castle was the one to tell Beckett this because it shows how willing he is to put in the work this time—not that anyone could doubt that. His little pep talk was a summary of their relationship: They’ve had to earn their happiness, and they have to keep working in order to keep that love story alive. A marriage doesn’t run on love alone; it takes work. That speech had a maturity I really loved, even if I do look back on it now wondering why they can’t just have their happy ending.

I think that so many of my emotions over this ending came from just how good Katic was in those final moments. Even though I found myself more frustrated than sad by the turn of events, I couldn’t remain wholly unmoved in the face of Katic’s performance. She played Beckett’s grief with just enough control to convey the disbelief running through those last seconds. You could almost hear her whispering “Not again,” and that’s when you know an actor is talented—when they can convey lines of dialogue with just their expression.

The real fun of this finale was found in its details. I loved the way Ryan and Esposito kept passing Beckett’s case files back and forth as they talked to her about her honeymoon. I loved the dark humor to be found in the way Beckett’s dress (which we all know I didn’t love) met its end. I loved how much I laughed when Beckett kept repeating that she was going be sick (with perfectly subtle changes in delivery) after finding out about her marriage. I loved the little moment of romance we were given between Lanie and Esposito. I loved the continued importance placed on Lanie’s role in Beckett’s life. And I loved the wardrobe choices—from seeing Fillion in that tuxedo with the undone bow tie at the beginning to Lanie’s beautiful bridesmaid dress and Beckett’s stunning new gown. (Why did she not wear her mother’s dress all along? And kudos to those of you who called that happening!)

Questions to Discuss All Summer Who was driving that SUV and what do they want with Castle? Where is Castle, and what physical/mental state is he in? When will this wedding actually happen?

Finale Grade C+. This was an average episode of Castle with one heck of a divisive ending. While I appreciated the performances throughout, I can’t shake the fact that this episode relied too heavily on common TV clichés for both its main plot and the emotional resonance of its cliffhanger. I’m hopeful that this ending can rise above the feeling of contrived drama it carries with it right now to open up great avenues for storytelling next season. But until I see where it’s going, I just feel frustrated that what is usually such a creative show felt the need to rely on tropes to throw a wrench into a relationship that has already been tested more than enough—and in more original ways.

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26 thoughts on “Grading the Season Finales 2014: Castle

  1. Great review. A wedding would have gotten an A from everyone. This ruse got a C+ from you and lower from others. AM will have to live with what he described as a PITCHFORK.

    • Thank you! I don’t feel the need to pick up my pitchfork at this point, but I know I am frustrated. And I’m glad to know I’m not alone.

  2. Months ago when I was thinking about how their wedding could possibly go, I thought that Beckett would be waiting at the church only to hear gun shots outside and to discover that the car Castle was arriving in had been hijacked by 3XK. It seems my early guess wasn’t too far off, except instead the car burst into flames. So I was right about something horrible happening.

    Like the rest of the fandom, I wasn’t fond of the cliffhanger at all. The earlier parts of the episode didn’t really bother me, it was just the show being it’s occasional silly self. If the wedding had actually happened as planned, then the silliness would have been worth it, and it would have been a good way of showing everyone that no matter what life throws at them, they’ll find a way to make everything work out in the end. But it didn’t happen that way, so now it just looks like a waste.

    A minor complaint about Beckett’s wild child days – getting drunk and married in Vegas seems like something Castle would do, not Beckett. But seeing as it happened after her mother’s death (at least I think so?) I can bring myself to believe it a little. She was having a hard time back then.

    The two scenes you mentioned – the one with Beckett and Martha and the one with them on the bench – were my favorite scenes as well. The latter scene especially made me believe that everything would turn out fine in the end. Unfortunately it didn’t.

    I remember a lot of people being annoyed with last season’s finale as well, but that managed to turn out fine in the end. So I hope the same happens here.

    • Your prediction was eerily close to reality!

      I think you’re right about the silliness of the beginning of the episode working better if the wedding had actually happened. It enhanced my feeling of being cheated to watch an entire episodes based around Beckett needing those divorce papers signed ASAP only to have the wedding not happen.

      I am holding onto hope that this finale will be like last season’s and will look better in retrospect. I didn’t love last season’s finale either, but the premiere made up for it. Here’s hoping Season Seven’s premiere does the same.

  3. Thanks for this last review! I found the episode funny for all the details you mentioned but also felt cheated as I did not get the happy ending wedding that I was so much looking forward!
    It is hard to have such a low grade for the season finale when season 6 is worth much better but I guess Andrew Marlowe has his reasons and “we can’t give up if we want our happy ending”… so keep faith, great moment are yet to come!

    Thank you Katie for all you reviews, looking forward to s7.
    “Have a great summer and see you in the fall” everyone!

    • Thank you, Charlotte! 😀

      I definitely agree that those lines from Castle about not giving up are very applicable to our situation as fans right now. So I’m not giving up hope yet. You have to get through the rough patches to make the good moments feel even better.

  4. I don’t often write but I feel that this episode does require a brief post, if only really for my sanity.

    While I did remain spoiler free for this episode, I felt pretty sure that the wedding was not going to happen just based on the promo and the Twitter advertising (plus my complete lack of faith in TV shows remaining happy for an extended period of time). From what I’ve seen most fans are very upset with the episode being based on Beckett being married before and this being completely out of character for who we know Beckett to be. I can overlook that because as we have seen, characters often change and it’s been hinted that she was not always by the book like she is now. Working homicide and her mother’s case made her that way so I can forgive that piece of the plot in order to enjoy the humor of the episode which really wasn’t that bad with the back and forth between Beckett and Castle like the days of old with the roles reversed a bit.

    I think my major problem with the episode is not that the wedding didn’t happen, but the way in which it didn’t happen. I, like a lot of others, watch this show because I love the character of Beckett as she feels very real and flawed and has had to fight really hard to get to a place where she could be happy, like my friends and I do every day. To have her go from finally solving her mother’s murder, to being so incredibly happy in those 5 minutes before the end of the episode (totally agree about the scene with Martha, looking gorgeous in her mother’s dress, and even the cute excitement when her phone rang and it was Castle with the “Hey, Lover”) to having to stand in front of a burning car was just hard to watch. The acting was phenomenal which made it even worse. To wait 6 seasons to see this character get to be truly happy only for it to go up in smoke (hehe!) in a split second felt like a major betrayal as someone who watches this show faithfully.

    I’ll just keep telling myself this is a sign of a great show that I’m invested in the characters and will hold my breath for September to come and figure out what the hell just happened.

    • First of all, let me say that you should write more often because this is a great comment! I have very little to add in reply because these are almost my exact thoughts on why, from a character perspective, this finale isn’t sitting well with me.

      Like you, I can understand Beckett’s wild-child phase. That’s not where my problem with this episode really resides. Instead, it’s with this idea that she has had to suffer so much. Beckett’s journey to finally choosing, accepting, and having real happiness and love has been so beautiful to watch. We watched her work for six seasons to get to the point where she could be completely happy on her wedding day, so it feels wrong that her happiness would be taken away once again. This is especially true coming on the heels of “Veritas.” We got to see her finally get justice for her mother, and then she doesn’t even get to have that sense of peace with her for one full episode. I’m with you in holding my breath until September to see how this all shakes out because I just want this character to get to be truly happy for more than one brief moment.

  5. Hi Katie,

    Great review and your comments about lazy writing sum up my feelings about all the episodes since the episode That 70’s Show. I find it hard to believe that Beckett did not realise she was married. Now that it’s revealed it makes a mockery of her statement in Season One that she’s a one and done girl. Captain Gate’s statement that she hoped Kate the best despite the man she’s married seems false given her view of Castle drastically changed in Still. I was so glad when the dressed was burnt, shouted out YESSSS, it was hideous, and all along Kate should have been wearing her Mother’s dress. Where is Beckett’s Father? On her most important day where was her Father? Beckett can’t be married without her Father present, it would be an injustice and travesty, and was a sign that things were not going to turn out as expected.

    The things that worked for me in this episode were Lanie and Espositio holding hands. Ryan and Espositio passing the files back and forth, but the best interaction was the scene between Beckett and Martha. Such a powerful scene. Martha has seen her son marry twice before, but this time, as you mentioned, she senses Beckett is the right one. Such acceptance, and the gifting of the ear rings was significant, unconditional acceptance of Beckett. The final scene and shot of Beckett racing to the car highlighted what this show and in particular what Fillion and Katic do best, the facial expressions. The sheer look of terror on Beckett’s face was worth more a hysterical fit of crying that lessor actors would have attempted. In that one moment you saw the total devastation and sorrow on the face of a woman who had anticipated a day to be filled with such joy and happiness.

    So what happened to Castle? 3XK, his Father or revenge of Bracken. September is too far away.

    • Thank you so much for the comment, Mark. It’s good to know I’m not alone in finding it difficult to believe that Beckett had no idea for 15 years that she was married. Like you said, it cheapens her “one and done” comment in Season One, and I didn’t like that something I really took to heart about her character was treated as a joke in this episode.

      Your comment on Stana Katic’s facial expressions was perfect and so true. She can convey so much terror and heartbreak with one look, while many others in her shoes would try to overact in that moment.

      I have a strong feeling that 3XK is behind what happened to Castle, but bringing his father back wouldn’t really surprise me either.

  6. Great review as always, Katie.

    With the Johanna Beckett storyline coming to an end, I appreciate the cliffhanger and how it leaves the door wide open for storytelling next season. That’s extremely important as a show ages. Beckett’s previous “marriage” doesn’t bother me at all. What does bother me is the ambivalence I feel toward the episode as a whole. In many ways it was a crap season finale. I would have rather seen Veritas end the season and then Season 7 open with a multi-episode wedding/car crash/new villain introduction arc. But I’m just a fan. 😛

    On positive notes, though, Castle was hilarious during the scenes in which he made Beckett’s marriage a punchline. It really does speak to their comfort level and commitment to each other. The bench scene was a classic piece of Marlowe/Miller writing. It took me back to Alexis’s speech in Always. As for the Martha/Beckett scene, it was as perfect as perfect can be. I’ll be interested to see how they top it when they actually get married.

    • Thank you, Lindsay!

      I think “ambivalence” was the perfect way to describe how I felt about this episode. As soon as it ended, I said “The season should have ended with Veritas.” This episode suffered from not only being mediocre but from coming right after one of the show’s best hours in quite some time.

      I also agree that the bench scene was a great piece of Miller/Marlowe writing. It was sweet without being cloying, and it presented an honest look at relationships. If only the whole episode would have felt as fresh as that one scene.

  7. I don’t usually comment on reviews like this, but I feel like I should tell you that I really enjoy your Castle reviews, and Twitter posts. I feel the same way about many of the characters and shows that you watch. I also love that you are a GoT fan!
    Castle has been one of my favorite series for awhile. I started watching during season 3, and I bought the DVDs and caught up on the earlier seasons. I am a huge Beckett fan, and I love that her character is multi-dimensional.
    I was so happy about how “Veritas” gave her closure on her mother’s murder. She deserves happiness! I can deal with the silliness of the Vegas marriage. I actually laughed out loud at some parts. I loved the tenderness of the bench scene!
    However, the ending brought tears to my eyes. Why couldn’t they have the wedding first? And yes, like you, I actually care and agonize over fictional characters!
    Stana Katic was once quoted as saying that “the show and it’s characters have to evolve.” I agree and I have enjoyed watching Castle change over the seasons. I seriously hope that the next season doesn’t backtrack from the “comfidence” theme you have been writing about this year! I’ll be eagerly watching in September! Thank you for all of your reviews!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words! Feel free to comment as often as you’d like; I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts!

      I feel the same way as you about wishing the wedding had come first. They deserved that moment of happiness before it all fell apart—they’ve been working towards it for so long. They could still have the drama while giving us a happy moment before it.

      “And yes, like you, I actually care and agonize over fictional characters!” – I’m so glad I’m not the only one! That’s one of the best things about NGN; we can all agonize over characters together! 😉

  8. OK 36 hours later I think I have a handle on my feelings about this episode. Katie first and foremost the thanks must go to you for your energy and the quality you bring to the reviews on this site. It is both my fandom oasis and nerd paradise. Your writing like you offers a unique and special voice. Castle brought me here, your talent and joy has made me a permanent resident.

    Onto Castle.

    First 1000x yes about Susan Sullivan and her role as MVP both in this episode but frankly throughout this season. Martha’s character and Sullivan’s talent offer so much to this show and you wonderfully captured why. Her moment with Beckett was extraordinary because in a very subtle way she managed to pay deference to Beckett’s mother while absolutely cementing just how important Kate is to this family built on strong women. To make her one of them was a great payoff and in the hands of Sullivan brilliant.

    For as pivotal and as much fodder the ending has gotten and will get to me that wasn’t the game changer for me in this episode. For me the game change moment was on that bench. Aside from being a great payoff moment it established a bit of a new reality for our leads. As you pointed out we see an ordinary vulnerability from Beckett as everything goes sideways around them. She no longer is a woman carrying the weight of her mother’s murder. We see it clear as day in that scene. But moreover we see Castle’s strength. Fillion played this moment perfectly. What we were given was a man whose boyish optimism is now grounded in confidant pragmatism. That is what this partnership has given him. He’s always been a believer. Now Rick has a mature sincerity in that belief that gives him confidence that isn’t driven by charm and bravado. We talked about the display of confidence at the beginning of the season but for me that scene was pivotal for cementing that for our characters (not merely the fans) that this is the love story to stand the test of time for all the reasons you so astutely point out. That is why it and not the car crash is my game changer.

    I will just co-sign on all the little moments the episode gave us from this terrific cast. I was content with the episode going light and opposite to Veritas because that arc close was not only pivotal to the show’s mythology it was one of the strongest episodes of the season. I will say as season finales go, I have been frustrated by nearly all of them. Season 1 &2 made me mad, season 3 was an amazing episode but the final moments left me nonplussed. Always remains their best finale in my opinion. This year suffered the same problem as last year we were caught in a case that a) didn’t matter b) wasn’t particularly compelling/interesting and c) took too long thereby taking away from the thing we care about these characters. It is a challenge that the writers room hasn’t successfully balanced since bringing Caskett together and my chief frustration with the episode. The tone was such a departure it feels like comparing apples to oranges. I would have preferred a mishap episode that didn’t lean on a case of no seeming importance. However in hindsight what I do think it has done is clear the decks for next season to go somewhere completely new.

    And that is what ultimately intrigues me. I understand Beckett and Caskett fans wanting this moment. And the ire for putting Kate into a tailspin on the heels of gaining closure on Bracken. But I was never in the camp of people who thought this wedding was going to happen. Too much emphasis has been placed on a wedding that didn’t ever feel like it was Rick and Kate. It was too big, too ordinary. It wasn’t the intimate, extraordinary moment that I envisioned for these characters. And once I caught Castle in a car driving I knew we were hosed. For me I think this clears the path to bring the central story and tension back to Rick. For all we know about Rick Castle there is the dark person who we saw a glimpse of when Alexis was kidnapped. The man who remains in a battle royale with 3XK and none of it has been explored. I think there is rich fodder for where we finally see a role reversal of Kate and Rick in the roles they play for one another and that excites me. It is a new path to take a couple who as was established in the bench scene are solid. There is no new storytelling for their love and partnership as we have known it in the last 6 years. This new chapter to me is ripe for the picking. So while I am not completely thrilled by the devise they used to get us there in the final moments reflecting on the episode as a whole I see a clearer set up to where we go next and I am excited to see what Fillion and Katic bring to it. Much like the sober take on the proposal put these character into a new space in their relationship, solidifying that they both were in love with “more than just the dance”. I suspect this ending pivots us again into a world and space that opens up a reversal to explore these characters we love from a new vantage point. We will get our wedding and I have every confidence it’s going to be great because no matter where Marlowe and Co fall down around some of the storytelling in the Castle universe they have yet to fail when it comes to showing the audience how this couple and their love story unfolds, capturing the essence of their individual growth as they grew closer together. I am certain this next chapter will retain that care and feeding and get us to a space that is reflective of these characters we have invested in so deeply. Here’s to September!

    • Thumbs up for this comment and all your others posts on Katie’s reviews!
      I’m not very good at finding words describing my emotions after each episode and you and Katie are just finding them for me so perfectly that is why I like this blog so much.
      About the episodes, I sometimes feel that the fandom is asking too much from the writers; the fans have some personal ideas how the characters should behave or how the story should be told that they just don’t even believe in the writers anymore. We have been watching this show for 6 seasons now and even if some episodes were not the best ones ever, we have never been disappointed in the actual story that is being told. Maybe they should have found a better way to open the show to new possibilities for season 7, but we know Castle and Beckett will end up together anyway. I guess this just shows how involved we’ve become with those characters, we care so much for them that we just want them to be happy 😉
      The writers just need to tell their stories and we need to let them, I’m sure we won’t be disappointed and all of this will be behind us as the new season starts!

  9. I agree with you on everything – I felt more frustrated and annoyed with most of this episode than anything else, and I just wish they’d have found a different conflict for the plot. Tropes can be done well sometimes but if you don’t do it fantastically it often will just feel overdone. Also, I get that sometimes there are days where everything goes wrong, but the way this played out just felt contrived for me. The scene between Castle and Beckett where they talked about fighting for their happy ending was wonderful though, and I know that I have felt like Beckett before with the upset and frustration to the point of almost crying about it, Stana did a great job there.

    The ending was also sort of annoying to me – after all these two have been through they now have yet another tragedy to survive? I found myself wondering why they couldn’t just have one happy day without it being ruined. And for me as a viewer, when you try to do a cliffhanger where your main character appears to be dead I am not going to be worried – for Castle, you don’t have a show without Castle and Beckett, so while I will enjoy whatever emotional development that can come from these types of plots, I won’t be worried about their physical safety much and thus the major part of the cliffhanger is voided.

    I did though really enjoy seeing Martha, Lanie, and Alexis more than we usually get to see them. I really hope once we get the actual wedding episode it has lots of them (and our precinct family) all bonding and having fun.

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  11. Okay now, I’ve let some time elapse. The smoke has settled. The intense emotions are no longer as raw.

    However, I am still angered by the Castle finale. I find myself shaking my head and muttering lazy writing.

    “Lazy writing…? Why?”

    Because the previously carefully crafted Castle-verse is ignored. Character traits we once admired in Beckett are sacrificed for a comedic plot. Castle history is overlooked. And wacky goofy setback after wacky goofy setback keep our protagonists on a hackneyed “Perils of Pauline” rollercoaster.

    Kate Beckett has always been serious about marriage, a “one and done” type of girl she said in Nanny McDead. Dating can be frivolous, sex can be exciting, but marriage and long term commitment was serious business to her. Until, all of a sudden, the writers decide it wasn’t. How do I reconcile the Beckett of these past seasons who oh so very slowly opened up her heart to Rick Castle with the idea that she was carelessly married as an undergrad at Stanford? Oh, look, I don’t have to try to reconcile it… the writers don’t!

    And why would Kate commit a crime — ANY crime — to help her newly discovered hubby? A slimy con man the viewers don’t give a crap about? Kate is breaking into cars and trying to steal stuff for this guy.? Kate who is as straight-laced and upstanding as any cop we’ve ever seen on TV?

    Nope. Nope. Nope.

    But hey, the writers think it’s funny, so it must be, eh?

    The most maddening part of this ep was the sheer lunacy that Kate could even be unaware of her prior marriage. The Castle history has Kate be a smart student… very smart. And a dedicated and savvy police officer and detective. For her not to remember her trip to Vegas with O’Leary is unlikely. But even a cursory background check to get into the police academy would have raised a question or two that Kate would have to answer…

    Ah, but wait, as they say in Vego-Matic commercials, there’s more!

    Marlow and his staff even had Kate work for the Feds just this season! Good heavens, man, those folks do background checks like it’s national security: BECAUSE IT IS! Didn’t Marlow watch his own show, for God’s sake?

    Look, after the intense drama of the previous episode with Bracken, I knew the finale would be light hearted and even silly. I just had no idea it would be stupid.

    I’m sorry, but this seemed more plot driven than character driven. The traits we had come to expect in Beckett are tossed aside to advance a plot that made her seem “more human,” and to be “funny.”

    And those wedding catastrophes, one right after the other followed by yet something even more outrageous…? Come on… It felt practically cartoonish!

    And that final scene, the burning car? No real jeopardy there, because Castle ain’t dead. Just a freaking tired contrivance to keep our couple for tying the knot.

    As I say. Lazy, lazy writing.

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