Saturday, May 26, 2012

Castle - The Finale

by Anita Mae Draper

***  SPOILER ALERT   ***

***  This post contains everything you wanted to know
about the final episode of this season's Castle.  ***

I love watching the TV show Castle and I anticipated the season finale for weeks because I knew it would be a cliffhanger. When the time finally came, I was left frustrated and discouraged. Although the finale took the relationship of Rick Castle and Kate Beckett to the next level, I felt the last few minutes were rushed and left nothing to imagination.

I think one of the reasons is because I know what happens to TV shows that are successful mainly because of the attraction, chemistry, sexual tension - call it what you will - between the two main characters. Some of my all-time favourite shows shared this in common withCastle

- Moonlighting (1985-1989) with Cybill Shepherd (Maddie) and Bruce Willis (David):

She’s a glamorous ex-model, while he’s your typical sleeveless under-shirted, wise guy detective. Together, they run a private detective agency. Their trademark scenes are when they both talk at once –getting louder by the second - and end abruptly at exactly the same moment. The show had a 5 year run with Maddie and David getting together at the end of the 3rd year. Year 4 tries to keep up the conflict, but fails miserably and Year 5 is downright boring. (Full episode list)

- Scarecrow and Mrs. King (1983-1987) with Kate Jackson (Amanda) and Bruce Boxleitner (Lee):

A divorced housewife is given a package by an agent being pursued by bad guys. Her attempt to follow his directions not only gets the package delivered, but rescues him in the process and introduces her to the Agency and a new life as an agent, kept secret from her boys and mom who live with her. Although Amanda and Scarecrew dated others along the way, their relationship is fed by having the two go undercover as man and wife in several episodes – parts they play so well that it’s a natural progression to fall in love by the end of the 3rd season. Although they keep their marriage secret to protect her family, the episodes stall since the sizzle is gone.

In real life during the final season, Kate Jackson was undergoing treatment for breast cancer and supposedly this is why the show lagged. I’m not so sure. She’s always been a professional. I suspect part of it was because the excitement was gone since Amanda and Scarecrow's relationship had lost its element of suspense. (Full episode list)

Scarecrow and Mrs. King is available free for Amazon Prime members.

- Remington Steele  (1982-1987) with Stephanie Zimbalist (Laura Holt) and Pierce Brosnan(Remington Steele):

Frustrated by prejudice against a female private investigator, an agency owner invents a mysterious man as her boss. When the need arises to prove he’s real, she hires a polished, suave Brit to play the part without knowing he’s really a thief. The show’s trademark was the use of the word, Steele in every title. ie License to Steele, Hearts of Steele, Steele at Your Service, Altared Steele, etc.

And yes, Laura and Remington’s developing relationship was slow, not coming to fruition until the final episode of the final season. So why have I included it here? Because in my mind, the series ended when they got together.

Remington Steele also needs to be credited because according to Wikipedia, “It pioneered the slowly evolving "will they or won't they" relationship arc that is now common to television drama of all genres.”

Another interesting tidbit in Wikipedia states, “A 2011 episode of the television detective show Castle, "Eye of the Beholder", made multiple references to Remington Steele, including an appearance by James Read. A review stated that the episode "felt like an homage" to Remington Steele.”

- Castle  (2009-renewed for a 5th season) starring Nathan Fillion (Rick Castle) and Stana Katic (Kate Beckett): This series sizzled from the start. Part of that has to do with Castle being an urbane ladies’ man reminiscent of Remington Steele without the accent. And Kate had Castle pegged from the start. She wasn’t about to join the long line of women he’d loved and set aside. Yet a look here, a secret smile there, and we knew these two would get together some day. Their connection is the cement which holds the show together. A very good show with more plot twists than I’ve even seen or read before. Nothing happens as expected and altogether, the show is pure magic.

Before I go on, I'll post the video of the final episode of this season's Castle. It's 15 mins long, but if you haven't watched it, this is a treat because it's pure Kate and Castle - all their moments of the show. If you are offended by sensuality, I'd advise you to skip the video.

So why am I frustrated? Because the creators of the show have taken the chance of ruining it for a mere 2 mins of air time. That’s how long the steamy, sensual scene lasted. That includes the part where he opens her blouse and sees the scar where the bullet nearly killed her a year earlier. Two minutes. And then they walk off camera holding hands. No, we don't see where they went, but they intimated what was going to happen.

Did we have to see those final steps?
Am I the only one who would have liked the show to end with them holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes, thereby leaving us to wonder – all summer long – what happened after the cameras were turned off?

After 4 years of waiting for them to get together, I felt this episode should have been more them and less police work. That would have given time for a better build-up to the end. Granted, Castle stared at his phone awhile before turning off her call, but then he turns on his SmartBoard with the investigation files and clears it within seconds. A slight hesitation and it’s wiped clean. Two minutes later, the show - the season - is over. And I felt like a deflated balloon. The mystery has been resolved.

One show that deviated from a similar path of destruction was Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (1993-1998) with Jane Seymour (Dr. Quinn) and Joe Lando (Byron Sully):

I think what sets this apart is that the series started with the emphasis on the story of a female doctor in 1867 Colorado with barely a nod at Sully. As the weeks pass, he plays a more prominent role and we feel their attraction. But their courtship, wedding, and family life is more of an extension of her medical practice. Although Sully is a main character, and the show will survive without him if need be. It would fail without her. So is this the way to keep these shows on the air? Centre it around one main character instead of two sizzlers?

Would Castle have more of a chance of succeeding after this momentous event if he were the main character and Beckett his sidekick? Let's face it, the show is named after him... does that imply Beckett is dispensible? Would they find another female detective to rattle Rick's role if ratings lagged?

As of May 10th, Castle has been renewed for a 5th season.

What about you? Were you satisfied with the  Castle season finale? Do you think they can maintain the excitement? What do you want to see happening? Can you think of any other TV shows that ended soon after the characters admitted their feelings and got together?


Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and 2 of their 4 kids. She writes stories set on the prairies of Saskatchewan, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. Anita Mae has semi-finaled in the Historical Romance category of the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest and finaled in the Inspirational category of the 2011 Daphne du Maurier, the 2011 Fool for Love, the 2011 Duel on the Delta and 2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books and Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at 


  1. Well, this is funny but the only CASTLE show I saw through the end was this finale and I told my daughter how I feared it would now go the way of Moonlighting.

    You are absolutely right about Dr. Quinn, too. These area ll great shows and I hope Castle survives. It certainly has its obsessive fans. Bravo!

    As an aside - after two seasons of Downton Abbey we face a similar situation but ...different. With an ensemble cast there's more conflict to spread around...

  2. I totally agree with everything you said! I was so disappointed they got together, because I fear now the show will fizzle out. It was too much too fast.

    And I am one of those obsessive fans!!! I can't help it. :)

  3. Okay, I'm not going to read this because I didn't see it and might want to in the future.

    But...I think I've watched about every episode of every other show you have here, so I probably really need to watch Castle too. I usually need to start a series from the beginning to enjoy it. I have a hard time just jumping in.

  4. Ah, Remington Steele. I loved that show.

    I thought the Castle finale was a bit rushed, as well.

  5. With the exception of Dr Quinn, you just nailed most of my favorites as well. Scary.

    I'm going to wonder if...well, if what looked was about to happen really happened. I'm going to suggest that when the next season starts, they're going to back away from that somehow. What if, just after the camera turned to black, Castle said--"Wait, we can't do this. You almost died, and you're not thinking clearly." Or the whole sequence was a drug induced dream--as Kate's in a coma from falling off the building after all. They could go in so many directions to keep some kind of tension going.

    The problem with the will-they/won't-they tension is that it only works for so long before coming across as contrived and viewers lose interest. Don't forget that Remington Steele was almost cancelled until interest in Pierce Brosnan picked up when he was pegged as the new Bond.

    For what it's worth, I would have continued to watch RS and S&MK even after they were married. But then again, I loved Nick and Nora from the old Thin Man movies (which influenced Remington Steele, btw) and Hart to Hart too. There's no reason those shows couldn't have morphed comfortably into a husband-wife dynamic (except for maybe viewer expectations).

    The show to watch testing that now is Bones.

  6. Debra, the one thing I didn't mention in the post was that part of Moonlighting's problem was Cybill Shepherd's real-life pregnancy which had to be written into the script. However, they lost a lot of fans when the pregancy ended in a miscarriage instead of a live birth. There wasn't any grief after that episode, either for her or for him. ***spoiler*** (I think it was his secret baby).

    I agree about the ensemble cast - the show shouldn't fail because one character is pregnant, undergoing cancer treatments, or even dies during the filming or before the new season. Well, as long as the event can be explained in a logical way - like Michael Learned on the Waltons.

    In The Waltons (1971-82) Michael Learned played Livvy, the mother. In 1979 either she didn't sign her contract or wasn't offered another one because she didn't appear in the new season. The show carried on with a new housekeeper and the news that Livvy had been sent to an Arizona sanitorium for TB. Her later guest appearances lived up to that role.

  7. Hey Sherrinda, we should have t-shirts made that say, Obsessive Castle Fan. LOL

    Yes, fizzle out is an excellent word for this case.

    When there were only 5 mins left, I really thought the show would end with a "To Be Continued" sign because I'd gotten so involved, I forgot it was the finale.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. :)

  8. Dina, if you're still going to watch the finale, I hope you're not reading these comments, because they're fraught with notes about the final episode.

    Of course I'm wondering how you knew you liked all the other shows if you didn't read the post...

  9. Thanks for popping in, Niki.

    I will always be thankful for the producers of Remington Steele for introducing us to Pierce Brosnan. Watching that show every week was like spending an hour with James Bond. Such manners. Pure eye candy. sigh

  10. Excellent theory, Barb! Ah, the mystery writer steps forward with her theories...

    What if, just after the camera turned to black, Castle said--"Wait, we can't do this. You almost died, and you're not thinking clearly." Or the whole sequence was a drug induced dream--as Kate's in a coma from falling off the building after all.

    You're absolutely right, of course. I even said myself that the show intimated what would happen. But my brain stopped there while yours kept going. (Rubs hands together)

    Actually, in Hart to Hart, they were a happily married couple who trusted each other implicitly. There was no conflict in that department. What I liked about the show was watching the novelty of a husband-wife team display their love without tension and angst. A united front no matter what theme the show took on. Of course, I loved watching how the rich and famous lived, too.

    The show lagged for me when there was always so much incriminating evidence against either of the two and yet we didn't see lengthy courtroom scenes or other signs of the judicial system. My take-away feeling was that allowances were made because they had money.

    Yet, I loved the glamour of the show. Stephanie Powers looked cool and elegant regardless of what she wore, and Robert Wagner could almost make the James Bond Top 10 list himself.

  11. Here's something else to think about...

    With Dr. Quinn, part of the success was the difference between the characters which created a lot of their outer conflict. Look how long it took her to get him to wear a suit. And the two of them were so far apart on many issues.

    So here's another question...

    Do you think part of Dr. Quinn's success was because the show's creator was a woman?

  12. Anita, I was going to mention Hart to Hart! I loved it. I loved all the shows you mentioned - especially Remington Steele.

    Unlike most of you, I was happy with the ending of Castle. I sighed. My heart even pounded a little. What can I say? I a romantic sap.

    I was thinking along the same path as Barb. Something will either stop them, or tear them apart. And it better not be a dream, because that will make me so mad.

    A funny, and a different perspective - at the end of the second season, my uncle said he wasn't going to watch anymore because Castle and Kate didn't get together. ;-)

  13. I don't think Dr. Quinn was a success because of a woman. I think it was a success because of the characters. Every character figured into the show in a way that made us care about them. Even the two bad guys - Hank and ?? - eventually wormed their way into my sympathies.

    Oh, and Cloud Dancing... I loved him.

    I think the show just plain tugged at the heartstrings. Maybe it was because of a woman, but I think it was more because of the writers layering the characterization.

  14. Hey Suzie, nice to hear your perspective. I've seen so many tweets and FB updates from people who loved the Castle ending, so you're not alone.

    Perhaps your uncle watches for the police work and not the romance? Maybe he thinks it's not reflecting real life? There could be many reasons other than the obvious guy thing. :D

    I sure hope something stops them, except it would have to be drastic since he declared his love. Well, I guess even that could be explained away with some fancy writing.

    I agree with you that it better not be a dream. That's such a cop-out.

  15. Suzie, do you mean Hank and Loren? There were so many guys that were bad most of the time, and then they'd do something memorable in a good way.

    Yes, the characters made the show a success, because it was a great blending of actors and writing, including the subplot of Cloud Dancing and his family.

    I just like to think the softness of the romance came because of Beth Sullivan.

  16. Anita,m I think it was Loren. Was he the barber? And Hank was the one with long beautiful hair who employed "sporting women"? Yeah, I did really come to feel for them, too. I do think Cloud Dancing was my absolute favorite character on that show.

    Maybe you're right about the creator of the show. She certainly could have been the one who steered her writers in the right direction. whichever, it was a brilliant show that shouldn't be forgotten.

  17. Great post, Anita. A wonderful trip down TV memory lane. I actually worked on Hart to Hart for awhile so it's fun to see that.

    I'm with Suzie. I actually really did like the finale. And I also had the same reaction as Barbara did. Who knows where that scene is going. The fact that they ended with them walking hand in hand rather than taking it further makes me suspect.

    And the scene at the end - ACK! This is so not over.

    I think as long as the killer is after Beckett, there's no danger of the show losing it's steam.

  18. And CONGRATULATIONS to Debra!!!! I just saw the post about your Daphne Final. Best of luck!!!

  19. Mary, you worked on Hart to Hart? How very cool.

    I think you're right, the killer being after Kate should keep the tension ratcheted up for a good long while.

  20. Suzie, Loren was the store keeper. You mean Jake Slicker. Can't believe I forgot the mayor.

    I see on the Dr Quinn Medicine Woman Official Website that the series is in syndication on some channels right now, except I don't receive those channels.

  21. You worked on Hart to Hart? In which capacity? I've only been in film and tv productions as an extra, and only those filmed up here in Regina.

    About the Castle finale, you're right. They could have taken it much further. I guess I was just too demoralized that it was over I hadn't picked up on the nuances of the scene.

    Thank you. I'm starting to feel so much better about that episode, and especially glad that I posted my thoughts today. Phew.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  22. Ha ha, Anita, I looked at the pictures. But...I think I figured out the point of the post. That's okay, because if I ever watch Castle I'll be going back to season 1 episode 1, and of course I'll be assuming they get together eventually.

  23. Dina, that's how I feel about Downton Abbey. I found it on one of the channels this year, but I'd missed so much, I decided not to jump in the middle. It's like series books... I won't read book 2 or 3 until I've read the first one.

    Yeah, I figured you looked at the pics, but was worried the comments would give it away. The posted video has all the best and pertinent parts of the show if you want to watch and then forget, though. :)

  24. Interesting point about Dr. Quinn and the way these storylines unfold when there is one clear protagonist vs. a duet (as Remington Steele showrunner Michael Gleason called his show).

    I wonder how you guys feel about the long-running will they or won't they stories in ensemble series -- Maggie and Joel in Northern Exposure, Doug and Carol in ER, Josh and Donna in The West Wing. It strikes me that in that in all three of these example the ensemble format allowed the couple to come together (on some level, if not fully committed) without invoking the Moonlighting curse. Is the storytelling momentum "problem" only a problem when the show's is premised as a romance?

  25. Lynn, I've been thinking about this most of the day and I really don't know. I was thinking shows like NCIS don't have any romantic tangles to keep the momentum going, but now Gibbs is hooked up with Ryan and that put a whole new spin on the show. It's the same show, but now I want to rush past some of the 'dead body' stuff to see what's happening at Gibbs' place. :D

    Of the 3 shows you mentioned, I only watched ER. And I have to admit, I was disappointed when they didn't get together, but there were so many subplots I got over it quickly.

    Perhaps that's the trick. If one line fizzles, distract your audience. But in a 'duet' as you called it, that's nigh impossible since there's not much left once the sizzle's gone.

    I appreciate you taking time to share your thoughts on this topic.


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