Castle Postmortem: Wishful Thinking

This is how it ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

I will admit it’s been a while since I cared so much. This season has been …well, a struggle would be putting it nicely. Fact is the show hasn’t been what it once was for me for at least two whole seasons. I stopped watching religiously. I stopped talking about it. Most importantly, I stopped caring.

And then destiny intervened.

Friends have a way of making you care about things you thought you didn’t have it in yourself to care about. And so Shana and Luciana got me talking about Castle again. And then thinking about it. And, alas …writing about it, it seems.

This is the end of Castle. We wanted more. We expected more. And we wrote, not just about what we expected, but also about the season finale in general, and about the magic that was Caskett. And we’re sharing with you, across all of our sites.

Luciana Mangas, over at The TV Addict has our Caskett thoughts.  Shana Lieberman over at Gossip & Gab has our Castle Finale thoughts. And here you’ll find our whisful thinking, aka what we wanted from the finale and didn’t quite get.

So, without further ado, here’s Part 3 of our Castle Postmortem.

Shana Lieberman: So, how should the series have ended? I needed Castle to end the way it began: with a strong story, two leads with excellent chemistry, and just the right mix of crime drama, romance, and fun. Not the type of “fun” that Castle subjected viewers to in this latest season but, like, actual fun. The character development should have been solidified, not all but forgotten.

Here’s the way I picture it: Beckett took down Bracken back in “Veritas.” Her wedding day wasn’t ruined in an effort to lower her moral high ground, and then Caskett continued fighting the good fight. Together. The love story should have stayed a love story, rather than…what the hell ever it became. Fillion’s personal comedic hour, complete with badly written drama thrown in every so often to appease the masses, I suppose?

If it couldn’t end with “Veritas,” I would definitely have liked for Castle to have taken its bows in a way that was satisfying for everyone, including series creator Andrew Marlowe.. Despite wrapping up a season that was…not ideal, Marlowe and Miller’s potential series finale, “Hollander’s Woods,” was beautifully done. Much like Hawley and Winter’s situation with season eight, Marlowe and Miller had no idea when writing the season seven finale if there would be more Castle to come. They were tasked with the seemingly impossible job of creating a story that could be the end but was open enough in case it wasn’t. Marlowe and Miller succeeded in that task; Hawley and Winter didn’t even come close. Shame, considering Winter contributed so many otherwise top notch episodes to the series…including my coveted “Veritas,” co-written with Rob Hanning.

Alas.

Often, when a beloved series ends, there’s a mourning period. For better or worse, I’ve already spent the last year mourning Castle because it hasn’t been the series I fell in love with for at least that long. What an utter and complete shame this has been…and for what? Someone please explain to me what the point of all of this mess, from Loksat to the announcement of Stana Katic’s firing, even was. I’m waiting.

Lizzie: What did we expect, you ask? Season 8 was already a mess, how could they end it better than this? (Yes, these are actual questions I saw going around on Twitter, God help us all). And, in a way, that’s true. Season 8 was almost impossible to recover from. But there was still better ways to end the series. There were still better ways to pay homage to the beautiful love story we’d been following for eight years.

A love scene. A love declaration. Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic (and the writers) putting aside their obvious issues to make this ending about the thing it was always meant to be –Caskett.

But, maybe that was too much to ask. Yes. In my head, Castle and Beckett got married that day, a couple of seasons ago. There was no ridiculous kidnapping storyline; no two seasons spent looking for the most contrived ways to keep the leads apart. Instead, there was a couple who brought the best out of each other doing …well, doing just that. Starting a family, one that didn’t just consist of new kids, but of Alexis and Martha too.

There was Kate gaining a mother and Martha gaining a daughter. There was Alexis gaining, maybe not a mother, but a friend. There was anything but this them and us separation that the finale showed us, as if Beckett was just Rick’s trophy wife and his mother and daughter didn’t approve.

In my dream, there was even Ryan and Esposito, being more than props in Castle’s histrionics. There was Lanie getting a happy ending. There was the family of people who fought for each other every day on the streets being, well, family.

Dreams. Just that.

But, since this whole thing is now over, I can do a re-watch and pause before Castle got kidnapped, pretend it ended there. Pretend the show didn’t jump the shark. Pretend they didn’t ruin my favorite characters just to keep this thing going. Pretend.

Luciana MangasI don’t even know where to start here to be honest. I don’t know if I have any wishful thinking. I remember the earlier seasons, when I used to be so excited about this show. Maybe I wish things hadn’t changed from what they were back then?

I wish Andrew Marlowe hadn’t left the show or maybe that it ended when he did. For all his faults, Marlowe always treated his characters and his cast with the utmost respect. I wasn’t always a fan of his creative decisions, but I knew he cared about the story and about the characters as much as we did, so I trusted he would make good choices in the long run.

I wish Stana Katic hadn’t had to go through that circus surrounding her exit a few weeks ago, only to have the show get cancelled anyway. I wish they had treated her with the respect she deserved after so many years of carrying the show on her shoulders and so much hard work.

I wish they hadn’t disrespected the loyal fan base and treated us like idiots, throwing a cliché happy ending our way, in order to keep us quiet.

We wish. We wish. What were YOUR wishes for the season finale of Castle? What was your dream ending? Share with us in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out Parts 1 on the Season Finale and 2 on the Caskett of it all!

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2 Comments

  1. I agree whole- heartedly with everything you said here. Especially the part about putting STANA through that whole circus. Seems pretty unnecessary, now that the whole show is cancelled. Why couldn’t they just end the show with a two- parter instead of trying to get a partial season without half of the show? That could have avoided this fiasco, I know, I know– money. I don’t think ABC realized the firestorm that erupted after firing Stana and Tamala. And the damage that was done with all the rumors flying. Nathan’s silence spoke volumes regarding his part in the whole thing. These things, and ABC’s ineptitude, their stalling about the decision for season 9 or no season 9, all caused anger and distrust- unfortunately, directed at the wrong people.
    Such a shame that this once entertaining,enjoyable show was sent out with a pitiful whimper– instead of the great show it was. The cast, crew, and fans, were all robbed of a joyful, celebratory send-off.

  2. We can dispair over the fiasco that was on display during the past month or so but it’s over now and at least we didn’t have to suffer through a season 9 of Rick Castle PI & his daughter Nancy Drew! It is a shame that Ms. Katic had to go through the nonesence about next year but I have a feeling this might be the best thing to happen to her. She put her heart into the Beckett character and carried the show most of the first 7 years. This last year with Hawley and Winter as showrunners was pretty poor. When Marlow left, it appears that Mr. Fillion got just what he wanted. Castle PI…a sort of juvenile, immature character in which he could show off his comic skills. But that is not what the audience signed up for when we stuck with the show for 8years. The firestorm which followed the announcement of Katic and Jones being released was obviously not expected by ABC, TPTB or Mr. F. So I don’t believe they had much choice but to cancel. I am glad they did because this last few episodes about Aladin’s lamp, an anti-christ and the MI5 gals troubles left one feeling the show had gone completely off the rails to satisfy someone’s giant ego! We will just have to remember the good times and many years of great episodes and be sorry it had to end like this.

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