Castle is no more. After eight seasons of a writer and his muse fighting crime, Stana Katic won’t be continuing as Kate Beckett; and Nathan Fillion won’t be returning as Richard Castle. Was the Castle series finale worth it? Unfortunately, I’m going to have to go with a resounding no; and so are my partners in crime, Lissete Lanuza Sáenz (Lizzie) of Fangirlish and Luciana Mangas (Luci) of The TV Addict. We decided to share some of our frustrations in a three part piece, separated across our respective sites. Here at Gossip & Gab, we’re hosting the overall distaste for the Castle series finale’s Loksat storyline and some of the season 8 choices in general. Luci is tackling the Caskett of it all at The TV Addict, and Lizzie is going to share our thoughts on how we wish this beloved series had ended.
So, without further ado. Here’s how we felt about “Crossfire.”
Shana: Well, that happened.
Castle has ended, and with it went every shred of integrity this series’ writing ever had — or maybe that’s been long gone for a while now. Many viewers were of the “at least they didn’t kill Beckett” mentality; but while I’m certainly happy that the series wasn’t continued without Stana Katic, the ending was still not remotely satisfying.
Eight seasons, two of which were rough at best, and…this is how it ends? The only thing more tragic than an untimely Beckett death happened: The series, once so adored, ended on an impossibly weak note. Leads Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion barely shared any screen time — something that plagued most of the series’ eighth season — and the story was, frankly, a convoluted mess worthy of the shredder, not a series finale script.
The LokSat story, which plagued much of Castle’s eighth season and destroyed the otherwise well-rounded, well-written, and beautifully ended investigation into Johanna Beckett’s murder, was never going to end well. It was clear, from moment one, that it was there to destroy Beckett’s ultimate victory — not to mention the ultimate victory of justice and the very foundation upon which Castle was built — but the outlandish, sloppy, and convoluted storyline in the series finale wound up being more high laughs than high stakes.
Castle was so concerned with safety that he put his daughter and mother on lockdown (with his “trusted” criminal friend Hayley guarding them) and demanded that Beckett not leave the precinct unless it was to come to him…but he was too stupid to take his own vehicle, or at least call his usual car service, when he left his panic room to meet up with Beckett? Beckett was out in a shooting match with Castle as her only backup…but wasn’t smart enough to turn off her phone beforehand? It was as if, after eight years of near-death experiences, neither of our two leading characters had a clue how any of this worked.
…and don’t get me started on all the ridiculous twists and turns just for the sake of being “unpredictable,” the numerous rip-offs of The X-Files (someone call Chris Carter and apologize to him for every negative thing I’ve said about the rushed and sloppy nature of “My Struggle II” because this garbage takes the cake in that department), or the completely obvious “twist” with whatshisname being Locksat after all. Let’s not go there with the other obvious “twist” involving Caleb not actually being dead, either.
So shocked. Much dramatic surprise.
Then, there’s the shooting that took place in the (near) final moments of the episode. Had this series continued, the happily ever after wouldn’t have been in place. To be clear: This means that, after surviving a shot to the heart in “Knockout” and rising from the ashes to (eventually) find her ultimate triumph, Kate Beckett would have died of yet another bullet wound in her quest for justice — this time, to the gut. Appropriate, I guess, since the poor treatment of both the character and the actress portraying her was a shot to the gut for viewers. The only thing even more fitting, when looked at in that light, would be if Beckett had been stabbed in the back.
Seriously? Is there no way to be, like, original here? Castle deserved much better. Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion deserved much better, but…here we are.
Luci: I thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse. But it did. And it hurt.
Last night, we were treated to the CASTLE series finale and, as a fan of the show, I felt disrespected by what they presented. It is no secret that season 8 struggled a lot in terms of storyline and characters, so it is no wonder that I threw in the towel after the second episode of the season – when they picked up that ridiculous LokSat storyline, which caused Beckett to suddenly decide that hiding everything from Castle was the best way to go. I mean, what?
I watched this show for seven seasons; and if there is one thing Marlowe and Co. did right, it was character development – especially for Beckett. To have a character that I admired so much suddenly do a 180 and completely revert back to the closed off, scared shell of herself from earlier seasons was way too much for me. That was not why I tuned in, so I did the sensible thing and jumped ship.
But when the news of Stana Katic and Tamala Jones being fired hit the media, I was incensed with indignation for both actresses. Behind-the-scenes rumors aside, they should have handled this situation with professionalism, which they did not. To have one of the leads leave the show with absolutely no care to the character or the actor was a complete disrespect to both Katic and the loyal fanbase that had stuck around for so many years.
Which brings us to last night’s series finale. After a month of rumors and negotiations about whether the show would return without half of its main characters, ABC finally announced that there would not be a season 9. And to be honest, I am so relieved that they came to their senses and ended it because if that god awful finale was any indication, season 9 without Beckett would be completely impossible to swallow.
I am not even getting into LokSat because I didn’t watch most of season 8, so that made absolutely no sense to me. What really upset me, however, was the way that they handled every character, especially Beckett. I hadn’t watched in awhile, but that woman I saw last night was not the Katherine Beckett I came to know and love over the course of seven seasons. That was not the Beckett that had grown and learned and evolved for the past seven years. That was a shell of a woman, making reckless decisions and not trusting her comrades.
Everything about it was laughable at best, from the dialogue to the action scenes, and it just makes me so unbearably sad that a show that I once loved and enjoyed so much became this pitiful shadow of what it once was. That ending was the proverbial nail in the coffin because by then, I was almost watching through my fingers. If ever there was a scene that we could call fan service, it was that one. And the sad thing is, it didn’t even satisfy the fans because, guess what, TPTB? We are not idiots.
What you did was try to shove something down our throats to shut us up, so we wouldn’t complain and, hey, at least they had a happy ending, right?
That final scene was the most cliché ending in the history of television, and we could not have been more disrespected by that lazy piece of writing if you tried. It felt like a consolation prize – one that was produced and shot in a hurry, with no thought or regard to the characters and your loyal fanbase. I cannot even put into words how dissatisfied I am that a show that I dedicated my time and work to for seven seasons ended in such a ridiculous, pitiful way.
What makes things even worse is that – if the show had been renewed for season 9 – they probably would have killed Beckett right there and have Castle survive in a ridiculous P.I. spinoff with his daughter and that other British chick. (What’s her name again??)
So, the only thing left for us to do is try to forget this past season ever happened and pretend CASTLE ended when Andrew Marlowe left.
Lizzie: I hate the phrase “deserved so much better.” Maybe it’s because it’s been used to exhaustion lately. Maybe it’s because fictional characters are there to inspire us, to send a message, to make us feel things, not to show that life is fair. And yet, Richard Castle and Kate Beckett (with an emphasis on the later) deserved so much better.
And, considering they got a “happy ending,” that’s saying a lot.
Though maybe it’s not them that deserved better — maybe it’s us. Maybe it’s the fans, who for eight years invested time and got emotionally attached, that deserved better. We deserved a coherent storyline. We deserved writers who could put the story above everything else. More importantly, we deserved a show that stayed coherent to what the heart of the story had been for seven years.
Caskett. Not Richard Castle by himself, not Kate Beckett by herself (though, really…we were more invested in her backstory than anything else). The two of them, together.
What worked in the finale? Very little. LokSat was as boring as ever, and the resolution to this absurd, shoe-horned and absurdly long arc was pretty much the definition of anticlimactic. Kate figured it out? Good for her! I mean, it’s not like everyone in the universe didn’t figure it out before, but kudos all the same.
But then again, the writers pretty much asked us to check common sense at the door before watching the finale. They asked us to believe that Castle and Beckett, two people who’d gone through their share of dangerous situations all of a sudden forgot what logic was. They also asked us to appreciate the “romance” between two characters that hardly spent time together this past season.
Yes, this was a timeless love story. It just seems like they’d killed it long before they attempted to kill Kate Beckett in what was meant to be the end of Season 8.
In the end, common sense ruled. Someone at ABC finally figured out that we weren’t invested in the cases, in the bromances or in the family dynamics; we were here for the love story. And so they pulled the plug on what was once a great show, and in doing so they gifted us with…well, with the worst ending I have ever seen in all my years of watching television.
Chris Carter has nothing on this. Nothing. In fact, Carter comes off as a meticulous planner in comparison. And if you know me at all, you know what those words mean.
How can I be bitter, you ask? We got a happy ending! And okay, I will admit this is better than a 9th season without Stana Katic. But that doesn’t mean it’s good. Oh, no. It’s still pretty awful.
Because I don’t recognize these people. They are not the Castle and Beckett I knew and fell in love with. They’re not the ones we got invested in. They’re just stand-ins. Body-snatchers. A sorry end to a story that began with so much promise.
So, forgive me if, after writing this, I erase the whole of Castle Season Eight from my memory. Or, better yet, don’t forgive me. Just join me.