Dear Writers of Castle… (part 3)

“Headhunters” has reminded me that Castle is enjoyable these days more for Castle and the supporting cast, rather than Caskett.  Once upon a time, I was a huge shipper.  Now, not so much.

If the goal of Castle was to tell a story of two people whose love might have been, had personal issues not wedged an immovable wall between them, it would have worked slightly better.  A story about how the ties of friendship and family can be just as strong as the ties of romantic love would have worked too.

If the goal of Castle was to tell an epic love story with the leads together at the end it has failed.

However, aside from my severe disappointment over the Caskett love story (I’m in mourning for it) I really did enjoy “Headhunters”.

I was reminded by just how well the Castle crew can do comedy, build up tension, and hand out excitement so fracking well.  Huertas and Dever don’t get enough credit for how awesome they are.  I have such a crush on those guys, I want Ryan and Esposito to have my back on a rainy day too.  Ryan talking about how Castle was “cheating on them” and Esposito hustling Castle for Knicks tickets in exchange for help was fracking hilarious.  I adore the chemistry between those guys, it’s just so well done.

It was great to see the many faces of Richard Castle back in “Headhunters”.  His goofy side, his child like side, the loving, kick-ass father.  I nearly fell out of my chair when he decked Slaughter for talking about Alexis. And the aftermath of Castle trying to stand his ground, while being scared out of his mind was fantastically done by Fillion.  He makes Richard Castle.

Let me also reiterate that I love Stana Katic.  I want to put her and Anna Torv in a show together and call it Boss, because the acting they pull off just makes the script writer in me giddy.

Katic has always managed to portray what Beckett is feeling brilliantly.  They don’t even have to give her a line, just a few words in the action line of the script and she delivers.  We saw how utterly happy Beckett was to see Castle, and we saw how crushed she became in the next breath when she realized he hadn’t come to see her.  That scene gave me a little bit of hope on the Castkett front.  So did the scene with Beckett and her therapist, but… no.  That writing gets dumped in the “it’s just not believable anymore” pile.

But wait, let me continue on what I loved; seeing bad ass Beckett back.  That side of her character is just awesome.  She needs to ninja kick somebody just because she’s that cool.  We’d all buy it.

I loved that Beckett helped Castle solve the case at the end, and I do love their theory building.  There’s nothing like it, and the writers did a good job with solidly establishing that as far as partners go (in a purely platonic way) Beckett and Castle are awesome together.

So fine, here it goes, the bad news; if the goal of Castle’s writers was to make me hate Kate Beckett for Rick Castle they have officially succeeded. Brilliantly.  Because I do.

I hated the weight they put on Castle for his choice to help Slaughter.  If Kate helped Rick solve the case, she was stepping in on another detectives investigation and she might get suspended, at the very least, if Slaughter reported her.  So, if things went south, this would all be Castle’s fault.

Why? At this point in the story what exactly does Castle need to atone for?  The same old themes Kate seems to go in a merry little circle about, isn’t Castle. As far as character development goes, the writers did an excellent job with the character.

I despised Kate Beckett as a choice for Castle a little more at the end of the episode.  When Slaughter punched Castle, Beckett showed very little reaction other than her “you-deserved-it” smirk.  Castle took the hit, and then thanked Beckett sincerely for her help, recognizing the risk she took to help him.

Her response? A rude, flippant, “Yeah that’s what partners do, Castle.” as she walked away.  I wanted to punch her.  Seriously.  I wanted to punch her right in the back of the head, then take Castle out to dinner and make him forget all about Kate Beckett.  Why not a – “why have you been acting this way Castle?”  Let him lie.  Let him stall.  End the episode with that question and a torn look on Castles face if you’ve got to drag it another fracking episode. Anything to give a little justice instead of this rude imposter of Kate Beckett.

The writers give us a moment with Kate and her therapist, where she is again reminded to do what she wants, and obviously she doesn’t want Castle in a romantic way because I don’t see it.  I mean she was pretty proud of herself for having his back, we saw that, but anything else? Naw.  I mean at this point Jesus could tell her to do it, and she’d wouldn’t and the reasons no longer make sense to me.  Either the writers are screwing up or Kate Beckett is the phoniest person on the planet.

This is not Kate Becket.  I don’t know where this imposter came from, but unless they do a body snatchers episode and show me this was a clone, I don’t think the writers can fix the mess they’ve made in their attempt to draw this love story out till the end of the season and perhaps beyond.

If the writers of Castle hadn’t set the bar so high in so many episodes, I wouldn’t feel so let down right now. I think all fans worried that at the end of Season 3 they had gone too far to put things off for long.  But the first episode of Season 4 was brilliant in it’s perfectly simplistic: “it’s enough for now.”

As a fan, I completely understood, was awed at the genius of the writing and was fully prepared to walk the love story with them with slow but sure progress.  Then, the writers did go too far, panicked, slammed on the breaks in a completely unrealistic manner, and now have created a Kate Beckett that as a cop I recognize, she’s boss.  On the other side, there use to be a woman who loved Richard Castle.  She was this flawed, vulnerable, but courageous woman, finally ready to work out her issues so she could acknowledge that she loves her partner the way he loves her, she’s just scared.  Now? She’s suddenly this utterly moronic, unrecognizable Castle bully, which does not deserve to have Rick waiting for her.  At all.

Kate Beckett had her hand on the doorknob in the LA episode.  Then, she opened it.  That was huge.  She was ready.  But of course he was gone, the moment had passed and she let it go.  But she had been willing to make the leap.  Then she got a letter, a beautifully written, brilliant letter reaffirming what she already knows.  If only.  So pretty.   As fans we squealed with delight, finally a light bulb! And waited.  Then, Kate Beckett almost lost Castle, and we saw the fear in her eyes.  We saw how fracking Boss she is when her man is in trouble, and saw just how much she loved him when he came out of it alive. As a fan I watched it a million times, so happy at the development.  It was so good!  Then Beckett saw how awesome of a man Castle really is when her PTSD hit her hard, to the point she almost lost it completely.  And it was Castle who gave her the strength and the distance to handle it herself.  To be there for her, without being next to her.  That realization too, is huge and Kate makes it.  Not only that, but we hear her say she’s ready to start to move forward.  To become the woman she knows she can be.  Yes! Why is this show awesome!  And we watch her fall a little more in love with Castle through the facial expressions, the dialogue, the way she drops the sexual innuendos now.  We see her reminded more often how much fun it is building theory with him.  How she smiles and looks away with a girl like crush expression on her face when he compliments her in his very Castle like way; “You’re cute when you’re angry.  But, not when you’re angry with me.” Then, Kate Beckett was reminded how good of a father he is, right in her face, and we know she gets it by the look on hers.

And then suddenly the reason we were waiting keeps being repeated, over, and over again, with the same things being told to our character, over and over again, and still… nothing.  Plots are poorly constructed to build fake drama, and all the development we’d watched Beckett go through is suddenly gone.  She no longer see’s the man she saw before, now he’s the guy he was in season 1 because… ? And then she’s got the opportunity to take the leap again, to tell him and she…. lets him go, and calls another guy… ?  Then she’s got the nerve to be mad when he works with someone else, rubs it in his face how awesome she is when she has to help him out because he gets in over his head, and once again walks away from him, leaving him hurt and wondering.

Why the hell would anyone want this woman with our guy?  Do you understand what you’ve done writers?

So, if your goal was to make me hate Kate Beckett as a choice for Rick Castle, you have done so, brilliantly.

And writers, you putting the weight of this relationship back on Castle, with his line to Alexis, is such crap I wanted to pull my hair out.  We have seen Rick Castle be a man when he needs to be. Standing up for his daughter. Standing up to Kate. If he needs to let go of his hurt because her friendship and the platonic partnership are more important to him, that just makes him a really good dude.  If he needs to let go of his hurt so he can keep pining away at Beckett I’m going to vomit.  Man up Rick Castle, dammit, man up.

So, enough of my rambling.  In a nutshell, Castle, for me, has become regulated to a very funny, clever show, with a solid cast.  And, an example of how not to handle it if you’ve got to draw out getting your leads together, while still keeping viewers interested.  To be fair it’s not an easy task. But it was one I am 100% positive the writers of Castle could have accomplished, but, well, didn’t.

But, on the bright side it was nice to be reminded of the old Castle in a way, and if you take the love story out of it, “Headhunters” was a solid episode. Kudos for that.

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DCS is batshit crazy, has no inside voice, loves to write stories, roleplay with other people (text based and inside MMOs for those of you who took it to the dirty place!) and talk on the radio.

She has published two science fiction novels and has been working on a third for way too fucking long. The first two books are: Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening and Synarchy Book 2: The Ascension.

Aside from being a story-teller, DCS is also a radio show host. You can hear her and her co-host Julie "Plucky" Myers on their radio show WomenInHoddies every Sunday @ 12pm on the Public Service Network.
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