08 May, 2012

REVIEW: Castle 4.23 -- Always (season finale)

Good for you, Rick Castle, play hard to get! The four-year slow play wasn't working out so well.

The Season 4 "Castle" finale was entitled 'Always', but probably should have been named 'Always Predicatable'.

Beckett's shooter would make an appearance? No! No resolution would be made on the case and we still don't know who orchestrated it all? No way! Beckett would be seconds away from dying? What a stunner! Beckett and Castle would finally get together? Never saw that coming!!

What made last year's finale so special, in part, was because it was nothing like this. We didn't know Beckett was going to get sniped. We didn't know Castle would blurt out "I love you" and we didn't know if she heard him say it. But in this finale, we knew everything that would happen before it even happened -- and that's WITHOUT seeing any spoilers that may or may not have been out there.

Maybe it's not fair to compare this year's finale to season 3's, but that was such an intense ending that just left me saying "wow". I couldn't wait for the next season to start. There was no "wow factor" in this one and while I'm interested to see how they resolve Kate's resignation from the precinct and how they handle Beckett and Castle moving forward, I'm in no rush to fast-forward real life to the Season 5 premier.

It's not all bad. I mean, those complaints aside, this is kind of what we wanted, right? We wanted the finale to be related to Johanna's murder and Kate's shooting. We wanted drama, we wanted angst and movement on the Beckett and Castle front and we got all of that. I guess I just hoped it would have been a bit better and a lot less predictable.

I also wish they didn't pull one of the things I hate most in life: "three weeks earlier". UGH. I would very much like to know what you all think about this, whether you like when shows do this or not, but I just don't like when the dramatic moments are teased at the beginning. I feel like it takes the suspense out of a moment that is supposed to be -- wait for it -- SUSPENSEFUL! Just a lame and tired plot device. 

There's really not much else to add. Maybe the expectations were too high, because of the bar it set last year, but I was hoping for better. Now I'm hoping you will let me know what you think of the way this season ended.


CASTLE: "Wow, that really is a smart phone."

BECKETT: "How the hell could you do this?"
CASTLE: "Because I love you. But you already know that, don't you? You've known for about a year."
BECKETT: "Are you kidding me? You're actually bringing this up right now? After you told me you just betrayed me.

CASTLE: "Because of everything we've been through together! Four years, I've been right here! Four years just waiting for you to open your eyes to see that I'm right here.  And that I'm more than a partner. Every morning I bring you a cup of coffee just so I can see a smile on your face because I think you're the most remarkable, maddening, challenging, frustrating person I've ever met. And I love you Kate, and if that means anything to you -- if you care about me at all, just don't do this."

CASTLE: "Yeah, you're right Kate. It's your life. You can throw it away  if you want, I'm not going to stick around and watch it. This is over, I'm done."

BECKETT: "Keep it. I resign."

CASTLE: "Beckett, what do you want?"
BECKETT: "You. ... "I'm so sorry, Castle. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry."

BECKETT: "He got away and I didn't care. I almost died and all I could think about was you."

BAD GUY: "I'm gonna put Beckett in the ground once and for all."


--Why do chicks only want the guy when the guy says he doesn't want the girl anymore? I need answers!

--Yup. Of course! Only a half-second away from dying and she's saved. It never fails.

--I enjoy when Castle talks about the problems he has with Alexis to Kate. Also love how it's always on a walk to the crime scene.

--Ugh. Criminals this smart aren't dumb enough to walk in front of cameras in secret hiding places.Criminal masterminds tend to cover their bases better than that.

--Ah, isn't that cute? Alexis' and Castle's storylines co-inciding. And Beckett's too!

--You did the right thing Detective Ryan! I'm proud of you!

--I feel like 50% of all shows have a roof-scene in their finale's. Anyone else notice this?

THE SCORE: 75 out of 100

Some nice scenes between Castle and Beckett, a nice little surprise with Beckett quitting and good performances by Ryan, Esposito and Alexis. But that's about it for the real positives.

And don't complain about the score. A 75/100 translates perfectly into 3/4 stars. It wasn't better than that.


  1. I liked it. I liked that it will instigate a change or fresh start next season - something Chuck was always good at.
    The last 5 minutes were a bit dull, though, because you just know that next season will begin the same: one episode dealing with the finale and then back to the same old until the last few episodes of that season.

  2. "I also wish they didn't pull one of the things "I hate most in life: "three weeks earlier". UGH. I would very much like to know what you all think about this, whether you like when shows do this or not, but I just don't like when the dramatic moments are teased at the beginning. I feel like it takes the suspense out of a moment that is supposed to be -- wait for it -- SUSPENSEFUL! Just a lame and tired plot device."

    I didn't dislike it that much until every show started doing it. I didn't think this one was particularly creative. The situation she was in was predictable and cliche.

    If it works at all, the situation must be a real "WTF" moment.

  3. Enough with the "big bad" conspiracy! It is ridiculous. No one is that powerful and still invisible. If the mystery guy really wanted to "protect" Kate, he should have sent her and castle and every major network news desk a copy of the blackmail file. This "mystery" should have been solved by ep 402, 405 at the latest.
    The only way this would be even remotely suspenseful is if Stana Katic was renegotiating her contract.

  4. It took me three attempts to finish watching this episode. I thought it was mostly dull and contrived. And anyone who thinks this means some big change next season hasn't been watching television very long.

    They will go right back to the same formula within two episodes and the two lovers will somehow split apart. And if they don't do that, then I will be shocked beyond belief but still not impressed by this show... except for bringing in Tahmoh Penikett as the bad guy, a man who doesn't get enough work.

    1. Continuity error, they knew the case was linked to her mom because the bullet matched the one in her heart... The sexy guy from THE UNIT shot her, not THE DOLLHOUSE minder/lover/victim.

    2. My secret to watching this episode was the fast-forward button. I think I watched it in 20 minutes. I was just curious about the ending and watched enough leading up to it, to get the gist of the storyline.

      They are definitely going to go back to formula ASAP.

  5. "Why do chicks only want the guy when the guy says he doesn't want the girl anymore? I need answers!"

    Well, not all girls are like that but... many modern women are romantics, and romantics aren't about stability. They need to experience the sadness and sudden exhilaration of love.

    Hence why romantics should be alone forever. They look for ways to complicate things.

    1. Hahah UGGH, the fact that I may be the only girl commenting on this thread is starting to annoy me right now. Beckett was NOT going back to Castle because "he didn't want her anymore." She was going back to him because she realized that she was acting like a total idiot earlier, and that he was right, and that she needed to stop putting off her entire life due to obsessing on her mom's murder. I'm sure Castle's "dumping" of her was partly what jarred her into realizing it, but it wasn't *the reason* she decided to finally get with it and have sexy times with him.

    2. Yeah riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

      If he had still been with her, pining for her, she wouldn't have realized it BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE BEEN THERE LIKE HE ALWAYS HAS BEEN.

      The only reason she realized anything is because he wasn't there and she wanted him to be. Plus, you're not the only girl commenting. You're just the only one who thinks she speaks for all women. ;)

    3. HOW DARE YOU SIR!!!!!!!! UNFOLLOW!!!!!!!

      Hahaha but I am not speaking for ALL women I am speaking for BECKETT goddammit!! Yes the fact that Castle was not there anymore was definitely a catalyst, no doubt. BUT if it wasn't for her mom's stupid murder case then she would have gotten it on with Castle a long time ago (or at least by the end of last season). And Castle was still pining for her then.

      Basically I'm saying that there's a LOT of factors at play here and the ORIGINAL statement (not by you but by Eli) was over-simplifying it and was generalizing all women. Of COURSE I know it was totally meant in a joking manner, but it just made me want to defend my gender. ;-) Although I will admit that there are a lot of stupid women out there (and just as many idiotic men) who play that game. I just don't think that generalized statement applies to Beckett "as a woman who is engaging in this behavior because she is a woman." I think it played a role in her decision making because she's bone-headed and stubborn and it basically requires her to be hit with a mack truck to get anything through her thick skull. Regardless of her gender.

    4. HAHAHA ... I just seriously went and double checked right now just in case. I was thinking that if you REALLY wanted to eff with me you might actually do it. Then I was relieved.

    5. I thought about it... but that would be too mean.

    6. Hahaha thank you for your mercy.

  6. Also, the Ross&Rachel ending had no punch whatsoever because ABC decided to use that in EVERY promo for the show. (It reminded me of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY; waited the whole movie for that line and was left with "meh".)
    Instead of "ZOMG! They're together!" my reaction was "nice touch, pausing on the bullet scar, too bad she had open heart surgery as a result and the did the correct type of scar at the beginning of the season."

    1. The big scar is on her SIDE, not on her chest. I got confused about that too in Kill Shot, but in the season premiere ("Rise") they go in through her side to do the surgery and pull out the bullet and stuff.

  7. O.k. well I'm sure you can guess what I thought of this episode, given where it went in the last 5 or 10 minutes, ha. But they probably could have spent the entire first 50 minutes of the episode doing paperwork and I still would have left the episode with my brain melted into mush.

    As for everything in the ep other than the last 5 minutes, I think it had its good points and its bad points.

    Bad Points:

    - Yes, the "3 Days Earlier" flash back/forward thing has been done to death. That is the first and only thing I thought about while watching that scene. I rolled my eyes. I remember back in the day when I saw it in the Alias pilot I still thought it was kinda cool, but that was over a decade ago. We need to come up with a new type of story-telling gimmick now.

    - Beckett's bone-headed behavior annoyed me. Castle poured his heart out to her and she STILL couldn't take her crazy mind off her mom's case, even knowing that she would be killed for it. They obviously did that to add more drama at the end when she "realized the error of her ways" and ran back to Castle.

    - Related to the above point, I also find it hilarious that Beckett has to come within millimeters of death TWICE before she finally pulls her head out of her ass.

    - Yes it was predictable, but who really cares in this case?? I get REALLY mad about how predictable Castle is most of the time, but that's usually mainly related to the way each case plays out so similarly. Not every season finale is about twists and turns, and I don't think this was meant to be that (or that it needed to be). Season 3 WAS, for sure. But this one was more about TYING UP the loose ends opened from the end of season 3, and I was o.k. with that. It was stuff we had been waiting for forever and that's all I was looking for from this finale.

    (my comment is too long as usual, so I'm splitting it, haha sorry).

    1. Good Points:

      - As I've mentioned many times before, I find the case of the week stuff to be SOO boring sometimes (and predictable of course), so I tend to get really happy any time they have an ep that doesn't follow that same formula. That doesn't always mean the ep is GOOD, but this one was at least very action-packed in terms of drama, which not every Castle episode is.

      - I gotta give Nathan props for his acting in this ep. He really pulled out all the stops and I think it was by far the best "dramatic" acting he's done on the show. He's always great at comedy, but he rarely gets to really show off his dramatic chops in this show like Stana does. He actually got me a little choked up in his speech to Beckett in her apartment!

      - I kinda like the friction between Ryan and Espo ... it made the supporting players more interesting in this one.

      - The End: Giggity. It's funny though cause the way I had that scene pictured in my head (even before seeing promos) was literally EXACTLY how it played out on screen, so I guess you could cry "predictable" on that too. But I did NOT care, cause that was HOT. And you guys will crucify me for saying this but I thought it was "vs. the Colonel" levels of hot, and on top of it, they didn't get interrupted!! I'm talking ONLY in terms of that scene though obviously, not comparing the eps as a whole at all. Colonel was better overall because it was unpredictable and more suspenseful (and Chuck was just a much more dynamic show).

      - Also related to the above point, IT'S ABOUT GODDAMN TIME. I'm glad they had the balls to actually make this move, and it is annoying that the ABC promo department totally spoiled it, but Eli like you said I think most of us knew it would go in this direction anyway. And I don't care about whether we could predict it, because I don't think a "shocking" moment was the point in this situation, at all. The point was that it was the right thing to do and they did it, and I'm happy. And hopefully it'll allow them to do some new interesting storylines next season. We'll see. It could go either way.

    2. How do you even care about these two chuckleheads?

    3. HA that one I can't answer. They have somehow wormed their way into my heart. I think a large factor is that Chuck was ending (I just started watching Castle this season) and I needed a new fake t.v. couple to care about hahaha. They were the first ones to pop up into my view during that timeframe. ;-) But to be fair, I caught up on seasons 1 through 3 and they were a lot more fun and flirty during those seasons, and it sucked me right in. Practically everything in season 4 was all serious and bummer-like.

    4. It's funny that I've never felt this strong urge to see this couple together. When I've enjoyed the show, it has been for the banter of co-workers. The "fun and flirty" stuff, mentioned.

  8. The way Andrew Marlowe is talking Castle and Beckett will be a couple next season.

    Other than them getting together in the finale the episode was boring with nothing interesting happening.

    It will be interesting to see what the ratings will be next season now that they are going to be together.

    I wanna see if the Moonlighting curse holds true for this show.

    1. I will believe they will REMAIN a couple when I see it.

    2. I feel I have to remind people of this every time the Moonlighting thing is brought up.

      Maddy and David got together at the end of the season. Cybill Shepherd got pregnant between seasons and had limited screen time when the show came back. It greatly inhibited the way they wrote the story in that they had to keep the couple apart--and not together--right after.

      Yeah, the ratings started to decline, but it wasn't a pure example of how you should write a show after a couple gets together, either.

      I always wish that shows would look to the Thin Man movies for inspiration on how to write a happy couple who solves mysteries together.

    3. Though, when people believe it is real, they may stop watching a show simply because they have been programmed to think a show is not worth watching once the two leads are put together.

  9. It was a mistake to have Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd get together in the first place.
    pregnancy or no pregnancy.

    Who wanted to see the two of them actually be a couple and solve crimes together.

    it usually changes the dynamic of any show and not for the better.

    With the ratings Castle gets i thought it would easily go eight seasons now the ratings may start dropping.

    We'll have to wait and see.

    I think how they will write the characters is Beckett will nag Castle constantly over every little thing.
    Meanwhile Castle is totally whipped.

    Beckett will be reinstated to the police force by the second episode of the season and her and Castle continue to solve cases of the week.

    The whole conspiracy thing gets brought up and solved towards the end of next season.

    I would be real surprised if they did it any differently than that.