'Castle' season finale recap: Decisions, decisions

Castle-Fillion_320.jpg Image Credit: Michael Desmond/ABCBefore we get into Beckett’s decision, let me just say that I’m kinda sorry that the “pretend-you’re-a-spy-vacation” victim was folded into an episode with the resolution of the Beckett-Castle-Demming love triangle. That was a fun case that I believe Castle could have had even more fun with if given those extra minutes to play. I guess we were supposed to see the parallel between the case and Beckett’s dilemma: people get hurt when others don’t have the nerve to say what they truly feel (a married man was gunned down by his mistresses’ husband during the spy game). But I feel like that’s a cool enough case that you devote an entire hour to it in Season 3. (I mean, I Googled to see if companies like “Spy Ventures” exist. I came up empty-handed. Anyone find anything?)

I also thought they short-changed us on Beckett’s relationship with Demming. I can see how the final moments make a good cliffhanger, but we needed more episodes with Demming to become attached and actually care when Beckett dumped him. She’s gonna need to be in a relationship at some point, this one could have lasted half a season.

So Castle was going to be alone in the Hamptons with his illegal fireworks because Alexis got into a summer program at Princeton, and Martha will be performing out-of-town through August. He invited Beckett to come with him for Memorial Day weekend. She said no, because she’s been using every vacation day to find a new place to live since her apartment was blown up earlier this season. But when Demming let it slip that they had plans together in front of Castle, she had to come clean: She said she didn’t tell him she was going away with Demming because she didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable now that they’re together. Cut to Castle deciding that he really should be working on the first draft of Naked Heat, which was already overdue. Perhaps he should plan on staying in the Hamptons for the summer to finish it. This could be his last case with Beckett.

Beckett was visibly distracted after Castle said that, but a later conversation with Esposito brought things into focus: He told her that Castle had more than enough inspiration for his Nikki Heat series — whatever reason he was following her around now didn’t involve watching her date another man. While Castle told his poker buddy James Patterson that he was right, Beckett was more of a distraction than a muse at this point — “I think I’ve gotten everything I can out of that relationship anyway” — Beckett looked at Castle’s empty chair and thought about what she’d be missing. (Did you notice her notice that he didn’t bring her a cup of coffee the next morning?) They got their chemistry back when they had the same hunch about the case — the one we all had, that it wasn’t a fellow player in the spy game that killed the victim, but someone using the game to cover his tracks. (How badass was Beckett saying “he already knows,” when the mistress asked her not to tell her husband about her affair? Answer: Very.)

After the captain unknowingly made Beckett realize that she was killing Castle by not telling him she had feelings for him, she broke up with Demming. (Another great scene for Stana Katic, whose smile at watching Castle leave the station to drive Alexis to Princeton before returning for his goodbye party faded as she saw Demming.) Kate told Demming he was great and she really likes him, but “this” wasn’t what she was looking for right now. At Castle’s intimate pizza-and-beer goodbye, she took him aside and said she knew she wasn’t easy to get to know because she doesn’t always let on what’s on her mind, but she’s had a really good time working with him the past year. “So I’m just gonna say this…” she said, and was interrupted by Castle’s ex-wife/current publisher Gina (Monet Mazur). It turns out they’re headed to the Hamptons together — for the summer. Gina plans to “stay on top of him” so he finishes the book. Beckett, visibly shaken, said she didn’t think they even got along. Castle said they didn’t, but he’d finally taken her call the previous night, and they ended up talking for hours like old times. With tears in her eyes, Beckett told Castle what she’d wanted to say was for him to have a great summer. They shook hands, he waved to the rest of Beckett’s team (watching through a clear door), and left with his arm around Gina. “See you in the fall?” Kate said. “See you in the fall,” Castle answered. Sad faces all around the police station.

There was no way Beckett and Castle were going to get together at the end of Season 2 — we all knew this — so we have to put aside our frustration. What do you think Beckett was going to say to Castle? I think she was going to allude to that conversation they’d had a couple of weeks ago when the chef was murdered. She was going to tell him that he made her feel alive, and he was worth the risk. She’d been playing it safe with Demming, but that was over and her heart wanted something more. Of course, what’s brilliant is that even though he didn’t necessarily know he was hurting Kate, he did: She was afraid of opening herself up to a man who was a notorious playboy, and here he was, pining away for her — or so she thought — one minute, and off in the Hamptons with another woman the next. It’s sort of like hitting the reset button on the sexual tension. She values him enough in the field that they’ll definitely be working together in the fall (if they didn’t, ABC would have no show). But it’s gonna take Beckett a long time to get over this and trust his (and her) feelings again.

Your turn. Do you want to see Gina stick around, or do you prefer she and Castle don’t make it past Labor Day? Are you sad we didn’t get to explore Demming more? What was your favorite Fillion moment of the night? (I’m gonna go with Alexis’ “It looks like I’m not the only one who’s getting lucky this summer.” Spit-take!) And seriously, how badly do you want to go on a spy adventure now, even if there’s no way people could go around New York City carrying concealed fake weapons? (We’ll need to find a ghost town and turn it into Spy Town.)

Comments (240 total) Add your comment
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  • Lemon

    Frustrating, indeed. I still had hopes we’d get more than an almost-conversation and longing looks. Alas…

    • Mic

      Ugh…Frustrating!! Come on already!

      • Christie

        It’s only the show’s second season–how can any viewer possibly think that they would get together this early? We’re supposed to whine and be frustrated as much as Beckett and Castle (who’s timing is really, really bad).

  • Silent E

    Dang, Mandi, that was fast! I thought both SK and NF acted the hell out of this episode. It was a cliched, trite ending, to be sure, but as you said, we all knew it wasn’t gonna happen this early. What wasn’t expected was the nuance they both brought to the table. Loved the look of pride on Castle’s face when Beckett nailed the husband, and loved the whole team watching through the window while Beckett was talking to Castle. Just love this show!

    • bkwurm1

      YES! This is exactly what I said to my family. The nuances brought to the ending were incredible. Great job to the whole cast, but Stana really shined.

      • dani

        I totally agree as I watched the subtle nuances in SK’s face during the “last case” scene and afterwards, it hurt to watch and I’m usually not a softie for this stuff… Kudos to the cast!

    • Kari

      This episode was so bittersweet. I loved having everyone peeking through the glass at the end…Beckett, you waited too long! It broke my heart… By the way, there are spy vacations through this company caled Quintessentially Escapes. I saw it in WSJ magazine once.

    • Jill H.

      Definitely 100% agree!! As frustrated as I was to see him break Beckett’s heart like that, their acting impressed the hell out of me last night. If she’d just said something a day before!!! Grrr … so frustrating!! I don’t want Gina to be in the third season at all. I’d love to see them both single and having to kind of feel each other out again after the summer. Like you said, reset button on the sexual tension … can’t go wrong with that! :)

      • pokey42

        Yes, it is frustrating and, oh so painful, to watch her get hurt like that but the writers did the right thing. The reason Beckett and Castle come together has to be more than her missing him. I believe she was approaching him more out of fear of losing him than wanting to be with him.

        Gina was the writer’s vehicle to push Castle away from Beckett just as she comes out of her shell. Gina may be there in the beginning of next season just to be a foil for Beckett and give Castle a more complex relationship profile. Castle has been a one note character throughout this season. It has been Beckett all day every day unlike Season one.

        This show, in many ways, parallel the Chuck series. I predict they will come together 2/3 of Season three much like Chuck. I hope the show can survive with them together.

  • dwight

    Castle is becoming too formulaic. Chase down 4 or 5 false leads then actually solve the case in the last 5 minutes. I like the mom, I like the daughter. I like the relationship Castle has with Mom and Daughter and the others in the precinct but the actually storylines are a little stale.

    • Ash

      dwight, I see where you’re coming from. The stories are somewhat formulaic, but so are shows like “House”.
      I actually stopped watching “House” b/c of this. I love Hugh Laurie, but they would always have 2 or 3 false diagnoses before they found the real problem during the last 6 minutes. Cuddy was also a little irritating. (not to mention I have so many new shows to keep up with now.)

    • Nerwen Aldarion

      Just about every procerderual has them solve the case in the past five minutes…

      • Ash

        True, but they should try to mix it up sometimes. Law and Order: SVU even switches it up a few times.

  • Jen

    Definitely frustrating.

    Count me in for Spy town!

  • Anonymous

    I just keep reassuring myself that at some point before this series ends, Becket and Castle will have sex and there can be absolutely no closure in the series until that point.

    • John

      When they do the spark will be over and the series will end. The chemistry is great as is.

      • Katarzyna

        Why do you think so? I believe that the writers are creative enough to write great stories for Beckett and Castle as a couple and Stana and Nathan are both talented enough to keep us entertained and interested in the series after getting together in the series.

      • dani

        This will always be the big obstacle for any show with an URST element – the dreaded “Moonlighting curse”, but there are shows that have managed it to varying degrees and are still doing fine; ie. “Bones”, and the Office, Chuck… It’s a challenge to the writers, but it can be done if written well.. there just has to be enough going on outside the relationship so the focus can shift without losing the audience. I do hope that they don’t wait too long to resolve/address this one way or another…

    • Bob James

      One word: Firefly.

      Series can and do abruptly end, leaving no closure at all. It’s unlikely with “Castle”, but not impossible.

  • Lime

    Get rid of the ex-wife Agent, and get Kate and Castle. This has been 2 seasons in the making.

  • Bonnie

    While I could’ve used more Demming for the reasons you mention, I’m actually proud of Beckett for getting to an honest point with herself. This is highly unusual for a tv show and one more reason that Castle is as good as it is (how all the characters relate to each other). I can’t say enough good things about how well Castle does warm fuzzies with the relationsip between his mom and daughter and everyone at the station (without being boring, b/c studio execs think good relationships=boring).

  • Anne

    Although it’s probably not as elaborate as “Spy Ventures”, Accomplice New York seems like a similar idea: http://accomplicetheshow.com/

    • Meg

      There’s also a company in the UK that allows you to be James Bond for a day. They train you and then you do role play. A friend got it for her dad for his birthday.

    • TS

      Interesting you found that! Here’s Nathan Fillion’s tweet about how the ep was inspired by Accomplice:

      Sitting with @TomSalamon of @AccompliceGame. Did NY show and can’t wait to do the Hollywood version!! Last ep of Castle inspired by him!

      Not quite so intense as Spy Ventures, but no one ever gets five to the chest. Cast and crew of Castle attended last year.

      • Castle fan Firefly convert

        If you liked the spy game check out “The man who knew too little” with Bill Murray has a very fun take on the spy-fantasy vacation. If you liked the adventure idea in this weeks Castle you should probably take a look. In that movie the adventure was sold as “the theatre of Life” and Bill gets a real adventure that he only thinks is fake.

  • Courtney

    I actually Googled Spy Vacations too but I actually found a place that does them. They’re based out of Alabama. It’s Spy With Me Vacations, Inc.

    This episode made me so sad. I’m glad Castle and Kate didn’t get together (yet) but I don’t like his ex wife coming back in the picture.

    • Greg

      It’s the “Moonlighting” Theorem at work.
      But I wish they did something more creative than, “Oh the ex is here, sorry.”

    • Kari

      There are also spy vacations through Quintessentially Escpaes, FYI ~ P.S. I’m with you: Get the ex-wife out of the picture.

  • Bonnie

    I’m going out on a limb to say that Castle is like Lost in that it appears to be one thing (a procedural) but is actually all about the characters/relationships. (Just as Lost appears to be high concept sci-fi, but is also really more about characters/relationships)

    • dani

      True, just like “Bones” is that way, if not more so

  • Mandy

    This was painful. I agree with everything you said though.

  • rebecca

    Their relationship is going to be just like Booth and Bones relationship. Nothing is going to happen until the 4 or 5th season

    • brody

      Oh, lord, I hope that’s not the case. Bones dragged it out too long, and now the show isn’t fun to watch anymore. Castle should learn from their mistake!

      • Jamey

        I so agree and now I saw where Booth and Bones may never get together, because more fans at Comic – Con rotted for them to stay apart… Makes me not want to watch anymore as they have ruined the show with the delay. I hope they don’t do that to Castle.

      • dani

        I alos agree that Bones dragged it on too long. Even though they’ve “addressed” the issue well enough, and have managed to maintain enough of that element, it felt like they waited too long to get to this point..

      • Janet

        totally agree about Bones dragging it out too long. And Brennan is getting on my nerves.. speaks like an emotionless robot. BUT was very disappointed with Castle dragging in the ex wife. She HAS to go…immediately!!

  • Nerwen Aldarion

    I love your recaps Mandi! I loved thie episode too! Made me beg for more!!

  • CD

    I am so frustrated and it made me very sad too – why can’t they get together and just do it?

  • Ruby

    I’m loving the way the writers are handling the Beckett/Castle relationship. It’s more realistic than most will they/won’t they shows. But I think they’re on pace now for something to happen a lot sooner than on say, Bones. There’s no way the UST can go 6 seasons like it has on Bones.

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