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ABC’s hit show ‘Castle’ (2009) premiered the season four finale, “Always,” May 7, 2012 at 10:00pm EST. How did it hold up? Let’s just say Castle fans everywhere will have something to keep them company as they wait for season five.
Spoiler alert for the entire series, and the finale, below. You have been warned.
For the new folks, here’s the basic breakdown of the premise for ‘Castle.’ Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) is a handsome multimillionaire crime novelist who grew bored with his character, Derrick Storm, and killed him off so he could start fresh. Soon afterward, Castle meets Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) of the NYPD’s 12th Precinct.
She comes to him with a case where a killer is staging his murders in the fashion that characters are killed off in the Derrick Storm novel series. Intrigued by the case, and Beckett’s incredible gorgeousness, Castle weasels his way into her world as a consultant, which he accomplishes because he is friends with the Mayor.
Beckett finds him annoying but soon discovers that his extensive experience in criminology and his off-the-wall but insightful theories are useful and he decides to stick around for more cases. He then bases his next set of novels on Det. Beckett, coining her fictional character Nikki Heat.
Over the course of the four seasons, Castle and Beckett have steadily grown closer. In season one, she sees him as a nuisance but eventually realizes he can actually be helpful. In season two, Beckett starts to accept Castle’s presence in her life and doesn’t mind flirting with him as much as he flirts with her.
In season three, the two have started to bond over the unsolved case of her mother’s murder as well as realizing that there is more to their relationship than a partnership or friendship. In season four, they have to come to terms with a secret each of them is hiding from each other before it rips them apart forever.
In tonight’s finale, “Always,” an ex-thief is found dead in an alley. As they investigate, Beckett and her team, including Det. Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Det. Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas), find out the thief had just robbed the home of the late Captain Roy Montgomery (Ruben Santiago-Hudson) and stole all his files.
This leads them to suspect that the thief knew about the circumstances before Captain Montgomery’s tragic death, in which he revealed he was involved in the murder case of Beckett’s mother and died protecting Beckett from the people who want her dead. This leads Beckett back to investigating her mother’s murder, much to Castle’s distress as he reluctantly cut a deal with a man who knew about the men trying to kill her. In short, if Beckett stays off the case, she stays alive.
Finally, Castle confronts Beckett and tries to convince her not to pursue the case because the men who killed her mother and Capt. Montgomery will come after her again.
He reveals that he cut a deal for her life and confesses that he did it out of love for her, but Beckett stubbornly refuses to let it go. Castle walks out and she continues investigating without him. Detectives Ryan and Esposito manage to track down the killer’s location and Ryan pleads with Beckett to bring back up but she and Esposito insist they can handle it without calling in their superior.
Distressed, Ryan calls Castle but he doesn’t pick up the phone. Beckett and Esposito track down the killer, but he knocks Esposito out and makes a run for it with Beckett in pursuit. This leads a brutal fight on the rooftop. The killer overpowers Beckett and leaves her dangling off the side of a building. At the last minute, Det. Ryan and a team show up to rescue her.
Det. Ryan had been forced to inform their superior, Captain Victoria Gates (Penny Johnson Jerald), of Beckett’s action and she immediately suspends Beckett and Esposito. Beckett resigns from the force and realizes that Castle is more important to her than her mother’s case. She goes to his place and tells him how she feels and the two at long last consummate their relationship.
For Castle fans, this is truly a monumental episode. Every seed that had been planted in previous seasons comes to fruition with this finale. The emotional weight of Castle and Beckett’s relationship is examined, explored, and strengthened by the trials the two of them deal with over the course of the episode.
It is easy to see that the writers took their time deciding how to design the finale in a way that kept the tension between all of the characters and resolved four years’ worth of sexual chemistry. The show’s creator, Andrew W. Marlowe, has long debated the so-called “Moonlighting Curse”, aka the failure of a show after two characters with sexual tension finally sleep together, and this episode proves that he does not fear for Castle’s success now that Beckett and Castle have come to terms with their feelings for one another.
The writing is superb, as always with this show, but Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic honestly deserve a standing ovation for their parts in this finale. Fillion does a magnificent job of being outraged at Kate’s stubborn refusal to save her own life while still conveying just how much he loves her. Likewise, Katic’s passionate portrayal of Kate Beckett truly shines just as brightly as she fights for her life and reevaluates what is important to her.
‘Castle’ is one of the highest rated and widely watched shows on ABC and is expected to be renewed and premiere season five in mid-September of 2012. Be there.