Monday, May 21, 2012

Castle Contentions

cxgaf.jpg castle and beckett
Beckett and Castle
I'm a huge Nathan Fillion fan, which naturally makes me a huge fan of ABC's Castle. My wife and I sit up Tuesday nights (as soon as I get home from work) and watch new episodes on Hulu Plus. We were particularly excited to see this years season finale (titled 'Always') because of the sneak peak we'd seen.

So we watched the episode and loved it.

And yet... I felt something in the episode didn't work for me. Something that made me feel like the writers botched the character's motivation at the finish line.

** Spoiler Warning ** Spoiler Warning **

Hot and Bothered
I've talked about it with a few people and I think they went where the writers wanted them to go. (To see the conclusion of 'Always', click on the link below and watch it on YouTube -- It's just under three minutes).

As the clip shows, Castle and Beckett finally make their connection and begin kissing heavily. Castle opens her shirt and touches the bullet scar over her heart before holding her hand and walking into his apartment.

My whole problem is that I think the shirt thing is too sexual. Everyone I talked to thought it was as well, but they thought that after four years of being friends, they were just ready to rip each others clothes off.

So after watching it again, I think the writers were going for the connection with how close Castle came to losing Beckett when she was shot in season three's finale. But regardless of whether they were ripping their clothes off, or whether Castle wanted to touch her scar, it came off wrong for me and here's why.
Click to watch conclusion of 'Always'

Castle and Beckett's relationship isn't about sex.

In four years, Castle hasn't opened Beckett's clothes in any sexual way. In four years, they've never crossed the line from friendship into something more. Have there been times when they thought about it? Of course! But when you love someone so much that you just want to be in the same room as the object of your affection, sex (while a wonderful part of a healthy relationship) isn't what you really care about. And I believe Castle and Beckett are definitely deeper in their relationship than just wanting to push each other over and bump uglies.

I think Hollywood has a major problem because they feel sex equals intimacy. You would almost wonder if anyone on the West Coast ever fell in love without jumping into bed first. It does happen in the real world, crazy but true.

The writers do try to redeem 'Always' by having Castle and Beckett hold hands and walk into the apartment together, but even that feels like they are heading straight for the bedroom (nudge-nudge, wink-wink). Why not have two or three tentative kisses, the smile, the hand holding, and then Castle leads Beckett into the apartment? Intimate with the smoldering passion we've come to expect.

The Mirror Cracked 
Click to watch Conclusion of The Limey
There is one other episode this season that cheeses me off with what I feel is bad characterization.

 In the episode titled, The Limey, Castle realizes that Beckett has lied to him and begins pursuing other meaningless relationships. My beef with this episode, as the clip shows, is that Beckett, after being rejected by Castle, goes out with the handsome detective from Scotland Yard.

I'm not saying she can't go out with whoever she wants, but how many episodes have we seen where Castle swallows his pride and goes home alone after seeing Beckett heading out with another man? If Castle is man enough to know that if he can't have Beckett and he'd rather be alone, then why should Beckett be written so shallow that she wouldn't go home alone because she's not going with Castle?

It was a total misfire with me and breaks the mirror image that Castle and Beckett were finally getting into the same mindset. This is just one of several episodes where Castle's writers do something that resets the emotional balance between the two characters, ultimately making their connection in 'Always' even more surprising/unbelievable.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury
Anyway... all this nitpicking at these episodes made me remember something David Farland said at his Writers Death Camp. He said people don't like watching movies and T.V. with him because he likes to tear apart the scripts and analyze them. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, I'm obviously starting to do the same.

So what do you think? After watching the clips, is my interpretation correct or am I just up in the night? Do you tear apart movies and T.V. shows to find what you don't like? Do you find times when you wonder why characters act like they shouldn't?


  1. I love Castle! But, I was a little disappointed in the ending of this finale. There was the "impression" of them going in the apartment for the purpose of having sex. A major part of the whole ambiance of the show is their attraction to each other - which includes their desire for each other (and subsequently their holding back). Once they "do it" then what!?

  2. I've never watched Castle, so I'm probably not the best person to judge these characters. I did watch the short clip, however, and I kind of thought it was nice. It wasn't overly sexual in my opinion, and I could tell there was a deep passion between them. You're absolutely right that Hollywood and the rest of the world view sex very casually, but isn't sex the culmination of physical love? If Castle and the chick have been skirting the line for years, I'm totally fine with a sudden explosion of physical intimacy. Again, I don't know these characters, but if (let's assume for a second I'm unmarried and unmormon.) the woman of my dreams--whom I've been in love with for several years--comes to me and tells me she wants me, you bet your knickers I'm ripping her clothes off. Lust and passion have their places in relationships. I'd have to see the "what happens next" to give a full judgement. If they are now committed to each other I'm okay with what happened. If not, well then it's just another piece of Hollywood crap. You'll have to tell me after the next season begins.

    If I look at the situation from my LDS worldview, of course it's wrong. Of course the shirt unbuttoning is inappropriate. This is where values and entertainment clash. Logically, though, I thought the scene worked.


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