Explaining the season 6 finale of “Castle”, and what’s coming next. Spoilers!

Summary:  Spoiler warning! The skilled actors of the TV show “Castle” bring to us a season finale that, properly understood, will make each of us look in the mirror and wonder what’s become of us — as citizens, as Americans. Who kidnapped Richard Castle minutes before his wedding in the Season 6 finale? This post explains not just who, but why — and how this was the natural (and inspiring) culmination of the show’s entire plot arc. The answer tells us something about America’s predicament, and a path to our future.

This post begins a series discussing the TV show “Castle”. Post your thoughts about this in the comments.

Stana Katic
Stana Katic, co-star of “Castle”.

Contents

  1. TV is a mirror to our fears & dreams.
  2. Understory of “For Better or Worse”.
  3. What to expect in Season 7.
  4. Lessons for America.
  5. Other posts in this series.
  6. For More Information.
  7. Beckett gets the last word.

 

(1) TV is a mirror to our fears & dreams.

Hit films and TV shows provide a mirror in which we can see ourselves. They project our hopes, fears, and possible futures — so we can watch without involvement. This allows our emotions to freely flow so we can experience different paths.

The Season 6 finale, “For Better or Worse” (episode 23), brought to a natural climax the plot arc of the entire series. Minutes before his wedding to Kate Beckett, an attack on Richard Castle leaves his car a fiery wreck, his location and condition unknown, leaving Beckett stunned with grief. Who did this, and why? The answer will transform your view of the Castle series, and illuminate the predicament facing America today. The predicament facing each of us individually as citizens. It’s below the fold; there are spoilers.

Nathan Fillion
Nathan Fillion, as he once was.

(2) Season 6 finale: “For Better or Worse”

“Man will only become better when you make him see what he is like.”
— Anton Chekhov (Russian doctor, playwright, author; 1860-1904), in his notebook.

“Oh, wow. You’re engaged to a douche.”
— Rogan O’Leary (Beckett’s husband), speaking to her about Castle.

In this episode Castle had a kind of epiphany, a flash of insight revealing the course of his life from past to future. An insight of the sort that changes lives. He met Beckett’s husband of 15 years, Rogan O’Leary. A younger version of himself as he was in Season 1 (five years ago): a bold alpha, attractive to women, living a life of adventure.

During their adventures, Castle came to see himself through Rogan’s eyes as an over-weight, somewhat lethargic, beta orbiter humiliating himself by following his fiancee around the country to beg her husband for a divorce. His rail-thin, ultra-hot fiancee who — after five years of spurning him — heard her biological clock ticking, and decided to settle down with a rich famous nice guy.

Naturally Rogan treats Castle with contempt, derisively calling him “man parts”. Which Castle meekly accepts.

Rogan instinctively knows about Beckett’s years of toying with Castle, and the serial deceits (details here) culminating with her forgetting to mention that she’s married (especially exquisite from the woman who mocked Castle’s two divorces by saying “I’m a one and done girl.”

While working out their weekly adventure in a desultory fashion, Castle ponders this revelation. He now sees his transformation from the ruggedly handsome, rebellious, action hero of Season One into the tame follower he’s become. Supporting Beckett’s every whim, apologizing if he bruises her ego. Castle realizes that Rogan sees the real Castle, and that he shares Rogan’s contempt for what he has become.  {Some readers have replied that Rogan’s a bad guy; see a response here}

But we all have the capacity for self renewal, and Castle more than most. Castle repeatedly has forged new versions of himself. From high school prankster to millionaire novelist to A-team detective. Now he resolves to do it again. The second half of his life will begin with the creation of a new man with a new name, a clean break with his old ways (no matter how difficult for a world-famous author with millions of fans). He uses his incredible Rolodex of contacts to arrange the faking of his death. And his rebirth.

Taktsang Monastery in Bhutan
“Beckett, I’m at Taktsang Monastery (Bhutan)”.

(3)  Predictions for Season 7

Beckett and the gang fruitlessly hunt for Castle and his attackers.

His mother and daughter remain distant with Beckett, stiffly unmoved by Castle’s death. When asked all they say is “That’s how he’d want us to live.”

In episode 6 Beckett will hook up with one of her younger-than-Castle tall handsome ex-lovers. Probably Josh Davidson, the motorcycle-riding, helping-the-poor-in-Africa cardiac surgeon. In the season finale she’ll receive a note from Castle, wonderfully written, explaining all and wishing her well in her life. He’ll write this while fishing in the South Pacific, or on a break from meditating in the Taktsang Monastery.

Meanwhile Garret Ward (from season 6 episode 5, “Time will Tell“) plays pinochle in the psych ward of Bellevue, waiting for his next dose of Thorazine (he was not a time traveler; Beckett and Castle will not have 3 kids; Beckett will not leverage Castle’s money and connections to become a Senator).

Will this be the course of Season 7? Probably not (see a more likely guess here). But it should be, and could inspire us with Castle’s ability to restore himself. More importantly, this series of posts about “Castle” explores its past — mining for insights about us and America — not its future (which the showrunner, Andrew Marlowe, has hinted at).

Note: this is, of course, not a “spoiler”. Excerpt perhaps as a harsh revelation of a new perspective to shippers of Kate Beckett. And perhaps also to those of Richard Castle.  But this is a complement to the actors of “Castle”, showing the depths of their portrayal to these characters. See more details in the comments.

Phoenix
In our future lies a better America.

(4)  Lessons for America

“America is no longer, what it could be, what it once was. And I say to myself, I don’t want that future for my children.”

—— Barack Obama, 6 August 2008. See the video here. Like a Hallmark card, most of what he says is correct. Like the cards, they mean little.

We, America’s citizens, share Richard Castle’s predicament. Once bold and unruly, America has become rich and successful but also complacent, docile, even tame.

The most eloquent comments on the FM website — by, I suspect, the smartest commenters — say that America cannot reform itself. Logic and fact supports their analysis. But I believe otherwise. We can re-invent ourselves. If the Second Republic (built on the Constitution) has died, then we can build a Third — a better one, as the Second was better than the First — on its ruins.

As with Castle, the first step must be to see what we have become. Profound contempt is necessary, a nausea with what we have become — esp. by comparison with what we were and should be.  Only from there will effective collective action and political programs become possible. Like Castle, we already have the strength to reinvent ourselves; we lack only the will.

Weber points us toward Nietzsche as the common source for serious thinkers of the twentieth century. He also tells us what the single fundamental issue is: the relation between reason, or science, and the human good. When he speaks of happiness and the last man, he does not mean that the last man is unhappy, but that his happiness is nauseating. An experience of profound contempt is necessary in order to grasp our situation, and our capacity for contempt is vanishing.

Weber’s science presupposes this experience, which we would call subjective. After having encountered it in Nietzsche, he spent the greater part of his scholarly life studying religion in order to understand the non-contemptible, those who esteem or revere and are therefore not self-satisfied, those who have values …

— From The Closing of the American Mind, chapter “Values”, Allan Bloom (1987).

(5) Other posts in this series about “Castle”

  1. Spoilers for “Castle”: explaining the finale & season 7. It’s a metaphor for America.
  2. What the TV show “Castle” teaches us about America, and ourselves, — About our myths.
  3. The TV show “Castle” challenges us to see our changing values. Most fans decline, horrified.
  4. “Castle” shows us marriage in America, a fault line between our past & future.
  5. “Castle” shows us a dark vision of Romance in America.
  6. Richard Castle shows us the dark reality of justice in 21st C America.
  7. “Castle” shows that many of us don’t defend New America because we don’t like it.
  8. The bitter fruits of our alienation from America — more lessons from “Castle”.

(6) For More Information

The Chekhov quote is from Interpreting Chekhov by Geofrey Borny (2006).

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts women and gender issues., and especially these…

(7)  Beckett sees the flaming wreck of Castle’s car

Beckett has the last word

67 thoughts on “Explaining the season 6 finale of “Castle”, and what’s coming next. Spoilers!

  1. Readers have written in about this post. Here are some of their thoughts, and my replies.

    (1) “It would be despicable for Castle to do this!”

    Yes. But it would be in character for Castle to do this. Any man might consider doing this under the circumstances, although few of us would be so bold as to do it.

    Castle realizes that he doesn’t want to marry Beckett and live as a beta orbiter. But there are 300 guests waiting to see the ceremony. He imagines the Sturm und Drang of calling it off. The festival in the tabloids about this!

    This phase of his life is ending, so why not make a fast clean break and skip the painful chaos?

    (2) What about Alexis (daughter) and Martha (mother)?”

    He’d tell them, of course. That’s why they’d took his “death” so well. Of course, Martha (the actress) would stage some convincing scenes of the grief-torn mother.

    (3) Would any of Castle’s friends figure out what happened?”

    Of course. My guess is that as Detective Javier Esposito (played by Jon Huertas) would see it first. The others are too rigid, too well-behaved, to imagine such an action. Espo would see no body, no evidence pointing to anyone, would reflect on Beckettt’s 15-year long marriage (hidden from Castle) — and make an intuitive leap to the truth.

    He’d tell his partner Kevin Ryan and love-interest Dr Lannie Parrish. Both would be stunned. Lannie would tell Beckett, who would not believe it (because she dumps guys; they don’t dump her).

    Captain Victoria Gates would eventually learn — or figure it out herself. “Typically scum move by Castle” she’d say.

  2. Six thousand hits on this post, and they’re still roaring in. But not one by a fan of “Castle”. Especially odd that there is not one protest by an outraged fan of Beckett.

    Great traffic and no hostile comments — these people doing TV reviews have a soft gig!

  3. WTF that’s terrible who and why would people do that to him it’s mean and not to mention that Beckett might not be able to find Castle without shooting some people first

  4. I personally think that for a reform to happen on the scale you’re talking about will require a crisis or trauma of such depth and breadth that Americans in general will have no choice but to reform the country. The recession has been part of such a crisis, but hasn’t been deep enough to really spur a majority of people to ask for the big reforms the country needs. Something else – perhaps an even worse economic crisis – may be necessary before Americans are forced to make choices that will change society.

    1. This is the weirdest castle blog I’ve come across, I am disappointed that we have another over the top cliff hanger instead of just being done with the wedding but will be tuning in to see where they’re going with this. As for the writer of this article I can only say he’s off his meds, and for mrB this country is the greatest country in the world it does not need reform and those who want to fundamentally change it are nothing more than traitors to the free world.

    2. democratnomore,

      Thank you for a wonderful demonstration of anti-American values!

      America has grown great by repeated cycles of reform. America today only slightly resembles the project when the Founders began, our progress has fulfilled the Founders’ hopes. Also noteworthy is your contempt for your fellow Americans.

      Fortunately we have overcome people like you in the past, and America will continue to grow and stay great by overcoming people like you in the future.

    3. Thanks for all the clichés, but the very point of this blog is to show that America very much does need reform. I’d recommend reading a few of the articles here before you jump to conclusions.

  5. I have no idea what the TV show “Castle” is.

    We can discern the future of American society, though, by study it’s near mirror-image, Russia.

    Russia underwent a forced militarization/industrialization which combining a vast manufacturing buildup with an enormous increase in its military. This worked well for roughly 40 years. By the early 1960s, Russia seemed poised at the top of the world — its space program put all other nations to shame (including America), its productive capacity seemed peerless, its citizenry had pride in their accomplishments.

    After the 1960s, the uncontrolled growth of Russia’s military/national security apparatus began to eat the economy alive. Eventually so much money got funneled into the national security apparatus that the economy had to cut back on civilian production. Inefficiencies set in, and soon factory workers found it necessary to sell raw factory materials or finished goods on the black market in order to survive. As the state’s infrastructure decayed, repression increased to maintain order. Eventually dissent developed to such levels that the topheavy military/nation security state collapsed of its own dead weight, and a new regime of gangsters took over. The new regime was not better than the old one. It was just as corrupt and inefficient, but now dedicated to plundering the state’s resources for the benefit of a handful of oligarchs rather than expanding the glorious revolution and bringing freedom to the far corners of the earth. The Russian population came to mourn the end of their formerly revolutionary state and resent the rise of the gangsters and the oligarchs.

    Looking into the future, we can see a similar path ahead for America. Starting in 1956 America underwent a forced militarization/industrialization courtesy of Paul Nitze’s NSC 68 memorandum establishing military Keynesianism. This worked well for roughly 40 years. By the late 1990s, America seemed poised at the top of the world — its technology put all other nations to shame, its productive capacity seemed peerless, its citizenry had pride in their accomplishments.

    But after the late 1990s, the uncontrolled growth of America’s military/national security apparatus began to eat the economy alive. Eventually so much money got funneled into the bloated national security apparatus that the economy had to cut back on civilian production, shedding non-military jobs and offshoring its manufacturing to shoddy overseas lowest-cost/lowest-quality producers like China, resulting in products like shoes that fall apart after 6 months. Inefficiencies set in, and soon American workers found it necessary to get second or even third jobs to survive. As the state’s infrastructure decayed, repression increased (against demonstrations like Occupy) to maintain order.

    Will dissent in America eventually develop to such levels that the topheavy military/national security state collapses of its own dead weight and a new regime of gangsters takes over?

    Time will tell.

    It looks likely to me. .

    People who bitterly criticize today’s topheavy bloated military/national security state with its Orwellian panopticon surveillance and ineffective congress don’t realize that these are the good days for the end of America. Soon the entire state infrastructure will collapse, and the real gangsters will emerge from the rubble and take over. Most of you will rue the day you yearned for an end to the crumbling corrupt decadence of today’s collapsing America, because what comes after will be far less pleasant. You’ll face the prospect of having to pay a bribe to get a privatized police force investigate the rape of your daughter, or you’ll have to pay bakshish in order to keep that gray market job you’ve got stripping copper wire from the telephone lines to make enough money to eat. The gangsters who dump toxic waste in the local water supply have made your tap water undrinkable, and you won’t be able to afford the bottled water at the local private market. Yes, these are the good days in America compared to what’s coming…

    1. You got a few things right, most things wrong. Russia collapsed because the Russians are drunken incompetents most of the time. They only sober up and get their act together when really threatened. By contrast, the Anglo-Saxon countries are well-run and very stable meritocracies (thus ensuring that natural leaders from the poor join the elite rather than remaining available to lead the poor in a revolution) and thus extremely unlikely to collapse. Who cares if shoes for the poor fall apart in 6 months? What matters is that the poor are kept from revolting and I see zero indication that the security state is unable to attend to that primary mission.

      But yes, thing are going to get a LOT worse for the poor and middle-class and not because the security state falls apart. Indeed, I expect the security state to become vastly MORE efficient in the future due to privatization and focus on a single mission. That mission being to protect the rich, of course. Right now, the security state has multiple conflicting missions: protect the rich, protect everyone else. administer equal justice, favor the rich over the poor, etc, and so of course it seems to be a bunch of bunglers. Compare with Blackwater or whatever they call themselves now. They don’t bungle things.

      The hard truth is that, due to robots and globalization, more and more people in American are being pushed from the “useful beast of burden” to “useless eater” category. A system that causes useless eaters to suffer and go extinct is a feature, not a bug.

    2. Big government in the form of communist socialism killed russia or more to the point the SSR which was being run by incompetent street thugs unable to feed the people so stupid that after they confiscated all the food from farms they then took the seeds leaving the farmers with nothing to plant. If the capitalists of the once strong america didn’t fix they’re train system and get food to these people many would have died. Socialism or simply all controlling big government is a disease bringing, stagnation, laziness, ignorance, corruption, and fascism.

    1. Slapout,

      I am not a TV fan; I stopped watching steadily in 1973 — except for the few essentials mentioned above. My wife got me hooked into “Castle”, a story of personal evolution for a small group of people.

      Thanks for the tip!

      My wife

  6. I’ve watched Castle since its first episode, if they screw me on this like they did on the Mentalist then I will Not be watching anymore television shows. And I’ll definitely tell ABC so too. Do these Networks wonder why people have tired of their nonsense, look at what happened to the show Glade, he gets shot and they leave it at that, no ending. Does he live, does he die………we’ll never know now?

  7. Ah, basing this predicted “spoiler” on Rogan, a drug/alchi/felon/con man/thief/pathological liar/ADHD candidate. Isn’t this like basing your policy analysis of Obama on all the critiques of Obama from the Scott Walker/Rand Paul/Marco Rubio/Ted Cruz bat-shit crazy universe? If so, then maybe it’s time to re-make this site!

    More to the point of the plot, though, is that Rogan is stupid and hysterical, with a long series of crime/swindle failures. As such, do we buy into the inaccurate tv/film cliché such a person is often a misunderstood smart guy (or even, genius) with insight into Castle or anybody else.? My police friends remind me that they have yet to met such a “smart” criminal.

    Btw, my money is on the serial killer team from Season 6, Episode 9, “Disciple.”

    1. Marc,

      This is fiction, so “truth” is a murky thing. But Rogan has led an adventurous life as an outlaw. Not everybody wants to be an accountant. It’s a different kind of life.

      Just as it has not prevented him from gaining the devoted love of a beautiful women, we need not believe his life on the borders of society has diminished his abilities to appreciate art or literature — many creators and critics of which have lived similarly insecure lives on the outer zones of societies — condemned as dumb and foolish by the respectable. Yet in hindsight their opinions are considered more valid than those of the straight and narrow bureaucrats and corporate yes-men of those times.

      Here we are dealing with something even more subjective, where skill at sucking up to superiors, scoring well on multiple-choice tests, memorizing socially-valued trivia, and coloring in the lines contributes even less: measuring manliness (aka alphaness, or a dozen other names). The judgement of a Rogan, an outlaw biker, a starving artist, a South Sea beachcomber — all of these might be as or more valid to someone like Castle (or a young hottie, or a mature hottie like Beckett) than that of a respectable middle class businessman.

      I suggest broadening your vision.

      Also, there are different kinds of knowledge. Thinking that the same calculus can solve planetary orbits, compute Machiavelli’s math of political effectiveness, Alexander’s battlefield leadership, Obama’s policy proposals, and the dynamics of personal charisma — well, that’s not the one dimensional thinking done here.

  8. I do like your idea of Castle wising up and leaving Beckett at the alter. He has put up with this neurotic woman for far too long but I think while originally he found her very attractive, physically and story, he made Nikki Heat to compensate for all the faults Beckett has, namely her dishonesty.

    1. Chris,

      My son (in college) agrees with your view!

      The character evolution of both has been the fascinating aspect of the show. Both have grown, IMO. But while Beckett has become both happier and in all ways better, can that be said for Castle?

      He’s grown much heavier and (as often remarked on the fan boards) more lethargic. He has become far less aggressive. He defers to Beckett and seldom makes fun of her (as he did in the first few seasons). All these characteristics appeared in extreme form in the Season 6 finale, added to his humiliation by Rogan and dog-like acceptance of Beckett’s marriage (his concern being to stroke her feelings).

      As Beckett says at almost every crisis: “It’s about me, and my life”. How true. She’s appears never to have adjusted to it being about “us”, not “me” (which is a theme of “The Music Man”).

    2. You could say he is tired, he committed himself to this relationship and pride makes him see it through, but it has worn him down so much he just a shadow of his former self. I have been around women like Beckett, they kill the spirit while at the same time they entice you. If it were not for Stana’s moments where the actress shines through the character of Beckett would be intolerable. Castle would be better off with either of his exes.

    3. Chris,

      That’s an interesting perspective, and tightly explains the plot arc!

      I remember wincing with dismay at Beckett’s physical abuse of Castle in first 2 seasons. People would have had the FCC on them, with advertiser boycotts, if the roles had been reversed.

      I agree that the writing would be intolerable without Stana’s characterization.

    4. And you dont see that Castle acts like a child most of the time? come on, all people have faults, Beckett as well. These two people are perfect for each other.

    5. Kathy,

      I understand and share your view that these two people are perfect for one another.

      As I said above, each TV is in effect a collective fan fiction of the audience. We see a certain storyline. Unfortunately the showrunners have a different perspective, different needs. Hence the TV Trope The Status Quo Is God. To keep the show going without too much character development long-running shows start to create increasingly odd stories, often changing the back-stories — which inevitably either change our view of the characters or break our ability to disbelieve (aka jump the shark).

      I had started to believe that “Castle” would break the curse by successfully showing its characters maturing and moving through life. Marriage, kids, etc. The S6 finale suggests that the showrunners might not be willing to venture into this unknown.

      “And you dont see that Castle acts like a child most of the time?”

      I’ll take the other side of that debate. This was true in season one. One of the most interesting aspects of the show is how both Castle and Beckett have matured. Castle is no longer the extreme man-child; Beckett no longer the unsmiling rigid police-bot (Espo & Ryan probably light candles every week in thanks for her evolution; she probably wasn’t much fun to work for).

  9. I described the the Rogan-Beckett marriage events to several dozen people this week. all agreed that the “she forget” and “amnesia” theories were less likely than the “she lied” theory. This isn’t science, of course, especially since we are discussing fiction. Oddly, there was no difference between the men and women’s views.

    One women, a regular watcher, said she thought the amnesia theory was less plausible than the “it was a time traveler” theory. But then she watches a lot of sci-FI.

    What supports the “she lied” theory? Let’s review the discussion on the Finale thread.

    First, Beckett twice has lied to Castle about big things: her memory after being shot, her trip to DC. It’s a pattern. She might have found it difficult to fess up, and more difficult as time went on. She might have liked the sound of saying “one and done”, but then found that made the truth more difficult to say. Ditto her teasing Castle about his two divorces.

    Human nature. Doesn’t make her a bad person.

    Second, did she forget the marriage? The women were especially dismissive of this, as in “no women forgets going to city hall, getting a license, going to a chapel, and having a ceremony.” (Drive-thru chapels do NOT issue licenses, and they will not marry you without a license)

    Three, did she have temporary alcohol-induced amnesia, recalling the marriage only when reminded by the clerk? This also assumes Rogan never mentioned the marriage — not the next morning, or anytime during the following two weeks. The first is improbable (amnesia doesn’t work that way), as is the second, IMO. The combo more so.

    Four, did Beckett believe that the marriage license from Las Vegas City Hall was not valid? This is too silly to discuss. She gave better excuses for the first two lies. But then, this was the best she could think of on the spot.

  10. More about Season 7

    My guess (emphasis on guess), is that Castle and Beckett will have a conversation in which Beckett

    * why Beckett never got a divorce,

    * will explain why she told Castle that the wedding was not real (it was the best excuse she would do on the spur of the moment) — and

    * apologize to Castle for saying she thought it wasn’t real. This would give a happy moment as an end to this plot loop. The showrunners might hope that this moment of bathos (romantic sentimentalism) will mollify the angry among the “Castle” fans.

    *** UPDATE: see Lisa’s powerful rebuttal below.

    1. While I like the idea of the Beckett explaining to Castle the truth of what she said about her first marriage, I feel it is highly unlikely.

      The show is not very big on discussion about issues between the leads (I’m still waiting on an explanation for why she accepted the job in DC without talking to Castle first, and why it was more important than being engaged to him) because the show tends to allow only the most superficial talk between the leads, unfortunately.

    2. Com toda a sinceridade, espero que os dois, tanto o Castle como a Beckett, acabem por se entenderem, pois o que foi sucedendo em todos os episódios até ao final da 6ª. Temporada, entre os dois, não foi mais que o sucede em muitos casos, na vida atual, portanto espero e desejo, que os dois cheguem a um entendimento, e que tudo acabe em bem entre os dois, pois outro final, seria desastroso para todos os fans (que são muitos, acreditem), e para a própria série!

  11. To Ed of FM,

    Do you think intention is knowable? Or, do you subscribe to the extreme Derridean/Ecoean position that intention is not knowable, but that we try anyway by analyzing the marginalia?

    If we use your method in analyzing this double episode of Castle, we might say, for example, that your site is part of deliberate Establishment misinformation by calling into question the media so we do not now what to think, that nothing is certain, probable or, even false. Hence, you serve as a culture vanguard, given your military background, for the further strengthening of the oligarchy by confusing us.

    If we follow the intention of your analysis of this episode of Castle, a “broadened” interpretation of your article is that we, the US, engage in Castlesque subterfuge by staging a sort of “car crash” on a national level in order to rebuild our national identity and free ourselves from what you define as our current set of problems?

    Btw, I find it interesting that some people feel free to comment without having watched Castle and that you feel emboldened by a lack of disagreement from Castle fans. It may be that they’ve decided your ideas are similar in category to the likes of Messrs Rubio, Rand and Walker.

    I think you make Pope turn over his grave or, possibly, sic his Great Danes on you.

    1. Marc,

      All interesting speculation, although far over my pay grade. This post was, as stated, a simple metaphor. Nothing so grand as your analysis

      “That you feel emboldened by a lack of disagreement from Castle fans.”

      I don’t see how you deduce that from my statement that “Especially odd that there is not one protest {here} by an outraged fan of Beckett.”

      In fact the fans are outraged; they’re merely expressing it on home turf — rather than here. See the comments on websites like CastleTV and Reddit. Their comments are fascinating, and in general blindly pro-Beckett. For example, concocting wild explanations for Beckett’s statement that she believed a marriage license doesn’t make it a “real marriage”. She never explains, so her fans imagine temporary amnesia — a complex scheme by Rogan — or a 15-year-long attack of stupidity.

      Interestingly, but not surprisingly, so far I’ve seen little in the way of rebuttal. For example, why “she’s lying” is not a more likely explanation. But lots of insults. Reading those made me feel quite at home. Just like the comments on the FM website.

      It’s yet another example of how truth in America is tribal.

  12. I hadn’t considered the last episode of season 6 in this way because I’ve given up on the Castle character turning back to more of what he was when the series started. I was so unhappy with the end of season 5 that I was compelled to write my first piece of fan fiction, which was also a criticism of the series and the Castle character arc. He didn’t propose, having grown tired of her “me first” approach to their relationship and what he’d become, and instead broke up with her and turned back in the direction of his former self.

    If interested the story (fairly short) can be found here:

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9488967/1/His-Own-Special-Way

    1. Binkley,

      Thank you for your comment and the link to your story.

      Your comment reminds me of a thread on the CastleTV forum page about the season 6 finale. A comment mentioned that in the early days of “Castle” there were many fans of Nathan Fillion posting there, who had followed him from the days of “Firefly” – and wondered why they were no longer heard at CastleTV.

      Your comment is, I suspect, an answer.

      Also, I too noticed Beckett’s almost automatic response when Castle points to relationship problems: “It’s my life.”

      Part of the structural problem with rom-coms is that the Status Quo is God (as the TV Tropes page says). The characters act in ways to keep them apart, and in the past several seasons that has been Beckett’s role. After a while this starts to look less like a romance and more like an dysfunctional obsession of Castle.

      Alexis is often the voice of reason, and in season 6 episode 6 (aptly named “Get a clue”) she warns her Dad (Castle) that Beckett might not be right for him.

    2. I recall an interview with Fillion during the early days of Castle in which he recounted his casting and how he read the script and thought “I am that guy.”

      Very recently I’ve read his reported responses to questions at comic cons. One, when asked about how he and Castle were alike, his response was that they kind of looked the same. The other, when asked how Mal would react to meeting Castle, he reportedly said Mal would shoot Castle in the face.

      Pretty clearly, this isn’t the role Fillion thought he was signing up for and I suspect that season 7 will be the last one given the standard 7-yr contract actors are usually required to sign when cast in a pilot.

    3. Brinkley,

      I agree. This might account for the low-key, even lethargic acting he’s shown in season 6 — and perhaps for the weight gain (not only does that show disinterest in his role, it is perhaps in character for the beaten dog Castle has become).

      I thought his comments after the finale had an odd tone. Mocking fans? Or perhaps the character of Castle?

    4. I called it “live Twolling.” During show his Tweets were pretty neutral, but after the episode he seemed to be intentionally antagonizing the upset fans.

      I’m hugely sympathetic if he’s unhappy with the show and role (and being under contract and largely unavailable while Wheedon’s got tremendous juice) but I had to respond to Fillion’s Tweet along the lines that he thinks the point of entertainment isn’t so much what you feel, but that you feel. I replied, asking him if he felt the same way about the scripts he’s given to do. No response (not that I expected one).

      I think at this point he may well be indifferent about the show. I think the same could be said for many involved with Castle given the decrease in quality, the plot holes, the reliance for automatic fan forgiveness of anything so long as a few Caskett moments are included and are the subject of the final scene (those scenes are like the Bat-amnesia-in-a-spray-can), etc.

      Suffice it to say, if Fillion ever writes a memoir, I’d pre-order because the Castle chapters could well make for compelling reading.

    5. I don’t think ‘TV as a mirror’ applies to many who watch or write for TV. Certainly can be for some. But I think for most TV viewing falls into the category of entertainment/escapism. Watch pretty and/or heroic people doing exciting and/or funny things and/or having intense, thrilling relationships, while I the viewer sit without any real emotional investment. I think most who write do it for the tangible rewards, and not because they want to engage in social commentary or influence people. (Well, maybe more writers want to subtly do the latter.)

      I also don’t think there’s much chance of Americans taking that first step – to see what we have become. Never much of a fan of philosophy; I much prefer writers for quotes, like your Chekhov quote. One of my favorites – “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” — George Orwell. I believe you’re right that as a country we’re too rich and successful, which have led to complacency and a lack of discipline and focus. Another way/context of saying power corrupts.

      And when you get further away in time and in generations from when it was really earned, that’s particularly true. See ‘he was born on third base, and thought he’d hit a triple’ and the exposition that Dr. Malcolm gives in Jurassic Park to the effect that we stand on the efforts of those who came before us and don’t know that we don’t have the wisdom and perspective that would be earned by getting there on our own.

      Too many people like the comfort they have, for what they have to do to get or keep it. People resist change, even if they believe that the present isn’t sustainable and the change is inevitable and perhaps even known to be better for you (or at least less bad). After all, maybe the cup will pass and someone else will pay for and instead of me. See federal debt and the clear lack of any real concern among anything approaching a majority of the electorate or population to do anything about it.

      And with the representative democracy we have, with the gov’t structure we’ve consciously built and unknowingly accreted, all with too many disincentives against changing to something that would make sense and help in the long run and too many incentives to do what’s unhelpful or to maintain the status quo, waiting for a large, consistent, and sustainable majority to see what we have become and affirmatively do something about it, well, as Mal would say, ‘that’s a long wait for a train that don’t come.’

      My late mother-in-law grew up in the Great Depression, and whenever I said that there was nothing wrong with this country that another depression couldn’t solve, she would tell me never to say that, that I had no idea how bad it was. Before she died a few years ago, she told me she’d come to believe I might be right.

      I truly hope I’m wrong about all of the above, but it’s not the way I’d bet.

      But back to Castle. I really like your idea of Castle having an epiphany, but not your predicted plan of action. Faking your own death to avoid the embarrassing and uncomfortable circumstance of calling off a wedding? Hard to imagine a more cowardly and hurtful choice – to Beckett, his mother and daughter, his guests — and Castle has been consistently gracious and considerate, as well as dismissive of Beckett’s “cowardly” act of omission with his profession of love. Impossible to believe he’d take that action, even the Castle from the first two seasons. And if he did, hard to believe he’d ever voluntarily re-appear. If he was too embarrassed to call it off at the alter, he’d die of embarrassment to have to ‘fess up to faking his own death.

      And in no event is the show anywhere near the type of series that would even consider that, much less actually take such a path. Too much of an abrupt destruction of Castle and the fans’ affection for him.

      The series has instead engaged in a slow, methodical erosion of the Castle character and that affection. Having Rogan call Castle a ‘douche’ and ‘man parts’ – without defending himself – is just a continuation of some of the insults thrown at Castle by Esposito, especially at the end of season 5. Remember how Esposito was the first Caskett shipper? The whole thing reminds me of professional wrestling, where a promoter denigrates a wrestler’s character by having him lose, take insults, be embarrassed, etc. as a way of exacting payback from the wrestler for real life disagreements.

    6. Binkley,

      All good points! I strongly agree with most of this.

      (1) “I don’t think ‘TV as a mirror’ applies to many who watch or write for TV.”

      I agree. It’s a mirror. That does not mean that people use it!

      (2) Would Castle fake his death?

      It’s fiction. Each fan in effect writes his or her fan fiction, embellishing the are bones of the story with details and internal lives of the characters. So there is no answering this question.

      But we can test for realism. And this does happen in the real world. Nice middle class people do it on various scales all the time. Sometimes they, like Castle, disappear (but without the cover story, so giving no closure to their family and friends). More often the leave their spouse and children, move away to start a new life — deliberate abandonment, leaving shattered lives behind them. The people involved consistently express astonishment that he/she would do such a thing.

      This scenario with Castle is less extreme, in that it gives relatively easier closure to Castle’s friends and fans (his family knows, so they’re less affected). This is Castle returning with a vengeance to his bad boy roots, taking radical steps to leave his old life behind.

  13. The Weber quote has a lot to it. Though what is not needed is unchecked religious fanaticism or unreflective piety.

    My role models are…

    Karl Barth – who was so dismayed by his mentor theologians’s support for WWI that it radically altered his theology and consequently the theology of the 20th century. He strongly influenced Dieterich Bonhoeffer whose resistance to the Third Reich is well known and deservedly celebrated.

    Marilynne Robinson – Her essays articulate the Christian heritage of America not with a mythology of the Founders nor with nods to the so called Moral Majority. Her articulation of Christian heritage is the religious impetus that led the abolition movement, women’s suffrage, and the civil rights movement. She sees that being the heirs of the Pilgrims is not so much about the neo-Calvinism of John Piper (a very intellectual Fundamentalism that is capturing the hearts of young conservative minded intellectuals) but about generous, faithful,and thoughtful Christianity. She is quick to point out that Calvinism does not have to lead to puritancial killjoys, but that Calvin himself was deeply influenced by Renaissance humanism.

    C.S. Lewis – Very traditional and very patriotic – at the same time he presents faith as a source for undermining structures of tyranny. The Lion the With and the Wardrobe is about a successful insurrection against an evil Queen. Mere Christianity says the essence of Christianity is about a subversive mission to undermine power structures in-bedded with pride and greed (sermons are messages smuggled in and disseminated, setting the stage for the rightful King to arrive). The Screwtape Letters shows a powerful network that is successful at enslaving humanity, a network that can only be overcome by faith. The Great Divorce shows that the concept of hell is not about manipulating people into a morality code (Lewis held high standard for morality though did not believe coercion or the threat of hell should motivate morality) rather hell is the consequence of people who willfully stick their head in the sand with regards to reality. A Grief Observed shows that it is human to wrestle with faith and doubt (i.e. faith does not have to be a delusional opiate that always make us happy, rather faith can handle the raw emotion of real life).

    Rowan Williams – The Arch Bishop of Canterbury who ushered the Church of England into the 21st century. He has an amazing capacity to articulate political realities of our times as well as hot-button social issues that are dividing churches. His approach is a little left-of-center and he is an intellectual heavyweight. He has published a number excellent of books on a number of topics. Despite being appointed to such a high profile position as Arch Bishop (he has since retired and now holds a post at Cambridge) his work is underrated and not talked about enough. The book Christ on Trial is a great introduction to his approach to things.

    Bob Ekblad – An ardent student of Liberation Theology, he shows how that theology can play out in effective ways (so effective that his ministry was just showcased on Pat Robertson’s CBN news! i wonder if Pat himself realizes that Ekblad is publicly aligned with Liberation Theology). I do believe that some Liberation Theology is blatant and unhelpful Marxist propaganda – but throwing out Liberation Theology wholesale will throw the baby out with the bath water. There is a lot of quality stuff out there in this field.

    Pope Francis – Some people want the Pope to be more progressive. Well not even the Pope has enough power or political capital to wage the battles needed for more inclusivity in Catholicism. He knows what he can do to positively help the poor and the marginalized and he knows how to use his visibility to inspire others. His tenure will not satisfy everyone but will be marked by great strides in the right direction.

    Mainline Protestantism – Once the centerpiece of American religious life these churches have declined while mega-churches, dispensationalism, health-and-wealth gurus, and celebrity pastors have become staples of the American religious experience. On the whole rank-and-file mainliners are centrist or progressive in thought. The denominations on the whole have a lot of infrastructure, property, and bureaucratic oversight but using these things as force for good will not happen with a top-down approach (winning the hearts and minds of Bishops and other denominational leaders will not result in inspiring people in the pews), faith and innovation from the grassroots is the only thing that will mobilize these structures.

  14. Hm, nice (as in “wild”) speculations – there is so much wrong on this page that I have to push myself to contribute anything else … actually, I didn’t intend for this to sound so harsh, but that’s how it came out, sorry.

    Maybe we shouldn’t be concerned so much about what “America” should be (in your opinion) – we have global problems (many caused to a substancial degree by what “America” and friends are and have been). So, I think we should only welcome your Third Reich, eh, Republic, sorry, if it humbly strives to nourish justice in the world, the whole world that is.

    BTW, when you say “America”, you are probably talking about the USSNA, right? The United States of Southern North-America ;)

  15. I enjoy Castle. I started watching it in its third season while I was recuperating from a fall and in a lot pain. I like mysteries with humor and quirky characters. I enjoy the episodes that have one crime that needs to be solved much more than the episodes where some Master Criminal’s dastardly deeds involve putting the lives of Our Heroes at jeopardy. I never got caught up in the “shipper “/ obsession about the romantic relationship between Beckett and Castle. I like the Castle character despite those character flaws pointed out within the show and in forum posts ; he loves his family and friends, is compassionate, has a wide range of interests, and makes the attempt -at least – to recognize his faults and evolve. For his pains, he gets a lot of abuse, not all of it good natured teasing. Yes – he is an imperfect hero and there’s a lot of puppy dog-like behavior on view.

    The season finale — where do I start? The “shippers” weren’t the only ones that felt cheated. The writing is usually much much better. The plot had enough holes to drive a whole convoy of trucks through and the fans seem to have spotted every one from just one viewing. When I saw it, I was also following the Twitter feeds cast and crew members were posting during the show. Even with my multi-tasking, I spotted the inconsistencies and felt the belivability envelope had been pushed much too far. It was a Perfect Storm of Things That Could Go Wrong At A Wedding. A bit TOO perfect a storm. I was expecting that Sharknadoes were about to descend on the wedding party before the end of the episode. Some fans have wondered if this will all turn out to be Kate’s dream. As with a dream, too many things don’t add up even for a work of fiction.

    I haven’t yet steeled myself to re-watch the episode – this time with my full attention. I keep imagining it will be a bit like watching a train wreck in progress. That said, I’ll continue to watch Castle when it returns this fall. I’m curious how the writers will get the characters out of the corner they’ve painted them into.

    1. Mystib,

      Thanks for commenting! I agree on all points.

      I too wonder about the “it’s all a dream (nightmare)” theory. They’ve done so much damage to the characters — and the showrunners’ credibility — this might be the best way out. It would certainly explain all the improbable wedding events, and the equally weird past marriage.

  16. @Thomas More, you said” The gangsters who dump toxic waste in the local water supply have made your tap water undrinkable”. The tap water today may be drinkable but it is still full of toxins (40,000 or more to be exact).

    That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy“, New York Times

    Environment has become a stew of chemicals-too numerous to count. Unbelievable amount of around 40,000 in drinking water! No one’s’ thinks how they may interact with each other let alone with human beings-even if in small doses!The fact they are invisible makes it worse.

    The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains“, The Atlantic

    Leading scientists recently identified a dozen chemicals as being responsible for widespread behavioral and cognitive problems. But the scope of the chemical dangers in our environment is likely even greater. Why children and the poor are most susceptible to neurotoxic exposure that may be costing the U.S. billions of dollars and immeasurable peace of mind.

    1. Winston,

      That was a 876 word long comment completely unrelated to this post. It’s a thread-killer.

      We have a lot of new people reading this, and I want them to be interested and feel free to comment.

      As I have said before, comments should be 150 words. I’ve let longer ones go through if relevant, but this is too much.

  17. I have watched Castle since the beginning and more than once. This show made me feel good. Can’t say any other show has ever done that. Being able to relate to both Castle and Beckett and how they both have some issues. We all do, but they both keep at it and do grow and mature as we all must do.

    So now Castle is to regress and have a mad little boy tantrum and ditch Beckett? If this is to be the way the story is to go, well I wont be watching it! America and me has had enough of bad writers and unhappy stuff.

    If it is that Castle wants out of show than that is just where the people here have gone and that can be defined by lack of loyalty. Or greed.

    When O’Neal left SG1 of Stargate it was the same. He was part of the glue to a good show.

    As to the quality of the show going down hill, I dont agree. All shows will have a episode or 2 here and there that does not flow well. Too bad, someone just had to kill it!

  18. This entire article is a “LOAD” . fans should not by into this kind of speculation by individuals who have no clue what the writers planned. The Creator identified very clearly that there is “more that needs to happen before the wedding happens.” This is just a Twist in the storyline. a fan perspective says A} that 3XK needs to be resolved before they wed and B} that implications from the creator indicates that a new recurring villian is about to be revealed. season 6 moved up the bar…season 7 will raise it agian, just like it has done every season.

    1. Edward,

      Perhaps you are correct about future plot lines. That was not the point here, as specifically stated.

      Rather this was to explore implications of this episode in the context of the full series, to see what we “know” about the characters.

      This is about the show’s past, not its future.

  19. Season 6 Finale has 3XK written ALL OVER IT. Beckett has always been sort of on the back burner with 3XK. this brings her to the frontlines. it also does something else. When Castle tortured the guy who drove the car that kidnapped Alexis, Beckett asked him about it and said that she did not think he had that side to him. Now it is HER turn. 3KX…”say Goodbye.”

  20. IF THAT HAPPENS I AM NEVER WATCHING CASTLE AGAIN
    beckett and castle are too strong as a couple this will never
    ever ever ever happen and if it does they just lost a viewer

    1. Hannah,

      Rest assured that this will not happen! It is a thought-experiment, a way to vividly illustrate how the character of Richard Castle has evolved during the season.

      Many fans have remarked that Nathan F appears, on screen and off, disenchanted with his role. Perhaps he agrees with the analysis here.

      Thanks for commenting here, sharing your interest in the show!

    1. Jeff,

      I would very much like to see many more season of Castle, taking them through marriage and development of their careers — until they move on from detectives to serious writer and politican.

      It would make history for a TV show to move from driven by unresolved sexual tension to mature family life. The Castle team could do it. But it would require a big leap of faith to go where nobody has successfully gone before.

  21. Don’t take castle away. You will lose your audience if you do this. Our lives are all too real as it is, why not allow us drown out the real for the special, fantasy, love and heart?
    Why this new approach. Is Nathan Fallion doing a movie as to why he isn’t on the show ?
    Stupid if you ask me. I watch reruns everyday of Castle. You will be taking my enjoyment away!

    1. Joyce,

      Thank you for your comment! Richard Castle will not disappear from “Castle”.

      What we have seen, however, is the evolution of his character. The strong alpha — sharp mentally, lean and fit physically — has decayed to the passive, limp, stout Castle we see at the end of season 6. In season one Beckett ran to keep up with Castle; now Castle has become a Beta orbiter to Beckett.

      Sad. Perhaps the show will re-vitalize itself. But we’ll always have seasons 1 to 6.

  22. 炒作似乎助推了影片的解禁但在軍隊就需要這樣,我撞到了,我在軍隊的天地很廣闊,可以自由翱翔!” 台北援交 說這段話時吳京難掩滿滿的自信與驕傲。到現在 台北援交,陰謀集團在媒體上的壓制,以防止人們享有 台南援交 應有的世界和社會的全面的信息分享 台南援交。據記者了解,整個現代農業的投入資金將全部來自于海亮自身。3.子公司是獨立法人,其所得稅計征獨立進行 高雄一夜情。英軍投降后,雖然戰火暫停下來,香港居民依然驚魂未定,當此離亂之時,她所能獲得的唯一慰藉,便是香港下午茶。比如學佛了嘛 成人h片,看到他人賺錢,說這個財富不一定是好事情呢,將來很可能因此而造罪。首先,由于藏獒體型巨大,領土意識很強 高雄一夜情 台南外送茶,對外人警惕性很強

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