In this season’s finale, A Deadly Game, that aired on abc last night, the titular character and his “inspiration”, Detective Kate Beckett, were meant to assess and confront their feelings for each other.
And they did! Except Castle was stupid enough to take off into vacation with his ex-wife.
Everyone: D’oh! Or, more poignantly: Castle, you dumbass!
Well. As it is, Beckett realized that her flirtation with Demming threatened her relationship with Castle — and just when she tried to clear that up, he tells her that he wanted to “take a break”. A long one. This was going to be their last case together — after he’d been trying to get her to accompany him to the Hamptons for two days. Just like that, and Beckett instantly plummeted down from cloud nine back to Earth. Esposito told her that as smart as she is, she’s quite dense when it comes to Castle following her around, and that he was clearly leaving because he couldn’t stand the sight of her with Demming. The plummeting had now pretty much taken her at least six feet under the Earth’s crust. She was getting ready to tell him that she broke up with Tom and that she didn’t want him to leave at the end of last night’s episode, the whole team is watching through the office windows (nearly falling over themselves) and that [insert your optional insult here] proceeds to tell her, No, sorry, I’m leaving with my ex-wife NOW; still assuming he’ll return in the fall to see Beckett canoodling with Demming, clearly not looking forward to it and after clearly spending every unobserved moment of the ep already pining for Kate. Erm, what?
Well, actually, it didn’t come as a surprise, did it?
a) How long can the show draw from the Unresolved Sexual Tension without becoming an agony to watch? Think Grey’s Anatomy. If Derek and Meredith hadn’t found their basic footing and stuck with it after season 4, I would’ve stopped watching, even with the great supporting cast they have. So, unless the cases and surrounding stories were FANTASTIC, Castle would likely have gotten a problem. There are good examples for series that could pull it off, though: Remington Steele. And even if, now, they’d just let them come back in season 3+ and just let them regard and get to know each other, slowly falling in love without any distractions like Gina or Demming/whatever: how long can that work without just getting boring because it is kinda-paradise, but not really paradise?
b.1) Can we really resolve the tension and let them get together after two seasons, but keep a functional balance between police procedural and relationship stuff in the following seasons? I guess that we’ll have a kind of trial and error run for b.1) on next season’s House, depending on how well the writers mix the Cuddy + House thing with the Patient of the Week and, also, the recurring team drama — Thirteen’s Huntingtons, for instance (if that was indeed her reason for requesting time off, which is, well, the obvious conclusion). Grey’s Anatomy might be taken as an example for a successful Happy Couple, but the supporting cast at Castle is significantly smaller and the stories’ focus is different.
b.2) Can we expect to establish that both leads seriously fancy each other early in the series, but then put them through a few post-disappointment relationships in order to finally get it together in season, say, 6? Or maybe they’re going to surprise us with not closing a season with Beckett and Castle smoochy time, but opening the next wth it. Like, he comes back from the Hamptons, the ex-wife bolted after three days, and he goes “I knew I should’ve taken you with me — wanna come next weekend”, Beckett gets over herself, says yes, and after one or two murder investigations getting in the way, they’ll come back from the Hamptons one day in, I dunno, episode 5 of season 3, tanned and chatting about how weird it’s gonna be: the happy couple catching killers. *thinks about this for a moment* It’s not gonna happen, is it?
Anyway, the actors have stated that it’s not the question whether their characters will get together, but rather how and when. So, getting there’s the fun, right? This would have been way too simple.
Conclusion: as agonizingly painful the writers can — and most likely will, the bastards — make it for us, the audience: we’ll probably stay watching through it all because we love them and the show. Damn! September’s still so far away.
Looking forward to at least two or three seasons of almost kisses, lampshading and disturbed moments: me.
By the way, best quote of the ep:
Beckett: Well, if things were that bad, why not just get a divorce? — The vic’s wife: Are you serious? My house is too nice!