Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Last Castle Recap & Thoughts On The Series Finale

I have so many things running through my head after watching that series finale. So. Many. Things.

The episode begins with that guy from Galaxy Quest who played Teb singing along to the Brady Bunch's big hit Sunshine Day. He gets out and starts dousing the car with gasoline, then opens the trunk and asks the person in the trunk, "Don't you just love this song?" Then he lights up the car and burns that person alive. Ew.

Cut back to the silly LokSat case where it's time to go to the place where LokSat will call the phone Caleb Brown gave Beckett. They have Vikram in a truck nearby ready to trace the call. Beckett and Castle have a little moment by the tree where they are making bets as to who LokSat is. The yogi in the park? The lady who looks like Castle's ex-wife? It was cute.The call comes in and it's too short for Vikram to trace, but the voice gives instructions for Caleb to meet LokSat's accountant. Since they didn't get the trace they wanted, Caskett decides to go to the drop and meet the accountant. I have a bad feeling about this.

They enlist Hayley's help as a sniper, and Vikram as their eyes. Caleb is late, and when someone finally does come in, Espo inconveniently calls Beckett to tell her the burned guy in the trunk had the DNA of Caleb Brown on the briefcase that survived the inferno. Well, if Caleb is dead in the trunk, who is that at the drop? It's a trap.

Before Beckett can blink, an army of bad guys descends and starts shooting at Caskett. Hayley takes out some of them, but it's not looking good. Suddenly, a taco truck races in and rescues them. It's Mason from the Detective's club in California. Yeah. Weird. He says he owed Rita, Castle's stepmother, a favor so he's babysitting them. He gives Caskett access to more guns and sends them on their way. My thought was, why aren't they more concerned that they left Hayley to fend for herself?

They decide that they all have targets on their backs now, so Castle is going to go get Martha and Alexis to the safe room at the PI agency and Beckett is going to go get Vikram? (It struck me so weird that she was putting herself out there for Vikram when he's a grown man and a phone call away, but okay.)  Her dad is away on business, so he's all good. Castle isn't happy that they aren't sticking together and Beckett tries to reassure him. They say a sweet goodbye and I love you. (One of the best scenes of the whole episode. *sniffle*)

Castle goes to his office and two armed guards are there. They aren't going to kidnap him, Hayley hired them to protect Martha and Alexis. He goes to the safe room and explains everything, just as Beckett is explaining things to Espo and Ryan since Vikram let the cat out of the bag. Castle calls Kate, wondering where she is and she tells him she's staying at the precinct. He wants to come down there then, but they both decide they're safer right where they are. Kate promises not to leave the precinct and Castle promises to stay in the safe room. Yeah, that won't last long.

The team gets a clue on where creepy Galaxy Quest guy went and Ryan and Espo head out, leaving Kate behind. Surprisingly, she stays in the precinct per her promise to watch it remotely. The guys go in, but the house is empty. They were tricked. But where is creepy Galaxy Quest guy?

Castle has decided he needs to be with Kate no matter what so he takes a taxi to the precinct. Because, you know, when there's a target on your back, a taxi in New York is totally fine. But guess who is driving and playing that Brady Bunch song? Yep. We found creepy Galaxy Quest guy. Castle is kidnapped. Again. He comes to and he's strapped to a funky looking metal table torture thing that can be upright or lie down. Creepy Galaxy Quest guy questions him about his love for Kate,whether she's a weakness, etc. Castle declares his love for her, that she's unlike anyone he's ever known. She challenges him, makes him laugh. *le sigh* It was so sweet!

Creepy Galaxy Quest guy isn't impressed and hooks Castle up to truth serum and says that within the hour everyone who knows about LokSat will be dead. Which is pretty much the entire cast at this point and everyone Castle loves. When LokSat finally comes in to finish the questioning, we are not surprised to see it's Mason. It was so obvious he was the bad guy, not only from Beckett's instincts, but there was no other reason for him to be in the episode. But, whatever. He uses the truth serum to force Castle to tell him everyone who knows about LokSat. Beckett. Martha. Alexis. Ryan. Esposito. (Although it didn't make sense that Castle knew Ryan and Esposito had been told since Beckett had told them on her own at the precinct, but okay.) Castle has tears running down his face as he knows they will all be killed now. It is a powerful scene, great acting by Nathan Fillion.

Of course Kate knows nothing about this and when she gets a call from Mason who says he knows a guy who can help her identify LokSat, she insists on coming with him. He picks her up and starts talking to her about Castle. "You have quite a bond," Mason says. "He's the love of my life," she tells him. Awww.

Even though Ryan and Esposito don't know where Beckett is, they keep working the case. Vikram cross-references cell phone calls from creepy Galaxy Quest guy and narrows it down to an address. It's a CIA blacksite, but Ryan and Espo storm it anyway and take it by force. Espo gets the guard to tell him where the creepy guy is and they save Castle just as he's about to be poisoned. But, they are under siege again, with all kinds of guns shooting at them from their only way out. There's no way to find out where Mason has taken Beckett. Or is there?

Castle turns the table on creepy guy (literally) and gets him on the torture table to stick the truth serum in his arm. He finds out there's an incinerator in the basement and that's where they're headed with Beckett. But how can he get there? Castle breaks through a flimsy wall with a fire extinguisher and heads to the basement.

Beckett totally has Mason's number, though, and when he walks her into the room, she pulls her gun on him. When she orders him to put his gun on the ground, however, he activates a magnet that pulls Beckett's metal gun to the ceiling. He's got the upper hand and tells Beckett that Castle is dead and in the incinerator. She doesn't believe him and Castle shows up with a gun in hand to prove him wrong. Unfortunately, it's also magnetized to the ceiling. That distraction is just enough, though, so Beckett can beat Mason unconscious. (It doesn't take much, really, and LokSat turned out to be a lightweight sissy. Why was everyone afraid of him?)

Caskett embraces and they head back to the precinct. The guys are going to go out for a drink and celebrate and invite Vikram and Laney. Laney gives Beckett a hug before she goes and Kate looks over at Castle embracing Martha and Alexis. It was a cute scene, but if *I* were writing this episode, I would have had Laney confirming a pregnancy test for Beckett, then her looking happily over at Castle and Martha and Beckett. Wouldn't that have been awesome? Sigh.

Martha and Alexis oddly disappear and our next scene is back at the loft. Beckett feels like she could sleep for a week and Castle goes to make her breakfast. She says she loves it when he makes her breakfast and he starts the burner. He stares at it and says, "why did they burn Caleb in a car when they had an incinerator," but before he can really finish the thought, Caleb comes out of nowhere saying, "I told Mason you'd figure it out," and shoots Castle in the chest. Beckett comes out of the bedroom and shoots Caleb, but not before he fires a round into her abdomen. Castle and Beckett, all bloody, crawl to each other on the kitchen floor and hold hands.

But this is not the end! They pan through an empty loft with the voice-overs from the end of the pilot episode where Castle asks her out on a date and she turns him down, then we see SEVEN YEARS LATER across the screen. Beckett is trying to wrangle their three kids to the table, laughing and having fun as Castle is smiling at them all. So, we get our happy ending after all as Castle's voice comes on, "Every writer needs inspiration. And I've found mine. Always."  Let's just enjoy that whole scene for just a second before we start to actually think it through, shall we? (It's all over Youtube if you haven't seen it.)

Look at them. They're so happy!

But when you start to look at the ridiculous LokSat mess with that ending, for me, it didn't make a lot of sense. Why have Caleb come back at all? Was he Loksat? Or the right hand man? If he wasn't LokSat when did he turn back to the dark side? If he was, how would someone like him have the kind of connections LokSat supposedly did in the CIA that went around killing a lot of people? Why would Castle want to forget LokSat from his missing time? How did any of this convoluted disaster trace back to Kate's mom and Sen. Bracken? There are no answers, of course, and so many plot holes that just don't add up to any kind of satisfactory conclusion. Oh well, I guess.

There were some solid Caskett moments that made me happy. Their chemistry is what brought me back every week, and I'm glad we got to see the whole team one more time as they went off to celebrate, and of course, the final moments of the happy Castle family. Maybe that's why the shooting was so jarring in the middle of all of that. It was unnecessary from my standpoint, but I heard online that actually was going to be Kate's death scene, so even though the happy ending seemed tacked on and rushed, I'm glad Kate is not dead.

SO . ..  if it were me editing this series finale, I would have cut the entire shooting and just had Beckett saying she loves how he makes her breakfast, then the voice-overs of their first meeting, then the flashforward to them with their kids. It would have been so much sweeter for someone like me who has watched from day one to have their love story end like that. Oh well. Maybe I'll just pretend that last season's finale of them all around the table while Castle gave that awesome speech was the series finale with that last thirty seconds of the Castle family at the breakfast table tacked on.

Overall, it was a series finale that should have been at least a two hour show, but it had its high points amid the bizarre. I really am sad to see this show go, but at least it ended happily. Rushed, and a limping a little, but happy.

Did you watch? What did you think?

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