The news of Stana Katic’s dismissal hit the CASTLE fandom hard this week. It is no secret to anyone that the show has been struggling for the past couple of years — more so after creator Andrew Marlowe left his post as showrunner. So we knew things weren’t doing great lately. Most fans doubted that there was even going to be a season 9 after such a rocky season 8, but we never, ever, expected this to happen.
When Deadline first broke the news, the fandom immediately rebelled against it. Tamala Jones was going to be let go along with Katic – while all the male actors stayed – which seemingly reinforces a pro-male/anti-female mentality. We don’t even know if there is, in fact, going to be a season 9, but ABC has made a bad decision with these “firings”. After all, there is no show without Kate Beckett, as evidenced by the ratings this past season.
In the midst of our shock and anger over this entire situation, I got a couple of writers, who are also CASTLE fans and reviewers and we came to the conclusion that Stana Katic deserved so much better than this. So these are our thoughts over this unfortunate, heartbreaking news:
Luciana Mangas: I hadn’t been watching CASTLE in a while. Ever since the show changed showrunners and started going in a different direction (with that that Castle-as-a-PI storyline), I started to lose interest until, eventually, I stopped watching altogether. However, every time there was a rerun from earlier seasons, I would stop what I was doing and catch up on an episode, because that was where the magic was — Castle and Beckett verbally sparring and Beckett being her usual kickass self.
The main reason that I was drawn to CASTLE in the first place was that they had such an amazing female lead character. Katherine Beckett was this larger-than-life force of nature, exceptionally good at her job, respected by her fellow officers and peers, but she was also human. She had flaws; she had a hard time dealing with her emotions and sometimes that got her into some serious trouble; she was tenacious and loving and caring and she was such an amazing role model for women across the world.
I think that’s why the news of Stana Katic being let go hit me so hard. Because, even though I wasn’t really watching the show as consistently as I once had, I knew Kate Beckett was still there and there was always hope that some day they would fix the mess they had made of the past couple of seasons. But now she’s not going to be there anymore, no matter what they do. I don’t know how they are going to write her off, but whatever they do it will never do this fantastic character justice, because it will always be overshadowed by the way her dismissal was handled.
Budget cuts? Really? It is old news that female actors make a lot less than males, so this makes absolutely no sense at all. To simply dismiss a performer that was the shining star of the show and (in my opinion) a big reason the majority of the fans stuck around until now is just beyond preposterous.
Of course we don’t know the particulars of whatever happened behind-the-scenes, but no matter what, Stana Katic deserved better than this. Even though the show is called CASTLE, it was her character, Kate Beckett, that drove the show for the better part of these past eight seasons. Sure, we had supporting characters that did their part, but it was Beckett who pushed the show forward; it was the mystery of her mother’s murder that drove the show for several seasons and – most importantly – it was her character that was handled in a respectful and humane manner.
Richard Castle did his part as the narrator of the story. It was mostly his point of view that we were treated to, but it didn’t matter because he was always watching her. After all, the show started with him shadowing her for a new series of books, and he did fall in love with her in the process, so it was only natural that his entire focus would be on her. No matter what, Kate Beckett was the driving force of this show, with Stana Katic basically carrying seven seasons on her shoulders.
It seems like a lot saying that she carried the show, but it’s absolutely true and she did it on talent alone. Episodes like “Knockdown”, “Knockout”, “Veritas”, and “Kill Shot” – just to mention a few – were among some of her very best work and it is such a shame that she never got an Emmy nod for her performance. Katic dedicated so much to this show, influenced so many young lives with her performance as a kickass detective, that it is truly disheartening to see what is being done to her now, after all these years of hard work.
I can speak for myself when I say that she had a major impact on my life. It was because of her performance as Detective Beckett that I started writing again, that I met so many great people and had some great opportunities, so I will forever be grateful to her for that.
So, Stana, for all your hard work, your fantastic performance, your dedication to the show and the fans and for changing my life, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You can rest assured that wherever you go, we will follow. Anywhere.
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