CASTLE Series Finale Postmortem: The Caskett Of It All

castle

So it happened.

After eight long seasons, CASTLE ended last night with a less than satisfying conclusion. After a rocky season 8 and Stana Katic’s dramatic exit a few weeks ago, the ABC show was ultimately cancelled after much debate about whether it would return for a new season without Katic or not. Last night’s season finale ended in such a sour note for fans across the world, that we had to sit down and get the words out about it.

Just as we did when the news of Katic leaving the CASTLE hit the media, I got a couple of friends together who, like me, had once been reviewers and big fans of the show. So in a collaborative effort, Shana Lieberman from Gossip and Gab, Lissete Lanuza from Fangirlish and I discussed what happened in the finale, Caskett and our wishful thinking for the show, now that we have gotten to the bitter end.

Here at TheTVAddict, we are discussing Castle and Beckett’s relationship and our distaste for tha cliché happy ending we were treated to. If you head over to Gossip and Gab, Shana is hosting our thoughts about the finale in general, and Lizzie is hosting our wishful thinking at Fangirlish.

Luciana Mangas: This was one of the few TV relationships that I was ever really, really invested in. When I first started watching CASTLE, the chemistry between Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion seemed to jump off screen and it was such a joy to watch them banter back and forth. I tuned in because the premise sounded fun, but I stayed because their relationship – romantic or otherwise – was one of the best things I had seen in a while.

It was so much fun to watch them and cheer them on, but with time, it started to get frustrating that they never got together when they clearly had deep feelings for one another. And then they finally got together at the end of season 4 and we could not have been more overjoyed then. Season 5 was alright because they were still finding their footing as a couple and things had changed, so we understood why sometimes their scenes together felt a little strained.

Then we had the season 5 finale and I can’t even begin to describe what went through my mind then. I was ecstatic when Castle proposed to her, don’t get me wrong. But if you go back now and watch it again, the look on Castle’s face is nothing like someone who is happy about asking the love of his life to marry him. Sure, we can say it was because of the situation then – and that’s what I told myself when it happened – but if we’re really honest about it, that was the beginning of the end.

We will never know what actually happened behind the scenes, but looking back, their scenes together started to get more and more strained and forced. Katic gave it her best, because she tried to make it look natural and organic and she tried so hard to find that chemistry they always had when they were bantering. In fact, she was the one that made it bearable to watch whenever they had a love scene, because Fillion always looked like an awkward teenager who didn’t know where to put his hands.

Sigh. Castle and Beckett together had so much potential, but TPTB didn’t know what to do with them once they got together. Of course, some people will cry it was the so called “Moonlighting curse”, but it totally wasn’t. It was lazy writing that got progressively worse – particularly after Marlowe stepped out. And then they started to separate them more and more, culminating in this godforsaken season 8. By then, the rumors that things were not going well behind the scenes were flying rampant, and it was impossible not to wonder if that was why they decided to put Beckett and Castle in their respective corners and barely interact at all.

I didn’t watch most of season 8, but I know they were apart for a good portion of it. And then when Beckett finally came clean, they still barely had any scenes together. I mean, what gives? For a relationship that was so celebrated and loved by the fans, they were doing a disservice to the audience by keeping them apart. Add that to the complete reversal of Beckett’s character, and we have a show that became unbearable to watch.

Caskett was a relationship that I once upon a time was really invested in. But it died a gruesome death at the hand of the writers and producers when they decided to split them up. Not even that ridiculous “happy ending” last night could fix what has forever been tarnished for us. I am going to remember the earlier seasons fondly, but god knows I just want to forget that the relationship I saw in past two seasons ever happened.

Shana Lieberman: The beautiful confessions of love from Castle and Beckett were wasted on secondary characters, even though this was the last time we’d ever hear them. (Whether the series had continued or not, Caskett was through…) How did we get here? Someone tell me how we got to the point where Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion, two leads who once had such great chemistry which drove every dramatically charged moment on this show, couldn’t even be face-to-face to have their characters express their love for one another for the last time.

Seriously. How. How is that even a thing that’s allowed? If, for whatever reason, Katic and Fillion couldn’t play those emotional words opposite one another, they shouldn’t have been written at all. Kind of like none of the awkward attempts at “romance” shouldn’t have been bothered with since at least season six, given the unbalanced commitment — Katic threw herself into every scene, while Fillion often looked bored and incapable of knowing where to put his hands — and lack of sizzle.

Remember when every season finale involved some sort of tense, emotional conflict between these two perfect opposites? The “Caskett” in the Castle series finale was nothing more than an empty recitation of words, whereas those obligatory Beckett apartment fights of the past were full of heart.

But “at least Caskett is intact,” right? Wrong.

The more I hear, “oh, I’m happy with this because they didn’t kill Beckett,” the more enraged I become. Because they did kill Beckett, just not physically. They destroyed everything that made Kate Beckett a hero — save for maybe some badass ninja moves, that beautifully expressive face, and the hairporn.

Beckett became, over the course of Castle’s eighth season and, arguably during the seventh season as well, nothing more than a prop. There was a clear effort to remove her as the hero of the story; considering she was nothing more than a baby factory and muse in the messily tacked on “happy ending,” it looks like the Mission Destroy Beckett was a wild success. The audio from the ending moments of “Flowers For Your Grave” was meant as fan service, but, at least for this fan, was a slap in the face. The same goes for the line ripped from the series’ original opening credits…And “always,” which lost its meaning the second Beckett walked out on Castle to “protect” him, was the nastiest betrayal of them all.

This was not Caskett. This was Castle, with Beckett as a sidekick.

One of my least favorite Castle episodes — at least before this trainwreck of a season — was the sixth season’s time traveler episode, “Time Will Tell.” The man from the future didn’t present a logical conclusion to the Caskett story, at least as far as I was concerned, so for this ending to essentially prove that ridiculous fabrication true was yet another disappointment. But at least that episode was written by its original dynamic duo of Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller, whereas this…was not.

Lissete Zanura: Oh, Caskett. You could have been everything. Instead, you were… I don’t even know what you were at the end. Were you a thing? Did you exist? Or were you merely wishful thinking and good memories?

I’m going to go with the later.

Years ago I fell in love with two characters who complimented each other, with the so-obvious-it-was-almost-tangible chemistry of the two leads and with a story of a man who found, not a muse, or an inspiration, but a partner in life. And yet, the funny thing is, for all that this show was named “Castle,” for me, it was always about Kate Beckett.

We saw her through his eyes, yes, but it was her we were invested in. She was the one with the tragic background, she was the damaged one who had to find a way to live and love. She was not just the muse, or the baby-making-machine, she was a hero in her own right.

At least for the first seven seasons or so.

Rumors of off-screen strife aside, I can’t even comprehend how we’re now discussing what didn’t work about Caskett. Because the truth is, in the beginning, almost everything worked. Each of them brought something to the relationship, and each of them took something from it. Simply put, the Richard Castle and the Kate Beckett we knew and loved were better because of each other.

Did it feel like that at the end, or did they mostly feel like a burden the other had to put up with?

I know how it felt for me. It felt like the spark was gone. It felt like the love was gone. It felt like the off-screen issues were affecting the acting, the writing, and more importantly, the show.

Was that really what happened? I don’t want to speculate. But I do want to say that having our two leads proclaiming their love for each other to everyone but each other was the cherry on top of this whole mess of a season. Not even the tacked-on, horrible clichéd ending could bring back my good will, mostly because even the words in that were wrong.

Kate Beckett was never just the muse, or the inspiration. Always never meant despite the fact that you got kidnapped and chose to stay away or, despite the fact I left you, you know, to protect you from stuff that you probably didn’t want to be protected from. They were never meant to be these people.

In the end, we lost Caskett way before this season finale, and the last tiny crumbs they threw our way in no way, shape or form make up for the mess they made of what was meant to be a timeless love story. Remember the word fan-service? Everyone likes to use it. Well, this, this was FAN-SERVICE, and of the worst kind. The kind we would have rather done without.

For our thoughts on the finale and our wishful thinking, visit Gossip and Gab and Fangirlish, respectively.

 

SECRETS AND LIES Season 2 Preview: New Case, Same Determined Detective

KENNY JOHNSON, TERRY O'QUINN, MEKAI COX, JULIETTE LEWIS, CHARLIE BARNETT, JORDANA BREWSTER, MICHAEL EALY

Season 2 of SECRETS AND LIES will focus on an all new case, with Detective Andrea Cornell investigating a new crime. Eric Warner is the successful heir apparent to his family’s private equity firm in Charlotte, North Carolina. One night, he and his beautiful wife, Kate, are attending a party to celebrate his father handing over the business reins to him. But tragedy strikes, leaving Eric’s wife dead.

Andrea is overseeing the case and she immediately suspects that Eric is behind the murder. But Andrea has also cast a wide net over the entire Warner family. There’s Eric’s charming father, John Warner, who built his empire on a model of honesty and morality. Eric’s sister, Amanda Warner Young, is married to a prominent surgeon and is working as a criminal attorney for the Public Defender’s office. Patrick Warner is the youngest sibling and has been living in Eric’s shadow his entire life. Danny, meanwhile, isn’t a part of the family, but he is a possible suspect in Kate’s death.

Read The TV Addict’s Full 2016 Upfronts Coverage

The cast includes Juliette Lewis as Detective Andrea Cornell, Michael Ealy as Eric Warner, Terry O’Quinn as John Warner, Mekia Cox as Amanda Warner, Charlie Barnett (“Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.”) as Patrick Warner, Kenny Johnson as Danny and Jordana Brewster as Kate Warner.

SECRETS AND LIES will air this fall on Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (see ABC’s full fall schedule).

IMAGINARY MARY Preview: First Look at ABC’s New Comedy Series

imaginary mary

Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? Alice did. And we’ll get a chance to meet her friend in IMAGINARY MARY, the new comedy series from ABC.

Alice grew up in a broken home with no siblings, so one day she dreamed up her Mary, a loyal — but foul-mouthed — creature who would give Alice all of the love and support she needed.

With some help from Mary, Alice grew up to run her own PR firm where she reps famous athletes. Grown-up Alice doesn’t have a family of her own and that’s the plan she and Mary agreed on all those years ago. But now Mary has decided it’s time to come back.

Because, as it turns out, Alice has fallen in love with Ben, a quick-witted divorced father of three, and Mary isn’t happy that Alice might deviate from their plan. When Alice decides to meet Ben’s kids, Mary reappears and tries to convince Alice to dump Ben and his family.

But Ben is genuinely in love with Alice and he convinces Alice that moving on to a new stage in her life is a good thing. So despite being upset about this turn of events, Mary decides to stick around and help Alice through this transition.

Read The TV Addict’s Full 2016 Upfronts Coverage

The cast includes Jenna Elfman, Stephen Schneider, Rachel Dratch, Nicholas Coombe, Matreya Scarrwener and Erica Tremblay. David Guarascio (THE GOLDBERGS), Adam Goldberg, Patrick Osborne, Doug Robinson and Shawn Levy serve as executive producers.

IMAGINARY MARY will premiere at midseason on ABC (see ABC’s full fall schedule).

SPEECHLESS Preview: First Look at ABC’s New Family Comedy

MASON COOK, KYLA KENEDY, JOHN ROSS BOWIE, MINNIE DRIVER, MICAH FOWLER, CEDRIC YARBROUGH

At the heart of SPEECHLESS is the DiMeo family and matriarch Maya, who will do anything for her family, particularly for her special needs son JJ.

The show begins as the family tours a run-down shack that will be their new home. They learn that this move is another in a long list of attempts to create the “perfect” situation for JJ. JJ will be assigned a full time aide, giving him independence and a spot in a mainstream class for the first time. While everyone seems happy about the possibilities of their new town, young Ray thinks that the newest move will be a disappointment, just like all the others.

And it turns out Ray is quickly proven right. Maya is horrified to learn that the “perfect” school has no wheelchair access. JJ doesn’t like his aide or the classroom full of students who want to “celebrate” him.  While everyone is soon ready to bail, Ray is drawn to the school’s astronomy club and the girl-of-his-dreams, Jillian.

Read The TV Addict’s Full 2016 Upfronts Coverage

The cast includes Minnie Driver as Maya DiMeo, John Ross Bowie (“The Big Bang Theory”) as Jimmy DiMeo, Mason Cook as Ray DiMeo, Micah Fowler as JJ DiMeo, Kyla Kennedy as Dylan DiMeo and Cedric Yarbrough as Kenneth. Scott Silveri (FRIENDS) Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar serve as executive producers.

SPEECHLESS will air this fall on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (see ABC’s full fall schedule).

AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE Preview: First Look at ABC’s New Comedy Series

american housewife

Confident and plump Katie Otto has been the third fattest housewife in Westport, Connecticut when AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE begins. But when the second fattest housewife moves away, Katie wants to regain her former title. To do that, she tries to orchestrate a buyer for her neighbor’s former house.

In a sea of large houses, Katie and her family live in a modest split level home. Her husband, Jeff, works in public access television. Her eldest daughter, 14 year-old Taylor, went through an awkward phase before emerging as gorgeous, which leaves Katie worried that Taylor will become a typical — and superficial — Westport girl. Her middle son, 12 year-old Harrison, is a mogul in training — he’s “a Republican saving his money to buy Apple stock and refusing to donate canned food for the school food drive… something Katie doesn’t approve of at all.” And then there’s 5 year-old Anna-Kat, who has to try and deal with a variety of phobias.

As Katie navigates raising her flawed family in a wealthy town filled with “perfect” mommies and their “perfect” offspring she lets us in on her deepest, most unfiltered thoughts through voice-over in this comedy.

Read The TV Addict’s Full 2016 Upfronts Coverage

The cast includes Katy Mixon as Katie Otto, Diedrich Bader as Jeff Otto, Johnny Sequoyah as Taylor, Daniel DiMaggio as Harrison, Julia Butters as Anna-Kat, Carly Hughes as Angela and Ali Wong as Doris. Sarah Dunn (SPIN CITY and BUNHEADS), Aaron Kaplan, Rick Weiner and Kenny Schwartz serve as executive producers.

AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE will air this fall on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (see ABC’s full fall schedule).

STILL STAR-CROSSED Preview: First Look at ABC’s New Period Drama

still star crossed

Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet. But the tragic tail ends with the death of the young lovers. STILL STAR-CROSSED, on the other hand, tells the tale of what happens next.

Romeo and Juliet’s deaths have escalated the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets and the streets of Verona have become very dangerous. Verona’s ruling Prince, Escalus, wants to end the feud and bring peace to the kingdom. At the suggestion of his sister, Princess Isabella, Escalus devices a plan to marry a Capulet to a Montague to unite the families. To achieve this, he arranges the marriage between Benvolio (Romeo’s cousin) and Rosaline (Juliet’s cousin). But when Benvolio saves Rosaline from an assault, she’s insulting instead of grateful, and their courtship has a long way to go.

Read The TV Addict’s Full 2016 Upfronts Coverage

The cast includes Wade Briggs as Benvolio Montague, Anthony Head as Lord Silvestro Capulet, Zuleikha Robinson as Lady Guiliana Capulet, Lashana Lynch as Rosaline,  Ebonee Noel as Livia, Sterling Sulieman as Prince Escalus, Medalion Rahimi as Princess Isabella, Grant Bowler as Damiano Montague, Susan Wooldrigde as Nurse, Torrance Coombs as Paris and Dan Hildebrand as Friar Lawrence. Heather Mitchell (SCANDAL and GREY’S ANATOMY), Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, and Michael Goldstein serve as executive producers.

STILL STAR-CROSSED will premiere at midseason on ABC (see ABC’s full fall schedule).

NOTORIOUS Preview: First Look at ABC’s New Drama

PIPER PERABO, DANIEL SUNJATA

NOTORIOUS is about “control, ego, and power,” teases ABC. The series revolves around Julia George, the Executive Producer of the country’s number one news program, Louise Herrick Live. As Louise’s producer, she’s in charge of deciding the news that the country cares about, along with some help from her associate producer, Megan Byrd. But recently, against her wishes, Julia was assigned a new PA, Ryan Mills, the son of the network president.

Meanwhile, Jake Gregorian is the country’s top defense attorney. He boasts a client list of top celebrities and will do anything it takes to win. Jake and Julia’s relationship forms the heart of the series. With their respective jobs, they trade information for airtime. “While they are often at odds in public, behind the scenes they are in cahoots, using each other to advance their own agendas.”

Jake and Julia rule their professional domains, but their personal lives are complicated.  Jake is in love with a client’s wife and Julia just discovered that her boyfriend, a recently appointed Federal Judge, has been cheating on her with high priced escorts. NOTORIOUS is inspired by the true-life stories of famed criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker.

Read The TV Addict’s Full 2016 Upfronts Coverage

The cast includes Piper Perabo, Daniel Sunjata, Sepideh Moafi, Kate Jennings Grant, Ryan Guzman, Kevin Zegers, J. August Richards and Aimee Teegarden. Josh Berman (CSI and DROP DEAD DIVA), Allie Hagan, Mark Geragos, Wendy Walker, Kenny Meiselas, Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry serve as executive producers.

NOTORIOUS will air this fall on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (see ABC’s full fall schedule).

TIME AFTER TIME Preview: First Look at ABC’s New Time Travel Drama

FREDDIE STROMA, JOSH BOWMAN

TIME AFTER TIME opens in London in 1893. HG Wells is not yet a famous science fiction writer, but he is an inventor. One night he invites a group of friends over to see his latest invention: a time machine. What he doesn’t know is that his friend John Stevenson — a surgeon — is actually the infamous Jack the Ripper. When the police arrive looking for him, John jumps into the time machine and heads to present day Manhattan. Naturally, Wells follows in order to apprehend him.

Wells arrives in Manhattan in the middle of a museum exhibit featuring himself. He’s hauled off to the office of the curator, Jane Walker, who is intrigued by his appearance. He, on the other hand, is flabbergasted by the future and acts like a fish out of water.

John, meanwhile, needs Wells’ key to the time machine so that he can continue his murdering rampage throughout the centuries. Wells manages to hold on to the key, but John slips through his fingers. Wells reconnects with Jane after being struck by a taxi and she helps transform him into a modern-day man. He admits the truth of his identity to her and they travel three days into the future together. But when they learn that Jane will become a victim of The Ripper, the two must figure out a way to stop him.

Read The TV Addict’s Full 2016 Upfronts Coverage

The cast includes Freddie Stroma as H.G. Wells,  Josh Bowman  as John Stevenson/Jack the Ripper,  Genesis Rodriguez as Jane and Regina Taylor as Vanessa Anders.  Kevin Williamson and Marcos Siega (BLINDSPOT and THE FOLLOWING) serve as executive producers.

TIME AFTER TIME will premiere at midseason on ABC (see ABC’s full fall schedule).

CONVICTION Preview: First Look at ABC’s New Legal Drama

conviction

CONVICTION centers around former First Daughter Hayes Morrison. Hayes has a brilliant legal mind, but she’s a mess. When she’s arrested for cocaine possession, Connor Wallis — the NY District Attorney — approaches her with an offer: he’ll ensure she gets no jail time if she heads his new Conviction Integrity Unit, which re-examines cases where there’s credible suspicion of wrongful conviction. The pair have a history of being adversaries in the courtroom and she’s rather enamoured with him as well.

Helping Hayes out is the rest of the CIU team, including forensics expert Frankie Cruz, Paralegal Tess Larson, and NYPD Detective Maxine Bohen. But Hayes is dismayed when she finds out that her mother, the former First Lady who is now running for Senate, is the one behind the job offer. This leaves her in a terrible position: if Hayes quits, she’s heading straight to jail. So this is her last chance to prove she can do her best — not only to herself, but also to her family.

Read The TV Addict’s Full 2016 Upfronts Coverage

The cast includes Hayley Atwell as Hayes Morrison, Eddie Cahill as Wayne Wallis, Shawn Ashmore as Sam Sullivan, Merrin Dungey as Maxine, Emily Kinney as Tess Thompson, Manny Montana as Franklin “Frankie” Rios and Daniel DiTomasso as Jackson Morrison. Liz Friedman (JESSICA JONES), Liz Friedlander (THE FOLLOWING) and Mark Gordon (CRIMINAL MINDS) will serve as executive producers.

CONVICTION will air this fall on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC (see ABC’s full fall schedule).

DOWNWARD DOG Preview: First Look at ABC’s New Animal Comedy Series

NED, ALLISON TOLMAN

Based on the web series of the same name, DOWNWARD DOG is about a struggling millennial, Nan, from the point of view of her lonely and philosophical dog, Martin.

With Nan no longer giving Martin the attention he needs, he’s taken to destroying her favorite boots. After she broke up with her boyfriend, she spends way too much time at work trying to impress her boss and co-workers, leaving Martin all alone. At work, Nan just wants to get ahead and as soon as she starts to make some headway, Martin ruins everything. Is she really going to have to tell everyone at work that her dog ate her presentation? Ergo, it’s time for obedience school for Martin.

Read The TV Addict’s Full 2016 Upfronts Coverage

The cast includes Allison Tolman as Nan, Lucas Neff as Jason, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Jenn, Barry Rothbart as Kevin and Mo Collins as Kim. Samm Hodges, Michael Killen, Jimmy Miller, Sam Hansen and Kathy Dziubek serve as executive producers.

DOWNWARD DOG will premiere at midseason on ABC (see ABC’s full fall schedule).