Farewell, Castle


“Nothing goes as planned

Everything will break

People say goodbye in their own special way

All that you rely on

And all that you can fake

Will leave you in the morning

And find you in the day

Oh, you’re in my veins

And I cannot get you out

Oh, you’re all I taste at night inside of my mouth

Oh, you run away ‘cause I am not what you thought

Oh, you’re in my veins and I cannot get you out.”

Truer words have never been spoken, in regards to what is arguably my all-time favorite television show. I knew this day would come, but I never fathomed that this would be the way I feel now that it’s here.

In case you missed it, ABC’s Castle, starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, was officially canceled and is airing its series finale episode tonight at 10pm. Unfortunately, this is definitely the most bittersweet goodbye I’ve ever had with a show. (But it could be worse. At least this is bittersweet. Sleepy Hollow’s goodbye was like getting fisted by the Hulk wearing a glove made of salt-encrusted broken glass. I’m not exaggerating. Look what happened and tell me it’s not that bad.)

Anyone who knows me knows I am the most die-hard, foam-at-the-mouth fan of Castle, or at least I was until season eight began. Until about season seven, Castle reigned as one of the best written shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. It was not only funny but insightful, creative, dramatic, and just plain fun to watch. I remember seeing the pilot on my mother’s birthday all the way back in 2009, and part of me just recalls smiling to myself and thinking, “This is going to be the start of something amazing.”

Castle stars Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion. Also, massive amounts of sexual tension.

And it was. For all the rancor that I’ve felt for the eighth season of the show, no one can do what Castle can do. It was one of the only shows on a major network to say ‘screw the Moonlighting curse’ and it found a way to tease at a romantic relationship for four seasons without making it intolerable. It found a way to write a main female lead so that she wasn’t a snob or a bitch or a Mary Sue or anything less than a phenomenal character. It found a way to use Nathan Fillion’s charming good looks and playful nature but then put it against a backdrop of an immature but caring man growing up as he realizes that working with the foxy Beckett was more than just an excuse to woo a fine lady, but a path to make him a better man than he ever thought possible. One of the greatest experiences of the show is to see where Castle and Beckett start off in the pilot and then watching them grow. They just blossom into these two immensely interesting people who you can’t wait to spend time with every Monday night. They are fascinating. Not only that, but even after six seasons, you still found yourself surprised by them and wanting to know more and more with every episode. You’re never bored with Caskett. They can entertain you on so many levels, and not just by being charming and kick ass.

For instance, Castle is the only television show to date that got me to cry—and I mean, cry. As in huge globs of tears and snot pouring down my face and sobbing brokenly. Yes. I did that. The Queen of Mean Kyoko M actually cried like a baby during the season three finale of Castle, “Knockout,” during its final two scenes. It takes a lot of investment to get me to cry, and they did it. I was a wreck. Do you know how important it is to me to have anything that can draw that level of emotion out of me?

To be honest, Castle changed me. It gave me a greater appreciation for the craft of writing in so many ways. It taught me that it really is important to build a relationship, romantic or otherwise, to the point where your audience will never leave their side. It taught me to add layers onto your characters not only for their own good, but for your own good as a writer. It challenged us to stand by Beckett’s bullheaded actions regarding her mother’s case, or to ponder if there is a line between revenge and justice, and if Castle was ready to commit to the biggest thing that ever walked into his life. It’s just an outstanding example of a ton of people coming together and working hard on a project to make it as excellent as humanly possible, and for a long time, Castle certainly pulled it off. I always refer people to it when I want to give an example of how to introduce a dynamic partnership without making it corny or without having the issue like the Winchesters on Supernatural where it becomes clear that the writers favor one partner over the other. It’s completely even handed the way that they characterize Castle and Beckett, and especially in the romantic sense. Sure, there were times where I wanted them to hook up, but you could always tell that they just weren’t ready in the first three seasons. They needed time and perspective, and while it was frustrating, it never felt like it was some kind of manufactured conflict just to keep the ratings going. Castle and Beckett’s hookup is legendary. To this day, many people cite it in the Best Kiss for a TV show lists, and for good reason.

I mean, tell me you can watch this scene and not get your jimmies rustled. It’s flawless. Just flawless.

The truth is…I don’t know how to say goodbye to Castle because this isn’t really a true goodbye for me. A year ago, I’d have been crushed. I’d have ranted and raved about what a poor decision the studio execs made. Sadly, I can’t do that, because season eight has been so terrible that I stopped watching the show over a month ago because it’s not my show anymore. It’s a beautiful car being driven by a drunken asshole teenager, so I quit and just let it keep recording on the DVR out of respect for what it once was. However, I will do them the honor of watching the final episode because I owe them that much.

And the other truth is that even though it won’t have new episodes, but Castle’s not going out of my life. I will still keep my DVDs, I will still watch the reruns in syndication, and I will still refer anyone who ever asks for a great show to it (and tell them to stop at season seven) without any malice. It’s clear the television is on a downward slope with making garbage calls, from renewing the lackluster Agents of SHIELD to imploding Sleepy Hollow to canceling the phenomenal Agent Carter. TV is on a bad track these days, and I think keeping an eye on Netflix is where the future is headed.

I will never forget the thousands of laughs and smiles Castle gave me. I will never forget the tears and the clutch-your-couch-cushions-and-squeal action sequences and theories about 3XK or how Castle got into writing mystery novels (mostly because the canon reason was weak-sauce). I will never forget the adorable relationships between the main cast, and between their fictional counterparts. I will never forget the strength, poise, sheer will, and majesty of Detective Kate Beckett. I will never forget the kindness, charisma, heart, and levity of Richard Castle. No matter how much it hurts to say goodbye, no matter how much it hurt me to see it end on a rotten season, no matter how angry I am that they let Stana Katic and Tamala Jones go before canceling the show, no matter how unsatisfying the series finale is, no one can take away the fun I’ve had these past seven years.

Thank you.

Thank you for changing my life, Castle.

Thank you for being a friend and a comfort and a shining example of excellence for so many years.

You will be deeply, sorely missed.

I guess the only thing left to say is something you said so very, very well during arguably the best episode in your entire run.

Goodbye, old friend.

You’re in my heart.



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