Castle Fans Save Kate Beckett
After releasing the news in April that Stana Katic would not return for a potential ninth season of Castle, executives at ABC stepped aside and watched fans step up. Anyone at ABC wondering if a Beckettless Castle would generate ratings and dollars for the network, quickly realized that it would not. Fans clamored for the happy ending and long life in syndication that Castle and Caskett deserve. Despite signs that the network was moving forward with Season Nine fans refused to stand down until the moment ABC canceled the show. Ultimately, fans organized, persisted, and co-opted Nathan Fillion’s platform of choice to tweet the show out of production.
When ABC made the surprising announcement that Castle would end its eight season run on May 16 the network gave showrunners just a few days to insert a pre-taped ending that would “bring closure” to the series. Fans did not learn if that closure meant a happy ending for Kate and Rick until “Crossfire” aired. I would like to tell you that I saw the Castle finale in real time, but that would be a lie. Instead, I waited for the “all clear” from my East Coast relatives before settling in for a stress-free farewell.
“Crossfire” offered a serviceable ending to a mediocre season. The finale’s big reveal about the true identity of LOCKSAT and his cronies means little to me since I deleted the backlog of episodes collecting on my DVR last week in a fit of rage (With news of one costar after another resigning for a “season nine” who could blame me?). Besides, the entire Season Eight plotline made my eyes roll more than Beckett’s when Castle talks about zombies.
As a longtime fan, I was much more interested in the episode’s closing moment. In some ways the series ended as it should have – with a flash forward into a happy future with Rick, Kate, and their three children living in domestic bliss. In other ways, however, such an ending does not truly reflect the character of Kate Beckett, a career-driven woman who found love with a man-child, and did not necessarily need children of her own. Fortunately since ABC “Let Beckett Live” I am free to imagine her as a state senator, police commissioner, or mayor, and Rick as a devoted full-time dad to their cherubs.
One wonders whether or not sharing early news of Katic’s departure served as a deliberate way for ABC to test the waters and then justify the cancellation of a beloved perennial (not that networks need an excuse beyond the financial to cancel a series). Either way, the news galvanized fans. They refused to relinquish Castle to those who did not understand its premise or appeal. Kate and Rick together, preferably sharing a screen, fortify Castle.
Though never a damsel in distress, Kate Beckett needed a rescue and for the first time it was not Rick Castle that saved her life – it was a dedicated legion of fans. Their efforts, along with a wise network decision, guarantee that Castle will continue to live on screens and in hearts #Always.