CASTLE: Beckett as Writers Presented Her
Yesterday I posted a blog on how I would have dealt with Kate bring promoted to Captain. Today, I will dissect the ups and downs of how the new show-runners and writers portrayed Beckett in her new role.
First off all I must address the 800 pound gorilla this season. How does the show’s top billed actress miss two full shows? I know she is now captain, but her role was not reduced to that of Gates or Montgomery who were enhancement talent. Don’t get me wrong, Stana deserves her time off, this is on the show- runners for not figuring out ways to get her incorporated. If you ask me, episode 6 was not too bad because we got an explaination, and she was referenced throughout the show. Episode 14, no mention until the last lines of the show? Really? I would have made GDS a two part episode, where Kate has to come to LA to help Castle, could have even used the video of his erasing his memory as the springboard for the two to attack LokSat.
The second 800 pounder to be addressed is Loksat and therefore Vikram. Ok, I understand conflict makes good stories, but only if it is good logical conflict. I think now at episode 16 when Kate and Rick working together again, there is hope for an excellent conclusion. It worked very well going after Bracken so I hold out hope. BUT, what is not logical is the character of Vikram. How is he trustworthy? Kate who spent a career being careful suddenly trusts her life with a so called low level FBI teckie? And Rita? Does wiping out a horde of assassins earn full trust to the point of taking Rita’s advice to leave Rick?
My issue is that Beckett went down this rabbit hole in season 5 Episode 1 going hellbent after Bracken, cornering him and even pistol whipping him but in the end walked away to fight another day, with Castle which made the episode Veritas so effective. She even reviewed her covert ops with Rick. Of course, she does go rogue as get accused of killing Vulkan Simmons sneaking out on Castle as he slept. So, maybe I should not be so hard on the show runners.
I did like that Beckett continued to be a badass. Right from the beginning, saving Castle in the warehouse to wiping out a fleet of assassins in the theatre to sewing up her wound in the dry cleaners. It continued in ep8 confronting both Escobar in the hull of the ship then the trash mauler at the depot. Chasing down the tattooed trophy wife in a towel, awesome.! And who didn’t love the clothesline on the a Capella singer in Ep9. In 12, her and Castle disarming Todd was classic Beckett! Of course Ep 15 was full of moments from her schooling Decker in the gym to getting in Flanagan’s face to bringing Malone to justice, using her mind and a mean superkick. I really think they portrayed Beckett well here.
They also did a much better job of establishing Beckett as captain. In the first half, Castle made the grand announcement to the precinct which I felt was totally underwhelming. They went to great pains to tell us that Beckett would not be a behind the desk kind of Captain. So she got involved in cases since they were clearly down one detective and in no rush to back fill. Plus she was there to fend off Castle as he tried to inject himself into the cases. Not to mention deploying precinct resources to chase down LokSat. In the second half, she got to go toe to toe with a Russian emissary, an ADA who was a horses butt and a self serving FBI agent. It worked great because it was terrific to see the respect and awe the recruits had for her. Not to mention Cruz, her training officer.
From her personal life, Beckett showed how much she loved Castle once the assassins were neutralized only to walk away leaving him with just a lame excuse. The scene was intended for us to see both sides of her persona, the heartbroken Kate and the avenger Beckett. The next five episodes we get glimpses of her facade crumbling, like in Ep3 where she wanted so bad to kiss him in the jail cell but resisted. Then took some time to ponder her future while fiddling with her wedding band and shedding a tear. Ep4, the coffee scene at the end where Castle said he withheld the secret ingredient so he would still needed and she gave him a glimmer of hope. I’m
Then in Ep5, leaving the the shirt for him although she had to know she broke his heart saying she was removing the rest of her stuff from the loft. Seeing his pleading and effort, she relents to dinner, even complementing him in Ep7 before their time out from their time out. Leading to their being together in secret.
As much as I liked some of the developments above, there were some deficiencies that were either written into the character or were omitted from the character. They had a tough time getting her off the streets and into a leadership supervisory role. This lead to a familiarity and feel that she was still “one if the boys” and not the Captain. The second half did a better job of showing that differentiation and as I said, had her act like a captain.
They also regressed her self that she built up to finally get past her mother’s murder and nail Bracken. Why would she go rogue when she finally seemed to achieve happiness? Was she not happy with Castle? Not happy being married? Why would she take the word of someone she never knew and then for the whole season trust him so completely? He had access to all the sensitive data and networks, was he ever vetted? Why was she willing to let him trash Castle so often and disrupt her personal life so often especially when it came to Rickey? For someone who was portrayed for seven seasons as highly intellectual and savvy and the best detective in NYC, she sure comes up short on this one. To a lesser extent the same argument can be made for Rita, especially after it came out that she is helping in LokSat. So she trusts her supposed mother-in-law over her husband who has proven himself for seven years. Hmmmmmmmmm.
Then, well let’s just say, both Beckett and Castle come up shallow after their reuniting. I fully understand the “hookup” in ep7. But to follow that with “naked punishment?” Did Stana wince saying that? Then when did Beckett become just a sexpot and lose all that warm, loving, caring, affectionate, understanding and warmhearted qualities she developed when that wall came down and she got together with Castle. Plus why degrade her with sneaking around? Being Irish, I understood the Irish intervention but they needed to have her share her pent up feelings, if not with Castle then with Dr. Burke or Lanie. If it is only drinking, Kate is heading down a long dark lonely road that has no end.
So although I feel they did some very good things with the character, there were too many lost opportunities that stemmed from a misled idea that Beckett needed to have Castle chasing her and that separation would create increased interest in Caskett. Now with the two are together and Castle now having a stake in LokSat, there is opportunity for a stellar finish to season 8