Article: Title Screen Logic

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Bathed in a spring-time green, a symbol of rebirth of love and hope, nature’s color-blend and a promising golden sky, it struck me as perfect, not jarring, just right, mood setting. Silence prevailed, absent the music or whistling tones, leaving just me alone with my anticipation, heart galloping.

The bridge still there, the skyscrapers, the old-fashioned writer’s pen and the blood-splatter signifying the crime- solving genre and the show we all love…”Castle.” Indeed, the writers designed a special logo presentation for the season finale “Always.”

So in tune with Kate’s and Rick’s inner emotions, the weather, in a variation of what writers call the pathetic fallacy, personifies or reflects their mood, their emotional, inner vision of their life and love, their hope in a brand new life and a love-fulfilling tomorrow.

Out of the depths of their being, two lovers, Rick and Kate, see the rich, green earth, reaching to the sky, the potential for the seeds of love to grow, nurtured by their infinitely careful, tender watch. The bridge basks in earthy green and a golden sunrise.

And they, too, Rick and Kate have arisen out of heart ache and despair from near death of the body and the soul’s privation, through an arduous path of reconciliation and redemption, to a renewal of hope, a restoration; a rebirth for always. The green-tinted universe concurs, sympathizes, as two souls search for an always love. Hope rests in a green tomorrow.

 

Ominously quiet, ethereal, stark and still, deathly icy blue, the logo of “Countdown” personifies in its pathos and pathetic fallacy the inner vision of Kate and Rick, alone, abandoned to freeze to death in a sealed, warehouse refrigerator.

Through the icy, crystalline, blue haze, so lost to the outside world, and so lost in each other’s protective arms, they cling to each other for body and soul warmth. Rick pleads with Kate: “We aren’t dead yet.” “Stay with me, Kate.“

She thanks Rick for being there and tries to say she loves him before slipping into unconsciousness. And as the misty, icy- blue engulfs them, and the bridge surrounds turn sympathetic blue, Rick pledges to Kate his love for “always.”

“In Kick the Ballistics,” however, the writers employ the normal logo, but, out of respect for the episode’s heart –breaking, serious impact, the often glaring, logo music is totally eliminated. All is still, quiet. In this episode, Rick becomes a true partner to Kate, Ryan and Esposito.

In the final scenes of “Kick the Ballistics,” Kate respects Rick’s efforts as a team player and partner. When Kate suggests that she may strike a deal with Phillip Lee, a murderer, in order to bring down the more notorious 3xk killer, Rick adamantly steps up and shows the mature, steadfast aspect of his nature. An equal to Kate, he proclaims: “No, Jane deserves justice. We’ll get 3xk and we’ll do it right.”

Acknowledging Rick’s growth and perceptiveness, Kate pays him a high compliment: “Damn Castle. Look at you thinking like a real cop.” And with her words, Rick knows he belongs, a huge step in Rick’s self-assurance.

Next it is Ryan’s turn to show his serious side, and with these words he toasts the young woman who died for truth and love, a partnership of a higher order: “To bravery and commitment, to love and sacrifice.” Kevin Ryan dedicates his toast: “to Jane.” And in a way, Ryan’s toast to Jane also defines Rick and Kate’s journey to partnership and to much more…to love.

Howling wolves and a rather orange- tinted logo set the tone for the Halloween celebration in the fun-filled episode, appropriately titled “Demons,” a return to the bantering and amusing Rick and Kate once again, revealing the writers’ attention to details and their light-hearted intentions in this episode. The episode is replete with fun one- liners and stories, but also a striking sub- text to enhance Rick’s and Kate’s growing love story.

Kate jokingly warns Rick not to acknowledge ghosts in his far out theories, so Rick redefines and describes ghosts as… Apparition Americans; this is too funny no matter how one parses it. Later Rick gets away with calling a doubting Kate, “Skepticas Maximus,” just a little example of their growing ease with each other on a more ironically, accepting playing field. Set to the Ghostbusters refrain, Kate’s claim, just to humor Rick, ”I ain’t afraid of no ghosts,” is also a howling delight.

One of the best scenes in “Demons” involves Kate’s little bit of payback for the Halloween prank Rick played on her a few years ago, when Rick told her a sad story of his childhood, his discovering a child’s body on the shore, apparently a turning point in Rick’s storied career.

Of course, he was simply doing what he does best…tell stories. Now Kate reels Rick in with her tale of her ghost adventure while camping with her parents. Out in the woods, near to the outhouse, a “weird glow” appears under a doorway to another cabin; the ghost calls to her, whispers: “Kate! Kate!”

“Then I saw it.”

“What was it? What did you see? “entreats a believing Rick.

“How long have you known me, Castle. Of course I don’t believe in ghosts.”

Indeed, the importance of this episode shines through and belies the howling wolves’ logo. With poignant sub- text, we see Kate’s struggle with her own personal demons, her protective walls, her love and fear while questioning the victim’s brother who claims: “When something like that happens, it’s burned into your brain, every detail.” And Kate knows…and so does Rick.

Exposed, in her mind, uncomfortable with the truth before her, in Rick’s presence, no less, Kate looks a bit stricken. He continues: “I couldn’t forget it if I tried.” His words hang there.

Sometimes it is the little, howling, fun-filled episodes, which speak to us more than the hard -hitting ones. In his own moment of understanding, Rick advises Alexis regarding love, the nature of truth and ultimately… belief: “If two people believe in something, really believe, anything, even the impossible is possible.”

Finally, in this sympathetic, logo discussion, we have Rick’s fantasy of unforgettable desire and passion, of truth and of a belief in the power of love, even love at first sight, which lasts for always. Setting the stage for “The Blue Butterfly,” the film noir episode set in 1947, the “Castle” logo tune is played by a saxophone, in a jazz style, circa the big band era of the 1940s.

And into the fantasy walks Rick, a dashing, Sam Spade- type, swaggering, fast talking, hard drinking, Joe, a private detective, swept off his feet and redeemed by the love of the beautiful dame, a potential femme- fatale, herself, and the moll of a dangerous mob boss.

Naturally Rick fantasizes Vera as Kate, even inadvertently calling Vera Kate or was it Kate Vera, but quickly recovering to reveal that he merely said Fate…and that’s true, too. Within a week Joe and Vera fall in love and plan to escape the clutches of her possessive protector.

Indeed, Rick is the everyday common man… Joe. And Vera … Kate…she is Joe’s and Rick’s truth, maybe even their redemption. With flames surrounding them literally, Rick’s and Kate’s alter egos, run away forever and always. As they leave, Vera asks of Joe:

“Tell me you love me, Joe.”

After a kiss to seal their love, Joe responds: “Always.”

Rick and Kate find Joe and Vera, sixty odd years later, still together, still in love, proud parents of four children, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. Their love survived the stress, great differences, the tumult and time. They lived a forever love, for always.

Now Rick pledges his love for always and promises to protect Kate always, two times, in two life- threatening instances in season three: in “Knockdown” and in “Countdown.” In “The Dead Pool,” a shy Kate reciprocates and completes Rick’s thank you with their code word “always,” and Rick understands what she is trying to say: “I love you, Rick.”

With Kate’s crises and need for him, visible in “Killshot,” Rick, so aware of her, says a reassuring “always” to Kate’s thanking him for not pushing and for giving her space to work out her post- traumatic stress. Rick offers all he can to the woman he loves…. unconditional love.

Then, for the second time in season four, “always” is tenderly spoken in Rick’s fantasy love affair with Kate/Vera, certainly an expression of Rick’s unspoken passion and desire, while waiting for the chance to tell Kate again of his love for her, or more particularly, while waiting for her to be ready to acknowledge his love, to hear him and respond in kind to his love.

The stage is set. The season finale is entitled “Always.” The “Castle” logo is bathed in green and gold, nature’s first colors, sympathetically waiting as we are, hoping for a rebirth, a renewal of love, for reconciliation, for a bright tomorrow for two lovers who deserve happiness at last, for Kate and Rick, as they finally realize their love for each other, for always.

About Trueheart

Peggy is a retired high school teacher and since the 2009 beginning, a proud devotee of all things Castle. I guess you might call this old teach a shipper, and doesn't that beat all.

Comments

  1. Thank you for this nice and thoughtful essay (as ‘always’). Regarding the green logo of the series finale — you know what else strikes me there?.. If you look at that episode’s color decisions, it’s easy to notice that it has two main colors that dominate throughout the whole episode, two contrasting colors that symbolize, I guess, those difficult decisions that all the charaters are facing here: one is warm, golden yellow and the other is cold, sometimes deadly cold blue. Some scenes are shot entirely either in golden yellow or entirely in blue tones, some scenes have the mixture of the two (like in the church, or when Alexis is speaking with the blue curtain behind her), and in some scenes there are only spots of blue and/or yellow (as when Beckett learns about Castle’s secret, there’s nothing between them but two lights, yellow and blue; and when Castle opens the door to his warm, golden-lit nest of the apartment, there’s still a single blue spot, a bottle, behind his back — and I can’t help but thinking that this is also symbolic in some sense, though maybe I’m just ovethinking things here). Anyway, it’s obvious that these two colors prevail in the episode and that they are symbolic on several levels. And what color do you get when you blend yellow with blue? Green. So that’s also the mixture, the junction of the two main contrasting colors of the episode, the beautiful synthesis which gives us hope and symbolizes hope and rebirth. I thought this was just mastefully done.

    Sorry for this rant, maybe it doesn’t make much sense, but I just felt I needed to share.

    • TracyLee55 says:

      Wow Carrie. Those were wonderful observations. You noticed something I did not. I say that because I am always looking for what the background is saying or the little looks between characters, not just the leads, even an arch eye brow or very slightly upturn or downturn of the mouth or a hand movement. And like you, a piece of furniture, or a bottle or how the apartments or precinct is lighted. And I think in the times I have watched Always again, I was so involved in the story, getting Rick and Kate finally on the same page as far as their feelings for each other, I missed those nuances in the story. Thanks to you, I will not only re-watch Always with these in mind, but the other seasons too. I also saw stuff in those, but I will have a keener eye now.

  2. catluver says:

    My gosh, you people never cease to amaze me. Such insight into the show. I NEVER noticed the colors in the logo and only a few times did I notice the color in the scenes. Now another reason to watch them all again. It also is such a tribute to such amazing writers, producers, etc. Such artists in their fields. I just can’t get enough. I wish more people appreciated what this series has done for TV. It has elevated it to a new level.

  3. anitasubtext says:

    Peggy you always manage to bring out aspects of “our” show that few people notice. Then you tie the season together the way, I am sure, it was intended by AWM and his “crew”. I still haven’t figured out how you do it. Is it just great perception or devotion to The Best Show Ever? Gotta be both.

    • Trueheart says:

      Dear Anita,

      Ironically, even as a teacher, I never had much opportunity to write much beyond a journal entry… upon occasion. I’ve watched Castle since the beginning, and posted a few reviews here and there, but it was Castle, this year, that inspired me to begin writing, and this wonderful site which accepted my entries. Thank you, Anita my first supporter on this site. I’ve always appreciated your words of encouragement.

      Peggy

  4. katillion says:

    Amazing! You have a teacher’s eye to seeing layers.

    • Trueheart says:

      Dear Katillion,

      Oh, the many layers of the Beckett onion. Thank you for your support. It is an inspiring opportunity for me to analyze and try to understand, along with the legion of savvy, Castle fans, the many aspects of this beautifully written and well-acted show. Of course, we know it is fiction, but so, too, are the myths and the wonderful novels that we read. Castle elevates everyone who takes the time to really see it.

  5. MLibraryGal says:

    Peggy, I’ve been reading your articles on this site for a while now and I just want to say “Thank you”. You always help us peel back the layers of Castle that Marlowe & co. have so skillfully or fortuitously incorporated in their construction of the series. It’s just plain fascinating to both watch the shows and then read your articles about them. I’ll definitely be paying more attention to the color pallets that they use from now on. So wonderfully clever of M & co., and of you to pick up on it. Thanks for sharing your insights. They make watching Castle an even more rewarding experience.

    • Trueheart says:

      Dear MLibraryGirl,

      I’ve been meaning to write back and thank you for your very kind words. I’ve noticed you on our Trueheart’s Castledom forum, and have enjoyed your writing and insights. I am definitely looking forward to sharing more ideas with you and our other friends. Thanks again. Your support is so appreciated.

      Peggy

  6. This is a lovely article! I truly enjoyed reading it and your insights into the show’s themes. I’ve “always” liked the way Castle uses color, light and shadow. It reminds me of the old technicolor movies, maybe that’s one reason I’m a fan. And there were many moments in Always that brought to mind Hitchcock’s Vertigo, from the headspinning scene of Kate dangling on the edge of the skyscraper to the mysterious lights of green and gold playing throughout the episode. I can’t wait to see what this team has in store for us in S5!

    • Trueheart says:

      Dear chandlersdame,

      That’s quite a moniker you have…terrific!

      Wow, that dizzying Vertigo image…now you have it playing in my head. I have to rush back and see that Hitchcock/ Stewart classic. Thank you for your support. September can not come soon enough.

      Peggy

  7. Peggy,

    Another masterpiece!! That’s all there is to say except, please keep creating and writing!!!

    Best Regards,
    Steve Q

    • Trueheart says:

      Steve Q, my fictional, metaphorical, symbolic student, have I left anything out or am I even correct.

      Thank you for your kind words. I am so happy to see you on Truetheart’s Castledom forum, and look forward to talking to you again.

      Yes, you were that philosophical student, sometimes shy but always insightful. I wish I had had you in my class… back in the day., although we may have been sitting next to each other. ha ha!

      Peggy

  8. BarryWeen says:

    Nice article on the different logos and themes used on the show. Another meaning of the Green Sky logo of the season finale Always could be that the green sky effect is a weather effect that usually portends severe weather, not always but usually.

    So you could say that the green skies shown in the Caslte logo for the Always episode was a forecast of not only the severe rainstorm that occured near the end of the episode but also troubled times for both the Caslte/Beckett relationship and Beckett herself that did occur.

  9. TracyLee55 says:

    Peggy, Outstanding as “always”. The bathing of the light in the logos, how the water and the bridge reflect (is it the Brooklyn Bridge? Not from NY, so don’t know). I had noticed the color changes in the logos, and noticed music change too, but you just opened the door fully for me, instead of it being just ajar.

    Your perception and insight continues to astound amaze me Peggy. I truly hope and wish that maybe AWM or any of the Castle crew and cast read these articles. You really should be a writer on the show. That could be your post retired years career. And also as always you have done our thread “Trueheart’s Castledom” proud!

    • Yes… it’s the Brooklyn Bridge, Tracy! Well done, you! :D

    • Trueheart says:

      All I can say is WOW, Tracy. Well, I can always say more, can’t I. Thank you for your inspiring comments and friendship on our forum and always. You are very generous.

      Peggy

  10. Peggy,

    I could go on and on about how phenomenal this essay is, but I did that in the Shakespeare one, so I will keep it simple this time.

    As one English teacher to another… can I just say how much I LOVE that you brought up Pathetic Fallacy!!! :)

    • Trueheart says:

      Thank you for your support, from the very beginning, Shena, fellow teacher buddy. I’ve always loved the pathetic fallacy, in so many of the great novels. Somehow this concept energizes us all to look for and see so much more in our reading and viewing, in character development and plotting. Ah, the retired teacher in me can not stop.

      As you know English lit is not the favourite (spelled just for you)cup of tea for our students, especially the boys. But they do so like to go on a hunt for clues, colors, words, and other meaningful symbolic images. They love parallels and sub-plots, echoes and mirror images.

      When I taught Rebecca, (to a universal ugh from the boys), I tired to have them search for the pathetic fallacy, words and symbols, colours and images, poems referenced. Why does the author include this poem or this song of the many million selections? It was exciting for them and more so for me.

      We used the dialogue and actually acted out the varied scenes in everything we read, straight from the book itself. Sometimes we would”skim and scan” for the heart of the chapter, usually the dialogue or some descriptive, telling scene. Often we laughed at ourselves and sometimes at the book, while always having fun. Lit came alive for them and for me. I loved it.

      I was proud to see Nathan’s Parade interview as he acknowledged his English teacher mother and father, he himself studying to be a literature teacher. He would have been a great one, and with the talented writers on Castle, he is, indeed, teaching. But he made one comment which resonated with me. His mother “trained him early to read cold.” “Now if I see an adult who reads aloud in a monotone, I say to myself, ‘Your mother failed you.'”

      The fact that Nathan is a co-founder of Kids Need to Read, providing books for schools and libraries and literacy programs is particularly heart warming to me.

  11. southerngirl says:

    Thank you Peggy for another great article and for bringing deeper understanding as to why we fans so love Castle. I had not even noticed the color changes either. This is just more evidence of how much the appeal of this shows is a combination of great writers, cast, and crew. Your insights are amazing!!

    • Trueheart says:

      Thank you, southerngirl,

      Someone once told me to keep on romancing the Castle stone. And I shall ever strive to do so. Thank you for your kind words.

      Peggy

  12. Trueheart, green happens to be my favorite color, but I for one did not interpret the green in the “Always” title card as the green of hope and renewal. This was the sickly green that suffuses the gathering storm clouds in advance of a tornado or other cataclysm. That, combined with the total absence of the opening theme, signaled to me there was rough weather ahead.

    • BarryWeen says:

      Yeah, someone else who went with the weather interpretation of the green skies like I did. I’m not alone…:D

      • Trueheart says:

        Oh Barry and Phillip, I know I can not convince you guys, but “Always” ended with so much promised renewal of love, and with that wonderful, symbolic title, how could the green be a symbol of a cataclysmic ending or foreshadowing of dire things to come?

        Sure, there will be trying times, as in any relationship of two very different people, who are not children, but I am the eternal optimist, and you guys need to come over to the sunny side. Just kidding!

        Now don’t lambaste me please. I just needed to thank you for being there;, along with the other wonderful people who wrote, even if we do not agree.

        • Tashadan says:

          Hi everybody,
          sorry if I – newbie that I am – barge in here, but I LOVE this discussion thread! Even on first viewing I realized that there were a few rather interesting colour choices: Two scenes that at first glance have an undertone of menace or loss are BATHED in this golden glow: The scene in which Beckett interviews the thug in his holding cell and the scene in which she turns in her badge. When I first saw it I thought this light was to signify the light of the setting sun, a sign of things coming to an end before night sets in —- and yet I wondered at warm and positive emotion it inadvertendly evoked. Why, do you think, that is? Why this choice? It’s definitely not a coincidence.

          I’d like to throw in my two cents as far as the title is concerened and think I’m sorry I have to state, that I, too, was thinking of sickly green and storms brewing when I saw the colour of the title.

          Thanks for prodding our thinking and our imagination the way you do!!

  13. Peggy,
    During the summer hiatus, I, like so many come to this website to find fellowship amongst the many who are equally stricken with OCD. This summer, I have found more. I have enjoyed your observations and interpretations and ruminations because of how eloquently and thoughtfully you have given them to us.
    Well done.
    As a former graphic artist, I have always appreciated those subtle color and ambient differences in the Castle title shots. They were designed to convey the flavor (and emotion) of that episode and it was one of those details that I have always enjoyed and looked forward to seeing. Thank you for your essay that sings the praises of that talented team’s attention to detail.
    Is it September, yet?

    • Trueheart says:

      Susan, alas, we have two more months to go. Thank you for your kind support. I know I’ve only scratched the surface and hopefully sparked others to find more examples and to use all of their senses when viewing this fantastic television show. I don’t think this is an accident, the marvelous use of color and so many other techniques to enhance our appreciation of Castle. Thank-you again!

      Peggy