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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.