This is a member contributed article.
It’s been quite a ride. Eight seasons.
I will honestly say that this final season was not the easiest pill to swallow. There were a few laughs, and a handful of good one-liners, but for me, it was definitely missing the magical spark that made Castle so special for the seven previous years.
There were a couple redeeming moments, such as Beckett finally getting to sit on her ‘94 Harley Softail, rose in hand, gorgeous smile lining her face and Castle beams at his wife so lovingly. But there were also quite a few mis-steps.
And of course, there was the chaos in April that roused the fandom and caused such an tumultuous outcry, unforeseen in the history of Castle… perhaps even television history.
But I don’t want to focus on that.
Because for me, Castle is not just Season 8.
It is a sum of all of its parts.
As I sit here at my keyboard, I am struggling to find the words to clearly express what Castle has meant to me throughout the past several years.
Never before had I been so invested in a television show that I felt the need to explore its themes on a deeper level… to join an online fan forum… to follow actors and writers and crew members on Twitter.
It’s an odd thing, thinking about the beginning now that we’ve reached the end.
My story is like that of so many others — a discovery of Castle by happy accident while channel surfing and becoming enamoured immediately. And the rest is history. Mondays became a favourite day of the week, and anything Castle related became my happy place.
First and foremost, there was the show itself. Andrew Marlowe’s little show that could. Unlike all the other procedurals out there, this was something different. Something special. A non-procedural procedural wrapped in a romantic comedy with awesomesauce drizzled on top.
Lightning in a bottle.
The characters became like friends… like family. We cared about their journeys. All of them. From Castle and Beckett to Ryan and Esposito, to the entire family at the 12th Precinct and beyond. From Beckett’s dealing with the loss of her mother and her struggle with PTSD, to Castle trying to make peace with his 30-year-old demons through his writing, to everything in between, we wanted to know more. We wanted to know how the story ended.
And somewhere in the middle of all of this, Castle became our story too. And then so much more than that.
The writers — under the meticulous guidance of Castle-creator Andrew Marlowe — gave the characters words that became more than just dialogue.
From Martha’s constant unsolicited good advice and Martha-isms, to the fatherly advice Castle bestowed upon his precocious daughter as she was navigating adolescence, to Alexis’ perfect valedictorian speech, to Beckett’s impassioned speech as she defied the accusations and attacks against her character in ‘Hollander’s Woods’…
The words became life lessons. The wisdoms that were expressed resonated with all of us on a deeper level. Words that defined the characters.
Made them relatable.
Made them real.
Even the once mundane of items have become objects of deep symbolism. Because of Castle, words and phrases that have different meanings now: Apples… Cherries… Coffee… Swings… Cheeseburgers… Yo!… On it!… Always.
And then came the quotable quotes. One-liners to fit every occasion — from claiming to be “a wise-ass, not a jackass”; or stating that “Yin needs Yang [because] Yin-Yang is harmony (and Yin-Yin is the name for a panda)”; or anytime you need “to go… over there”; or knowing what it means when “all songs make sense” — Castle provided a multitude of wisdoms to befit any situation.
Castle taught us to “believe in the possibility of magic” and come to accept that “even on the worst days, there is a possibility for joy.” That there is “no upside in screwing with things you can’t explain.” That you “can’t give help if someone won’t take it,” and that the “most worthwhile things in life are often the most difficult.”
That “mistakes are the building blocks of wisdom” and that you never want to “look back on your life and wonder: ‘If only’.”
But mostly, Castle taught us that if you “follow your heart… you can’t go wrong.”
The show inspired so much, but it has given so much more.
First came the international friendships. Six years ago, had you told me that I would forge friendships with people all over the world, I wouldn’t have believed you. But then Castle happened. And then my discovery of CastleTV.net. And I discovered I wasn’t alone in my adoration of this show, and eventually, some friendships formed.
At one time, I would never have fathomed talking to people in Europe and the United States because of a common love of a television show, let alone blessed to travel with them! So to the lovely/weird Oregonians, the Elusive Estonian, the Latvian Ninja, and especially the crazy Germans (including the travelling Minion) and my Bavarian twin…. Thank you! You are extraordinary…
But beyond the friendships, there was the art…. Fans who were so inspired by the journey of these characters that they created videos, drew and painted, photoshopped posters, etc…
And of course, there were the words.
So many articles. So much FanFiction.
And I fell into this category.
I never considered myself to be much of a writer. Quite honestly, I never thought I had anything to say. Yet for several years, Castle caused a flood of words.
As ironic as it is that I find myself struggling to find the right ones in order to write this article, Castle inspired me to write several analytical essays about the show (from an analysis of the musical scoring to Castle and the social media), a plethora of episode review articles, and even a handful of FanFiction stories (something I never even knew existed until Castle entered my life). I never struggled to write any of them… I guess Castle was right about writers needing muses.
So to all those who read any of my work, be it an article, an essays, post-episode thoughts, or my FanFictions… thank you. Especially if you said something nice about them.
But Alexis (and Terri Edda Miller who wrote this speech) was right: “There is a universal truth we all have to face, whether we want to or not. Everything eventually ends… We’re moving on. But just because we’re leaving, and that hurts… there are some people who are so much a part of us they’ll be with us no matter what.”
We’ve reached the end of this chapter.
So here’s to Castle and everything that it inspired… Thanks for the memories. Thanks for everything.
A new chapter in all of our lives is about to begin. So may fortune guide your journey.