Member Article: Murder, He Wrote

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“None of them were you.” He speaks softly, answers honestly to her regret, her sadness, her concern; yes, other women have seen the lush greens, the azure sea and his magnificent mansion in the halcyon Hamptons; she feels his heart’s truth, sees his beseeching, earnest eyes; Kate knows him.

In her own moment of truth, need and desire, in love’s new chapter, “Always,” Kate finally responds to Rick’s earlier emotional profession of love with her own declaration: “I only want you.”

She thrives on his healing words before, during her darkest days after her mother’s murder, needing his words, this writer; his heroic character, his healing thoughts. She collects his books, waits for his autograph before she ever knows the man, now her love.

Wanting only him, she now puts aside the past and takes his gently offered hand. Cherishing her, Rick guides her closer to his heart; Kate follows him. Their love so old, so new, is reborn.

“Ye Gods!” Alexander Pope once wrote, “Annihilate but space and time, and make two lovers happy.”

Would that the gods could annihilate, remove time and space, wash away all the impediments and allow two lovers happiness. Gods cannot do this alone; we mortals must cleanse and renew ourselves. Kate and Rick must begin a healing, lovers’ journey to put aside the past, his womanizing and shallow missteps and her emotional burdens, fragility and fear of loss.

Thus healing continues at the Hamptons, an emotional visit for Kate, no doubt, recalling her missed opportunity to go there with Rick when invited two years earlier, reminding her of Rick’s easy replacement, Gina, his ex wife, only too happy to go with Rick, thus erasing any intimate chance between the writer and his muse.

Then, so long ago yet so recent, burying her hurt, Kate turns to her mother’s murder-board, her destructive obsession and to Josh, a good man she does not love, who will not leave her broken. Perhaps Kate remembers the danger, the past heart-break of loving Rick Castle. Still she needs him, goes with him, her love, to the Hamptons and risks herself.

Imposing, slightly intimidating, Rick’s opulent Hamptons’ home, a mansion of staggering beauty amazes Kate at first and awakens her insecurities. Are you rich, Castle? Beyond reach?

But knowing Rick’s generosity of spirit, his meaningful gifts to her always, and kind ways, perhaps Kate also recalls Rick’s words to her the previous year: “Money doesn’t change who you are; it just magnifies your personality.”

This she knows well, his personality. Once a lonely only child, Rick wants to please and to share his bounty with his friends and family and especially with Kate. He is a man who radiates his joy and belief in tomorrow, who makes a difference and strives to be a better man and father. He is an unlikely hero, and a hopeful man.

In “Nikki Heat,” Rick warns Kate, finds and saves her from the explosion, the fire, and the destruction of her home; then in the wreckage, he finds her father’s watch which Kate wears in loving honor of Jim Beckett’s battle and redemption from alcoholism.

Rick restores the watch to Kate, in his hopeful way of fixing two broken treasures. Rick cares about her as Agent Jordan Shaw proclaims to Kate. For her pleasure, another time, he gifts her with the Temptation Lane soap- opera, cast- picture, reclaiming Kate’s treasured memories of the show, of days spent with her beloved mother.

So many times Rick presents Kate with tangible things and himself, ready to stand by her, support her and save her from danger, her enemies and from herself.

Rick admits in “Lucky Stiff,” that “money magnified his inner child at first,” spending with reckless abandon, but then later realizing that what he cares about is “freedom, freedom to write, to spend time with Alexis.”

Afraid to appear too serious, Rick then breaks the moment with a bit of fun, reminding Kate with his self-deprecating words that he did buy some property on the moon; he makes Kate laugh, thinking to cement his cavalier disguise.

Now in the Hamptons’ evening’s quietude, their lovers’ retreat, poignant, piano notes echo from Robert Duncan’s theme song “I Only Want You.” …la la la la la la; la la la la; la la la la la la.

Slower, softer and sweeter, tinkling now, the notes, a bridge to the very same tune, staccato then, insistent then in “Always,” matching, mirroring that heart-pulsating, passionate love scene, notes, so magical now, airy, delicate, thematically repeated, remind, resound, echo in the Hamptons’ heavens, uniting two lovers.

The tinkling piano notes herald the love scene framed at the pool and in the quiet light of the bedroom; so, too, in “After Hours” and ”Probable Cause” and other intimate interludes and episodes, past and present, the notes, the variations too sweet so recognizable: “I only want you,” and answered:

“None of them were you.”


The camera frames Rick’s blue-bathed, lighted pool. Shining approval, the starry heavens offer invitation. Rick serves to make the water warmer if it will please Kate. She stands before him, naked, barriers down, ready to immerse in the baptismal warm waters with him. Then quickly Kate hides, robes her naked body when they are interrupted by a man, staggering, falling into the pool, dead.

Indeed, much detail has been written about this fantastic and funny episode over the months since it first aired; I, too, have written about it here in another archived article, “Let Lips Do What Hands do.”

But four years ago Rick and Kate first meet over a copy-cat murder, and since then, murder investigations draw them closer, building theory, and cases together, completing each other’s sentences, usually lost in their own world. Then they surface and realize their need and desire for each other; sometimes this understanding terrifies them and they retreat.

Theories and solutions, words and deductions beget sexual tension, each rapidly responding to the other before anyone else can begin to catch up. If alone, their words cloak a lover’s foreplay, complete with a stare of recognition, a yearning for more, their eyes locked, searching, speaking what the heart knows. Aware! Transfixed! Desire! The world is theirs only.

In the Hamptons’ heat, however, Kate wants loving first, and Rick is all for case building (yes, the body in the pool), and coffee’s stimulation, their special connection. Will wonders never cease as off he trots his mincing dash for the brew? They investigate the case, aiding the local, bumpkin-esque, inexperienced sheriff, forestalling their vacation.

Then Rick desires some loving touches and kisses; and Kate, well, now she is into case building and solving a puzzle, and we laugh at the side-tracks and interruptions, this metaphor of their loves’ progression. The buildup…the tension…we want more, but laugh…

Oh, finally! Rick cannot resist the case and Kate's pull, caught up in their mutual, pulse-pounding, rapid- fire discoveries:

“Why would they kill him out here?” Kate excites.

“Unless part of the drug business was out here.” Rick responds.

“That explains the helicopter pad.” Kate posits.

“Why he slept with Natalia.”

“He needed approval to get the helipad.”

Rick concludes: “Move in the product in the helicopter rather than the boat or car.”

With every rapid fire deduction and conclusion, they act as they always have; in this their lovers’ foreplay. They step into each other as they snap off answers, shake their heads, yea or nay; Rick retorts and moves into Kate’s space. Kate responds and steps into her man’s space. Deductions and theories fly; case continues, and love is on fire. Solutions sail into the breach!

Excitement builds. Closer and closer they match wits, toe to toe, mano e mano, certainly no mano e muir, and no gummy bears betting- chips, innocently involved. Rick makes his move, grabs Kate’s slim body passionately, clasps, snaps and slams her, locked tightly against him.

Kate sighs or moans; their eager, open lips almost interlocked, ready to plunge, to taste, are a breath apart; their bodies… no spare space between; the kiss and passion are coming. We wait with bated breath…at last.

Then Kate, remembering, implores Rick to call Ryan and Esposito, an important task to be honest. Reluctantly, but responsibly, Rick releases Kate, moves away, off to call her team. The expressions on Rick’s face, his loving checked, and on Kate’s face, her case opened again, are priceless, a tribute to Stana’s and Nathan’s exceptional chemistry and acting prowess.

Such verbal foreplay between them, always there from the first day, sans sensual touch before, only eyes speaking and souls surrendering, how did their hearts ever survive? And ours? And this scene highlights it so brilliantly. For sexual- innuendo and shattering-intimacy, it rivals the heart-stopping handshake.

I am still laughing and moved all at once with the writers’ and actors’ brilliance; their words, their steps, onward in witty combat; the snap, grab, stare, and above all else, adoration and desire depicted.

And now with episodes anew, we see even more, the soul-searching hug, the recognition and abandon in the library embrace, Kate’s stroking Rick’s face in relief in “Probable Cause,” so telling, heart-wrenching their need for each other’s touch.

Their searing looks and hunger in “The Final Frontier” and their clandestine need to be near each other in “Swan Song,” it’s all there, in each encounter often along with the piano notes and/or variations of “I only Want You,” and in Rick’s response in “After Hours.”

Catching a leaping Kate in mid- air before she falls, Rick whispers: “Come here,” and his answer to her fears of losing him: “No! Never! Never! Never,” will I leave you, his corollary to the words spoken in the Hamptons under that magnificent October sky: “None of them were you.” The piano speaks too; its variations and love notes; we listen.

When the case is closed, two lovers retreat at last to spend their night together, and Kate, embracing her Nikki Heat persona, demonstrates to Rick or Jameson exactly what her heart desires most…him. “I only want you,” and yes, “none of them were you.”

As the scene fades, a shooting star glides across the heavens; for now, all is well with their world; they are together in love’s embrace, no sign of stars misaligned or star-crossed fates for Rick and Kate.

FBI agent Jordan Shaw understands so well when regarding Nikki Heat, she tells Kate: “She is after all, part you part Castle.” And Rick and Kate, two lovers, rejoice now with their creation.


  1. southerngirl says

    Amazing as ‘always’ Peggy are your beautiful, on-target, descriptive words that define our enchantment of the Caskett journey to love’s fulfillment. Thank you once again for this glorious word picture of perhaps this season’s favorite episode.

  2. scottish castle fan says

    Thanks Peggy. I haven’t seen this for a few weeks, and you make me want to rewatch it with fresh eyes, having read your lovely thoughts.

  3. says

    Two words. Unconditional love. Historically, subtext has gotten in the way of these two baggage-ridden, imperfect humans, but bottom line, both of them would do anything for the other. Therein lies their relationship redemption, the happiness of two lovers, and the annihilation of time and space. Thanks Peggy!

  4. catluver aka Donna says

    Peggy, thanks for your wonderful article on this, our favorite show, and my favorite episode of this year. Just watched again before reading your article. Like the icing on the cake!!

  5. Kathy1948 says

    Peggy – I read the first article you wrote on this episode and it motivated me to watch it again on Monday. I never expected that we would get a second article on this episode which is a bonus. As always, you are a great observer of detail and weaver of themes. Can’t wait to read your article on “Recoil”.

    I, for one, am ready for Kate to kick the Senator to the curb and be free to move forward knowing that she finally got justice for her mother. Up to this point, the show has focused on her obsession and needs and Rick’s willingness to put his life and heart on the line to help her find peace. I am ready for the tables to turn, and for Kate to be there to help him come to terms with who his father really is, why he abandoned him and Martha, and how that abandonment made Castle who he is. This new story line has great promise and could easily be woven through the second half of Season 5. So much is changing for Castle. Alexis is in college and asserting her independence. She has been his raison d’etre for 18 years. His responsibilities to care for and nurture her kept him grounded and now his love for Kate is keeping him grounded. It is time now for everyone in Rick’s life to put him first for a change. I loved that in the Secret Santa episode. When Alexis, Martha and Kate saw how crest fallen he was at the thought of being abandoned on Christmas Eve, they all changed their plans. We need to see more of that. The man is so good to his family and friends, kind, generous, selfless and sometimes they are downright mean to him. Something my husband often points out as a new Castle fan (He is getting caught up, we are done with Season 3 with the exception of Knockout which we will likely watch tonight). As a man watching the show he sees that Alexis and Martha owe everything to him. Without his wealth and willingness to share it, their lives would be very different. So when they “tease” him he sees it as their being mean. Having been a diehard fan since the beginning, I know that they love him deeply and would never knowingly do or say anything to hurt him. February promises to be a banner month for the Castle Fandom. Counting the hours until Monday.

  6. says

    Yes, another beautiful review. However, the “Nikki Heat” episode was not the one with the explosion. That was the 2-parter. Nikki Heat was probably the funniest episode in the entire series. “Murder He Wrote” was probably second funniest. I loved it. I’m glad they repeated it and I’m happy to read your thoughts on it.

    I feel like we’re still missing much of the humor of the first season’s shows. I’m hoping this year’s writers can get that back into the show. It’s what separates Castle from other cop shows on TV.
    I also wonder when we will finally hear Kate call him “Rick” instead “Castle” when they’re alone. There’s a certain intimacy in using his first name that I feel we’re missing.
    Thanks Peggy!

    • Genelle says

      Kate hasn’t called Rick by his first name since “Dial M for Mayor”. I’d love her to call Castle “Rick” more, and tell him “I Love You”.
      Loved your 2nd article on this episode, as well as the first one. I’m eager to see the one for “Prob. Cause”
      Have a great week my “Castle” freinds! :)

  7. Ali, Sr. says

    Tonight is the night!!! 😉 TrueHeart – just read your article to get ready in a balanced way for tonight’s episode. Thank you for reminding us why we fell in love with Castle. Your power of synthesis never ceases to amaze me. Many times this season I have become a bit discouraged, I am only human 😉 All I need to get back on track is read one of your reviews… as if by magic “all the love songs make sense…LOL”.

    Susan S- Boom & Tick,tick… are two of the episodes dealing with Nicky Heat, the character..the perpetrator kept engraving his bullets to spell Nikki Heat, Nikki will burn…etc…Castle fans are stickler for details…you are correct. I too found Natalie Rose as Nikki one of the funniest eps. ever LOL & agree with Murder He Wrote, funny & yet a bit frustrating – we were promised so much :( The redeeming love scene at the end awwww….;) They tease us mercilessly 😉 Thank you for mentioning the missing humor/comedic ingredient. I too miss that ingredient a lot – maybe we will get lucky & the writers will listen to our comments… 😉

    TrueHeart – again, you keep the thread of hope connected to our heartstrings 😉 it is what has kept me going throughout my doubting AM moments… Thank you for not loosing sight of the very essence of our beloved series CASTLE. Somehow you manage to remain objective & enlighten us that we may be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel….like Rick & Kate traveling through a dark tunnel towards the light in Murder He Wrote …. how is that for subtext??? MAGICAL ??? ALWAYS !!! :)

  8. Shena says

    So glad I finally got a chance to read this! Brilliant, as always, Peggy! It’s amazing how many times we can watch the same episode and continue to see new aspects, new themes, and new layers! 😀