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“People do crazy things when they’re in love,” Beckett admitted to Agent McCord in ‘Valkyrie’.
This begs the question: How far would you go for the one you love?
The superficial response might be: Los Angeles…. Paris… or even Washington D.C. after weekend plans had to be cancelled.
But there’s so much more depth to it than physical distance. ‘Valkyrie’ and ‘Dream World’ explored what it means to lay everything on the line for someone you care about. Someone you hold dear. Someone you love.
After dating for only six months, Jeanette Miller was willing to run away. She changed her appearance. She abandoned her car, her phone, her life. She risked her independence and her safety to be with Jack Bronson. All of it in vain.
Brad Parker lost his fiancé, an intelligence agent who was murdered by her own country — her death covered up. He went to great lengths to take his revenge against the person he deemed responsible — Secretary of Defense, Michael Reed. He plotted to frame Jack Bronson for a theft that he himself orchestrated, murder Reed’s wife with a deadly toxin, all the while leaving misleading bread crumbs that would send investigators in the opposite direction. Yet again, all in vain.
But Castle and Beckett prove that not all efforts are done in vain. Theirs is the great love story.
And it did not begin with ‘Valkyrie’.
Their story began with ‘Flowers For Your Grave’ when Beckett hunted Harrison Tisdale down an alley to rescue Castle. Castle took a chance to elbow Tisdale and disarm him. They saved each other. And they’ve been going to great lengths for each other ever since.
Though he’s a good shot, Castle is untrained in combat situations. However, has gone to great ‘lengths to ensure her safety as great personal risk. He has knocked Beckett to the ground to save her from being shot (‘Always Buy Retail’ and ‘A Deadly Affair’’); he has attacked shooters to protect her (‘Boom!’ and ‘Knockdown’); he has even stayed by her side and managed to disarm bombs (‘Countdown’’ and ‘Still’).
But Beckett is not the only one he holds dear. He has always been a protective father — he even GPS tracked his daughter’s phone at one point. But for the many years of parental paranoia, Castle proved that he truly would do anything for someone he loves when Alexis was kidnapped. In ‘Target’, his dark side emerged, and he flew to Paris and hired a mercenary (at great financial cost and personal risk) in ‘Hunt’ in an effort to rescue his daughter.
He has even proved himself very protective of his mother, no moment more telling than when they were held hostage in the bank in ‘Cops and Robbers’ . At one point, when Trapper John was holding a gun to Castle’s throat, Martha motioned to defend her son, but Castle pushed her away.
Time and time again, he has shown that he’s willing to sacrifice himself for those he loves.
Kate Beckett, however reserved she may have been in exploring her affections for Castle over the past few years, has evolved enormously in the way she proves her love for him.
Jim Beckett reminded Kate in ‘Watershed’ that she’s never let a relationship go this far… get this deep. She’s always had one foot out the door. As such, she’s never had a relationship last to the point when someone would think to offer a proposal of marriage (as she revealed to Maddie in ‘Food to Die For’). Until now.
She revealed to him early in their partnership, in ‘Nanny McDead’, that she’s “not an ‘if at first you don’t succeed’ kind of a girl…. When it comes to marriage, [she’s] more of a ‘one and done’ type.” Later, in ‘Set Up’, Beckett told Castle that she wished that she “had someone who would be there for [her], and [she] could be there for him, and [they] could just dive into it together.”
But diving in terrified her – the idea of needing someone and depending on someone was not who Detective Kate Beckett had been… until Castle came along and chipped away at her protective wall until he destroyed it entirely.
It took five years to get there, but she dove in. And she submerged herself completely knowing that she and Castle are on the same page in their relationship now that they are engaged.
Marlowe mentioned in an interview in November 2012 that women shouldn’t have to choose between being be a princess or a warrior… that there is no reason that they can’t be a Princess-Warrior if they wish to be. She moved to a new city, took a new job, but she desperately wants to “make this work” with him.
But when Castle’s life is threatened by a deadly toxin, she pushes the boundaries. She convinces McCord that the fact that they “played by the rules” is no longer enough. She’s terrified of losing him.
She convinces her boss that Castle — a civilian — could be an asset in a classified investigation. She waterboards Secretary Reed after being ordered not to do so — her approach very reminiscent of her stand-off with Senator Bracken in ‘After The Storm’.
But when Castle collapses on the grass in front of the Reed’s house, Beckett steels herself. Her eyes grow cold. In Norse mythology, a Valkyrie (from valkyrja meaning “chooser of the slain”) is one of a host of female figures who decide which soldiers die in battle and which live. In this moment, Kate Beckett solidly decided that Richard Castle was not going to die. Not this day. Not on her watch.
She followed a hunch, bucking protocol once again (as she’s done several times, most recently in ‘Recoil’)… this time to save the man she’d given her whole heart to. Her partner.
Because even though McCord backs her without knowing her play because “that’s what partners do,” Beckett knows in her soul that her true partner is lying in a hospital bed. Waiting for her.
Because there are no limits to how far they’d go for each other.
No matter how hard it gets… because “sometimes the hardest things in life are the things most worth doing.”