WARNING: This article contains spoilers for season 5.
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In a recent interview with TV Guide’s William Keck Andrew Marlowe dropped hints that in the Season 5 premiere the action will pick up in the moments following the Season 4 ending when Beckett and Castle walk into the great unknown holding hands: “We think it’s important to show the fans what this moment means for Beckett and Castle and how it may change and complicate their relationship.” His words imply that in the opening few minutes there will be more than just hand holding and we will see some bare skin and hear some heavy breathing.
Upon hearing this, Caskett fans the world over no doubt rejoiced with fireworks and gunshots into the air (yes, this is a legitimate, but wholly inexplicable way of celebrating in some countries), but since my world revolves entirely around myself, I have to admit that I am not squealing-excited about the idea. In fact, I am not even can’t-stop-grinning-excited. It is not that I have anything against The Scene at the end of “Always” and would rather have boiled cabbage for a month than watch more of it. On the contrary, I liked the way Team Marlowe envisioned and filmed it. It was like Baby Bear’s porridge – just right. Not too hot, not too salty, with the right amount of sweetness. That is the reason why I feel they should leave it as it is. Anything more would be voyeuristic. Or, as Stana would say, salacious. It is not that I am prudish or repressed or remotely, even for one second, envious. I just feel that on screen and in books implied sex is sexier than leaving less to imagination.
Another reason that I am against showing them making whoopee is the unavoidable continuity lapse. This would be all right if this scene was going to happen in a “Firefly” episode because time jumps and quantum leaps can be explained away in the sci-fi universe, but “Castle” is set in current day New York, and no matter what you might believe after encountering people with tin foil hats on the corner of Eighth and West 42nd street, time travel is not real.
There has been some speculation that Nathan Fillion has been working out since “Always” was filmed and discussion on message boards suggests he may have been motivated at least in part to do so because of the possibility of shirtless scenes in the upcoming season. It is never pleasant to have a loved one point out that you could afford to lose a few pounds, so I can imagine that for Nathan it was no day at Comic-Con to be told so by random and mostly anonymous strangers that he’s put on a few pounds. I still recall the heated conversation I had with a friend, who has since been received with only chilly smiles and a distinctively cool vibe, about referring to my favourite writer and his muse as “Fat Fillion and Stick Legs Stana”. I ignored the reference to Stana Katic’s legs because anyone who is not visually impaired can guess that was said with cheeks stuffed with sour grapes, but I did take up for Nathan. My friend’s perspective was that actors are paid to look fit and lean, and if they pack on the pounds they are failing their job requirement, much as one would not be too happy if a sniper one hired off the Internet showed up with an eye patch.
This expectation that actors and other news-makers must be perfectly turned out anywhere, any time with shining hair, golden tans, and perfectly toned bodies may be a wage bonanza for airbrush experts, tanning salons, and paparazzi out to capture ‘Gotcha’ photographs of actors sans make up, but it also feeds an unhealthy expectation among our society of what constitutes normal. It influences people’s impression of beauty, and affects people’s, particularly teenage girls’, self-esteem, eating and exercise habits, relationships with others, and, often, their health.
In one study in the “Journal of Adolescent Health”, Malby and Day (January, 2011) found that intense worship of a celebrity whose body shape was admired by the teenagers they interviewed predicted the incidence of elective cosmetic surgery. In my opinion as a mature woman with 16-pack abs, Castle has a more realistic body type than those Hawaiian beach boys on the rival network, and is, therefore, more relatable and infinitely more approachable. But that does not mean I want to see more of him.
My hope is that The Scene: Part Deux will not go the way of most sequels, and will be evocative of the original’s tenderness and tastefulness. For those who really, really want to see Castle au naturel, I would have suggested that they browse online except that Detective Ryan already took those photos down.