This is a member contributed article.
The Castle Series Finale followed the tried-and-true formula of the best Castle episodes. Admittedly, they had to cram a lot of action and plot development into 43 minutes, but that has always been their hallmark. Rob Bowman and the Crew are so practiced at this that we take it for granted. If you follow the crew on Twitter, you’ve seen how the sets are lit, the action filmed, the painstaking artistry behind the scenes that served for eight seasons as back drop for the Epic Love Story that framed just another procedural-with-a-twist. This episode may not have been the best they’ve ever done, but it seems fitting, in light of all the controversy surrounding it, that the “25 seconds of happy” tacked on at the end, preceded by the slow pan across the empty loft, ends the series in a way I can accept and move on.
As the action escalated from zero to 60 in the first two minutes, then shifted into high gear and screamed to the finish, I was reminded of other Bowman-directed episodes like “Always,” “Killshot,” “Knockout,” “Belly of the Beast,” and “Veritas,” just five of the 28 he directed. (IMDB) The twists and turns, the cat and mouse question of who’s chasing whom… classic Bowman, classic Castle. I knew, with nearly 2 minutes left, there had to be one more twist, one more intuitive leap of imagination… and “Bam!”said the writer. Magically, the Villain of the Week appears from the, what, broom closet? Never mind. A final shootout, both Castle and Beckett are hit, but still breathing, still holding on… and slow pan across the empty loft, the “Seven Years Later” reveal of a happy Castle family at breakfast… It’s a wrap.
The faults of “Crossfire” are the faults of the series from the beginning, as are its strengths. One twist too many? Maybe. Plot holes? Plenty. Heart and Guts and Love and audience manipulation? Always. Whatever happened to make Season VIII without MilMar, also made it impossible for ABC to greenlight a ninth season. I leave speculation about what that may have looked like to the purveyors of Fan Fiction and accept with gratitude the “Great Run,” the improbable and the barely possible little throw-back that could.