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The Past is Prologue: Act 1
“From now on I’m a one writer girl,” Kate proclaims after Rick expresses his jealousy over her hanging around with another writer, he transfixed in breathless intensity, almost declaring his love. He thanks her, and rather out of sync for an “always” situation, Kate responds with the one word to please him, to tell him she understands, the word he taught her:”always.”
Our hearts melt with the poignancy, but the next scene seals the moment. Silently Rick sits down in his chair, next to Kate’s desk, waiting for her to finish her duties, gently watching her, resting in her presence, sharing a quiet moment, simply happy to be near her. This silent scene speaks volumes, to the love and tenderness two people share.
In another scene etched in our hearts, Kate asks Rick, “Why do you keep coming back, Rick” that night in her loft when he stands awe-struck, mouth agape, eyes piercing, pleading for the words, for help, so out of his depth in the love-truth moment, and wordless in her presence, in love and so afraid; all he can eventually say, this writer, this wordsmith, this word-purveyor is “Partners then.”
For Rick the love-moment revelation arrives in full bloom, in a relationship changing, defining moment in “Poof! You’re Dead.” Rick now knows he must break up with Gina, for honor’s sake, and for love of Kate, no matter that she is involved with another.
He stops mid-speech to stare at her. Blankly, dumbfounded, gob-smacked (thank you for the phrase my Australian friends), he just stares, and thinking out loud he says: “What do we do now?” And to himself he wonders: how did I not know I love her?
When Kate asks him not to leave her because she is “used to him pulling her pigtails,” the mesmerizing look between them pulls at our heart-strings. Such a passion, for her “secret is safe” with him, the new subtext words in their lover’s lexicon… to add to enough for now, tomorrow, hope and always.
Rick delights in gifting Kate; he cannot stop himself, for he wants to see her smile and ease her burdens. His gifts are simple, from the heart, her father’s watch fixed, her remembrance of him restored, his life redeemed; the joy Kate feels is inscribed in her beautiful face, and Rick’s penetrating, handsome love- struck stare, stops our hearts, too, so much caring conveyed in a look.
Similarly, we flock to two of the most endearing, fairly modern love stories seen in two Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan tour de forces: “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail,” never ceasing to be uplifted and amazed, (they didn’t even need to be on the screen at the same time), and we revel in the love revealed by the giants in the movie industry, through words, feelings, and intimate looks.
Indeed, sometimes the greatest expressions of love on the big screen or small, in a novel or novella, in fact or fiction, visions which enthrall us and caress us with their tenderness and breathless anticipation, do so with a glance, a healing touch, hands clasped, hearts engaged.
Of course, we romantics love the kiss, Rick’s and Kate’s, the grand passion, but often love’s offices are silently revealed in eyes meeting and hearts on fire.
And so it is with Rick and Kate, always, the past four seasons, for their eyes and hearts speak to each other on another level, entranced with each other, in their own wordless and sometimes wordy world, enmeshed with the emotion and desire we may imagine and wish for in our own lives.
Their compassion and devotion, in times of tranquility and threat speak of a selfless-love, a “third time’s the charm” chance. We sincerely want to see, we want to know that world, to share in it vicariously; does it only exist in fiction?
Rick and Kate’s long denied passion and abiding love in “Always”…season four’s finale, depicted in the heart-stopping Shut the Front Door” scene, displays a moving, yet somewhat innocent love scene by today’s standards.
We fans rejoice that at last they may realize their love, and still we worry for our favorite lovers who often are denied love’s bond, as events unfold and the stars cross, magnifying their sometimes ill- timed, ill- fated, journey to love and healing.
We never see any intimate scenes in “After the Storm”; we don’t need to, nor do we see them in any other part of “After the Storm.” So fulfilling…so ironic.
We see Rick and Kate basking in a pure white, light-bathed, loving afterglow of a night spent in each other’s arms, an obvious healing of the hurts and slights each may have been feeling, a night revealing emotions, pent up longings, secrets to each other as only lovers can do. And so we begin anew. The past is but prologue.
The Hug: Act II
Can today’s audience, so inundated with gratuitous sex scenes everywhere, delight in the expression of love between Rick and Kate so revealed in a tender, simple…hug? We get it; give us a chance.
They stand together, in Kate’s loft, in a scene from “After the Storm,” Rick and Kate, a reflected image on the television screen, two newly proclaimed always lovers, eminent danger oozing from the vile senator who looms over them on the screen. Compassion, emotion and worry are etched on Rick’s face and in his expressive eyes as he stands guard over Kate, protecting her, she who means the world to him.
Internalizing her greatest fear, Kate leans into him: She will never be safe. Trusting, this proud woman looks up to him, to the light- keeper, the owner of her heart, and Rick responds. “Let me take you away Kate, somewhere where you will be safe?” I dare say half the world is ready to go with him, he is that real.
She knows she cannot run far enough away; her words instill a private fear within Rick. This self-sufficient woman realizes her need for him and for his comfort, and enfolded safely within his loving arms, his snug embrace, Kate rests her head on Rick’s heart; he wills her safe.
As the scene fades, Rick rests his chin on her head, he her protector, confidant and lover, holding her even closer to his heart than ever before. What a love scene.
Truth & Promise: Act III
Another love scene, in “After the Storm,” the second most powerful scene in all of “Castle,” harkens back with its echoes and parallels to a magical scene in “Rise,” the first most encompassing example of love and selflessness of reconciliation and redemption. And, yes, we are talking about “Castle,” often a light and frothy confection and other times a most moving love story.
The scene in “After the Storm” in Kate’s loft, echoes, indeed, mirrors, a “Rise,” scene, alters time and perspective; what was wait is now go; what was not fine, now is fine; one scene calls for time for patience, while the other calls for action, both scenes seen through a prism of pledged love, of truth, of promise, the greatest gifts of all.
Ryan leaves Kate’s loft and forlornly Kate sits down; directly across from her, Rick studies Kate’s face for stress and worry, and he finds it. “This was supposed to be over; I can’t go back again. Not now,” a dejected Kate cries. “I don’t even know how to do this. I’m not even a cop anymore.”
Kate now heart- healthy and secure in her healing and his love cannot go on, so momentarily overwhelmed. Rick wants to restore her confidence to convince her she is fine.
In a time-capsule mirror, the other scene, a year ago, in “Rise,” reflects Rick’s and Kate’s earnest meeting, Rick bringing coffee to a stressed, edgy Kate, sitting at her desk in the station, Rick in his chair across from Kate. To Rick, a fragile Kate over-explains in apology, “I got a little emotional last night. I’m fine.”
Rick tells her the truth as only love can do: “No, you’re not. And you know you’re not. You’re back here three days and already you’re in a free fall.” Kate is not whole yet, not fine. With love he must convince her to stop; he must save her from her mother’s killers and from herself. “I’m not telling you to walk away; I’m just saying give it time.”
“Castle, if I don’t do this, I don’t know who I am” Kate claims.
In “After the Storm,” Rick tries to encourage Kate to go forward, and to bolster her battered psyche, he says: “I’ll tell you exactly what we do. We figure out who this is. We’ve done it before and with less to go on….We’ll go back to where we were.” We can do this.
The parallels are profound, the echoes, Rick’s love speaking in both cases. In “Rise” his voice is cracking, his eyes searching Kate’s face, needing her to understand, to listen to him, something she is not apt to do, for their relationship is beginning anew. He pours his heart out to her and restores hers: “You are who you always were; you are the one who honors the victims.”
In “After the Storm,” however, Rick stirs Kate, motivates her, and restores her confidence: “This is what you’re great at. And I’m not so bad myself.” Rick starts to tick off points he can read from Smith’s picture, and then waits for her to chime in to help, to rediscover her edge; Kate does.
Beseeching Kate in “Rise,” to not let them rob you of your life,” Rick continues: “I promise you, we will figure this out. We’ll find them and we’ll make them pay, just not today.”
Rick makes good that promise, their journey sometimes bumpy but always filled with love. In “Rise” he encourages Kate to stand down and save herself, and he redirects her to another case, in an effort to make her whole.
At the end of “After the Storm,” Rick, along with Ryan and Esposito, searches for Kate with fear for her life and fear for her decision. With pride and confidence, Kate looks to the man she loves when responding to Esposito’s question about her mother’s murderer, the Senator; to Rick who smiles his proud love she says: “I’ll get justice for her; just not today.” Kate remembers.
So after the storm we have some clouds, do we?… and some fun, just saying, having sneak peeked, my way through the week, but then they want us to be a tad worried or concerned about our favorite lovers.
Not to worry, although I regaled myself with those brief promos all week, playing some of them over and over; ah, heck, I will confess: it was the first peek and the tender embrace, leading into the sweet kiss goodbye, to which Kate utters a “Wow!” that got me going. You, too, I’ll bet, you sneak-peekers and show-watchers.
For some inveterate peekers, it is the embrace and gentle hug of good bye, and off to work to appear “normal,” as if, and Rick’s risqué ogling which caught us laughing, again out loud.”What? Me?” Rick exclaims. And “Sexy,” and suggestions of a pants or shall we say slacks changed were kind of cute. Never mind, as Kate has said on many an occasion involving Rick: “It’s sweet.”
Don’t try to take the Rick out of Rick, for trouble often finds him, in over his head, some “splaining” to do again, Rick? And those are the operative words for the next part of the review and perhaps the season: trouble and “splaining.”
Oh, yes, we have some new words to add to the Kate and Rick love lexicon, to go along with enough for now, tomorrow, hope and always. Try: act normal; bring coffee; just friends and don’t date. If I have forgotten any, I’m sure I will think of them in a few minutes. It seems that it is a bit hard for our two lovers to conform to all the new rules at once.
The episode starts as described earlier with a kiss and some suggestive remarks, Rick and Kate all kissy-kissy, and ends…well, not quite as well as the lovers expected, but …Rick, has a lot of ”splaining” to do. And some amends as well.
Weathergirl Mandy Michaels well known, for her assets as Rick attests, is murdered. Now, everywhere Kate and Rick turn there is danger lurking; danger to the successful hiding of their relationship. First at the scene Lanie suspects Kate is having sex with someone because of “her glow,” and she really does have this glow about her.
Later in the morgue, Lanie, sweepingly points at both of them and wants to know with whom Kate is having sex. “Someone is trying to cover their tracks,” Lanie accuses. Ah, Rick is relieved that she does not know about him and then joins in the Kate catechizing.
Talk about parallels, this episode is a walking parallel. Everyone is hiding a secret affair or other secret, and everyone is full of advice about the pitfalls of an inter-office friendship or romance. Rick and Kate are dodging and scared, interested and worried.
First it’s Reggie Blake, a famous athlete who just may be having an affair with the weathergirl, a blond bombshell. But as it turns out, they are really friends. Now obviously, why doesn’t Reggie let people know that they are just friends? Are you kidding? “Don’t tell co- workers because that is how rumors get started.” Rick and Kate visibly gulp. Everything has a personal spin, and they are worried, too much food for fodder.
Back in the station, Rick and Kate have a discussion about their being Just friends. Kate accuses Rick of trying “to sleep with her for the past four years.” Whoa…He says she was trying to sleep with him. “I don’t think you were dressing up for Esposito?”
At this point Espo bursts in, again, and wants to know what about him. Rick says, “Don’t worry about it,” and Kate says, “Nothing,” both speaking at the same time, words clashing…classic Rick and Kate, answering a direct personal question, both at odds with the answer.
Indeed, another cautionary tale pops to my mind. I seem to remember in season one a story with carpets a clue and Rick informing Kate why it is bad to sleep with a co-worker. No matter about the details. Things can get pretty tangled.
Since Reggie Blake’s alibi checks out and the famous athlete was really just Mandy’s friend, the plot thickens, and the next suspect is Mandy’s co worker, Miles, the news man. But he informs our lovers in hiding, that he and Mandy were really only dating on the sly. But why?
And here is the hard part with more worrisome parallels for Rick and Kate. The station has a strict policy against inter-office dating. Oh, Rick and Kate are getting quite nervous. Rick asks in his scared, kind of shaken, high pitched tone: “What went wrong?”
Then Miles, whose last name shall remain a mystery despite my strongest efforts to learn the name, reveals to this guarded couple that “at first the romance is exciting and dangerous.” Butterflies in the stomach shake and excite you on the way to work. “The sex is amazing.” At this point Rick is lost in his own personal reverie, a slight smile on his face, and Kate is slightly, nervous.
Miles stops abruptly, and Kate says: “And then what?”
Then “it imploded” and they were “drowning in a sea of lies.”
Kate looks a little sick now, but asks the big question: “Did your co workers ever find out?”
Miles says he “had to stay out in front of it to keep it from destroying both of their careers.” Now, Kate is truly sick. A secret romance is impossible to keep hidden.
Earlier in the story, we have a little run in at the television station. First Rick is being Rick and playing with the television cameras, pointing out weather maps and regions and hands outstretched, surfing across the city like Superman. With this visual, Kate simply smiles, really a lady in love with her man.
In an interview, Rick is asked if he is single and available. Now he and Kate want to throw suspension away from them, so Rick says he is available, but all the awhile Kate is watching, her lips pursed, and saying “no” for Rick, to no avail.
So the date is on with Christine the reporter, a sex pot who seduces famous men, she only clad in a bikini or so Ryan says, and Espo tells Kate that Rick is…”a man; he has a pulse.” We see where this is going. Is Rick strong enough to refuse? Of course, he is but this was a very Shut the Front Door reversal. The reporter comes to Rick’s door armed with oysters and strawberries, chocolate covered, and ready to jump Rick’s bones.
He does try to escape this dangerous octopus woman. Then she sticks her hand down his back pocket and activates Rick’s phone, what we might call a butt call…of course, to Kate who is fretting at the station. Rick is protesting, sounding as if he is being attacked, which he is. And Kate comes to the rescue, gun drawn to find Rick on the couch with the hussy all over him. But he “knows who the killer is,” and he protests nothing happened.
Nothing did, but Kate is slightly annoyed, probably a little more than slightly, to say the least. Bravely, Rick goes to Kate’s that evening, hopeful, apologizing. Rick and Kate move in to kiss, but Kate can not quite do it, picturing Christine breasts in Rick’s face. Kate worries about their love affair “imploding,”
It’s Just The Way You Are: Act V
Finally Rick comes through with some rational thinking as he always seems to do when dealing with his family. Things can go wrong, but he continues: “Maybe we’ll continue to be amazing. We don’t have the answers; we just have to live with the questions and find a way.”
Just now on this evening Kate is not exactly ready for some romance, that picture of Rick and Christine still in her mind; we do end, however with a slight smile on Rick’s face. Will he win her over and spend the night?
That’s all the “splaining” for now. The episode was amusing, I cannot say fun again this evening and at this hour, and “acting normal” is going to be fun this season. Oops! But Rick, and Kate, do not forget to cover your tracks: Kate don’t glow too much; Rick, bring the second cup of coffee; talk “just friends;” and don’t actually date, either one of you!
On a serious note for now, and In keeping with the theme of their need for each other their pledges, their promise and their progression to love and trust, for they will work it out; they love each other too much to lose what they most desire, I am reminded of some of the inspiring lyrics and melody sung by another Canadian, Shania Twain. These words are true:
You’ve Got a Way With Me
Somehow you got me to believe
In everything that I could be
I’ve gotta say- you really got a way
You’ve got a way it seems
You gave me faith to find my dreams…
You’ll never know just what that means
Can’t you see…you got a way with me
You’ve got a way with words
You get me smiling even when it hurts
There’s no way to measure what your love is worth
I can’t believe the way you get through to me
It’s in the way you want me
It’s in the way you hold me
The way you show me just what love’s made of
It’s in the way we make love
Oh, how I adore you
Like no one before you
I love you just the way you are.
In “Head Case,” aired earlier this year, Kate and Rick are engaged in a case involving two lovers who want to remain together, frozen for all eternity. In the final scene Kate and Rick reveal so much about themselves. Rick asks Kate if this case were a crime of passion to which she replies, “Crime of Love.”
“Wouldn’t it be something if they were reunited 100 or 1000 years from now,“ and given his belief in hope, tomorrow, always, fate, magic and the universe, Rick means it.
And then Kate replies: “Anything’s possible.”
“You really believe that?”Amazed, Rick responds.
“That’s what the great love stories are about, right, beating the odds?”
“I hope they make it,” Rick intones.
Kate returns: “Me, too.”