By Michael Seese
OK, so perhaps (contrary to my previous estimate) it could take us two weeks to watch the season finale of "Castle." But it was worth the wait. There were a lot of fine, fine elements in this episode.
The folks who have spent years wondering when Castle and Beckett would get together now have their answer. I thought it was both set up and implemented well. (More on that later.) But I will state for the record that I have concerns about where it will go. In my opinion, "Moonlighting" essentially jumped the shark when Maddie and Dave consummated their relationship. So we shall see...
They reused the same technique as in a previous episode (the name and most of the plot escape me; the important point is the episode begins with Castle and Beckett in an alley, pointing guns at each other), starting out with a cliffhanger (in this instance, literally) and then flashing back to get us up to that point. I'm glad that they didn't end the season with Beckett clinging to the ledge. As I've stated before, unless the writers are planning to kill her, we know she will be rescued. So it really isn't a suspenseful element.
But I thought they staged her rescue well. She called out to Castle and heard (or thought she heard) his voice. When brought back up, she imagined it was him before Ryan came into view. Then the sea of officers parted to reveal...Captain Gates.
As has been the case in a number of previous episodes, the director really paid attention to the lighting. When the gang was planning their next move -- which Castle wanted to short-circuit -- there was dramatic side lighting, with his face in half light, half shadow. Also, near the end, when Beckett and Esposito were getting chewed out by the captain, the entire room was bathed in a sepia glow. In real life, I've noticed that the sky takes on a yellow-brown hue when a rain shower approaches near sunset; and sure enough, Beckett left the precinct and walked through a driving rain at night. As an aside, I thought it was funny that Esposito handed over his firearm, but walked out with two ammo clips on his belt.
One nitpick: a thief breaks into Captain Montgomery's house, his wife shoots him, and Castle and Beckett find out by tracing a phone call? What, did she forget the numbers 9-1-1?
Of course there were plenty of "looks." I think the best was near the beginning when Castle asked Beckett to join him for a double feature. "Actually, I'd love to," she said, smiling. Then he displayed a dreamy smile.
OK, so back to "the moment." I thought the entire scene where Castle expressed his feeling for Beckett was simply great. Great dialogue ("You've already known that; you've known it for a year), great emotion, great impact. I wasn't sure whether they could top it and the end. But they did with a beautiful simplicity:
Castle: "What do you want?"
So what did you think of "Always?" Please share your thoughts.
Until next season...