When news struck that Castle was not renewing Stana Katic's contract for Season 9, my heart sank. Actually no, my first reaction was a full throttle "WTF?" But after watching last night's episode, it got me really thinking: Who's heart will ache for Captain Beckett more: Mine or Castle's?
The will-they-or-won't-they sexual tension and build up between Castle and Beckett was a major selling point for the first four to five seasons of the show. When they finally did get together, a collective tear of joy was shed from the fandom. For a while, it seemed like #Caskett was rock solid, and the episodes shifted back and forth between quirky cases and international intrigue — with life or death cliffhangers tossed in between.
Now it seems trouble in paradise is not only on the horizon but also inevitable. Can Castle be Castle without Beckett? The yin and yang of Rick's goofy nature to Kate's studious tone is what made their partnership so great.
The shift on the horizon began a few episodes ago when a case took Castle and his P.I. troupe to Los Angeles. This was a full episode without Captain Kate Beckett. Granted, the episode was still entertaining, but something was missing — and a far shadier character emerged from the shadows. Private detective Haley has been a part of the show for a few seasons now, but every time she emerged to the forefront in an episode, something from her shady past came to light.
Last night's episode was another instance where we learned more about Haley and her mysterious past. It feels as though there are too many secrets but at the expense of having the same tiresome cycle of plot lines. If the show is going in the direction of icing out warm Beckett in favor of shady Haley, I'm not sure if there will be enough chemistry and playfulness to sustain it going forward. Beckett allowed Castle the freedom to be his fun-loving self and allowed the show to explore themes and plot lines outside of the all-too-familiar serious police procedural.
With no more Beckett, will this mean no more #Caskett? The reason Beckett was so integral to the show was her relationship with Castle. We could "always" rely on them being together and having each other's backs in the toughest of situations. Without Beckett, the new direction seems less "always" as Castle had so often promised to Beckett and more "meh" or "I don't know." And that leaves us with too much up in the air for this once solid Monday night staple.
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