Finale Post Mortem: Castle Boss Says What Comes Next Is Tough, 'But It'll Be Fun Tough'

Warning: The following contains major spoilers from the Season 4 finale of ABC’s Castle. If you have not yet watched, turn away now. All others, proceed….

On Monday night in the Season 4 finale of Castle, all secrets were shared and all cards were put out on the table, as promised. But where did it all lead?

Working the murder of an Army vet, Beckett & Co. came to discover through DNA evidence that the shooter was the same guy who put a bullet in Kate’s heart a year ago — and thus he figures into the larger, deadly conspiracy surrounding Johanna Beckett’s years-ago killing.

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But for Kate to rattle that hornet’s nest again would certainly lead to her own demise — a fact that Rick has known but kept to himself. And in the finale, he made clear to Kate exactly why she needed to back away from this case.

Beckett was less than understanding. “I didn’t need protection; I needed a lead, and you sat on it for a year…. How the hell could you do this?!”

“Because I love you. But you already know that, don’t you,” Rick said, alluding to his Season 3 finale declaration which Kate has pretended to not remember.

They agreed to disagree, and Kate stayed on the case while Rick disclosed his intention to exit stage left, once and for all. But after a brutal rooftop throwdown with the shooter (played by Battlestar Galactica alum Tahmoh Penikett) — and backlash from Capt. Gates which led Beckett to not just turn in her badge, as Esposito did, but tender her resignation — a rain-soaked Kate showed up at Rick’s door to say three words again and again: “I’m so sorry.”

“He got away, and I didn’t care,” she explained. “I almost died, and all I could think about was you. I just want you.”

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And like that, one of TV’s biggest Will They/Won’t They couples fell into each other’s arms, and then (from all indications) into Rick’s bed. And not a moment too soon.

“In terms of storytelling, we felt like we were dangerously close to trying the audience’s patience – and we were starting to get impatient ourselves. We want to move on to new territory,” series creator Andrew W. Marlowe tells TVLine. “We feel like we wrung everything out of them not being in a relationship, so it’s time to put them in a relationship and in more, different fun.”

Fun however does not necessarily mean easy. “Relationships are tough, especially when the two people are fundamentally different people,” the show boss notes. “But I think it’s going to be fun tough – like when Sam and Diane got together on Cheers.”

Marlowe reports that the timing of the sexy new wrinkle “felt right” to not just him and his writing team but both of Castle‘s leads, Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. “To not have done it now would have betrayed our covenant with the audience,” he states. “We’ve asked them to invest, and we would not be good storytellers if we did not pay off that investment.”

So, Castle fans: Happy? (And did you really have any doubt?)

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314 Comments
  1. It was the ending that been waiting for…Great season can’t wait to September to see were we go next….But as happy as I’m there still a man gunning for Kate.

  2. Benjamin says:

    I am SOOOO happy, was worried they would leave us hanging in will they, won’t they zone. Now we just have to wait 5 months. But this was easily one of the best season finales EVER!!!

  3. streeper11 says:

    i just have to say 4 words……….Marlowe, i love you! :D

  4. Michelle says:

    Ahhh… Well played :)

  5. blahblahforj says:

    I have all the DVD’s and have been a huge fan of the show for years and after imagining and anticipation for them to get together, including reading some fanfiction ;) The way the show did was just beautiful and I cannot wait to see how they work out as a couple next season and everybody’s reaction toward it. Yay!!!

  6. May says:

    We needed this. We deserved this. And I loved every single minute of it.

  7. Peter says:

    Really my only criticism is a few parts of it felt a bit derivative of the 3rd season finale, but the key scenes delivered prefectly so while I noticed, I found myself not caring.

  8. ljd213 says:

    I’ve been in, I’m still in and I’ll stay in…thanks to all at Castle for not just respecting the story but the fans. Rare and it’ll be rewarded. Great payoffs for several stories including Alexis graduating and love that Evelyn Montgomery has no problems shooting up a perp who threatens her and her family.

    Sexy and romantic for our favorite couple at the end including all that stringy wet hair and a black lace bra for Kate. Glad Espo and Ryan will have some issues for next season.

    And was it just me or was “Mystery Man” (played by actor Geoff Pierson) the person voicing the first commercial in the first break? Too funny, if so.

  9. sara says:

    It was awesome, wake me up when season 5 starts.

  10. Seon says:

    Awesome episode. Grade A+

    Want season 5 right now.

  11. feliciacastle says:

    i’m actually sobbing. That is the perfect ending ever ! and the best first kiss ever!

  12. Krithika says:

    WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im dreaming!!!! pls wake me up!!!!

  13. Amy says:

    Woo hoo! Awesome, awesome. Very glad this one is on my DVR. I will be watching all it all summer.

  14. Michelle says:

    Still basking in the amazingness!

  15. James says:

    YES! YES! that was so worth the four year agonizing wait. incredible! is all i can say, Marlowe and Miller are both geniuses, beside the awesome and completly hot kissing scene the cliffhanger was fantastic, so many question leading into next season. particularly the Ryan/Espo bromance, that will be very interesting to see how they deal with that. I hope they bring back Penny Johnson, the character is a little weak, but Johnson is a fabulous actress. What a season and What an Ending Thanks Andrew Marlowe you did not disappoint again. and Damn the Gods on high for making me wait four months till I can see it again Damn them good.

  16. tvbmadness says:

    PERFECT!!

  17. Mia says:

    AWESOME…..AWESOME!!!!!!!!
    Gosh, next season is going to be epic. I can’t wait to watch the first episode after the ending yesterday.

  18. Gene says:

    So, have they cast Castle’s mystery national security/CIA connected father yet to enter into next season to save Castle and Becket from a threat beyond their abilities and to add a new father-son wrinkle to the show?

  19. LM says:

    WHERE are these 0.3% who called it a “fail”? Show them to me. We will be having words.

    Possibly the best hour of television I have ever watched. Blissfully satisfied with how Marlow’s done it… YESSSSS :) finally!

    • Ella says:

      Words? More like fisticuffs! The 0.3% unable to recognize quality television don’t deserve to live!

  20. Polly says:

    Totally worth the wait!

  21. Rick says:

    Now that was quality television! Well done to Stana and Nathan–their onscreen chemistry is evident even to this relatively jaded viewer of network television. But this show has had me since the “You know I carry a gun” line from Season 1, and it continues to impress. I, for one, like the serious/humorous plot shifts, and the “dialogue” between the two leads that stresses their different approach to life, and their obvious affection for one another. “Castle” is the most frequently re-watched DVD set I own. In each showing I find a new nuance or something that I missed in a previous viewing. Well done to cast…crew…and the writers, without whom, nothing.

  22. Steven says:

    I was just pissed off by the fact that the cold open involved the “Three days earlier” schtick. That’s cheesey when “Ringer” does it. I realize it’s happened before on “Castle,” but come on. This is a better show than that.

  23. Krithika says:

    Kudos to AWM for making one of mu H-U-U-UUUUUUU-GEST dream cum true!!! Castle is always a “step above the rest” and this episode was concrete evidence 2 prove that!!!! Finalllllllllyyyyyyyyy Castle and Beckett are now officially “Caskett”!!

  24. Nan says:

    I tweeted to A. Marlowe to thank him for that episode, can ABC renew Castle now so we can wait impatiently for September? Season finale was amazing, no complains, hands down BEST episode ever….Can we have that renewal please?

  25. Lauren says:

    Not to bring up the whole Bones vs Castle debate but wow, the Castle and Beckett getting together stuff was amazing and totally kicked Bones and Booth getting together’s ass. And this is from someone who likes Bones more than Castle. In the romance department, Castle has Bones beat. The whole scene with Castle telling Kate he loved her ‘but you already knew that’ and then the final scene…wow! Also loving Tahmoh Penikett on the show, awesome baddie.

    • Nicholas says:

      No, Booth and Brennan getting together kicked Castle and Kate or whatever asses.

      • veronica says:

        I do believe you are commenting in the wrong forum, my friend.

      • Nan says:

        Well, actually it could not kick Caskett getting together ass as we did not see it yet, we got ‘I am pregnant’ to I am 7 months pregnant (no inbetween). So we did not see BB getting together (they are together but we did not see their GETTING together like Castle/Beckett in this AMAZING episode) I like both shows but at the moment Caskett RULES!!!!

        • thecasey says:

          I completely agree with NAN, I mean it went from the both of them grieving over the death of their friend Dr. Nigel Murray, to them finding out she is pregnant to the pregnancy being almost over. Now I love Bones i think its a great show, but i felt in this we were cheated. I think if it happened at an earlier stages in the season and showed the natural progression of the relationship I would feel satisfied but this season I feel lacks a certain spark that I used to associated with Bones. I have no doubt in my mind that Castle will still remain as addicting as ever next season because we will be able to see what we have been hoping for to happen since the beginning, play out and we will be able to enjoy it.

          • Kathy says:

            Amen. The DH and I both watch Bones, and the pregnancy revelation made us go “What?” There was no foundation, no foreshadowing — just a poorly-written revelation.

        • CASKETT does rule.

  26. Lauren says:

    Gah. Just……Gah. I kept hyperventilating up until the end. And then I passed out from the awesomeness of this episode. As I rejoice in Castle and Beckett’s union, my heart breaks for Ryan and Esposito. I would’ve backed Ryan all the way with his decision, he did the right thing, and the anger and hurt in Espo’s body language in the end just killed it. Awesome acting by those two, highly impressed with their caliber of talent.

  27. Andrea says:

    I have no doubt that Castle will be renewed with a full season pick up. The finale promo was the most they’ve ever done for the show. ABC’s upfronts are May 15th, so hopefully in a week we’ll get our pick up. The first thing I did this morning was download Always off itunes, it’s saved on my DVR but I want it with me all the time! I’m still on a high from this episode, I think I will be all summer.

  28. Mike says:

    Sam & Diane on Cheers (which was something of a storytelling black hole) may not be exactly the road Castle wants to go down.

  29. Mike says:

    It’s a lot smaller in the grand scheme of things, but I did really like the decision to split up Ryan and Esposito. Best friends have serious arguments from time to time, and that road will be interesting. They do need to make up, though, because that relationship is probably the best guy-friend relationship on television.

  30. Tammy says:

    As I was clapping with excitement…. my husband said “well they just jumped the shark!” So it’s how they work with this next season will determine who is correct….. him or me! I hope I’m right…. I loved it! :)

  31. Mary De sousa says:

    I absolutely love, love, love this show. All the actors are amazing. Couldn’t have asked for a better ending.

  32. Becca says:

    So so good! My hopes were insanely high for this, and they definitely delivered!!!

  33. Em J says:

    OK after reading this we all can agree that the curse is BS right? Well I think it is I mean it all has to do with the writing and what I am reading now I can just say I think we are in for a bumpy ride!
    BEST.EPISODE.EVER! xD I was legit crying because of the Kevin and Javier friction I was like T_T and that Caskett scene was SO much better than any of the speculation fanfiction I read! xD

  34. Alex says:

    Alexis’s speech had me balling like a baby, especially when she said ‘always’

    • Katherine215 says:

      I loved that she said Always! I didn’t catch it the first time, but on subsequent viewings, I did and it made it even sweeter.

      • Nan says:

        I re-watched some of the episodes and they all said Always to each other this season – Beckett said it to Castle when he thanked her for help with Slaughter, He said always because She said he was there for her! Marlowe is a genius

  35. mandy says:

    I think you need to add Ryan and Esposito to the break – up section of the may sweeps scorecard! That was horrible I love Ryan and Esposito :(

  36. Lauren says:

    AWESOME!!!! LOVED IT!!! THANK YOU ANDREW MARLOWE FOR NOT STRINGING US ALONG!!!

  37. Tom says:

    First, thank God! Now that we’ve answered the “will they or won’t they” question, maybe Mr. Marlowe can get back to writing decent scripts again. Maybe I’m just getting old, but after rolling around on a Manhattan rooftop and sitting in the rain for a while I think I would have directed Ms. Beckett to the shower before she got anywhere near the bedroom. Seriously, the image of a soggy, dirty Beckett isn’t all that appealing.

    Sorry to harp about the scar thing, but people who undergo emergency surgery for a bullet wound to the chest don’t come out of it with a barely noticeable scar about the diameter of a bullet. Far be it for me to discourage Stana Katic from appearing in low-cut outfits in future episodes, but it’s just not realistic. Far be it from me to discourage Stana Katic from appearing in low-cut outfits in the future, just sayin’….

    I don’t get why the Tahmoh Penikett character, if he’s so hell-bent on killing Beckett, didn’t just finish her off when she was dangling by her fingernails 10 stories up?

    Mr. Marlowe, please promise us a cliche-free fifth season. Seriously, dude, enough with the cliches. Try to do something original.

    Other than finally getting Beckett in the sack, this episode really didn’t tell much of a story. There wasn’t any new information presented on this never-ending saga of who killed Kate’s mother. Stuff was presented, but it didn’t really answer any questions.or resolve anything. It all but guarantees they’ll just dust off this story line again next Sweeps season.

    What was with the yellow tint? Did Marlow just find the Golden Delish filter in Kubota Actions? I like the effect, I just thought it was way overdone — to the point of looking amateurish. And they could have bumped up the exposure a bit before applying the filter to avoid half of the show looking like it was filmed in a tunnel.

    • Lisa says:

      Yeah because we watch Castle for the lighting and the camera aperture. ;) That episode moved forward more than any the show has ever done. The guy didn’t kill Beckett on the roof because he hadn’t spoken to Smith yet. And as someone who has seen many a shooting victim, actually an entry wound can be that small. Just sit back and enjoy the show it will less stressful for you.

      • Allyson says:

        I’m with you Lisa. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: the scar on her chest is small because it was a bullet. She has another scar, on her SIDE from where they opened her up in surgery. We saw it in Kill Shot.

      • Tom says:

        The lighting and yellow tint effect just left me wondering why? If there was a vintage theme to the episode, I’d get it. But this episode was supposedly in current time. It’s almost like they looked at the episode, decided it didn’t look ominous enough, and applied a filter — which darkened the shadows in a number of shots. Maybe it’s an occupational thing but I do look at these shows and wonder how the scene was constructed, lit, etc. To me the tint had the hallmarks of someone working with the software for the first time — they took a perfectly good filter and over-used it to the point of being a pointless distraction.

        The episode did move forward, but almost at the expense of the story. They started out with another installment of “who killed Beckett’s mother?” and about two-thirds of the way through the show it’s like they decided “it’s time to boink Beckett” then they shifted gears to the Caskett relationship and forgot about the story in the first part of the show.

        I get it that entry wounds can be small, but the surgery to repair the damage is very invasive. And when it’s done under emergency conditions, doctors aren’t thinking about minimizing the scarring. It wasn’t my idea to shoot Beckett last season, but there are consequences to making that decision and the story ought to reflect it. Again, if I didn’t repeat myself enough above, Katic in low-cut outfits is just fine with me. But the lack of continuity is annoying.

        • maryploppins says:

          The scar thing annoyed the cr*p out of me in the first few eps of the season too, but that was until I watched Kill Shot and realized that it’s on her SIDE. Whether that is normal or not, to go through the side in that situation, I have no idea, but at least they explained it. Go back and watch Rise again, they very clearly show them cutting and then going in on the SIDE of her rib cage. I don’t know what more explanation you need on that.

          “Maybe I’m just getting old, but after rolling around on a Manhattan rooftop and sitting in the rain for a while I think I would have directed Ms. Beckett to the shower before she got anywhere near the bedroom. Seriously, the image of a soggy, dirty Beckett isn’t all that appealing.”

          Umm, REALLY!? Uggh. I can’t even with this.

          • Only part of the season i did not like is when the got Kate healed from the gun shot in the first 3 episodes.

          • maryploppins says:

            @Joe Petitjean – Wait do you mean that she healed up too quickly? If so then I agree with you. It wasn’t even the first three eps, it was the first ONE ep really. They skipped three whole months in the middle of the first ep, which is when she would have been healing up and getting back to health, but I felt like it was all way too rushed. It lessened the impact for me. But then I was glad they finally touched on it in Kill Shot again to show us that she’s not some kind of superwoman who can magically stop a speeding bullet or something. ;-)

          • I felt the same way it was to rushed.

    • JB says:

      Easy answer to the Tahmok Penikett character: While he had the information he needed on who Montgomery’s friend was, he didn’t have the damaging files/etc yet. Once they have that stuff, there is nothing to stop them from going after her.

  38. Phoebe says:

    I had to choose Awesome on that poll because they words I would use for that finale aren’t there. I don’t even think they’re proper words. More along the lines of “Hng, fluuuurrrrrgggg, shmelp, maaaaaaa, smfflfff.” With a high pitched squeal behind them and tears, a lot of tears!

  39. lame says:

    Congrats,MilMar, you delivered in spades. I hope you write 5.01 together, just to complete this arch. Great writing and directing, Rob.

  40. lily says:

    I MUST agree with TOM on the storytelling side– pedestrian, unoriginal, cliched storytelling. We have yet another near death experience to move the characters to admissions of feelings long buried –last season wasn”t enough. The imagery of hanging by ones’ fingertips literally and emotionally? Yeah,get that–again. Another moment in the rain to cleanse the mind and soul–how often have we seen this in tv, movies and soaps?

    Joanna Beckett’s murder has so much potential and yet where are we? Nowhere except in bed with Castle and Beckett….and J/R at sword’s point. THAT was the most interesting story in many ways. The partners who trusted each other implicitely are no more–

    So when they try to kill her again next yr will they miss and Castle will have HIS near death experience? What does the future hold for C/B? I guess despite his quite HUGE betrayal she trust him unconditionally…..OK –we will see how they make it work.

    Honestly, I expected something more original from the group who professess to not retell stories and not do what other shows have done.

    Good thing the actors on this show are so AMAZING–cuz they took boring and repetative and gave it life and passion.

    BTW–I too found the actual film distracting–was shot more darkly?angelically? to create that mood–editing was distracting as well–but that is always secondary to the storytelling…..

    • DL says:

      How would YOU have executed this then? It’s all and good to nitpick, but I doubt anyone on this board could come up with something 85+% of TVLine readers thought deserved an A. Until you present a scenario that’s superior to what Marlowe delivered, I take such commentary with ten grains of salt. My goodness, if you don’t care for his storytelling so much, don’t watch! And the urge to rain on everyone’s parade I will never understand.

    • dawnmac says:

      Pedestrian, unoriginal, cliched storytelling?? This isn’t theater, this is Castle, seriously…We watch it for the fun, suspense, relationships, intrigue and the friendship between the core group. Last night delivered and if you are looking for a masterpiece of filmmaking shut off the TV and look for it somewhere else. This show did what it was suppose to do and it is escapism at its finest.

      • fan says:

        THISSS.

      • veronica says:

        True dat. It is high class escapism. It takes it genre and does it the very best it can be done. Any type of show can have stellar characters and emotional development while still retaining the hallmarks of it’s genre- in this case, crime and suspense. Castle is fully aware of it’s extreme style of plots, and it revels in it. Just enjoy the ride, guys, because this is awesome writing.

  41. Lilu says:

    F I N A L L Y !!!!!!!

  42. Charlotte says:

    This was fabulous.
    Anyone catch that the podium Alexis gave her speech at had ‘Marlowe’ on it?
    Nice nod to the man that brought us this great season finale!

  43. Jones says:

    Excellent, excellent and excellent! How will I possibly make it until September!? Ugh!

  44. On a scale 1 to 10 i give a 15

  45. Gabiroba says:

    I still haven’t gotten over how just plain awesome that episode was. I don’t normally re-watch anything right away, but I have this uncontrollable urge to see the entire thing over and over again. Apart from them finally getting together, the entire episode was good, including the fight scene and the Ryan/Esposito disagreements. And as I read on another comment, Alexis’ voice over at the end was perfect. It helped set the mood remarkably well. Best season finale I have ever seen. Topping this will be tough for me.

  46. Nicholas says:

    LOL at Lauren. Bring up Bones out of the blue in a discussion that had nothing to do with it. Talk about an Inferiority complex.

  47. Sam says:

    This was simply the most fulfilling and spectacular season finale that I could imagine! Thank you to Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller for staying true to their characters and to Nathan and Stana for so beautifully bringing them to life. Epic, simply epic.

  48. Marek says:

    Best episode and very, very, very… :) love scene. Gratulation!

  49. Kira says:

    It was absolutely perfect. Everything about it was brilliant and beautiful, and I am so thankful that this show has the team it does. Not only in front of the cameras, but behind them as well. Each member was a strong link in a chain, and the result left me breathless.
    I remember the first week Castle aired, thinking, “This show is brilliant. *Too* brilliant – how will they keep this up?” But it’s only continued to soar. “Always” is a perfect example. I am so utterly impressed, not just with the talent of all involved to create good story, but also to the commitment of respecting the audience’s love and investment. Thank you for rewarding us so greatly with each and every episode. :)

  50. choppy says:

    There are some people
    who are so much a part of us
    they’ll be with us no matter what.
    They are our solid ground…
    Our North Star,
    and the small clear voices in our hearts
    that will be with us… always.

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