ABC’s very recently cancelled Castle closed what would be its final chapter on Monday night, ending its eight-season run with an alternate epilogue that was filmed just in case this turned out to be Rick and Kate’s swan song.
The procedural’s closing hour found Rick and Kate hot on the trail of the mysterious and elusive LokSat, aiming to finally catch and collar the high-powered drug runner, who had dogged not one but both of them in recent years, ultimately tying together two different mythologies (Johanna Beckett’s murder and Rick’s “missing time”).
The final run at LokSat first led Rick and Kate into a honey pot, but they were rescued by Mason Wood of the Greatest Detective Society, who said he had been asked by Castle’s stepmother Rita to “babysit” her stepson and his wife. Next, the 12th’s investigation into the murder (by torching) of Caleb Brown pointed Kate and the boys to LokSat’s “right hand man”… who led them to a false house. Vikram eventually got a bead on the guy’s cell phone, just as he abducted Rick and hooked him up to some next-gen truth serum. This “Mr. Flynn” then introduced Rick to LokSat — aka Mason Wood.
Mason got what he wanted from Rick — the names of everyone who knows of LokSat, whom he planned to kill — and then left to meet up with an oblivious Beckett. Luckily, Mason’s plan was to bring Kate back to the CIA black site he and Flynn operated out of, and when he did, she got the drop on him… momentarily, until an electromagnetic ceiling ripped her gun away. Mason went to kill Kate, but Rick — who escaped from the upstairs lab during the NYPD’s shootout with some LokSat mercs — showed up to distract him long enough for Kate to KO the Benedict Arnold.
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After the partners in crimefighting dodged death both at the hand of LokSat and then “dead” Caleb Brown (who popped up, and then got popped, in the loft), we got a final, closure-filled sequence. Jumping forward seven years and with past “Caskett” dialogue scoring the scene, we saw Rick and Kate breakfasting with their three children, precisely as foretold by Season 6’s “time traveler.”
Rewatch the final sequence below, then read on for more:
Previewing the original season-ending plan, Castle co-showrunners Terence Paul Winter and Alexi Hawley told TVLine, “We have one ending, which is a cliffhanger that we’re excited about” — a finale that would end “in a very dynamic way which leaves open the possibility that maybe the show won’t come back in the same form” — a prudent move since leading lady Stana Katic would not be invited back for any Season 9. “That said… we have crafted a final [alternate ending] that would exist only if we weren’t coming back,” Hawley shared. “To be fair to the fans, even if we thought there was the small chance that we wouldn’t come back, we owed it to them to sort of craft something.”
Did you approve of the special “something” they crafted? Get to discussing the satisfaction level delivered by this alternate ending, as well as how fondly you will regard the series Castle moving forward.