When it comes to epic season finales with emotional cliffhangers, nobody does it better than the Castle team. Each season, the clever minds behind this stellar story manage to captivate viewers for the final hour of the season, drawing them in with an emotional and compelling storyline before crafting one final plot twist in the concluding minutes that leaves their loyal fans with much to debate and discuss throughout the long summer hiatus.
Past finales from these masters of storytelling have included some of the most hopeful, heartbreaking, thrilling and shocking moments and conclusions of any show in today’s television landscape. Monday’s stirring Season 5 finale was certainly no exception, concluding with a powerful and stunning moment to cap off a great year.
Penned by the creative genius behind this incredible series himself, Andrew Marlowe, “Watershed” presented the compelling and emotional story arc that has been so beautifully crafted over the past few weeks. Beckett was forced to confront a life-altering decision regarding her future, while Castle struggled with the thought of losing her just as they had finally found true happiness together.
The episode itself was constructed much like any other Castle episode, with an intriguing case at the centre of the story and personal undertones comprising the true heart of the hour. Early in the episode, we found Beckett in Washington, D.C., interviewing for a prestigious position at the secret agency of the Attorney General. It was clear early on that Beckett took this interview on a whim, perhaps just to see if she was capable of being considered for such a grand opportunity. But when Gates informed her that she was on the short list for the job and provided her with words of encouragement and support, the reality of what this opportunity would mean for her, both professionally and personally, began to sink in. With that came the very painful decision that would have to be made at some point. Did she believe that her future was in New York with Castle, or in D.C. with her career? Or could she find a way to have both?
Thus, the stage was set for an emotional rollercoaster throughout the remainder of the hour. In a beautiful scene between Stana Katic and Tamala Jones, Beckett and Lanie had a heart-to-heart about Beckett’s conflict, revealing a great deal about Beckett’s true fears as she confided in her best friend that in having to make this decision she would also have to confront the reality of whether or not she could have a future with Castle. Despite her recent ponderings of that nature, Beckett was content to just wait for the right time to have that conversation. Yet, this job offer would force them to confront that question much sooner than expected and Beckett revealed that her true fear was truly what Castle’s answer to that question may be.
Before that conversation could take place, however, Castle stumbled upon Beckett’s plane ticket to D.C., realizing that she had been keeping something from him. The two then quickly engaged in their annual finale tradition of having a massive and emotional argument, with everything being exposed and them both retreating to their corners after the verbally bloody battle. The scene was not only heartbreaking, but also truly one of the highlights of this stellar episode, with Katic and Nathan Fillion delivering all of the power and emotional depth that only these two could convey in a scene like this. Despite the defensiveness, anger and sadness, one could find a sense of relief and hope in knowing that with the truth being exposed from both sides of their argument, and a resolution was sure to follow.
That resolution would not come easy, however, and Castle and Beckett both sought guidance from their parents first. In two equally stunning scenes, Susan Sullivan and Scott Paulin turned in wonderful performances as Martha and Jim, who attempted to steer their children towards confronting their own feelings about their relationship and their future. Meanwhile, Esposito and Ryan began to suspect that something was amiss between Castle and Beckett, with Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever portraying these two so subtly yet brilliantly.
With all of the emotional scenes throughout the episode, perhaps one of the most surprising of the bunch came towards the end of the episode. It was the scene that was a catalyst for my sure-to-be-debated opinion that Beckett did, in fact, make the decision to reject the job offer when all was said and done. Beckett went toe-to-toe with the killer of the week, with Katic bringing forth another annual tradition: an absolutely stunning, powerful and gripping performance. In what was such a simple, yet beautifully-executed scene, Beckett drew upon all of the emotion within her as she spoke of the interrogation room being so much a part of her life and a home to her, using this personal angle to convince the killer that after the countless criminals that she had broken in that room over the years, he had had no hope of lying to her and getting away with it. More importantly, though, she revealed where her heart truly belonged. She had found her home and her future where she least expected it.
In the closing minutes, Castle and Beckett met at a familiar set of swings, as the two prepared to have the conversation that would either make or break their relationship. While the emotion of the hour and the direction of the conversation itself certainly presented the possibility of a heartbreaking ending, the Castle team once again turned the tables in brilliantly shocking fashion. Castle ominously told Beckett that they both deserved more in their lives, a comment that Beckett agreed with, the pain evident in her eyes as she assumed the worst from this conversation. But then, just as it seemed he was preparing to say his goodbyes, Castle turned to face her and got down on one knee. With a ring in his hand yet the fear of rejection in his eyes, he asked Beckett to marry him, leaving her (and the audience) stunned as the screen faded to black.
Thus, this stellar and memorable season ended with one final twist and a plethora of emotions. Will Beckett accept Castle’s proposal, or will she question his motives for the sudden decision? Did she take the job offer, or did she turn it down? And what was with the odd little “connection” between Esposito and the computer tech woman at the precinct? As always, though, the biggest question of all over the next four months will be, is it September yet?
What did you think of Monday’s finale? What do you think Beckett’s answer will be to Castle’s proposal? Do you think Beckett accepted the job offer or rejected it? And seriously, should Esplaine fans be worried? Visit TV Guide Canada’s Twitter andFacebook pages to comment!