Fans were expecting a big episode when they learned the season finale of ‘Castle’ was called “Always” and the show definitely came through, giving fans a payoff they’ve been waiting four years for as well as some additional cliffhangers to speculate about all summer.
Before I get into this week’s episode, I’m going to briefly recap the ‘previously on’ because I know I needed the refresher. In last season’s finale, we learned that Captain Montgomery had been involved with the people who were responsible for Beckett’s mother’s shooting. He gave his life protecting Kate and the detectives and Castle covered up what he did so no one would ever need to know that he was anything other than a true hero. Beckett was shot in the heart at his memorial service by a shooter that was never found and then a mystery informant contacted Castle. He let him know that he was a friend of Montgomery’s and that to keep Beckett safe, Castle had to make sure she stopped investigating her mother’s death. Got it?
The episode started with Beckett hanging off the side of a building by her fingertips, calling for help. We hear Castle shout out for her and then Beckett calls his name as the screen goes black and we get a little note telling us we’ve gone back to three days earlier. Alexis is worried about her valedictorian speech and Castle is trying to help her relax when he gets a call from Beckett about a new victim. As they’re walking to the scene, Kate asks how Castle is coping with Alexis’s impending graduation. He’s planning a movie marathon for that night since he’ll be alone and asks her to join him. She agrees and Castle looks surprised, but is clearly happy. (It’s totally a date).
A Hispanic male in his late 20s was found shot to death in an alley. The detectives discover that the victim, Orland Costas, had been shot twice by two different guns, once in the shoulder and then the kill shot to his head. He was a former thief, who got his life together after spending four years in the military. They question his girlfriend to see if it was possible he’d gone back to a life of crime, but she angrily tells them that he wouldn’t do that. It turns out that he had broken into a house before he was shot and not just any house. It was Montgomery’s house and his wife had caught him stealing files and she was the one who shot him in the shoulder. They all assume the files probably have something to do with the big secret and Castle is very worried about Beckett, especially when Laney tells them that the person who killed Costas is the same person who shot Kate in the heart.
There is some infighting on the team as they try to decide how to handle this. Beckett wants to pursue it, Castle does not. Esposito wants to back up Beckett all the way, but Ryan thinks they need to tell Captain Gates what’s going on. Castle’s informant gives him a call and warns him that he needs to make Beckett stop investigating or he won’t be able to protect her anymore. But Beckett is not going to back down and she makes a deal with a suspect to try and find out more information. She learns that Costas was doing a job and something had gone wrong.
The detectives trace the shooter to a church and get video footage of him with Costas. But Beckett doesn’t want to put his picture through the system since it involves corrupt cops and she doesn’t trust anyone. Kate has flashbacks to being shot and Castle goes to her again and asks her to stop. He tells her everything and that they are going to kill her if she doesn’t stop. He tells her that he’d been trying to keep her safe. She’s furious at him for lying to her when she needed a lead and demands to know how Castle could do this to her. He tells her he loves her and he knows she already knows that. Kate is less than impressed by the declaration since she’s so angry and accuses him of betraying her.
Castle reminds her that after everything they’ve been through, he’s been by her side and he’s more than just a partner. He tells her again that he loves her and that if that means anything to her, she’ll stop this. Beckett reminds him that it’s her life and he had no right to treat her like a child. He tells her they’re going to come for her and she can throw everything away, but he’s done. This was probably one of the most amazing scenes ever on the show. Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic brought the emotion and then some. It was flawless acting on both sides and it was incredibly heartbreaking.
Esposito finds a fake driver’s license for the shooter using the name Cole Maddox and they trace the GPS in his rental car, tracking him to a hotel room. Ryan is worried and tries to stop them from going off without backup, but Beckett insists she’s been waiting 13 years for this. Ryan tries to call Castle, but he ignores the call as he gets ready to go to Alexis’s graduation. In the hotel room, Beckett and Esposito find Montgomery’s files and his wedding album. A picture is missing and they realize that’s the shooter’s next target. He surprises them and knocks them both down remarkably fast, but Kate chases him onto the roof. They struggle and when he gets the upper hand, she asks him to tell her who is behind this. He doesn’t answer and she falls off the side of the roof, leading back to the opening scene.
Again, major props for Stana Katic for her flawless acting. As she struggled to hold on and shouted for help, her desperation came right through the screen. She imagined she heard Castle’s voice and she shouted for him as a hand reached over and pulled her up. It was Ryan. He’d arrived with backup including Gates, who was not pleased. Beckett immediately asked if Castle was there and was crushed when Ryan just shook his head.
Gates places Beckett and Esposito on administrative leave, calling them a disgrace and some other not so nice things. As they place their badges and guns on her desk, Beckett announces that she’s resigning. The scene switches to Alexis giving her graduation speech, talking about change and how everything ends. Beckett cleans out her desk as Alexis talks. Ryan tries to explain why he did what he did to Esposito, but his partner does not want to hear it. As Alexis finishes her speech, Kate is sitting on the swings in the park alone in the pouring rain. This was another amazing scene, flashing between all the events with the voiceover and “In My Veins” playing in the background.
Graduation is over and Castle is home alone, promising Alexis that he’ll be fine and she should have fun. He deletes his case file on Beckett and ignores her call, but then there’s a knock on the door. It’s Beckett and Castle asks her what she wants. She tells him, “I want you.” Then she kisses him and he’s a little stunned. She tells him that she’s sorry and that he was right and she tells him that she almost died and the suspect got away, but she didn’t care. All she cared about was him. Castle finally gives in and kisses her back and there’s a hot moment up against the door that pretty much left all the shippers dead on the floor.
But the episode wasn’t quite over yet. In the final scene, the shooter confronted Castle’s informant, the man in the wedding picture, who was referred to as Mr. Smith. He told him that he was done being blackmailed and he wanted the evidence that Mr. Smith had from his former employer. Then he told him that he was going to put Kate Beckett in the ground once and for all. Yikes.
This episode pretty much hit all of my emotions. I’m so happy Castle and Beckett are finally together and that it happened onscreen unlike another show that shall not be named (Bones) that cheated the viewers out of their moment (Yes, I’m still bitter). Of course there are a lot of questions for next season. Will we ever find out why Beckett’s mom was killed? Will Esposito and Ryan’s bromance be okay? Will Kate go back to being a cop? How will things change now that Castle and Beckett are an item?
Did you enjoy the season finale? Was the Caskett moment everything you wanted or were you disappointed? Sound off below along with your season five theories.