In the aftermath of Castle‘s season 4 finale, there has been a whole lot of celebration going on. After years of wondering and hoping that characters Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) would get past their fears and get together, it finally happened. It took four years, and fans are in a state of euphoria, myself included!
I came to the series late, watching the first season, then loosing track of it until midway through season 4. Thanks to the Internet I was able to catch up, and I don’t mind admitting that I got absolutely and irrevocably hooked! I may not have spent four years getting frustrated over the pairing, but I’ve been there with other shows, and ‘Caskett’ shipping fans don’t know just how lucky they are.
I recently read an article in the Chicago Tribune by Jean Bentley in which he got some hints about the couple’s future from creator Andrew Marlowe. In it Marlowe revealed that from well before the end of the third season where Beckett was shot and Castle told her he loved her, the creative team knew that eventually they were going to get together. As Marlowe explained,
I knew that we could sustain about a season once the ‘I love you’ was out there, so it was always to have arrived at this place. And you know, I think the fans that have been frustrated by what we’ve done this year will look back at the year differently once they know that our two (characters) got together. Just because it was always the plan from the beginning.
I get that fans were frustrated. I was too. I could have wrung Castle’s neck when he started seeing an airline stewardess a few episodes ago, and again when he ignored Beckett’s phone call in the finale. I was so mad at Beckett for lying to Castle and telling him that she didn’t remember anything from when she was shot. Yet all long I had the feeling that eventually they would get there. There’s a difference between getting frustrated at writers who created characters who are reluctant but allowed to act on their feelings, and writers who started a pairing without ever planning on allowing the relationship get anywhere.
There are many examples of this scenario across the genres, but perhaps the best example – and my favorite – starts with the sci-fi series Stargate SG-1 and continues to this day. The pairing of Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) and Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping) doesn’t have a cute nickname like ‘Caskett’ but Jack/Sam shippers have been every bit as vocal over the years. You could easily say that the attraction between them began with the pilot episode. Just as with ‘Caskett’ it took about four years for a life and death situation to force them to admit how they felt. But then they had to drop it! After that the writers seemed to delight in throwing hints our way. A look here and a pause there, abnormal behavior when the other was in mortal peril or missing, and a hug on two seperate and very sad occations. Over the ten years that SG-1 spanned, they shared four kisses that one could argue didn’t entirely happen because there was either an alternate timeline, a parallel universe, or an hallucination involved! Why go to such lengths to keep them apart? Because they are Colonel/General O’Neill and Captain/Major/Colonel Carter of the United States Air Force, and since such relationships are against Air Force regulations the writers had to do some crazy stuff just to let them share a kiss!
Both characters tried to have a relationship with someone else only to break it off because the other could tell there was something going on between Jack and Sam. Every time they started to speak candidly to each other they were either interrupted or they stopped just short of saying enough for fans to be satisfied. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more exasperating, the writers came up with an episode involving characters from multiple alternate universes. Those characters would hint that the Sam in their universe was in a relationship with someone, or married, or on maternity leave, but they would always stop short of confirming who she was involved with! In the 200th episode of the series the writers mockingly wrote a wedding scene just to poke fun at the situation!
Later Sam went on to be a part of the Stargate Atlantis team in the Pegasus galaxy, and though the scene was cut in inculded only in the DVD extras, the writers did put in a hint that Sam was in a “long distance relationship”. That was in 2008 and to this day that is as far as fans can assume the relationship has gotten.
The reality is that ‘Caskett’ fans had to wait four years, but the writers always intended for them to get together. Even if it had gone on for another season, we still would have been glued to the TV, watching and waiting for it to happen because it was inevitable. Now that they are together we will keep watching because seeing Castle and Beckett try to function as a couple is going to be just as fascinating! So do you still think it was hard having to wait and watch for four years? Try waiting 15 years and then we’ll talk!
If you would like to read the rest of Jean Bentley’s Castle Article, I scanned it in for your benefit! Enjoy!