|From the cover of the Complete Season Three DVD, link below|
In case you are wondering why a post on a TV crime show is showing up on this blog, the answer is simple. This show manages to build a large helping of social learning around something popular and, lets face it, negative - crime and mystery. A feast of verbal jousting and subtle satire, “Castle” appears to be about the crimes being solved and the love between the two protagonists played by Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. But behind this lies serious comment on parenting, morality and its evolution, friendship and loyalties and a sharp look at the world of performing and creative arts. The self proclaimed theater diva of yesteryears, Martha Rodgers, (Castle’s mother), and Alexis, his daughter provide the balance to the world of crime and criminals that the show otherwise mostly deals with. Ryan and Esposito are two detectives in Beckett’s team who help solve the mysteries along with Beckett’s Emilia, the medical examiner Dr. Lanie Parish, rounding off the American demographic. The parallels and contrasts between the journeys of all of these characters embody the emotional and ethical challenges that all of us struggle with for much of our lives.
Now into its fourth season, Castle has till now been more about Beckett than about Castle. Kate Beckett is a pretty, smart, and driven NYPD detective who is haunted silently and continuously by the mystery behind her mother’s murder by the underworld. Richard Castle is a successful crime writer who gets to work with Beckett on her cases, initially to get first hand research for his new novel, and later as they form a great crime solving team. The obvious attraction between the two evolves across the first season, but neither Castle nor Beckett acknowledge or express it. The feminine mystery that lies behind the tough exterior of the detective is simultaneously erotic and vulnerable. Castle is the quintessential male much of the time, repeatedly putting his foot in his mouth, flirting openly, opening doors only to have skeletons from his past come tumbling out, and sulking with the slightest of perceived slights. Their gender roles are frequently reversed with Beckett assuming the role of the protector baling Castle out of the mess that he gets himself into. Season two ends with Beckett on the verge of telling Castle how she feels about him, only to be interrupted (a ploy used repeatedly throughout the series) by his ex-wife with whom he goes off on a writing holiday to the Hamptons.