I got to ask because I'm really curious! What were your thoughts on the finale altogether? I thought it was pretty intense, and it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time, ESPECIALLY the ending! It was a good way to close the series.
I think it was a pretty good season finale, and a pretty weak series finale. But I don’t hold the writers necessarily accountable for all of that because they really were backed into a corner to try and satisfy all outcomes and still tell the story.
I liked the twist at the end with Caleb, I liked the desperation and fear from Castle and Beckett in finishing this thing and the sheer determination to not let the other walk into danger alone. I also thought the conversation with Mr. Flynn was good, and the scene with Mason and Castle where he tries so hard to resist and loses it when he can’t and sentences his family and closest friends to death was a sucker punch.
But I also think they missed an opportunity to explain the whys of Loksat and they definitely and annoyingly left out the reason for why all of this started. Maybe that memo was declassified on accident after all, but it’d go a long way towards selling me on the story if you said as much. I’d even buy that they did it and set stuff off just to torment Beckett after she put Bracken in jail, but I was never told why and that’s something that bugs me, just like it bothers me that Mason (and even Caleb) doesn’t necessarily have any function that really sells me on why they have so much power and can do all the things they do. Not saying they have to change the story, but a little exposition would go a long way and we just never got it because, for basically the fourth year in a row, we spent too much time on zany cases at the expense of convincingly developing the overall season plot. (Here’s looking at you season seven and season six).
That said, I love the growth from Castle and Beckett. They approached ever aspect of the final parts of the investigation as a team, which I think is what needed to happen given the first part of the season. And I think its interesting that, this time around, they were more grounded and more mature about it. Back when Beckett took on Bracken, their I love yous and other elements weren’t fake or anything, but they were lighter, more playful and I thought this time you really got the gravitas of what they were doing and how desperate they were not to have this thing be the end of them.
I enjoyed the little tag on ending with the kids, though the presentation was a bit clunky. They’d have been better served for Beckett to come into the loft and tell Castle she is/thinks she is pregnant and talk about beginning the next chapter of their life and then do a flash forward rather than keeping in the cliffhanger ending. I know the cliffhanger had a storytelling plot point with Caleb but, honestly, the whole of this fandom was so uninvested in Loksat that no one would have likely thought twice about it. So while I understand the choice behind airing it, I think it was a definite mis-step that kind of changed the tone of the finale and now has people focused on things that don’t matter (i.e. are they actually dead, how come they didn’t die, how did they get to the hospital, did that mean Beckett would die in season nine) rather than the things that do.
And that’s why I think it works as a season finale because, at the end of a season, you are supposed to have questions and want to know what comes next. A series finale is supposed to be the cherry on top and give you completion and, at best, this effort only did half that. But I also largely thought the same of Hollander’s Woods and the questions it left open last year, though the way that was written to end was far more definitive than everything bar the last thirty seconds. Both of those things are precisely why I think any long-running show should be given enough notice about cancellation or renewal to be able to fully close the book and that its a disservice to the product, the cast, the crew and the fans when it doesn’t happen.
I’ll also add one final thing, which is certainly going to be unpopular and that’s fine, which is that I’m very sad we aren’t getting a season nine now because the drama and the angst from that premiere would have been off the charts given the cliffhanger. And, no, I still don’t think they would have killed Beckett in season nine, before anyone asks.