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 Richard Castle: The man with hidden chapters

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Posts : 5939
Join date : 2011-05-13
Age : 43
Location : Liverpool, UK

Richard Castle: The man with hidden chapters Empty
PostSubject: Richard Castle: The man with hidden chapters   Richard Castle: The man with hidden chapters Icon_minitimeWed Jul 16, 2014 7:45 am

This is a work in progress…

Part 1 (This was started BEFORE Season 5 aired)

A couple of months ago I asked myself the question “who is your favourite Castle character?” My knee-jerk reaction (the same for the past four years) is to say Kate Beckett and site her virtues, her faults and the beauty of loving a character that has counterpoints within them. She is strong yet vulnerable, extraordinary yet frustrating and we can all see why Castle finds her such an interesting and inspirational muse…I digress.

I thought a bit more about my favourite Castle character and I realised something…I realised that Richard Castle is in fact my favourite character. The more I thought about it, the more sure I became. Oddly enough it is for the same reasons I love Kate Beckett only with a small twist.

Andrew Marlowe states that:

“It feels like everyone knows the same Castle - he’s kind of the same guy to everybody in their life - but you can see Kate is somebody who plays roles. She’s a particular sort of person to her father, and a particular sort of person to Castle, a particular sort of person to Gates, to Montgomery…she’s very guarded in situations, and she chooses what to reveal about herself” [1]

Whilst Andrew Marlowe is a showrunner genius (who I would run and hug if I ever saw him walking down the street) and I agree Beckett IS a chameleon changing or switching off/on facets of her character depending upon who she is with, and I also agree Castle sails a much more steady course through all of his interpersonal relationships. However, if you look at Castle more closely you will see that he is a different person at home with his mother and daughter. Here we get to see more of what makes him tick, his heart and vulnerability. Look closer still and he is a different person with Martha compared to Alexis. It is interesting to note that is Martha, his mother that sees the most vulnerable side of Richard Castle - the Richard Alexander Rodgers that still breathes within him. (More on that change of name later.) Perhaps the only other person to glimpse this deep water at the bottom of the well is Kate Beckett.

"When I was 14 my mom sent me to Edgewick Academy. I- I was homesick and I didn’t have any friends so I wrote about it…” [2]

This is not the Richard Castle he presents to the world. This is not the writer of Derik Storm, sunglasses perched on his nose amid the press flashbulbs, the Castle of the pilot episode. It is not the person who has the mayor on speed dial. Beneath the nine-year-old on a sugar rush, beneath the smooze and beneath the dust jacket bio, Richard Castle is not one man to all people. Kate Beckett has gained access to this inner sanctum - the truth behind the Castle walls, the bastions of books and barricades of words.

“After my mother was killed, something inside me changed. It's like I built up this wall inside. I don't know, I guess I just didn't want to hurt like that again. I know I'm not gonna be able to be the kind of person that I want to be. I know I'm not gonna- I'm not gonna be able to have the kind of relationship that I want...until that wall comes down.” [3]

Beckett tells Castle that she has walls however; I would argue that Castle has walls as well. If Kate Beckett’s walls are stark concrete, Castle’s walls are adorned with bunting and billboards and shelves of books. Beckett tries to keep her private life private, Castle masks truth with fiction and hides an awful lot behind that “ruggedly handsome” façade.

Alexis Castle is sometimes beneath, sometimes on the same level and sometimes above her father. Sometimes Castle dispenses advice - good advice, and wise advice. (Advice that Beckett has given him that he quotes back to Alexis) So, sometimes he is “the dad”…sometimes he finds himself struggling through the same situation and feelings as Alexis…

Alexis: “Being in love is exhausting.”
Castle: “Yeah, You got that right.” [4]

…and sometimes Alexis overtakes him in maturity and the roles of parent and child are reversed.

Castle is truthful and loving with his daughter and she sees one all encompassing aspect of Richard Castle - He is her dad. In this role he is never vulnerable with his daughter, even when the roles are seemingly reversed and Alexis is more mature that her father it is usually through stupidity rather than emotional vulnerability.

Martha Rodgers, for all her outward appearances (characters on Castle are often like icebergs- two thirds of them below the surface) actually gets to see the vulnerable side of Richard Castle. She can "decode" him at times, see through the tangled knots of plot lines in his life and critique some of his decisions.
Up to this point, Martha sees most of the “real” Richard Castle (the Richard Alexander Rodgers) but even he hides things from his mother. Martha tends to be able to help or give advice when it comes to Castle’s heart…

“Richard, how much longer are you gonna drag your heels before you tell Beckett how you feel? And I mean, while she is awake, not lying on the ground with a bullet in her chest…” [5]

…but I don’t think that even Martha gets to the depths Beckett has glimpsed and is capable of accessing.

Despite both wearing his heart on his sleeve and trying to hide heartbreak and disappointment in front of Beckett, she is able to touch things that castle wouldn’t even share with his mother.

“Oh, I've been kicked out of all of New York's finer educational institutions at least once.” [6]

This paints a slightly different picture…

The rebel who is expelled from school does not fit with the man who describes his 14 year old self as “lonely” or “homesick.” Who could ever imagine Richard Castle so lonely the only way he could make sense of the world and find comfort was to write?

It is Beckett who has the capacity to take a crowbar to this Castle lockbox…or maybe if he is the wreaking ball to her wall, Beckett is subtler, quieter, stealthier key to the box containing the lonely boy, the rejected man, the doubt and the vulnerability. Now that Castle and Beckett are in a relationship it should grease the wheels. He looks into the dark corners of her life and he knows her secrets (some of them) but in trawling the depths of Beckett he has to offer up some secrets of his own.

Beckett does not know that Meredith cheated on Castle. She probably assumes that Castle (well, “old Castle” would have us believe) split with Meredith over a split in personality, or worse, it was all Castle’s fault. That is what Castle does - he masks over the cracks, you would never assume any damage had been done, never imagine there had been any hurt inflicted. But it has to still be there? The doubt, the fear or rejection…the prospect of failing again and not being able to rewrite the story.




4: Castle “Punked” episode 3x04

5. Castle “47 Seconds” episode 4x19

6. Castle “Hedge Fund Homeboys” episode 1x03

Part 2 - covering Season 5.…to follow

Watch this space…
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Posts : 5939
Join date : 2011-05-13
Age : 43
Location : Liverpool, UK

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PostSubject: Re: Richard Castle: The man with hidden chapters   Richard Castle: The man with hidden chapters Icon_minitimeWed Jul 16, 2014 7:56 am

Still a work in progress...

Part Two:

Personal Helicon

for Michael Longley

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

Seamus Heaney

Now we delve into the numerous pre-season five interviews, into season five itself and to the first rumblings about the close of the season.

I’m going to look at some of the comments on the way in which the new Caskett relationship will affect Beckett and include Castle in this analysis.

Kate Beckett is Castle’s muse. AS such, both Andrew Marlowe, and most of the Castle fandom, tend to shift focus toward her character. We have seen evidence and heard interviews about Beckett running away from things (we established this in part one) Kate Beckett has walls she hides behind.

Nathan Fillion says of the Caskett relationship.

“These two characters getting together? It’s not gonna solve a lot of problems. If anything it’s going to create more problems. Certainly these two characters are gonna be the same people they were before they entered into a relationship. He is still gonna be a pain in the butt, she is gonna be maybe a little emotionally unavailable and maybe a little tense about being in a relationship” [1]

“Emotionally unavailable” is NOT only a Beckett character flaw.

Castle runs from things in a different way. He covers things up, puts spin on his past and, like his mother, acts out the role of “Richard Castle” he expects the world to see.

Andrew Marlowe said on the season one DVD commentary,

“With Castle everybody kind of knows the same guy, you know, what you see is what you get. She [Beckett] is much more guarded and I think she has a lot going on under the surface” [2]

Castle has a lot going on under the surface. Indeed, in a later interview from March 2013 Andrew Marlowe states,

“He tends to live life on the surface, but we know there’s more to him than that.” [3]

More to Castle? I never doubted it for a second.

In a pre-Season 5 interview, Andrew Marlowe says,

"The new relationships that we’re dealing with this year will allow us to really open up her character in a way that we haven’t been able to, because we’ve always been perceiving it through Castle’s eyes." [4]

Therein lies the problem. For if it is Beckett through Castle's eyes, it is also Castle through Castle's eyes. I would argue that we need to see Castle through Beckett's eyes, have Beckett become privy to some of the information we (the viewers) have learned about Castle.

Andrew Marlowe goes on to say,

"She [Beckett] is very guarded in situations and she chooses what to reveal about herself." [4]

What do we know about Richard Castle?

"I think that there are skeletons in both Rick and Kate's closet." Andrew Marlowe [4]

It remains a mystery (ha!) why Castle chose the murder mystery genre for his writing. It is clear that he has always loved the escapism of reading, the opportunity of losing yourself in a book.

Castle mentions the New York Public Library throughout the seasons...

Castle: "Speedreader. Something I picked up from my years stranded in the New York Public Library."[5]

Castle: "For the New York Public Library, my first love? Anything."[6]

Hunt: "When you were about ten years old. Your mother took you to the library, you were looking for a book and I gave you a copy of –

Castle: "Casino Royale." [7]

It seems that the library and the books within its walls were some kind of refuge for the young Rick. It could also have fueled his imagination and been a source of inspiration...along with television shows!

Castle (on the subject of nannies): "...Completely irresponsible middle-aged women who, instead of looking after me while you were acting, like they were supposed to, instead watched daytime television...Actually, I got the plot of my first novel by watching One Life To Loose."[8]

The lure of the story, the plot, has always been there. It seems that Castle would always be a writer. But he states that,

"[Damien Westlake] said to me, 'Ricky, you have a great talent' and no one had ever said anything like that to me before. Without Damien Weestlake I'm a lawyer, I'm a grifter, I'm a rodeo clown but I'm not a writer. Without him...I'm not me."[9]

I'd argue that he would have been a writer. He might not have been published, he may only have written for himself but Castle makes sense of the world through his writing. Castle is SO ready to believe in people (Damien Westlake and Sophia Turner are two classic examples) and he is disappointed to discover they are less than who he thought they were, who he imagined them to be. They are not the heroes of literature, they have feet of clay. Castle needs someone to believe in him and have faith in him...

Kate Beckett: "Richard Castle believes in you, and I believe in him."[9]

Kate Beckett: "You should have seen him Lanie. He looked like a little boy, he was so scared. I know him Lanie. He is an immature, egotistical, self-centered jackass sometimes but he is not this" [10]

And THAT, right THERE is Castle through Beckett's eyes. That is Kate seeing beyond the Castle front. Is it because she is looking harder, because he is letting his guard down, or a combination of the two?


2. Castle Season one 1x05 DVD commentary



5. Castle episode 1x05 "A Chill Goes Through Her Veins"

6. Castle episode 4x12 "Dial M for Mayor"

7. Castle episode 5x16 "Hunt"

8. Castle episode 1x02 "Nanny McDead"

9. Castle episode 3x15 "The Final Nail"

10. Castle episode 5x05 "Probable Cause"
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