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'Castle': Most devastating season finale ever?

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Inconsolable. That was pretty much my state yesterday after watching the Castle season finale.

The hour was everything that we love about the show [SPOILER ALERT!]: action (imprisoned Lockwood escaped the court room via helicopter!), twists (Capt. Montgomery was revealed to be a major part of the conspiracy to cover up Beckett’s mother’s murder), tragedy (RIP Capt. Montgomery), and a heck of a cliffhanger – but not one of those cliffhangers that’s going to bother me until September. There was enough resolution in this episode to make me feel satisfied rather than annoyed. I think that’s a result of a few things that led up to the final moment, which found Beckett being shot at Montgomery’s funeral and Castle finally saying “I love you” as she faded into unconsciousness.

First there was the dynamic of the Core Four in this episode. Even when Beckett was screaming at everyone else, their determination and willingness to help her get closure tugged at my heartstrings. And because we had been anticipating some sort of betrayal (thanks previews), I found myself hoping it wasn’t Ryan or Esposito. It just wouldn’t be the Core Four without, well, one of the four. By the way, how great were Seamus Dever and Jon Huertas? True story: Their fight scene made me cry. I can’t remember the last time a fight scene did that.

And then there’s Caskett. Oh, Caskett. There were so many moments to love this week I don’t even know where to begin. It would be natural to peg the episode’s final moment (The big I.L.U.) as the best of the hour, but for me, two other moments had a slightly greater emotional impact. First, there was the apartment scene, where Castle visits Beckett and asks her to back off the case: “Walk away. They’re going to kill you, Kate, and if you don’t care about that, at least think about how that’s going to affect the people that love you.” This request made out of concern didn’t sit well with Beckett, and it erupted into a discussion of their non-progress toward being more than partners. Was anyone else totally breathless at this point?

Well, hopefully you had time to recover before the second Beckett/Castle moment that absolutely destroyed me: the airport. Oh, God, the airport. Montgomery had used Beckett as bait but with the intention of putting himself in the line of fire. So once he saw Lockwood approaching, Castle was told to take her away. (Montgomery knew she was going to fight to stay and help.) Watching Castle carry a kicking and screaming Beckett away from the scene as Lockwood drove closer was one of the show’s most wrenching moments. Then he covered her mouth as she was weeping and tried to soothe her? C’mon now! What’s that?! I… why… I can’t. I just, I can’t. I don’t even think I technically watched Montgomery get shot because I couldn’t see through my thick fuzz of tears.

The “I love you” definitely capped off this emotional hour well, but there was so much more to appreciate about this episode. Agree, readers?

BONUS AWESOMENESS: I’m talking to EP Andrew Marlowe today. Submit questions now!

Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG

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Originally posted May 17 2011 — 8:56 AM EDT

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