SPOILERS FOR SEASON 5 FINALE!
Season five wasn't as edge of your seat high stakes as the seasons before it, but it definitely allowed us to watch Castle and Beckett's relationship develop while still providing us with some tricky cases.
In tonight's episode we all knew what was coming; as had been pretty clearly established last week, Beckett was going to interview for a job in DC and she was going to get it. What was most surprising about this week's episode was the fact that it was half way done before Castle even discovered she'd interviewed which left scant time to focus on their argument after her secret had been revealed. In a way that made the finale all the more powerful.
Stana Katic delivered a surprisingly subdued yet authentic portrayal of Beckett in turmoil over her decision. One of my favorite scenes in the entire episode was when Castle jokingly mentioned (prior to knowing about Kate's job interview) that she needed him in her life to help her solve crimes. The camera cut to Katic and the look of turmoil in her face was for once perfect.
Even before watching this episode I felt the writers had two decisions: make Beckett pregnant or have Castle propose. Interestingly Ryan brings up the potential Caskett baby early in the episode, but turns out babies are just on his brain because (you guessed it!) Jenny's pregnant. I'm glad the writers didn't go the pregnancy route because it would have made the following season far too angst-ridden. A Kate who feels trapped into making a decision is not a happy Beckett (you know what I mean).
The finale ended with Castle and Beckett meeting at the swings, a location which has come to be somewhat of an emotional impetus for them. It's where Beckett apologized to Castle for disappearing for a whole summer after she got shot--and gave him hope that when she healed they'd be together. And it's where Beckett sat in the rain at the end of last season's finale right before she went to Castle's loft to declare her love.
And in tonight's episode it was where Richard Castle proposed.
Unsurprisingly the proposal is the cliffhanger. Still, let's reflect on what might happen next...
Seconds before the proposal Beckett thought that they were breaking up. Did her teary eyes mean that she was devastated about this or resigned?
Castle has been married twice before and they've never had an in depth conversation about the failure of those two marriages...will Kate see this proposal as a last ditch effort by Castle to keep her by his side in NY? Will she take it as a declaration of love or manipulation?
Castle made a speech about how he had been thinking a lot about their relationship and that they both deserved more (hence Kate's assumption that he was breaking up with her). He then seemed to say that regardless of her decision he wanted to be with her--but he didn't say outright that he would follow her if she took the DC job. How will we interpret the proposal? And what was he really saying?
And finally, he's an author--a rich author--and his daughter's no longer living at home. Why couldn't he move to DC with Kate? He could keep the loft and fly back to NY at an hour's notice. Of course their relationship would change in that they'd no longer be working together but it could happen.
Of course, we know it won't. Why? Well because the show's set in NY. And the whole supporting cast works at the precinct. This isn't 'Dawson's Creek'; they can't all magically move to a new city together.
Where do you think season six will pick up? There are a few options. It would mimic the beginning of this season and begin almost where it left off. Or it could follow the route of other seasons and start after the summer. Perhaps Kate (with or without Castle) lived in DC for the summer? Or maybe she turned down the job and is a) happy or b) angst-ridden with regret.
Guess we'll just have to wait 3 months to find out.