After last week’s drama heavy episode of Castle the season finale, For Better or Worse turned out to not be the expected comedic end and instead turned out to be a cliffhanger, of course. This sneaky sucker punch was appreciated though. For a show that started like a homage to I Love Lucy, or perhaps Love American Style (and you are seriously showing your age if you remember this anthology television comedy) it certainly kept things interesting enough until that last minute swerve into drama land.
The show starts with a last minute dash to get the legal paperwork sorted when the couple find out that Kate is still married. Turns out that when Beckett was in college she and a boyfriend, one Rogan O’Leary, thought it would be a hoot to get married in a Vegas “drive-through” wedding chapel. Soon after their little escapade, the two broke up and the incident was forgotten, at least by Kate.
Beckett tracks down O’Leary, with a little help from her friends, and goes to get paperwork signed that will leave her free to marry Castle. Rick stays home, at first, while Beckett goes to hunt down her “husband” until things begin to get a little complicated. It turns out that Rogan is a bit of a character who has fingers in a lot of different pies.
Kate’s husband has incurred the wrath of his girlfriend, who actually knows that Rogan is still married to Beckett whom she believes is in a coma. But that’s not all. A lot of people are angry with Rogan and he refuses to sign the paper until Kate helps him out of his current predicament. In the middle of all the drama with her “husband” Beckett learns that her wedding dress has been destroyed and Rogan is blackmailing a local preacher on top of stealing pictures of a mafioso in hiding who now wants O’Leary dead.
Halfway through the Castle season finale, For Better or Worse, which does not give a clue to its cliffhanger ending of course, Kate realises just why she loves Rick so much and why she wants to marry him. It is during this “ah” moment that Rick learns about the blackmailing issue.
The rest of the finale is Rick and Kate trying to pull Rogan’s chestnuts out of the many fires he has put them in. This show dances a fine line between pathos and comedy, which Castle does so well, and it should come as no surprise that the very end of the show is a rapid turn into the dark.
The one downside, is the decision to cast Warehouse 13 star Eddie McClintock as the forgotten Beckett husband. It was disconcerting to see McClintock sans his two co-stars from the SyFy series, which is in its last ever season. Not that he did a poor job, far from it. Eddie has got some very admirable acting chops on him, in fact his performance here outstripped his Warehouse 13 shenanigans in its last season.
Before the episode concludes, if ending with a cliffhanger can be called that, there is one sterling moment in a barn with Rick, Kate and Rogan. Not wanting to spoil it completely, but, Nathan Fillion as Castle hits a comic highlight when he screams like a “girl.” Fillion can do comedy, no doubt about that at all and Stana Katic shows that she can move between comedy and tragedy in the bat of an eye, as usual. For Better or Worse the season six finale of Castle may end in a cliffhanger, of course, but the show still manages to reach those parts that other shows cannot. It is going to be a long wait until fall.
By Michael Smith