‘Castle’: TV Show Overview and Character Profiles

Castle is an American crime drama TV series, which premiered on ABC in March 2009 and has remained a mainstay draw for viewers throughout its run. Now in its seventh season, the ABC hit show traces the lives of  Writer Richard Castle and Kate Beckett, an NYPD homicide detective, as they solve crimes and confront their feelings in New York City. The plot of the series focuses on the romance between the two lead characters, as well as the murder of Beckett’s mother. Castle was created by Andrew W. Marlowe and it airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. EST on ABC. Here is an overview of the TV show and profiles of Castle‘s main as well as recurring characters.

Castle–Canadian Actor Nathan Fillion portrays the titular character of Richard (Rick) Castle, who is a best-selling mystery writer by trade. Castle is twice divorced and initially known as a lady’s man. When series premiere aired, Castle had just killed off his popular lead character, Derrick Storm, a protagonist Rick was bored by, and found himself a new muse after becoming involved in a copycat killer case based on his novels. Rick’s new muse was Kate Beckett, a tough detective leading up the investigation, and Rick uses his friendship with the NYC mayor to become a consultant with NYPD. Rick created a new lead character, Nikki Heat, for a series of novels based on Beckett. Not only does Castle shadow Beckett for his books, but Rick also becomes her partner, friend, and love interest over the series. Now in its seventh season, Castle has found happiness and married Kate, but their road to matrimony has not been without obstacles. Despite that they are now married and happy, this couple is still haunted by Rick’s abduction on their wedding day in the Season 6 finale. Castle disappeared for two months following his abduction and has no idea what happened. While the identity of Rick’s abductor(s) remains a mystery, more information will be divulged during Season 7, according to the show’s producers.

Beckett–Canadian Actress Stana Katic plays Detective Katherine “Kate” Beckett, who is a homicide detective with NYPD’s 12th Precinct. Beckett is an excellent and intuitive investigator who has gained a reputation for being intrigued by unusual cases. She pursued a career in police work after her attorney mother, Johanna Beckett, was murdered in an unsolved case. Her mother’s murder has haunted and driven her to extremes. The crime has cost her heavily professionally and personally, as she has continued to hunt for those involved in her mother’s murder. Her search for closure in her mother’s murder has led her to many dark places, but luckily, Castle and others have been there for Kate. Beckett and Castle finally got together romantically during the Season 4 finale and start of Season 5. Castle proposed to Beckett at the close of Season 5, Kate and Rick become engaged in Season 6, and they finally marry in the seventh season.

Martha Rodgers–Actress Susan Sullivan portrays Rick’s mother, Martha Rodgers. Martha is an actress of some acclaim and raised Castle as a single mother. While there are a few references to Rick’s father, very little is mentioned about him until his appearance in Season 5. She lives with Castle and Alexis (Castle’s daughter) since one of her ex-husbands ran off with her life savings. Martha also helps her son raise his daughter and advises Castle on his relationships, especially in regards to Beckett. Yet, Martha also has an active social life of her own and is very free-spirited. In fact, one of Martha’s beaus dies and leaves her a significant inheritance, which she uses to open her own acting school.

Alexis Castle–Actress Molly Quinn plays Rick’s wise-beyond-her-years daughter, Alexis. She is Rick’s child by his first wife, Meredith. Rick’s child is precocious and very worldly for her age. In fact, she is often more responsible and aware than her parent. The audience has watched Alexis grow, mature, and branch out over time. From her first steady boyfriend to rejection by her first choice university, Castle and viewers have weathered it all with Alexis. During Season 6, Rick and Alexis’ relationship is tested when she brings home a new boyfriend, Pi, with whom she shares an apartment for a while. Her social and interpersonal issues often parallel some aspect of cases Castle and Beckett (Caskett) are investigating, and Castle sometimes asks for her insight into cases.

Javier Esposito–Actor Jon Huertas portrays Detective Javier Esposito, who is a former Army Special Forces soldier and now works in homicide as part of Beckett’s team at NYPD’s 12th Precinct. His nicknames include “Javi” and “Espo”. Espo recognizes Castle and Beckett’s attraction right away and sometimes advises Beckett on her relationship with Castle. Javi and his partner, Kevin Ryan, are best friends, even though they have had their ups and downs over time. Espo has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Dr. Lanie Parish, a medical examiner and Kate’s best friend, since Season 3, which ended with things being awkward and making them unable to work with each other for a while. Things re-ignited between them during Season 6, but they parted as friends in the seventh season. During the Season 4 finale, Javi and Beckett were suspended from NYPD for hiding vital information from Captain Gates in a case connected to Johanna Beckett’s death. Following that case, Kevin and Espo had tension in their relationship because Kevin turned them over to Gates. Following their suspension, Beckett and Espo were reinstated in the fifth season and Javi has reconciled with Kevin as partners as well as friends.

Kevin Ryan–Actor Seamus Dever stars as Detective Kevin Ryan, who is a former Narcotics detective and now also works as part of Beckett’s team at NYPD’s 12th Precinct. Kevin and Javi are playful, but they are also like brothers to both Beckett and Castle. Kevin is a straight man type, but has some surprising aspects to his personality. For instance, in Season 5, viewers learned that Kevin had also worked undercover in the Irish mob for an extended period and had a long-lost girlfriend from that time. Kevin married his longtime love, Jenny O’Malley, in Season 4. During the Season 4 finale, Kevin turns in Beckett and Esposito, which jeopardizes his partnership as well as friendship with both of them, although they all reconcile later. During the sixth season, Kevin became a father when Jenny gave birth to their daughter.

Lanie Parish–Actress Tamala Jones plays Dr. Lanie Parish, who is a medical examiner and Beckett’s BFF. Like Kate, she has great intuition and deductive powers. She is also one of very few people Beckett can talk to easily and without a filter. Parish also notices a personal connection between Beckett and Castle and urges Kate to pursue it. In Season 3, Lanie and Javi began their on-again, off-again relationship, which they initially believed was secret. However, everyone was already clued into it. Their tumultuous relationship has caused tension at times, but they have since reconciled and once more parted ways as friends.

Roy Montgomery–Actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson starred as Captain Roy Montgomery from Seasons 1–3. Montgomery was Beckett’s boss and captain of NYPD’s 12th Precinct. Roy appreciated Beckett’s determination, talent, and diligence in her work. Moreover, Roy also served as a lifelong mentor to Beckett. This made the shocking revelation that Roy was involved in Johanna Beckett’s murder and cover-up even more harsh. As Season 3 ended, Montgomery was killed after staging a trap to capture a hired killer involved in the cover-up that killed Beckett’s mother. During Season 6, Beckett recalls Montgomery telling her to search through her mother’s belongings for a clue in her murder. As it turned out, he had made a tape detailing Bracken’s involvement in Johanna Beckett’s murder.

Victoria Gates–Actress Penny Johnson Jerald portrays Captain Victoria Gates from season 4 to present. She was brought in as Captain Montgomery’s replacement after his death. Formerly assigned to Internal Affairs, Captain Gates, who is also known as “Iron Gates,” is more interested in career advancement and takes a more critical view of Beckett and Castle’s dynamic. In fact, she initially resents Rick’s presence and fears it will be an impediment to NYPD detectives, as well as solving cases. However, over time, Gates comes to accept Castle and recognizes his talent for solving cases. While her hostility fades, she is nonetheless a by-the-book commander and still willing to reign in Castle when needed. She has removed and/or distanced Castle from working with NYPD at times because his relationship with Kate, friendship with a mob boss, and following Caskett’s nuptials.

Castle’s Father–Actor James Brolin stars as Rick’s father, “Jackson Hunt,” in the series. As a CIA deep-cover operative, his real name remains unknown and the mysterious man has gone by aliases such as “Jackson Hunt” and “Anderson Cross.” Jackson revealed his identity to Rick in Season 5 as part of a two-part episode, during which Alexis was kidnapped and taken to Paris to draw Jackson out of hiding. Despite the loneliness and elusiveness of his profession, Jackson has tried to maintain indirect contact with his son and kept tabs on him all his life.

Senator William Bracken–Actor Jack Coleman portrays William Bracken, who is a popular and charismatic senator for the State of New York. Bracken had ambitions of becoming President of the United States. Bracken presented a facade as an honest man looking out for special interests, but is later exposed in the Season 5 premiere to be highly corrupt and the driving force directly behind Johanna Beckett’s murder. As of Season 7, Bracken has been exposed as corrupt and is now incarcerated.

3XK (Jerry Tyson)–Actor Michael Mosley played Jerry Tyson, who was also known as the Triple Killer (3XK). This serial killer was a significant villain in the series. 3XK was a methodical and meticulous predator who returns to New York City every few years to terrorize new victims. After being identified by the team, Tyson turns his attentions toward members of Beckett’s team. 3XK is shot and presumed to be dead. However, his true fate has not yet been revealed, which has left everyone involved on edge.

Now in its seventh season, Castle continues to remain a consistent draw for viewers. The ABC hit series traces the lives of partners-in-love and crime Castle and Beckett, as they solve crimes and confront their feelings in New York City. The plot of the series focuses on the romance between the two lead characters, as well as the murder of Beckett’s mother. Hopefully, this TV show overview and character profiles will serve as a catch-up guide for fans and/or entice more viewers to tune in to Caskett’s adventures. Castle airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.

By Leigh Haugh

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One Response to "‘Castle’: TV Show Overview and Character Profiles"

  1. Carolyn   April 25, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Please, please do not cancel “Castle” TV show. It is one of the best shows on the air.


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