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Castle Round Table: Season Finale Review, Reaction

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Welcome to the first-ever edition of the Castle Round Table.

Following a truly astounding season finale, our staff was left with no choice but to debut this popular TV Fanatic feature in honor of the ABC hit.

Below, critics Christine Orlando, Jeffrey Kirkpatrick, Courtney Morrison and Chandel Charles pick apart "Knockout." As always, reader feedback on the following topics is encouraged...

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What did you think of Montgomery's involvement in Beckett's mother's murder?

Christine: I thought they did a fantastic job of showing how he made a serious mistake in his younger days and spent the rest of his career trying to atone for it. It added a wonderful complexity to his relationship with Beckett and showed Montgomery as a flawed hero instead of a villain. Ruben Santiago Hudson is such a pro. I'm really going to miss him.

Jeffrey: Completely shocked. Never entered my mind that he would be a part of it. Loved it because rarely on a procedural does a member of the core cast get offed like this and in both villanous and heroic fashion. It opens the series up a bit to taking risks when you remove the barrier that assumes everyone is safe. Watch out, Ryan and Esposito!

Courtney: I was shocked! Montgomery’s always been so good to her, I never would have thought it was to make up for something. I realized he was hiding something but I didn’t think it was that he was the third cop! Have to say, one of the best twists I have seen all season on any show.

Chandel: It was surprising, yet I somehow expected it given the story about how they met, there was a hint of something I couldn't quite place on Montgomery's face and I just knew. What was best about it was how much we learned about Montgomery in his final episode. There was redemption in his actions and it will be sad to continue this journey without him. He was young and made a mistake, but spent his entire career trying to correct it by making Beckett the best detective he could.

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What would you like to see in a new Captain next season?

Christine: Someone who isn't a fan of either Castle or Beckett. That type of thing can be used for drama and comedy. Beckett will have to prove all over again that she's earned her place as the head of the team. Maybe even have Beckett go to the mayor and ask to have Castle remain at the precinct when the new Captain wants him gone. Have Beckett fight to keep Castle around for once. That would be a great twist.

Jeffrey: Breasts. Seriously, I actually would like to see a female captain. It would introduce a different dynamic for the series.

Courtney: I wouldn’t mind seeing Ryan take the job, then we could see a rougher side of him.The new Captain definitely needs to be on board with Castle hanging around. Maybe a woman? Even up the playing field a bit while giving Kate a challenge.

Chandel: Someone wary of Castle's involvement with the department to give the show another angle to work plot wise. Maybe a woman just to get some more girl power in the NYPD, plus I think it would present an opportunity for Beckett to maybe make a female friend in the department. Marlowe has presented himself with a wide array of storytelling opportunities with this sudden vacancy.

How will Castle's confession (that he loves Kate) be handled?

Christine: I'd love for them to handle it straight on but that just isn't Castle. I think Kate has issues she needs to work out before she can openly reciprocate those feelings but I think she needs to give him some hope to stick around.

Jeffrey: Oh, they'll find some way to draw it out. Coupling on a procedural is dicey, particularly with your two leads. The will they or won't they is part of what keeps Castle fans simultaneously excited and frustrated. Why ruin a good thing (ratings-wise)?

Courtney: Hopefully the writers won’t go the typical route in that Beckett never heard him because she was unconscious. The perfect scenario would be Kate waking up in the hospital and saying “I love you too, Rick.” One can only dream...

Chandel: In a way that's very true to their relationship. I think it should be handled in the break room over coffee or something; coffee has always been their subtle sign of affection for one another. Give them some time to get Kate through her recovery so that his confession and their discussion isn't just something said in the moment Castle thought he was losing her. Adds a little bit of credibility.

Do you want to see Castle and Beckett get together in season four?

Christine: Absolutely.  I'm tired of every show keeping their leads apart. It's so boring! Castle and Beckett have amazing chemistry. They'll make such a fun couple with lots of new story avenues to mine. I'm okay with the show taking its time and I'm all for enjoying the ride, but I'll be horribly disappointed if we don't see them move this relationship forward by mid-season. Watching these two date will be sweet, funny, and really entertaining.

Jeffrey: No. I really don't ever want them to get together. (Gonna get hate for that one.) I love that they care for each other, but would rather it be as best friends rather than anything amorous.Why does every show HAVE to couple its main characters?

Courtney: I understand the writers' hesitation to build up the relationship before making them a couple, but come on, it’s season four! Even if they don’t get together in a full-on relationship, they need to move a little forward. I wouldn’t mind some between the sheets action. I’m just saying.

Chandel: They aren't ready yet. Plot-wise, it seems that Castle is going to come into some information that he'll be keeping from Beckett regarding her mother's murder. I don't know if they can really be together until Beckett's mother's murder is solved. What they can do is continue to maintain their strong partnership, deal with Castle's confession, and then build from there in a way that's true to them, which I know Andrew Marlowe will pursue with great care. Great love stories take time.

Which secondary character(s) had the best scene and which scene?

Christine: Martha's scene with Rick when she calls him out on how he can't voice his feelings was such a powerful moment. Susan Sullivan maybe gets one scene an episode, but boy does she know how to make it count. 

Jeffrey: When Ryan and Esposito found out about Montgomery's involvement. Their opposing reactions and near throwdown over it was fantastic.

Courtney: A definite tie for Ryan and Esposito. Their scene outside the bar after discovering Montgomery’s role in the case was outstanding. Their bromance is always a highlight on the show, but these two displayed some real acting, both emotionally and physically.

Chandel: I think Ryan and Esposito's moment in the alley was another favorite moment because they were so torn up about the possibility of Montgomery being the third man that they got into a little skirmish. Neither one of them really wanted to admit the possibility. Even though they roughed each other up, their relationship is so strong that it only took a single look between the two of them to convey understanding and forgiveness. It's a rare thing for two people to have that kind of relationship, so I appreciate it's portrayal in the episode.

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-I figured he would be the character to be killed but I never thought that would be the reason. I was shocked. It was a great story twist but they did it while keeping the integrity of the character. -I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with thinking about a new Captain yet. It's going to change the dynamic at the precinct. I do like the idea of Kate having to fight to keep Castle around for a change. That would show a big shift in their relationship. -I have no idea how they'll handle Castle's confession but as long as they don't ignore it or pretend it didn't happen and they use it to move the story forward I think I'll be happy. -Yes! I completely agree that keeping them apart is BORING and that every show does that. The Castle writers are so talented and Nathan and Stana's chemistry is off the charts. There's no reason why making them a couple can't be great TV. -Everyone was brilliant in this episode but my favorite was Montgomery's last stand at the hangar. So powerful. I'm going to miss him.

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I'll add a hearty "amen" to what lv2bnsb wrote

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I particularly liked this: Christine: I thought they did a fantastic job of showing how he made a serious mistake in his younger days and spent the rest of his career trying to atone for it. It added a wonderful complexity to his relationship with Beckett and showed Montgomery as a flawed hero instead of a villain. Ruben Santiago Hudson is such a pro. I'm really going to miss him.

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I love this show and I loved this season and I absolutely LOVED this episode. Every bit of it. The final scene might have been a bit cheesy, as was the scene with Beckett's Dad, but this is tv. The rest was Emmy worthy. The film editing and musical score was phenominal. I loved the scene with Ryan and Esposito, and I loved it when Castle threw the drink - he looked so strong and angry and exactly how I would have imagined "in real life" after what had happened. I was also extremely impressed with how the writers handled tying nearly every loose end in the show - bringing any past fan comments on continuity to a crashing halt. The writers also knocked it out of the ballpark with the conversation between Martha and Castle. To watch him struggled to voice his feelings really explained why he has been silent to Beckett all this time: it's not just timing. He can play around and joke and be verbose and clever when talking about other people, but when it comes to himself he is tongue tied. We will miss the Captain greatly: what an incredible sacrifice the producer made for the sake of the show as a whole. The storyline has just gotten better and better. I hope that this coming season we have some tangible movement into a relationship between Beckett and Castle - otherwise their chemistry starts to seem unrealistic. (I stopped believing in Bones/Booth by the end of season 4) I mean, who loves someone for that long and doesn't go forward? Thank you for your roundtable discussion! This is a great show and reviews like this are always fun to read - keep writing them and we'll keep reading them.

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She expresses love as well but cannot deal with that right now given the shock, blah, blah. They will be closer during the season. Who will be the new captain is an interesting issue and a women certainly a option. Castle will remain in his advisor role, city politics always trumps.

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Great to hear all the different points of view. Next time you should make it a video! It'd be cool to see you all talking about the show and bouncing ideas off of each other.

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One has to say ABOUT TIME with have a Castle Round Table! Looking forward to season four even more now if these continue :-)

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It's taken me a week to calm down about the ending...I know everything has to end with a cliffhanger, but c'mon this sucks. I loved how Montgomery's reveal went, it was a surprise but not a shock to see someone close to Kate be involved in what happened to her mother. As far as the confession goes all I can say as a Firefly fan is how long have we all waited to see Nathan get his girl? Just give him this one! I know it will most likely be a long drawn out hollywood thing but I hope we don't have to wait too long for a little hapiness for the 2 of them.

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What did you think of Montgomery's involvement in Beckett's mother's murder?
~ I thought that it was an amazing and completely unexpected twist that nobody saw coming. What would you like to see in a new Captain next season?
~Someone who either hates Beckett, Castle or both. I think that it would add more dynamics to the characters and it could possibly even become a catalyst with the Castle/Beckett (or I as call them Cas-kett) romance, because I really want to see them together, they make such and adorable couple. How will Castle's confession (that he loves Kate) be handled?
~ As sad as it may be, I think that Beckett being shot will be a bad nightmare of Castle's and that he really did say "I Love You." BUT! if it wasn't a nightmare I hope that Castle is gonna be the first face that Beckett sees and (even though it probably won't happen) Beckett will bring up the topic and say "I Love You." back to Castle. Do you want to see Castle and Beckett get together in season four?
~ I really hope so! Not right away though. I love them together and I think that they'd be amazing together as a couple. But something else that will have a big impact on them (as a couple) needs to happen first. Which secondary character(s) had the best scene and which scene?
~ I think that Ryan and Esposito win Hands Down! when they had just found out about Montgomery being a part of the entire 3rd cop business it made you feel like you were there, or at least it did with me, because everyone thought that it would be someone unexpected and never introduced. Plus the fact that Ryan and Esposito then fought each other and then instantly resolved their issues as best as they could with just one thought and one look, it made it SO much better! I can't wait until next season! ^_^

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Great discussion on a fantastic, emotional, surprising, game-changing finale for the best show on TV. Montgomery- His involvement was handled in a moving, realistic way. Amazing that they were able to keep his dignity and heroic qualities despite his betrayal and sins. I will miss Ruben Santaigo-Hudson immensely. He rounded out the precinct team with humor and charm. New captain- It's hard to imagine anyone else in the role or think that someone else will have such a great dynamic with the others. I think it will make for interesting story-telling to have some friction between the new captain and the others, especially Beckett and Castle. Gender doesn't matter too much to me as long as the new captain is not a potential significant other for Castle or Beckett...really hoping the love interest obstacle story lines are played out. I'd love to see Beckett fighting to keep Castle as her partner. Castle's confession- As long as Beckett realizes what he said at some point and Castle does not take it back, I am looking forward to seeing how it plays out. I don't expect it to be dealt with directly for a bit, but I hope there are signs that the fact that it is 'out there' has influenced the Castle/Beckett dynamic. Castle and Beckett- Yes, I would like to see them slowly make their way toward a relationship with each other in Season 4. These two have the chemistry and great writing behind them to make their coupling interesting, fun, and sexy. Too many shows go to absurd lengths to keep the leads apart and kill the chemistry in the process, or make a coupling about a series of break-ups and reunions. Castle and Beckett have such great potential to be even more interesting in a relationship. Their personality differences and personal baggage will maintain the tension and interest. But if they decide to go this route, I hope they won't rush anything. The baby steps along the way are infinitely more interesting than rushing past the good stuff. Secondary character moment- That's tough. I loved the raw altercation between Ryan and Esposito, and Montgomery shined throughout. But I think I'll have to go with Martha. Susan Sullivan delivered a perfect scene as she managed Castle's fears and confusion and advised him not to waste a minute.