Wednesday, June 8, 2011

When Good Characters Go Bad

Okay, in my last post here, way back on May 18th, I referenced another blog post, one I thought had been written by Meg. Apparently, I  totally dreamed this blog post up. However, it was a really good post, so I think she should write it anyway. Just sayin.

I'm about to reference another post and so, for the benefit of those of you who might be concerned that I'm once again imagining things, let me just say: Not this time, baby. This time I'm prepared. In today's post I'll be referencing one of Kate's blog posts, which you can find HERE .

 Okay, now that that's out of the way....

By now, it's been a few weeks since Castle's season finale so hopefully this post is not going to be in the nature of a spoiler for anyone. If you watch the show and haven't seen that episode yet, however, be forewarned; you're not going to like this post. But, then again, you probably won't like the episode either. I sure didn't.

A few days after the episode aired, I was chatting with an author friend of mine about whether or not it was necessary for an author to telegraph the fact ahead of time when an initially good-guy-seeming character was about to go off the rails. Or, rather, when an initially-good-guy-seeming character is about to be revealed as having been duplicitous, manipulative, murdering scum (in short, anything but good) all along.

My friend pointed to Castle as an example of how it was okay to pull this kind of stunt. I, of course, violently disagreed. Hence this post...which I'm writing in lieu of my overdue second chapter for Love's Savage Whiplash. So--shhh!--now you all know. ;)

Anyway, my point is this: Life in SeriesTelevisionLandia does not follow the same rules that govern most other forms of fiction. There are contract disputes to consider, as well as rating slumps, time-slot jumps, surprise cancellations...or the ever entertaining possibility of actors-acting-badly. *cough* Charlie Sheen *cough* Not to mention the occasional actor who is inconsiderate enough to actually fall sick or die during filming.

Really, what are they thinking?

I don't for a single minute believe that the writers of Castle are to blame for the mess that was this last episode. I'm sure they had no idea at the beginning of the series what they would be asked to do with Captain Montgomery's character. It's not their fault that they had to scramble around at the last minute...or the last few episodes...tacking odd bits of dialogue into otherwise sensible scripts. Throwing in small, seemingly pointless scenes that--even at the time--seemed to have no other purpose than a blatant attempt at foreshadowing. And, worst of all, trying to backtrack. Putting into a character's mouth words that should never have had a place there--not if anything that occurred over the course of the previous two seasons was anything to go by!

There was one scene in that episode that really spoke to me though. It took place in an alley behind a bar. Ryan and Espisito were nearly incoherent with frustration and disbelief about what Montgomery was doing...or had done...or whatever.

It was, IMO, the best scene in the episode...by which I mean to say, it was the only scene that didn't leave me scratching my head in confusion. I figure one of two things occurred. Either the actors were  adlibbing--giving voice to their own emotions about how screwed up the show had suddenly become. OR...the writers had inserted this scene, intentionally, in a last-ditch attempt to vent their own impotent rage and telegraph their annoyance at what they were being forced to do.

Either way, that scene worked for me the way the rest of the episode did not...and I'm not even going to discuss the insane plot holes and contrivances and sheer insanity that surrounded the ultimate denouement. Other than to say...really? We're supposed to believe Beckett couldn't take Castle in hand-to-hand combat? We're supposed to believe she didn't arrest him on the spot for obstruction of justice? Uh...yeah. I don't think so.

11 comments:

Maureen said...

No, no, no...tell us how you really feel!

Louisa Bacio said...

That scene between Ryan and Espisito was excellent. Any chance you read the spoilers for next season on EW.com? Just one tidbit of info coming out ...

Meg Benjamin said...

Reminds me of the season on Bones where they decided Zac was the villain, and you felt like huh??? And I also blogged about the end of series (as you'll no doubt recall) and the trainwreck that was Saving Grace. So yeah, I can totally relate.

PG Forte said...

Yes! The "Zac is evil now" storyline was also inspired by enormous stupidity.

And, yes, I do recall that. Should have linked to that post too.

My idea of a season finale done right, btw, would be this year's Mentalist. Again an initially good-seeming-guy turns out to be bad, but that had been foreshadowed all along and if you hadn't figured that out, you weren't paying attention. And the end, while outrageous and leaving you with a hint of, "well, how are they going to deal with this next season?" was not unexpected and left me with a feeling of, "it's about damn time!"

PG Forte said...

Louisa--I haven't yet, but I shall go and remedy that! Thanks for the tip!

Maureen--well, it you really want to know... lol!

Maureen said...

Meg - Sorry I missed your blog about how Saving Grace ended. I found it heartwrending, yet somewhat appropriate...

And I never got the Zac twist. Never, ever, ever...

PG Forte said...

Okay, so having read the spoiler I have only one thing to say. Next season I'll be watching Hawaii 50 with Kate, instead.

*grumble, brumble, brumble* "Who expects to be shot at a funeral?" Uh...gee, I dunno, cops, maybe??????

Erin Nicholas said...

I am not at all surprised to find we have similar taste in TV and that I agree with pretty much every point you made (except for ditching Castle for Hawaii 50. Sorry Kate.)

But I do think that Castle could take Beckett hand-to-hand. That boy doesn't get enough credit! :) With those powerful emotions behind him-- you bet. Plus Kate probably weighs, what? 98 pounds soaking wet? *G*
Erin

PG Forte said...

Yeah, but she's got training on her side and strong emotions. Plus, you're assuming she wouldn't fight dirty. ;)

daydrmzzz said...

I could never ditch Castle! That's why I have Tivo on all four TV's in my house, and they are double recorders- lol. It's bad I know :) I used to be a big TV buff before I found reading now my addiction tends to draw me to you all! :)

Kelly Jamieson said...

I apparently need to watch more TV cause I have no idea what this or any of those TV references were about. OMG I'm turning into my MIL who once asked me, "Who is this Madonna?" (No it wasn't 1984 it was probably 2004)