The other day I saw a post stating that Kate has seen more criticism from fans this season than Castle when both of them lied to the other. And that the reason for that is double standards.
My first reaction was Hell no! That’s not why I don’t like Kate this season. But that’s me. Sometimes it feels like it’s just me.
Of course there are double standards in the fandom’s reaction that completely stops us from having nice conversations when talking about this season. I’ve heard every argument about how Kate should behave like a true wife (with all the sexist implications of that statement), I’ve read about Castle being a wimp this year and how he needs to show her (that he is a manly man that will not submit to her wishes, I guess), and of course, the fanfic that is fed by that idea has an overly masculine Castle that kicks ass and organizes people and meetings to keep control of what Kate does and, give me a break, that’s not Rick Castle either.
So yes, there are double standards based on gender that are annoying because Kate and Castle refuse to conform to stereotypical male/female roles and us old viewers with progressive 21st century minds can deal with that but there are people who don’t and they tend to be the loudest.
So why do I hate S8 so much and started to dislike Kate or excuse Castle’s lies and not hers? I stand by the answer that it’s not double standards.
Because no. I don’t excuse Castle and no, I don’t think that Kate is the worst and Castle doesn’t deserve her. What I dislike is the narrative.( Read more...Collapse )
And the narrative made us feel compassionate or sorry for Castle. It made Kate the bad guy, to an extent.
First, Kate was not written like the smart detective we know she is. She left Castle for the shock value(the writers thought that bringing the characters together again after a separation would serve to keep the audience coming back); she made and impulsive decision based on a flimsy fear and decided to go work with some guy she had just met in an arrogant attempt to bring down a guy (or group) who is already being investigated by a section of the CIA. None of this made sense. She and Castle talk about things at this point. Also, the excuse that she has is that she is protecting Castle, which is condescending at best but also; if you want to get serious about protecting him, don’t start an investigation that would endanger him. I mean, she put her mom’s case away for a little bit, you’d think she could put this away for a while.
And the thing is, the audience had to struggle to this character reverse development for months. And while we watched her make unnecessary hurtful decisions, we also watched Castle struggle with not understanding what was up and possible blaming himself.
So of course the bulk of the compassion would go to him. He became our wooobie, we wanted to hug him; the only one who would listen to him was a freaking machine, even his friends were not there for him when he was obviously going through something. And that’s what we saw, what the writes chose to show us.
Kate was struggling too, sure, we saw her biter her lip and cry about maybe throwing her marriage away (which was also the only phrase she seemed to utter about it), to Vikram. This guy who may or may not be trusted but who ultimately, is new and we don’t care about him.
And to add insult to injury, they (evil writers) don’t even let Kate redeem herself and come clean to Castle (I would have been somewhat appeased by that), no they have her and Castle playing mouse and cat until he catches her in her lies. And then, she gives a weak apology and sex and all is supposed to go back to normal-ish.
Umm no. that was unsatisfying. But let’s say it was ok and everyone was happy again.
That was 9 episodes and over three months of the audience reassessing their feelings for the characters. Followed by a few more months and some 4 episodes where we were shaky about the whole thing. And then comes the episode with the big reveal that Castle too lied, and he knew about LokSat.
But we don’t feel as betrayed by Castle as we did by Kate earlier on.
Wonder why. Double standards or narrative?
Well, if we take everything at face value, Castle was kidnapped on his wedding day, taken by the CIA to help out and then instead of returning home, he stumbles into the LokSat situation, gets shot, decides to get his memory wiped and never ever tell Beckett to protect her.
We know the first bit, we practically saw him get kidnapped (we didn’t actually see it happening but the implications were heavy) so we suffered for Kate because he was taken on his wedding day and we suffered for him because we were worried about him. And we wanted to know what happened to him.
Luckily, Castle was found after three months and just an episode so our suffering was short. And we sympathized with Kate big big time, but we never thought it was Castle’s own fault. This was not a power play between Castle and Beckett; this was a bad thing that happened to both of them.
That is a big difference with S8. We are still so much in the dark about what went on with Castle and LokSat that we can’t say that Castle made any decisions (other than wiping his memory) and the whole thing is so convoluted that we don’t even have strong feeling about what he did or why he did it. While we have a S8 where when can point and say “look this is Kate’s fault”, or look Kate should have done this instead of that; we Have a Castle S6-7 story where we just don’t know. We didn’t go through it with Castle so we don’t feel the same thing for the two plots.
Also, there are very obvious writing tricks that keep the balance in S8 against Kate: the fact that Castle’s video says that he knew Kate would go after LokSat if she found out so late in the game; that’s just a cheap trick to make us go “oh see, Past!Castle was right, look at how crazy she’s been this season” Castle was right to wipe his memory. The only thing that tallies up against him is that he lied by wiping his memory. So even the blame there is questionable.
Everything this season helps with the Castle is blameless and Kate is/was and will always be obviously unstable (mentally, as a partner) narrative. And that’s what annoys me the most, I hate that these writers put our characters against each other in the blame game, or the who loves whom the most.
I love Kate Beckett she was one of the most interesting and kickass characters on TV but this season completely killed her character.