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Character Development: Richard “Ricky” Castle, Castle “The Final Nail” 

Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Larkey

“The Final Nail” was suspenseful and featured some great Castle and Beckett interaction, even though the case put them at odds. Said case involved a friend of Castle’s from his days when he attended boarding school, so we were bound to learn something new about our favorite writer/detective helper.

Damian Westlake’s wife was murdered and, it turned out, Castle knew him back in the day. So, Rick went above and beyond to try and prove his friend’s innocence. And in the process, we found out exactly how significant Westlake’s presence in Rick’s life really was after he kept insisting Damian wasn’t capable of murder.

Castle told Beckett how when he was 14, his mom sent him to boarding school. He was homesick and he didn’t have any friends; so he wrote about it. He ended up submitting a story to the school’s literary magazine — Damian was the editor who recognized “Ricky” was something special. He was basically a mentor to a young Castle and helped him dig deeper. A break-your-heart moment came when Castle told Beckett how Damian was the first one to ever tell him, “You have a great talent.” That’s something you never forget and I understand why Castle had such “unshakable faith” in his old friend. Because, as Castle said: “Without Damian Westlake, I’m a lawyer. I’m a grifter. I’m a rodeo clown. But I’m not a writer. Without him, I’m not me.” Could you imagine a life without Castle? I’m sure Beckett can’t and I can’t either.

The case was difficult for Ricky — loved hearing that nickname, by the way. Nicknames also equal character development in my book. Anyway, too bad the faith he had in his former mentor was misplaced. While he didn’t murder his wife, Damian sure as hell ordered his father’s murder; all in the name of money and a life spent in leisure. Poor Castle wasn’t completely right and he wasn’t completely wrong. And although he and Beckett went through some friendship turbulence, in the end, they emerged stronger than ever. I think it was good for Beckett to see Castle a little vulnerable as he opened up to her. Nathan Fillion did an amazing job with the scene where he revealed the information about his past.

Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Larkey

And I also loved the way Beckett wouldn’t back down with her partner. She needed to get him to see that it’s been a long time since Damian was the mentor/hero from his memories. Westlake was this supportive figure for him at a time when he was very lonely. But, in the present, Castle kept learning things about his friend that weren’t so favorable. You could see little inklings of doubt flicker in and out, but he refused to waiver until there weren’t any other options left. Beckett put it best:

“The Damian that you think you know, doesn’t exist. You made him up just like you made up Derek Storm. Just like you made up Nikki Heat. He’s a character in this story that you told yourself when you were a homesick 14-year-old little boy. And maybe it’s time to let him go.”

By the end of “The Final Nail,” Castle had no choice but to let his version of Damian Westlake go.

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