Popular Culture Review Vol. 28, No. 2, Summer 2017 - Page 66

but not Katic’s and Jones’. The reaction to this announcement was overwhelmingly negative. Fans took to social media and actively campaigned for the series' cancellation (Castle Trivia). For them there was no show without Beckett. The writers created an absurd finale that squandered any residual goodwill held by the fans. Perhaps, they wanted to end Beckett’s role. Caleb Brown, a minor character who did the dirty work for LokSat, suddenly appeared and shot both Castle and Beckett. Gasping for life Beckett crawled toward Castle. A commercial intervened, then an abrupt cut to a contrived “deus ex machina.” It was seven years later. Castle, Beckett, and their three children talked around the breakfast table. Three days before this pitiful episode aired, ABC cancelled Castle. Reviewer Lauren Piesteri observed, “So thank you, ABC.… We're all happier because of it” (Castle Finale). Narrative Devices The creator and writers of Castle employed a number of literary devices to develop a loyal audience. The first type centered around cementing the loyalty of Nathan Fillion’s large fan base by the use of hidden references to his considerable body of work. Marlowe called these “Easter eggs.” The writers also developed symbols, rituals, tropes, and running gags that bound fans to the show with a “secret handshake.” Fillion Fans Stana Katic was a relative newcomer to acting compared to Nathan Fillion. His body of work included roles in the soap operas One Life to Live and Desperate Housewives, the science fiction show Firefly, the film Saving Private Ryan, and the teen television classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Marlowe wrote in references to Fillion’s earlier work in the form of hidden features, artifacts known only to a select audience. The phrase "Always" appeared in the first episode of Firefly. Captain Malcom Reynolds, played by Fillion, asked his second-in-command if she was ready. Zoe replied, “Always” (Whedon). The writers used “always” as a verbal cue for the depth of Castle and Beckett’s devotion. They were intimate for the first time in the “Always” episode (4.23). The song “Always” by Robert Duncan plays in the background. PI Joe Flynn, Castle's alter ego in "The Blue Butterfly" (4.14), employed this meaningful word. Castle had the bracelet he gave Beckett engraved “Always.” Castle told Beckett, “I've always loved you, always” in “Driven” (7.1). 61