Monday, September 29, 2014

What I Want From Castle Season 7

Like me, you're probably gearing up for tonight's premiere of Castle, rewatching the last episodes, reliving the gasp-worthy finale, and maybe making some silent demands to ABC about how the show is evolving.

I love Castle. I'm not worried about where season 7 is headed or how it will affect the show itself. I'm excited to see what they have in store for us and I have confidence that it's going to be great, as always.

No, what I really need from Castle is to see Ryan as a first-time dad.

Confession: I have a soft spot for Kevin Ryan.

Rephrase, I adore this character. He cracks me up, I love the camaraderie between him and Javi, he's loyal, he's kind of a goofball but he's smart, he always gets suckered into Castle's stories about curses and zombies, he rocks the sweater vests and three-piece suits. He's not ashamed to do what he thinks is right. In all honesty, what I love most about Ryan is that he is a do-gooder, even if it's not a cool thing to be. (Though, face it, Seamus Deaver makes it cool.)
He's always adorable, and everything leading up to the birth of his daughter was outrageously adorable. His jitters and his doubts about being a good father, trying to prepare and fumbling, and being completely terrified by Cosmo in "The Good, the Bad, and the Baby."


Added with the epically dramatic fact that he and Javier were trapped in a burning building with little chance of escape while Jenny was in labor, that picking the name for their child could have been the last conversation Ryan had with his wife, and Castle's good record of inserting bits of character story for flavor in a generic episode, it crushed me that I never got any hint of how Ryan was handling his new role as a father.

There wasn't a single mention. Zilch. Nada.


It baffled and disappointed me. The show did an excellent job of showing Ryan's ever-evolving relationship with Jenny, from her first introduction to the birth of their child, skillfully dropping tidbits in non-Ryan-focused episodes to make it feel natural in the work environment of the show. "Under Fire," I was all set for a tidal wave of Daddy Ryan feels. Showing off baby pictures to everyone who will look at them, gushing about how Sarah Grace Ryan is so beautiful and smart, getting new photos texted from Jenny every twenty-minutes because Sarah smiled or waved her hand or fell asleep with her cheek squished funny. Coming into work exhausted because the baby was up all night. Having Ryan constantly startled awake would have been a good gag for an episode. Again, worrying about being a good dad. Realizing that there is nothing in the world he wouldn't do to keep her safe.

Granted, there is a scene after Ryan comes back from paternity leave where he shows off a picture. A scene. Singular. I wasn't looking for another Ryan-centric episode, I just wanted to see how this development would affect him. I anticipated more.

So, ABC, you have a lot to make up for. I expect a great many Daddy Ryan feels this season. You can't leave me hanging on this, because it's messing with my Castle groove. Ryan is the kind of dad who would gush. Like, the Maes Hughes from Fullmetal Alchemist kind of gushing.

You can resolve your cliffhanger and send us all on a chase to find Castle, but after that I need a decent look at Ryan as a first-time dad.

I need it.

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