With so many important moments in the Season 4 finale of "Castle," fans might not have paid much attention to the fissure between Det. Esposito and Det. Ryan. There are important aspects of the separation between these two friends. The roadblock in their relationship is as important as many of the other cliffhanger moments in the episode.
In case you have forgotten, Ryan told Captain Gates about how Esposito and Beckett were going after the assassin without proper backup. Kate's realization of how she needed to be with Rick, and her suspension for not following procedure, were the catalysts for her resignation and eventual connection with Rick. Esposito saw his partner's actions as countering their friendship, and fans watched the partners separate moments before the two main characters came together.
"Castle" fans might think the connection between Kate and Rick is the most important aspect of the season finale, but they would be incorrect. The most important aspect was the negation of constants on the show and the death of Kate's normalcy. Before the season finale, Rick and Kate were still playing a game of emotional chess with each other. Kate was a cop who was dedicated to her job before anything else and had surrounded herself in walls to keep everyone from getting too close. Esposito and Ryan were as dedicated to their jobs as they were with each other.
It took the complete collapse of normalcy in Kate's world for her to finally make her connection with Rick. The fight between Ryan and Esposito is as important as Kate's resignation and as important as getting closer than ever to the assassin. Each of these moments worked as a line of dominoes falling. Without one of the dominoes in place, the line would have been broken. The creators would not have been able to tell a story of the complete collapse of constants in normalcy in Kate's life without having a direct impact on Esposito and Ryan.
Death Brings New Life
Storytelling has held an ideal of a death being needed to progress a new life for a character. In "Wuthering Heights," for example, Mr. Lockwood would not have gained his new life without learning the story of the departed Catherine and how Heathcliff died inside when she passed. In "A Christmas Carol," the death of Marley was the first step in Scrooge becoming a new man. The death of the relationship between Esposito and Ryan was an important moment in the show as it proved that what was constant in the past will not be in the future. Kate and Rick will be able to experience their new life together due to the sacrificed relationship between the two partners.
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