One of the major moments of the Season 4 finale of "Castle" was when Det. Kate Beckett turned in her badge and resigned from the NYPD. This moment might have been overlooked when people saw Kate and Rick finally connect or "Mr. Smith" being threatened by the assassin. The resignation and following moments were symbolic as they showed how the character has taken a major step.
Andrew Marlowe, the creator of "Castle," spoke to TV Guide about the resignation. "It's a reflection on what she's been doing with her life and how she's defined herself. This echoes back to a conversation she had with her therapist in 'Kill Shot' where she says, 'I want to move past this.'"
Definition of Her
Before the final episode of the season, Kate's goal in life was to find her mother's killer and ensure that justice was served. Seeking justice was the reason why she became a police officer and why she pushed herself to be the best that she could be. As Marlowe stated, the position she had was something that defined who Beckett was.
The resignation was a rite of passage for Kate as she moved from the previous goal in her life to her new goal in life. The badge was one of the items that helped to keep her mental and emotional walls in place. Think of the badge as "emotional scaffolding." Now that she realized it was time for her walls to come down, she did not need the extra support the badge and position gave.
Where her former goal was to find her mother's murderer, her new goal was to be with Rick. She left everything she had been on Captain Gates' desk in an attempt to arrive to Rick in a stripped down state. While she was fully clothed, the walls were no longer up, and she could no longer use the badge of her office to cloth her emotions.
The resignation was the death of the old Kate, and the appearance at Rick's door was the birth of the new Kate. The moment she turned in her badge, Beckett began a series of events that would change her life, and the show, forever. The series of events was full of symbolism and will be remembered as one of the most important quick series of events in the show's history.
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