Credit: Vivian Zink/ABC
Castle | Monday, 10-11 p.m., ABC The ''I love you'' uttered by Castle (Nathan Fillion) to Beckett (Stana Katic) ?as she lay injured from a gunshot in…
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UPDATE: A comprehensive recap awaits you just after the jump! And visit EW’s InsideTV blog after the west coast airing for thoughts from executive producer Andrew Marlowe!

A more fleshy recap of tonight’s Castle is on the way, just as soon as I get my heart out of my throat and I stop weeping like a child. But for the time being, sound off here about tonight’s season 4 finale. [Don’t read on if you haven’t seen the episode. For real.]

Tonight’s episode of Castle was said to have developments that would fundamentally change Castle and Beckett’s relationship forever. As promised, it did. Let’s examine:

The episode began with Beckett hanging off the edge of a building — and I don’t mean that figuratively. (If you needed a sign that this was going to be a good episode, this was it!) We then backed up to three days earlier, where it was business as usual. Alexis was planning her Valedictorian speech, Castle was giving fatherly advice, and the dynamic duo were called to the scene of a murder. But this was not a regular murder. As we’d been told in the previews, this case had ties to Beckett’s mother’s murder.

The team eventually came to find out that the victim — a down-on-his luck former gang member who’d been recruited by an unknown party to steal documents from Capt. Montgomery’s home — was killed by the same man who shot Beckett. Instantly, we saw Beckett get that determined look on her face — the one that always indicates that she’s going to kick some ass, the one that tends to make Castle very, very nervous.

For a while, the rest were on board with Beckett’s method of flying under the official radar, but before too long, there were fractures in the group. Det. Ryan wanted to start working in a more official capacity, while Esposito and Beckett preferred working alone to protect the secrets they had on Montgomery and prevent other dirty cops from learning their next move. For his part, Castle stood by Beckett — until he received a worrying phone call from the Mysterious Warning Man who’d called him earlier this season.

“I can’t control the situation if you can’t control her,” he told Castle. That was all Castle needed to hear.

The next day, just as it became clear that Castle was doing everything to quietly shut things down, a development came in the case: They had a face (courtesy of a church security cam). Castle knew he couldn’t stand by any longer. He had to come clean. So he did.

EW made part of that scene available for you on Friday. But the rest of it was even better!

“You have to stop,” he told her. “…if you don’t stop they’re going to kill you, Kate.” He went on to detail the deal that had been set up to protect Kate. The deal that he’d kept from her. “I was just trying to keep you safe,” he pleaded.

The feeling of betrayal read all over Kate’s face — especially when Castle said he’d met with the mystery man. The expression only faded when Castle brought up the moment she’s been avoiding all year: when he told her he loved her. “You’re bringing this up now?” she asked. “How am I even supposed to trust anything you say?”

“Because of everything we’ve been through together! Four years, I’ve been right here. Four years, I’ve been waiting for you to open your eyes and see that I’m right here, and I’m more than a partner,” Castle said, tearing up. “Every morning I bring a cup of coffee just so I can see a smile on your face because I think you are the most remarkable, maddening, challenging, frustrating person I’ve ever met. And I love you Kate, and if that means anything to you — if you love me at all — just don’t do this.”

But she had to — or so she thought.

After Beckett stubbornly declared that she intended to continue her investigation, Castle said he couldn’t watch her get killed. So he walked away. He was out. But once Beckett actually caught up to he man and was, once again, put in grave danger, her perspective changed. Hanging off the side of the building, literally hanging on for her life, she found herself thinking of Castle.

Part of me really thought it was going to be Castle who pulled her up from the ledge — and I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t. But since Castle was at Alexis’s graduation, I guess it wasn’t realistic. Plus, what we got was better.

After being saved again — and quitting the police force!! — Beckett found herself on Castle’s doorstep. I was reduced from tears from this point on. (But if I’m being honest, they started during Alexis’s speech, especially when she said, “There are some people who are so much a part of us, they’ll be with us no matter what. They are our solid ground — our North Star — and the small, clear voices that will be in our hearts…always.”)

Oh, God. I’m crying again.


Episode Recaps

Castle | Monday, 10-11 p.m., ABC The ''I love you'' uttered by Castle (Nathan Fillion) to Beckett (Stana Katic) ?as she lay injured from a gunshot in…
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