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Bones and Castle: The Shipping Report

Bones and Castle: The Shipping Report
by Adrea Scheidler

Two destined-to-be-classic ships that haven’t quite captured me are Bones’ Brennan/Booth and Castle’s Rick/Kate. I put them together here because they are two ships you’d think would work for me, but they both have the same flaw in both conception and how they were carried out.

As per most stories with a male & female protagonist partnership we all knew that these guys were destined for a romance - failed or otherwise. I have no problem with that part of it. I’m okay with the basic rules of storytelling. In other words, I’m not bemoaning the predictability of it all. I like predictability to an extent because it gives us time to anticipate. And we all know a big part of what makes any romance work is the anticipation.

The issue I had with Castle was that there was absolutely no reason these two wouldn’t get together fairly quickly into their acquaintanceship. Sure there was a little bit of a class disparity, but basically they were both, at the start of the show, adult,unattached, free from deadly diseases and mostly free from big dangerous skeletons in their respective closets. From watching the first season I know the runner was supposed to be the mysterious unsolved murder of Beckett’s mother and I know that is now causing another relationship obstacle in season 8. But, I dunno, it was a pretty weak obstacle if it hasn’t come into serious play until season 8.

Bones has a similar issue that they tried to cover up in two ways. First they made a point of Brennan’s childhood trauma creating a person that has very real obstacles to finding intimacy. Ok, that’s one step above Castle. But then, they negated that by introducing romances with other viable options on the show. It was the old “throw a wrench into the works in 1 of 3 cliche ways” but in Bones’ case, it was not only transparent - but it screwed with the fundamental canon of the show which is that the reason she can’t be with Booth is because she can’t function in a relationship. Their second attempt at fixing the “why would they NOT just get together” was to reveal in flashbacks that their initial chemistry had in fact sent them into the romantic waters when they had first met, but, thru a series of miscommunications, nothing had come of it. Now that I write it out I feel like they should get some more credit for that idea, it’s just that it came - how many seasons in?

ALL that said - I still DVR both shows. I’m a HUGE fan of Nathan Fillion so I look forward to binge watching it all again once it’s all over. AND I have faith that neither show is going to pull a “we’re better off apart” at the end of their eventual runs. There, NOW I have something to anticipate.
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