In defence of Javier Esposito

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Character hate likes to drift around the Castle fandom like an illness.

First there was the drama with Alexis Castle and what I'd like to call AlexisGate. The fandom turned on this character because of her dislike for and behaviour towards Beckett. To an extent Alexis' actions were justified. Alexis never knew the full story. She never saw what we saw. She never saw Beckett the way we did. Alexis had to sit idly by and watch her father throw himself in front of a bullet to protect the woman he loved. She had to watch her father pine over a woman who showed very little sensibility of returning his feelings. She had to watch a man so hopelessly in love that he would have little thought or regard for his life and continue to step foot in front of danger every day just to be close to Katherine Beckett.

Alexis was only ever trying to protect her father and you can't ever fault her for that. She has always been a little girl scared of losing the closest person in her life and you can't ever fault her for that either.

Take a walk in Alexis' shoes. If you had never seen the full picture, would your actions have been any different?

Then there was the Pi/moving out incident where everyone forgot that at the time Alexis was a nineteen year old kid blindly doing what she thought was right. Because, helloooooo, Alexis was nineteen and thought she had it all figured out like we all thought we did when we were nineteen (but if you haven't reached that perilous age yet - good luck). Alexis was bouncing between almost being an 'adult' and still being a teenager. Anywhere between the ages of 15 - 25 is hard. Alexis proved that.  Everyone was so quick to throw her under the bus for making a mistake she needed to make in order to grow as a person (and a character). But as Terri Edda Miller once tweeted: "she is not perfect and she is smart and she loves her dad. She's just going through a thing and I love her." Amen to that.

But now to the nitty gritty or should I say EspoGate.

Since the start of season seven, Esposito!Hate has began to drift and make its way steadily through the fandom. This has largely been due to his reaction to Castle's disappearance. I'm sure there's been inklings of EspoGate much earlier on for different things but for now we'll focus on Espo and Castle.

Esposito was the main character critical and trivial about Castle's disappearance, I mean, who disappears for two months on their wedding day amirite? Everyone's allowed to be suspicious. The guy's a detective for crying out loud, it's kind of in the job description. But Esposito is the main choice for someone to be highly suspicious of Castle and why he disappeared. Kate is clouded by her love for the man. Ryan is clouded by his awe and admiration. Esposito, on the other hand, is clouded by the depth of his loyalty towards Beckett. A loyalty that stretches beyond anything he has or ever had with Castle. It's a backstory that the show has never delved in to but really should.

When the evidence started pouring in in 7x01, it was understandable that their would be suspicions. Castle was never painted in a particularly good light. Castle was seen, bold as day, walking towards a dumpster with a bag of cash. Esposito was the only one that looked at it realistically. Kate walked out of the room needing air, unable to understand what she saw. Ryan refused to believe that there was the inkling of a possibility that Castle was involved in whatever it was.

At the end of the episode Esposito said "the guy faked his own kidnapping and then ran off. Now how could he do that to Beckett?" and just like with Alexis, he's only seen his side of the story. He's only seen the evidence he's been given. He's only had to watch Kate try to get into a burning car to see if there was a body. He's only had to watch his boss, his friend, his almost sister spend two months trying to find her missing fiancé. He was asking a question we were all thinking. How could Castle do that to Beckett? We don't know if Castle did that of his own free will or if he truly was kidnapped. The evidence was never in Castle's favour at this point and you can't deny that. Esposito is the one that looks at cold hard evidence and takes his realistic approach from that. Something that Beckett always did before Castle stepped on to the scene. Just because Espo is suspicious or critical of Castle doesn't make him any less loyal or any less of a friend. He wants answers. We all want answers. If you tell me that in his position and something like this happened in your life that you or someone else wouldn't react in the same way? Then the sorting hat must be a dog because I guarantee someone will.

Even after 7x20 we still don't fully know what happened to Castle because I for one am still struggling to believe that seriously out of whack theory that involved Chuck Norris, the CIA, Al Qaeda, and a Russian contract killer. It felt very Agents of SHIELD especially with the whole replacement of memories. Was Castle in Tahiti too?

Esposito was never wrong when he said that Castle's story doesn't add up because we only have half the puzzle. How can any story make sense when you only have half the puzzle pieces? It doesn't. Despite his reservations and despite his suspicions, Espo never stopped helping Beckett or Castle in unravelling this mystery. So if you're pissed because Esposito laughed when Castle started spurting out some jumble about Chuck Norris and a mysterious shoot out in a jungle then I think you need to check yourself. Who wouldn't laugh? It was pretty funny. I mean, Chuck Norris? But Espo came to realise - just as we did - that there was a Chuck Norris, just not in the way Castle's dreams envisioned it.

I will firmly defend Alexis Castle and I will firmly defend Javier Esposito because they have each been given realistic character arcs and development. Not everyone is going to be all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to the relationship between Castle and Beckett or with his disappearance. There has to be variation. There has to be realism. There has to be a reason for every single one of these characters to exist and function as real human beings or else the writers are not doing their job right.


  1. I agree with you 100% about both Alexis and Espo. Very well stated.

  2. I agree with the comments posted. At one point last season I could not stand Alexis but once you understand why then you calm down.

  3. So well said, especially about Alexis. The whole Alexis Gate was made worse by Castle himself, who acted like a goon without a backbone the whole time PI was at the loft. His loft, his decision to let PI stay there. Alexis should have been told he was not allowed there...period. Secondly, Castle did not support Alexis even when Martha told him to at when viewing Alexis/PI apartment. He made the situation way worse. In my opinion I blame Castle more than a young 19 year old sheltered girl like Alexis. As for Espo, he has been snarky this season, but it has not bothered me.


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