Review: Castle 8.08

Summary: Beckett and Castle investigate a murder on a cruise ship that ends up intersecting with Beckett and Vikram’s Locksat investigation. In the process of solving the case, Castle discovers what Kate’s been hiding.

Best Scene: In one of the precinct’s interrogation rooms (appropriately), Castle confronts Beckett about her secret investigation.

Best Line: “Please don’t make me do this without you.” “O.k.”

My Review:  Let me start by saying that I’m happy with the outcome of this episode, I really am. I say that because I’m going to tear it apart in a moment here, and I want to focus on the good for a second: Castle and Beckett are back together. Yes, they have a lot of stuff to work out, and I’m already questioning whether or not Castle has really forgiven Kate for what she did, but they are back together. And, while it may be dumb for me to be optimistic about the rest of this season, I think they’re going to stay that way. That means we’re looking at fourteen episodes of a mostly happy couple before this season ends, which is more than I dared to hope for going into this episode. So yes, I’m very pleased with what this episode means for the rest of the season. But man! The journey there sure was sloppy.

Before I get into the messy relationship stuff, I want to talk about the case a little bit. Unfortunately, it felt largely pointless to me. I was excited about this one going into the episode, because it was billed as “Castle and Beckett solve a case together on a cruise ship”, which made me hope for something akin to “Cuffed” or “Once Upon a Time in the West”, with Castle and Beckett off on their own, flirtatiously building theory and hopefully working through their issues in the process. Instead, a decent chunk of their time on board was spent separately, and they were back on dry land by the thirty minute mark. The only real scene of note between them there was the one where they talked Titanic, which, while romantic and sweet, ultimately didn’t feel like enough given the potential there.

In fact, Kate ended up doing more investigating with Vikram than she did with Castle, though it didn’t lead to nearly as much progress in the Locksat case as I’d hoped for. Also, their interactions only increased my suspicions of Vikram. Calling Beckett during her anniversary “dinner” was pretty low, and his obsession with keeping them apart seems too extreme to just be about keeping the investigation a secret.

And, as it turned out, they weren’t successful in doing that, since Castle and Hayley figured out the truth. Unfortunately, that quick put together after months of ignorance did Castle no favors. One of my issues with this arc has been how dumb it’s made Castle look; I never found it believable that he wouldn’t question the timing of the breakup, wouldn’t figure out that it had something to do with Kate’s disappearance in the premiere. So, while I was glad that he finally did figure out the truth, I didn’t find it all that believable that he did so in a matter of minutes.

Plus, it took away from what could have been a powerful moment in this arc: Kate coming clean on her own. If that happened then this could have been about Kate slipping into old habits, but realizing that being honest with her husband was more important. Instead, coming clean to Castle felt like something she was forced into, rather than a moment of coming back to herself and her marriage, remembering what she learned about herself back in season four: that her happiness is worth more than any vendetta and that she doesn’t have to face her battles alone.

And then, instead of telling Kate the truth about what he knew, Castle lied to her, just as she did to him. I understand the temptation to do the same thing that she did, to fix their marriage the same way it was broken, but it was damn frustrating to watch, even if Castle did hesitate a bit before that hack-off between Vikram and Hayley. That scene was a lot of fun (especially with Castle and Beckett’s increasingly sexual comments to one another), but couldn’t erase my frustration over the two of them playing each other for information rather than actually talking.

Of course, they had that long overdue conversation soon after, but at that point it felt like too little too late. Two bits of dialogue I want to talk about in that scene: One, Castle saying “I would walk into a tornado for you.” and Beckett responding “And I would die if I lost you.” I liked that those comments were representative of their feelings about the breakup: Castle willing to do anything for Kate no matter what the risk and not understanding why she wouldn’t let him do just that, Kate so terrified of losing him (after losing so many people that she loved) that she couldn’t bear to tell him the truth, even if it meant losing his trust.

Two, Castle saying “Deep down inside, you like being broken. And you need this obsession. And no matter what I do, I can’t change that.” If the first piece of dialogue was painfully representative of their relationship, the second was painfully off-base. Kate does not like being broken. She proved that in season four, through months of therapy, months of letting her guard down, months of letting Castle into her heart, months of  healing herself from within. She likes being whole, she likes being happy, she likes being Castle’s wife. And I hate that both Castle and the writers of the show think otherwise. That conversation also showed why I’ve disliked this arc so much: it’s ignored years of character development for Kate, a character who has worked far too hard to have that happen to her.

Finally, that last scene at the loft. Like I said, I’m beyond pleased that our favorite duo is back together, and I’m glad that Kate admitted how poorly she handled the situation. But, as strange as it sounds, I wish that Castle had not said “O.k.” so easily. Yes, as he said, he would walk into a tornado for her, but he’s also always held her accountable, which I don’t think he did enough of here. Even if I hate what this storyline did to Castle, Beckett, and their relationship, I wish that the writers had committed to showing the ramifications of it. I’m actually holding out hope that Castle is not as over it as he seems to be, which, trust me, is not something I ever thought I’d say. But, it would at least make the last chunk of this arc more believable, which might make me feel a tiny bit better about the thing as a whole.

I also took issue with the way that scene ended. During the hacking scene, the talk of sexy times was hilariously over-the-top and made total sense in that context. At the end of the last scene, I don’t think it did at all. For one, switching from serious conversation to BDSM talk was a clumsy, clumsy segue. And, what’s more, they were talking of their first time together in months (aside from last week’s time-in),  and, call me crazy, but I’d hoped it would be a little more romantic than what they clearly had in mind.

Thoughts on this episode? Happy Castle and Beckett are (finally!) back together? Let me know in the comments!

 

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2 thoughts on “Review: Castle 8.08

  1. I appreciate all your thoughts and while I agree with most of them, I am just thankful that at least some progress is finally being made. And that they are back together. I have been very unhappy with this whole season but I love this show and the characters and hope that we will see better events after the break! Wouldn’t renewing their vows at the Hamptons be a neat way to end this stupid storyline?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I Can Agree To Some Of What You Said! But One Problem Was Really The Short Time Spans Of The Episode Itself! I Think The Solution Should Have Been A Two Parter! Just Like The First Two Episodes! Then The Story Line Would Have More Of A Stretch And That Maybe Would Have Made An End To The Separation More Interesting! What I Will Be Interested In! Is How Vikram Reaction Will Be Down The Line! When Ever The Time Comes! That He Is Told That Castle Now Knows What He Has Been Doing! I Just Feel he Is Somehow A Block! Between Castle And Beckett! And It Appears That He Is Against The Idea Of Castle Getting Involved! And To Me There Are Three Reason In My Mine! Number One He’s Part Of The Cartel! NumberTwo! He Might Be The Bad Connection In The CIA! Or! This Is Far Fetched And I Know This Will Never Happen! He Has A Romantic Issue In His Mind For Beckett! But The Saving Grace Is That Castle Is On To This Thing! And While Its A Secret! And LokSat Will Still Think They Are Separated! I Think That Vikram Will Be And Should Be Kept In The Dark! While He And Beckett Continue To Investigate! And Beckett Keeping Castle Informed! About Any Major Situation That Comes Up! And Of Course This My Opinion! The Key Satisfaction! For The Fan Base! Is That Separation Is Over! Regardless On How It Came About! And Yes While It Is A Secret! And Beckett Will Pretend To Act The Way She Did While They Were Really Separated! The Fans Can Take Great Comfort That They Are Now Pretending! And Should Not Think That The Show Runner Were Putting Wool Over Their Eyes! If That Were The Case! Fans Would Say Bye Bye! Because In Reading Different Articles I Know That Hawley And Winter Have Stated That The Separation Issue Has Be Resolved! To The Satisfaction That Rick And Kate Are Together For Real! But In Secret! And That Works For Me! Unless I Learn Other Wise!

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