Review: Castle 8.20

In spite of myself, I really enjoyed this one. For whatever reason, whether the Shakespeare element (English major, at your service) or the actually light and fun Caskett subplot (a real rarity this season), I was able to put my Kate Beckett finale worries aside for the first time since the news broke and let myself be charmed. I’ll be adding this one to my admittedly short list of season eight episodes worth a rewatch.

As I said, the Caskett subplot was a lot of fun, allowing for some especially zippy banter and mentions of Castle’s hilariously over-the-top date nights; I have literally never been more jealous of Beckett than when I heard about the Hamilton one, though their Halloween subway adventure sounded pretty fun too. I also loved Kate trying to convince Castle that she’d had a plan all along by trying to pawn it off on Ryan, hiding her adorably guilty expression when Castle told her she was such a good everything, and rather ballsily trying to pass off Castle’s crimelord kidnapping as her idea of a fun evening.

The Shakespeare/theatre element was also fun, especially Ophelia’s questioning, with Castle and Ryan both gamely getting into the method acting and Espo refusing to participate. It also let Martha get in on the action in a believable way. The scene where Castle and the boys discovered her in Zane’s bed was funny, but it was nice how quickly Castle switched gears when Martha became worried that she’d gotten her student killed. Concerned son is always a nice color on Castle, and Kate played concerned daughter-in-law nicely as well when saw Castle’s kidnapping.

I had to roll my eyes a little at Castle not being suspicious of a mysterious black SUV (that’s what ran you off the road on the way to your wedding, dude), but that whole crimelord situation was a great example of this show’s adept ability to turn a serious moment on its head. Nathan Fillion plays terrified friendship so well, and his scenes with the crimelord were a great showcase. Kate tracking Castle down had a couple moments of note: one, the reveal that they can now ping their phones (my roommate thought this was creepy; I assured her it’s just pragmatic with how often their family members go missing), and two, Kate’s hilarious YOLO line, deadpanned to perfection by Stana Katic. I knew as soon as Castle named the card in the first scene that it was going to show up as a joke somewhere in the hour, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

I was stoked when I heard Jewel Staite was going to be in this one, so I felt a little betrayed that she ended up being the killer. My Kaylee-loving heart didn’t want to believe it!

The stuff with Ryan, Jenny, and Sarah Grace was really sweet, and I love that we got to see Dad-Kevin in action. It was nice to see Jenny and Sarah Grace again, especially with next season so uncertain. That storyline had humorous moments as well, with Kevin talking about wanting a unicorn, dancing in the box, and then taking things hilariously too far with his parking ticket threat.

Lastly, not to end on a bad note, but we can all agree that the firing talk in this episode (the director, Ryan from the school play, etc.) was a tad ill-timed, right? I know it was an unfortunate coincidence, but yikes!, especially to the mentions of Hollywood job security being hard to come by.

What are your thoughts on this episode? Did it distract you from the BTS news as well? Let me know in the comments!

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