Castle Cliff Notes: XX (+ a small rant)

Season 8 continues to roll as we move onto episode 2, XX.  This week some of the gaps from last week’s story were filled in as we learned Beckett’s side of events.  We also got to meet another new character, Vikram, and got more Hayley time.    It was full of action and intensity but also had its sweet moments to lighten the mood before the ending! So while we got some answers on what had Beckett on the run, we ultimately ended up with more questions.  No need to fear though there were still great moments to choose from and be sure to check out my final thoughts at the end of the countdown where I express my thoughts on season 8 so far.

5. Booby Trapped Desk
Castle gets followed by some the assassins back to Castle’s PI office.  Castle and crew are way ahead of the bad guys though as they set them up.  Ryan and Espo come out of the hidden room and hit the two baddies with tasers taking them down just in the nick of time.  Castle questions what took them so long and they blame him for distracting them with a fully stocked bar and satellite TV in his hidden room as well as the ability to order sushi, on Castle’s dime of course. They think they are in the clear but Hayley walks in with another assassin behind her holding her at gunpoint.  He makes them drop all their weapons but little does he know Castle has a secret weapon hidden away.  Castle pops the gun out of his desk and shoots assassin #2 right in the Kevlar.  Vikram, in awe, says “You are so cool.”  I couldn’t agree more Vikram, that was pretty badass.  These scene combined a lot of my favorite elements of Castle: we had action, the boys giving Castle a hard time (which I always find fun), and Castle using his crazy gizmos and tricks to save the day (well kind of).  I was happy to see the tricked out office go to good use and to see the gang working together again.  You know Castle was absolutely LOVING Vikram calling him cool too… I mean he is just a big kid after all.  Action, comedy, and tricks?  Count this moment in!

4. Orange Is the New Bracken
            You had to have known the Bracken scene was going to make it this week right?  I mentioned last week that I was excited to see this and I really enjoyed it.  Beckett awaits Bracken as he is brought into the room and he says “Detective Beckett.  You are the last person I expected to see.”  Beckett asks if he thought she would be dead by now and smugly he says he doesn’t know what she is talking about.  Beckett tries to jog his memory but bring up McCord and other dead agents but he continues to play dumb.  Beckett then brings up LokSat which appears to hit a nerve with Bracken as he becomes more rigid in his posture.  He questions how she knows about LokSat and he tries to end their discussion.  He explains that just by being there with him she has put a target on his back and she may as well kill herself now.  Bracken continues saying “you have stumbled onto something which is so over your head.  I’m amazed your still alive” before leaving the room. Bracken and Beckett always bring the intensity and the way Bracken responded to Kate’s information really hit home how serious her situation was.  I also now believe that Bracken really didn’t know a lot about the dead agents and was also a pawn in this giant scheme we still don’t know much about.  I mean he did end up dead later…  What do you guys think LokSat is?

3. No More Lies…Again
Back at Castle’s PI office he pulls Beckett aside. Castle, displeased, says “you lied to me. You looked me right in the eye and you lied to me.” Beckett tells Castle she couldn’t disclose information about Vikram to him because of AG protocols but Castle is quick to point out that she isn’t with the AG anymore.  Beckett explains she did it to protect him but Castle says all he wants is the truth. Castle asks if she has any idea how worried he was and Beckett replies “Yea I do. I was gone for 36 hours. A Year ago you were gone for 8 weeks.”  Castle tries to say if was different but Beckett expresses how she still trusted him even though he can’t remember six of those weeks.  Castle explains he is worried about Beckett going off alone as they work better as a team.  They vow to have no more secrets and hug it out.  While I like Caskett fluff, Caskett drama also has its moment.  I think Castle’s concern for Beckett being gone was warranted but Beckett asking for his trust because she trusted him while he was missing was a perfect counterpoint.  Unfortunately, like Castle, the fandom has also seen this type of discussion before and while it may have sounded like they made a promise to avoid secrets we know better.  Still, this was a great exchange between Castle and Beckett and a good performance by Nathan and Stana.

2.  Reunited
Finding Beckett, Castle takes down Vikram as he shoots.  Stunned, Beckett asks what he is doing there and Castle casually replies “Isn’t it obvious? I’m rescuing you.”  Castle explains to Beckett that he found Vikram isn’t who he says he is and that he is the AG mole.  Vikram pleads his case and Hayley confirms that the guy Vikram shot was in fact going to shoot at them.  The two men plead their side of the story with Vikram asking Beckett to believe him while Castle says “You can’t trust him.” Beckett tells Castle Vikram can be trusted and Castle starts to argue but Beckett interrupts him saying “Castle just shut up and kiss me.”  Hayley interrupts asking if they can finish a little later which leads to Castle introducing Hayley to Beckett who thanks her for taking care of Castle.  Hayley jokes “it’s a lot of work I don’t know how you do it.”  Castle and Beckett then share a hug as the scene changes.  The obvious thing I loved here was the kiss and the hug.  I LOVED Beckett shutting Castle up by telling him to kiss and it was a perfect “reunited at last” kiss.  I also liked how it was written for Castle and Vikram to be telling Beckett to believe different things because you could tell she was torn between weighing her trust between her husband and the man she has been on the run with.  Now obviously she trusts Castle but in this case she used professional judgment and brought Castle around to her side. Also, Hayley meeting Beckett was perfect.  I love that they joked about Castle and Hayley’s personality is a good fit for the dynamic between the Castle main characters.  I really like Hayley if you couldn’t tell… 

1. Captain Beckett
With the gang all back together, Castle gathers everyone around to introduce for the first time Captain Kate Beckett.  Everyone applauds which leads to the new Captain giving this amazing speech. 

“You know I thought I would be spending my first few days here with my head buried in paperwork but so much for that.  It’s an honor to be here especially considering all of the captains that have come before me. And if I was a poet or a bestselling novelist then maybe I would have a better metaphor. But The 12th precinct she’s our home, our haven, and even if she is beaten down or shot up she’s still special because this is where we get to make a difference. And I am so privileged to be able to do just that with each and every one of you. So that being said, stop standing around doing nothing and get back to work.”

I love Kate’s passion for the 12th and this is why I’m so happy they chose the Captain route over the Senate route.  Beckett has put in so much time to the 12th and she and the rest of the team are so dedicated to making a difference for the victims and their families. I feel like she will be an excellent leader and push her team to give 100% and be proud of the work they do.  I don’t even work there and I was ready to go! When can I report for duty Captain Beckett?

Final Thoughts (aka I rant again... sorry guys):
            Let me start with some positives here.  First off, I am really enjoying the new characters so far!  I like what Vikram and Hayley bring to the 12th precinct family and think that their characters will continue to fit in well as the season progresses. I’m also super hopeful for more Hayley/Beckett scenes because these two could team up against Castle!  I’m a little partial to this though because I love sharp witted women.  Also, Martha made a short, but sweet, appearance in this episode which always brings my mood up.  On another note, it’s great to see everyone back at the 12th working together and the acting this season has been awesome!
            That being said there are some things that are bothering me.  First off, the appearance of Castle’s stepmom was just random and I felt like her only plot device was to lead Beckett towards the idea of temporarily leaving Castle.  I like that she seems to be a person who is wired similarly to Beckett in her fight for justice but really lady?  Leave the Caskett alone haha!  Also, it bothers me a little that once again we go to Beckett and Castle for lack of a better term “breaking up.”  I feel like they have had the whole no lies conversation so many times and I get that part of Beckett’s character is her drive for justice and she wants to protect Castle but I feel like her character has developed enough to be able to let Castle in at least a little and help her out.
Now, I’m going to go a little unpopular opinion on this one.  As I said before, personally I think Beckett is a little past this whole ditch Castle routine but at the same time I get WHY she did it and how she is probably justifying it in her head.  I didn’t like the final scene of this week’s episode but you could see the anguish and mental game of tug of war Kate was playing with her decision to leave/not to leave Castle. That doesn’t mean it’s my favorite storyline but hey we will see what happens. After all, it’s not like Beckett is divorcing Castle.  She said it was temporary so hopefully we can sort out this whole LokSat thing quickly and get Caskett back to normal.  Can’t we just give Caskett a little happiness since their wedding?  Pretty please?

            See, its ok to not like things about Castle and still be a fan. So put your pitchforks down people.  Discuss the episode but be respectful.  It’s ok if you don’t like Castle at all right now and I get it!  It’s a crazy start to the season and not everyone is going to love it or even like it.  You may even hate it!  Heck, I don’t like everything about it but I still love the show as a whole, appreciate all the hard work that goes into it, and will continue to watch it every week to see where this story takes us. Who knows, this could be fun to watch (assuming they don't keep Caskett apart too long ;-) ) If you hate it that much you have the freedom to hit the channel up or down button on your remote but don’t belittle and degrade those who work hard on Castle on a daily basis.  Also, just like before I’m not saying you can’t post negative opinions on social media (we are all entitled to our own opinion) but don’t directly target others.  I just saw that a Castle crew member is taking a twitter hiatus because of the fan negativity.  Referring back to my open letter to the fandom:  RESPECT.  Keep an open mind if you choose to continue watching and lets see where this story takes us. Be respectful of all opinions because for every fan who hates the season so far there are ones who love it.  Personally I want to hear all from all sides of the fandom without feeling like the sky is falling and I have to walk on eggshells if I saw I like or dislike something.  Keep it friendly guys and respect all positive, negative and neutral opinions that are expressed in a civil manner (thats right... negative opinions are ok too).   

So as a final thought let’s remember what Kate Beckett taught us: “Even on the worst days there’s a possibility for joy.” Chin up Castle fandom. 

Xo Always ~DenialLove
DenialLove Founder, Administrator, Editor and Writer

The moment that I met you, my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self, to look forward to tomorrow's adventures. And when I was vulnerable, you were strong. I love you, Richard Castle. And I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life, always. - Kate Beckett The moment we met, my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You're the last person I want to see every night when I close my eyes. I love you, Katherine Beckett. And the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend, and your partner in crime and life, 'till death do us part, and for the time of our lives. - Richard Castle

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