Beckett considered a career change, while Castle received the Poe’s Pen career achievement award and hunted a creepy killer from his past on Castle Season 7 Episode 23.
Below, TV Fanatics Chandel Charles, Jim Garner, Robin Harry, Stacy Glanzman and Christine Orlando are joined by Bobbie from Possibility of Joy a Castle Fan Forum to debate Kate’s political future, the creepy killer from “Hollander’s Woods," finding your passion and what they’d like to see in Castle Season 8.
Kate Beckett is a top NYPD detective, a shoe-in for Captain and has backing to run for the state senate. Which should she choose?
Chandel: I really want her to get into politics. I don't know why, I just think it would give her another arena to play in with great results.
Jim: As much as I would like to see her do something new (like run for senate), how would that play out for the show? Only way the show works with all the current cast is if she stays at the 12 (captain or detective). They could introduce new cast and have her be captain at her own precinct, but honestly, I'm not sure which she should choose.
Robin: She should choose whatever option keeps Ryan and Esposito on my screen. I'm guessing that will keep her at the precinct on some level. Politics would be interesting, but I'm not sure how well the show could transition from crime procedural to political thriller dramedy. We'll see.
Stacy: I'm with Jim. I want what's best for the show and I'm not sure Kate as a Senator would work story-wise. If next season ends up being the last, I would be okay with Kate ending up there.
Bobbie: I think Kate should most definitely stay in police work. The world of politics goes against her character and values and I don't think she'd ever be happy there, despite her goal to "make a difference."
Christine: I hate the idea of Beckett going into politics. If she disliked working in the grey area as an investigator for the Attorney General’s office, I can’t imagine she’ll enjoy the murky world of politics. Plus it would completely change so much that I love about the show. The show is about solving murders. Let's stick to that.
Where does Dr. Holtzman rank on your list of Castle's creepy killers?
Chandel: I think there are others that rank higher, but for the trauma he caused Castle, he's probably at least in the top 5.
Jim: I would put him in the top 10 of creepy killers, only because we didn't get to learn much about him before Castle put 6 bullets in him, (yes I rewound the show and counted the shots). But he's #1 for bad guys Rick has shot the most.
Robin: I would put him in the top 5. Now here's a serial killer I wish we had gotten a lot more of. I loved Wallace Langham on CSI (when I used to watch it), and he's been a voice actor for villains in animation and it's scarily creepy how good he is. He can be incredibly intense, and we only got a glimpse of that.
Stacy: That is really hard. There have been so many creepy killers over the years. We really didn't get to dig into this one very much, but based on his impact on Castle I think I'd go with top 10.
Bobbie: He's right up there with the worst! What really creeped me out was the way he referred to himself when Castle confronted him in the office. He looked positively possessed!
Christine: Oh, he was good. Not 3XK good but up there. Like Robin, I love Wallace Langham from CSI and think he did an amazing job here. Add in the creepy mask and how long he continued killing undetected and I this should have been their season long arc, not the silly Castle disappearance story.
Alexis felt directionless as she neared the end of college. How old were you when you find your life’s passion?
Chandel: I am 23 and still looking.
Jim: I've actually had two passions. The first was TV/Film, and I found that at 18, but sadly I wasn't one of the success stories that made it into the TV/Film industry (not as an actor, but behind the camera). However, in my 30s while in my pursuit of TV/Film, I found my second passion of the video game industry and that I've had a lot more success with. Soooo I really have to go with 30.
Robin: I'm in my 30s now. There were things I was passionate about since childhood, and there are passions I've discovered as I've gotten older and my world's changed or expanded. I don't believe that you have to be passionate about something to be good at it or to pursue it. Often times, the passion can follow the experience. Like Castle said, sometimes the passion finds you.
Stacy: I don't really have a single life's passion. I'm passionate about a lot of things in my life and some of them have changed over the years.
Bobbie: I knew in elementary school that I wanted to be a teacher. I made all the kids in the neighborhood be my class and I was the teacher. I followed that path and taught 6th grade for 33 years.
Christine: I didn’t even know that I could write until about five years ago. Now I can’t stop. It’s wonderful to finally have an outlet for all of the stories and people living in my head!
Was there anything in “Hollander’s Woods” that disappointed you?
Chandel: I was hoping for a bit more impact with the creepy killer from the past. It didn't hold the same kind of dramatic weight as 3XK, etc. for something that caused Rick's life path to take shape.
Jim: I agree with Chandel, I was hoping for a bit more of an impact from a killer from Rick's childhood. But, it was a very small disappointment, the episode was full of some much other goodness.
Robin: More creepy mask killer! There was a lot of potential in this story, and if there was ever a time I would have been okay with a cliffhanger, this would have been it.
Stacy: I agree with the others that I would have liked to see more from the killer, but I'm glad there wasn't a cliffhanger since this very well could have been a series finale. I'm glad it wasn't, but it's nice to know the writers were looking out for us just in case (it also gives me hope in case we end up in this exact situation next year). Also, I was wondering why Kate didn't try shooting the door to get into the shed. It was made of wood and Castle could have called out that he was down and out of the way. Maybe a few bullets would have made the door splinter.
Bobbie: There wasn't a single thing that disappointed me about the episode. While I don't like the idea of politics entering into the story line, it was only mentioned as a possibility and I can live with that for now.
Christine: Not really. I would have liked to have seen this storyline play out longer but with the future of the show unknown, I appreciated that the writers had the respect for the fans to give us a satisfying ending if it had come to that. That doesn’t happen on all shows. Plus they answered the question about why Rick writes murder mysteries that I’ve had since Castle season 2 so it’s hard to be disappointed with that.
What was your favorite quote or scene from this episode?
Chandel: Rick's speech at the end where he called Alexis and Martha his "red-headed pillars of unconditional love." As well his "always" reference for Kate.
Robin: I loved the scene at the precinct where Castle realized no one believed him, not even Kate. The tension was high, and I could feel his disappointment and Beckett's regret. I was expecting a fight between them, honestly.
Stacy: I have to go with the speech Kate gave when she was standing up for herself. She had an answer for every accusation and wasn't going to let these people diminish all the good she's done. I especially loved when she said she was proud to be Castle's inspiration.
Bobbie: This is a tough question! I was positively RIVETED when Castle was struggling with Dr. Holtzman and his neck got cut. The gun under the door was awesome and I thought Nathan nailed the intensity of that fight. However, I'd have to say that the very best was the award dinner and Castle's speech and later toast. I saw it as a wonderful salute to the characters as well as the creative team that has brought us this story. Even knowing that we have a season 8 on the way, I was choked up with the emotion of it all. Best finale of the whole series, in my opinion!
Christine: I loved the awards ceremony at the end but I’m going to have to go with Kate and Rick on the swings, the site of so many important conversations. She told him everything that had happened in that meeting and he had her back no matter what. It showcased all the things I love about this couple.
What do you most hope to see in Castle season 8?
Chandel: Can Kate please become a Senator and dig deeper into the Bracken conspiracy stuff again? I know he's in prison, but I bet he had allies in the Senate.
Jim: Kate and Rick still working together, whatever her choice. The Private Eye stuff earlier this season was distracting and I love seeing them together.
Robin: Is it bad that what I want most is another Kevin-centric episode, and a lot more Castle-centric episodes! I love Castle and Beckett, but somehow, some of the best episodes happen when they're separated somehow. Also, I would love a decent couple's argument between the two, a few hours where they're furious with each other.
Stacy: I agree with Jim, I just want the two of them together. I don't mind the episodes where they're separated, but they're never my favorites. I want as much classic Castle humor as they can give us and I wouldn't mind if the Bracken stuff came up again if it made sense. If this ends up being the last season, I want it to go out with a bang.
Bobbie: Personally, as I look towards season 8, I'm not at all bored with the current status quo. I like our dynamic duo and their team solving crimes and continuing to grow. I guess I hope they don't take a major turn away from that. I think they'll have to address the idea of Kate and Castle starting a family since they've laid the groundwork for it this season and I do want to get the rest of the story of Castle's disappearance. I also want Martha to continue her level of involvement in the story, even if she's living somewhere other than the loft.
Christine: I want more Caskett! The episodes where they are apart are never my favorites, no matter how much I love all the characters. It’s Castle and Beckett’s chemistry that keeps me coming back for more. Like Bobbie, I don’t want any major plot shifts (hate the politics idea) and I’d love to see more personal moments thrown in along the way. Perhaps next season they could be actively “trying” to start a family which could add both angst and fun.
Check back next week for our Castle Season 7 Report Card and if you’re already missing your favorite Caskett moments, you can watch Castle online now at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.