Fans were left reeling after Kate Beckett told her husband she needed time to figure things out and walked out the door on Castle Season 8 Episode 2.
Below, TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Jim Garner, Robin Harry and Christine Orlando - along with Mary Lou from A Possibility for Joy a Castle fan forum - are still trying to shake off their shell shock as they debate Bracken’s death, new characters and this unforeseen twist in the Caskett romance after “XX."
Bracken is dead. Was it time for him to go or would you have liked to see him stick around?
Mary Lou: Bracken's death took me completely by surprise. He was a very powerful man and could have manipulated things from prison to cause trouble for Kate. I'm glad he's no longer able to do that.
Stacy: I think it was time for him to go. He was a great character but he served his purpose.
Jim: His story was soooo very done! Also given that the actor has returned to a previous role on another network, I'm not surprised they finally killed him off. He was a good nemesis, but I'm glad he won't be coming back around.
Robin: Yep, it's was more than time. The Beckett-Bracken conspiracy had long run its course. Jack Coleman is free to put his horn-rimmed glasses back on.
Christine: I’m a big fan of Jack Coleman so I was a little disappointed that Bracken was killed off, but story wise it was probably for the best.
What was your reaction to Beckett leaving Castle to figure things out?
Mary Lou: I understand Kate needing to have time to process what happened, but how she did it really bothered me. I would have liked to see her say to Castle, "Babe, I need some time alone to think things through. I love you, always, and I'll be back."
Stacy: It was gut-wrenching obviously, but I'm probably not as angry as most people. I want Beckett to be able to put it all behind her and go live her life with Castle, but that's just not who she is. I don't think she can just let it go and be happy, though I wish she could. This is just something she has to do. Hopefully this time she'll be able to find peace when it's over. I'm not happy about it, but I understand it, and I have faith in the writers to keep the show fun and interesting.
Jim: I was initially annoyed, then seeing the previews of next week where Castle and Beckett are working together like nothing is wrong absolutely pissed me off to no end. I have to disagree with you Stacy, this isn't about Beckett and who she is, because we saw her and Castle working together on her mother's murder from her apartment before. This seriously looks like the new show runner didn't like them "together," BUT of course the show doesn't work without them both on the case, so now it looks like we aren't going to have the great Caskett moments between the work moments. REALLY? Are you kidding me??!?!? I am on the edge of being done with this show completely.
Robin: My reaction was, "What the hell?!" Way to regress a character, writers. Beckett came to be with Castle because of a moment where she realized that her pursuit of conspiracies was costing her companionship and happiness with the man she loved. Suddenly the existence of this choice surprises her? I might have been okay with this if we could have seen Beckett struggling with this decision over some time before she left. If we had seen them fight about it a couple of times. But having her go back to that person she was, out of nowhere, because of a barely-introduced convoluted conspiracy and casualties that she wasn't even close to being responsible for...whatever, man.
Christine: I was shell shocked. Why exactly is she doing this again? To protect Castle? If the bad guys can send assassin teams, they'’ll certainly send someone to kill Castle just because he’s Beckett’s husband whether she’s at the loft or not. Is it to fix her obsession complex? She could go into therapy and still live at home. None of this makes any sense and I’m so frustrated and furious even I’ve considered tuning out.
So far we have Hayley and Vikram who will be recurring characters this season. Does the show need the new blood?
Mary Lou: I was fine with the way things were. I'm not really warming up to Hayley. Jury's still out on Vikram.
Stacy: I don't know if it needs new blood, but I'm not opposed to introducing new characters for arcs. I really liked Hayley and would have no problem with her popping up periodically.
Jim: I like Hayley as a "non-cop" mentor for Alexis. For Alexis to step into being a true PI she needed a strong mentor and Hayley works very well. Vikram on the other hand I'm still not sure about, part of me still doesn't want to trust him, but I guess time will tell.
Robin: I'm okay with the new folks on the show. Like Jim, I'm not sure where Vikram stands, but I like that. Hayley is interesting, and I'll be happy to see more of her.
Christine: I’m ticked. I want more Lanie and Martha and these two are taking up screen time that could go to them.
(Mild Spoiler) The show runners have said that Castle will be out to win Beckett back. How excited are you to see that in the coming episodes?
Mary Lou: I'm not excited at all. He's already won her once. He shouldn't have to do it again. I can appreciate that he's giving her some space to deal with what happened, but I honestly wish he was a little more ticked off at her.
Stacy: I read that interview too and it made me feel better about the next handful of episodes. I have to believe they know what they're doing. They said we'll still see Castle and Beckett working together in every episode. I'm not sure Castle should really be the one trying to win Beckett back though. He's been so great and supportive of her all this time, I'd rather see her come to her senses and come back to him.
Jim: F@#$@# THAT! As someone who hasn't read the interview allow me to point out that we (the fans) spent 6 years watching Castle win Beckett and then another season dealing with the awkwardness of Castle's disappearance. Now we have to watch him try and win her back ALL OVER AGAIN.... Sorry, I'm tapping out, I guess I will be switching to Blindspot as my primary Monday night show, if I wanted to watch more of Castle winning Beckett over, I would just watch seasons 1-6 again.
Robin: I knew this was coming. I can see it already; Martha's going to give Richard some BS "if you love her fight for her" advice. I'm with Jim - F&#% that, truly. Absolutely not. Castle's done all the work to make this relationship happen. He stuck around when she lied about knowing he loved her. He stuck around when she lied about applying for the AG job. He's made everything about her and her pursuits. I'm so done with that. What more can this man do? Why should Castle be the one to have to work to win her back? He didn't do anything wrong, she's the one that left. Castle shouldn't have to do a damn thing, this should be all on Beckett.
Christine: I’m with Jim and Robin on this one. Castle has been patient and devoted to Beckett for years. Why the hell should he have to chase after her yet again. I know the new show runners want to try and bring back the spark but this is simply tiresome and ridiculous and makes me think less of both characters.
Was there anything about “XX” that disappointed you?
Mary Lou: Kate walking away from Castle. It didn't just disappoint me, it made me upset, angry, disappointed in Kate's character and that the powers that be chose to go there.
Stacy: The episode was pretty much perfect up until that ending. If she hadn't walked out I'd give it five stars.
Jim: If I haven't been clear in previous answers, the entire idea of Beckett leaving Castle to "figure stuff out". Of all the directions the new show runners could have gone, they clearly don't know the audience if they thought this was the direction we would like.
Robin: Besides the ending? Okay, remember when Castle used to be a show that made fun of crime show tropes like the instant fingerprint database and zooming in? Well, this is now a show that allows Alexis Castle, a novice PI, to enhance a blurry photograph on a stranger's computer to the point where you can read an entire letter. Pixels be damned!
Christine: Other than demoralizing my favorite character? How about making Alexis a sudden super spy? The scene with her suddenly knowing how to use hotel surveillance equipment made my eyes roll so hard it hurt. Like you said, Robin, Castle used to make fun of this kind of nonsense. It’s sad that it now asks us to swallow it like every other crime show.
What was your favorite scene from Castle Season 8 Episode 2?
Mary Lou: I really enjoyed the scene in the hangar when Castle came to rescue Kate. Loved the line "Castle, just shut up and kiss me."
Stacy: The whole scene in the hangar from Beckett telling Castle to shut up and kiss her to Hayley telling Beckett that he's a lot to handle and she doesn't know how she does it.
Jim: I really enjoyed meeting Castle's step-mom. Ann Cusack has always been a favorite actress of mine and she was great in this role. Here is hoping we get to see more of her.
Robin: It's a tie between Esposito and Ryan joking about Castle's back room, and Castle's badass catch-and-shoot with the hidden gun. That was pretty sweet.
Christine: Castle calling Beckett out on her lying. These two have a lot of issues that they never discuss and it was good to see them talk about it, even if they didn’t take the conversation far enough.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.