Castle Season 8 Episode 2 Review: XX

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I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll keep it simple and start from the beginning of Castle Season 8 Episode 2.

In the continuation of the season premiere, we got to see Beckett’s point of view of how events unfolded and much of it was very satisfying. 

First off, she got that phone call out of the blue and had to make a split second decision. Given that she had no idea what she was walking in to other than it was a classified code meaning a life and death situation, she kept Castle out of it. I may not like it - but I could understand it and at least that meant she hadn’t been hiding anything else from Castle.  

Also, Beckett was likely about to contact either Castle or the 12th when Vikram tossed her cell phone out the car window. But I agree that he was right ditch it as that was most likely how the team of assassins tracked them down. 

Beckett stitching herself up was pretty bad ass. I mean, did she even flinch? I know I did. 

There was a lot of information to take in but if I caught it all, Beckett initiated a search two years ago when she was at the Attorney General’s office. The search was for anything linking Bracken to criminal activity and back then nothing came up but obviously things had changed. 

It all led to LocSat 2011 BD. Bracken had a source in the CIA which helped him covertly move drugs via aircraft into the country. It made sense that Bracken would have had quite a network of operatives given how large that operation was to fund his presidential campaign. I’m surprised more of this hadn’t come out earlier. 

After Bracken and Castle’s meeting in Castle Season 8 Episode 1, I couldn’t wait for Beckett to meet with the former Senator. What struck me the most was his fear which seemed odd given he showed nothing but bravado with Castle even though he told Kate earlier the same day that they were both as good as dead…

You may as well kill yourself right now Kate. You've stumbled onto something which is so over your head, I'm amazed you're still alive.


I was disappointed when Bracken ended up dead. The character has always been a favorite of mine, although I’ll admit he may have run his course story wise. 

The action scenes were intense and I found myself holding my breath more than once. I didn’t believe that Vikram was the mole but when he pulled that gun in the hangar, I had to wonder. When it wasn’t him, I realized that it had to be Allison Hyde so that reveal wasn’t a shock…other things definitely were and we’ll get to that shortly. 

Rita, Castle’s step-mother was a surprise in more ways than one. I guess that Rick and Jackson haven’t exactly had many father / son chats so perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that Hunt has a secret wife who is also a spy. I was a bit taken aback when Rita told Kate that they should get the families together. The plural in that struck me as odd. Could Castle have siblings he also doesn’t know about? I suppose anything is possible. 

Also I was disappointed that Kate never mentioned Rita’s appearance to Castle but considering what was to come, this was a blip on the radar. 

The action and suspense were some of the best we’ve seen in the series and Castle and Beckett’s reunion was somewhat, although not completely satisfying. Castle coming to her rescue and then their kiss in the hangar certainly made me smile and I loved that even while they were apart, their theories were still completely in sync.

Later, Beckett and Castle finally had an honest conversation about her lying to him. Castle was angry and he had every reason to be. Beckett explained that she was trying to protect him and given the nature of that phone call and how quickly events occurred, I could understand her point of view. 

But there were still issues between them as seen in this Castle quote… 

Castle: Do you have any idea how worried I was?
Beckett: Yeah, I do. I was gone for 36 hours. A year ago you were gone for eight weeks.

Kate obviously still had some unresolved anger about Castle’s disappearance last year. There was a moment where Castle said he’s seen this side of Kate before but when she pushed, he let it go and said it was nothing. It’s not nothing. I really wish they would have continued that conversation. 

Throughout the episode Alexis ran around with her new best buddy Hayley. I had to laugh when she blew off her father’s concerns for her and said she was a grown up who could handle herself. Did she miss the part where five highly trained federal agents were killed? 

And how does Alexis suddenly know how to use a hotel’s security system to get an image off of a mirror? Does Columbia have a spy school we don’t know about? The Alexis scenes were a bit ridiculous but they were a mild annoyance compared to what came later. 

It was great to see Castle finally play hero and show off his shooting skills while utllizing one of his new toys but my favorite part was Esposito and Ryan being so distracted by the fun of the secret room that they almost missed taking down the assassins. Very funny. 

Everyone welcomed Beckett as the new Captain of the 12th precinct and her speech fit the moment but I was a bit distracted at seeing LT in the background wearing a sling. It was good to see him back after he took a bullet in that shootout. 

What happened next floored me. I think I’m still shell shocked. 

When Beckett told Rita that she thought she had put this all behind her but it was stronger than ever, I couldn’t believe it. Rita was right. Bracken was dead. Whoever was behind this new big, bad mystery would have been appeased with Allison’s supposed suicide, at least for now. 

Kate was able to go back and live her life with Rick, but she chose not to and I couldn’t be angrier. After seven full seasons of watching Kate Beckett fight to get to a healthy place where she could be in the relationship she wanted, she just walked out to jump down the rabbit hole once again. 

Earlier she told Rick that she did what she did to protect him, not hurt him. She had to know she was hurting him now. 

When I’m not angry, this new twist just makes me tired. I love Kate Beckett. I’ve rooted for Kate Beckett to find her happy ending with Rick Castle since the pilot episode but this may be one obstacle too many.

We’ve seen Beckett lie about so many things over the years and every time, Rick has either waited for her or chased after her. 

She ignored her feelings for him for seasons and dated other men and Castle patiently waited. Then she left him for an entire summer after she got shot and lied to him about not remembering that he said he loved her… and Castle forgave her. She hid the fact that she was interviewing for a job in another city and what did Rick do? He proposed and then eventually agreed to move to D.C. with her! 

Over and over again this man has stepped up and proven his love for Kate Beckett and what has he gotten for it? He’s gotten to see the love of his life walk out the door. Why? I’m still trying to figure that one out. 

Yes, this is a huge, evil conspiracy and it should be stopped but this is no longer about Beckett’s mother’s murder. Her obsession with that made sense because it was so intensely personal. This is just obsession for obsession sake and I’m really not certain why Kate has to be the one to go off to figure out.

Rita made it pretty clear. These are people with such power that they will send in multiple assassin teams to stop her. Even if she moves out, Castle is still her husband. I can’t imagine they will hesitate to kill him whether Kate is living in the loft or not. 

As a fan, I’m incredibly disappointed. More so than I was with Castle Season 6 Episode 23 and that’s an episode I’ve never been able to watch again. Will I feel the same way about this episode? Time will tell. 

Less than one year ago they vowed they were “partners in crime and in life” but it certainly doesn’t feel that way.

I’m assuming the show plans to get Castle and Beckett back together somewhere down the line but I honestly don’t know if that will be enough. In the last five minutes they managed to tarnish my feelings for Kate Beckett and my faith in the new show runners. 

I’m really not sure where we go from here but my enthusiasm for Castle Season 8 Episode 3 is at an all time low. 

If you want to see happier Caskett moments, you can always watch Castle online here at TV Fanatic.

XX Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (277 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Castle Season 8 Episode 2 Quotes

Worst thing I thought I was going to be facing was working without Castle, and then you called.


Trust me, a bullet's going to kill you long before hunger does.