Castle Season 8 Episode 4 Review: What Lies Beneath

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Castle fans have had a rough time dealing with all of the changes in Castle Season 8 - but, with Castle Season 8 Episode 4, perhaps we’ve begun to see some light at the end of the tunnel. 

There was a lot right in “What Lies Beneath,” starting with the lack of violence. Yes, Castle is a show about murder, yet it’s always been as non-violent as a crime show could possibly be, minus the last few episodes.

Even the death by tree branch in Castle Season 8 Episode 3 was pretty brutal in comparison to most of the series. But Dave Johnson getting shot through the stained glass window of an absolutely beautiful church felt like classic Castle. 

Matha was absolutely wonderful in these Castle quotes. I wanted to hug her, especially since her son has apparently taken to sleeping on his office sofa and dreaming about ponies.

Everything Martha said was absolutely right and I appreciated how she brought up that Castle has already endured two failed marriages…

Beckett: Martha, we're not getting a divorce.
Martha: Well, call me old fashioned but don't married couples live together?

Yes! Yet somehow Martha was able to drive her point home from a place of love. She wasn’t there so much to chastise Beckett but to encourage her to be honest with her husband and point out what she was risking…

My son is a lot of things. Some of them good, some of them not so good but he is someone you can always count on and that is a rare thing, kiddo.


She even gave Katherine a huge hug before she left. It really is hard not to love that woman. 

There was actually quite a bit to smile about in this episode. Esposito and Ryan doing the sign of the cross in church was amusing, especially to anyone who’s ever been to Catholic school or been an altar boy. 

Then there was Ryan and Esposito’s squabble over taking the Sergeant’s exam. The sad part about Ryan lying to Espo is that Javi probably would have given the spot to him considering the baby on the way, but in his desperation, Ryan never gave him the chance. 

Beckett calling them both bozos and pointing out that as Captain she can now pull some strings to help them both was a nice touch. 

I also got the feeling that Beckett isn’t completely comfortable with sending her boys into harm’s way without her. She’s used to being shoulder to shoulder with these two in the field, not ordering them into the possible line of fire while she sits behind a desk. 

The twists and turns of the case got to be a little much. First Dave was Castle’s favorite author, then he wasn’t. Oh, but he was a mob informant on the run, but no. Then a city janitor who stumbled across a multi-million dollar slush fund. I was getting whiplash from the pathological liar’s stories. 

Castle bugging Espo seemed both genius and a little too devious all at once, but I loved it when Espo tossed the bug, and Castle pointed out that he could still track it down. 

Castle’s party seemed out of place, and I hope those drinks he handed the boys were non-alcoholic since they were still on duty. Ryan working for Castle as a precinct spy borders on unethical, and yet Castle’s a friend and Ryan needs the cash, so I get it. Hopefully this will somehow work out for both of them…but I’m betting it will blow up their faces. 

This was the first episode this season where there wasn’t an Alexis Castle Eye Roll Worthy Moment, and I’m almost disappointed…but not really. For the first time in three episodes I found myself enjoying Alexis again. She wasn’t a super spy or the star of the P.I. business, but she was able to offer some common sense advice and observations. Also, the blind priest on the run was very funny, especially when Castle and Alexis lost him. 

However, if they don’t want Alexis coming across like a spoiled, rich girl, I do wish they’d stop having her spend Daddy’s money, i.e., the platinum card at Fashion Week!

It was a little sad that the best theorizing we’ve seen all season had to come via video conference, but at this point I’m so desperate I’ll take what I can get. It was also good to finally see Castle, Beckett, Ryan and Espo in front of the murder board once again.

Another highlight was that we didn’t have to endure any of the new characters. No Hayley or Vikram. Castle works best when it’s the Castle family (meaning both those at the loft and the 12th) interacting. The newer characters simply take away their screen time, and so far, I’m not a fan. 

Which brings me to some of the things that disappointed me. 

First, Beckett as Captain really isn’t much fun despite the gorgeous light blue suit she was wearing. She’s stuck at the precinct instead of being the badass detective out with her boys. I miss Detective Beckett. 

Then there is Castle trying to “win” his wife back. The Caskett separation is just sad and silly. Castle’s done nothing wrong and shouldn’t be put through this nonsense. Beckett’s reasoning for moving out is thin, at best. I get that the writers were hoping to get us to root for their reconciliation but having them apart tinges all of their scenes, even their beloved coffee, with sadness. I’ve simply decided to endure what I consider a poor story decision and hope for the best when it’s over. 

So what do you think TV Fanatics? Is that hope I see at the end of the tunnel or the proverbial oncoming train?

Check back in with us later this week to see what our Castle Round Table Team has to say and then next Monday for our review of Castle Season 8 Episode 5 (previewed below).

And if you simply can’t wait for more, you can always watch Castle online here at TV Fanatic.

What Lies Beneath Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (191 Votes)

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

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Castle Season 8 Episode 4 Quotes

Beckett: Martha, we're not getting a divorce.
Martha: Well, call me old fashioned but don't married couples live together?

Beckett: It's complicated.
Martha: So were his last two divorces.