The LokSat mystery took a new turn, Beckett faced off with a new public defender and the silly separation storyline finally came to an end... sort of.
Below, TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Jim Garner, Robin Harry and Christine Orlando are joined by Denise from A Possibility For Joy a Castle fan forum to debate LokSat intrigue, the Caskett reconciliation and which character they’d most like to get rid of after Castle Season 8 Episode 8.
Are you intrigued by the latest twist in the LokSat mystery?
Stacy: Yes, I liked it, and I'm glad they're making progress in the mystery. Plus, I like Kristoffer Polaha from Ringer, so I'm looking forward to seeing if he leads them to LokSat.
Jim: It is a pretty cool twist to have a mole planted in the public defender's office. So, color me intrigued.
Robin: To be honest, the whole LokSat mystery is wearing on me. I really like Kristoffer Polaha, so I think having him around will be fun and interesting, but I don't actually care about the conspiracy.
Denise: It was just good to see it finally being addressed. For this mystery to be such a major part of the plot this season, it's been pretty much absent from most of the episodes. I was very surprised by the new Public Defender's connection to the Loksat storyline; I had read spoilers about this new character but nothing that even hinted at that connection. And now that Rick and Kate are back together and on the same page about this investigation, I am finally getting interested in it.
Christine: I think I’m experiencing conspiracy fatigue. This is what, the third major conspiracy on Castle? I’m just tired of them. Not even the public defender twist really intrigued me that much. I’m just waiting for it to be over.
What do you think about Rick and Kate’s reconciliation?
Stacy: It's about time! For a minute I thought Rick was going to hold out, and while I wouldn't blame him if he did, I'm glad he didn't. I always kind of assumed the separation would end in the fall finale, so I'm glad it wasn't dragged out any longer.
Jim: About. Damn. Time.
Robin: If that reconciliation had been done well, I might have forgiven the last several torturous episodes. But this was a cop out, and I've pretty much lost respect for both of these characters. Castle only got to be mad for five minutes. Are you kidding me? Beckett lied to him, left him, hurt him, used him, but he rolled over like a puppy the minute she waltzed back in and said pretty please with a cherry on top.
As for Beckett, she barely acknowledged what she did to him, and even then it was all about her! "I know I hurt you, but please don't let me do this alone." Again, are you kidding me? She put him through the wringer, but she still can't put his needs above hers. I'm so done with these two.
Denise: I was surprised; I didn't expect an end to the separation until after the holiday break. While I'm certainly happy to see this separation ended, somehow it seemed just a bit too easy. I know that Castle was willing to forgive her and accept her back into his life and their marriage, but I do think there should have been more discussion about what Kate did, and that Castle needed to make her really understand that she cannot continue to hide things from him and not trust in him. Just a little bit more of the discussion that was started at the precinct, and continued at the loft; I felt like it wasn't quite finished.
Christine: Thank God it’s finally over. It’s simply ruined this season for me. That said, the reconciliation wasn’t all that satisfying for all of the reasons that Robin and Denise mention above. This storyline has really taken two characters I’ve always loved and made them a lot less likable.
If you could get rid of one character on this show, who would it be?
Stacy: Vikram. He's annoying and doesn't really add anything. I will be surprised if he survives the season.
Jim: I have to agree with Stacy and get rid of Vikram; he annoys me to no end. I'm really hoping he is a LokSat mole, and Kate gets to shoot him in the end.
Robin: The worst of the worst is Vikram. He's such a smug jerk. Though at this point, I'm having a harder time thinking of one character I would keep, because I don't recognize any of the characters I used to love. Except Perlmutter, maybe. Can we have a Perlmutter-centric episode, please?
Denise: I didn't think any new characters needed to be brought into the show, but with the way Hayley and Vikram have been written into the storylines this season, it's hard to say that either of them should go away right now. Long-term, once Loksat is resolved, I don't really see a need to keep either of them around.
Christine: Do we have to keep any of the new characters? There isn’t one that I actually like, but if I can only get rid of one of them, it will have to be Vikram. He’s become Kate’s new partner, and as Robin says, he is a “smug jerk,” and I hope someone shoots him soon. Of course, if they want to take out Hayley, too, I certainly wouldn’t complain.
Was there anything in “Mr & Mrs Castle” that disappointed you?
Stacy: I wish they would have spent more time on the boat. I was enjoying just the two of them investigating together.
Jim: I was a little sad that Alexis went with Martha doing "whatever" over hanging with Hayley and working the case. I've read some fans weren't big on her PI skills, but I for one loved the father/daughter aspect.
Robin: As aforementioned, I hated the reconciliation. It made a once vibrant and cocky Castle come off like a spineless people-pleaser, and it made Kate Beckett seem incredibly selfish and thoughtless. If that's who these characters had always been, it wouldn't be so bad. But that's what they've become, and I'm so disappointed.
Denise: I don't know if I would say it disappointed me, but, while it was good to see Castle confront Kate about what she did, I think there should have been more to the scene. I think this is the first episode I've actually enjoyed since the beginning of the season. Rick finally figured out what Kate was up to and started investigating. There was finally some real movement on the Loksat story. And we got to see them working together again and see that spark and chemistry that's been missing. Overall, I was happy with the episode.
Christine: Robin already mentioned the reconciliation issues, so I’ll pick Martha. She used to be one of my favorite characters, but I hate her this season. As a matter of fact, everyone feels out of character this season and it’s really disappointing.
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Stacy: Definitely the reconciliation at the end.
Jim: The reconciliation. It took them TOO long to get back around to figuring out they are better together than apart. Well, for Kate to figure it out, anyway.
Robin: I liked the scene where Castle told Beckett what we were all thinking, when he called her out on the bad reasoning for the breakup, her lies and need for conspiracy. That was intensely satisfying.
Denise: I enjoyed Castle's dance routine; that was fun. I liked that Castle confronted Kate about her deception and let her know how much it hurt him, and what he said to her about wanting to hang onto her brokenness, and that her obsession being something that only she can fix. I have liked all of these similar scenes, from Knockout and especially Always, where Castle confronts Kate about what she's doing; he doesn't pull any punches, and I've always thought those scenes were some of Nathan's best work. And I was glad to see the end of the separation.
Christine: That this stupid, inane separation is finally over, even if the entire thing was unsatisfying. Rick confronting Kate was definitely the best scene of the episode; I just wish there was more follow through on those sentiments.
What do you hope to see when Castle returns on February 1st?
Stacy: Beckett and Castle back together, even if it's in secret, and working together to bring down LokSat.
Jim: Again, Stacy nailed it. Unless it is for show, I DON'T want to see anymore discussion about being apart!
Robin: (sigh) Maybe I'm having a bad day, but I don't even care anymore. I'll keep watching purely because I've invested all these years, but I'll never be able to watch Castle and Beckett together without thinking of how dysfunctional their relationship actually has become. Maybe if that's actually addressed next year, if they have obvious trust issues and resentment, I might be convinced there's something worth saving here.
Denise: I'm hoping we start to see more of the Castle that we loved in the past: the magic and spark between Castle and Kate that has been missing from the first part of the season, with them working together to solve cases and the Loksat mystery; more interaction between Castle, Kate, Espo and Ryan. Those core relationships have always been the heart of the show. A little more Lanie would be nice, too.
Christine: These eight episodes have really killed my love of the show. Like Robin, I’ll hang in there because I have seven seasons invested, but Castle Season 8 has been anything but fun. I want to see a lot more of Castle and Beckett both working together and at home. I want the characters I love acting in ways that finally make sense, and I would like to see some fallout from Beckett’s decision to call a “time out” from their marriage.
Check back next week for our Castle Mid-Season Report Card as we rate Castle Season 8.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.