Castle Season 8 Episode 21 Review: Hell to Pay

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Was Halloween moved from October to May and no one told me? 

Because Castle Season 8 Episode 21 really felt like it should have been the Halloween episode this season. Alas, it’s only May, and this horror-inspired installment fell victim to bad timing and a lack of heart. 

The overall premise wasn’t necessarily bad, although I know very little about the antichrist, and I have no doubt that those who do can probably poke holes in the details.

There were certainly moments of suspense. The first of which was the ax wielding psycho breaking into Castle’s office. 

Was anyone else hoping he might take out Alexis and/or Hayley? I mean, if it’s probable that we’ll lose Beckett next week, I figure I can at least dream about Alexis and Hayley getting axed too, so to speak. 

Okay, that’s evil, but evil was the point of the hour. 

One of my favorite moments was Castle and Beckett running to the P.I. office after the panic alarm went off. I still love it when Rick plays the protective dad, and that shouldn't go away just because Alexis is all grown up.

I also appreciated that Castle mentioned how abominably the mentally ill have been treated throughout history. I wish they had followed that thread a little more instead of going down the road of demons and devils. 

I actually expected Castle to go even more overboard in his crazy demon theories because Castle season 8 has made silliness its calling card more often than not. Because of that, I almost found his belief in the antichrist normal. 

Throughout the hour, Ryan was my favorite (with this Castle quote), as he and Espo did his best to hold Castle in check as when Rick was convinced a demon had visited Shaw in the psychiatric hospital…

Well I will be sure to cross reference Shaw's visitor against the list of fallen angels.


Beckett’s normally the person who does that, but apparently she was only allowed to pop up to play lame practical jokes and allow Rick to talk about naked Twister.

Have the writers somehow mistaken naked references for romance? Never mind. It really doesn’t matter anymore.

Back to our story. 

Although Castle’s "mystery safe" looked suitably creepy, I had a couple of issues with it. First off, I don’t believe that someone with Castle’s incredible sense of curiosity wouldn’t have opened that safe by now. 

Second, no landlord in NYC would be unaware of that much space in their building and not charge you for the square footage. 

Third, why wouldn’t Castle grab the angel dagger if he thought the antichrist was coming after him in his office? He just finished explaining to Beckett that it’s the only thing that can kill him, but he left it behind when he went to check out the mystery noise.

Finally, why would Castle still believe the antichrist knocked him out to steal the dagger? If it really were the antichrist, wouldn’t he be dead? Knocking someone out seems much more human than demon to me…not that I’d really know, nor do I want to. Maybe I should go find a cross to hold while I write this.

Just kidding.

Man, I hate walls of crazy.


I’m with Ryan. This episode felt like an hour of crazy. Unlike the Ghostbusters-themed episode or the zombie installment, this one just never found its footing or reached its potential. 

Why? Because Castle has been missing its heart all season long, and that heart was Caskett! 

The magic is gone, and simply plugging in new characters into the already gaping holes and trying to move forward isn’t working, at least not for me. 

One last question…was anyone else getting a couple vibe from Hayley and Alexis in that final scene?

Yeah, I’m feeling just a little evil.

Check back later in the week to see what our Castle round table team has to say and then next week for my review of Castle Season 8 Episode 22. The promos say it will be the season finale. Is there any hope it will be the series finale? Do you want it to be?

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

Hell to Pay Review

Editor Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 2.9 / 5.0 (173 Votes)

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

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Castle Season 8 Episode 21 Quotes

You know as well as I do that when the lights go out, bad things happen.


Well I will be sure to cross reference Shaw's visitor against the list of fallen angels.