Castle S8 Ep2 – XX

Well. Remember how last week I was optimistic about how this new season of Castle might play out? I… am much less optimistic now. And I’m also angry. But more on that later.

This was a nice moment, too.

This was a nice moment, though.

We pick up right where we left off last week: Beckett hiding out with Vikram Singh, the guy from the AG investigative office who got her into this mess in the first place. Castle’s stepmother Rita, who apparently is also a super-secret agent like his dad, swoops in and rescues them from the bad guys just in time. While they flee, she asks Beckett to tell her everything she knows. This is a handy device to show us Beckett’s side of the story of what happened last week. (Is that what the ep titles mean? XY for Castle’s POV, and XX for Beckett’s?) Basically, Singh called her with a Level 7 alarm alert thingy that morning, so she went to meet with him. Then people started trying to kill them because of some search Beckett ran about Bracken and criminal activity while she was at the AG’s office, that finally got a hit. Singh tracked down what the hit was: a redacted memo with Bracken’s name and a handwritten word, LOCKSAT.

According to Spy Stepmom, LOCKSAT refers to a corrupt CIA analyst who used CIA resources to smuggle in the drugs that Bracken used to fund his campaign (Bracken, BTW, was terrified when Beckett visited him and said the word LOCKSAT; he’s sure there’s a target on his back now). Bracken is later murdered in solitary.

Meanwhile, the AG’s office has sent a representative to the 12th Precinct. Allison Hyde says they’ll do what they can to help find Beckett, but that Singh isn’t who he seems. I did kind of wonder at this point – but I also wondered if Hyde was trustworthy. Oh, show. Always with the telegraphing the bad guy.

So, Beckett & Singh as well as Castle & Alexis & Hayley track down the other clue on the memo – “2011BD” – to a plane. That’s where Beckett & Castle meet up. Singh saves Beckett’s life, proving his trustworthiness (presumably), and the whole team including Ryan & Espo resolve to bring the bad guys out into the open. That leads to this ep’s best scene: they lure the team of bad guys to Castle’s PI office, where Ryan & Espo capture the shooters we’ve seen earlier, and Castle ends up using his desk’s secret hatch that flings out a gun to shoot (not kill) another baddie.

Bet you didn't see that coming, bad guy!

Bet you didn’t see that gun-flip coming, bad guy!

And then after that is the worst scene of the ep, possibly of the show so far. It’s revealed that Hyde was the mastermind behind all of this – except she was likely manipulated into it. Beckett wants to find out who’s really behind it all. Rita warns her that she will get Castle killed if she pursues this with him. So Kate leaves him. She’ll be Captain, apparently, but she won’t be living with her husband.

Okay, look: I’m a shipper. Anyone who’s read these recaps knows that. But I’m not just angry because they’re splitting our duo up (temporarily, the writers insist). I’m mostly angry because so many showrunners/writers seem to think that once the main pair gets together, they need to be split up again or the show will stagnate. Yes, Castle might well have been starting to get old. But why does it have to be the main relationship that caused this? Why not try the reboot-ish idea I thought they were doing: Castle as a PI, Beckett as the new Captain, and Hayley Shipton showing up to help Castle now and then? Oh, and also, KEEPING BECKETT AND CASTLE TOGETHER. Try it! See how it works! It wouldn’t have to spell the death of your show. Or at least, not more than messing with the main reason why most of the audience is watching (correct me if I’m wrong) after seven seasons. It’s like freaking X-Files all over again. NOT a model to follow, relationship-wise.

So. Now you all know how I feel about this development. What did you think? Leave a comment below to let us know.