Castle S8 Ep12 – The Blame Game

This ep was much more intense than I was assuming when it got started – and I liked it!

We start out the ep with Castle excited to have received a message from Stephen King inviting him to discuss collaborating on a project. Beckett stops at the site of a murder that morning. A young woman who worked for a local TV station, Emma, has been shot – and a strange circular symbol was left at the scene.

Beckett is the awesomest. I mean, this scene, and the one where she constructs an explosive? Aww yeah.

Beckett is the awesomest. I mean, this scene, and the one where she constructs an explosive? Aww yeah.

And that’s when things start getting creepy. The meeting location that “Stephen King” sent Castle is actually an abandoned hotel. He’s knocked out, and wakes up in a room decorated like a kindergarten classroom, with three other men. I actually thought this might be King’s revenge prank at first, until I saw these other guys. They find out that they’re locked in as part of some kind of disturbing experiment/game. There are clues and booby traps hidden around the room.

There’s also an identically-decorated room containing Beckett and two other women who were lured and knocked out. They all have either a husband or boyfriend in the other room, as a camera reveals to them all. And one of the men, who introduced himself as a minister, suspiciously doesn’t even have a spouse/loved one in the other room.

Alexis and the conveniently-reappearing Hayley Shipton worry about her father, having discovered that Stephen King is in Australia right now. They report the fact that Castle is missing to Ryan & Espo, who quickly confirm that Beckett isn’t at the conference she’s supposed to be at, either. Now the race is on.

Meanwhile, some guns left in each room create conflict for each group. One of the men fires at the minister. And the bullet ends up killing the would-be shooter, instead, since its barrel is sealed. Ooh.

Beckett already took the bullets out of her side’s gun, like the clever police captain she is. Then she and the non-murderous other woman make an explosive to get out of the room, while the men pry their door open. But once they’re reunited, the remaining six end up trapped in another room, with three different levers in it. They conclude that each lever has to be pulled at once in order to open the door. The minister pulls the first lever. Then Castle & Beckett pull the others, even though it’s supposed to be one of a pairing each that does the other two. So the other folks escape.

One of these folks is not like the others...

One of these folks is not like the others…

Ryan, Espo, Alexis, & Hayley have discovered that this is all somehow tied to some messed-up separation anxiety experiments that two doctors did on their own fraternal twin children decades ago. (As a twin myself: that is sick and disgusting, even more than it would be with other kids!) And it turns out that the “minister” is actually the surviving twin brother, who orchestrated this whole thing (and killed Emma) so that his parents would finally be revealed as the monsters they are. But Beckett & Castle figure out he’s the bad guy. So they distract him long enough to take him out, just as the cavalry arrives.

I really enjoyed how Castle and Beckett were each shown to be the smartest person in their respective rooms tonight – and how they worked together seamlessly after being reunited. The whole team really shone tonight.