Castle S8 Ep18 – Backstabber

I guess if you don’t care about Hayley at all, this episode was not for you. If you like her, it wasn’t bad.

I think I'd look like that if I'd just heard the FBI had a warrant for my arrest, too.

I think I’d look like that if I’d just heard the FBI had a warrant for my arrest, too.

This week, Hayley was called in by her former MI-6 handler to do what seems like a simple PI job, at the Manchester Energy building in NYC. But then her burglar partner ends up stabbed to death, and the “spyware” she uploaded to computer turns out to be a devastating worm attack that plunges London into darkness. That, in turn, leaves Hayley under suspicion for terrorism. Her ex-handler also ends up getting killed. All in all, not a good day.

But although Hayley’s first impulse is to flee, Castle and company have her back. Castle even hides her in the PI office’s panic room when MI-6 comes knocking. There’s a brief moment when it looks like the MI-6 guy might actually persuade either Alexis or her dad that Hayley is secretly a coldhearted, untrustworthy ex-agent. But that passes quickly and pretty unconvincingly. Because of course our team would never start to doubt any member, even the newest member whose past we actually know very little about! After all, she’s part of the Castle family now!

Anyway, it turns out that Hayley’s MI-6 partner, whom she thought the agency had left for dead in Iran, isn’t dead after all. Instead, her old pal Wesley has organized this whole thing. See, they had this plan that after their missions were all over, they’d travel around the whole world, each with ten million dollars of their own. (Not ten million pounds, though, even though they’re both from the UK.) So Wesley struck back at the government that abandoned him using the worm he and Hayley wrote years ago, and then planned to find her again.

Of course Hayley, upon discovering that Wesley is still alive, goes to find him and stop him. They have an emotional and cliche-heavy conversation about what he went through, and how sorry she is, but how she’s horrified that he’s turned into a killer and she has to take him in. Then just as he’s about to kill her, Ryan, Espo, & Castle arrive. And then Hayley is forced to kill him as he rushes at her with a knife. It’s sad-ish, although again, not exactly original.

This 'funny' scene where our boys take Beckett's side in Castle's dream-'betrayal' of Beckett? Could've done without it.

This ‘funny’ scene where our boys take Beckett’s side in Castle’s dream-‘betrayal’? Could’ve done without it.

The other mini-plotline this week is so annoying that I was glad it doesn’t take up much screentime. Apparently Beckett had a dream where Castle betrayed her in some unspecified, horrible way, so she’s upset with him. As it is, at least that results in a cute scene where Castle reveals the secret he’s been hiding from her: he’s had her old motorcycle restored. All right, fine, I admit that the idea of the two of them taking a cross-country motorcycle trip together is pretty adorable.

Overall, though I like Hayley and think her character development going from fancy-free to ‘family member’ is believable, I still don’t really care about her enough to find the episode more than passably compelling. Toks Olagundoye has continued to do her best with the character – which is quite a bit! – but I still don’t think I’d miss her if she’d never joined the show.

Do you agree or disagree with my assessment of Hayley and this episode? Let me know in the comments!