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Castle Season 8 Bracken Returns

Castle Season 8: [Spoiler] Will Return in a 'Surprising' Way

TVLine can now reveal another intriguing piece of the puzzle that is Castle‘s Season 8 premiere.

As previously reported, the ABC procedural will return Sept. 21 with a two-parter, the first installment of which is titled “XY.” The double-episode salvo will introduce two new characters: Scotland Yard officer turned security specialist Hayley Vargas (to be played by new series regular/Neighbors alum Toks Olagundoye) and tech analyst Vikram Singh (recurring player Sunkrish Bala).

What’s more, Ann Cusack (Private Practice) will guest-star in Part 2 of the premiere as Rita, a member of a top-secret organization who drops into Beckett’s life with a unique set of skills… and an unexpected connection to Castle.

Now you can add to the mix the return of the forever-nefarious William Bracken, to again played by Jack Coleman.  The disgraced senator, who pulled many puppet strings in orchestrating Johanna Beckett’s years-ago murder, will “be back in a surprising way,” new co-showrunner Terence Paul Winter tells TVLine.

Interestingly, with Castle back Sept. 21 and NBC’s Heroes Reborn launching Sept. 24, Coleman fans are poised to get a double helping of the actor, who last played Bracken in Season 6’s penultimate episode, “Veritas,” when the ambitious politician saw his White House bid handcuffed by, well, handcuffs.

Want more scoop on Castle, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

VIDEO: Castle‘s Nathan Fillion Talks Season 8 for Rick & Kate: ‘Things Have to Change’

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106 Comments
  1. Teri says:

    Soujnds exciting and thrilling. I cannot wait to see what Castle has to offer. Super anxious for Season 8 to begin. I will be waiting and watching with open arms.

  2. Andrea says:

    I’m so excited for season 8. All these random spoilers have left me without a theory or clue as to where they are going, which makes it even more exciting!

  3. danyelle says:

    I hope that’s not who Alexis is having all the sex with LOL!

  4. TicaTica says:

    Interesting…… Can’t wait for season 8:)

  5. c-mo says:

    I’m really looking forward to see how TPW and Alexi deal with Bracken!

  6. liame says:

    So excited about seeing Toks!

  7. Court says:

    I’m excited to see how Castle and Beckett deal with Bracken as a married couple. I’m intrigued. Can’t wait

  8. DL says:

    I kinda hope the characters of Vargas and Singh are new love interests for Esposito and Lanie. But on the other hand I’m afraid that might feel shoehorned in. Hm…

  9. aph1976 says:

    In another article it did say the show will be delving more into whu\y Beckett became a cop.So since we know Beckett became a cop because of her mom dying it makes sense that the man who killed her will play some part in it.Plus i’m also thinking Bracken’s return and the character of Rita’s arrival might be connected somehow.

    • Just one thing says:

      I was actually thinking that Singh and Bracken might be connected.
      .
      I can’t believe they’re revisiting Bracken again, tbh, but it’s something Marlowe mentioned last year as a possibility and Seamus Dever even hinted at it many months ago. (Though I thought he was talking about the season finale.)
      .
      I’ve read fan speculation from here long ago that Bracken could put a hit out on Castle or Beckett from prison in advance of his (protracted?) trial.
      .
      If so, Witness Protection could be in someone’s future, I suppose. Easy money might be on Beckett, but maybe it’s Castle…

      • BK says:

        Witness protecting makes no sense,it would be easy to lure him or her out going after the other one or the family.

        • BK says:

          Maybe one of them needs to be dead, faked of course. Could that be the pin in their love story. (possibly permanent ).

          • Just one thing says:

            Yes, and that’s where Witness Protection comes in. A faked accident could do the trick.

      • lkh says:

        WITSEC–don’t you have to be a witness? And guess it’s federal but know that CA and NY have their own program. Are you thinking that ’cause Bracken was a Senator (federal) that something is happening to protect a witness for his trial (actually looks like that’s what you’re saying). I think Beckett would be the best witness there given her interaction with him and his crew over the years but especially the hotel scene in Veritas. But the new security person ‘spends’ a lot of time with Castle. hmmm

        • BK says:

          Could that woman “Rita”be a part of this? Mr.Smith -Bracken-Rita-Castle?

        • Just one thing says:

          Lkh, yes, given Beckett’s involvement in the case, she would definitely qualify as a witness. And I do believe this would be a federal case, if they go that route.

  10. Maria says:

    Yay!! I love Bracken!! Or should I say I love to hate him…

  11. lame says:

    Will Captain Gates be killed off to set all this in motion in the so called high velocity story telling and will this new approach mean the format will be serialized to maintain this intensity. Case of the week doesn’ t allow that to happen I for one would welcome a change in format, it would help continuity, something that has suffered in the pasted.

    • Just one thing says:

      Great question! That would explain Gates being gone without us ever seeing her body, and it could jump-start the investigation.
      .
      I’ve been hoping for far more serialized storytelling this season, too. It’s doesn’t have to be all 20+ episodes, but at least half would be nice.

    • lkh says:

      It seems to be the way many shows are now and I kinda like it–American Crime, Secrets and Lies, MurderOne, etc where they focus essentially on one crime. I really think Castle’s disappearance last season deserved many more episodes following the event–certainly not just the one wrap up at the end of the season. I’m still not sure what happened there…

      • Just one thing says:

        Agreed. The story behind Castle’s disappearance deserved much more focus earlier on. I think there was something like an 18-episode gap between introduction and resolution. So weird. And bad.

      • Some chick says:

        His disappearance is supposed to be touched on again this season.

        • Just one thing says:

          The problem is that the show takes too long to revisit and wrap up storylines. When 3XK and Evil Doctor Neiman were brought back in Season 7, it was after an entire year of nothingness following the episode in Season 6.
          .
          Beckett struck the deal with Bracken in Season 5, and he wasn’t revisited for half a season. Then the entire storyline wasn’t revisited AGAIN for another year.
          .
          Marlowe intimated in an interview last year that Bracken might be brought up again later, but they’ve now waited yet another year.
          .
          The pick-up/set-down approach to their villains is rather tiresome. Hopefully TPW and AH can maintain momentum through this next one.

          • lkh says:

            3XK and Neiman are really dead, right? Like that guy in Knockout who escaped after killing that ex cop in prison and was snatched out of the court at the hearing-he’s dead too, yes? And the dude who blew himself up in After the Storm. None of these folks are going to rise again, please… :[

          • CastleBuzz says:

            I never found the time between returning to specific story arcs and villains to be too long until Rick’s disappearance. As epic as the Bracken and 3XK stories were, both could operate away from Beckett and Castle. You could imagine Bracken’s Machiavellian machinations or Tyson’s evil planning going on behind the scenes. But the disappearance was much more integral to Caskett’s daily lives, much more personal, because of the interference with and influence on their relationship. It needed to be followed up throughout Season 7. After touching upon it in the first 5-6 episodes, it was virtually ignored until the awful Sleeper ep. Wrong move on the part of Marlowe and company.

          • lkh says:

            Seriously, how cool is it to say Brackens ‘Machiavellian machinations’, :D Tyson’s tactics, trickery or better yet, treachery. Got nothing for Neiman :[

          • Just one thing says:

            Nefarious Neiman?

          • lkh says:

            JOT! I like it! :D

          • CastleBuzz says:

            This is fun. How about Bracken’s Machiavellian machinations, Tyson’s tactical treachery, and Nieman’s nefarious knavery?

          • lkh says:

            wait a minute, wait a minute–can one use a silent K? rules check please…

          • CastleBuzz says:

            lkh, for alliteration? Absolutely. It’s its definition – same initial sound (not spelling). I was just being extra clever. :)

          • lkh says:

            Well hmpf! Who Knew!? :)

            Thank you for playing—

          • lkh says:

            wow, that took 3 hrs.

    • CastleBuzz says:

      I don’t see them killing off Gates. That would make two successive captains of the precinct murdered. Too much IMO.

      • Just one thing says:

        I agree, but how else do they explain away her departure?
        .
        Sometimes I wonder if the show ever intended to bring closure to Gates and perhaps PJJ’s tweet rendered that option rather moot.

        • PacIslRocks says:

          Or a time jump of several months where she was promoted to Commander and is at “1 Police Plaza” (I made that up, Castle is TV fiction, right?) leading a fulfilling, happy professional life! No need to kill off another Captain. Except for the first episode there is no need to further explain why she’s not there. BTW, I wish the Showrunners had thought of a way to keep her as I like Penny and her character. But move on as they say!

          • Louis E. says:

            The ranks above Captain in the NYPD are Deputy Inspector,Inspector,Deputy Chief,Assistant Chief,Bureau Chief (e.g. of Patrol,of Detectives,etc) and Chief of Department(top uniformed,man,below the Commissioner).A Captain would probably not be promoted straight to One PP,but to a zone or borough command headquarters (not that Castle is very realistic).

      • lkh says:

        maybe she got ‘napped or promoted–retired, nope Probably tracking down that messy guy who had Beckett’s desk. It would be a story if something violent happened, not wishing that on the character. Liked her ’cause she tried to keep Castle in line–someone needs to.

        • CastleBuzz says:

          Seems to me that if Gates came to a violent end, that would be a story that could not be ignored or passed over in an “oh, she’s dead” moment. I’m going for either an offscreen promotion OR the new show runners take us out of the 12th so much — new task force, anyone? — there’s just no need of the character. It’s a shame for PJJ. I think she did a good job with a smallish role, even managing to develop the Gates character from an IA stereotype (Iron Gates) to someone who began to soften around the edges while maintaining discipline. I had been looking forward to more scenes between Gates and Beckett, as Gates mentored Kate into Captain material.

          • lkh says:

            maybe she’s stuck in the elevator with LT and the messy guy, et al

          • S. says:

            I loved having Penny on the show. She was great on Castle, Deep Space Nine, anything she’s in, really. Really hoping we see her again. I was sad to hear she was going, and obviously that was because they simply couldn’t afford her if they needed to bring on two more people including a series regular and add to that the renegotiated contracts. The money had to come from somewhere.

  12. Mr. Tran K says:

    Can’t wait for Jack Coleman’s return to Castle and I’m looking forward to see him reprising his role as Noah Bennett in Heroes Reborn.

  13. Axel says:

    That could be great, finally an exciting spoiler !

  14. It’s going to be a very interesting #Castle on S8 come September 21 .It’s going to be exciting ,thrilling. and super and great @BarbaraAnnitte

  15. Luis says:

    Always good to see Jack Coleman – looking for to the return of Bracken (as well as HRG on “Heroes Reborn”)

  16. lkh says:

    I was so hoping to never hear from or see Bracken again. Maybe it’s from jail or perhaps his ‘crew’ is at work and all need protection–but why Castle, dunno. Or perhaps they have dug a tunnel under the jail…that seems to be in vogue now.

  17. OyWithThePoodlesAlready says:

    The sharks were swimming since season 6 but now they are jumping. Why do they have to keep poking the dead horse ?
    So far this season doesn’t sound appealing at all. I’m not sure if I’ll be back in September. Break ups and hook ups and now this – no thanks guys.

    • lkh says:

      ha–first thing that popped into my head this morning…’kicking a dead horse’ We’ll see. Hope springs eternal.

    • CastleBuzz says:

      This particular dead horse I don’t mind poking. Hang in there Oy. It’s all just speculation at this point. You might like what the new guys come up with.

  18. I love Castle but really sick and tired of the Senator story line usually don’t watch those episodes. There must be more imagination than going over whats been going on for 8 years.

  19. John Hibert says:

    I am still waiting comments about the Next Season of 24 Will it happen? Come on fox the Show Has very good Ratings. Let’s give.

  20. Andrea says:

    Don’t take Castle away. It’s the best show on tv

  21. Marla says:

    I love Castle and I’m looking forward to the show’s return. However, I wish they would retire the William Bracken character. I think that plot is over done. Time to move on to new ones.

  22. Georgia Madman says:

    So done with Bracken. Maybe done with Castle….

  23. suzyku says:

    Looking forward to Castle’s return however I got very tired of the Bracken character a long time ago!

  24. Kim says:

    I love the bracken storyline! I am excited by this bc could go several ways! Just no “real” Caskett breakup! Would make no sense with how things were left and the fact they haven’t even celebrated a first wedding anniversary! This, like 3xk, should make them stronger in the end. A lot of possibilities.

  25. Kim says:

    Any news on the new permanent set built on the Castle set? Or maybe more news on the blind topic? Anyone?? Please!

  26. NDfan says:

    Bracken was such a big part of Kate’s storyline and life, that I would fine it almost strange to never hear from him again…. So I’m cool with this. I think the whole season sounds pretty intriguing so far.

  27. Mary says:

    I´m looking forward to it, I love that storyline – I would like (and hope) to see his trial!

  28. CastleBuzz says:

    I love the idea of the return of Bracken. Not only does Jack Coleman play him brilliantly but Bracken was sold to us as the “Dragon.” He’s far too big a nemesis to be swept aside by a mere arrest. As NDfan posted it would be almost strange to never hear from him again. What is the “surprising way” he returns? My guesses include a connection to Rick’s disappearance, a contract out on Rick (hence the need for Hayley Vargas), a task force involving Beckett investigating all of his operations (hence the need for the new tech specialist), or – and this would be really surprising – as an ally of sorts to some big new case Beckett et al are working on and Kat has to deal with him. Whatever…I’m excited about this season!

  29. I love Castle. I did not think last season was boring. Although I want Castle and Beckett stay together, I don’t mind things to keep it interesting…just DON’T EVER split them up! Thanks :0)

  30. sigh says:

    I’m the ONLY ONE who is NOT EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :(

    • CastleBuzz says:

      Hmmmm. Maybe it’s your name? Sounds like you’re a glass half-empty kind of person. Look on the bright side. Your expectations seem very low so anything half-way good should exceed them!

      • sigh says:

        That’s true. I’m just surprised at the quick change in comments over the months. People went from “I’m done watching” to “I can’t wait for Season 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and I can’t figure out why exactly haha. I’m still kind of wishing they had just ended Castle last season. But maybe the changes will be good…

        • Just one thing says:

          I feel ya. Personally, I’ve been cautiously optimistic, given the writers at the helm. Plus, my enjoyment doesn’t hinge on Caskett, which means they only need to write Beckett well, and I’ll give it a shot.

          • sigh says:

            Agreed, I have always preferred Beckett, at least when the character was written well, and Alexi Hawley was one of the show’s best writers I thought. So he is the only reason I will be giving season 8 a whirl. :)

        • CastleBuzz says:

          There you go, sigh. Try to be positive, at least a little bit. Seriously, though, it’s be a topsy turvy kind of hiatus, first with the long delay in announcing the show’s renewal and Stana’s re-signing dragging us downward. Then, the dismissal of Penny and loss of Gates. Next, the blind item and addition of Toks’s character Hayley and the wild speculations that she was going to break up Caskett. Lately, the tide has turned more positive, I believe, because of the apparent enthusiasm of the main cast members — Stana’s nail-biter tweet, Nathan’s don’t worry, and Susan’s magic and love. For me it’s time to believe TPW and AH can pull it off…unless and only if proven otherwise…..

        • John NYC says:

          The “done watching” pool just dried up? All the Felicias went bye bye: and, imho, are not missed.

    • Betisa says:

      yes, your are! :p

  31. lame says:

    Agent Carter ran eight serialized episodes it’s first season keeping the plot line clearly in focus. Think how successful season seven might have been if the first eight episodes had been devoted to Rick Castle’s abduction and memory loss in a serialized format.
    Here’s hoping Winter/Hawley have the for sight and moxie to shake things up for the good.

    • lkh says:

      Agree-yes! I think the world is moving in that direction and I think it’s a good thing. Murder of the week is hard to sustain and come up with something novel each week.

      btw, I really like Agent Carter-when is it back? anyone

      • DarkDefender says:

        While I do like a more serialized format, Castle is a money maker in syndication and for that they need a ton of stand alone episodes. The COTW format will never die, but hopefully they will do longer episode arcs on the non-COTW stuff (or as they often miscalled it the “mythology” parts).

      • DarkDefender says:

        And to answer your question, I believe Agent Carter will be the winter break filler again, between the first and second halves of S.H.I.E.L.D.

  32. What if Bracken had something to do with Castle’s disappearance?!? Maybe Rita helped rescue him, or maybe she knows what happened…That would help solve the tie to Castle. She could have insight that could change Castle’s life…and Beckett’s too, for that matter.

  33. Glena W. says:

    WOOHOO!!! Castle is back!!! :)

  34. Annetm says:

    Don’t tell me her mother isn’t dead.

  35. arial2 says:

    Please, let’s move on from Bracken. Are the writers having that much difficulty coming up with new storylines that we have to “rerun” an already-solved case? Let Kate’s mother rest in peace. Geez!

    • June says:

      I don’t think it’s about Kate’s mother anymore, he’ll do anything to get back at her for shaming him in public. He was extremely good at trying to hurt someone but with a smile on his face. I really like him. I did not like 3xk.

  36. JImN says:

    Good to see them getting some of the great actors they’ve had on the show previously. Hope they can find a spot for Captain Max and the cat lady in Fool Me Once.

  37. Laura says:

    So far Bracken’ return is the only good piece of news I’ve heard about season 8.

  38. June says:

    I enjoyed Jack Coleman’s character, I am thrilled to have him back!!

  39. Kristina says:

    Well. That’s enough to get me to tune back in. Guess my DVR just got more crowded on Mondays.

  40. Grego Daone says:

    ……..and now we find these new ‘Show Runners & Writers’ DON’T have the brains the good Lord gave a RUBBER DUCK !! Change for the sake of change makes NO sense for ‘Castle’. They are married and STILL call each other ‘Castle’ and ‘Beckett’???

  41. Meagan Hawes says:

    HI, my name is Meagan Hawes and I love watching Castle. In season 8 of Castle, Castle should become a cop because Castle had solved a murder in the episode in plane sight along with his daughter Alexis. Castle deserves a promotion in season 8.

  42. Larry Howlett says:

    Does the addition of a new Security Analyst (Toks Olagundaye) mean that Tori is out?