Castle Review: Fake Break-Up Nudges Show Closer to Its Season 5 Sparks

TV Review Grade B+Why are you watching ABC’s Castle?

(I could leave that question there, call it a day and still trigger 206 passionate comments, but allow me to elaborate.)

Are you (still) watching for the Castle/Beckett banter? For the flirtiness between husband-and-wife crimesolvers? To work your own noodle solving twisty cases? Do you watch for the added something that Ryan, Esposito, Alexis and Martha offer? Or are you here to see Lanie and Perlmutter poke and prod corpses? (If the latter, that’s kinda dark, man.)

Or: All of the above?

Season 8 has taken some dings, to say the least, for the storyline that found Kate calling a “time out” on her nascent marriage, in the name of safeguarding Rick from LokSat aka the late Senator Bracken’s thus-far-unidentified partner in crime. Viewers sweated out a half-dozen episodes of that marital misdirection, until the very end of the fall finale, where Rick called Kate on the carpet, and she let him in on the ruse — with the caveat that they must continue acting out the estrangement.

Thus, the good news moving forward, starting this Monday, is: Rick and Kate have (secretly) reunited. The possibly bad news: Will that be enough for the disenfranchised longtime fan?

Which brings us back to: Why do you watch Castle?

Having screened the midseason premiere, “Tone Death,” I can report that the “Caskett” spark is back, at least in their private moments together. When eyes are not on them at the 12th or wherever, Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion sell us on the anticipatory giddiness of the marrieds’ covert encounters. Simply said: Getting it on, on the down low, has lit a fire in both of them, creating a certain shared… insatiability.

And as for the faked break-up, faux fights are held and bogus barbs are hurled, but it’s always with a deft, sometimes literal wink or an apology-in-advance. Meanwhile, the “snowball” effect of an on-the-fly lie from Rick, about his new girlfriend “Svetlana,” makes for great — earmuffs, because I’mma gonna say the F-word! — fun, especially when Kate eventually attempts to one-up her “ex.”

But… if your answer to “Why do you watch Castle? is “To see Rick and Kate attached at the hip for 42 minutes!,” you’re resigning yourself to be disappointed. Because yes, Rick still is working separately from the NYPD. Because yes, in the public eye he and Kate are partners of no sort. Because yes, there is a stretch in Monday’s episode where its Alexis, not Kate, who joins Rick on an ominous outing.

However, if the measured dollops of banter, sexytimes and reassuring professions of love suffice for you, “Tone Deaf” marks a return to form — a small step in the direction of early Season 5, when Rick and Kate first canoodled on the QT.

Add in some rousing a capella numbers (as well as a capella versions of the Castle theme song and the show’s familiar music cues), a sufficiently twisty Case of the Week and a highly entertaining demonstration of cast member Jon Huertas’ pipes, and you have a solid return from a medium-sized hiatus.

For how long will the fake break-up last? I’m hearing of a springtime thaw. Is Rick, Alexis and Hayley’s Episode 14 trip to L.A. setting the stage for a possible “evolution” of the series? Quite possibly. But in the here and now, for some of you, Castle‘s midseason premiere just may deliver enough of the “why” you watch.

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.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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188 Comments
  1. Alex says:

    Seriously how could Castle and Beckett want everyone to think they cheated with other people ? And how can their friends believe that ? Can’t people fight for other reasons ?

    • S. says:

      They’re not selling a fight, they’re selling a breakup. It’s also not cheating if they’re (trying to pretend they’re) no longer together. The point is making people think they are *not* a couple which would involve moving on to others. Just because a divorce isn’t finalized doesn’t mean you’re locked into celibacy provided both parties know it’s just a matter of a judge signing off on paperwork and Castle and Beckett are trying to make it look like that. It’s more sketchy for the new bf/gf dating the separated person because the rug could always be pulled out from under you and really they ought to be working on themselves before jumping into another relationship. I’d call it unwise, esp. if you’re giving someone an excuse to not consider reconciling. Better to tell them to give you a call when they’re entirely free, but that’s just my own take and also, this is a pretend breakup with pretend dating so I don’t plan on judging it by the same standards.

      • I'm going to let you finish but says:

        If they wanted to fool LokSat, they’d take their wedding rings off. But that’s not why this storyline is happening, it’s to ween viewers off Caskett. And to continue to ruin Beckett. Because no Captain in their right mind would smack their significant other in public, much less yell and scream or whatever is happening in that scene. Detective Beckett never did it, and neither would Captain Beckett. But alas, writers want us to hate her IMHO.

        • lkh says:

          IGTLYFB–you remind me of JOT, hmmm

          • sigh says:

            Hi lkh — I have been hoping to see you around these parts! I wanted to get your thoughts on Dengue Fever being in Hawaii!?! How messed up is that?

          • lkh says:

            Hola Sigh–long time no Sigh. Anyway, do you really want to engage me in my hobby-so to speak? Ha. Honestly, there’s was an ‘outbreak’ in Hawaii in the early 2000’s mostly on Maui. Found the problem might be a trash/dump area on that island(mosquitos). Interestingly, an awful lot of Dengue is imported to the U.S., maybe in this case, at least some on the other islands-probably from Tahiti. Mosquito borne, usually Aedes egypti, but also Aedes albopictus. As we discussed before, we have dengue along the Texas border, etc. Guess another ‘family’ member currently has interest, Zika versus, relative to Dengue and Yellow Fever all mosquito borne. (and Zika maybe body fluid transmission) and blah, blah, blah. Most cases we see are imported, but that might be changing. Our interest is why Castle has antibodies, in truth he was probably lying on the beach in Hawaii. Saving the world, balderdash :)

            I’m just visiting…I read the stuff, but don’t watch the show :[ Always happy to talk about critters.

          • I'm going to let you finish but says:

            I take that as the highest compliment, thank you! Sadly I am not JOT, they’re just a role model ;)

          • Just one thing says:

            IGLYFB, you are too kind. A partner in crime show-watching/bashing to be sure.
            .
            And howdy, lkh!

          • lkh says:

            IGTLYFB–It is a compliment, just beware, JOT does always behave…

            JOT–hola! Just visiting, saw the word Dengue–what can I do?! Someone stole your dot space system. You’ve got a fan, behave.

          • sigh says:

            Oh wow, lkh, I didn’t know you were actually so well versed in the topic! I have family in Hawaii I am visiting later this year, so you can imagine I’m a little freaked out about the Dengue.

            Those were my thoughts exactly — Castle was really in Kona preventing WW4 or something. Here’s hoping I don’t show up in passed out in a dingy with dengue antibodies two months later with no recollection of my whereabouts!

            Miss the lkh-JOT banter, but totally understandable given the show’s continuing downhill slide…. You’re not missing anything! :]

          • lkh says:

            Sigh-absolutely do NOT encourage me-I’ll bore you to death quickly.
            .
            My best advice for prevention: if a mosquito approaches you to discuss dinner, decline.

          • sigh says:

            LOL love it, thanks for the advice :]

    • David says:

      I agree Alex, I think using adultery as the reason for the separation is just ugh! And so not Rick or Kate…dumb dumb dumb…

  2. Sammy says:

    So Beckett and Castle will ‘fight’ in public? I ask this w. no disdain or BS . . . why? They didn’t do it before a.k.a when Castle believed Beckett wanted to take a break from their married so why now? Wouldn’t that be less believable? Also, I’m to believe that Ryan/Espo would still allow Castle to be around when they froze him out in s3 b/c he didn’t call Beckett over the summer?
    The writers are asking the viewer to check common sense and this show’s own history at the front door.

    • I'm going to let you finish but says:

      Have you forgotten that Ryan is now Castle’s “Rat” and getting paid $500 a week for that?
      .
      He’s long since stopped being Team Beckett and is firmly Team Castle. Espo is still Team Beckett, and I agree would never allow Castle around. The writers have long since asked us to check our brains at the door before sitting down to watch S8, and much of S7.
      .
      I imagine it’s easier to fool LokSat if they stopped wearing those pesky wedding bands…but what do I know. I’ve only watched since the first promo aired on TV.

      • Sage says:

        Don’t get me wrong this season sucks ass!! But I’m really tired of hearing how castle bribed Ryan, who gives a F!!!! Did he ever give him any information??? Have we seen him give him money?? Who cares!! This show has enough problems. Like Alexis, Hayley and this stupid ass storyline. Oh and also the fact the leads hate each other. Please let this be the last season so we don’t have to listen to this fandom anymore

        • I'm going to let you finish but says:

          You’re really tired of hearing it? LOL I’m really tired of knowing it. But, we don’t see them having actual s*x on screen does it mean it doesn’t happen? We don’t see Alexis go to college, but it seems she’s learned so much it’s scary. We never saw them going out at night together following Vulcan Simmons, but it still happened. Just because you don’t SEE IT ON SCREEN, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. It is after all a 42 minute show.
          .
          I know ignorance is bliss, but my point is simply that Ryan is no longer the good guy he was when he ratted out Beckett & Espo for going against Captain Gates orders.
          .
          Now Ryan is the guy going against Captain Beckett’s orders all while checking her ass out.
          .
          Also I agree w/you, Hayley needs to go ASAP, along with Alexis and not to a spinoff.

  3. Craig says:

    I still don’t get why they have to break them up to get LokSat? Beckett said she could have never gotten Bracken without Castle. Haven’t they taken on worse bad guys then Bracken together? Wouldn’t those people get out of prison and go after them too? I would also think that the LokSat people would have spies on Rick and Kate and see Kate sneaking into Rick’s loft. Also even if they really divorce the LokSat people could still take Rick and his family hostage to use against Kate because they might think that Kate still love them and wouldn’t let anything happen to them. I guess maybe the writers can’t figure out what to do with Alexis and that is one reason for the faux break-up? They had the perfect ending with Season 7 finale.

  4. John Z says:

    Thanks for the write up. But fake broken up and now fake adultery , to some , isnt very funny. Yes it is a TV show, but still . What made Castle great to me, was it was a mature love story between two adults. Not ” Booty calls at lunch” and public fighting for show. I think I am in the camp that wants them working together out side of the bed room.
    Also any spin off will be DOA if it only has one of them ( ie half of Caskett), the ratings and fan disdain for the first 8 episodes of S8 should prove that to anyone.

    • annek says:

      I couldnt agree more. Adultery isnt a joking matter, and to string their loved ones along in this way is just sad. They couldnt be more out of character. For a novelist, RC couldnt come up with a better ruse? Oh yeah, forgot, he is no longer clever, savvy or smart

      • Mary S says:

        Uh, pay attention! They were with each other (NO ADULTERY) but could admit it to the crew, so they gave each other pseudonyms in case anybody asked. There was never a Svetlana and there was never a Stone…and I don’t really think that Alexis and Martha believed them for a moment.
        They are still working together on cases, just not publicly. No problem, guys.
        Kwitcherbellyachin’!

    • Agree, first half of S8 sucked, I wouldn’t take it out of the DVD case. They need to spend some time enjoying being married. So please don’t take up to Epi 20 out of 23 to resolve it. Plus with all the other romantic comedy shows going off, they would own the shippers. Bones is leaving, Rizzole is leaving, Michael Weatherly is leaving NCIS, so stay, pay them more if necessary but encourage them to stay otherwise forget the spin off, no one could believe a 22 year old Alexis even if paired with Haley could make a show of it. No offense to Molly but the character has no background, they’d be better off letting her become a cop and fast forward 5 years to where she is a detective. But still its the love story that made people love the show, keep it or shut it down.

      • anon says:

        Well you got two out of three right…. Bones is on hiatus until the Spring and its fate hasn’t been decided yet. Just like Castles fate.

    • annie says:

      Exactly! I watch(ed) for the mature story of a writer and his muse who grew and matured their love into something truly unique on tv. I watch for believable friendships and smart work life that involved Espo, Ryan, and Lanie, and I watched for the sweet home life with Martha and Alexis. The relationship between Rick and Kate has reverted to a juvenile joke, Ryan and Espo can barely stand to be around Castle and Alexis is so co-dependent on her father that it is unhealthy. For all those reasons I watched and I really don’t know if I’ll start watching again. The break from the frustration of the character destruction of season 8 has been nice.

    • Susan Smith says:

      EXACTLY. Most of us want Caskett working together and solving cases.This has been the premise of the show since the Beginning. The writers and show runners have ruined the show by tearing them apart.They think a bit of sex in the beginning and end of the show will suffice.Fans aren’t frat boys we want SUBSTANCE.Hard to believe Matt is being an apologist for the dumbing down of the show. Millions have bailed Specifically because the show is not about a writer abd his muse (wife) Soving Murders Together it is disparage Beckett’s character and Castle PI.And of course Firefly /OLTL. We don’t need them”at the hip for 40+ minutes but we DO want the premise of the show back w hg enough it was pulling in 9-12 million viewers.Oh but that was when the writers and show runners weren’t ridiculous and misogynistic

  5. bradley says:

    so possibly there friends find out they been lied to but dont see there being a evolution if they did

  6. Daya says:

    I’ve only ever watched in reruns, but the fact that they’re doing the fake breakup thing Bones did a few seasons ago doesn’t help the situation any. I wouldn’t watch new episodes even if they were on earlier because the writers couldn’t think of anything that hadn’t happened on a different network not that long ago!

    • anon says:

      What fake break up on Bones? When Booth said that he & Brennan didn’t need to be married to keep Pelant sweet they never broke up, they were still together, just not engaged.

      • LIly says:

        my question exactly, what fake break up? Booth and Brennan never broke up, not for real or faking it…

      • Daya says:

        They broke off the engagement due to the threat from Pelant and Booth didn’t tell her right away…it’s pretty much the same thing. (The only difference I detect is that Caskett has been in on it the whole time, never separate.)

        • anon says:

          Booth & Brennan were NEVER broke up during the Pelant story arc, they were still together, raising their daughter, solving crimes, only not engaged, Brennan didn’t know the reason behind being no longer engaged & that caused tension, that is true

          I honestly don’t get why Bones canon is getting rewritten in a Castle article anyway, isn’t Castle narrative enough to discuss here?

  7. Sunshine says:

    I watch Castle for Castle and Beckett partners in crime and in life. But I haven’t been getting either.

    • Sam says:

      I agree with you. The show moved forward, moved forward, and moved forward (albeit slowly at times) until this season. I just feel like it’s taking steps backwards. I just don’t think the new showrunners liked where the series was. It seems like they are very much trying to change what has made Castle the show people love to watch. This hidden relationship is such a repeat of a past season.

    • Craig says:

      Well said.

    • Gaby says:

      Same. I don’t really care about Rysposito/Lanie outside precinct/morgue walls, and I don’t care for Alexis AT ALL. I’m here for Caskett. Period. Haven’t seen much of that this season, and even if they start giving it to us now, they’re still wasting too much time on secondary characters they never bothering getting people invested in in any of the 7 prior seasons. It’s too late for that now.

  8. Kate says:

    You know, I’m just gonna say it. Season 8 of Castle reminds me a lot of Season 7 of Gilmore Girls. It’s getting a lot of fans angry, and taking a lot of flack, but it’s really not that bad. As much as people love to hate on the new show runners, they had the grueling job of cleaning up the mess that was left to them (much like GG with the April debacle). The worst thing about the show (in my opinion) was not even Rick’s disappearance, but how it was “resolved.” A whole season of mystery because of one old schoolmate? The payoff was not worth what was lost that season.

    The BEST thing about Season 8, is that they’re trying to get rid of all the old skeletons in the closet and tie up all the loose ends that were left to them. They’re doing an okay job at it, too. The season premiere was awesome, and though the following episodes never quite lived up to old Castle, I truly believe they are working as best as the can to get the characters back to where they need to be for (a possible) Season 9.

    I still love you Castle, Beckett & Co. I’ll be watching until the end. :)

  9. Liz says:

    Honestly, I can’t figure out for the life of me why that random line about ep. 14 is even in here. How does that in any way, shape, or form, relate to the rest of the article?

    • I'm going to let you finish but says:

      It’s warning us that we MAY be getting a spinoff/S9 with those characters front and center in my opinion.
      .
      It has to do with this article because he’s asking us why do we watch Castle. Maybe if I’m reading in between the lines correctly S9/spinoff will be minus Beckett, so that’s why that line about ep 14 is in there. As a “whisper” of what’s ahead, just like Seamus said in an interview earlier this week. (Not on TVline.)

      • Liz says:

        No, I get that. I’m following the idea heads-up, but I’m just confused why it’s there, in an article that doesn’t at all discuss a possible S9 and, while it throws out a lot of “why do you watch this show” stuff, doesn’t at all ask if people are watching for Beckett. Seems like just a throwaway line at the end of an article that’s just designed to keep everyone freaking out, and, while I’d totally appreciate the heads-up in a different context, it just kind of sat weirdly with me here. I’d hoped that I was just reading the line wrong haha.

      • brad says:

        yup and 8×14 is the startup for it

  10. Katrina says:

    Good stuff, Matt!

  11. Brigid says:

    Wow, not one of these knuckleheads answered your question and just continued to complain. Not a surprise! You’ll have more than 206 replys but about 98% will ignore your question.

    I watch Castle because I love the banter. I love Nathan Fillion and I love the chemistry between all the actors. This show is just fun and even though at times during the break up I rolled my eyes, I still have a smile on my face the entire time.

    • Night Owl says:

      Yes!!! This!!! I watch the show for the same reasons. The entire cast plays well off each other. The chemistry between ALL of them is awesome. I’ve always enjoyed the banter myself, and I still love the show. I agree, some things do make you roll your eyes (Ex: resolution of the time Castle was missing), but I still love it overall and I’m here until the end.

    • Ellen says:

      Completely agree. But every show has it’s eye-rolling moments. Castle is still my favorite show on TV and I’m here until the end, in whatever version it takes. If Nathan Fillion is in it, I’m watching.

    • c-mo says:

      👍👍👍👍

  12. N says:

    I like the show…..

  13. CM says:

    I don’t watch Castle since about the 20 minute mark of S08E01.

  14. ndixit says:

    Honestly, I have enjoyed the last couple of Castle free months. It was nice not to keep hearing about a show you once get buried deeper and deeper underground and constantly increasing your BP by pissing me off over the creative decisions. I just am not willing to reconcile with a show that is so willing to sweep Kate’s incredibly unkind actions under the rug. And I am definitely not interested in a show where Castle is a constant bufoon, an aspect that I’ve heard plays heavily in this ep. So they can have their ‘sexy times’ and spark back however they want but as long as both main characters remain so unlikable, I have no interesting in watching any Castle ep at all. I am content watching reruns on TNT.

  15. Matt says:

    Why am I still watching Castle? Mostly because of inertia at this point.

  16. gretchen thad says:

    I don’t watch Castle for the crime solving. I watch for the relationships – Castle and Beckett, Esposito and Ryan (Espo and Ryan with Caskett), Rick and Alexis and his mom. And on many of these fronts, I’ve been disappointed of late. And why would a best selling author become a PI? Is that really the career path Rick hoped his super smart daughter would follow? And why would anyone agree to let friends and family to believe that they’d give up so easily on a new marriage? I really liked these characters and since the engagement, I’m always disappointed in the choices they (or their writers) make. If not for Nathan Fillion, I’m not sure I would hang in.

  17. ljd213 says:

    I’m just adding a comment to help the wonderful Matt Webb Mitovich get to his 206 passionate comments before he calls it a day.

  18. c-mo says:

    I watch it for the show as a whole and not just one aspect, i.e., Caskett, I love the banter between all of the characters and not just Castle and Beckett. While I wasn’t a fan (at all) of the breakup, I am happy they are only pretend broken up and look forward to their undercover life together. Now, unlike in S4 when Kate wouldn’t acknowledge her love for Rick, they get to have the fun banter as well as the fun at home. Thanks for the review, Matt!

  19. Craig says:

    Sorry I forgot to add that I am not watching Castle until they officially get back together and end this stupid LokSat storyline. Maybe end the series with Beckett announcing she’s pregnant? I another post in here got me thinking would and Alexis Private Detective spin-off series work?

  20. Crystal says:

    I watch Castle for the love story between a writer and his muse, not whatever you want to call season 8

    • Rick says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Stopped watching after the first S8 show. Can watch the earlier shows on TNT or Hulu. The writing is abysmal and shows why broadcast TV is on the way out. Married partners cheating or faking it makes no sense. I occasional read the comments to see if it has improved. The answer is always no.

  21. bradley says:

    changes are coming for castle get ready for the spinnoff they abc and even tvline is preparing fans for whats to come so best not to get stuck with caskett

    • Disappointed says:

      Normally a spin off is launched from a strong parent show and I don’t think Castle meets that criteria now, also the show’s ratings normally take a dip after the Christmas hiatus so we could be seeing fractional numbers for the all important demo when it returns this time. If the parent show is being listed as “likely to be cancelled” on those sites that provide data on the subject how do you launch a spin off? I would consider a S9 without Beckett as virtually the same as a spin off.

  22. CastleFan says:

    I only watch for Beckett now.

  23. Mariel says:

    Hi, I’ve been a castle fan now for many years. Now the reason I watch castle is for not only caskett, but for the crazy cases, drama and yes the rest of the cast is amazing. My problem with this season is that the writers have made these characters change so much that all the progress that they have made for over 7 years was lost. Beckett leaving castle and again with the secrets, it’s just diverting back to what she used to be. Castle acting like an idiot trying to win her back was just dumbing down the character. Plus since when is Alexis queen of tech. Also a possible spin off with only castle/Alexis/Haley will not work. I mean you can call that castle any more. Castle has always been about a writer and his muse solving mysteries and crimes. Not a PI show. I understand that sometimes shows need to change to keep it interesting, however, all this change is just causing the fans including myself to lose faith in the show. Lastly, I don’t need Beckett/castle to be together every minute of the episode but equal screen time will be great.

  24. Maria says:

    Why do I watch Castle?
    As of a few months ago, I haven’t watched.
    I have been DVR’ing the episodes but then I read the recaps and find no reason to actually watch. If I read that the stories are getting better, that Alexis isn’t so front-and-center, that the leads look like they can actually stand each other, and that the producers turn the lights on and quit making every episode look so poorly-lit…then maybe I’ll watch.

  25. Debbie says:

    I watch Castle for the banter and for the chemistry between Beckett and Castle. My wish for closer would be a few more crimes before Beckett starts having morning sickness. = ) That would be the best ending EVER!!!!

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Ha, good luck with that wish ;) .

      • Grey says:

        When are you going to announce it? And I’m not talking about pregnancies.

      • Joey says:

        Matt did you on November 21st ask the question did Rick and Kate make a baby at
        the end of episode 7 ? Were you not and the rest of the tv line staff making that same wish ? I made copies on both November 21st and November 24th, that the one Mr. Hawley said NO, that they did have enough talent to write in a pregnant Kate.I figured Mr. Hawley had something against pregnant women. So I forwarded two letters one to Mr. Lee and the other to Mr. Mayfield. and ask them the question, why would you get the fans looking forward to a castle baby one day and two days later go in a different direction. And one wanders why ratings are falling. Both Mr. Lee and Mr. Mayfield did receive those letters. I pulled a interest thing off of ABC Castle news on Feb 5 to talk about episode 9 and 10 entitled ” tone death and dead red” that not what you have down for 10. I know 9 was written along time ago and was to air in December. We as fans we really only have a little over 10 hrs and counting down of Castle left. Us fans do not know if we are going to have a season 9 with both Rick and Kate. Isn’t it time to stop the BS separation.

        • Boiler says:

          Sounds like you need a life also

          • Joey says:

            I have a great life how about yours? I just would like the best show ABC has to come back from the dead. I guess we always have the big bang theory or another dancing with the stars. But if Castle gets canceled at the end of this season it gets canceled and a whole lot of wonderful folks will be out of a job and no one wins,and life will go on.

          • I'm going to let you finish but says:

            Seriously Boiler, you need a better name, not to mention a life of your own.
            .
            .
            Why are you making personal attacks on here? Maybe you should get a clue, then proceed to getting a life. Although I pity those in your life if this is how you speak to strangers.

          • Boiler says:

            I have a great life. If you are so concerned about all the people who lose jobs watch the show. I still do and enjoy all of it.

  26. Audrey says:

    Great article, Matt! The Caskett relationship is what drew me to the show and what keeps me watching for 8 seasons and beyond. However, I love Castle’s relationships with Martha & Alexis and I love Espo & Ryan and Lanie…all of them. But the love story is key for me! I hated the breakup. Every episode had a haze of sadness this season. I can’t wait for Monday and the Winter Premier! If the show Castle remains and a spin-off is made in addition to the show Castle, I would watch. However, if the show Castle becomes something without BOTH SK and NF, I won’t watch. I could not bear KB & RC not having their happily ever after forevermore.

  27. BM says:

    I’m looking forward to the episode. Still have a problem with Alexis though. I like her character but that girl is 21/22. Why does she have to dress so far beyond her age and why does her outward appearance change so drastically? She’s still very much a child, just about of legal drinking age, and adulthood doesn’t come with looks. It comes with the brain (and she’s already been an adult in a lot of ways from the very first episode, so what they did with her really bothers me and, I think, sends the wrong message)

  28. annek says:

    So Matt are you confirming that ep 14 is the beginning of Castle PI spin off? Kind of sounded like it

    • I read a while back that epi 14 in LA would be the final resolve of Castles missing time and the guy from Simon and Simon was on for 2 or 3 episodes. So if he is a PI in LA and Hayley and Alexis go out there then maybe they would stay there and work and that’s where they think a spinoff could come. I mean really, how shallow do they think we are. If we can second guess every aspect of every episode, we should be the writers cause clearly we have put more thought into it than they have. They still haven’t said what Stana and Nathan want, do they want to stay at all or is it about the money???

  29. Maryann says:

    I watch for intriguing story lines that hopefully have Castle and Beckett’s status as a happily married couple in the background. And I love Beckett as Rick’s muse. When I heard where they were going with Season 8, I stopped trying to catch up with the end of Season 7. I love Alexis. I love Lanie and Esposito. Are they still even trying to be a couple? At any rate, if fan approval goes up, I may try to catch up with the show.

  30. EmmaK says:

    I’m slowly distancing myself emotionally from Castle and I’m almost the point of letting go now. If they are letting Beckett go and turn this into a Castle, Alexis and Haley PI show next season, I’ll be at a point where I don’t care anymore and will move on. It may sound silly to some, but I found Castle in Season 3 and have been a loyal fan since. I just don’t enjoy the idea of the show without a strong Beckett character and no Caskett. 😢

  31. Roxie says:

    This procedural stood out from all of the from the start – an ADULT love story with incredibly sophisticated dialogue and I was hooked. I shipped this show for seven years. Then once upon a time the male lead went to TPTB and told them that the name of the show was NOT called Beckett. From that day onward we have been force fed bad writing, degraded characters and insufferable childish and lame story arcs. We now have a train wreck of a program with only reality shows left and procedurals that have no chemistry warranting my time. Thank goodness TNT continues running the good years episodes. RIP.

    P. S. : No disrespect to Molly, but Alexis is insufferable and should go back to school or her life NOT working cases with her father. It’s Creeeepy! Hayley is not the type of person with whom the former Castle character would permit his daughter to associate.

    ..All this brought to bear because Nathan’s ego was damaged? How very, very sad.

  32. FormerCastleFan says:

    When I watch it is to see a writer and his muse solving crimes TOGETHER. I have only watched sporadically since Still (I have watched only 2 episodes this season). I love the witty, intelligent banter between Caskett, the mind melds and their overall chemistry.
    .
    I also enjoy the boys and Martha, but not enough to tune in specifically for them. I find Lanie annoying, but I loathe the spoiled brat daughter and the two new characters. I also loathe Castle’s bumbling “antics” and slapstick sense if humor, as well as what they have done to Beckett this season.
    .
    I will however pay attention to what is happening on the show as long as Stana and Nathan are a part of it. Stana and Susan are the only two cast members I will follow once they leave Castle.

  33. Vanessa says:

    One half of the Caskett equation is NOT selling that the spark is back or the “giddiness” in their covert encounters. Nathan still looks bored, and he most definitely does NOT look like he just had some fantastic afternoon sex with his wife. We’re to believe they’ve just had this great sex and yet they’re lounging on opposite sides of the bed (although the appearing to be naked thing is a huge improvement on these bedroom scenes) looking like they’ve just wandered out of the hair and make-up trailer. Neither one looks like or has the air of a person in love that has just had 3 rounds of sex, or one round for that matter.

    And I take issue with your “attached at the hip” comment regarding those that like them working together. Most fans fell in love with the writer and his muse that solved homicides together with her determination and his wit, and THAT is what sold the show and made it popular. Their dynamic is what sold the show, and that is completely gone now. I didn’t watch the show to see Castle solving PI cases with his daughter, and I didn’t watch the show to see Espo and Ryan solve cases, or to watch Castle at home with his mother and daughter. All that was a part of it, but it was not the main reason for watching. NONE of that secondary stuff can replace the Caskett dynamic and what made this show popular. Now they’ve changed the show to where that Caskett dynamic is rare, and everything else fills the time. And to add insult to injury, they changed the characters for the worse – Beckett went from not liking her personal life being out in the open to openly yelling at her husband and slapping him in the middle of the precinct, Castle has gone from a suave witty ladies man into a juvenile buffoon, Ryan has gone from a man that did things by the book to a man that takes bribes to spy on his boss and one that openly checks out his female boss’s anatomy, I could go on. With the exception of Alexis (she’s now the technological investigative whiz kid) they’ve made them all idiots – Castle couldn’t figure out that his wife left him for a reason other than that she needed space, the boys plus Martha and Alexis can’t figure out that Castle & Beckett are secretly together??!! They’ve made them shadows of their former selves. And don’t even get me started on the fact that Castle and Beckett are lying to everyone they profess to love, including 2 people who could handle the LokSat bad guys. If they intended to make this such a different show, they should have started a new show with a different name, rather than destroying what was once a good show, and destroying the characters in the process.

  34. Boiler says:

    I still enjoy the show, hope it continues after this season and enjoy Matt’s articles. However I do wish they would shut down comments for this show. It is becoming worse than Glee and that is BAD

  35. Disappointed says:

    I got hooked on a writer and his muse solving crimes TOGETHER, so not a fan of Castle 2.0 this season, and from your big hint about evolution it doesn’t look like I’ll even be bothering with what follows S8. Putting Caskett naked in bed does not compensate for the lack of the other elements that I used to enjoy. The showrunners made a big thing about being invigorated by their creative decisions to promote Beckett, reactivating Castle’s P.I. career and splitting them up, but it just seems to me that they have regurgitated many ideas from earlier seasons, and not in a good way. Caskett was the glue that held things together for me and without that there’s not much left. Alexis certainly doesn’t fill the void as this supersleuth techno-wizard and Hayley just seems to be a totally pointless character, at least Vikram only turns up for the Loksat story. Unless there is some miraculous change of direction in the latter part of this season I will look back to 7×23 as my series finale.

  36. christopher says:

    I’m pretty sure that I mostly watch this show out of a bad habit. The idea that anyone would watch for what Martha and Alexis bring is hilarious to me – this show would have been so much better without Castle’s mother and daughter – all those characters bring to the table are cloyingly sweet “family” moments that don’t work on this crime dramedy because they aren’t don’t offer comedy or suspense – the traits that this show has going for it when it is at its best, which it rarely is these days.

    I know I used to legitimately like this show, and occasionally I really enjoy an episode again, but the “mythology” arcs have always been terrible (Kate’s mom’s murder, Senator Bracken, Castle’s stupid amnesia, now *sigh* Locksat). The standalone episodes are far and away the strongest of this series – they feature the best plots, the best comedy, and the best romance (well they used to feature romance anyway).

    The problem with this show now isn’t that the writers finally put Becket and Castle together, I think the formula could have worked with them married. But these writers seem unqualified to represent a fun married relationship for some reason (lack of ability, lack of imagination, lack of satisfying relationships in their own lives?) and now have themselves written in a corner. Breaking up Becket and Castle was the stupidest thing they could have done, every moment dealing with the break up has been agony, even when the cases have been good.

    I would hope that Locksat would resolve quickly and then this show could go back to the only recipe for success it has ever known – goofy comedy, and the charming relationship between Becket and Castle, mixed with hilariously twisting cases. But I think I know in my heart that the writers will drag out this stupid premise for at least the rest of the season until it is finally resolved in the finale, or worse, in the premier for next season (if there is a next season).

    I have always wondered if I’m in the minority on this, but I have hated almost every season premier and finale (along with many of the midseason finales) for this show. These are almost always the worst episodes because they are based on series long arcs that are poorly written, overly drawn out and completely unfun (Kate’s mom’s murder, Senator Bracken, Castle’s stupid amnesia, now *sigh* Locksat)

    • Beckstle says:

      I liked the Beckett’s Mom’s murder thing, because it brought the two closer together and explained a lot about Beckett – but It was definitely time to end it in season six. That’s one of the reasons Lokstat is so annoying. I also liked how 3XK was worked in over the years. The thing with both of those stories is that they illuminated and helped mold the characters early on. Hollander’s Woods made sense because it was attached to something hinted at early on in the series. However, the Castle amnesia thing was silly, it felt like, “now we have to make up something super dramatic for Castle.” Why? He’s the writer, not the muse. The fun has been watching Castle watch Beckett. Unlike the other two arcs, this one was just thrown on top of the story – which is still better than Lokstat which has been smashing the characters and their story to bits.

    • prish says:

      I agree with most of your insights, however, I enjoyed the Martha and Alexis scenes. I felt they gave heart to the show, ongoing. Castle’s happy marriage/crime solving situation could and should have grown, organically, from that established pattern in the storytelling from the first episode. They blew it.

  37. lame says:

    From Matt’s review it seems this a serious attempt to right the ship after that hair-brained fall storyline. For the super hard core shippers this will be enough. For those who are watching because they’ve invested 7 years, probably not, the magic has already been lost. Will this raise the ratings, hopefully to those of mid season 7 but most likely not. From the comments of the synopsis there will be some stone throwing from those who felt betrayed .
    So bring it on and let’s see how it plays out.

  38. KLS says:

    I watch for the light entertainment. Stand alone eps are better. I don’t need Stana and Nathan to be in every scene together to like an ep. I watch for Bad-A** Beckett.

  39. I'm going to let you finish but says:

    I watched from day one because of Stana Katic because I loved her in The Librarian.
    .
    I continued watching because of Caskett, and the love story Andrew Marlowe was writing for them. He said he took his time getting them together as a romantic couple, because he didn’t want to break them up. That to me was something different than the other 390275213 shows on TV, and what earned Andrew and the writers my loyalty.
    .
    Castle to me is Stana/Beckett & Nathan/Castle = Caskett, and what made this show stand out from the other crime shows on tv. It can not work for me without both of them equally on my tv screen. I don’t need them together for 42 minutes Matt, nor have I asked for that ever, no fan has.
    .

    .
    To replace Beckett with Alexis is beyond wrong, and it’s insulting to fans of the show. Alexis is shown as solving crimes all the real adult Detectives, and Captain can’t solve. She’s working without signing any paperwork, or being approved by Captain Beckett, with the NYPD as if Castle never signed a mountain of paperwork for the NYPD so no one could sue them if anything happened to him. Yet I’m expected to buy Alexis can just go undercover and be a pretend cop just because she says so? All while attending Columbia. Please, we suspend logic for so many things, but this is just too much now.
    .
    I’ve only stayed for Caskett, and hoping S8 was it. I wish I would have taken Matt’s warning more seriously, and told ABC to cancel it and never give us S8.
    .
    .
    Now if there is a spinoff that takes Alexis, Hayley, and Vikram off Castle I will forever be grateful to ABC. But no I will not watch a show minus Stana/Beckett full time, and Nathan/Castle full time. I watch for a writer following his muse solving crimes.

    • lame says:

      You actually liked her in the Librarian, really ???

    • Linda Giza says:

      I am in agreement with you.I cannot improve upon it.
      I liked the Librarian,I thought it was good.
      I find that spin offs are usually done with successful shows,Law and Order,etc not shows that are trying every life support option.I watch for a Writer and His Muse,and if they decide to end it then I will be grateful for the memories both good and bad,the ride that is Caskett has been at times exciting and frustrating but I thought once they married the stories yes would change but not this…..he is not the smart writer that told the story and she is not the smart lady that took down the bad guys and used her brain……this year she is a Captain breaking all the rules.Sad.
      Let this end if it is going to on a high note.Spin off Alexis and Hayley and let people guest star.

  40. Roxie says:

    Hey Matt was there a reason why my first message was not posted?
    I answered your question about why I love this show, but perhaps my theory on its downhill spiral hit too close to the truth…

  41. Jason says:

    I like the extra Alexis we’ve been getting this year. This is the first season where I don’t feel like she’s being under- used. I just wish they could find a way for her and Kate to team up before the show ends.

    • Marie says:

      I don’t think I would have minded more Alexis if they hadn’t made her into a cross between Inspector Gadget’s niece Penny and Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: TNG. The number of things she can ” miraculously” do with no training, and better than those who actually have training, is ridiculous and annoying.

  42. Marci says:

    I stopped watching when Kate staged the fake breakup, and I’m not watching again until this nonsense is over.

  43. Kim R says:

    I am all in! The dark pall that laid over the first part of this season is now gone so all the other elements that I’ve always enjoyed, can be enjoyed without this feeling of sadness at the end of each episode. I’m glad they fixed their mistake and I’m choosing to move on and not ask question like WHY?? :) And on we go!

  44. JImN says:

    The next 3 episodes over an 8 day period are a very big deal for this show. Should any one of these fail to meet viewer EXPECTATIONS – strong Caskett, low or no Vikram and Hayley, not much Alexis – the show will have big problems with the ratings. We’ll see how it goes.

  45. Kelly says:

    Castle was cheated on by his first wife but somehow he’s okay with their friends and family thinking he cheated on Beckett. And she’s so good with it that she’s off fake dating someone else. I watch for Caskett but it sounds like the love story no longer exists. This went from being a great show to one that makes me cringe. It’s nothing but sad.

  46. Teri says:

    I watch Castle for everything and everyone. That is why it entertains me so. Because Castle fans are a passionate bunch, we have become extremely attached at the hip to our beloved Caskett. They make the sun shine. We ant the best for them..to live happily as a now married couple. When this is not happening, that is when the complaining starts. If Stana and Nathan can still sell the hot chemistry between their characters, kudos to them. Nobody does it better. I am excited for the rest is Season 8,

  47. LH says:

    I enjoy all seasons of Castle, including the current season, mainly because of ‘Caskett’ but I also like the comedy and lightness of the show.

  48. Fred says:

    Sounds like more of the same overworked nonsense. Even in their very few minutes together both conversation and bedroom antics seem forced and unnatural. Every word out of her mouth is another lie. Would love to see Rick make at least a start with another woman or better yet dump Beckett and put an end to this garbage.

  49. Linda says:

    Like many have expressed here, the main reason I started watching (via TNT re-runs at first) was the witty repartee and obvious undercurrent of chemistry written into the two main characters by Andrew Marlowe and portrayed so well by the co-leads. (My level of fandom currently includes DVDs of the first six seasons and the first six Castle novels.)
    Much of that has been missing especially this season, for probably more reasons than we the fans will ever know. But I will be front and center on Monday night to see if the current showrunners are able to “right the ‘ship”. I will give them the rest of this season, but it is not with the same enthusiasm that brought me into the fold in the beginning.
    I would love for the series to continue after this season, but only if there is a return to the original concept. A “spinoff” may happen, but if it is at the expense of the “Caskett” relationship, I hold no faith in its success. If both leads are not committed to another season, please let them sail off into the sunset “together”. That is the least that fans deserve.

  50. Alisha says:

    A perfect sum up of this whole situation of this episode … based on what we know and of preview articles:

    “This is what I’m talking about when it comes to my disenchantment with the direction of the show this season and why I’m almost done watching on a regular basis. Castle pretends that he’s acquired a new girlfriend after all the trials and tribulations he’s been through with Beckett and after barely a year of marriage and everyone is meant to buy into that? Then Beckett is trying to “one-up” him by what? Getting a guy of her own I guess. How is that funny? The Beckett I used to know would never contemplate this. She’s also a newly appointed Captain of a precinct so how does this help her career getting involved in this stupid soap opera drama? It boggles the mind that this was the best idea they could come up with as a plot and it fills me with sadness that the characters have been reduced to this.

    The writers can dress this up as “fun” with slapstick and comedic misunderstandings between the boys and “mom and dad” over their new situation and throw in some superficial talk about how many times they bang each week but it doesn’t change the fact they’re making a mockery of their marriage pretending to be adulterers and making fools out of their family and friends along the way and that sucks” – Verdana

    • prish says:

      We have to tolerate writers’ and show runners’ issues because they are people, too. Something in their lives gives them the push and drive to put together the shows we enjoy. Unfortunately, when that translates to stomping on our fan anticipation, it is painful. I am sure they mean their best. Their rebellion showed with the wedding episode. It is what it is, some urge much greater than tying up a show as it developed. I don’t know why networks don’t do more TV movies to finish things out properly. They do need to encourage viewers more than frustrate them.