Castle Season 8 Episode 12 Recap

Castle Recap: I Want to Play a Game

If you like solving puzzles, this week’s Castle was (to some degree) for you. But if you came for much of anything else… you probably left disappointed.

Taking a cue from Saw — though not even Rick dared noted the obvious parallels? — the episode found Rick drugged and held captive, lured by the prospect of a truce and collaboration with frenemy Stephen King. Awaking alongside three other drugged men (all at the same time, surely amusing the late Roger Ebert), Rick is in what appears to be a classroom. There, theyy find a cryptex, inside of which lies the epi pen for the allergic guy, clergyman Todd, who’s been stung by a bee. From there, they formulate an antidote to the (poison!) epi pen, then discover a gun with enough bullets to kill all but one of them.

We and they then discover that their significant others, Kate included, are being held in an identical room. There, Simon’s missus, Meadow, goes to use their gun, but luckily Beckett (as I predicted) pinched the bullets. Simon meanwhile takes a cue from Meadow and pulls the trigger on his roommates… only to have the gun fatally, purposely backfire on him.

Beckett eventually fashions a bomb, Captain Kirk-style, from yarn and gunpowder, while Castle manages to pry open his room’s door. The two teams meet up only to get sealed in a third chamber, from which only three of them can leave. Todd is the first to grab a lever and thus commit himself to being left behind, followed by Rick and then Kate — allowing Meadow, Judah and his girlfriend to escape. Afterward — and simultaneous with RySpo cracking the case from the outside — Rick and Kate reveal that they know Todd aka Brandon is behind it all. (Turns out, his shrink parents performed experiments on him and his twin sister Emma, the Case of the Week’s murder vic, when they were kids. Case of the Week murder vic Emma wanted to expose his folks, but Brandon deemed that not enough, so he offed her and set out to make a lot of noise with this scheme.) Rick, though, deftly unscrews his lever and clobbers their captor with it, as Kate grabs his shotgun.

In the coda, Hayley eases Alexis’ (understandable!) anxiety about her dad getting abducted “like, two times a year” and then takes her to get “dolled up” and get into “a bit of trouble” at the clubs. Meanwhile at the loft, Beckett reassures Castle that though he didn’t get his meeting with King, he has “one hell of an ice breaker” to share when he does!

What did you think of “The Blame Game”? Anyone else feel echoes of this season’s Episode 3, which had the college kids subject to rogue psych experiments? Aside, that is, from the Jessica Jones/young Kilgrave parallels?