ABC’s ‘Castle’ season 8, episode 3 review: Are Castle, Beckett closer to coming back together?

CastleAfter last week’s episode of “Castle,” there was a mass panic among the fan base, and deservedly so. Is it the end for Castle and Beckett?

At the beginning of “PhDead,” it pained us greatly to hear words like “breakup” and “split,” and it made us feel as though this was going to be a while before this particular story was over. We still do not buy the whole “Beckett is investigating the case solo to protect Castle” argument, since they are experienced working together for one, and she is also working with someone else now in Vikram whose history dates back merely to some time in Washington DC.

We don’t want to punish this episode for the crimes of the former, since there was some particularly entertaining stuff here. Castle went undercover as a professor in order to figure out how a student was killed, and the results led him to some interesting places. First, we had him getting hammered at a frat party for information while Alexis was undercover as an “angel.” Then, the two uncovered a secret prison that was an experiment by a psychology professor, one who he allegedly was sleeping with. Then, it turned out that this said affair was with the Dean of all people. When will people at Hudson University learn?

Ultimately, the killer was revealed at the end of the episode to be one of the people taking part in the prison experiment, who actually came back to the prison in order to try and reflect suspicion. The moral of this story seems to be fairly simple: Don’t take part in crazy prison experiments. It almost never ends well.

We want to finish by going back to the Castle / Beckett story, since we had a reminder near the end of the hour that she does still love him, and this is really all about her. The show is dangling that thread with secret conversations, and having Beckett reach out to an old contact back from when she was tracking down Vulcan Simmons. She’s continuing on with it because she knows no other way. We may disagree with that, but at least the storytelling is consistent. “PhDead” may continue to frustrate us from a relationship standpoint, but the main case was solid enough and we did have a nice moment between Caskett in prison, funny as that is to write. Grade: B-.

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