Midseason Report Card: Was ‘Castle’ season 8 hindered by the split?
There are times when we admittedly do our best to give shows the benefit of the doubt, mostly because we want to believe that in time, a show will justify a twist with its subsequent actions. We were like that for a long time with Castle and Becett’s separation on “Castle” season 8. We wanted to believe that this was something that would make more sense over time, and we’re still not entirely sure that it ever did.
With that being said, did this twist in some way ruin all of season 8 as a whole? That’s something we’re going to get into more in the latest entry in our Midseason Report Card series.
What worked – Episodes like “Cool Boys” and “The Last Seduction” were incredibly fun and stuffed full of great, classic “Castle” moments like a chase scene in a spa, or Rick learning about Slaugher’s history in the performing arts. The show was best when they were doing things to help us forget about our frustrations, and this helped. The same goes for some of the supporting storylines. We like that there was conflict over Ryan and Esposito when it comes to their job titles, jealousy, and the need to move up in the NYPD. Ryan was presented with a real-world problem: He has a second kid on the way, and he’d probably like to have a job where he didn’t have to work every second of the day.
Oh, and Castle and Beckett did get together again during “Mr. & Mrs. Castle.”
What didn’t – Why in the world was the “Mr. & Mrs. Castle” twist not the way it was the entire season? Having the two pretending to break up but still being together in secret would’ve been fun, and also would’ve probably provided enough of a change in formula to keep things fresh. The breakup was just depressing, as it made the lack of tangible screen time together for Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic in the first eight episodes all the more depressing.
Granted, even if they did do the secret-relationship twist, there’s one other logical problem that would remain: LokSat would probably still target Castle even if they were divorced. They’re not idiots, and they’ll know the people Beckett is close to regardless. This entire charade of “protecting” him feels more like a pony show, and after this many seasons you would think these two would realize that they really are stronger together.
Overall – There were some good individual episodes in here. However, in looking at these first eight episodes as a block, it’s hard to remember them that fondly when the central storyline was something so unnecessary. We don’t think viewers watch “Castle” for the twist and the shockers; it’s more TV comfort food, a fun whodunnit where they know what they’re getting week in and week out. Grade: C+.
November 29, 2015 @ 1:23 pm
Episode 8 is supposed to “promise” us what is to come in the remainder of season 8. This, to me, says (1) Caskett will be apart publicaly but together privately. This should last 3 or 4 episodes before it gets tiring and boring. (2) LokSat will continue at its present snail like speed for the remainder of the season ending as a cliff hanger if there is to be a season 9 or ending up solved with Caskett together and happy if there is not to be a season 9. (3) Vitram will be around slowing things down until about episode 14 when he will either be arrested (doubtful) or watched closely to provide clues and evidence. (4) about episode 14 Castle’s 2- month disappearance is going to come up again with (supposedly) connections to LokSat. This should take an episode or two to resolve and should provide evidence against LokSat. (5) since they are in no hurry to resolve LokSat we can expect to see several reruns, network specials, “fun” episodes, etc. to fill in the season with only 22 episodes.
November 28, 2015 @ 10:36 pm
The very basic flaw in the concept of a fake split is very simple. You can’t have each other’s backs if you’re not together.
November 26, 2015 @ 4:54 pm
The writers looked back at a time when the show was popular and AH was on staff, and decided to go back and try a “redo”. Unfortunately they failed miserably. U cant go back. They have regressed Beckett into someone no one can recognize, and spun Castle into a fool – hardly the smart, sauve man he once was. The plot has more holes then can be counted – new characters we dont need – and Caskett lovestory just destroyed. Im not sure this show can be saved; certainly not by these guys who have no clue how this show or these characters have evolved over 7 years .
November 26, 2015 @ 3:05 pm
From what I read of the interviews with the new shw runners, they don’t have a clue that their new story line arc is the fatal blow of ths show. For the first one third of this season, KB is protraited as a ‘over-obsessive disorder’ psycho, backwards her to her rookie days of finding her mother’s killer, then in less than half of ep., jumps her to the end of Season 4!
Now, in order to maintain this story line arc, the show runners moves her to Seanson 5 set up – ‘public separated, private intimating’, and sneaking her back to her home, to her husband from time to time through their home’s backdoor. I am really not sure how many viewers will still buy-in this story line?
I am pretty sure most viewers stay watching Castle because they love this show, love the interactions between KB and RC as a couple of highly intellgent crime-fighting team, not one psycho and one wimp.
The story line destories what is good in this TV series, and they still insist keep going.
November 26, 2015 @ 3:07 am
A basic fallacy in the whole 8 episodes was that Bracken’s partner was very high in the AG office and was privy to all information that Beckett provided (both personal and professional) upon beginning to work for the AG office. Also the AG’s office works on secret and top secret cases and there would be a complete investigation by the FBI of Beckett’s personal and professional life before she could be hired. This information, too, would be available to Bracken’s partner. The partner would know that Beckett and Vitram could both know about LokSat and would be after both of them (except that they did not appear to be actively looking for Vitram (could he work for Bracken’s partner? Very likely.)) Though Beckett’s action in splitting with Castle could be understood, having watched Castle for 7 years the split was certainly out of character for Beckett especially since she called upon Castle to solve cases several times and defended his participation in cases even those opposed by Capt. Gates. It would have been much better for Beckett to ask Castle to participate in the case (including a possible make believe split) as early as episode 1 and then keep the fans knowledgeable as to what was going on throughout all episodes. Vitram seemed unnecessary when Lori could have been used. I voted a D.
November 26, 2015 @ 12:49 pm
What of the theory thar vikram is in Loksat as he constantly trys to keep RC out of the loop and nukef RC computer to stop his investigation into Loksat
November 28, 2015 @ 10:35 pm
No, LokSat is supposed to be high up in the CIA not the AG’s office.
November 29, 2015 @ 1:04 pm
CIA or AG it does not matter he would still have access to the information.
November 25, 2015 @ 9:33 pm
It’s an insult to assume fans will buy into such idiotic premise. From what has been written on this site seems many immediately thought Loksat would go after Clan Castle.
Then there was the character asassinations, turning RC into a gutless whimpering doormat afraid to ask KB why. An turning KB into a selfish manic obsessive placing family last.
The season 8 ratings began on a record low and each week without exception set a new standard in the wrong direction. I ‘m sure the separation did little to stop the bleeding . The question now is can these writers do what never’s been done before, bring back the all important demos.
November 25, 2015 @ 6:48 pm
These show runners have burned up all the good will they had going into the season. You have to work hard to do something like that to a show with the powerhouse couple of Fillion and Katic. The rest of the season is episode to episode. A slip-up will be fatal. A lack of screen time with Katic and Fillion in the same frame will be death by a thousand cuts. (People keep track of that sort of thing. Apparently VikRam had a minute more “alone time” with Beckett than Castle did. That’s not what people came to see.)
Everyone knows that the separation is well, stupid is the word my wife used. Everyone understands that Vikram is LokSat and after Mr & Mrs Castle that he is in love with Beckett. What we don’t understand is how can Beckett, the best homicide detective in the NYPD, not know?
November 25, 2015 @ 6:23 pm
Dead on with it felt depressing
November 25, 2015 @ 5:31 pm
Oh my Matt this fan certainly agrees ,I just hope it feels or is better in the second half of the season to really justify to me that the writers knew what they were doing. I also think that they didn’t get any nes fans and may have lost a few along the way . We will see when they ce back from hiatus.