Detective Ethan Slaughter returned and had Alexis pulling the DefCon One alarm, as he once again partnered with Castle... but this time Slaughter needed Rick’s help to prove he wasn’t a murderer on Castle Season 8 Episode 6.
Below, TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Robin Harry, Jim Garner and Christine Orlando are joined by Mark (aka Shutterbug5269) from A Possibility For Joy a Castle fan forum to debate Martha’s new book, Castle lying to the boys, and the West Side Story skit in "Cool Boys."
Would you buy Martha’s book “Unsolicited Advice” if you could?
Mark (aka Shutterbug5269): Yes, but given that it's Martha, I would likely take most of the advice with a grain of salt. Susan Sullivan, however, I would take much more seriously.
Stacy: I definitely would. I love Martha, she's hilarious. Plus, she gives great advice!
Robin: Martha gives great life advice, can be incredibly encouraging, and really knows how to make people look at their own motivations. That said, given some of the relationship advice she's given Castle about Beckett over the years, I would probably skip over the relationship chapter.
Jim: Can I get an e-pub of it? Then yes... would be something fun to keep on the Kindle for times when I need unsolicited advice.
Christine: I’d buy it in a heartbeat. I love Martha, but as Robin said, some of her relationship advice can be hit or miss, like in this episode. She told Castle that he and Kate could use some time apart. I think they’ve had more than enough of that! At least I know I have.
Castle lied to Esposito and Ryan and stole their car in order to help Slaughter? Was he justified in doing so?
Mark (aka Shutterbug5269): Yes. He was trying to keep an innocent man from going to prison so he was justified in doing exactly what Kate would do in order to make certain justice was served. Though I may have qualms about Grand Theft Auto, Kate would have done the same thing to get the real killer. I think we need to remember that Ryan and Espo really are not Castle's friends, they're Kate's and they have treated him rather shabbily most of the time. Especially since his disappearance. This episode marks the second time he has worked on the outside to prevent the team from railroading an innocent man since he became a PI so he was vindicated rather nicely.
Stacy: No, that was the wrong way to go about proving Slaughter's innocence. I don't like that he lied to Ryan and Espo.
Robin: I'm on the fence about this. On the one hand, lying to Esposito and Ryan was definitely the wrong move. On the other hand, Esposito wasn't even listening to what Castle had to say, and it will never stop bothering me how they just dismiss Castle's opinion and instinct after all those years. So yeah, I'm kinda glad he took the car.
Jim: He tossed the keys to his Ferrari, I was more surprised that Espo/Ryan didn't go get his car in trade... Seems like that would have made Rick think twice in the future.
Christine: I do think Ryan and Espo are Castle’s friends. He certainly doesn’t seem to have many others, but I do agree that things have been a bit strained over the last year or so, especially where Esposito is concerned. That said, I hated that Castle blatantly lied to them and stealing their car was just plain wrong and could have had serious consequences. I kind of wished they had arrested him for that stunt.
The West Side Story gag. Hit or miss?
Mark (aka Shutterbug5269): I think it was pretty silly, all things considered, but given Slaughter's revelation I kinda saw something like that coming.
Stacy: As soon as Castle started snapping his fingers I knew they were about to break out in song, and I loved it! Watching them sing and then start punching guys was funny. Plus, I love West Side Story and that song is definitely stuck in my head now.
Robin: Absolutely a hit for me. There were things about the episode I didn't like, but I quite liked the attempt to humanize Slaughter, and having him sing Cool from West Side Story did the trick. I will also never have complaints about Adam Baldwin and Nathan Fillion singing together.
Jim: Given Slaughters background I think it was a hit. I really enjoyed Slaughter doing "jazz hands" after he gave Rick a taste test of his cooking too.
Christine: I hated it. It was just too goofy for me and it hit on one of my pet peeves. I suddenly felt as though I was watching Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin goofing around instead of Castle and Slaughter getting one over on the bad guys. I hate it when anything pulls me out of a scene.
Was Slaughter right, does Castle need to put his wife’s needs ahead of his own?
Mark (aka Shutterbug5269): Yes, but not necessarily the way Kate would want him to. I think Castle needs to go after Kate and give her what she needs, not necessarily what she thinks she wants. He needs to assert himself in their relationship more and be her partner.
Stacy: I don't know. That's hard because I don't even know what it is Beckett needs right now. I'm ready for them to get back together, but I want Beckett to come to Castle, not the other way around. I did like that moment between Castle and Slaughter though.
Robin: If one more character tells Castle that he needs to think about Beckett's needs I'm going to put my foot through my television. That's all the man has ever done for YEARS. For the love of Jaynestown, can someone, anyone on that writing staff think about what Castle needs? Can we be fair to him, just once, please? This just gets more and more frustrating.
Jim: I'm in the same camp as Robin. Castle has ALREADY been putting his wife first, why do people keep telling him to do that? GAH!
Christine: I’m with Robin on this one too. The majority of the time, Castle is putting Kate’s needs over his own. The man would do anything for her so why does he have to chase after her now that she’s walked out giving him nothing but the vaguest explanation? This is the most hideously frustrating storyline and if I didn’t have seven seasons invested in this show I would have changed the channel already.
Was there anything in “Cool Boys” that disappointed you?
Mark (aka Shutterbug5269): Only that this was the most entertaining episode of the entire season, one where Kate was completely absent. There is just something that feels inherently wrong with that. There was more spark and energy between Castle and Slaughter in this one episode than there has been between Castle and Beckett all season so far. Hawley and Winters promised us this arc would put the spark back into Castle and Beckett's relationship and they have yet to deliver on that this season. That really disappoints me.
Stacy: The lack of Beckett is the obvious answer. As much as I love Adam Baldwin and there were some good moments, the episode as a whole kind of fell flat for me.
Robin: I'm actually glad we got a break from Beckett. As mentioned before, I don't like that Esposito and Ryan dismiss Castle's point of view. He's more than proven the value of his insight and instinct. Though I guess I shouldn't be surprised since we've all but traded the sharp comedy in this show for making Castle the butt of the joke all the time.
Jim: I'm disappointed that we are STILL dragging out Rick and Kate's separation. The "crime of the week" or "mystery of the week" formula is feeling really well used without the charm of Kate and Rick woven through it.
Christine: All of the above but Robin just hit on what disappointed me most. This show used to be smart and witty. It used to make fun of the tropes we saw on other shows. Castle season 8 feels like the dumbed down version of Castle. I don’t tune into this show for mediocre sitcom humor yet that’s what I’m getting.
What was your favorite quote or scene from the episode?
Mark (aka Shutterbug5269): Slaughter's line: “Well maybe you need to stop asking for permission!” When Castle complained that Kate won't let him help her with whatever is wrong. I may not be wild about Slaughter as a character, but he's offered him the best insight of anyone all season so far.
Stacy: Definitely the "Cool Boys" scene.
Robin: Besides "Cool Boys", I liked the scene at the house where Slaughter confessed that he had been married before. After that, he didn't seem as much as a jerk, but more like a broken man who lost his happiness and hid behind a tough exterior. I liked that he was humanized.
Jim: Robin nailed it. Slaughter seemed much more human after finding out that he had a famous ex-wife and he knew what went wrong. I especially liked that he cooks as a way to clear his head.
Christine: I agree with Mark. Stop asking permission was probably the only piece of good advice in the episode. I love that Rick is such a nice guy with a huge heart but this season has turned him into a wimp and I’m tired of it. However, Slaughter in an apron was kind of cute.
Check back in on Monday for our review of Castle Season 8 Episode 7 and if you want more, you can watch Castle online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.