Who was the better half on Castle Season 8 Episode 12? That's a trick question.
The truth is there is no better half on Castle. Rick and Kate are at their best when they’re working together, which is what made “The Blame Game” such an intriguing episode.
Part of what made the first half of Castle Season 8 such a debacle was the lack of screen time shared by our favorite couple, yet this episode took that challenge and turned it into a captivating case.
As a matter of fact, this story was so compelling that I couldn’t believe how quickly the hour flew by.
The strange symbol on Emma’s mirror just before she died was puzzling but was nothing compared to the bewildering situation Castle was thrown in to.
I would have thought Castle foolish for entering the building with the rats out front and the mysterious hallway, except for the fact that he was invited there by Stephen King, or so he thought. You might just expect such a strange setting from the master of horror.
That the rest of the people trapped like rats in a cage panicked felt realistic. In every group there’s usually one weasel willing to turn on everyone else to get what they want. Unfortunately for Simon, that plan backfired…literally.
I wasn’t surprised that Beckett had taken the bullets out of the gun but I was a little shocked that Castle hadn’t thought to do the same. And where Castle used a makeshift crowbar to pry the door open, Beckett used her skills to make a bomb to blow apart the lock.
One of my favorite aspects of this episode was that it showcased Rick’s intelligence. We’ve gotten an awful lot of Castle’s goofy side this season. That facet of his character can be fun but a little goes a long way and in my opinion they’ve gone way overboard on it in Castle Season 8.
It was incredibly entertaining to see Castle use his wits to beat such a perplexing game.
Of course the best part was when Rick and Kate finally found one another in the hallway. Having Caskett actually work together makes for that moment when all feels right in the universe.
That Castle agreed to pull the lever and stay behind so that others could go free was no surprise. He’s a good, brave man who generally puts himself out there for the good of others. The moment was made even better by Kate refusing to leave him.
I felt horrible for Brandon and his sister. Their parents were sick, twisted people who tortured their children in the name of research. Tragically, despite their calls for help, no one ever came to save the twins leading Faye to eventually commit suicide and lead Brandon to this disturbing conclusion.
Hayley made an appearance and although I found her initial scene abrasive, I didn’t completely hate her which I suppose is a small step in the right direction. Still, I found her unnecessary and would have preferred more of Ryan and Esposito in her place.
Even Alexis was kind of sweet as she worried about her father in this Castle quote…
Alexis: I can't leave you alone for five minutes.
Castle: Does this mean no hug?
I much prefer her in the role of Castle’s daughter than intrepid P.I. and I wish she’d concentrate on school and leave the investigating to her father and Beckett.
Despite Hayley not being a favorite of mine, I did appreciate that she pointed out to Alexis that her father isn’t just lucky but damn good at what he does. Then she took Alexis out clubbing which left me wondering if Alexis has any friends her own age to hang out with. Just curious.
In the end I was left with one more question...how does this minister know that Rick and Kate are one another's soulmates but the super powerful bad guys behind LokSat are somehow still in the dark?
I also would have liked to have seen a little more romance between Rick and Kate at the very end. After a day like that, it felt like they deserved more than that tiny kiss while sitting on opposite sides of the sofa.
Overall, this was definitely one of the most intriguing and absorbing episodes of the season. Check back later this week to see what our Castle round table team has to say and if you can’t wait until then, you can always watch Castle online here at TV Fanatic.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.