Castle Season 8 Episode 9 Review: Tone Death

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I’m sure I’ll take some flack for my review of Castle Season 8 Episode 9 from folks who found it fun. And you know what?

Parts of it were fun, but for me, they weren’t the parts that have kept me popping my popcorn on Monday nights in preparation to watch my favorite show live.

That kind of enthusiasm has left the building, and I don’t know when or if it will be back. 

On the upside, I will say that the murder of the week was more enjoyable than any we’ve seen all season. Finding the body stashed at the theater felt like a throwback to the quirky murders we’d seen in earlier seasons of Castle. The blood dripping down onto the singers was a bit much, but I’m willing to let that slide.

Having the murder victim connected to Martha’s performance was an added bonus. Susan Sullivan is such a joy to watch, I only wish the story had spent more time with Martha taking center stage.

The surprise a cappella was an entertaining and unexpected twist. The 80’s throwback songs from Wham! and Soft Cell made me smile. Unfortunately the lead up to those scenes were of Castle and Alexis investigating.

Father and daughter were checking out the creepy warehouse connected to a murder and that will never feel right for two reasons. First, I want to see Castle and Beckett investigating together. Watching them poke around dirty warehouses, creepy haunted houses, and various crime scenes has always been part of the fun of the show. 

Second, no matter how old Alexis becomes, having her father take her to possible crime scenes to search for murderers will never feel right to me. She should be at Columbia beginning her own career, not attached to her father’s side taking Beckett’s place. I find it a turn off every time I see it on screen. 

And I know this is snarky, but is Alexis even still going to Columbia, and if so, what is her major course of study? Tech surveillance, bubbles and emojis? 

The crime itself had enough twists and turns to keep me interested ,and Esposito singing a cappella in order to convince a possible witness to talk was goofy but well done, mostly because Jon Huertas has an excellent voice and pulled it off like a pro. 

Then we get to the parts of the show that weren’t fun, like the Caskett fake separation. 

Admittedly, I’m relieved the separation is no longer real. I honestly thought that hiding their relationship status could be fun for at least an episode or two.

Boy, was I wrong. 

This episode left me wondering if the current writers had actually watched all of the seasons of Castle, even though I know that some of them have been with the series since the early seasons.

Rick Castle was cheated on by his first wife. It ended their marriage and left him to raise his daughter alone. So now Castle is fine letting his closest friends believe he’s cheating on the supposed love of his life? I didn't find that funny; it actually made me cringe. 

Even worse was that Beckett had no problem allowing her husband’s reputation to be trashed. Beckett was always a character with such integrity. How is it okay to let the world believe that the husband who adores her is off screwing some Russian model on the side? 

When I thought it couldn't get any worse, Kate doubled down on the lie by telling Esposito and Ryan that she was dating someone else. 

What’s next? Will Martha and Alexis be let in on the secret, or will they be forced to think that Castle is a cheater, too? The entire storyline made me wonder if they are actively trying to ruin these characters. 

The whole thing turned my stomach and stole any enjoyment I may have had from the rest of the episode. 

For me, it’s the heart of the characters that has kept me excited about watching Castle. I may not have always loved every story but I always loved the characters and that feeling…that magic between them.

Sadly, that special, intangible something has all but disappeared thus far in Castle season 8 where Rick has been frequently made to look like bumbling fool for laughs, and Kate comes off as a cold-hearted liar who no longer trusts her closest friends. 

I wanted to like this episode, I truly did. As someone who waited years to see Caskett finally get together and be happily married, I find this storyline hard to take.

Hearing Ryan repeat Beckett's words to the boys in this Castle quote was was truly disheartening, especially after all they’ve been through.

I believe her exact words were, “Sure, maybe we'll get lucky and Castle will get shot.”


I know it was supposed to be a joke, but it fell completely flat…as has most of season 8.

More and more it feels as though everyone on this show is going through the motions, but the end product ends up being a hollow version of its former magical self. 

I desperately want to love my favorite show again, but with each passing episode, I wonder if that’s even possible. 

Am I wrong? Did you love “Tone Death” or were you disappointed? Check back later this week to see what our Castle Round Table Team has to say and if you want to indulge in new or old episodes, you can watch Castle online here at TV Fanatic.

Tone Death Review

Editor Rating: 3.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (222 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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