Well, that’s certainly one way to shake things up at the start of a new season. Castle Season 8 kicked off with a two-part premiere, the first of which told the events of Beckett’s disappearance from Rick’s perspective and the second, this week’s episode, which explained things from Kate’s point of view. By the end of it, she made a tough decision, one that raises the question of what’s coming next for the author and the new captain of the 12th precinct.
In the Castle season premiere, Bracken had told Rick that being his wife would never be enough for Beckett, that her tendency for obsession would never go away, and it seems that he was right – to an extent, at least. It all started with a phone call Beckett received before work, a call she lied to her husband about and ended up being from Vikram, the man the others identified in the premiere as the one with her and the one she broke into an ambulance to get insulin for because of his diabetes. Vikram used a protocol code that means “life or death,” and so Beckett met him, was shot, went to a dry cleaners’ to stitch herself up, and kept moving, showing up in time to save Castle, as seen in the first episode.
The question going into Episode 2 was how Beckett was involved, and as Vikram explained, he got an alert that an old search of hers from her time at the AG’s office – on Bracken, of course – got a result: a heavily-redacted memo detailing a meeting between the senator and a federal official. He looped in McCord, which led to her death, others’ deaths, and Vikram’s life in danger. As Rita, Jackson’s wife, told Kate after saving her, the person behind this is very powerful, so powerful in fact that the smart move would have been to let it go when Locksat was willing to let her go after using Assistant AG Allison Hyde as a patsy. Instead, because “attachments are liabilities,” Beckett refused to let it go and instead, to protect him, broke up with Rick.
“Ultimately she’s doing this out of love, she’s doing this because she wants to protect Castle,” showrunner Terence Paul Winter told TVLine. Moreover, as she says during that breakup scene, she hopes that by doing this, she can fix what’s “a little ‘broken’ inside of her,” the EP continued. It’s not so easy to move on when you’ve been obsessed for a large part of your life, as she was with getting to the truth behind her mother’s murder.
Of course, the big question is what this means for what fans will see in the next Castle Season 8 episodes between Castle and Beckett. Co-showrunner Alexi Hawley revealed that Castle’s planning to “win her back” by getting back to the basics of their relationship.
“The gag that we launch starting in Episode 3 is having Castle figure out different ways to get involved with the cases – because to win her back, he needs to solve cases with her. That’s how they fell in love, so that’s what his plan is.”
You can see that a bit in the promo ABC aired for Episode 3, “PhDead” (below). “Working together is why she fell in love with me,” he explains, but she’s not going to make it easy. Beckett tells him he’s not joining the case, but that’s not going to stop him.
The first two Castle Season 8 episodes also introduced the new character of Hayley Shipton, played by Toks Olagundoye, and the security analyst has already become somewhat of a mentor for Alexis, who has taken it upon herself to work out of her father’s P.I. office. (She even solved four cases without him.) Hayley encouraged her to follow up on leads on her own, and taking her out with her to follow up on information, as well. Though Hayley left at the end of the second episode, she will be back, and the actress told the Hollywood Reporter that that “cool dynamic” between Hayley and Alexis is something “they will continue to play throughout the season.”
Castle Season 8 airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
[Images via ABC]