It’s was a mystery wrapped in a game trapped in a puzzle ... as Rick and Kate had to figure out how to escape their captor in “The Blame Game”
Below, TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Jim Garner, Robin Harry, and Christine Orlando are joined by Arky from A Possibility For Joy a Castle fan forum to debate the Caskett faux separation, what happened to Alexis’ friends and the most shocking twist in Castle Season 8 Episode 12.
So how does Brandon know that Castle and Beckett are together but LokSat is still in the dark?
Stacy: I wondered this as soon as I saw Beckett in that other room. So much for this fake separation keeping him safe. Even if they were really separated, I think anyone could see that they still cared about each other. It's not like they're all of a sudden not going to care if the other one lives or dies.
Jim: I wondered the same thing. Why did he pick Rick/Kate? If they are publicly "separated" wouldn't that have negated part of his test? Seems like there was a continuity hiccup in this story.
Robin: I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of this immediately. He picked Kate to represent the police who failed him, but then knew to pick Castle as his leverage. Not only have fans been saying this from day one, that a "separation" doesn't actually protect Rick, the writers just proved us right and negated their own premise.
Arky: Not sure. I think he used Castle's phone to contact Beckett because he knew that her connection to Castle would bring her.
Christine: Yeah, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this episode but it was another moment that showed how silly this whole LokSat conspiracy and faux separation really are.
Do you think Alexis has any friends her own age?
Stacy: Good question. We haven't seen any and we don't even know for sure if she's still in school.
Jim: I don't that she's mentioned regular friends very much after her abduction a few seasons ago. She seems to have study partners, but Halyey seems to be the closest thing to a real friend.
Robin: I don't have a problem with this, really. There's no need for her to be a social butterfly because of her age, and most of my closest friends aren't my age either.
Arky: Yes, Beautiful, young, intelligent, classy, she has friends her own age. No doubt in my mind.
Christine: I hope so. They’ve put Alexis in this strange spot this season. I think they were trying hard to give her her own life and story but in the end she’s simply attached to her father’s business and it comes across more strange than natural.
Were you more surprised that Beckett took the bullets out of the gun or that Castle didn’t?
Stacy: I knew immediately that Beckett had taken the bullets out of the gun. I suspected Castle did the same, so I was more surprised he didn't. I actually thought Castle might shoot the bullets at something random to keep anyone from using them against anyone, but it's a good thing he didn't!
Jim: I actually said out loud to my wife that I was shocked Rick set the gun down with bullets in it. He's been around and with Kate long enough that he should have instinctively taken the bullets out. So, I was way more surprised he didn't than she did.
Robin: I was pleasantly surprised that Beckett took the bullets out, mainly because I didn't notice that she did and it never even occurred to me. I wasn't surprised that Castle didn't; his group had less dissidence than Beckett's did, and he's generally a more trusting person than Beckett is.
Arky: Frankly I was more surprised that Castle didn't remove the bullets. Everything else he did during the captivity "game" was brilliant.
Christine: Yeah, I was surprised Castle didn’t remove the bullets. It seemed like a no-brainer given the circumstances but he did everything else right so I guess I have to give him a pass on this one thing.
What was the most shocking part of the game?
Stacy: I thought at least one more person would die, so I was surprised they almost all made it out of there alive. I really expected something to happen when the door opened and everyone left.
Jim: I was most surprised that Kate and Rick followed everyone into the trap, knowing it was a trap. Seems like they didn't try very hard to stop them all from walking into it.
Robin: I didn't find anything particularly shocking, but everything was intriguing. I was surprised there was actually an antidote to the poison in the first puzzle; I more expected the guy to die in order to prove the stakes of the game.
Arky: Toss up between Brandon's anaphylactic reaction and the gun exploding. Very "Saw" -esque plot I thought.
Christine: The rigged gun. It made perfect, twisted sense and yet it still surprised me when it happened. I kind of loved it.
Was there anything about “The Blame Game” that disappointed you?
Stacy: Considering the whole thing felt like I was watching a Saw movie, I thought there would be a reference to Jigsaw or something. The cigarettes were basically straight out of the first movie though. Also, I want to know the story behind what Castle did to piss off Stephen King.
Jim: I was pretty disappointed in the whole "game" portion. As Stacy said, it borrowed a lot of elements from movies and beyond that, using the trope of the killer being "another victim" is so over used, I picked it out really fast.
Robin: I couldn't get past what we discussed in the first question, that it was obvious that Castle was still leverage for Beckett. I also kind of wished that Esposito and Ryan had a little bit more to do with getting them out.
Arky: No I liked the episode. It seemed to strictly follow the story line and didn't deviate much into unrelated territory.
Christine: I wanted a little more romance at the end with Caskett at the loft. After all that happened that day, it felt odd to have them sipping wine on opposite sides of the sofa.
What was your favorite quote or scene from Castle Season 8 Episode 12?
Stacy: I think I have to go with when Castle and Beckett stayed behind together. I was already suspecting who the killer was, but I loved that they both figured it out and knew the other one had too. I always like seeing them as partners and taking down bad guys together.
Jim: I really enjoyed Hayley and Alexis talking about Rick's safety and that he's been abducted so many times. Alexis has really taken on more of a "mom" role lately, I hope she can get back to being a bit more fun loving.
Robin: I enjoyed pretty much every scene with Castle locked in the room. We've seen that character be downgraded from brilliant and instinctive mystery writer to bumbling idiot much too often, so it was great to watch him be in his element, solving puzzles, being observant, seeing the mystery and the story in the situation.
Arky: Hayley: "You worry a lot about your father." Alexis: "You would too if Richard Castle was your dad. I mean, the guy's abducted, what, twice a year? I think that's a tad above the national average."
Christine: I agree with Robin. I loved that we got to see how intelligent and observant Castle is in this episode. It feels like they’ve tried to dumb him down a lot this season. His goofy side is fun in small doses but I enjoy how his mind works out a mystery far more.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.