Hayley took center stage in Castle Season 8 Episode 18, as she become the main suspect in a cyber-terrorism case that had the team at the 12th rushing to clear her name.
Below, TV Fanatics Stacy Glanzman, Jim Garner and Christine Orlando are joined by Mark (Shutterbug5269) and Bobbie from A Possibility for Joy a Castle fan forum to debate whether they consider Hayley family and to also give their thoughts on the huge Castle cast shakeups that were announced this week...
Do you consider Hayley “family” to Castle, Alexis and the team at the 12th?
Stacy: I actually like Hayley, so I was glad that everyone backed her up and stood by her. I especially liked Alexis convincing her not to leave and to stay and fight.
Jim: Agreed Stacy. I really enjoy the character and I do see her as part of Rick's extended family when she's around.
Mark (Shutterbug5269): I honestly don't know how to answer that. From the episode it was clear Hayley at least considers Castle, Beckett, Alexis and Martha to be family. Enough to risk her life for them.
Bobbie: Personally, I don't consider her family - not by a long shot - but I do feel they've tried to build up to that this season. They've established Hayley's loyalty and have tried to show a strong connection with Alexis but I just haven't really felt any of that.
Christine: It just rings false to me. I get that she’s gotten close to Alexis as friends but I don’t feel the family vibe even though the show seems to be pushing very hard for me to buy into it.
Did you find it odd that Hayley was allowed to help investigate a case in which she was a suspected terrorist?
Stacy: Not really. She's not a cop and wasn't really investigating in any official capacity. I imagine any private investigator would be looking into their own case.
Jim: I wouldn't call what she did "allowed" there were several scenes where one or the other of the police team told her she shouldn't be there. Besides as Stacy pointed out, she wasn't doing it "officially.”
Mark (Shutterbug5269): Yes. In the real world this would not have been allowed to happen, Hayley would have been arrested, turned over to MI-6 and that would be it. On this show though, yeah, I could see Beckett giving Hayley the benefit of the doubt, especially if she believed Hayley was being set up. Like Beckett herself said in S3: “Richard Castle believes in you, and I believe in him.”
Bobbie: I thought it was a HUGE inconsistency to have Becket allow Hayley to continue to work the case, especially when there was a warrant out for her arrest. Good grief! What happened to Captain Beckett upholding the law?
Christine: And a Federal warrant for terrorism no less! When 3XK set Rick up for murder the team at the 12th arrested him but in this case the NYPD actually turned over the laptop that was the key to the cyber terrorism case to Hayley, their main suspect, to work on. I rolled my eyes so hard I think I hurt myself.
With Stana Katic out of the show, will you watch Castle without Beckett?
Stacy: I started watching Castle when it first began because I loved Nathan Fillion. I had no idea who Stana Katic was, but now I can't imagine the show without Beckett, nor do I want to. If it had been Stana's decision to move on, pursue other projects, whatever, I may have considered giving it a shot next season. But, ABC not asking her back because of budget cuts? That's basically a big "F-you" to the fans. I really hope it ends this season.
Jim: I had been hearing the rumors for months about "9th season being a fresh start" and both Fillion and Katic were going to be leaving. This show has already been following the pattern of doomed shows like Moonlighting, why should any of us be surprised that they consider cutting Katic as "acceptable". Beyond that, I seriously doubt they will be renewing the show anyway.. even if they did, I would be done.
Mark (Shutterbug5269): My shipper's heart says “Absofrakkinlutely not, never in a million years.” If, however, they find a plausible way to keep Kate alive, but she has to be away for in indeterminate period of time (re-building the AG's special task force or Witsec maybe) so TPTB can change their mind later when this twisted, perverse doppelgänger of my favorite show inevitably tanks, I might be willing to archive it on HULU. But, if they kill Kate off in the finale so there's no chance to pull back from this MASSIVELY idiotic decision, then all bets are off, I'll be done. Seasons 1-7 and and maybe the back half of 8 will be MY Castle.
Bobbie: In my opinion, there can be no Castle without Beckett. Castle, the show I grew to love, will no longer exist. Having said that though, I would likely watch the first episode or two of a spinoff to see if it had any merit as a new and different show.
Christine: I’m done. I fell in love with the love story between Castle and Beckett from the very first episode. They sold me on “Always” and now I’m heartbroken to find out it didn’t mean a damn thing. I’ve decided that Castle season 1 through 7 and a few stray episode of season 8 will be Castle for me. Knowing that Rick Castle will somehow exist without Kate Beckett just makes me ill. I won’t watch.
What, if anything, disappointed you in “Backstabber”?
Stacy: I wanted to know the specifics of Beckett's dream. What did Castle do?
Jim: I wanted to know _why_ they had the second goofy story of Beckett's dream at all. I've had dreams of my wife doing horrible things, but have never ONCE blamed her when I woke up.
Mark (Shutterbug5269): That Hayley didn't catch on sooner that this was a setup. She herself noted that the worm program was taking far to long to load. She's supposed to be one of MI-6's best agents, AND that Kate actually told the boys that Castle betrayed her in a dream. That part bothered me more than a bit, but I'm glad they didn't dwell on it ad nauseum.
Bobbie: My biggest disappointment was the return to the glaring absence of scenes with Castle and Beckett on screen together. The past 2 episodes had been so much better in that respect and I'd really hoped to finish the season more in that vein. However, having Beckett and the boys go out for drinks and Castle, Hayley and Alexis drinking at the PI office, set us right back to where we've been so much of this season.
Christine: I wasn’t a fan of this episode. The police work was subpar which ruined the case for me. Although I don’t hate Hayley, I’m not her biggest fan so I wasn’t thrilled she was front and center. Plus Beckett sharing her dream with the boys and then everyone acting as though Castle had really done something wrong was annoying. The poor guy has gotten blamed for the separation, for cheating and now for Kate’s dreams.
What was your favorite quote or scene from the episode?
Stacy: The end cracked me up when Beckett told Castle to bring the helmet and he said "safety first."
Jim: I really liked Alexis convincing Haley to stay and fight, that she had finally found a family. Was very touching.
Mark (Shutterbug5269): The scene where Castle unveils Kate's motorcycle. Hands down. Hit me right in the feels.
Bobbie: I loved the closing scene with the motorcycle. That's the kind of thing that could have been a scene for the ages had it been a part of a classic Castle episode. Wish we'd have seen it a long time ago.
Christine: I didn’t really have one. I appreciate the continuity of the motorcycle scene but as I’ve lost someone to a motorcycle accident the sight of that bike made my stomach flip; however Caste’s quip about safety first with the helmet was cute.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.