Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Castle 8x14 Review: “The G.D.S.” (Looking Out for You) [Contributor: Hope]

“The G.D.S.”
Original Airdate: March 7, 2016

This episode featured some callbacks to the season three episode “To Love and Die in L.A.” where Castle and Beckett originally went to Los Angeles. But that only highlighted the fact that Beckett wasn’t even in the episode. This was the second episode of the season that Stana Katic hasn’t been a part of. Regardless, it was a strong episode, because it made me care about the LokSat case more than I had before. By combining Castle’s disappearance storyline from season seven with this season’s LokSat mystery, things just became way more interesting.


Castle, Alexis, and Hayley had gone to L.A. with the intent of jogging Castle’s memory and figuring out why he was there a year and a half ago. But they soon got completely sidetracked, because a member of the Greatest Detectives Society had been murdered, and the G.D.S. decided to pit Castle and another potential member against each other to solve the case. Whoever won would be inducted into the club, which had the coolest headquarters. Was it underground? It was really cool and I’m willing to bet that if it was in New York City, Castle would spend way too much of his time there.

The case involved a chain of seemingly unrelated murders on both coasts, so Ryan and Esposito were brought into the mix. The hunt for the murder weapon — a knife that was made into five copies for a movie — lead to some trouble, and eventually to Castle’s terrible movie producer. It’s probably a good thing he won’t be making a sequel.

Castle earned his spot in the G.D.S., but declined their offer and instead let the other detective take it. He said it was because he already worked with the greatest detective in the world, which was really sweet. But was there some sort of catch that you had to always be solving mysteries for the club or something? Couldn’t he have been semi-active member? However, it was a kind gesture and true to character.


Lanie had gone to Ryan with a favor: could he do a background check on her new boyfriend? And also not tell his best friend about it? It was a fairly simple request, one that both hinted that she didn’t want Esposito to react to the news in a childish way and that she wasn’t quite comfortable with telling him.

Of course, Espo got the truth out of Ryan, and they started playing games with Lanie’s mind. Ryan was kind of the evil one here, wasn’t he? I mean, they were both childish, but Ryan was having too much fun with this. For someone who was happy to help, he switched from looking out for his friend to having “fun at Lanie’s expense” rather quickly. However, there’s a bigger question at play: what was the point of these two sabotaging Lanie’s relationship? Why would they want to, without hesitation, do something that could potentially hurt her feelings?

The writers are likely setting the groundwork for these two to get back together. It’s so trope-y and I kind of love it? I’m not condoning the guys’ behavior, because it was childish, but her boyfriend did have some sort of secret that caused Lanie to break up with him anyway. I also don’t think their motives were completely childish — Espo can hide it with immature games, but there’s still something there. They might not have wanted to be engaged for real last season, but maybe they’re moving towards a future where that could someday happen.


While Castle got sidetracked, Alexis didn’t forget about the real reason they had traveled across the country. She started researching a man who was connected to her father’s disappearance, but Hayley warned her against it. “What happens once Castle starts poking around?” All of what she said was true and a legitimate reason to hinder Castle’s investigation, but Alexis couldn’t do it. She didn’t feel right about it, and you could see the internal conflict just in Molly Quinn’s expressions in this scene. Neither of them were completely in the wrong – it was right to protect him, and it was wrong to stand in his way. She snuck out to visit the man’s mother, who brought out an album of photos of her son… and some of her son and Hayley. Alexis ran back to her car, thoroughly freaked out, as we all would be.

She got in her car and Hayley was sitting in the backseat. I guessed as much, because that’s a classic move if there ever was one, and yet it was still awesome. She made a comment that Alexis was just like her father, and her tone was so cold and unfamiliar. Then I spent the entire commercial break ticked off at the show for doing this to her character. The difference between Hayley and Evil Car Hayley was so stark, but believable for a character who had been pretending to be someone else entirely. She has always had a great dynamic with Castle, she’s working for the PI firm, and she has bonded so much with Alexis. I’m all for twists, but taking an enjoyable character and ripping away everything we know about that character is just cruel and completely unsatisfying.

Luckily the next act began, and when Alexis asked Hayley “Are you going to kill me?” Hayley’s tone completely changed. Her delivery of “What? Why would you say that? Alexis, I would never hurt you” was so full of depth and reconciled her initial words with her character. There was a quiet, subtle disappointment in the whole situation, because these two have become such good friends and Hayley realizes then how deep a reveal like this would hit. It was a betrayal without an actual betrayal.

Alexis and Hayley then met back up with Castle at the ridiculously fancy hotel, and Alexis left the room so the other two could talk. It was such a relief that Hayley’s personality is still everything we were lead to believe it was. She kept her word to Lost Months Castle, and that was in character. She had met his father before, who she had promised to keep an eye on his son. She had known Castle shortly during his Lost Months, and he made her promise to never tell him they had met before if they met again. Of course, that seemed wildly out of character for Castle, “curious by nature” as he is. Why would he want to forget everything that happened and never look into the case again?

Castle then remarked that nothing she said explained why she stayed and joined him and Alexis as a business partner and friend. Her answer made for one of best lines of the episode: “I’m fond of you, Rick. And I adore your daughter. And after a lifetime of having no one to care about, I wanted to keep an eye out on you two.” Toks Olagundoye has been a great addition to the cast, and this scene proved it. The connection between these three characters is so strong that it’s as if they’ve known each other for seasons (well, I guess they kind of have...), and it’s in no small part to her acting. I’m so glad they are keeping her around. And there’s something to be said about how Castle simply believes her. She could be making up this whole thing for all he knows, and he doesn’t think twice. He trusts their friendship that much. Of course, she won’t tell him what happened, and when he remarks on how she can’t trust him, she responds, “It’s not about trust.” It’s about safety — his and Beckett’s.

Castle says he still won't let it go, so Hayley keeps her second promise — to let him unlock a secret website, using a password from a story he wrote when he was young, which led to a video of himself. It wasn't the new information imparted by his message about his time away (working on a special CIA case for two weeks that had something to do with Bracken and LokSat) that was so important. It was that Lost Months Castle told Castle that he wiped his memory to keep Kate alive. And that if he investigates it, and if she finds out the truth, she will die. Castle also realizes that the FBI agents’ deaths are indirectly his fault, and I’m sure he’ll end up blaming himself for the break-up as well. So much angst... but — FINALLY — good angst.

  • “Tell them I said hi, they love me!” Cut to: “He’s a giant pain.”
  • “Oh, they’re the ones that ruined the Nikki Heat movie franchise.” “Not ruined. Destroyed, terminated, extirpated, vaporized, eviscerated.” “Do you plan on running through the full thesaurus?” 
  • Hayley: “I hate to burst your fanboy bubble, but we have to know if this is on the up and up.” Castle: *turns to man* “Is this on the up and up?” Man: “Yes.” 
  • “And actors, who are borderline sociopathic, by the way.” “Oh, I know it.” So meta. 
  • I love how Hayley tolerates Castle in her own way, until she’s just like, “God have mercy.”
  • “I’m leaning between [wearing] something I brought and something Rick is going to buy me.” Castle: *hands over credit card* 
  • Castle’s investigation lacked the “sophistication” the G.D.S. expected. Dudes, Castle’s crime solving techniques are many things, but not that. If they’ve been watching him as a potential member, they should probably know this.
  • “You realize she picked your pocket.” “Oh, yes.” Now THAT was sophisticated. 
  • “Not for me. I already work with the best detective in the world, and I can’t wait to get back to her.” [Awwwwww] “You just keep getting more and more interesting, Mr. Castle. We’re going to have to keep an eye on you.” 
  • Lanie coming after Ryan and Espo with a fire extinguisher was awesome and also really unexpected. 
  • “If you see this, you are an idiot.” Lost Months Castle is not very nice to himself.
  • I wonder if Hayley’s twist was planned from the beginning of the season. I makes me want to go back through the season and hunt for clues.
  • Castle returns Monday, March 21st. The upside to the really long winter hiatus is that we don’t have to endure mini-hiatuses that often.


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