|Season 8, Episode 1|
|Air date||September 21, 2015|
|Written by||Terence Paul Winter & Alexi Hawley|
|Directed by||Rob Bowman|
After passing the Captain’s exam in the Season 7 finale, Beckett was surprised with an offer to run for State Senate. In the action-packed season premiere, Castle and Beckett are adjusting to Beckett’s career change, when a call from a mysterious stranger sets off an explosive chain of events. There are two sides to every story, and this unique two-parter will explore the same story from each of their perspectives, first from Castle’s side as he searches for Beckett in the exciting Season 8 premiere.
A woman at a bar stabs a man who claimed that she had been following him for the past day. She then leaves the bar. Back in New York, Beckett is getting ready for her first day as Captain. Castle presents her a cake – with a bracelet hidden inside. Suddenly, Beckett gets a phone call from a telemarketer and she heads off for a meeting. Later, Castle shows up at his office and a guy thanks him due to the fact that Alexis helped solve his murder. Castle is summoned by Esposito and Ryan to a murder at an abandoned theatre. Three dead men, carrying guns, were all shot by an unknown shooter from the balcony. The four notice that the shooter also took a bullet. Castle then spots Beckett's bracelet in the pool of blood.
At the precinct, Esposito reveals that the dead men all carried fake IDs and that Beckett never had a meeting. Ryan then tracks the credit card of one of the dead men to a trashed apartment. Once there, the NYPD arrests a woman named Hayley Shipton. She reveals that she is a security expert who was hired by a company to find a hacker who stole social security numbers and made five fake IDs. The IDs were Greg Minoso, Jake Fitz, Ty Dade, Dustin Chambers, and Susan Emory. Hayley is then released. Then, the NYPD figures out that a woman matching Beckett's appearance was at the dry cleaners. The manager tells them that Beckett locked her up in a bathroom. In addition, she was accompanied by an East Indian man who was sick. Once Castle heads back to his office, he figures out that Hayley is bonding with Alexis. Hayley agrees to help locate Beckett only if he refraines from contacting the NYPD. She then reveals to Castle that she tracked one of the fake IDs to a storage facility. There, they uncover dozens of weapons, including guns identical to the ones the dead shooters were carrying at the theatre. However, the two are suddenly attacked by the female assassin who killed the man in the bar. Hayley gets into a fight with the woman although she escapes. Meanwhile, Alexis finds out that Beckett and her mystery accomplice visited William Bracken at his prison.
Castle visits Bracken at the prison as Hayley leaves. Bracken only taunts him and Beckett's obsession with catching her mom's murder. After Castle leaves, the female assassin at the storage locker, Susan Emory, kidnaps Castle at gunpoint and drugs him. Once he wakes up, Emory and her accomplice, Ty Dade, interrogate Castle at an abandoned dark warehouse. They start to put a bag of spiders on his head, asking him where Beckett is. Meanwhile, Ryan and Esposito bring in Hayley who left Castle at the prison. She reveals that there was a substance that was transferred from Emory's boot to her jacket, creosote. They are then able to find the warehouse. Castle briefly escapes the two assassins but is re-captured. However, Beckett saves him, shooting Emory in the arm in the process. The police arrives and arrests Emory.
At the precinct, Ryan and Esposito identify the mystery man running with Beckett: Vikram Singh. He worked for the AG's office in D.C. where Beckett worked two years ago. Ryan also reveals that Rachel McCord and her team were killed in a car accident. The last member was stabbed by Emory. Ryan and Castle interrogate Emory. With a boss worse than Bracken, Emory refuses to talk and hints that there is more than one team of assassins hired to kill Beckett and Vikram. As the police arrives to arrest Emory, she starts a gunfight. Ryan and Esposito are forced to kill her. Castle then tells Alexis that she wasn't planning to escape, her fate was sealed. Meanwhile, Beckett is seen in a building while a team of hitmen are preparing to hunt her down.
- Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle
- Stana Katic as Capt. Kate Beckett
- Jon Huertas as Det. Javier Esposito
- Seamus Dever as Det. Kevin Ryan
- Tamala Jones as Dr. Lanie Parish
- Molly C. Quinn as Alexis Castle
- Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers
- Toks Olagundoye as Hayley Shipton
- Sunkrish Bala as Vikram Singh
- Jack Coleman as William Bracken
- Daisy Betts as Susan Emory
- Coby Ryan McLaughlin as Brooks/Ty Dade
- Alla Korot as Hot Brunette
- Jason Ambrose as Final Henchman
- Tim Fields as Man
- Jamie Martz as Male EMT
- Brad Lee Wind as Franco Mancini
- This episode introduces the new character Hayley who remains one of the prominent side characters in the series.