Per TVLine, Castle is currently casting the role of a new female series regular (yep, she's sticking around!) named Hayley, "a quick-witted, free-spirited former LAPD cop who now works as a security specialist and is not afraid to cross lines to get things done." It was recently reported that Castle and Hayley will be spending a lot of time in each other's company. Here are our top five theories as to why.
Let's just get the most concerning theory out of the way, shall we? Although, based on the character description, it might seem like Hayley is more of a work colleague than a romantic interest, TVLine did accompany its report with #JustTheMessenger, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence. It's entirely plausible that the reason Rick and Hayley are spending so much time together is because they're involved in a romantic entanglement. Is it likely, though? Probably not. But stranger things have happened on this show.
Well, Hayley is a security specialist, and Rick was apparently the only person capable of preventing a massive terrorist attack last season, so this theory makes sense. Given how involved in matters of national security Castle has become, not to mention all the people he has helped put away and the many other times he has been a target of those with poor intentions, we're surprised he doesn't already have a 24-7 security detail.
One of last season's cliffhangers was based around Kate's career progression. A career as a senator was floated as a very real option for the very accomplished Beckett. So, perhaps she throws her hat in the ring and, as a result, needs to engage some security. We know what you're thinking: But wouldn't that mean Hayley will be spending a lot of time with Kate and not Rick? Well, yes. But one's security detail in political situations doesn't typically stand right next to the person they're meant to be protecting. They usually hang on the periphery — which is likely the same place Castle will be when he accompanies Beckett on the campaign trail.
If Beckett does indeed run for a Senate seat, we can't imagine Castle wouldn't be supportive. But he might also get bored following her around on the campaign trail instead of solving crimes with outlandish theories. Perhaps he sticks around at the NYPD, but he'll need someone to partner up with. Enter: Hayley. Just because she's a security specialist now doesn't mean she isn't still a cop. Plus, those credentials would make her a decent replacement for Beckett if she leaves the NYPD to make an election bid.
With the news that Captain Gates won't be returning for Season 8, as well as Kate passing the captain's exam, it seems highly likely that Detective Beckett will be replaced with Captain Beckett. Perhaps Beckett sees something of herself in Hayley — the not being afraid to cross lines to get things done part sounds a lot like the Kate Beckett we know and love — and brings her on board as a consultant at the precinct. You know who else works as a consultant to the precinct? Castle. With Kate's captain duties likely meaning less of a professional partnership for our favorite dynamic duo, perhaps Castle will show Hayley the ropes and the two will bond over their shared consultant status.
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