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It’s going to be a bumpy ride on Castle.
When series creator Andrew Marlowe made the point that last week’s Dancing With the Stars-themed episode would be the ABC procedural’s final “normal” episode, it all comes down to the secrets partners Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) are keeping from the other.
So much so that when those secrets surface, the two spend time apart with other detectives (Brett Tucker and Adam Baldwin, specifically). “When some of the information is put on the table and they start making discoveries, then it’s going to cause them both to do a little soul searching,” Marlowe told The Hollywood Reporter.
Beckett may take a deeper plunge than her counterpart. As Marlowe reveals details of her intimate gabfest with best friend Lanie (Tamala Jones), Beckett seems to be on the road to making a big decision about her future — and this time, it may stick. “The discussion really is about what Beckett ultimately wants in life and what she’s willing to do, what she’s not willing to do,” he teased.
Marlowe chatted with THR about having the tides turn at this critical moment of the season, Beckett and Castle’s time “apart,” Lanie and Esposito’s secret rendezvous and the chance of one (or more) pivotal Caskett moments before season’s end.
The Hollywood Reporter: After the last episode, you’ve said that it’s stormy waters ahead. Why was this the right time to have the tides turn?
Andrew Marlowe: We have a sense of where we want to end the season and towards the back part of our run we wanted to start confronting some of the secrets some of our characters have been keeping from each other. It’s not something we want to save until the last episode because we think there are some really interesting storylines com[ing] out as our folks start to realize that these secrets are being kept. [Last week’s] episode is the last standard Castle episode where some secrets come out, they’re going to affect the relationship. We want [to give] the audience a chance to live with us for several episodes before we get to our really emotional conclusion to this season.
THR: Is it fair to assume that when these secrets come out, Beckett and Castle spend some time apart and that’s how they come to work with different detectives in future episodes?
Marlowe: All of that comes out of the consequences of some of the secrets coming out and in these episodes Castle and Beckett are being forced to deal with their feelings for one another in a much more overt way. When some of the information is put on the table and they start making discoveries, then it’s going to cause them both to do a little soul searching.
THR: Whose secret (Castle not wanting Beckett to delve deeper in her mother’s murder and Beckett’s knowledge of Castle’s “I love you”) makes the biggest impact?
Marlowe: I think both secrets are very impactful for the characters and I want the audience to watch and react.
THR: What kind of details can you share about how Lanie and Beckett come to have their revealing conversation?
Marlowe: The discussion really is about what Beckett ultimately wants in life and what she’s willing to do, what she’s not willing to do. It’s confronting some of her deepest fears about herself and about relationships. And what better to do that than with a girlfriend over a glass of wine. It’ll give us insight to how Beckett’s feeling; she hasn’t been that vocal about it but there are some opportunities to really get to see where she stands with Castle, where she thinks she stands and whether she wants that relationship or she wants something different.
THR: How does Beckett and Castle’s time apart affect their relationship?
Marlowe: They’re not really fully apart in either of those episodes you’re referencing. They’re both in those episodes and those episodes [show] two characters wrestling with the ramifications of the actions of the other. So I wouldn’t necessarily call it a time out or a time apart, I think that you’ll see characters acting out declaring themselves.
THR: It’s been teased that Lanie and Esposito may be getting chummy again off-screen. On a scale of 1-10, what’s the likelihood of them coming together before the end of the season?
Marlowe: I’m going to be quiet about that because I think the audience should watch. It is something that we deal with. If I said a one or I said a 10, then people would have an idea of what we’re [doing], and if I said a five then I’m being unfair, right? I can promise that we acknowledge where their relationship’s at and what may or may not be going on off-screen.
THR: Fans want to know if there will be another pivotal Caskett moment before the season is over, Will they be satisfied in that regard?
Marlowe: There will be I think several pivotal Caskett moments before the end of the year.
THR: Care to elaborate?
Marlowe: I’d be giving away too much, but when I said there was stormy weather, you have two people who care about each other enormously and when betrayal enters that equation, even if people were acting out of good intentions, it’s always difficult to work through those things. Fans get to watch as we tick down to our very emotional conclusion as to what’s going to happen with these two. And this is a point where we felt like it was very important to start confronting somebody’s emotions directly. Instead of the characters being coy and doing everything in subtext and not wanting to risk themselves, we start to see characters really trying to figure out what they want.
THR: And actually acting on it?
Marlowe: [It is to be determined] whether acting on it will be a good thing or a bad thing.
THR: How does Alexis’ desire to keep a close relationship with her father affect her future?
Marlowe: We’re going into a period of change for all of our characters and Alexis is looking at colleges. She should be hearing from schools soon and that’s going to present her with some difficult choices to make as to whether she goes to some of these institutions that are far away and how that affects her relationship and her worries about moving on. Castle has feelings about — maybe he’s losing his daughter and she’s not going to be around as much and she’s been an important part of his life. He’s anticipating how he’s going to be dealing with that empty nest syndrome — as all parents do when their kids go away. That’s going to be a challenge, she’s got very important decisions ahead of her and they aren’t going to be easy decisions for the character to make.
THR: How confident are you that Castle will be back for a fifth year?
Marlowe: Folks at ABC are feeling good stuff about our show. We will be patient as we wait for the network to make the decision about all their shows. I certainly think that they know which of their shows are coming back. We are planning for a season 5, but I would never want to say that it’s official before a conclusion. We felt great support from the studio, network and we’re hopeful to get good news soon when ABC announces what their fall season looks like.
THR: Can you offer one nugget from the finale?
Marlowe: The finale sees us delving back into a mother, Beckett’s mother’s murder and conspiracy surrounding it and we finally start to get some answers.
Castle airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
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