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It’s been talked about for weeks: Come Monday night, Castle‘s 1940s noir episode — all in from the mind of novelist Richard Castle — hits the small screen.
Actress Tamala Jones, who plays Beckett’s best friend and medical examiner Dr. Lanie Parish, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the anticipated episode, which sees her character taking on the role of nightclub singer and “tough” girl Betsy. But, as revealed in a sneak peek ABC released late last week (watch below), Betsy locks lips with an unlikely person — which may prove problematic.
(Last week, THR posted an exclusive clip between Beckett and Castle from the noir episode.)
Jones teased Monday’s episode, a possible Lanie-Castle storyline, the fate of Lanie and Esposito’s romance, how the two-part mystery plays into the rest of the season and why the fourth season closer will be “crazier” than last year’s.
The Hollywood Reporter: The episode fans have been waiting for is airing Monday. What can you tease about Lanie’s alter ego?
Tamala Jones: Lanie plays a chartreuse singer, she is very Billie Holiday-esque in this episode. She definitely sings and she’s one of those tough girls that you see in the 1940s. It’s really an amazing episode. Everyone has wanted these alter ego characters, you can say, and they did an excellent job.
THR: Do you have a favorite scene in episode?
Jones: I don’t really have a favorite scene because this is my favorite episode by far. Director [Chuck Bowman] really cultivated the scripts, he made it more than what was on the paper and the rest of it came with the crew and putting everyone’s minds in the 1940s. You never really heard action or cut, you knew when to go and you were there.
THR: Who would Lanie be, what time period would she travel to and where would she go if this was in her mind?
Jones: I think the way that they wrote Lanie is exactly how I would see her at: a singer in a nightclub, friends with the gangster’s girlfriend. Kind of keep the house under control by using my voice, singing and by being flirtatious with all the people there. That’s how they wrote Betsy and I wouldn’t change a thing.
THR: Where do Lanie and Esposito stand in their relationship and what is the likelihood of rekindling their romance?
Jones: Everyone wants to know that answer and I don’t have it. [Creator] Andrew [Marlowe] is so secretive, we don’t see the script until two days before it’s time to shoot it. We call him the ninja. I would like to see them get back together. I would also hope that in discovering why Lanie’s so closed off, we should probably have a Lanie-centered episode, which is something fans have been asking for, which would tell you why she doesn’t feel comfortable with marriage.
THR: It seems like she and Castle have something in common. He’s hesitant to head toward marriage since he’s failed before. Is that something they can connect with?
Jones: That’s a really good idea. I think I’m going to pitch that. It’s really a great idea because that involves everyone and it gives us somewhere to come back to with Castle.
THR: We also don’t know too much about Lanie. Since you’ve played her for four seasons, did you learn anything surprising about her?
Jones: I was thinking that Lanie had been married before, that she caught her husband cheating on her and decided to “I’m just going to dive into work and I’m not going to deal with relationships and exes.” [With Esposito,] it happened to be an accident of love. And when it started getting too heavy and when the M-word came up, she said “Oh no, oh no honey” and they broke up. Now we got to find out why. I had always felt that she had been married and her husband might’ve cheated on her.
THR: What is her ideal guy?
Jones: I think he would be opposite of Esposito and I think Lanie likes computer-whiz, geeky guys. She got Esposito, who’s the hottest guy she’s ever dated maybe.
THR: What can you reveal about upcoming episodes?
Jones: One of the other cast members, and I won’t say who, ends up following Lanie around and discovering Lanie’s world from her perspective. I think you’re going to like this dynamic here because it’s really nice.
THR: As you near the end of the season, what is the direction it’s moving toward?
Jones: I can tell you from the way that the double episode is written, the season finale is going to be explosive. It’s definitely going to top any season finale we’ve ever had, I can honestly say that. It’s getting more and more intense, more and more mysterious, especially after the [two-parter]. The mystery is heightened and whatever they’re doing in that laboratory that they call the writer’s room, I think everyone is going to be in pure shock. A good shock.
THR: Crazier than last year’s?
Jones: Crazier than last year.
Castle airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
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