If you’ve been excited about tonight’s episode of Castle ever since you heard Castle and Beckett were going to be sharing a hotel room, join the club. And while the next two episodes are full of the hilariousness you love about Castle, I warn you: Enjoy it while you can. Because the finale, readers, is everything you hate to love about Castle. It’s dark, twisty, and sure to leave impatiently wanting more for the next four months or so.
I chatted with executive producer Andrew Marlowe last week, who gave me more info on the next few episodes of Castle, including the finale, which, he says, will set them up for a Lost-sized change in season 3. (“We’re starting next season by moving the island.”)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Lots of great stuff in “To Live and Die in L.A.” What can you tell me about what it was like taking them out of the New York setting and putting them in L.A.?
ANDREW MARLOWE: It’s really fun taking the two characters out of New York. I think in New York, Beckett has to be a little bit more contained than who she really is, and I felt like we could see a little bit more of a scofflaw version of Beckett. She comes out to L.A. without any real authority. She goes rogue, really, and is surprised to find that Castle is coming along for the ride. It’s really fun to see the two characters out of the standard New York milieu and even though the episode has a serious emotional center to it, they’re able to have a little fun with it.
Her old partner is murdered, right?
Yeah. Her old training partner, who we met earlier in the season, is murdered in the early moments of the show, and she wants to track the killer down. But it looks like the killer has gone to Los Angeles and not to be content to have the LAPD deal with it, against Capt. Montgomery’s orders, she gets on a plane and heads out there.
That’s gonna be fun though, to see her be the rogue one for once.
It’s another opportunity for us to open her up a little bit.
Looking ahead one more episode to “Pretty Dead,” how does that one sort of set up the finale?
Well, I think it sets up the finale by contrast. The finale, again, delves into Beckett’s mother’s murder, so we know it’s gonna be one of the heavier episodes. We wanted to make sure we had a light, fun Castle-y episode before it. I think there’s a bit of the finale where Beckett’s character is blindsided by some of the stuff that happens so there’s not a lot of stuff that we need to set up. We just wanted the fans to have the ability to have a bit of fun — like they did in the soap opera episode — with the pageant world and some of the seriousness and the ridiculousness that comes along with that. We have a really stellar guest cast for that: Teri Polo, Michael McKean. It’s a lot of fun.
So you’re making us comfortable before you punch us in the face.
Sure, sure, as we like to do. [Laughs] It’s not that we want to lull people, but we do have a history of mixing up our heavy episodes with our lighter episodes. After we had the seriousness of the two-parter, we did the soap opera episode this year and the mummy episode last year. We don’t want our episodes to always be to serious and since “L.A.” is a bit of a different beast and since our last episode is a little bit of a different beast, we wanted to give them just a great, fun exciting Castle episode between the two of them.
So it’s impossible to ignore the connection of the episode titles, “Knockdown,” which aired earlier this year, and “Knockout,” the finale. How are they related?
We’re dealing with the same elements in “Knockdown.” The episode starts, Beckett has been visiting Hal Lockwood in prison week after week, the character that they arrested in “Knockdown,” in order to see if he can tell her who is ultimately responsible for her mother’s murder, the person who ordered it. Lockwood hasn’t been saying anything. She gets to the prison this time, and there’s been a huge development. There’s an unfortunate break in the case that gives her an investigative avenue. So she pursues that, but the problem is that in pursuing that, she’s putting herself in danger. So it’s up to the people around her to protect her, and Capt. Montgomery, who has been very protective over her, he has tried to hold her back from this case. He hasn’t been successful in the past, like in “Knockdown.” So he really appeals to Castle to make sure she doesn’t do something super foolish, basically run into traffic and get herself killed. When you have all these people out there with these hidden agendas, so that brings the Castle/Beckett relationship to an interesting place of conflict. We think people will be intensely following how it all resolves.
If there was one case she would run out into traffic for, it’d be this one.
Absolutely, and everybody is concerned. I think at a certain point, she feels herself start to lose control, especially when she starts learning that not everything is as she thought it was.
Yeah, is that in reference to the big twist that we’re all anticipating?
One of the big twists.
Are they all in regards to case or in regards to the relationship, too?
In regards to the case and in regards to the relationship.
Both? Wow. So what do you think fans reaction will be to these?
Sort of across the board. I can never predict our fans. I love that they are really passionate about the show. I think that there are certain fans out there that whenever there is a cliffhanger, they are really frustrated simply because they have to wait. It’s not that they object to the storytelling, it’s that they object to the fact that they have to wait months for the resolution of the storytelling and to see what happens next. Having been a fan of shows, I absolutely know how they feel, but I also know how gratifying it is to come back and get the resolution. I think that there are gonna be some people who understand that we’re gonna be taking the show to a new level and really deepening the characters and setting ourselves up to we can challenge them in a new way next year.
Now there’s so many theories online, like they’re like “Josh and Beckett are gonna break up,” “Beckett is gonna be pregnant,” “Beckett is gonna be this and that” — have you read these at all?
I don’t spend a lot of time on the board just because I don’t have time to and it can become a rabbit hole that you disappear into, but I have had people tell me what some of the theories are and I have to admit, we’re starting next season by moving the island.
Moving the island?
It’s a Lost joke. Did you watch Lost?
I did not.
Then you don’t get the joke!
I’m the one person at EW who has not watched Lost and am constantly berated for it. My excuse is that I was too busy with Castle. I’m emotionally invested.
Well the finale will be emotional. Fulfilling on one side, I think, frustrating in all the right ways. I think all great drama has frustration that then turns into really a really satisfying resolution. That’s what we hope we’ve been able to provide over the course of our few seasons and the kind of storytelling that we hope we continue. But to answer your question about the theories online seriously, what I love is that people are so invested, that they’re out there speculating. That means the world to me.
So of the ones that you’ve heard, has anybody gotten it right yet?
Not completely. Certainly there are people out there who are flirting with various elements of what we’re doing who have gotten some things right. But it’s like every episode, if you watch the Twitter traffic, somebody always guesses the killer, cause we have like five or six suspects so inevitably somebody’s gonna guess correctly. We just hope to keep people on edge so that everybody is guessing every week. We hope to mix it up and sometimes we like to throw a last-minute change at people just to keep them on their toes. But in this case, this episode has a lot of moving parts. It has a couple of twists. It has a lot of really great emotional moments for the ‘shippers out there, it has great case movement, so we’re hoping that people respond to it.
Last question: The response that “Knockdown” got was across the board great. How would you compare this episode to that one? And the moments in this one compared to that one? Is it going to be better?
You never know at the end of the day until all the elements come together. I think there is even more complexity in this one. In a way that “Knockdown” touched on the surface of the Beckett/Castle relationship, this delves a little bit deeper on the Beckett/Castle relationship.
Follow Sandra on Twitter: @EWSandraG