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When you end a season on a cliffhanger as big as Castle’s car accident at the end of season six, it’s difficult to start the next season with a large time jump. And thankfully, Castle will pick up right where it left off, with Beckett, still in her wedding dress, realizing that Castle is no longer in the burning car. That being said, the episode, like most Castle episodes, won’t play in real time all the way through.
With the episode focusing on Beckett’s hunt to find Castle, there will be a minor time jump within the episode. EW spoke with executive producer David Amann about what to expect from Monday’s premiere and season seven as a whole.
Expect a lot of Beckett in the premiere. We know that Beckett will be looking for Castle, and according to Amann, fans shouldn’t expect to see Castle’s perspective in the first episode. “The story of what happens to Castle coming off of the season finale is told from the point of view of Beckett and the folks that are trying to figure out what happened to him,” Amann said. “So I think that’s going to be the emphasis coming into the first episode.”
The mystery of Castle’s whereabouts is only the beginning. When asked about lingering effects of the car crash and Castle’s disappearance, Amann promised that “there’s going to be some resolution to where we left off with the cliffhanger.” And for Castle and Beckett, it’s positive resolution. “I think that they have a strong relationship and that relationship will grow and endure despite the set backs of the season finale,” Amann said.
However, this is only the beginning. “As far as scars on Castle, I think it’s really more a matter of whatever’s gone on with Castle is going to be resolved but there are going to be some unanswered questions and some deeper mysteries that we’re going to be exploring a little bit later in the season, so I think that we expect that Castle will emerge from these first couple of episodes with a sense that there is a deeper mystery that has not entirely been solved about what happened to Castle.”
Season 7 is about what makes Castle, well, Castle. For months, fans have been asking, “Why did Castle have to get in an accident? Why?!” But according to Amann, this accident will be the perfect opportunity to finally explore more of Castle’s history. “The show has benefited tremendously from the Beckett mythology that we’ve had. That was really started in the very beginning of the show and was kind of closed out at the end of last season, and we’ve always felt like there are aspects of Castle’s character and back story to plum that we haven’t taken advantage of, partly because we don’t want to have two back stories or two mythologies competing with each other at the same time,” Amann said. “So now that Beckett’s mythology that she has with respect to her mother’s murder is more or less resolved, we thought it was a great opportunity to dig a little deeper into Castle and to show a few more facets of his character, and yes get to a little bit more of a sense of why he is the way he is.”
For example, Amann would love to explore the question of, “Why is he obsessed with murder? What makes this his vocation? What is it about him that he finds this so absorbing and fascinating that it’s become his life work?”
Don’t expect Castle’s back story to darken the overall feel of the show. “The balance for us has always been the mythologies are periodic episodes. We visit them when there’s something to visit, and the show generally lives in a lighter more buoyant place and the mythology sometimes goes down darker territory,” Amann said. “We’re not in any way thinking we’re going to change that balance or change the tone of the show. I wouldn’t want you to walk away with the impression that we’re now plunging into the depths of Castle’s tortured history and that’s what the show’s going to become, because it’s not that at all. But we do see opportunities to explore him in a way that we haven’t before, and I think the audience is going to be really interested to see where that goes.”
Amann also stressed that the same idea applies to the format of the show. “The basic premise of the show, episode-to-episode, is to have fun Castle-Beckett episodes and do our occasional thriller episode along with this other mythology that will pop up from time to time as it has in previous seasons with Beckett.”
Expect Alexis’ reaction to cause tension. Castle and Beckett aren’t the only ones affected by the accident. Amann said Alexis will have a “very particular reaction to what Castle’s been through.”
“It’s going to change her relationship with Castle a bit,” he said. “There’s going to be a little bit of a struggle [between Alexis and Beckett] as a consequence of that, but it’s more about a reaction to the upset of what happened at the end of last season and less about Beckett.”
And let’s not forget Amann’s tease that a wedding could be coming this season.
Castle returns Monday night at 10 p.m. on ABC.