Every season, Castle‘s two-parter episode provides some of the year’s biggest drama, and as tonight’s hour welcomes back both Dr. Kelly Nieman and 3XK, it’s safe to say that this year will be no different.
“We’ve sort of tried to deal with the 3XK mythology once a season,” showrunner David Amann said. “We felt like [now] was a good time to really dig into a story where 3XK is more featured and you can really kind of lean into the mythology, because I think a lot of the times in the previous episodes, the sense of his presence was greater than his actual presence itself. He was in fewer scenes, in the shadows. He’s a guy we’re pursuing and never quite catching up with, [so] we felt like there was something satisfying with really having Castle and Beckett be able to confront this guy and spend some real time playing the cat-and-mouse game that he likes to play.”
So why is 3XK back? According to Amann, it has everything to do with revenge on Castle. “He regards Castle as the person that is perhaps most capable of bringing about his undoing and so for him, it’s unfinished business,” Amann said. “And I think there’s also a sense that Castle has bested him in the past that’s hard for him to abide by.”
Although Amann doesn’t promise that this two-parter will provide closure to the 3XK storyline, he does guarantee that both Jerry Tyson and Kelly Nieman will play a large role in both episodes. And he warns viewers against thinking that 3XK is the biggest threat. “Dr. Kelly Nieman plays a very big role in this episode and I think that it’s our team’s encounter with her back in season 6 that has kind of scarred everybody a little bit,” Amann said. “And so when she seems to be connected to our initial case, I think it’s unsettling to everyone. There’s a psychological effect that her presence has on Esposito and Lanie in particular, but Castle, Beckett, and Ryan as well.”
And given the team’s history with these two, fans can expect for things to get a little heated. “All of them have a lot of skin in the game in terms of trying to bring these people to justice. Everybody has felt the effects of either Kelly Nieman or Jerry Tyson, or both in the case of Esposito and Lanie,” Amann said. “In the case of Ryan, his gun was used in a homicide [after being] taken from him by Jerry Tyson, so he has a score to settle. And obviously Castle and Beckett’s investment in this is also extremely strong.”
Castle‘s two-parter kicks off Monday night at 10 p.m. on ABC.