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'Castle' boss on 3XK's [spoiler], plans to revisit Castle's missing time

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Colleen Hayes/ABC

Castle‘s annual two-parter ended with a bang (and a slice) when Esposito shot Jerry Tyson—and Beckett took Kelly Nieman down with her own scalpel. Needless to say, it was an eventful hour that resulted in Castle being unbanned from the NYPD. So what now? And have we really seen the last of Tyson and Nieman?

We talked with showrunner David Amann about the two-parter’s conclusion, what it really means, and what’s next for the team:

EW: Tyson and Nieman are such great villains. Were you all at all hesitant to kill them?

David Amann: I don’t think [so]. When we talked about the two-parter, one of the things we were drawn to was the idea that we would actually be able to spend a little bit more time with both Nieman and Tyson and see them interact more directly with Beckett and Castle. And it just felt to us like to be able to finally have them in the same room together for extended periods of time really kind of dictated that this was going to be the end. It felt like a culmination to us, and it is something that we’ve kept going since season 3. I think there’s always opportunities for other mythologies and other characters, but it felt like the time to draw this to a close.

So then is it safe to say this puts an end to that storyline?

I think Castle and Beckett think it has, but I think it’s fair to say that you never know. We’ve assumed that Tyson’s been dead in the past and we’ve been dead wrong about it.

Castle and Beckett had a great talk at the end of this hour. Are we going to continue to see lingering after-effects from these events?

Yes and no. I think that as we get out of this episode, we’re going to go into a fun episode that’s going to be kind of classic Castle. But one of the things that we were intrigued by when we were discussing the two-parter was this idea that Castle is kind of put in a position that Beckett was put in at the beginning of the season, where he was gone and she had no idea what had happened to him or where he was. Episode 15 puts him in a very similar situation, though the stakes and the circumstances around that are considerably more threatening. It’s a way for him to have experienced some of the anxiety that she must’ve experienced when he was gone, and I think that that’s going to embed itself in his thinking. So when we get to around episode 20, we’re probably going to be dealing in a more direct way with the missing time that he had at the beginning of the season, and trying to delve into what it was that actually occurred.

Was there much discussion surrounding who actually got to kill Tyson and Nieman?

The notion was that we wanted to keep Castle credible in this world—that he is not necessarily a guy who’s going to go in there with guns blazing, but he does have people around him who are capable of doing that. And so it felt like, if he’s going to enlist the help of them, he’s going to use the right person for the right job. What we really were interested in, of course, was the confrontation between Castle and Tyson, and those scenes between the two of them. And then with respect to Beckett, she’s a formidable character in her own right; we felt like the fans wanted to see her taking care of business.

There are now scans of Beckett’s face. Is there potential for them to come back around?

It’s always possible. We haven’t planned for it just yet, but it’s out there in the universe.

Now that Castle is unbanned, have we seen last of PI Castle?

I think we have for now. The PI was a means to an end for him. It was a way of trying to finagle his way into working with Beckett, and probably also fulfilling a lifelong fantasy. Now that he’s back on it, there’s not really a pressing need to continue that. [It] may be something that gets revisited down the line, but for now I think he’s happy to be back with her, doing what he was doing before. One of the goals of [the two-parter] was, we wanted to get Castle and Beckett back working together in the precinct. Part of the conceit behind the two-parter was for Castle to act in such a way that would earn him back into that position. Because he consorted with mobsters and did some things that got him thrown out in the first place that were legitimately serious, so we felt like the bar was kind of high. He needed to do something kind of extraordinary to win his way back in, and we felt like that story would allow us to do that.

What can you tell us about the next couple of episodes?

The next episode is “Murder on Mars,” where astronauts have been sealed in a Mars simulation for months in preparation for a Mars expedition, [and] one of them is murdered. So it seems as though nobody could’ve gotten in or out of the place, and yet none of them seem to have had a hand in the killing. It becomes a big mystery for Beckett and Castle to solve, and one that requires them to put on space suits and go and interview people. It’s a delightful episode. We also have an episode with Beckett sort of meeting her equivalent, a hot shot Hong Kong female detective who’s kind of like Beckett except even more so. So they’re trying to solve a case together, and Beckett’s trying to grapple with the fact that she’s dealing with someone that’s actually better at the job than she is.

Castle airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC.