By Sandra Gonzalez
April 06, 2012 at 04:13 PM EDT
Monty Brinton/CBS

I had a revelation recently when chatting with my colleague Mandi Bierly about her sharing a dish of lobster mac and cheese with Pauly Shore during a recent interview. (You could ask her for details on that story, but that’s really all there is to it.): My life is weird.

In the past week, I’ve party-stalked Charlie Sheen (with no luck getting two minutes alone for an interview), talked about Titanic with Ringer‘s Ioan Gruffudd (he’s in it!), watched Megan Mullally steal from my colleagues, and hung out with the cast of the fantastic new drama Scandal. Yes, life is strange. But also wonderful. I guess this is my long-winded way of saying thanks for being part of my wonderful, strange life, Roomies.

And let me return the favor by seeking out some scoop for you. E-mail all requests to spoileroom@ew.com or ask me on Twitter. See you next week!

Follow @EWSandraG

 ‘CASTLE’ BOSS: SEASON 5 WILL SEE A RETURN TO FUN

This season of Castle did anything but start off on a light note, and the episodes that have followed pretty much matched in tone. Secrets lingered like unaddressed pink elephants, feelings were unresolved, and each character wrestled with inner turmoil of various kinds. As for next season? Creator Andrew Marlowe says fans can expect much of the air to be cleared.

“I think it’s going to be interesting to see the Beckett/Castle relationship next season when we have a lot of the cards on the table, and when they’ve had fundamental confrontations and each of them knows how the other one feels. I think that’s something that gives us a lot of really intense, fun storytelling,” he says. Emphasis on fun, in fact. Because Marlowe recognizes that this seasons has seen a little less of that than previous seasons. Appropriate as it was for the story arc (and, yes, it was) he’s hoping to ramp it back up next season. “Our goal has always been to be true to these characters as we arc them through this strange, wonderful, interesting, intense relationship that they’ve been going through from the moment they met,” he says. “We didn’t have a chance to mine it as much as we wanted to because of where the characters were emotionally. We’re hoping to return to it a little.”

That’s not to say we won’t see fun in the rest of this season. As I mentioned earlier this week, zombies are invading! But my big question after he dropped the zombie bomb, will we get to see any of our faves in zombie garb? “I think we might,” he says.

Can’t. Wait.

‘GREY’S ANATOMY’: CHANDRA WILSON ON THE BEN-EFFECT

I can’t be alone in loving the chance viewers have had to see Miranda Bailey in a good place this season on Grey’s. She’s kicking butt in the operating room, spreading her relationship wisdom to the many embattled couples with whom she keeps company, and most importantly, she’s involved in a pretty hot relationship herself. In fact, I’m definitively not alone in loving all of this: Chandra Wilson feels the same way.

“She gets to be a little light. Everything was heavy [for a while], but you can either give in to tragedy or look for a way to have fun,” Wilson told EW during a recent set visit. “Ben pushes her buttons and allows her to take steps to get back into the swing of life and being an adult — not just a mom.” But with so much Owen and Cristina drama going down (Cereal, meet face!), are Bailey and Ben (B2?) a pair we can count on? It sure sounds like it.

“We’re [getting close to] the season finale, and you know how we do our season finales around here. So it’ll be interesting to see what Bailey’s journey is going to be. There’s always some surprise around the season finale. But right now, she’s in a stride,” says Wilson. “Right now she’s in a good place.” Ben returns in next week’s episode, which is also when fans can expect to see more from the gang as they prepare for the boards, which Wilson says will prove to be an emotional process. “It’s like raising your ducklings. You want them to not only pass their test but pass it with flying colors so you know that you have done your best as far as being their teacher. She is definitely in teacher mode,” she says.

More from our Grey’s set visit next week, including video from the set!

‘HAWAII FIVE-0’: MASI OKA ON REVEALING MAX EPISODE

If like me you hold a geeky love for Dr. Max Bergman on Hawaii Five-0, you’ll definitely want to check out Monday’s episode, which promises to provide new perspective on the medical examiner. Tthe team finds themselves tracking a killer whose methods match up to those of an incarcerated serial killer called Trash Man. But with so many similarities in style, they find themselves beginning to wonder if the alleged Trash Man in jail is indeed the correct one. Further complicating matters? The killer’s history with Max (Masi Oka). “It’s sort of an interesting twist,” says Oka.

For Oka, one of the biggest surprises was the fact that Max’s history was going to be explored at all. “I didn’t anticipate it. I know we discussed it because it’s hard to ignore the fact that his last name is Bergman, and I don’t really look like a Bergman,” he says. “I love that they did that because you knew they planned to justify it later on. In this day and age, when you see an Asian character, you give him an Asian last name. So big props to [executive producer Peter Lenkov]. It was great to see that in an episode and be able to go through that journey.”

NEXT PAGE: Side dishes on Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Nikita and more!

SIDE DISHES:

STARK RAVING DAD Like many of the characters in Fairy Land, Sebastian Stan's Mad Hatter has got some family issues.
Jack Rowland/ABC

Hi Sandra! I was just wondering if the people over at Once Upon a Time know how much of a hit Jefferson/Mad Hatter was? We already know that Sebastian Stan will be back for two more episodes this season… I was wondering if there was any chance he could be made into a series regular or at least a recurring character that appears very often.  I know he just signed on to the USA Network’s Political Animals. Would that ruin his chances on OUaT? Thanks! — Leia

Oh, trust me, they’re aware of how fans were madly in love with this character. And it sounds like they’re willing to do anything necessary to get him back. Again, I said, anything. “We love Sebastian just as much as the fans and have plans to see much more of him down the line,” the pair told me. “And if we have to employ dark magic to make the scheduling work, that’s a price we’re happy to pay.”

This wait until Nikita is pretty painful. Anything new to report? — Keith

You want to talk pain? Then let’s talk about what happens in the show’s first episode back, when Nikita is captured and tortured by someone she knows well. This girl is used to pain, but lord in heaven this was tough to watch. Yes, I just LIH’d you. In case you aren’t from the south, this is what we say when we’re dead serious. Oh! And speaking of dead, someone we know won’t make it to the end of the intense hour.

Sandra, I’d love some Nick and Juliette scoop for Grimm! — Tracy

Well, if you saw the promo for this week’s episode, you know there’s a reappearance from the ring Nick bought in the pilot, and I can tell you this: it’s definitely put to use. (Awww!) But while there is a proposal, you’ll have to tune in to see how it all works out. What I can say is that Nick and Juliet’s relationship will NOT be the same in the episodes ahead.

Hi, I am a die-hard Ringer fan and even more die-hard with the romantic pairing of Andrew and Bridget. Is there any news on the couple regarding their relationship status (where they stand, could they ever go back to the couple they once were and their future)? And a hint for the season finale would be nice. Thanks. — Tyanna

Whatever’s in store for the finale for these two, it sounds big. Because all Ioan Gruffudd could say when he stopped by EW HQ this week was that he was sure Bridget has fallen “genuinely in love with Andrew” and that “there are obviously good parts to Andrew.” Though that’s one of many things that could be shaken up by a number of HUGE reveals in the finale. “The stuff we answer, people would usually take a couple of seasons to answer,” he guarantees. “They’re going to love the shock and awe of it and wonder what we could do in the second season.”

Do you know if Ed Westwick will be on Gossip Girl next season? I heard a rumor he wasn’t going to be. — @wrightst3

That’s just one of the many rumors floating around, so I attempted to clear the air when I chatted with executive producer Josh Safran. “Everyone’s under contract, and as far as I can say, yes, everyone will be back. How they will be back may be a little bit up for debate, but they will be back,” he said. Color me intrigued (which I’ve always pictured as being sort of magenta-like).

Counting down the days ’till #Suits is back on. Any scoops? I love the Mike/Harvey dynamic. — @StephanieSnow1

As do I! And June can’t come fast enough. What I can tell you in the meantime is that one of the first episodes of the season (tentatively the second) will find Harvey making some bold professional moves and really putting himself on the line in order to protect someone close to him (not Mike) after Hardman (to be played by Wire alum David Costabile) comes back into the picture.

Although I’m not old enough to drink, I love the cul-de-sac crew and their obsession with wine. So naturally I’m devastated about EW’s prediction that this will be Cougar Town’s last season. Before this season premiered there was some discussion of another network whose comedies, or shows in general, don’t do as well as ABC’s, like NBC for instance, picking up the show.  Any chance that this is still an option if ABC passes on Cougar Town? — Jillian

I would say the chances of another network picking it up is not likely, sweet youngin. But personally, I’m not done rallying. (Though, that could very well could just be my hopeless optimism.) That said, join me in being uber excited about the all-new episode airing next week, which I hear is a doozy for Bobby and Angie (guest star Sarah Chalke). Also, here’s hoping you at least turn 21 before the show’s finale, so you can toast to it properly.

Will we see Reid in peril anytime soon? It’s been a while. — @melythemac

How funny is it that we like to see our heroes in peril? We’re weird people… Anyway, I wouldn’t be worried about Reid going into these last few episodes, and to be fair, when I spoke with executive producer Erica Messer, I was more concerned about Matthew Gray Gubler himself, who has yet to sign on for another season. Key words in that previous sentence are was concerned. Messer put me at ease. “He’s still in negotiations, but technically it’s still early,” she said. “They’ve got to figure out what they’ve got to figure out, but I don’t think anyone wants to lose that fella. So I have every faith that they’ll make it all work out.” Well, that’s one form of peril dodged.

Will they be able to give Paget a proper send off on CM, or were the scripts in too finalized of a state to accommodate for one? — @tigereye77a

Fun fact: The ending you see this season was always meant to be. Well, mostly. You see, before the big announcement of Paget’s departure, the season finale was always going to be an epic two-hour event. After, Messer tells me they were then tasked with weaving the major emotional storyline into their existing structure, making it “a really bittersweet ending to the season. “It felt like a time to celebrate this team. Good things happen to good people and let’s be happy about that. Let’s watch the team smile at the end of the season, celebrating how good these last seven years have been, versus somebody getting blown up in an SUV,” she said. “The instinct was to do the cliffhanger – who’s going to survive [a] car accident. It just felt more real and honest do everybody here that we go the happy route.” (More finale scoop here.)

David Boreanaz directed this week’s episode of The Finder. I’ve loved every episode of Bones he’s done. Anything to look forward to? — Kate

In this week’s episode, you get a chance to see a different side of Leo as someone from his past suddenly comes back into his life. But as far as specific Boreanaz-directed scenes that stood out, I thought watching Walter dance in front of 50 Cent was pretty hilarious. Um, if you call whatever that was dancing

Whatever happened to Booth’s brother? They had an episode where he got engaged to get married & that was the last we ever saw of him. Also since he’s about to be a grandpa will we be seeing more of Bones’ father (Ryan O’Neal)? Thanks. — BP

New gramps Max shows up in the April 30 episode, “The Family in the Feud.” (Well, that doesn’t sound good.) As for Jared (Brendan Fehr), it seems like any possible chance for a return went out the window last season when Brennan announced she was with child. “I’m pretty sure the one that we would’ve gotten to, had we had a normal length of a year would be some more Booth family stuff,” creator Hart Hanson said recently. “But those just went away, because of the shortened season and because we had these strong B stories, character stories connected to the baby.” So I guess you could say the baby’s to blame. Then again, we wouldn’t say that because what jerk blames a baby for something. They’re just babies! (I digress…) Anyway, I have high hopes for a return from Fehr eventually.

Related:

‘Criminal Minds’ boss: I begged Paget Brewster to stay. Plus, scoop on Emily’s ‘proper exit’

‘Bones’ returns tonight: What to expect when Brennan’s expecting

‘Gossip Girl’ boss teases Dair’s bedroom bust. Plus, an EXCLUSIVE CLIP from tonight’s episode

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