'Castle' post-mortem: EP breaks down season finale's shocking twist
WARNING: Castle fans, spoilers ahead.
“What’s a great story without obstacles to overcome?” Castle said in the middle of Monday night’s season finale, as he comforted his defeated bride-to-be. “Every fairy tale has them — terrible trials that only the worthy can transcend. But we can’t give up. That’s the deal — we want the happy ending, we can’t give up.”
Wise words from the crime-fighting novelist but, in a way, also eerie. Because, as fans know by now, the wedding day Castle and Beckett worked so hard to put together didn’t unravel as expected in the show’s season finale.
In an interview with EW, executive producer Andrew Marlowe explains why they chose to delay Castle and Beckett’s trip down the aisle and what fans can expect from next season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Now, here’s the thing. I know Nathan is the titular Castle, but I confess that at the end, when he was driving to the wedding, I said to myself, ‘Don’t you dare, Matthew Crawley him, Andrew.” So, tell me why you’re so evil. Just kidding.
ANDREW MARLOWE: Well, I’ll tell you why I’m such an evil person: Because I think where we’re going opens up some new and exciting and some really interesting avenues of storytelling that we’re really looking forward to jumping into at the start of the season next season.
Obviously fans were expecting a wedding. Will we get one eventually?
Oh, yeah. Look, I’ve always said these two characters were absolutely meant to be together and we’re telling a long, arcing love story. And, you know, in any epic love story there are complications. And this is certainly a complication along the way.
Was Castle’s speech in the middle of the episode foreshadowing in any way?
Well, it was actually dealing with their entire relationship. So in a way, yeah, in a sense, it was foreshadowing. But it’s really part of what this relationship has been, and what has made it so epic. And this is a relationship that, look, even 20 years from now when there are Castle babies running around and whatever is happening is happening, there is still going to be an epic love story. And they’re a couple to whom interesting things will happen because they have that sort of magic when they come together. So, you know, in terms of getting them together in marriage right at this very point, you have two characters who are very committed to each other and I don’t think that has come into question. It’s now really an issue of what happened. And hopefully people will come back and play through those consequences and be excited by some of the questions we’re posing and the direction the storytelling is going to be going in because we have something interesting to play with.
One of those big questions is, obviously, the identity of the people in the black SUV.
And what exactly is going on and I think there will be some pretty compelling answers when we get back to it.
Does this at all tie back to Sen. Bracken? Or is that a chapter we should consider closed?
Well, certainly those are the things that are going to be on the characters’ minds as they wrestle with what’s going on. There are a lot of specters we assume are going to be hanging over the storytelling. If I were a fan, I’d be wondering about Bracken. I’d be wondering about 3XK. I’d be wondering about some other issues. But we’d like people to tune in to see what we have in store.
Let’s talk about last week’s episode, “Veritas,” briefly because you’ve long said that Castle and Beckett couldn’t move on as a couple until that Bracken/murder arc came to a close. Talk to me about crafting that closure and placing it where you did in the season, which I loved. Honestly, it could have been a series finale.
It could have been. But we were absolutely committed to closing out Beckett’s quest for justice for her mother. And we knew Bracken was out there in the universe, but we also knew as a character that she really couldn’t move on until she had that resolved. So in order to clear the decks and get the table set for the wedding, we felt like we had to go through that experience. So for us it was about making multiple threads come together in a way that was going to be emotionally satisfying for the audience and give a sense of justice to Beckett — this long-sought justice. And also acknowledge Castle’s role in this because she had put this away and when Castle walked through the door the very first season, he was the one who opened up all those old wounds. So in some ways, the two of them doing it together, we hope, is very satisfying for the audience.
Do you have your sights set on establishing any new mythology next year? Or setting up a new epic arc?
We have ambitions in that area. We’d like to open up some new mythology, so hopefully what we’re playing with right now will allow us to do that, while keeping the Beckett and Castle relationship moving forward.
I definitely want to talk about the wedding itself, specifically the dress. I absolutely loved her mother’s dress, and I wasn’t crazy about the original one. Was it always the plan to ruin the first dress?
It wasn’t always in my plan but when we showed the other dress, the reaction to it among the fans was pretty divided. And we thought it was a good way to honor that and put her in something a little more simple, a little more conventional and something that had a little bit more sense of history for the character. As fun as the moment was in that episode to have a woman like that give you a hot couture dress, it didn’t necessarily speak to who Beckett was or speak to her history or her character. So we wanted something that was a little richer for the character emotionally.
Obviously, a marriage will happen eventually, but do you see them trying the whole wedding thing again, considering how much they had to go through for this one and then the way the day turned out?
I think when the time is right, hopefully in the near future, they will embrace something that speaks to both of their characters.
Do you already have an idea?
No. I’m tired. It’s late in the season.
Do you feel like you’re playing a long game with the show still? How many more seasons are left here? Where’s your head at?
My head is in continuing the show as long as we feel good and great storytelling and we certainly know from other shows that once characters get married, it’s not the end of storytelling. There’s still complications that ensue and fun to be had as a couple and fun to be had solving cases. So I don’t really know. You look at Bones as the model and there’s a version where you go on to season 10, 11, 12. And we’ll see if our people have the appetite for that. We’ll see if our actors want to do that, and we’ll see if the viewers stand by us for that.
In all, this was a very different finale for you…
Knowing that we had “Veritas,” we didn’t want to end with something else heavy and we wanted to clear the decks. And when we sat down to talk about it, we thought it would be fun to do something that, for the most part, for 41 minutes, was light and funny and a little bit buoyant and presented the complication that everyone expected in terms of getting to the wedding. But in talking about it, we also wanted to, for future storytelling, level the playing field between Castle and Beckett to allow her to have this thing in her past that she didn’t even know about that catches her short but also loses a little bit of the moral high ground to Castle, which I think delights him. So that was a lot of fun for us. We wanted to do something that was a little bit of a Coen Brothers-Preston Sturges feel.
Yes, 41 minutes of lightness then you punched me in the face. [Laughs]
Yeah, sorry about that. I hope you’ll forgive me, and I hope the audience forgives us given what we have coming up for them next year.