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May 11, 2015 at 04:41 PM EDT

So far, we know that Castle‘s seventh season finale will take viewers inside Castle’s childhood and present Beckett with some important decisions about her future. For more scoop, we talked with executive producers Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller about what else fans can expect from the season ender.

[Ed note: This interview was performed before Castle was renewed for its eighth season.]

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tell us about Castle’s childhood flashbacks in the finale?

Andrew Marlowe: There was something that happened in his childhood that was fairly traumatic, and a case comes to Castle and Beckett that reminds him of something that happened. It sends him on a bit of a journey of investigative discovery but also self discovery.

Terri Miller: It’s also a really interesting, compelling story for our characters to experience at this point in their relationship, because it impacts things they’ve learned about each other over the years. 

As Castle gets more obsessed with the investigation, how will it affect his relationship with Beckett?

Marlowe: We’ve gone through a lot of growth with these two characters from the beginning of the show, and I think that how we’ve chosen to play it is really playing into the growth of the characters. So the way in which Beckett engages to be right there, step for step with Castle, really shows a maturing of where they’ve come as a couple. But in the process of this, some things show up in Beckett’s life unexpectedly that may alter the course of her life and her career moving forward. 

Speaking of her career, she’s facing maybe wanting more there. What’s her journey in the finale?

Marlowe: One of the things that we were playing with this season—having ended last season resolving a great deal of the Beckett mythology surrounding her mom’s murder, and getting justice and dealing with senator Bracken—we wanted to deal with the aftermath, which we think we’ve done it in a subtle but powerful way and we’ve really loved the way Stana [Katic] has played it this season. As she’s settled into the relationship with Castle, [there’s] this growing dissatisfaction with where she is in her career, and we’ve been arcing towards something at the end of the season. Some of the stuff we’ve been dealing with really comes to fruition in this last episode in a very unexpected way that we think will be a great springboard into some really compelling storytelling next year. 

Should fans be worried about Beckett’s fate in finale?

Marlowe: The episode was written under some fairly difficult circumstances for us as creative entities because the fate of the show was unknown when we went into this. What we wanted to do in the event that we didn’t come back was provide our audience with a finale that gave them a great sense of closure if for some reason we don’t come back, but also had some really compelling storytelling aspects to it that if we were fortunate enough to come back, we’d be able to take advantage of those and exploit them moving forward and really take our characters into unchartered territory that can really challenge them. 

Miller: I think that at the end of this, we asked a lot of great questions that will hopefully have the fans’ imaginations brewing. 

Will we get more information about Castle’s time away?

Marlowe: We feel like we did a pretty good job answering a lot of those questions in [episode] 20. There are some things that we’d like to return to in terms of his time away. Although we got some answers, there are still a lot of bigger questions hanging out there and we think that there’s some great storytelling to be had there. But that’s not really where we’re going in the finale. In the finale it really is about digging deeper into Castle’s character and peeling back the layers there to expose some new and compelling stuff that will give some fans some real insight into where he came from.

Miller: And one of the things that’s really interesting to us about it is that it gives Castle and Beckett more to know about each other, and it takes their relationship a little bit further. Because as you go along in a relationship, you find out more and more about the person that you’ve fallen in love with, and I think this episode will provide some of that.

Will we revisit the baby topic in the finale?

Marlowe: It’s out there. It’s very much on Beckett’s mind when she’s talking about her future, and when she’s considering her options. That’s one of the things that we’ve been dealing with in the run-up to the finale. But some of the options that are put on the table are really unexpected ones. So that’s what we’ll be dealing with in this season’s finale. 

What about some of the secondary characters? What will they be up to?

Miller: They’re really working in the finale, very much like they’ve worked in some of the earlier episodes in supporting Castle and Beckett’s story in their particular way.

Marlowe: We have some really nice scenes with Alexis. She’s at a crossroads with some of the things she’s considering in life, along with some of our other characters. Martha continues her search to find the right apartment to move out into. And we would love to continue and really explore that storyline. One of our concerns given where we were and what we knew heading into this particular story break not knowing how clear our future was is that we didn’t want to start bringing too much new stuff up for our secondary characters and we also didn’t want to start any big resolutions. So really in this finale, we’re concentrating on unearthing this piece of Castle’s past.

Miller: And it’s a really rich Castle-Beckett story. 

How might this differ from other finales you’ve done?

Marlowe: I think in years past, we had a pretty good sense that we’d be coming back—so we could end on a cliffhanger knowing that we could fulfill that promise in the fall when we came back.This one was a little bit unusual. With our fate up in the air, we wanted to be able to do something that could provide some sense of resolution in some areas, but still provide other great storytelling. It’s not a conventional cliffhanger as we’ve done in previous seasons, but it’s a great mythological piece of storytelling that we think can really stand on its own. We think it’s going to be a fun trip into Castle’s psyche and a little bit of his backstory, and answer some questions that I think have been hanging out there for seven years.

Miller: I’m really excited about Beckett’s trajectory. I’m really excited about her story in the season finale and we’ll be very curious to see how she handles it.

Castle‘s finale airs tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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