There’s a new boss over at the 12th Precinct: Captain Kate Beckett.
After acing her captain’s exam at the close of Castle‘s seventh season, Beckett (Stana Katic) faced a tough career decision when approached to run for State Senate. But she’s definitively made up her mind when the show returns for season 8.
“What’s exciting about that dynamic is that she’s not going to be a traditional captain who is in the office,” executive producer Terence Winter tells EW. “She’s boots on the ground. She’s still Beckett. She’s going to be handling cases and she’s going to be involved in the interrogation.”
But being the new boss does have its drawbacks, especially when it comes to playing by the rules. “What’s exciting is that now she’s a supervisor, which brings a new dynamic with her, Esposito [Jon Huertas] and Ryan [Seamus Dever],” Winter continues. “There’s some fun conflict also with Castle [Nathan Fillion].”
The position will also provide the writers with a wealth of new story avenues for Beckett outside her professional life, says EP Alexi Hawley. “Since she doesn’t have to be boots on the ground in every aspect of the case, it also gives us opportunities with her to open up her character a little bit more and to take her down some other roads,” he says.
With Beckett taking on this new role, Castle will find himself working more with Hayley Shipton — whose character name has been changed from Vargas — played by new series regular Toks Olagundoye. “She’s an independent investigator who comes in,” Hawley says. “What’s great about her is Castle has been investigating cases police adjacent, so it’s always about doing things the way the police would. She doesn’t do things that way, so it’s that fun dynamic of we break in rather than getting a warrant. There’s definitely an energy about her that is a lot of fun.”
Despite the new position, Beckett’s future as a senator is not completely off the table. “There’s a pin in it,” Hawley says. “At first blush, we didn’t quite know how to tell those stories in a way that would be satisfying given the way our show works.” Adds Winter: “But there might be a future in politics for Beckett somewhere down the line.”
Castle returns Monday, Sept. 21 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.