Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC
Castle | Monday, 10-11 p.m., ABC The ''I love you'' uttered by Castle (Nathan Fillion) to Beckett (Stana Katic) ?as she lay injured from a gunshot in…
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So far, all we know about Castle‘s fall finale is that both Castle and Beckett will survive it. But heading into the next three episodes of November sweeps, there’s a lot more to the show than simply survival.

EW spoke with Castle showrunners Terence Paul Winter and Alexi Hawley about the next three episodes, what they’ll mean for the future of the show, and why Ryan and Esposito are in therapy.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with Monday’s episode. I’ve heard something about Slaughter-Castle bro time, and I need to know more.

ALEXI HAWLEY: [Laughs] The last time they were together in season 4, Slaughter almost Castle killed a good half dozen times, so we thought we would revisit that dynamic because the two of them are obviously so great together and they have history that stretches way before this show. But we also wanted to try and turn it on its ear a little bit. We didn’t just want to make the same exact episode where Slaughter comes in and almost gets Castle killed several times and then that’s it. We definitely see an unexpected side of Slaughter, and Castle ends up with a little more power in the relationship than he had last time, which also gives it an interesting dynamic.

TERENCE PAUL WINTER: Actually, spending this time with Slaughter actually helps Castle rethink his relationship with Beckett in a good way.

HAWLEY: Yeah, it gives him a little bit of perspective. That bro time, that talking about relationship time with a man that you wouldn’t expect to have insight is actually good for him.

I know the Nov. 16 episode marks Castle and Beckett’s first wedding anniversary. How are they going to celebrate? Are they going to celebrate?

HAWLEY: That was our challenge coming into that episode obviously given the perameters of what we’ve set up. What we have to keep in mind is that, even with the obstacle in their way, both of them are still desperately in love with each other. So the want is there, it’s just about figuring out if there can be a how, so we definitely wanted to stay true to the obstacle, but at the same time, maybe give them a way to figure out how to celebrate.

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What is this I hear about Ryan and Esposito in therapy. How did you come up with this?

WINTER: It’s a lot of fun. Here’s the thing: Ryan and Esposito are brothers at the end of the day but like all brothers, sometimes they fight and especially when you’re police officers and your lives are sometimes at stake it can sometimes get heightened and that’s what happens with Esposito and Ryan. And when we see them in therapy, we’re going to see two guys who are desperate, just like Castle and Beckett, to make things work but they can’t figure out how.

HAWLEY: In the last episode we saw there was an unfortunate shooting and so the repercussions of that are spilling out into these next few episodes.

The episode titled “Mr. and Mrs. Castle” is inspired by Mr. and Mr. Smith. Where did that idea come from?

HAWLEY: As we started to talk about what our fall finale would be and how we would end it, we didn’t want to do a cliff-hanger because we kind of did that in the first two episodes, so we wanted to drive towards something that made you excited to come back but also was sort of the end of the first chapter of this Castle season. So we wanted to get to a place where this conflict between Castle and Beckett came a little bit to a head and do it in a fun way in the same way that that movie dealt with the troubles inside a marriage and professional troubles came face to face in a really dynamic way.

WINTER: And as we promised when we first started talking about this season is that we were going to constantly change the dynamic of the show and this is the end of the first evolution of what this journey’s going to be and we’re ending it with a promise of what’s to come in the new year. People, I believe, are going to be very excited because I know I’m excited about what the New Year’s going to bring.

HAWLEY: I think ultimately we’re really excited about how this first part of the season has come together and we really feel like we’re ending our fall finale in a really dynamic, really positive way and we can’t wait for people to see it.

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

Episode Recaps

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