The "Castle" Season 4 finale might be one of the most highly anticipated finales of the year. It's been a season of push and pull, hot and cold, lies and half-truths, so fans who were in it for the will they/won't they aspect alone were schooled in just how complicated one show's core relationship could be.
In the first part of my chat with boss Andrew Marlowe, which posted before Monday's zombie episode, Marlowe teased how that episode's action would bring Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) closer again -- and it did -- but he was also quick to add: "Of course, we knock that on its ass in the finale." Of course.
Now, here are some of his more promising teases for fans (and a jaw-dropping exclusive sneak peek below). "In the finale, the characters are ready to have this conversation. The characters are ready to talk about how they feel," Marlowe said. "So we can make that promise to the audience that all the cards are laid on the table in the finale."
Of course, he wouldn't say if Castle and Beckett finally get together, but he did acknowledge that he knows the fans have been frustrated, this season and in finales past, and it sounds like that acknowledgment means that's ground he won't be treading over again. And for those viewers who only enjoy the promise of a possibility, and not the payoff, Marlowe says there'll be plenty more story if and when Castle and Beckett do give it a go.
"When it's the right time to get these guys together and they do get together, there's plenty of storytelling on the other side," Marlowe said. "We will be able to continue to see that relationship grow and be challenged, just like with any other relationship or any other great love story."
Keep reading for more finale scoop, a thoughtful take on the show's other romantic possibilities and some insight into what'll happen next season with Castle's daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn) "away" at college. (Hint: Her decision to go to Columbia doesn't mean she'll still be living at home, playing laser tag with dad.)
It feels like at the end of every season, Castle and Beckett go their separate ways for the summer. While I know most fans want them to be romantically together, I think a lot of people would just be happy knowing that they're not taking a break from working together. Will those people at least be satisfied with this finale's outcome?
I don't want to answer that question before the finale -- I want people to watch it to see what we do. But I will say this: I will recognize and acknowledge that if I were a fan of the show, and for some reason, it was, "Hey, we're not going to be together -- we've broken up as a partnership" and all that sort of stuff that we've done in the previous few seasons ... I would acknowledge that, if I were a fan, I'd be a little bit angry. So I'll give you that.
"Castle" fans are very vocal, and it's obvious that you all listen. Have you had any big course-corrections, this season or any other, based on how fans were reacting to certain stories?
Actually, not much -- there is a little bit of tempering that we do, but we're actually ending this season exactly where I expected to end it a year and a half ago. When we talked about how we were going to end Season 3, this was pretty much how I expected to end Season 4. There are some course-corrections along the way, like, "OK, given where the characters are, if we do this with that character, I think the fans would see it as a huge betrayal." For instance, in "The Limey" -- let's say the last scene had been Beckett and the British cop going to bed together. That would've been too much of a violation, given where Castle and Beckett are. Perfectly understandable, in terms of human nature -- she's mad at him, now she's going to go out and get some revenge sex -- but I think given where the characters were and what they were dealing with, that would be something that a certain segment of our audience would consider unforgivable. So maybe Beckett went out, had a cup of coffee and poured her heart out to the guy, or maybe she went out and got laid -- I'll leave that to the fans' imaginations.
But I think we've been very true to our characters. There were points in the season where our fans have been frustrated, but they were supposed to be frustrated. That frustration is actually an expression of rooting for an outcome; it's an expression of investment in the show. If you give everybody what they want all the time, it's not really what they want -- what they want is the journey. What they want is the ride. When it's the right time to get these guys together and they do get together, there's plenty of storytelling on the other side. We will be able to continue to see that relationship grow and be challenged, just like with any other relationship or any other great love story.
I think this has been a very strong season, but I know there's been some backlash, especially with these last few episodes, about having Castle and Beckett be so at odds.
Thank you for that, and yes -- we realize that it's been a little more angsty than other seasons ... We've traded some charm for some angst with the secrets and them not being able to reveal stuff, but we're hoping to get to a place where we can reintroduce some of the charm.
Having Alexis at the precinct was a really fun way to get her out of the house. We now know that she's chosen Columbia over Stanford -- was it hard to balance the fact that we love her because she's so strong-willed, but we also want her to stay close to dad?
Knowing what I know and where I want to take the character, no, I don't think so. I understand the challenge that we are going to face next season -- she is not going to have as much legitimate reason to just be around in the loft, so when Castle goes home, what is he going home to? Are we restructuring it so there are more Martha scenes? Or are we bringing Alexis in for Spring Break or for six months working in the ME's office? Or -- and this is me being coy -- in keeping her local, will she be coming home to do her laundry? Either way, once you have a kid going to college, there's a natural separation.
We understand here that we have a challenge in our storytelling to incorporate her in a way that is organic. We think that she's a really great, really strong character, but we don't want people to think we're relying on convenience. I can tell you that if you're smart and strong-willed, even if you go to a college locally, you're not necessarily going to want to live with your dad. You're going to want to hang out with your friends and expand your life experiences.
So "Castle" fans: Are you pumped for the finale? What do you think will happen?
Want more? Don't miss what is possibly the most amazing "Castle" exclusive sneak peek we've ever seen. Ever. One that brings up those three little words, again.
"I think you are the most remarkable, maddening, challenging, frustrating person I've ever met. And I love you, Kate. And if that means anything to you, if you care about me at all, just don't do this." HOLY WHAT? Yeah, that just happened. But what will Kate's response be? That's what will determine how they leave things this season: If she confronts her own feelings and returns the "I love you" to Castle, it'll be the start of a new adventure. If she doesn't, it would be the end of their verbal sparring and trusting relationship as we know it.
Now tell us: How would you like to see the rest of that scene play out?