Fall TV Preview

New Castle Captain Lays Down the Law: There Will Be No Sexual Tension In My Precinct!

Being at Beckett’s side as she fights for her life isn’t the only crucible lying in wait for Castle‘s titular mystery writer when the ABC drama kicks off its fourth season on Sept. 19.

Instead, once the dust has settled on the season finale’s shocking shooting – which came on the heels of Captain Montgomery being killed — Beckett will find herself having to break in a new boss. But Victoria “Iron” Gates is not one to bend easily, if at all.

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“She’s definitely the challenger, where when you’re in her presence, you’re going to be better than your best,” says the new captain’s portrayer, 24 alum Penny Johnson Jerald. “She’s there to make [the officers of the 12th precinct] better than before. But mind you, she won’t put up with the way they’ve been getting [to that level] before, so there may be some trying times.”

So, Beckett, Ryan, Esposito et al now have a hardass at the helm? “I couldn’t say those words,” Jerald defers. “But pretty much, yes.”

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The actual officers and detectives, however, will have it easy compared to Castle, whose sweet gig shadowing Beckett’s investigations will soon be in great jeopardy.

“My side of it is, ‘Why is he here?'” Jerald explains with a chuckle. “He’s not a police officer; he’s an irritant. But it’s all those wonderful little nuances that make for great television.”

Jerald won’t say if Gates directly acts to have Castle removed from her ranks, but says that just her wanting to may be enough. “Even believing and wishing he wasn’t there is pretty much diminishing the presence of someone,” offers the actress. “She doesn’t see his value yet, but perhaps [it] will come to light. And even then, maybe she won’t even [admit] it!”

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Then again, stepping away from Kate’s side may be in Rick’s best interest, seeing as another of Gates’ no-no’s at the NYPD is UST (read: unresolved sexual tension). “She’s on to it… Oh yeah,” Jerald says of the partners’ unspoken yearning to be partners. “[But I’ll have] none of that in my precinct.”

What do you think, Castle fans? Will Rick be able to (eventually) win over Captain Gates? If not, how else might he stay in the mix – and close to the lady he loves? (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)