Exclusive First Look: Castle's Official Key Art Points to a Season of Secret… Love Affairs?

Castle is giving us another mystery to chew on as we approach its Sept. 19 return: What clues, if any, can be gleaned from the official Season 4 poster?!

To best answer that question, one first must determine what exactly is happening in the image below. Given where things left off in May — with Castle confessing his love to a near-dead Beckett — conventional wisdom suggests that she’s shushing him before he opens his mouth (and heart) any further. Of course, that assumes she even heard him in the first place.

Spoilery Video: Castle Takes the Blame For Beckett’s Shooting

It’s also possible, particularly given the mischievous look on their faces, that Beckett is trying to stop Castle from taking their forthcoming secret love affair public! That scenario also plays into the intriguingly punctuated “Partners. In Crime” tagline in that it suggests they are joined both professionally and personally.

It also may just be a fun, provocative piece of art that holds no hidden meaning.

Your thoughts? Do any of my theories hold water? Am I overthinking things? Underthinking? Study the poster, then hit the comments! And for instantaneous Castle scoop/spoilers, follow me on Twitter at @MichaelAusiello

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Nerdista says:

    I’m just really disappointed in whatever they did to her fingernails there. They must have money in the budget for decent photoshop, right? Other than that, I can’t believe it’s almost back already!

    • MoxieSue says:

      What’s wrong with french tips?

    • NathanAndStanaLover says:

      Her fingernails? LMAO!

      I ain’t even looking at the finers, look at how FINE Nathan is and how beautiful she is! This picture stole my breath! HOTNESS! It needs to be the 19th like NOW!

    • Monica Sorg says:

      I think they look pretty. You aren’t a fan of french manicures?

    • CharlieBlue says:

      Her fingernails? That’s what caught your attention and is complaining about? Not how fine both Stana and Nathan looks in this poster? Really, there’s nothing wrong with those nails. At all. And oh my goodness for nit-picking. Just saying…

      • CharlieBlue says:

        Just reread this part of my reply:
        “Not how fine both Stana and Nathan looks in this poster?”
        I meant:
        “You’re not gushing over fine both Stana and Nathan looks in this poster”…
        Managed to submit and not add the first part. *head!desk*

    • DonLunte says:

      Besides the nails, who cares..
      Its like with the chuck promo…
      I dont know what they do to their faces…
      they should just let it be, or hire somebody who can work with photoshop… they seem to always overdo things… look at nathans creepy eyes there for instance…

    • momsyourfan says:

      Are you kidding you are actually concerned about her nails????????????????

    • Savannah says:

      Nice. So looking forward to this season! :)

    • Brenda says:

      Get a grip…they are movie stars! Except for one hour a week, when they’re Beckett and Castle.

    • Barbara Kwiatkowski says:

      Her nails look great!!! They both look wonderful!! Maybe U have a big problem!!! Counting down the days to the day, Castle starts it’s Fall season!!!!

    • Fleur says:

      Oh come on. She looks GORGEOUS!

    • Joy Fernandez says:

      It’s the new fad in manicures. Pink nails w/extremely white French tips.

    • Jennifer says:

      All your worried about is her nails!!Ladies take a really good look at Nathan. Oh boy I really do luv blue eyes especially his..lol I wonder if he would be interested in a cougar???

    • Minx_in_LA says:

      You are SO right Nerdista! I notice little details like the fingernails too! Maybe it looked OK to someone on a tiny phone screen ;) But is that who’s doing their airbrushing? :) And could Nathan look more brushed, btw?!

    • Chad Kollasch says:

      Well they look like press-ons to me, but whatever the reality,they are definatly Beckett-like. What I dont like is the shift in their vibe. The first year was more intense, more funny, more something, They seem to be losing that as the show goes on. But I still love it, there are so few good shows on now days, waaaaay too much reality garbage and poor re-makes. What is there no new creativity in L.A. or N.Y.? Bring back the old school comedies, and stop cancelling the good shows before they get a chance to get up and running. Well enough on that, but seriously more comedy! Less reality!

      • Marie says:

        Hey Chad!
        I couldnt agree with you more!
        More comedy! less reality! thats why I watched Castle in the first place. I read a newspaper review that praised its fresh, funny and overall charmingness. Now after watching season 3 and half dreading season 4 I can definately say thats it is no longer the funny charming show it was in seasons 1 and 2. Still we battle on in hopes of a return to form in season 4. Are you listening Mr. Marlowe?

        Maybe success is Castles problem? when it was a little slot filler it was light and funny.Now people are dying and getting shot! If I wanted Drama I’d tune into one!! Theres plenty of good stuff on tv (in Ireland anyway, I cant speak for you castle fans elsewhere.). Please Castle writers return to your original brief, keep it light, funny, witty and interesting! Hardly a tall order….!

        • PhoenixnotFelix says:

          I’m sorry but I completely disagree with you, if all Castle was was just the witty banter and light hearted comedy every single episode, there would be no story and therefore no show, with conflict and drama sure, Beckett wouldn’t have gotten shot and ideally no one would have died; but that’s not what crime shows are about, especially not with Castle which includes to a fair few genres. I also disagree about how it has changed since season one; obviously there are going to be some differences two seasons down the track, Andrew Marlowe can’t create a show and the keep the characters exactly the same as they’ve always been, they need to be developed. Castle is only part comedy and was always written to have issues in it, which I believe is also an integral part to the show (aside from the humour) .

    • MGTatUU says:

      I noticed the Nails too, and they do suck.. At first I almost didn’t see them until I looked at the whole poster and saw the finger infront of his mouth and then noticed it was her finger and then the Horrible nails really stuck out.. They look shiney, uneven, and just not good.
      But other than that I like the poster. The both look refreshed and great together!

    • Connie Guzman says:

      You see all that from the poster? LOL.. wow, I just thought they were being humorous.. but I what do I know :)

  2. Casey Wright says:

    SQUEEEEEE! I’ve been waiting not-so-patiently for this season! Almost here!

  3. Castle_fan says:

    From what I have heard, they are not even revisiting the “I love you” until halfway through the season. I have a feeling that Castle is going to work on slow but steady progress into a Caskett relationship. I think that while they will still move forward towards being a couple this season, they won’t actually become a couple until at least next season.

  4. Mairead says:

    His eyes are so blue!

  5. Angela says:

    I don’t know what the poster means… I can’t get past Nathan’s blue eyes to see what else there is.

    • ellekay says:

      RIGHT!? I mean he was fabulous in Firefly, but man is he freakin awesome as Castle! <3

      • stormyann says:

        I first saw him on *Buffy the Vampire Slayer” & fell in love with him that was even before Firefly and Serenity. They are both Beautiful! how can anyone get caught up in her nails! missing the whole point of Her holding the Shhh finger up to his lips! Aw *sigh* Does anyone have a time machine? O am addicted to this show and the actors!

      • Crystal says:

        He also was awesome as Caleb in the last season of Buffy :)

  6. Monica242 says:

    Holy airbrushing, Batman!

  7. Kay says:

    hmmmm. tag line says “Partners. In crime.” I taking hope in the specific separate designation of partners. And that they both look happy.

  8. TJCrinc says:

    my thoughts? i think they want to keep the giggity giggity a secret.

  9. Jay says:

    Eh… it’s just Castle and Beckett… there’s nothing interesting and creative going on like there usually is.

  10. Alyssa says:

    10 days and Castle is back!!

  11. Allison says:

    I hate when they do these cheesy pictures – their characters are so real and not-stereotypical on the show, and this makes them look so Hollywood.

    • kristen says:

      I abhor it too but this one isn’t as bad as last year’s; I can still remember it had them both seated on chairs that were back to back while they were handcuffed to each other and they were both (obviously due to instruction) pulling rather tacky expressions. I’m not saying anything against the actors, just the media and publicity approach of network television nowadays. I work in multi-media & advertising and can think of many other effective and appealing ideas for posters than aren’t as contrived as these ones. The Photoshop artist did a deplorable job as well.

      • LADYHELIX says:

        Agreed – they photoshopped her into Brooke Shields!! I kept reading trying to figure out why she was in the photo with Nathan instead of Beckett.

  12. Scarlet says:

    I don’t think the simple fact that they’re french tips is the problem’ I think it’s more because they look cartoonish.

    • TrishA. says:

      Is it just me, or is her facial expression all wrong? She looks (gorgeously) goofy. I hope their dynamic doesn’t change TOO much- I like her!

  13. Beonin says:

    Worst. Photoshopping Job. Ever.

      • BlueSkies says:

        I second that! I use photoshop professionally, ALOT. And one thing I’ve learned is that the more you airbrush, the more you loose the personality (and the professional feel) of the picture. Basicly, less is more…
        This picture feels static, not vibrant, and I guess we all want it to feel vibrant. Personally I would prefer a stillshot from the (long awaited) 4th season premiere. Can’t wait! :D

        • Sarah says:

          Ugh I can’t stand you people that come on ALL the boards and post about how bad the photoshop is every. single. time. Get over it, and if you can’t and you’re so freaking good at it, go apply and take that person’s job so everyone will just stop bitching.

  14. Leola says:

    don’t care what it means. I love them and can’t wait for the season to start.

  15. Marilyn says:

    I think it is a great picture of them. I just love this show and can hardly wait until it returns. She may have Gel Nails as they tend
    to shine a lot, but if it’s airbrushed that’s ok with me. He looks fine….

  16. Karen says:

    What is up with his left eye???? OMGosh

  17. Dalea Lugo says:

    It’s got in here! I can’t for Castle to take off his clothes! OWWW!

  18. Laura says:

    Castles eyes are so beautiful! And Becketts teeth are so clean and nice! Her nails aren’t Beckett-look like you guys said, but it’s looking good on her!

  19. Danielle H. says:

    I don’t really think there is much of a hidden meaning; I think it’s just light-hearted Castle cuteness aiming to get people to tune in.

    Can’t wait!

  20. Amber says:

    Gorgeous picture, I completely adore castle it’s by far the best show on tv today. I LOVE IT. <3 <3 <3

  21. Robin says:

    Remember “moonlighting”? when they actually get together there goes the romamce and tension. wont happen til final season.

    • Becca says:

      I’d rather they suffer the Moonlighting curse than the Bones curse.

      • TJCrinc says:

        i think they should just confirm a relationship on screen, continue with the constant flirting and tension, but leave the romantic relationship for the off-screen, where i imagine they make each other “pay” for the teasing.

  22. princesitacastle says:



    I like much




  23. Pat says:

    are we sure this season is not going to be a ‘dream’ or she is not a ‘ghost’???

  24. Dee says:

    I think they should have a secret romance and then Beckett tell Castle she’s expecting their baby and go with that storyline for a while. Will they/won’t they get married? Will she have the baby or lose it during an attack? Then at the end of the series, THE wedding, does it goes to plan or who wrecks it and why? They could even hold off telling anyone at work who is the father until the wedding invites go out, if no-one knows then they can keep up the sharp dialogue..DO NOT go gushy! Gosh, story-lines are endless.

  25. A T Kenos (Australia) says:

    Cannot wait for my fav TV show to return. The only thing that pissed me off was the captain and he was finished

  26. Richard says:

    Just keeping us on our toes. R.

  27. castle says:







    I like much

  29. cindy says:

    why is the book so different from the TV show? in the 1st book they have sex by the end. TV not.

    • D says:

      The books are supposed to be written by Rick Castle, not be ABOUT Rick Castle. The books are way steamier because that’s the way Castle likes it. You’d NEVER see it that way on the show!

  30. tvbmadness says:

    Love the cheekiness of the new poster… but wished it was like the others where it had a crime scene theme.

  31. momsyourfan says:

    Gorgeous! I love them both! I adore the show! Can’t wait for the season to begin! Love her nails!!!!

  32. Sabrina says:

    I love the show. I can’t say anything wrong about a show that makes me laugh so hard. Okay,but the photo shot is a little much.

  33. cheryl says:

    cant believe yr complainin about the finger nails,they both look good

  34. garnette says:

    I think she didn’t even hear the I Love You comment! You know the writers must terrorize us romantics :)

  35. SnippieT says:

    Her fingernails???Who cares!! I am excited about the return. Love the new poster..Will be watchin!!!

  36. TVfanatic says:

    What’s wrong with you people? My goodness have you seen any pictures of Stana Katic taken by Brian Bowen Smith? That woman requires no photo shopping; stunning doesn’t even begin to describe it. And I think his cocky eyebrow lift is so Castle. And the nails??? They were painted a soft natural pink in ‘To Love and Die in LA’ so I see no problem here. Oh, and screw the Moonlighting curse. I for one will not stop watching when they get together, will you?

    • wildchild1954 says:

      As far as I’m concerned the only curse on Moonlighting was the fact that by the end Shepherd and Willis couldn’t stand each other. There was nothing wrong with the show itself, just the stars.

      Won’t have that problem with Castle. They could but Castle and Beckett together this season and I’d still be watching it 6 seasons from now. They put it on and I’ll watch it. I own the first two seasons and cant’ wait for Season 3’s DVD to come out.

  37. karen abili says:

    Who cares about her fingernails! People they are coming back and I can’t wait. They are awesome team, couple. I hope they get together as a couple but who cares they work so well together. I love that show!

  38. Rita Toler says:

    My favorite TV program. Period. No phone calls accepted. Please do not interupt me by speaking to me or asking a question while Castle is on – I will not respond. Love, love, love Castle!

    • casper says:

      I do the exact same thing. Sometimes, I even put my cell phone on silent mode.

      Re: promo poster- I’ve been waiting for this to come out for a long time. I can’t believe the sneak peeks were released earlier.

      By the way, I like your theories, Ausiello! Thanks for this and keep the Castle scoop coming!

  39. Cndi Wetzel says:

    They look so hot together!!!! I would love to see them together, but I’m kinda scared as to what happened on “Moonlighting” With Bruce and Cybill. Once they got together the show started sucking. I don’t want this show to end for a long time, but then again..how much longer can you stretch out the inevitable? So, I guess what I’m saying is
    go for it…BUT …..do it in a way that helps the show, not get it cancelled. Love Nathan Fillion<3

  40. CB4ever says:

    I love the poster its cute and soo castle but i dont see and hidden meaning really and stana’s nail look so awsome stop hating !!! Love it!!:D

  41. tristan says:

    I don’t think that hair style suits castle… :l

  42. Shannon says:

    When I first saw the picture, I thought, “DANG! Nathan Fillion has some long nails!” LOL Great picture and I can’t wait until the new season begins! I am in Castle withdraw!

  43. JoJo says:

    I don’t care a bit about the nails and the airbrushing– I honestly think it looks great. And I’m just looking forward to seeing what the shushing is all about.lol

  44. Laura Arriaga says:

    I think it suggests that they have a secret later on. It doesn’t mean that they are together but maybe opening up a little more. It (to me) means that they are depending on each other a little more. An when Castle said “I love you” when Beckett was shot and possibly dying, i think it was in the moment because he didn’t have the nerve to say it because he was afraid of getting rejected by her. He probably wouldn’t have said it for a while if she hadn’t been shot but it could be that he would regret NOT saying it to her as well. And with Beckett, she will probably chose not to recognize the most important sentence of her life because she know that he thought she might not have made it toward the end. She may want to hear those words with no pressure involved. But all this is only my opinion…if it makes any sense

  45. romeo says:

    hey there,
    have you forgotten the original TV series THE AVENGERS, they are husband and wife team yet one of the popular TV series in the 60’s and seventies. Castle TV series would still be as hot even if the romance between the two lead stars blossomed……HURRAH FOR THE RETURN OF CASTLE……….

  46. Beth says:

    All I can say is HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE! This is one heck of a birthday present. :)

  47. anon says:

    Am I the only one who thinks her nails look horribly fake? It’s a 2 tone gradient and done poorly. If they were real, the highlights would have went down to the white tips. White is never truly “white” in real life. It’s forms of tan, grey, and a color base.

  48. Meredith says:

    I think she looks a lot like a young Brooke Shields in this shot.

  49. Gillian says:

    How cool, I cannot wait for the premiere.

  50. Gina says:

    Come on people! The poster is a promo for the show – Its like they are saying, “want to know what’s coming next, well, we’re not talking! Watch us on September 19!” Besides that they are both gorgeous whether this picture was photo shopped or not, and as for her nails and his eyebrow, that’s just petty jealousy!