Fall TV Preview

Castle Boss Teases a Season of 'Explosive' Secrets, Defends Controversial Twist

Castle creator Andrew W. Marlowe admits it wasn’t easy putting a bullet into Detective Kate Beckett in the Season 3 finale. But what doesn’t kill the NYPD cop will only make the show stronger.

“It was a pretty tough decision to shoot her — and to have Captain Montgomery take that [fatal] bullet,” Marlowe told TVLine during our visit to the hit ABC drama’s set on Tuesday. “But we wanted to show growth, and that’s a challenge for any show when you’re working within a pretty good comfort zone.”

Season 4 Promo: Castle Takes the Blame for Beckett’s Shooting

Elaborating on the matter of Montgomery (played by Ruben Santiago-Hudson) being revealed as complicit in the cover-up of Joanna Beckett’s years-ago murder, then dying a hero’s death, Marlowe acknowledges, “Anytime you make a decision like that, about a character everybody loves, it’s going to be controversial, but things had become very comfortable inside the precinct. It had become like a family, and everybody had accepted Castle (played by Nathan Fillion), so we were losing an element of conflict that would make the show even more special.”

Enter 24‘s own Lady Macbeth, Penny Johnson Jerald, as Captain Victoria “Iron” Gates. Perhaps assuaging some fans’ concerns, Marlowe says he is being sure to keep the new boss from coming across as too arch. Instead, he sees the Internal Affairs vet as simply “the hard-nosed coach who wants to get the best out of her team –- though the team doesn’t really want that. To adapt to somebody else’s methodology is a bit of a challenge to them. But it’s an interesting challenge.”

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Much more interesting, viewers will see as the Sept. 19 season premiere unfolds, is how the dynamic will change between Castle and Beckett (Stana Katic) in the wake of her aforementioned shooting — namely, how Rick’s profession of love during the very immediate aftermath was received by his partner in crimesolving.

Without revealing anything remotely close to a spoilery specific, we will say that the poster art that TVLine recently unveiled now makes a lot more sense, with Beckett’s finger forming a “Shhhh!” gesture over Castle’s lips.

“Really that is what’s emerging, that notion of secrets,” Marlowe says of Season 4’s theme. “[It’s about] people who are really trying to have the relationship they want, but the cost of it is keeping secrets from one another in order to get there. And that can always be an explosive combination.”

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Castle fans, who’s ready for Season 4? And what secrets do you think will be kept?