Matt's Inside Line: Scoop on Once Upon a Time, Castle, The Mentalist, S.H.I.E.L.D. and More

For Once Upon a Time‘s Prince Charming, what’s in a name? Has The Mentalist‘s Lisbon met her match? Is Castle‘s Christmas episode a gift to fans? Which two Sons (barely) endured a faux fight? Read on for answers to those questions plus teases from other shows.

RELATED | ABC Unveils Castle, Once Upon a Time and Revenge Limited Edition Prints

Once Upon a Time | The bad news for fans of Prince Charming is that, of course, he is now trapped in a sleeping spell, since Snow wasn’t able to physically connect with him in the netherworld for a reviving smooch. But as he lingers in that limbo, I have this good news to share: New flashbacks to The Fairytale Land That Was are on the horizon, filling some blanks in the prince’s backstory. “There’s a lot more to explore,” Josh Dallas assured me during my visit to Vancouver, where Once films. For example, “Charming had a twin that was never fully realized – we only had a glimpse of him — so maybe there’ll be a chance to explore more of who that brother was.” Of course, it was actually said sibling who was named James, and to date we have yet to learn Charming’s own name. So…? “We will find out. We will find out,” Dallas promises. And in the way of hints, he says, “It’s surprising… and it’s obvious.” (Once‘s midseason finale airs Sunday.)

The Mentalist | Dipping into the reader mailbag, Charlie asked for “something about Henry Ian Cusick’s character on The Mentalist. His first appearance was fantastic, and he has been so evil!” Not surprisingly, series boss Bruno Heller shares your enthusiasm for Lisbon’s own Red John. “It’s fun to take Lisbon down a path that Jane knows so well,” Heller shares with us. “She’s usually the voice of reason, keeping Jane in check when his Red John obsession goes too far, but in this case Lisbon is the one with the obsession. She feels responsible for the death of a woman that Volker killed and she’s determined to bring him down.” As for giving Cusick the choice role, Heller says the Lost alum has been “a revelation as Volker. He plays a titan of industry, a powerful figure who fancies himself untouchable due to his wealth and connections. Cusick has found a nice balance with the character, playing both the charm and the darkness underneath.”

PHOTOS | Holiday Hot Shots: It’s a Very Castle Christmas

Castle | Ausiello in recent weeks has been taunting you with one of his patented asterisk quizzes, about a four-letter word that threatens to keep Rick and Kate apart on Christmas. Now that I have screened Monday’s episode – aka the ABC drama’s first such Yuletide outing – I can say that although many (OK, most?) of you have since solved the asterisk quiz, you do not know the very interesting reason why Beckett’s “*ork” comes into play. I can also tell you the episode features one of the (faint praise alert!) more amusing subplots for Captain Gates; you won’t ever guess with whom Javy spends the holiday; Beckett has very specific instructions about her gift from Castle; and, yes, a “sexy Santa” costume is part of someone’s itinerary. There’s also a fun line where Rick invites Kate over for “a Christmas movie marathon… or some other kind of marathon that makes life wonderful.” The “dead’ Santa” case itself is a bit clunky, but the close of the hour IMO makes up for it. P.S. Did we know that Leslie Hope was a guest star?

Sons of Anarchy | You may know, from a recent Entertainment Weekly interview, that Charlie Hunnam this season gave castmate Ron Perlman the big chill off camera as well as on, to help get into Jax’s mindset. Thing is, he didn’t alert Perlman to his Method-y madness. “I don’t mind saying it was a bit uncomfortable,” Clay’s portrayer tells us with a laugh. “I’ve loved him since we first started working together five years ago, so it was weird [wondering] if I pissed him off.” Especially since the two men have other projects they’re working on together and had to promote at this summer’s Comic-Con. “I was on my way there when I realized, ‘Holy s–t! I’m not just going to be with Charlie on the Sons of Anarchy panel; I’m going to be with him talking about Pacific Rim and Frankie Go Boom…. I’m going to have to manufacture some sort of bon ami.’ So when we were immediately thrown into a panel [for Pacific Rim], I just threw my arms around him and gave him a kiss and all this love.” And that thawed things… a little. “For the rest of the season after that, it was never as light and loose as it used to be,” Perlman reports, “but a lot of the tension had gotten removed — which was fine with me.”

Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D. | It’s early yet, as this Marvel-ous pilot continues with casting, but four words out of ABC president Paul Lee’s mouth are perhaps all you need to hear. “It’s very Joss Whedon,” Lee told TVLine at the Saban Free Clinic Gala (at which he was honored). As such, “We’re optimistic, because Joss is a genius and we love the idea and we love what we’ve seen,” Lee added. “But it’s early days, and it’s a long way to go between now and a successful series. But we are very excited about it.”

If there’s a show you’d like the Inside Line on, email mattmtvguy@gmail.com, and maybe it’ll get some love the next time around! (With reporting by Meg Masters and Vlada Gelman)

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. guss says:

    I want more about Charming, not about his twin. And his real name, please!

  2. Jaime says:

    Obvious? Charming’s name is probably going to be David. Like his actual FTL name, not just his Storybrooke name.

  3. Kate says:

    I’m so excited for the Castle Christmas episode!

  4. Becks says:

    Can’t wait for Castle!! Sounds like a fun ep!

  5. martina says:

    Oh God, I cannot wait for Castle’s christmas episode! My guesses are that Jenny is the one that dresses in a Santa sexy outfit for Ryan, Espo spends the holiday with Lanie and that Beckett’s reason to work on Christmas has something to do with her mom.

  6. fifi says:

    Charming’s name will obviously be Charles.

  7. Josh says:

    I really liked Charming as a bad ass cop with the holster strap. Hope he wakes up soon.

  8. xav says:

    If his name really is David, that would be funny. Since the Biblical David was a shepherd, which is probably what they were going for.

  9. Andrea says:

    I’m so excited for Castle on Monday! Thanks!

  10. JASon says:

    So basically no new info on Shield! Not exactly a scoop!

  11. mia says:

    With every new update on SHIELD I’m getting more and more excited. “Its very Joss” are like the magic words. I’m hopefully that they’ve given him creative control (like they did with the film) and eeeee just so excited

  12. Mikael says:

    I hope it’s not just all regular Shield agents; I’d like to see some heroes in there, like Spider-Woman (played by Amy Acker, hopefully!!)

  13. beckstle says:

    Oh, ’tis the season for Castle fans and Caskett! It’s gonna be a long slow weekend. I swear, Castle’s the only show that’s ever made me happy for Mondays. :D

  14. I loved the first part of the Lisbon arc very much and cant wait to see more. Hope she kicks Volkers ass and that Jane helps her :-)

  15. Dragonfly says:

    Do we know when S.H.I.E.L.D will air? is it September 2013? I only hope that this series won’t share a fate of ABC’s Defying Gravity and Fox’s Firefly – both great series that ended too soon (well Firefly got a movie to finish off) And Castle – YAY!!!!!

  16. Torchwood68 says:

    Gates should be spending time with Avery Brooks. :)

  17. Sam says:

    Thanks a ton for news on THE MENTALIST, Matt. I’ve been wondering what was next for this arc and thought of dropping you guys an e-mail to ask. Looks like someone beat me to the punch. Lisbon is really rockin’ it this year. Her and Jane are fantastic characters. Can’t wait for more of this to play out. And Bruno Heller is so right about it usually being Jane who’s on this side and her reeling him in. It’s different, in a cool, new way, to see her in this situation.

  18. A says:

    I really dislike charming. I know its who the character is, but the constant optimism and tough guy hero act is just plain annoying. More Hook, less Charming in my opinion. Thankfully he’s asleep now so there will be a bit less of him.

    • guss says:

      Hook is not Hook, is Jack Sparrow. Awful.

    • rachel says:

      Sure, let see more of a guy who stole a girl heart when she was unconscious and also hit a women when she was defenseless rather than a guy who sacrifices himself to save his family, this prove if you are hot you can get away from anything, really disturbing

      • A says:

        He just needs turn the hero act down a notch. Its a bit over the top, cliche and really annoying at times. I get. Your the tough guy hero.
        And not saying Hook is a saint, he’s just more interesting and provides a bit more of that entertainment factor to the show.. And also I find Colin O’Donoghue to be a way better actor in this show than Josh Dallas.
        And its not uncommon to find villains in shows/movies a bit more interesting than the protagonists. I mean even in this show. Regina was pure evil but I still loved her character and I’m pretty sure others did too.

  19. Mari says:

    Can’t wait for Castle’s Christmas episode.

  20. nick1372 says:

    I must have missed the Ask Ausiello article with the 4-letter aterisk thingy with Castle, so I’m just going to ask; Why are we talking about Beckett’s fork?

  21. siskaaw says:

    Hahh Castle, I think its gonna be fun episode. Where is Monday anyway?

  22. Faith says:

    Please let Castle & Beckett’s movie marathon be Firefly episodes. My hubby and I still talk about how awesome it was in Season 1 for Castle to dress in Fillion’s Firefly wardrobe for Halloween!

    • Faith says:

      Note to self: don’t tvline when u have a migraine. I just reread the Castle spoiler after the meds kicked in and realized I took it the wrong way.

  23. rachel says:

    I like charming, but his backstory bored me to death, once have other plot that are so much more interesting to explore! What about little mermaid? Aladin? Aurora and Mulan’s backstory? Pinocchio? Peter pan? So many, I hate to watch an eps got wasted on boring charming eps

    • gdv says:

      I hope they bring in the Little Mermaid soon. They’ve already mentioned “mermaid(s)” twice this season! I hope the writers are dropping hints of what’s to come. But I guess this late in the filming year, it won’t be until next season.

    • t-rexthey says:

      yeah i get it i would really like to see mulans back story and bring a twist like lion king

  24. MoonAngelwings says:

    The Evil king who adopted him said he was a Shepard, and his name is David..Hence David and Goliath?

  25. Krithika says:

    Ooohh…Castle…Your’e like a wine that gets better with age…Honestly LOVING Season 5….

  26. what the hell was the inside scoop with soa?! you’re telling us what we already know.

  27. Luis says:

    I thought Henry Ian Cusick was wonderful on “The Mentalist,” and I am excited to watch Lisbon travel that road of obsession, and how Jane reacts