That the 100th episode of ABC’s Castle is airing when it is seems fitting, given the “Easter eggs,” medium and small, that observant viewers might spy during the milestone hour.
“There are a lot of references and callbacks for the hardcore Castle fans,” shares series creator Andrew W. Marlowe. “We’ve peppered it with little pings from earlier episodes.” (At least one of the special nods, we can report, will necessitate hitting the “pause” button.)
Per Marlowe, another priority in marking the milestone was — amid a run of “big episodes” (including the two-part kidnapping arc) — “to do something that really focused on our central cast, to give each of them a chance to shine. And we’re really, really happy with what we did.”
As well reported, Episode 100 finds Castle a couple weeks into recovering from a broken kneecap — and getting a bit stir-crazy. But when he begins to while away his isolation by training his binoculars on an apartment in the building next door and witnessing what appears to be a murder, friends and family are left to fret that he’s gone plain crazy. Or at least is having his perception compromised by meds.
“He’s on pain pills, so I think we know what Kate Beckett thinks about what Castle is seeing,” Marlowe says. “What are the odds you’re at home with a broken kneecap and you’re looking across the way and you see a Rear Window scenario play out? She’s pretty skeptical until some things happen that make her realize that maybe Castle’s not as crazy as she thinks.”
So though Rick and Kate share several scenes where it’s just the two of them, her reluctance to subscribe to his murder theory “is a bit of a dividing factor,” says Nathan Fillion. “It’s a bit of a tough go when your friends or the people you rely on deny you your credibility. So he’s miffed.”
Rick crying murder while Kate swats away every piece of perceived evidence results in “a lot of Castle/Beckett fun,” Marlowe promises. For Episode 100, “What we wanted to deliver is something that was classic Castle-and-Beckett, something that felt like it could have played in [the] first season or now. And we were really excited to have found it.”
But as stated above, every member of the ensemble figures into this Rear Window homage. Though already busy working a separate murder case with Beckett, Ryan and Esposito, says Seamus Dever, spend time “running down these leads that Castle keeps sending to us,” yet to no avail. “He keeps seeing things, and we’re like, ‘No, it didn’t happen. [The neighbor] is alive, we got her on the phone.’ Stuff like that.”
As Beckett & Co. express their frustration with Castle’s flurry of false leads, “It seems like he’s on his own and helpless, until almost the end of the episode,” says Jon Huertas. “Then we finally come back and help him through what he’s going through.”
Elsewhere, Molly Quinn describes Alexis as “the nurse character” in this Rear Window scenario, including in one sequence where she helps her father with a bit of hands-on snooping — no easy feat when a fella has to stay off his feet. “I get to do some fun, little comedic bits that I’m excited about,” the actress smiles. Martha, meanwhile, “is involved in her own sort of oblique way” despite having left town during her son’s recuperation, Susan Sullivan assures.
All told, this hour of Castle is very Castle, giving the mystery novelist perhaps his greatest mystery to single-handedly solve.
“You’re going to see Nathan in his element once again, which to me is fabulous because the [February] two-parter set the bar pretty high,” says Penny Johnson Jerald, whose Captain Gates is afforded a primo opportunity to rip into the 12th precinct’s resident, over-imaginative WRITER. “I think the fans will be pleasantly surprised.”