Castle Creator Teases 'Emotional Cliffhanger' Finale That Sets Up a 'Complicated' Season 6

Castle Season 5 Preview FinaleThis Monday at 10/9c, Castle resumes its uninterrupted final run of episodes with the “great gift” of a flashback-filled trip down memory lane. But beyond that don’t-call-it-a-clip-show — and in light of the events of last episode (which was supposed to air first) — the road ahead for Rick and Kate looks a bit bumpy. Series creator Andrew W. Marlowe spoke with TVLine about putting the popular pairing to the test, culminating in a top-secret finale where they and their relationship either pass… or fail.

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TVLINE | What story were you wanting to tell with these last few episodes, leading into the finale?
The last couple episodes are about how [Rick and Kate] have been in a relationship for about a year now, and that’s about the time people start asking questions, about where things stand. They’ve been living in this fun bubble, but there comes a time where real life intrudes and things come in from the outside and force the characters to ask questions about where they’re going. By the time we get to “The Human Factor” (airing May 6), those questions will start aiming us towards some complications that come in our final episode, challenges to the relationship that both characters are going to have to confront.

TVLINE | With “The Squab & the Quail” airing ahead of schedule last week, what did viewers miss out on not having seen “Still” first?
Not too much – and I will let them discover that. But there are a couple of really important relationship moments and serious moments in “Still.” As you know, that episode, the 24th episode, was added very late in the game, so we took a very particular point of view on how we were going to get it done. And it turned out, I think, in spectacular fashion. It’s a great gift to our loyal fans. There are a couple of moments in there that they have to look forward to, that they’ll really enjoy.

TVLINE | Would you be loath to call it a “clip show”?
I would. We certainly have clips in it, but…. When I realized we only had a couple of days to shoot it and we’d have to fill it out with clips, I set out to make the best “clip show” that television has seen, and I think our team pulled it off. It’s a great episode, because we use the clips to forward the storytelling. It is a great trip down memory lane, but we also have some high stakes and interesting stuff going on in the main story.

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TVLINE | Circling back to “Squab” for a minute: In your mind, what all informed Kate’s ever-so-slightly wishy-washy response to Erik Vaughn Castle_Squabasking about her relationship status?
Well, I think what has dawned on her is [she and Rick] haven’t really talked about it. Does Castle think the relationship is serious? Does she think it’s serious, where they’re headed? They’ve been in it for a year and they seem to be having a really good time and having good moments, but…. This a guy who’s been married twice, she’s not getting any younger, she’s thinking about her future… and does her future include him? And is that part of his plan?

It’s only human to ask those questions at this point. I don’t think it signals that there’s anything “wrong” with the Castle/Beckett relationship, but I do think that she wonders what comes next — and as we get towards the end of the season, Castle himself is going to wonder what comes next. As a guy, he is somebody who doesn’t rush into commitment if things are working well the way they are. But Kate has a career and she’s got her next steps to think about. When an Internet billionaire is making a play for you, if she was single, I think we know what she would have done in [last week’s] situation. It speaks to her level of commitment to Castle [that she pushed Vaughn away], but it also speaks to a desire to know what happens next.

TVLINE | Aside from snipping symbolic videogame cords and offering candlelit massages, will we see other instances of Castle trying to course-correct?
As we head into “The Human Factor,” there are other, more professional issues that start to arise for the Beckett character, that begin to complicate things. We have that to look forward to as we come to our season finale, which is an emotional season finale. But instead of going into Beckett’s mother’s mythology like we have the last two seasons, and doing something operatic, I wanted to really focus on where Castle and Beckett were. So we have a great case but it kind of takes a back seat to wrestling with the bigger life issues that both of them are in the midst of.

TVLINE | “Human Factor” guest star Carlos Bernard (24), like Ioan Gruffudd, is not an unattractive man. Does his character serve a purpose similar to Erik Vaughn?
No, he serves a different purpose. He’s a complicated character, but he opens Beckett’s eyes to a greater world out there.

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TVLINE | Talk about the title of this season’s finale, “Watershed” (airing May 13).STANA KATIC, NATHAN FILLION
Every so often in life you face a watershed moment, and I have to give props to [producer-wife] Terri Miller for coming up with the title. It was absolutely perfect — especially since in our A-case we find a body in a water tank. It was a great title that spoke to both the personal and the professional aspect of the storytelling.

TVLINE | Are you leaving viewers with a cliffhanger?
There is a bit of a cliffhanger, yeah. It’s an emotional cliffhanger that I think will propel us into some great, complicated, interesting storytelling as we head into next season — assuming the TV gods are kind and grant us one.

TVLINE | [Grey’s Anatomy creator] Shonda Rhimes is never shy about saying she scrapped a finale plan late in the game and reworked it from scratch. When did it become clear to you how you wanted to end Season 5?
Every season you have a great map, but it’s like driving through fog — the closer you get, the clearer it gets. So about seven or eight episodes out, I knew, ballpark, where I wanted to land. And part of it was informed by some really big storytelling we had in the spring, dealing with [Senator] Bracken, the two-parter [about Alexis’ kidnapping], what we’re doing in “Still”…. And I wanted a quieter, more emotional finale, without the fireworks. But you do go back and forth. We were fortunate that it [comes at] that period of time where people start asking the hard questions about relationships, and in the finale something comes out of left field that both characters have to wrestle with, something that would be a challenge to any relationship. Having clarity seven or eight episodes out was very helpful, and we feel pretty good about where we landed.

Want more scoop on Castle, or for any other show? Email and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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  1. Luis says:

    I think the disappointments with this season of Castle rest at two levels. First is the “Caskett” relationship and the slow evolution of the relationship, which was realistic and necessary, but still frustrating. This season has lacked the “will they/won’t they push-pull of the previous seasons and watching Kate and Rick navigate the ins and outs of a relationship is a step down on the excitement level. Second, and more damaging in my mind, is the “resolution” of the mystery of Beckett’s mother’s murder. The writers gave us a villain, and then made him off limits (Way to waste a great guest star in Jack Coleman, BTW.). The past two seasons built to a startling crescendo as Beckett and Castle dealt with their feelings for each other and unraveled the mystery behind her mother’s murder. Both those driving emotional forces were taken away this season, and the result has been an emotional let-down.. Still wonderfully written and acted, still a must-watch for me and my wife, but it seems like there will be room for improvement in Season 6.

  2. Marcus says:

    I find it funny how some people are questioning whether Castle is opened to having more kids, b/c he clearly answered that question in THE FINAL FRONTIER.

  3. jj says:

    I never even bother downloading my S7 iTunes episodes. Needless to say I did not watch S8. The train wreck took about 3-4 millions viewers with it. And subsequently leads S8 to be the final season.

  4. Tess says:

    If the writers break them up..I turn the channel!

    • jason says:

      I dont see a break up for me and others it defeats the purpose thhe idea is caskett working togther/couple at the 12 take away that you have nothing and i think marlowe is mart enough to know this

  5. onlyakb says:

    so they better not split them okay!! I will appreciate if I don’t have to suffer a will they or won’t they get back together, just leave them together and I’m good!! they are allowed to have as many questions in a relationship as they want but don’t break them up,deal?!!

  6. castlefan says:

    Guys, is it true that Stana and Nathan don’t like each other?? What happened??

  7. Dar says:

    Remember we have yet to know anything about Castle. Only thing we know and Kate knows is what he have shown himself to be a retired playboy who will do anything for the ones he loves. He said it and proved it this season. However, we have yet to see inside the true Rick Castle. We know that he loves her and she loves him. She took a big step as a female to give him a drawer that is a sign that she wants him for the long haul. Have he shown Kate that he wants her? The answer to some will be yes. To me is no. So far he proved to Kate that he loves her and that’s it. He has yet to establish that he is in it for the long haul.
    That is what this season finale is going to be about. The job offer by the FBI is going to have Castle thinking seriously about if he wants Kate just for the moment or if he sees his unborn children in her eyes.

  8. Richard Bragg says:

    Hi, I have been watching the series in the UK which is several episodes behind. The finale will leave everyone wanting more I am sure but heres my take on a possible scenario……

    Beckett, still unsure about the relationship gets the job offer for the FBI and approaches Castle about it, his reaction will decide what she does. Castle may know already about the job and tries to convince Beckett to do whats best, I think he may propose with a ring that he has been carrying for a while. Beckett turns him down believing that this is just to get her stay and so suggests a break while they evaluate there emotions and feelings and takes the job. This series hinges on the Caskett thing so I am sure that if something like this happens then an episode or two into season 6 they will be back together in the series whether together or not remains to be seen.
    I am a little disappointed with the Castle character this series though, very wet. He risked his life for Beckett and would do so in a heartbeat and yet still misses the real clues from Beckett about what she wants. And his mother who is usually so insightful seems to be missing the relationship as well – she normally drives Castle along so well – where is she on this??. I get it that he has issues from his previous divorces but I feel that Beckett may not want marriage straight away just solid commitment.

  9. Dr. e DiTosto says:

    I am au serious fan who has seen nearly all of the shows and often several times.
    I will have f.sith in the fantastic writers but
    No pregnancy or losing Kate’s independence by movIng in with Castle. The way it’s played now is good. Keep both living in their own apartments. Hope the two ignite in 6 th season and I will continue watching the show

  10. CASTLE Forever!!!!! says:

    OMG!!!!!!!! Literally cannot wait for Season 6 of Castle! I honestly don’t know what I am going to do with myself while I have to wait for it. It is by far my favorite show of all time! Andrew Marlow does such a great job leaving you on the edge of your seat for the finales. That’s what got me so obsessed lol. I just hope Castle & Beckett stay together as a happy couple mean it took them long enough in the first place…. And will she say YES?????!!!!!!

  11. CASTLE Forever!!!!! says:

    OMG!!!! Yes Kate say YES!!! Castle and Beckett are so incredibly cute together I can’t even help it. I honestly can’t wait until Season 6!!! Great job!

  12. pj says:

    watershed, worse episode ever. since when has castle become so insensitive, he did not pick up on kate in crisis. everyone else did. the proposal was just lame. castle would have told her that she should take the job if she truly wanted it and then asked her to marry him assuring her that no matter where she was sent they could have life together. he can write anywhere. i don’t think she would take the job, and leave her “home”, but she needed to know that there is a future for them no matter where they live.

    • DrBeaker says:

      Agree. If she says yes and stays, story lines are limited. If she says yes and leaves, show over (nothing useful for the other characters in any storyline). If she says no and leaves, show over (see previous). If she says no and stays, there are all sorts of story lines including rebuilding their relationship. So, the only answer possible is NO and staying at the 12th.

  13. Mary-Angela says:

    I LOVE CASLTE, and i personally think that Kate wants this job to hide away from her true feelings. She wants a marriage and a life that she can share with someone, however at the same time she is still a person with a wall infront of her feelings like she was in season 2 and she is unable to admit or confront the truth. Richard loves Kate but also has a difficult time with the truth and therefore they are perfect for each other in a way, I feel that Kate may want to stay at the pre-sink with Ryan and Espo and keep working murders, i also think her mothers case may come back up again.

  14. i agree they should or given a hint that she loves him deeply and she is not going to leave him. sincerely virginia

  15. Dr. Enie says:

    In the 6th season expand the relationship with Castle’s father. We don’tt need Meredith complications. If B and Castle marry it will be difficult writing for the great team, it seems.

    • DrBeaker says:

      Yes, the only story line that makes sense is that she says No to the proposal and stays in NYC. The season story line has to then become some type of Senator-Castle’s Father-Martha development coupled with a Beckett/Castle opening up and rebuilding their relationship. The series ends at the end of season 6 with a resolution of the Senator issue, Castle’s Father reunited with the family, and a Caskett marriage. Everyone wins as there really isn’t enough material for a 7th season.

      • They can ALWAYS find new material if they want to! Not the least, they can reinvestigate the murder of Beckett’s remote ancestor, Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury!

        • DrBeaker says:

          Thank you for proving my point!! S6 is the last season…whether there’s a baby or not, the lack of any story line would not produce 23+ episodes anyone would watch…although something with his father could lead to a spin-off series with Caskett in another city, say DC, with the CIA or Homeland Security.

  16. yes she knew and on still she let the cat out of the bag. plus how could you not tell with the way they look at each other.

  17. Ralph says:

    Pulling a rabbit out of the hat in next seasons opener will be no problem for Marlowe. HE will just write some nonsensical situations which have no license established for them and poof, it will be up to your imagination as to how it came to be. Andrew is outstanding for his spurious writings. I’ll put it another way, in a well written show the audience knows what is happening and doesn’t need an outside dissertation to explain it.

  18. Dave says:

    Does anyone know the date when Season 6 starts?

  19. Consider this, if the episodes Still & Squab had aired in their intended sequence, we’d have witnesses in one episode a Castle standing on top of a ticking time bomb, willing to face oblivion with Beckett. And in the VERY next episode, we’d have witnessed Beckett repay His loyalty by sucking up to a Brit Slimeball, whose only interest was to use her as a playtoy to help him pass the time!

    Can you honestly say that you do NOT see a problem with this scenario?!

  20. Consider this, if the episodes Still @ Squab had aired in their intended sequence, we’d have witnesses in one episode a Castle standing on top of a ticking time bomb, willing to face oblivion with Beckett. And in the VERY next episode, we’d have witnessed Beckett repay His loyalty by sucking up to a Brit Slimeball, whose only interest was to use her as a playtoy to help him pass the time!

    Can anyone honestly say that you do NOT see a problem with this scenario?!

  21. terry and larry says:

    i love the show castle and everyone on it. i like when rick and kate are a couple. the show is so funny . i look forward to watching it. my problem now is i changed from direct tv to bright house and i can’t find the channel or the day of the week for the show; can you help me? thank you