Post Mortem: Castle Creator Previews 'Fun' New Obstacles — Plus: Is There a [Spoiler] Coming?
“You do know how this works, right…?”
Some four months after Castle‘s titular mystery novelist (played by Nathan Fillion) got on bended knee and proposed marriage to Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), the NYPD detective delivered her answer.
“Richard Edgar Alexander Rodgers Castle, yes…. Yes, I will marry you.”
Kate’s response came with one caveat that shook her mate none — that she got the job on the federal task force in and thus will be relocating to D.C. And already, one flash-forward later, we are seeing the complications that come with their long-ish distance romance. (For one, Castle wound up exposed to a fatal chemical weapon!)
Assuming Castle makes it out alive, TVLine invited series creator Andrew W. Marlowe to dissect recent developments for the show’s core couple and dish on what lies ahead. (Could it be… wedding bells?)
TVLINE | Which came first — Rick proposing to Kate or Kate getting a D.C. job offer? Or did they always come part and parcel?
In our minds they always came part and parcel. The proposal is a big step, but we also wanted to challenge the relationship right away, and I think that in today’s age, taking a job in another city and trying to conduct a long-distance relationship is something that a lot of people are familiar with. And we though it would be a great way to instantly challenge some of the assumptions that they both have about the relationship – certainly some assumptions that Beckett has about who she can be in life. She’s trying to have it all, and like many of us who are trying to have it all, she’s not doing it particularly well. Seeing somebody who has always been a high performer and really on top of her stuff for five years struggling is really interesting. It puts her in a really vulnerable position. We wanted to take advantage of two people who wanted to be together but had to go through this yearning process for being with each other and finding a moment. Also, there are times when things in life shift, where you’re trying to recapture the magic and trying to find the spark in your relationship again. On the heels of this great momentous moment of both of them accepting each other, we wanted to really put it under a microscope and examine it, have some fun with it.
TVLINE | Stana told me that she thought it was important to send the message that a woman shouldn’t have to choose. That partners should support each other’s dreams.
Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not hard. You know, we’re in a tough economy and people are working harder than ever. I know a lot of married couples where they’re both working and they don’t see each other that often and they’re trying to make it work and they’re trying to find balance. So there are significant costs in having to choose, because you you’re sacrificing something, but there are also costs in trying to have it all. We wanted to see a couple who has the best intentions towards each other trying to figure out how to make it work.
TVLINE | Were there any other yes/no/maybe scenarios that you even briefly toyed with? Because it would have been efficient for you to also shoot the outcome back in the spring, while you’re already on location at the playground.
Sure, we toyed with it, but we’re always looking for what’s most honest and what’s going to be most challenging. And it felt like where the characters were in their trajectory and how they felt about each other, that [the path we chose] was honest. Having Kate sacrifice an opportunity and having Castle ask her to sacrifice an opportunity felt dishonest. Instead, it’s, “Hey, if we love each other we’ll figure it out,” and we’re looking at a handful of episodes where they really are trying to figure it out. And the future is not just about their relationship. It’s about who Beckett is, and what kind of life Castle’s going to lead if he remains in New York without her.
TVLINE | Some fans are concerned that you’re geographically “breaking up the band,” at least for a stretch. How can you reassure those people?
Well, without getting too spoilery, I can say that we are committed to making sure that every episode feels like a Castle episode. Even during a time when folks are separated geographically, it’s still going to feel like the experience that they’ve always gotten. We’re not interested in changing the overall DNA of the show, which is, you know, Castle and Beckett and solving cases and having all the other folks that we know and love involved. But we are interested in throwing new obstacles, in growing the relationships. We are interested in seeing fresh faces come in to help illuminate our characters, move them along or give them something to push against.
TVLINE | I was actually impressed by the premiere’s mechanics — even knowing how it was going to play out, I was not expecting Rick and Kate to have as much screen time together as they did.
We were very conscious that, although we wanted to change some of the trappings and some of the obstacles, we did not want to change the experience. We know that people are tuning in for a very particular Castle experience, so that was first and foremost on our minds. Hopefully we’ve been able to achieve it.
TVLINE | Back at the 12th, are Ryan and Esposito going to get work a case or two entirely on their own? Something that doesn’t always dovetail with D.C.?
Absolutely. But then it will dovetail, in a very fun and unexpected way that, I think, will delight fans. We have an episode coming up which is a lot of fun, where Castle can’t be with Beckett and Ryan and Esposito end up on a very high-profile case that has a lot of fun attached to it.
TVLINE | Is there any larger theme to Season 6?
What’s emerging for us as a theme is “relationships and how to make them work.” Relationships are complicated, and for a long time Castle and Beckett were doing this dance of, “How do we feel about each other.” We’ve moved beyond that to a couple that’s made a commitment to each other, but that commitment is constantly challenged, just like it’s challenged in all of our lives. Now that they’re at this moment, now that she said yes, this season has become, “OK, how are we going to make this work? On a practical level. Given your life, given my life. Given where I come from, given where you come from. Given what my ambitions are, given what your ambitions are. How are we going to make this work?” We feel like that’s a very relevant question to our culture these days.
TVLINE | But once they navigate the initial “long-distance”/juggling issue, are there other obstacles that might come their way? Any external forces or any past issues that will bubble back up?
There are some. There are some really fun ones that we’re working on, but we’re not quite ready to advertise those yet because they’re still cooking.
TVLINE | Lastly, are you ready yet to go on record as committing to a Season 6 wedding date…?
I’m ready to go on record in that Castle and Beckett are going to be talking about it and planning it and figuring out when it happens. But I think it’s a little too soon for me to say to the fans that it’s going to happen or it’s not.