Castle‘s titular private eye might be a smidgen less anxious about the state of his marriage when the ABC drama resumes Season 8 (Monday at 10/9c).
After all, when last we tuned in, Rick (played by Nathan Fillion) had been reassured by Mia “The Nose” Laszlo that Kate (Stana Katic) was still very much in love with her husband, from whom she abruptly asked for a separation. Plus, in that episode’s final moments, we saw Kate stop to smell the roses — or, one of her husband’s dress shirts — in the course of collecting her things from the loft. She then left behind one of her NYPD tees, for Rick to similarly, fondly appreciate.
“You can read into that a little bit…,” co-showrunner Alexi Hawley says of Kate’s small but significant gesture. “That’s a really powerful last moment that shows you that all that love is still there.” As co-showrunner Terence Paul Winter reminds, “The reason why she created this separation, again, is out of love,” to protect Rick from whatever violent backlash her investigation into the LokSat mystery might trigger. “She wants him to remember her, so yes, she knows what she’s doing.”
Will the souvenir tee plus The Nose’s romantic waxing add up to, say, 15 to 20 percent less anxiety for Rick about the state of his fractured union? “I would say that’s a fair statement,” Hawley answers.
“Part of [his frustration] is that he doesn’t quite understand exactly what’s going on with her,” Hawley continues. But that mystery within the LokSat mystery just might resolve itself some by the time the show breaks for its three-month winter hiatus.
“His questions about what’s really going on are what’s ultimately driving us to the end of the fall finale (titled ‘Mr. & Mrs. Castle’ and airing Nov. 23),” Hawley says. “But I do think that even though she was talking about moving out and she got her stuff, what happened with The Nose and everything definitely relieved him a bit.”
Beckett will be out-of-town in the next episode (for “real work, not secret work,” Hawley makes clear), affording Rick the opportunity to share his curious situation with Detective Slaughter (played by returning guest star Adam Baldwin), as the two get wrapped up in a heist-turned-murder.
“He does start off the episode going, ‘It’s getting a little old,’ because he does in private struggle with it,” Hawley notes. “So what we really tried to do with him and Detective Slaughter was have a bit of the ‘guy conversation’ about ‘What’s happening with your wife?’ — but also really flip that guy perspective on its head, in the same way that we try to flip the Slaughter character on its head a bit.
“They definitely talk about it,” the EP continues, “but again, it ends up being a positive conversation.”
But wait, do I want advice on my fragile marriage from the likes of Slaughter, a rough-and-tumble man’s man? “That’s the thing,” Hawley answers, laughing. “That’s the whole fun of it!”