ABC’s Castle has stories to tell beyond this season. But just in case, the showrunners — like those before them — are prepared to hedge their bets and work toward a season finale that doubles as a capper to the series as a whole.
When TVLine spoke to co-showrunners Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter about the fall finale, we pointed out that the series had been hovering — though quite steadily — around ratings lows since returning down in September. As such, the conversation turned to: Is there an end game in mind in the event that ABC doesn’t order Season 9?
“The reality,” Hawley answered, “is that [the network execs] won’t make that decision until very late. So our plan is just to tell a satisfying story and try to wrap up the season in an exciting way.”
And perhaps wrap up the series, as well. Which is precisely what series creator Andrew W. Marlowe and writer/wife Terri Edda Miller aimed to accomplish with last season’s finale. (With series leads Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic’s contracts expiring, Marlowe told TVLine in April, “We were trying to craft a finale where we had a satisfying conclusion if it is indeed the conclusion, but also some really interesting, compelling springboards into next season’s storyteliing — if the gods shine upon us and we’re allowed to continue.”)
“Andrew and Terri wrote it as if it was the series finale,” Winter reminded, “and there’s a very good chance that we’ll most likely be doing that here. We hope to come back for Season 9, but we have to act as if [we might not].”
“We think the show has a lot of life in it,” Hawley chimed in, “as do these characters” — especially in the wake of the Sturm und Drang that Rick and Kate endured during the first stretch of Season 8, as the latter mysteriously forced a marital separation.
“That’s the great thing from our side about the storytelling this year, that we do feel energized by the shake-up and what it has allowed us to do,” Hawley said. “We’ve tried to have a lot of fun in and around an obviously emotional subject…. ‘The Nose’ came out great, and both ‘The Last Seduction’ and [the fall finale] ‘Mr. & Mrs. Castle’ had some really delightful stuff in them. We’re really happy with the results.”