Castle Stana Katic Leaving

Castle Season 8 Finale Photos: A First Look at Stana Katic's Final Episode

It’s about to get very real very quickly, folks.

ABC has released a set of photos from the Season 8 finale of Castle (airing May 16) — aka Stana Katic‘s final appearance as Kate Beckett.

As previously reported, Katic, along with longtime cast member Tamala Jones (who plays Lanie), was not asked back for Season 9, in the event the procedural gets renewed. Budget tightening was claimed as the reason for the cast cuts.

In the season/possibly series finale, which is titled “Crossfire,” Rick and Kate, with their best lead in hand, are ready to take on LokSat. Alas, an unforeseen twist puts their case — and their lives — in jeopardy, as they target the elusive and well-connected drug lord. Uncertain of the series’ ultimate fate, showrunners Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter said that an alternate ending was filmed in the event of cancellation, one that afford proper closure for fans.

But if they learn by May 13 that there will be a Season 9, the finale as it stands ends “in a dynamic way that leaves open the possibility that maybe the show won’t come back in the same form” — meaning, with an altered ensemble.

Browse the new photos below and snare your latest theory on how the great Kate Beckett will be written out :(