Things have been pretty tense in Richard Castle's loft lately.
In recent weeks on ABC's Castle, mystery writer Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) has grown tired of sharing his home with Pi (Myko Olivier), the new boyfriend of his daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn). As a result — and because Castle has been more caught up in his recent engagement to Beckett (Stana Katic) than his pride and joy — Alexis moved into her own place with Pi against her dad's wishes.
So, how does Quinn feel about her character standing her ground? "It breaks my heart!" she tells TVGuide.com with a laugh. "Having to say those things while looking at Nathan — and knowing how close we are — it really hurts. It hasn't been fun. As great as it is to grow as an actor and have a different story line, it's tough to look Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the eye and tell him he hasn't been a good dad."
On a more serious note, however, Quinn says she respects Alexis' decision to make a stand. "She's doing the right thing: She's standing up for herself," she says. "But doing the right thing most of the time is not easy. I really admire the strength in Alexis that she's able to move out and kind of start on her own. The truth is, she's been pretty sheltered. She's never had to worry about anything financially; she's always been more than taken care of. For a girl like that to believe in herself, I really admire her."
On Monday's episode (10/9c, ABC) the father and daughter's strained relationship will be put to the test. As part of her criminal justice class, Alexis comes across a death-row inmate (James Carpinello) she believes was wrongly convicted. With only 72 hours to prove his innocence, Alexis is forced to ask Castle for help and the pair team with the inmate's girlfriend (Justified's Joelle Carter) to find the truth. Will the pair find some healing during the investigation?
"It is the most difficult thing for Alexis to 'man up' and go ask her father for help," Quinn says. "But ... you see they're an awesome team. They know how to work together. And hopefully down the line, there will be some healing through that. But the main word is hopefully." Adds creator Andrew W. Marlowe: "This episode will offer a good and very big step toward repairing the relationship. A lot of fundamental questions will be answered in terms of how they feel about each other and where their trust level is. And I think some other questions are going to be raised."
Indeed, this recent spat will force Beckett to look at what kind of impact she is having on Castle and Alexis' once strong bond. "Beckett is wrestling with how she fits into the Castle family," Marlowe says. "We know what her relationship with Castle is like, but Alexis is part of the package deal. So how is she supposed to react? What kind of advice can she give? And how does she struggle with feeling that she's the outsider?"
But Quinn insists that, despite Alexis being a bit spoiled, her beef is not with the woman who is taking her father's attention away. "She really respects Beckett," Quinn says. "She's an incredible career woman. She likes her and she aspires to be someone like Beckett. She has no anger or animosity or jealousy toward Beckett. All that tension she gets thrown into is because her father chooses not to tell her things."
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Although Marlowe acknowledges Alexis is entitled to feel wronged by her father, he also suggests that she still has some growing up to do. "Some of Alexis' choices might not be the best choices for who she is," Marlowe teases. "Alexis is very reasonable until you start digging beneath the surface. She's comparing her two-month relationship with Pi to a five-year relationship that Castle has had. In her world, it makes absolute sense in terms of her feelings, but when you take a step back, it's more complicated. Is this relationship where she should be? She will struggle with that."
So, how genuine are Alexis' feelings for Pi? "I would hate to think of Alexis ever being a user," Quinn says. "She was in Costa Rica and met this very sweet guy. [After] hearing that her dad is moving on with Beckett and didn't even have the decency to tell her about it, she was really broken and she needed someone to take care of her. And she found the sweetest, most lovable guy to do that. I think she liked him, but because she was still going through some stuff with her dad and feeling lonely, she might have liked him more than she typically would."
And even though Alexis and Castle might come closer to seeing eye-to-eye in this episode, it won't necessarily heal all wounds. But Quinn doesn't think fans should worry too much about that strife becoming permanent. "Down the line, they're going to come together and it's going to be better than ever," Quinn says. "Or at least that's the hope — that's what I believe will happen. At the end of the day, they're still best friends."
Castle airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.