[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Monday's episode of Castle. Read at your own risk.]
On Monday's Castle, Kate Beckett learned that sometimes doing things for good reasons can still cause a lot of trouble.
What began as a routine NYPD murder investigation for Castle (Nathan Fillion), Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) — a star of a '90s, Saved By the Bell-esque sitcom was found dead while production of a reunion movie was underway — quickly turned into more once Beckett (Stana Katic) and McCord (guest starLisa Edelstein) were called up from D.C. But even the Attorney General's office didn't have all the answers: Pretty soon, it was revealed that the dead actor was actually working with the CIA to spy on a Russian mob family.
When the CIA asked the NYPD to shut down their murder investigation out of fear of tipping off their Russian targets, Beckett secretly gave Castle & Co. enough intel to solve the murder and discover that the dead actor had fallen in love with the niece of the mob boss on which he was spying. But when the CIA threatened to expose the niece as a traitor to her family if she didn't continue to spy for the agency, Beckett made an anonymous tip to the press, identifying the niece and saving her from possible death at the hands of her mobster ties.
Unfortunately for Beckett, the Attorney General's office learns of Beckett's deception, and McCord shows up to Castle's loft to deliver some bad news: Beckett has been fired! TVGuide.com caught up with Katic to discuss why the D.C. job wasn't what Beckett thought it would be and where she goes from here.
Castle boss on Beckett's "honest" answers and what's ahead for her and Castle
Looking back at this season-opening arc, it's clear the job in D.C. didn't turn out to be what Beckett had imagined.
Stana Katic: I think there were certain compromises that she didn't expect when she took the job. She's been a character that's very focused on justice. And there were probably a few people that should've come to justice that, because of the way we've set up the D.C. world, they won't. That doesn't sit easy with her.
Is that what leads her to leak the information she does to the press?
Katic: The way that [the writers] have set this character up, she has core values that are focused on bringing the bad guy to justice. I don't think she can work against that. So, because she is who she is, she has to make sure that the victim is safe and that the bad people get put away.
But of course, it costs her the job in D.C. How does that land on Beckett?
Katic: It's a shock. I think it's crushing. I mean, it was a dream job and it put her story line on a more international sphere, which is really exciting. And I think that she thought that by doing the right thing, she was doing the right thing for that job and for that world as well. But she was obviously chastised for it [and] got in trouble for it.
Beckett's work is so key to who she is. How will this affect her emotionally in the coming episodes?
Katic: What she is at her core really is a little bit of a super heroine. She's someone who wants to help people that aren't being protected and will extend herself sometimes to her own detriment for people. So, yeah, she is going to be a fish out of water because she won't have that purpose after she loses this job. She's not able to go back to the NYPD. And so, she's kind of floating around for a little bit. And hopefully, she'll land.
Even though Castle was prepared to move to D.C., is there any part of Beckett that sees what happened wither job as a good thing for her relationship with Castle?
Katic: What's happened out of the move to D.C. ... is that the relationship has strengthened, it's solidified. Truly, if a person's growth is going to break a relationship, then that relationship wasn't salvageable in the first place. And her job opportunity was an opportunity for the two of them to work out an obstacle. ... So, the fact that they made it past that — and that Castle was willing to move — solidified their commitment to each other... and probably deepened their love for each other.
Is any of what McCord suggested to Beckett about mixing work with relationships still kicking around in Beckett's mind?
Katic: I really don't think there's going to be any kind questioning of the relationship. I mean, his value to her is solid. I think McCord's advice comes from personal experience, and it was great mentoring advice. But it didn't necessarily apply to the Beckett and Castle relationship.
What was it like for Beckett to see a new detective (Joshua Bitton) sitting at her old desk at the 12th Precinct?
Katic: First of all, he's a slob. That's always disconcerting when you go back home and someone's taken your room and it's in massive disarray. But what's lovely is that this character... comes in really bright-eyed about the whole thing. He's so appreciative of the space that he's filling that Beckett is rather generous in letting him own it and letting that be his space now.
What about her former colleagues Ryan and Esposito? Was it difficult to work with them in a new dynamic?
Katic: There's a little bit of what happens when a person outgrows a post and then goes back or leaves high school and then goes back. You see it objectively and differently. She tries to figure out what it means now to be with all of your old co-workers. All of those episodes where... there are all the FBI swooping in and taking over a case. Now she's that character. These guys have always grumbled against those characters and now she's that person. She loves this work family that she's had for a really long time, but she also is responsible to this new job. And I think that's the balance that she's having to figure out.
Wherever Beckett lands next, do you think she will feel like she's stepping backward after losing this dream job?
Katic: She's the kind of character that, whether it's for the Attorney General's office or for the New York Police Department or for the Fire Department or for Interpol, she will always be a shining element for those organizations. It doesn't necessarily matter what framework she's working in, just so long as she's protecting people and bringing bad people to justice.
Castle airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.