[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the Season 6 premiere of Castle. Read at your own risk.]
As promised, the Season 6 premiere of Castle wasted very little time resolving its Season 5 cliff-hanger.
After Beckett (Stana Katic) received an offer to work in Washington D.C., Castle (Nathan Fillion) became furious that Beckett kept the interview process a secret from him. But just when it seemed the pair was moving in different directions, Castle surprised Beckett — and viewers — by proposing! So, how did Beckett respond?
For now, it seems she's having her cake and eating it too. That's right, Beckett accepted Castle's proposal but also took the job in D.C., where she was partnered with Rachel McCord (guest star Lisa Edelstein). But after jumping forward in time a few months, it became clear that it wasn't smooth sailing for Beckett, who wasn't exactly earning high marks during her training.
Things also were off with Castle, whom Beckett hadn't spent any quality time with in several weeks. So, when he pops down to the nation's capital for a surprise visit, Beckett is thrilled — until Castle sticks his nose into Beckett's (classified) case. Not only does Castle earn the ire of McCord, but he also gets caught up in a conspiracy involving a biological weapon. Even worse? Castle has been infected and only has hours to live!
So, assuming Castle makes it out alive (duh!), how will the new engagement affect Castle and Beckett? And how will Beckett continue to struggle adjusting to how the feds do things in D.C.? TVGuide.com turned to Castle creator Andrew. W Marlowe for answers.
So Beckett accepts both the proposal and the job in D.C. Did you consider other outcomes?
Andrew Marlowe: We certainly considered all the other alternatives, but it felt to us that this was the most honest answer to both of the questions. You have two characters who really care about each other and were heading in this direction. So, if Beckett had said no [to Castle], it felt like it would have been a little artificial. I don't think she would have been honest with herself. But if she said no to the job in D.C., it would also be a betrayal of who she was. We thought that this would give us some really interesting storytelling. In today's society, contemporary couples really have to balance out career and family. It's something that we wanted to tackle through our fun lens on Castle.
It also gives you a chance to make Kate a little vulnerable again at work. She's not exactly her happiest when we jump forward a few months.
Marlowe: She's been the best of the best, and now she's the new kid in school in D.C. She's struggling to make it work, she's struggling to fit in and she's struggling to balance her personal and professional life, which is hard. She feels like she's not doing either particularly well. She feels like she's failing at her relationship with Castle. She feels like she's failing at her job, and Castle is trying to figure it out. He's pulled between family and this new relationship and two cities.
Will that be the thrust for the stories this season?
Marlowe: A lot of it will be figuring out, now that we've done this, is it the right thing? How are we going to make this work? There are some questions and concerns that they've been kicking down the road that I think they'll have to confront this year.
Marlowe: Let me put it this way, I think that there are things when you're in a relationship that you know about each other, but once you escalate the relationship, there are new things that you find out about what you believe in. We haven't talked about whether or not Castle wants kids. Does Beckett want kids? Are they going to get a place together? Is she going to move into the loft? Is he going to move into her place? There's all sorts of practicalities but then there are going to be other challenges. But our initial challenge is: How are they going to make this relationship work long-distance? How are they going to try and balance it so everybody can have everything? Can they have everything or is somebody going to sacrifice something?
Of course, you also have McCord giving Beckett her two cents. How will their relationship develop?
Marlowe: Beckett is looking at McCord as a kind of role model. There are a number of issues I think Beckett is dealing with. One is the career-versus-family and seeing who McCord is, what she's achieved and where she's ended up. I think the other thing that's very important for the Beckett character is life has always been clear to her as a cop. If you commit a murder, I come get you and you do your time. In D.C., things are much more politically murky. In D.C. people have agendas, and the people who are ultimately responsible [aren't always] going to be held accountable.
How much of a problem will that be for Beckett?
Marlowe: I think that that's going to be a struggle for Beckett and something that McCord is going to try and help her navigate her way through. Given who Beckett is at her core, will she be able to make that adjustment? Will she be able to see the greater good or will she be focused the same way she always has?
Obviously, Castle isn't making Beckett's transition at work any easier. Can he just not keep himself from sticking his nose in things?
Marlowe: It's who he is and it's his response to the fact that the relationship isn't quite working. In Castle's mind, the magic is when the two of them are together, when they're batting theories back and forth. He's a guy who's just trying to make the magic happen again in the relationship because they haven't been able to see each other. [He thinks,] maybe this is a way in which we can have relationship moments. Whether or not it's appropriate I don't think crosses his mind. He's always gotten away with stuff his whole life. He sticks his nose in, he gets his hand slapped, but that's not the end of it.
Well, in this case, he sticks his nose in and gets stuck with a biochemical toxin! Why did you decide to start the season with such a high-stakes two-parter?
Marlowe: We wanted to open with interesting, compelling storytelling that gets Castle wrapped up in a case that he can't get out of. We didn't feel like we could fully accomplish that in 42 minutes with the emotional pieces that were going on. It's not our intent to keep the rest of the season serialized. It's our intent to get back to our conventional pattern.
Assuming he doesn't die, will that experience maybe teach Castle to tread a little more lightly?
Marlowe: I think after that experience, Castle has very little appetite to meddle in Beckett's cases in D.C.
Marlowe: There are times when things are going to happen that make her question the relationship. But, yes, there are other times when things are going to happen where she's really glad to have somebody in her corner, somebody backing her up and that strength. Kate's never had a relationship like that. She's getting the benefit of it. So, when's the wedding?
Marlowe: [Laughs] Exactly! That's what happens in these situation. You get engaged and everybody around you — Ryan Esposito, Laney — they start asking, "When's the wedding?" In the first handful of episodes, it's going to be Castle and Beckett settling into the engagement, but as we get later in the year, those questions are going to start to come up — setting the date, where we're going to do it, who we're going to invite and all that. And in the midst of it, people are going to die and we're going to have to investigate their murders along the way!
Castle airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC. What did you think of the season premiere?
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