It’s the wedding that “Castle” fans have been anticipating all season. No, not Castle and Beckett’s. Ryan and his longtime girlfriend Jenny are finally tying the knot Monday, in the episode “Till Death Do Us Part.” The show has gone all out to celebrate, creating an website on the Knot for Jenny and Ryan, featuring authentic candid photos of the real-life married couple who play them, Seamus and Juliana Dever, and releasing a clip that reveals who Castle (Nathan Fillion) is bringing to the wedding. Hint: it’s not Beckett (Stana Katic). The show’s creator Andrew Marlowe previewed the wedding, revealed the surprising inspiration for the mid-season finale, “Cuffed” and dropped a few hints about when Castle will finally find out that Beckett remembers him saying he loved her.
Are we going to see Ryan’s actual wedding ceremony?
We are going to see almost all of it, yeah. Episode 11 focuses on the death of a lothario, a womanizer. He serves as the perfect background for us leading to all the events surrounding Ryan’s wedding. We see Jenny as a beautiful bride and Ryan as a nervous groom. It’s a lot of fun.
Any tidbits you’d like to reveal?
One of the fun tidbits is how Esposito (Jon Huertas) responds when he learns that Lanie’s (Tamala Jones) RSVP’d to the wedding “plus one.” Who’s she bringing? Setting off a little jealousy on his part.
Will Lanie and Esposito’s relationship survive?
They’re doing an interesting dance. They’re now kind of in Castle/Beckett territory. We are going to continue to have fun with the two of them and their feelings for each other and how they decide to act on that.
How did you conceive of the idea for “Cuffed”?
The idea of “Cuffed” was born out of dramatic challenge and necessity. Sometimes when we’ve spent more than we should on various episodes we find ourselves over budget. We have to find a way to reduce costs and Cuffed is basically what’s known in the business as a bottle show. But we wanted to make it as interesting and as challenging as possible for the audience. We went into the episode knowing what our constraints were and wanting to figure out the best possible story. And for us the best possible story was a more intimate story between Beckett and Castle with great dramatic drive in the episode. So having them wake up handcuffed together, trying to figure out where they are, we got to play with the sexual tension between them. We got to bring up issues in their relationship and play around with those issues while posing a great question for the audience which is, “What the hell is going on?” We just wanted to work to keep the audience engaged in our characters and engaged in the storytelling. Hopefully, it paid off.
Were the bad guys in “Cuffed” an homage to the “X Files” episode “Home”?
A little bit of a nod but not too much. [Executive producer] Rob Bowman was on the X Files and Bill Roe our DP, he was on “The X Files” as well. So we talk about some of those groundbreaking episodes those guys did and sometimes we do a wink and a nod to that.
How do you strike a balance between more traditional procedural episodes and episodes that are focused on Castle and Beckett’s relationship. Is there a ratio?
It’s not really math. It’s more feeling what’s appropriate. We’re in our fourth season now so we’ve felt this season that we have a little bit more leeway because we have the audience curiosity in terms of the relationship. We always want to balance our off pattern episodes with episodes that are very much in our storytelling pattern. So we’re very conscious of it. But to be able to have an episode like #404 [“Kick the Ballistics“] which was Ryan’s gun resurfacing and used in a homicide, which is a deeply personal story for him, or the one where we’re dealing with Beckett’s shooting with the sniper and PTSD, all of those we want to balance against the typical fun Castle episode. But even on those typical episodes we’re always looking for something that makes it interesting, whether it’s a crazy person running around New York dressed as a superhero, or whether it’s introducing a bit of a triangle as we did in episode five[“Eye of the Beholder“], when we had the insurance investigator come in and complicate the Beckett-Castle relationship.
Castle and Beckett are both keeping big secrets from each other; she’s pretending she doesn’t remember him saying he loved her, while he is trying to stop her from investigating her mother’s death. Will the secrets come out this season?
Yes, they are going to come out this season, and probably before the end of the season, probably before our finale. At least one of them will come out before then.
Are we going to find out who killed Beckett’s mom?
It’s something we’re going to touch upon and play with this year but I don’t expect to get full resolution, but we will get further down the road and it will lead to some interesting things as we get toward the end of the season.
Nathan Fillion stated that he would like Castle’s father to be played by Robert Woods, who mentored him when he was on “One Life To Live.” Who do you think should play the part?
We’ve come up with great names, most of whom are probably ungettable for us. One is to have Harrison Ford, my old pal from “Air Force One“, show up, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t think we can afford his rate. But we’ve been bouncing around a bunch of names. It’s just a question of when we’re going to introduce it in storytelling and when it’s going to be appropriate in how we’re spinning that story out, so we have some plans for that. It should be fun.
Jennifer Beals is going to be guest starring later this season. What can you tell me about her role?
She comes in as a CIA agent who one of our cases involves, something that touches upon the intelligence community. As in all of our cases, the stakes for the outcome of the investigation are very, very high and she ends up being crucial to helping us solve that mystery and stop something terrible from happening.
Any other special guest stars?
In our 1940s episode, we do have Mark Pellegrino playing the role of a gangster back in 1947. So we’re stoked about that. We’ve been Pellegrino fans for a long time from his work on “Lost” and “Supernatural.”
Can you talk a little bit more about the 1940s episode?
We’re excited about it. Beckett and Castle are on a case and they stumble upon an avenue that involves some things that happened in the past and they’re forced to investigate some events in 1947.
Are there going to be any more Nikki Heat books?
Castle is hard at work on his next novel, which will be out in the fall.
The fourth season is when a lot of procedurals start to run out of gas, yet you are fresher and more innovative. What is your secret?
We’re lucky. We have a lot of people here who work really, really hard. We’re always looking for new opportunities to do something different with the storytelling. We’re always looking for new challenges and if things seem too familiar we try to find a way to make them feel fresh and new. Maybe someday we’ll hit the wall but we feel like we have a lot of great storytelling with these characters. I think a lot of it has to do with the characters. It’s not just about the mechanics of a procedural. It’s about the people who are investing in it. They are endlessly fascinating. It’s just a matter of finding those steps.
Do you think that the show could work with Castle and Beckett as a happy couple who solve crimes together?
I think that the relationship is the key and once you put them together there are still a lot of complexities in the relationship. There’s no such thing as happily ever after. People who are in a relationship get challenged and have the same sort of fun. Sometimes people in relationships drive each other crazy and I think that’s part of the fun for the audience. So I think that there’s a way to get them together. These are two people with very strong willed personalities, and when they do get together it’s going to be a whole different level of sparks flying.