Who faked Castle‘s car crash, dragged away his body and had him doing heaven-knows-what for two months?
The ABC series’ Season 7 premiere established at least one person who has answers that Rick and Kate so anxiously seek – a mystery man who passed himself off as mild-mannered mobile home-owner “Henry Jenkins,” in the name of pointing the 12th’s investigation down the wrong path.
TVLine spoke with onetime Scandal bad boy Matt Letscher about his super-secret guest-starring turn on Castle, which continues Monday at 10/9c, as well as his portrayal of a Kennedy during Boardwalk Empire‘s final season.
TVLINE | This Castle thing has been surrounded in much secrecy. ABC didn’t even want it out that you were in the second episode.
I know…. [Laughs] Honestly, I couldn’t answer to you as why.
TVLINE | They probably didn’t want people eyeballing your character too closely. “I know he’s in the second episode, so something must not be kosher here.”
Yeah. Yeah. They’ve been all over me about that, which is fine!
TVLINE | How would you tease this strange piece of new mythology that the Castle character has gotten himself wrapped up in?
I feel like I’m not allowed to say anything, or else the “Castle secret police” will track me down and shoot me in the street. But he definitely has a history with Castle. As far as I can tell, he is someone who looms large in Castle’s past.
TVLINE | Nathan Fillion in a recent interview suggested that whatever is going on here is perhaps not particularly “dark.”
He would know better than anybody, but I don’t know…. Even on the set when we were shooting, they played both sides of the fence with me. I think that could be partially because they want to leave themselves some options.
TVLINE | Did you watch the premiere? Could it be that the characters have made some incorrect assumptions?
I’m sure some of them will be proved wrong….
TVLINE | Who would you say is more cunning – this guy, or Scandal‘s Billy Chambers?
My impression is definitely this guy. There was something more craven and crude about Billy; he didn’t think things through too well, at the end of Season 2 there. [Laughs] But this guy is a lot smarter than that. Again, I don’t know, but maybe he doesn’t have the same “killer edge” that Billy had. He’s a “cooler” character, for sure.
TVLINE | The premiere dropped three breadcrumbs that weren’t followed up on: the “38” key sewn into Castle’s pants, the Dengue fever thing, and the fact that he had been shot. Will any of those be revisited in Episode 2?
Yes, they will be touched upon. But I wouldn’t hope for resolution any time soon.
TVLINE | I’m afraid for this guy if Kate ever gets her hands on him again.
Yeah – it could go badly! It could go really badly.
TVLINE | Is the door left open at the end of the second episode, that you may darken their doorstep further?
There aren’t any definitive hints, like, “See you in a month,” but it’s definitely left open. You definitely have a greater understanding of how this guy figures into Castle’s history.
TVLINE | By the end of the episode, will we have any idea of what this guy wants — or wanted — with Rick?
TVLINE | Maybe a half-of-a-half of an idea?
Yeah, I think you’ll have a half-of-a-half of an idea — and it’s “wants” with regard to something very specific. In terms of the whole mystery, no, you won’t have much more information, but in terms of the short-term circumstances, you will understand more.
When you end a season on a cliffhanger as big as Castle’s car accident at the end of season six, it’s difficult to start the next season with a large time jump. And thankfully, Castle will pick up right where it left off, with Beckett, still in her wedding dress, realizing that Castle is no longer in the burning car. That being said, the episode, like most Castle episodes, won’t play in real time all the way through.
With the episode focusing on Beckett’s hunt to find Castle, there will be a minor time jump within the episode. EW spoke with executive producer David Amann about what to expect from Monday’s premiere and season seven as a whole.
Expect a lot of Beckett in the premiere. We know that Beckett will be looking for Castle, and according to Amann, fans shouldn’t expect to see Castle’s perspective in the first episode. “The story of what happens to Castle coming off of the season finale is told from the point of view of Beckett and the folks that are trying to figure out what happened to him,” Amann said. “So I think that’s going to be the emphasis coming into the first episode.”
The mystery of Castle’s whereabouts is only the beginning. When asked about lingering effects of the car crash and Castle’s disappearance, Amann promised that “there’s going to be some resolution to where we left off with the cliffhanger.” And for Castle and Beckett, it’s positive resolution. “I think that they have a strong relationship and that relationship will grow and endure despite the set backs of the season finale,” Amann said.
However, this is only the beginning. “As far as scars on Castle, I think it’s really more a matter of whatever’s gone on with Castle is going to be resolved but there are going to be some unanswered questions and some deeper mysteries that we’re going to be exploring a little bit later in the season, so I think that we expect that Castle will emerge from these first couple of episodes with a sense that there is a deeper mystery that has not entirely been solved about what happened to Castle.”
Season 7 is about what makes Castle, well, Castle. For months, fans have been asking, “Why did Castle have to get in an accident? Why?!” But according to Amann, this accident will be the perfect opportunity to finally explore more of Castle’s history. “The show has benefited tremendously from the Beckett mythology that we’ve had. That was really started in the very beginning of the show and was kind of closed out at the end of last season, and we’ve always felt like there are aspects of Castle’s character and back story to plum that we haven’t taken advantage of, partly because we don’t want to have two back stories or two mythologies competing with each other at the same time,” Amann said. “So now that Beckett’s mythology that she has with respect to her mother’s murder is more or less resolved, we thought it was a great opportunity to dig a little deeper into Castle and to show a few more facets of his character, and yes get to a little bit more of a sense of why he is the way he is.”
For example, Amann would love to explore the question of, “Why is he obsessed with murder? What makes this his vocation? What is it about him that he finds this so absorbing and fascinating that it’s become his life work?”
Don’t expect Castle’s back story to darken the overall feel of the show. “The balance for us has always been the mythologies are periodic episodes. We visit them when there’s something to visit, and the show generally lives in a lighter more buoyant place and the mythology sometimes goes down darker territory,” Amann said. “We’re not in any way thinking we’re going to change that balance or change the tone of the show. I wouldn’t want you to walk away with the impression that we’re now plunging into the depths of Castle’s tortured history and that’s what the show’s going to become, because it’s not that at all. But we do see opportunities to explore him in a way that we haven’t before, and I think the audience is going to be really interested to see where that goes.”
Amann also stressed that the same idea applies to the format of the show. “The basic premise of the show, episode-to-episode, is to have fun Castle-Beckett episodes and do our occasional thriller episode along with this other mythology that will pop up from time to time as it has in previous seasons with Beckett.”
Expect Alexis’ reaction to cause tension. Castle and Beckett aren’t the only ones affected by the accident. Amann said Alexis will have a “very particular reaction to what Castle’s been through.”
“It’s going to change her relationship with Castle a bit,” he said. “There’s going to be a little bit of a struggle [between Alexis and Beckett] as a consequence of that, but it’s more about a reaction to the upset of what happened at the end of last season and less about Beckett.”
And let’s not forget Amann’s tease that a wedding could be coming this season.
Castle returns Monday night at 10 p.m. on ABC.
That wailing and gnashing of teeth you might have heard back in May? It was probably coming from a very vocal group of Castle fans who were up in arms about the ABC drama’s Season 6 finale.
After spending months teasing and promising the wedding between mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), the writers made a sharp turn in the closing moments of the finale, which ended with Beckett running from the wedding site to the scene of an accident where Castle’s Mercedes was engulfed in flames. Many fans’ anger burned just as hot, as they revolted against the cliff-hanger they believed was nothing more than a cheap stall tactic.
Executive producer David Amann is aware of the fan reaction and simply hopes that viewers will give Season 7 a shot before making up their minds. “We would all ask for their patience and indulgence for the first couple of episodes, just so they can see where we’re going,” Amann, who is taking over the daily showruner responsibilities from creator Andrew W. Marlowe tells TVGuide.com. “We’re not in any way planning to use what happened in the season finale to wedge Castle and Beckett apart. I think the audience can expect the relationship to continue to grow and for them to get closer together.”
So what exactly happened to Castle? And once that mystery is solved, will viewers finally get to see the wedding they were robbed of previously? Read on for sevens tease from Season 7.
1. The transition of behind-the-scenes power won’t change the show. Although Amann is taking on more responsibility this season, that decision has nothing to do with how last season ended. Instead, Marlowe will focus more energy on developing new projects for the network. “It’s not a radical shift,” Marlowe says. “It’s really giving him more responsibility and more opportunity. We’re really excited about it, mostly because we’ve been working so well for the past several years.” Adds Amann: “Andrew’s going to continue to be very much involved. We’re not interested in changing the direction of the show. We’re going to continue to make the same show we’ve been making and just do it better.”
2. The new season is all about Castle. Even though you might expect as much given the show’s title, many could argue that Castle’s past six seasons have focused more on exploring and unfolding Beckett’s character than they have on the titular mystery writer. That was one of the reasons for ending Season 6 on such a cliff-hanger, which the producers believe will open up new stories for their hero. “It’s something we’ve been wanting to do with his character for a while,” Amann says. “The show has dealt very nicely with the Beckett mythology dealing with her mother’s murder. When that was closed off at the end of last season, we knew there was an opportunity to create another mythology or go deeper and explore Castle’s character in a way that didn’t conflict with what was going on with Beckett. In other words, we were conscious about not wanting to have dueling mythologies on the show. ”
Adds Marlowe: “We kind of all knew who Castle was. He’s this fun guy, but we’ve been planting seeds along the way. What we want to do now is start puling back a couple layers. Why does he do what does? Why is he interested in murder? What has gone on in his past? What made him who he is? These are rich questions we haven’t really explored because we just enjoy spending time with him. Now that we’ve resolved the Beckett stuff, it’s time to turn our spotlight on him.”
3. But some of what we learn about Castle will be troubling. It doesn’t take long for Beckett, Esposito (Jon Huertas) and Ryan (Seamus Dever) to learn that Castle wasn’t actually in the car when it caught fire. But tracking him down will be no easy task — and the clues along the way will make everyone close to Castle wonder how well they really know him. Fortunately, Beckett’s doubts are only temporary. “Things that are going to come to light that are going to be unsettling for Beckett,” Amann teases. “She wrestles with it but I think ultimately she knows who he is, trusts who he is, loves who he is and that allows her to not be completely thrown by the revelations that might come out. They’re committed to each other. I don’t think what happened to Castle is going to disrupt the trajectory of that relationship, at least not in the long term.”
4. Don’t expect an immediate resolution. You may be shocked by just how long it takes Beckett & Co. to crack this case. And although the premiere episode returns the show to some sort of stasis, the real mysteries of who crashed Castle’s car and why remain unsolved until Episode 2. “After the second episode, the audience will have some but not all of the answers of what exactly is going on,” Amann says. But, of course, that won’t be end of this story. “The effects of what has happened to Castle will re-emerge and reassert themselves later in the season,” Amann says. “In the early run, he comes away with enough answers that he doesn’t have to chase down the rest of them right away. But that won’t last and he will ultimately want to get to a more complete truth.”
5. We can tell you who’s not involved. While there are plenty of fan theories surrounding past baddies 3XK and newly incarcerated Sen. Bracken being involved in Castle’s accident, those ongoing threats are not at the forefront for now. (Ditto Castle’s mysterious spy father Jackson Hunt (James Brolin)…. we think. “The mythology we’re getting into is going to go past all that into some new territory,” Amann says. “Those are all fair game, but it’s not going to be what the opening of the season is about.”
6. The show will eventually return to business as usual. Beyond Episode 2, the show will settle into some of its lighter case-of-the-week fare. One early case features a killer with inexplicable paranormal characteristics, and another will send Castle and Beckett into a second grade classroom, à laKindergarten Cop, to find a witness to a murder. This season will also explore Ryan’s status as a new father. But there is also some darkness ahead: Expect one thriller episode about a killer who communicates through social media and, later in the season, a case that puts Esposito in very close proximity to a murder suspect.
7. Will there ever be a wedding? Even though this speedbump won’t prove fatal for Castle and Beckett’s relationship, it will slow things down a bit. “I don’t think anybody could be expected to just pick up where they left off,” Amann says. “Having said that, the Beckett-Castle relationship has faced a lot of challenges, and this is one that they will overcome.” Does that mean viewers will finally get to see the couple make it down the aisle this season? “I think that it is very possible,” Amann says.
Castle premieres Monday at 10/9c on ABC.
Any last-minute spoilers before the Castle premiere? — Michelle
Although it’s not built as a two-parter like last year’s season-opener, don’t expect to get all the answers about who caused Castle’s car accident or why by the end of the premiere. But do be prepared for the answers that are immediately available to make every character — even Beckett — seriously evaluate how much they really know (or believe in) Castle. The only silver lining: Those immediate answers don’t necessarily paint the full picture. But will the damage already be done?
Question: Any more info on the new mythology on Castle and how it will shape or affect Season 7 overall? —Rachael
Ausiello: As you can imagine, Monday’s season opener sets up a very provocative, perplexing puzzle to be solved — and only a random piece or two are nudged into place by the time the hour ends, leaving Beckett decidedly uneasy. Suffice it to say, any obvious theories you’ve seen batted around out there over the summer (very likely) missed the mark. Color us definitely intrigued by the who, why and how of Rick’s vanishing act.
Any Castle scoop? — Sandra
The hunt for Castle will drudge up all the suspects we’ve been guessing over the summer, including Braken and 3XK, but you’ll be surprised by where the evidence leads in regards to who actually took the author—which will be hotly debated in the precinct. The apparent truth, however, is something so shocking, it may make you question your Caskett devotion.