For fans of Castle, the season 4 finale saw the long-awaited (and highly-anticipated) coupling of Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Kate Beckett (Stana Katic). But what exactly is going to happen next year? And should fans be worried about their favorite series taking on television's dreaded relationship challenge?
Speaking with TV Guide and E! Online, series creator Andrew W. Marlowe discusses the difficulty of bringing two main characters together; the hit Castle took in order for that relationship to occur; how they're going to make sure that Castle and Beckett's relationship doesn't become another television cliché; how long we'll have to wait to see Cole Maddox (Tahmoh Penikett) again, and so much more.
Touching upon Castle and Beckett's relationship, Marlowe admits that there really wasn't any other option but to bring them together:
If we kept them apart any longer, say another season — after what Castle had put on the table at the end of last season — in my mind, that would have been the death of the series. Then, we would have just been being artificial. They would have become brother and sister, and then we're just ignoring everything that had happened. There comes a point where you have to confront it.
And for those fans who worry that it could all be a dream - or that what you "thought happened" didn't actually happen - Marlow puts all questions to rest:
I think that when that scene ends, everybody is clear on what's about to happen. We don't need to see it, but we know it's going to happen.
Of course, dealing with the coupling of main characters is never easy in television. Character couplings can often be cited as the point in which a series takes a turn for the worse, never to recover. Fortunately, Marlow not only has a plan, but also a frame of reference for the long-awaited Beckett and Castle coupling:
Relationships are tough, especially when the two people are fundamentally different people, but I think it’s going to be fun tough – like when Sam and Diane got together on Cheers.
Figuring out their rhythms with one another is going to be fun for the audience to watch. In no way do we think this is going to end the fun and the tension between Castle and Beckett because the question is now going to become: Where does this relationship go and how does it affect their ability to work together?
We do put the relationship under threat right away with Maddox's threat at the end of the episode. I have a good ballpark sense of where we're going. And I'm not going to advertise it too much because that's the fun of the ride. You don't want to show everybody exactly what the rises and falls of the roller coaster are when they get on it. You want them to be surprised at the twists and turns. Sleeping together is a great hallmark, but to get to the promised land of a happy ending, there's a long way for these guys to go.
Speaking of Maddox: it appears that we won't have to wait long for a resolution to that storyline, in order for Beckett to move on and focus on more important things:
I don't want to go into in too much detail because we still have some moving pieces on the board on that one, and I'm not going to commit myself to anything one way or another. But it is something we plan to pick up on when we get back, but it's not somewhere we're looking for the series to dwell. We're looking to get Beckett beyond some of that stuff to the point where she can rediscover who she is and [she and Castle] can deal with this decision they have made.
Looking back at Castle season 4, Marlow wasn't exactly thrilled with what was required from the series in order to finally bring the two characters together. Thankfully, now that it has occurred, the series can return to normal in season 5.
We had a lot of fun this season, but Castle and Beckett were each keeping secrets from one another and weren't dealing with each other completely honestly. I think some of the angst of this season — we paid for some of that with some element of fun. That by no means is me saying the fun left the show, but we had to spend a little bit of that capital in a different place.
Getting to the other side of this allows us to bring ... [back] the back-and-forth between them and the physical comedy. It allows us to recommit to the fundamental values of what the show is.
While Castle and Beckett's relationship may have finally flourished in the season 4 finale, many of the other character relationships have taken a hit. Moving into season 5, everyone is going to have a make a decision regarding their future. But what does that mean for everyone's favorite team of detectives?
...we felt it was time to challenge some of the other relationships so we'd have somewhere to go with the storytelling. Ryan has to make a choice that ends up with Esposito feeling like he's been betrayed. The two of them are definitely on the outs.Beckett and Esposito (Jon Huertas) have crossed a line. So, what does that mean for them as cops? Gates (Penny Johnson Jerald) ends up being much more of a significant obstacle in the first couple of episodes next season.
With Castle heading into its fifth year on the air, it certainly appears that Marlowe has not only given a lot of thought to Castle and Beckett's coupling, but he has also given a lot of thought to what happens following their coupling.
While a clandestine "pairing" at the end of the Castle season 4 finale is certainly enough to have fan anticipation at an all-time high, it won't be until the first few episodes of Castle season 5 that we see the true test of whether or not Castle and Beckett's (CasBeck?) coupling is being handled correctly.
And in case you haven't had enough of the scene that started it all:
Expect to hear news of Castle's season 5 renewal next week.
Castle season 5 will premiere in September 2012 on ABC
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio
Source: TV Guide; E! Online