The season premiere of ABC’s Castle (Mondays at 10/9c) not only dealt with Beckett’s life-and-death crisis, how Rick’s profession of love landed (or not) on Kate’s ears and the introduction of a new boss, it also set up quite the Catch-22 moving forward. Beckett has avowed that she can’t be in a relationship withany (lucky) fella until she solves her mother’s murder, while Castle is resolved to keeping his partner far away from said case, lest next time some sniper gets the job done.

Of course, the opener famously closed with Kate revealing to her shrink that she in fact does remember her shooting and the aftermath, meaning she knows full well how Rick feels about her. But how does she truly feel about him? And when did those emotions first bubble to the surface? During my visit to the Castle set, I sat down with Stana Katic to get inside Beckett’s head.

TVLINE | In your mind, was there a particular moment when Kate’s feelings for Rick crystallized, and she realized there could be something real between them?
At the end of Season 2, she thought that he had something for her and she knew that she had something for him, and she thought that maybe he was open to it, and she wanted to explore that … and then he showed up with his ex-wife [Gina, played by Monet Mazur]. I think that put her in a space where she didn’t think that he had that same kind of feeling towards her.

TVLINE | That’s what [series creator] Andrew Marlowe said to me, that in Beckett’s mind he is still a player, so she doesn’t know whether to trust him.
You’ve got to remember that she met him in the middle of signing someone’s boob. [Laughs] And he tried to bed her in the interrogation room, right? That was her first encounter with him, and he’s had two marriages that have fallen apart…. She doesn’t know that there were reasons outside of him that were a part of breaking those marriages up, so as the actor playing her, I believe that he was just a player, and [his marriages] broke up probably because he couldn’t stay faithful, and I don’t think she would risk something with a guy who couldn’t commit to it as much as she would. And then throughout Season 3, their friendship was tested over and over again, their affections for each other were tested….

TVLINE | Leading up to that moment in the L.A. hotel room where, I thought, there was no reason why these two grownups wouldn’t just surrender to a kiss.
Well, she was dating somebody.

TVLINE | Well… yeah.
[Laughs]

TVLINE | And as Andrew brought up, would you risk a friendship like that?
Yeah, there’s also that fear for Beckett. It took her pretty much all of first season just to look at him as a cohort, as a really great partner, so why sacrifice that unless you’re completely sure that the other person’s going to dedicate themselves to making a relationship work?

TVLINE | Turning to how the premiere ended: Why is she lying about remembering?
One of the reasons is that she realized over this experience, while in northern New York at her father’s cabin, that she herself has always kind of kept one foot out the door in a relationship. She has probably gotten into relationships and maybe known that there was a way out if she needed it, because there was this looming thing that she needed to, a chapter that she needed closure on, which was her mum’s murder. She knows that she now would be a danger to any relationship that she would get into unless she can close that, so she’s not willing to admit to Castle that she feels the same way.

TVLINE | How do you think Kate might react, at some point down the line, if she discovers that Castle has been intently leading her away from her mother’s case?
They’re both keeping secrets this year — that’s the theme — so there’s nobody that’s being the obstacle. They’re both trying to protect the other person, because they really care for the other person. But I think that her first reaction is she would be pissed.

TVLINE | That’s the word I used with Andrew.
Yeah. Because for her that’s the one thing she has to finish in order to get on with things, and to get into a relationship – hopefully with him, because she is crazy about him. She is in love with him. And throughout this season I’m looking for moments for that to shine. That was part of a discussion with Andrew and some of our creatives here: I feel, as the actor performing it, like the audience has had so much insight into what’s gong on in Castle’s mind, because he has this outlet, his family, and Beckett doesn’t. So we’ve created this psychiatrist character (played by Michael Dorn) who’s an avenue. But I’ve also looked for private moments, as an actor, where Castle might not be looking but she can at least show [her feelings].

TVLINE | Right, like the next time he mentions having a date with someone else, I’d like to see that register on her, like, “I’m sorry, what about the whole ‘I love you‘ thing?!”
[Laughs] Yeah, right? Hopefully we’ll get a chance to go down that road.

TVLINE | How much will Captain Gates (played by Penny Johnson Jerald) cramp Beckett’s style?
If Beckett is not in the scene with Gates, she won’t call her “Captain” – because there’s only one Captain in her life. I had a real tough time sitting down in [Gates’] office for a scene — I was forced to, when I was like, “No, I am not sitting down in this office, there is no bloody way. This is not Captain Montgomery’s furniture. It doesn’t say anything that Captain Montgomery’s furniture said, which was, ‘Welcome, sit, let’s figure it out together’” – so she’s resistant. If you ever saw that scofflaw side to Beckett in earlier seasons, that is going to be kind of the theme of that relationship. She is going to do what she has to do in order to get what she has to get to solve a case.

TVLINE | One of our readers wanted to ask you: We’ve seen the show follow a case to L.A. What other sort of “special” episode would you like to see?
I actually like to see an episode where there isn’t a case, and see how the characters do. “Are there nomurders in New York City today?!” Like a Seinfeld episode about nothing, I’d like to see us twiddling our thumbs, like, “What’s going on?” But it then leads to soooo much other junk. That’d be a lot of fun.

TVLINE | Lastly, what can you say about the next episode, featuring a local costumed “superhero”?I understand the gang is split on whether this guy is doing good, or being a menace. Where does Beckett stand?
Well…. [Sheepishly] She relates to the superhero, because she’s a form of a superhero – in my mind, at least!

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