Castle 6×23 Recaps & Interviews With Andrew Marlowe
Castle Boss Answers Our “Burning” Questions About That Season 6 Cliff-Hanger
Like many TV nuptials before it, the would-be blessed union between Castle‘s Katherine Beckett and Richard Castle did not go off without a hitch in the Season 6 finale.
In fact, there were numerous hitches. For starters, when Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) went to apply for their marriage licenses, they were both shocked to learn that Beckett was already married! As it turns out, Beckett married her con-man ex Rogan O’Leary (guest star Eddie McClintock) 15 years ago during a drunken trip to Vegas. But when Beckett makes a trip upstate to get Rogan to sign a dissolution of marriage agreement, things get even worse.
Not only is Rogan kidnapped by a group of thugs, but the venue for the wedding burns down, Ryan’s tux doesn’t fit and Beckett’s wedding dress is destroyed in an apartment flood. But Castle refuses to let Beckett get down and reminds her that fairy tales are all about overcoming the obstacles in order to get a happy ending.
Although Rogan’s kidnapping gets more and more convoluted by the second (he blackmailed a pastor with some photos but somehow got mixed up with a notorious mobster trying to lay low), Beckett and Castle eventually save Rogan, get him to sign the paper and head back to the Hamptons for their newly relocated wedding.
But only one of them makes it to the ceremony. After calling Beckett and telling her he was 20 minutes away, Castle was seemingly run off the road by some mysterious men in a black SUV. When Beckett gets the call and arrives on the scene, all she sees through her teary eyes is Castle’s car in flames.
So, will Castle make it? Who were those goons in the SUV? And will Beckett and Castle ever get their happy ending? TVGuide.com took all our “burning” questions to creator and executive producer Andrew W. Marlowe. Plus: What’s the real reason Beckett got a new wedding dress?
Even before the episode, some fans were vocally upset about Beckett not knowing she was already married. What went into making that choice?
Andrew W. Marlowe: It was just an obstacle to put in the way of them getting married. It’s not like we’re playing a love triangle or anything. In no way does it minimize how seriously Beckett takes [the relationship with Castle.] Castle is a very flawed character, and Beckett has always had the moral upper hand. This allows her to be a little bit more human in his eyes. I think it’s very endearing to him. He’s charmed by it, and I think it’s difficult going into a relationship with somebody who’s a little too perfect.
Because of that setup, a lot of this episode was light and fun, which is a bit of a departure from your recent more dramatic finales.
Marlowe: Before we could entertain the wedding and getting Rick and Kate together, we wanted to close out the Bracken arc. We wanted that sense of justice for Beckett’s character so that she can move forward into her new phase of life completely unfettered. We wanted to do something a little Coen Brothers and just have a good time with it. Of course, [we knew] the whole time that we’d have a twist at the end. With the twist, we’ve got what we think is some great, fun, compelling storytelling for the start of next year, and this platforms pretty well where we want to go.
But even though Castle and Beckett overcame their fairy-tale obstacles, you didn’t give them their happy ending! Did you purposely want to challenge the notion of our heroes getting what they want?
Marlowe: I think this is very much to challenge that. The story that we’re telling with their relationship isn’t over. It’s going to get deeper. It’s going to get more interesting, and there are still a couple of things that need to be overcome. This is not one of those things where suddenly one of them starts feeling a different way [or] one of those things where an old lover shows up. This is something else entirely, and we’re hoping people take the ride. If they continue their investment, it’ll pay off. I do know that some fans will feel robbed, they’ll feel betrayed. But hopefully they’ll stay with us to see how we’re going to resolve it.
What can you tell us about the people in the black SUV? Are they related to Bracken or the mobsters we met in this episode? Or is it a whole new mystery?
Marlowe: I’m comfortable saying those are the questions that we like to leave people with. We feel like [this mystery] has some interesting answers, and are very excited to get back to it in the fall. We’re sorry that people have to wait that long for the resolution, but we’re excited about where we are going.
Castle’s burning car is a pretty bleak image. Can you give us some hope for his survival?
Marlowe: I think we know what the title of the show is.
Speaking of upset fans, did the Internet outrage about Beckett’s original wedding dress play into it being destroyed or was it just another obstacle to overcome?
Marlowe: It was a bit of both. We knew the original dress was pretty divisive when we read the comments, and it was our way of honoring how the fans felt. But it’s also about complicating the journey along the way and getting Beckett to that emotional point of, “What else could go wrong?” and having Castle be the one to give her faith. When she starts to doubt it, it allows him to come and hold her up the way people who are in committed relationships take turns holding each other up. And we also loved the image of the wedding dress on the autopsy table in the morgue. [Laughs]
This season ended the Johanna Beckett murder case, which has been a big narrative engine. What are you thinking about for Season 7?
Marlowe: The relationship has always been the engine. These two people are in a strong committed relationship that is certainly being challenged at this moment, but we’re looking to open up new mythology, to bring in some new elements that we think will give the characters plenty to talk about.
Is this new mythology related to whoever was driving that SUV?
Marlowe: Yeah. I think it’s safe to assume that this event has something to do with the mythology that we’ll be opening up in the new season.
So, is a happy ending still in Castle and Beckett’s future?
Marlowe: That’s what I believe. They’ve had a great deal of happiness over the last several seasons, and I think that there is more to come. Will there be challenges? Yeah, all relationships are challenged, and we’re hoping to break some new ground when we come back next season, but we’re very excited about it. We know that there’s a cost to ending a season this way. We know that people are looking for that [wedding] moment, and that’s a moment that we’re going to get to. But there’s still some storytelling that we have to get through before we get there.
What did you think of the Castle finale? Watch previous episodes here.
‘Castle’ Post-Mortem: EP Breaks Down the Season Finale’s Shocking Twist
“What’s a great story without obstacles to overcome?” Castle said in the middle of Monday night’s season finale, as he comforted his defeated bride-to-be. “Every fairy tale has them — terrible trials that only the worthy can transcend. But we can’t give up. That’s the deal — we want the happy ending, we can’t give up.”
Wise words from the crime-fighting novelist but, in a way, also eerie. Because, as fans know by now, the wedding day Castle and Beckett worked so hard to put together didn’t unravel as expected in the show’s season finale.
In an interview with EW, executive producer Andrew Marlowe explains why they chose to delay Castle and Beckett’s trip down the aisle and what fans can expect from next season.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Now, here’s the thing. I know Nathan is the titular Castle, but I confess that at the end, when he was driving to the wedding, I said to myself, ‘Don’t you dare, Matthew Crawley him, Andrew.” So, tell me why you’re so evil. Just kidding.
ANDREW MARLOWE: Well, I’ll tell you why I’m such an evil person: Because I think where we’re going opens up some new and exciting and some really interesting avenues of storytelling that we’re really looking forward to jumping into at the start of the season next season.
Obviously fans were expecting a wedding. Will we get one eventually?
Oh, yeah. Look, I’ve always said these two characters were absolutely meant to be together and we’re telling a long, arcing love story. And, you know, in any epic love story there are complications. And this is certainly a complication along the way.
Was Castle’s speech in the middle of the episode foreshadowing in any way?
Well, it was actually dealing with their entire relationship. So in a way, yeah, in a sense, it was foreshadowing. But it’s really part of what this relationship has been, and what has made it so epic. And this is a relationship that, look, even 20 years from now when there are Castle babies running around and whatever is happening is happening, there is still going to be an epic love story. And they’re a couple to whom interesting things will happen because they have that sort of magic when they come together. So, you know, in terms of getting them together in marriage right at this very point, you have two characters who are very committed to each other and I don’t think that has come into question. It’s now really an issue of what happened. And hopefully people will come back and play through those consequences and be excited by some of the questions we’re posing and the direction the storytelling is going to be going in because we have something interesting to play with.
One of those big questions is, obviously, the identity of the people in the black SUV.
And what exactly is going on and I think there will be some pretty compelling answers when we get back to it.
Does this at all tie back to Sen. Bracken? Or is that a chapter we should consider closed?
Well, certainly those are the things that are going to be on the characters’ minds as they wrestle with what’s going on. There are a lot of specters we assume are going to be hanging over the storytelling. If I were a fan, I’d be wondering about Bracken. I’d be wondering about 3XK. I’d be wondering about some other issues. But we’d like people to tune in to see what we have in store.
Let’s talk about last week’s episode, “Veritas,” briefly because you’ve long said that Castle and Beckett couldn’t move on as a couple until that Bracken/murder arc came to a close. Talk to me about crafting that closure and placing it where you did in the season, which I loved. Honestly, it could have been a series finale.
It could have been. But we were absolutely committed to closing out Beckett’s quest for justice for her mother. And we knew Bracken was out there in the universe, but we also knew as a character that she really couldn’t move on until she had that resolved. So in order to clear the decks and get the table set for the wedding, we felt like we had to go through that experience. So for us it was about making multiple threads come together in a way that was going to be emotionally satisfying for the audience and give a sense of justice to Beckett — this long-sought justice. And also acknowledge Castle’s role in this because she had put this away and when Castle walked through the door the very first season, he was the one who opened up all those old wounds. So in some ways, the two of them doing it together, we hope, is very satisfying for the audience.
Do you have your sights set on establishing any new mythology next year? Or setting up a new epic arc?
We have ambitions in that area. We’d like to open up some new mythology, so hopefully what we’re playing with right now will allow us to do that, while keeping the Beckett and Castle relationship moving forward.
I definitely want to talk about the wedding itself, specifically the dress. I absolutely loved her mother’s dress, and I wasn’t crazy about the original one. Was it always the plan to ruin the first dress?
It wasn’t always in my plan but when we showed the other dress, the reaction to it among the fans was pretty divided. And we thought it was a good way to honor that and put her in something a little more simple, a little more conventional and something that had a little bit more sense of history for the character. As fun as the moment was in that episode to have a woman like that give you a hot couture dress, it didn’t necessarily speak to who Beckett was or speak to her history or her character. So we wanted something that was a little richer for the character emotionally.
Obviously, a marriage will happen eventually, but do you see them trying the whole wedding thing again, considering how much they had to go through for this one and then the way the day turned out?
I think when the time is right, hopefully in the near future, they will embrace something that speaks to both of their characters.
Do you already have an idea?
No. I’m tired. It’s late in the season.
Do you feel like you’re playing a long game with the show still? How many more seasons are left here? Where’s your head at?
My head is in continuing the show as long as we feel good and great storytelling and we certainly know from other shows that once characters get married, it’s not the end of storytelling. There’s still complications that ensue and fun to be had as a couple and fun to be had solving cases. So I don’t really know. You look at Bones as the model and there’s a version where you go on to season 10, 11, 12. And we’ll see if our people have the appetite for that. We’ll see if our actors want to do that, and we’ll see if the viewers stand by us for that.
In all, this was a very different finale for you…
Knowing that we had “Veritas,” we didn’t want to end with something else heavy and we wanted to clear the decks. And when we sat down to talk about it, we thought it would be fun to do something that, for the most part, for 41 minutes, was light and funny and a little bit buoyant and presented the complication that everyone expected in terms of getting to the wedding. But in talking about it, we also wanted to, for future storytelling, level the playing field between Castle and Beckett to allow her to have this thing in her past that she didn’t even know about that catches her short but also loses a little bit of the moral high ground to Castle, which I think delights him. So that was a lot of fun for us. We wanted to do something that was a little bit of a Coen Brothers-Preston Sturges feel.
Yes, 41 minutes of lightness then you punched me in the face. [Laughs]
Yeah, sorry about that. I hope you’ll forgive me, and I hope the audience forgives us given what we have coming up for them next year.
Castle Season 6 Finale Post-Mortem: Andrew Marlowe on the ‘For Better or Worse’ Fallout
[Warning: This post contains massive, massive spoilers for the CASTLE season 6 finale, “For Better or Worse.” Please do not read this interview until you’ve watched the episode.]
CASTLE spent much of this season plotting Castle and Beckett’s perfect wedding, but the finale threw problem after problem at them: they found out Beckett was accidentally married to an ex-boyfriend (who then tried to blackmail her, and got kidnapped); the wedding venue burned down; Beckett’s dress was destroyed; and then once the duo rejiggered their wedding plans, Castle’s car was seemingly forced off the road, and when Beckett was called to the scene, she saw her fiance’s car in flames.
Yeah, it’s going to be a pretty long summer.
To get a little more insight into what went down (including Beckett’s surprise husband, and the decision to have C/B not tie the knot this year), I spoke with CASTLE creator Andrew Marlowe about the finale and what’s to come…
Let’s start off with one of the biggest questions I think fans will be asking this summer: who the heck was driving that car, and what can you say about them at this point?
Andrew Marlowe: Our stunt coordinator! Oh, no, that’s not what you’re asking. [Laughs]
Oh, you’re funny! But no, that’s not what I’m asking.
AM: We’re hoping with what we’re doing now, we’re opening up some very interesting storytelling for the beginning of next season. And that’s all going to be wound up in how we’re coming back next year. So we’re really excited to get into it.
Can you say whether the person who was driving the car is a character (or related to a character) the fans are already familiar with?
AM: I think the fans are absolutely right to wonder that. They’re absolutely right to wonder if the specter of 3XK is out there, if it’s Bracken, or if it’s some new element. It’s what we want them thinking. And when we come back, we’ll get into that full force. We think we have something really fresh and interesting to play with that’s going to lead to some very good storytelling throughout the fall.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I was certainly thinking of 3XK when I watched that final scene.
AM: Well, anyone who watches the show knows who all of our standing bad guys are. So we know it’s going to be on the audiences’ minds. And, by the way, it’s very much going to be on the characters’ minds when we come back in. I think it’s only fair to ask those questions. But of course, I’m not going to answer them.
A quick clarification question, though: is there a body in the car? Or is Beckett just seeing the flames and, understandably, assuming the worst?
AM: [Joking] I couldn’t tell, because there were too many flames.
I wasn’t sure if some poor innocent person had to die in order for this ruse to play out and delay them, or if when the flames get put out, they’ll realize the car is empty…
AM: [Laughs] Stay tuned.
Will there be a time jump when next season starts up, or are you looking to play out the impact of that final scene?
AM: I think it’s only fair for the characters and the audience to play out the impact of that. I think it would be unfair to ellipse over something that is such a big moment. And to answer all the questions you’re talking about, and sort of wrestle with them, I think we have to start immediately right where we left off.
So, looking to the episode itself, at what point in craft the season (or series) did you know that Beckett was actually married?
AM: We started playing with the idea a third of the way to halfway through the season. A lot of it had to do with resolving some aspects of Beckett, so when Beckett and Castle move on, there can be a little more parity. So with “Veritas,” we very much felt like we needed to close off Beckett’s mother’s murder arc in order to free her up in order to move forward.
But she also always occupied the moral high ground with Castle and his previous relationships. And this is a way to humanize her a little bit. To take her down a peg in a way that’s very endearing to Castle. [He’s thinking,] “Okay, I’m not the only screw-up.” And of course, since she was young when she did it, and she didn’t really know what she was doing and it was all a lark, it’s something that can be easily forgiven. But it does serve as a complication, certainly to the two of them, as they’re trying to get married.
And it’s a little bit of — I believe it was Janeane Garofalo who had this experience where she discovered  years later that she had gotten married in Vegas, and she was with her boyfriend at the time, and it was just a little bit of a lark, and there was no paperwork, and she thought it was all, ha ha ha, church of Elvis stuff, and then she finds out, “Oh my gosh, I’ve been married for all of these years.”
At what point did you know that Castle and Beckett wouldn’t be getting married this year?
AM: In my mind, relatively early on. Because there’s a little bit more storytelling we want to go through before we go there.
Since so much of this season did deal with the wedding planning, are you planning on putting as much focus on the plans for the next wedding attempt, or will it be handled differently this time around?
AM: [Joking] I think that we don’t know Castle’s alive…
Assuming he lives.
AM: Certainly when we leave the season, we have two characters who have advertised themselves as very much being in love, and very much being ready for that. And whatever this experience is — which the audience doesn’t know — it’s something they’re going to have to work through.
I’ve always said, we’re telling a long-arcing love story. And a lot of the clues to it is really the speech in this that Castle gives about fairy tales. And what you have to overcome to have the great love story. And that’s who these characters are: because their love story is so epic, there are going to be these moments they have to get through.
And, by the way…they’re going to get married at some point relatively soon, and we’re going to have to deal with storytelling after that. There’s still going to be interesting challenges and bumps in the road, etc., etc.
Was it important to have that final phone between Castle and Beckett be sweet, loving and supportive before all this went down versus there being tension and Beckett being left thinking something else might have gone down?
AM: Yeah, I think it was absolutely essential to have that phone call: everybody’s cards are on the table, and everybody knows how they feel about each other.
So at least relationship-wise, whenever he returns, they will be solid?
AM: Well, look, that depends on what the experience is. And to talk too much about that is giving too much away. These are two characters who are always trying to be together.
When Castle and Beckett made their attempt to get married, a lot of things were changed up from their original plan: a new wedding dress, a new venue. What, if any, of these new, unplanned elements are you intending to incorporate whenever Castle and Beckett do get married?
AM: I think those are character questions we’re not ready to answer, because I think that’s going to be driven by when it actually happens, and what’s going on.
How will everything that went down impact how Castle does his job with Beckett and the NYPD next season?
AM: I think a lot of the answer to that question is wrapped up in elements of mythology that we’re hoping to open up as we come into the new season. So I think I can’t really comment too much further on that without [revealing] our hand.
As you’re looking to open up new mythology strands next year, are you looking at this as arcing the final story for CASTLE, whether it’s a one, two, three, etc. year-long plan? Or are you more playing it as it comes since television is so unpredictable?
AM: I feel like we have a whole bunch of storytelling in front of us with these two. And we’ll see if the fans continue to be supportive, and if the actors are game, I think there are a number of strands I’m looking forward to exploring. But at any point, if it looks like we’re going to wrap up, I have a pretty good idea of where we’re going to go.
On a lighter note, there was a cute Lanie and Esposito moment when they were waiting for the wedding. Are you intending to play with them and that relationship a little bit more next season?
AM: That’s one I’ll have to say, we’ll see, in terms of some of the other storytelling elements that we’re playing with, and what the balance is — finding the right balance between all the characters.
Before I let you go, is there anything you want to tell the fans who now have a very long summer ahead of them as they wait to see how Castle, and Castle/Beckett will make it out of this OK?
AM: I’m sorry you have to wait so long, but we think, and we hope, the storytelling we’re opening up is going to be worth it and a lot of fun!
Post Mortem: Castle Boss Talks Controversial Wedding Day Twist (‘We’re Going to Take Our Lumps’), Teases New Mythology Ahead
Warning: The following contains major spoilers from the Season 6 finale of ABC’s Castle.
ABC’s Castle on Monday night invited viewers to RSVP for the long-awaited wedding between bestselling author Richard Castle and NYPD Detective Kate Beckett. But did the duo’s Big Day go off without a hitch?
With just days to go until their exchange of vows, Rick and Kate run into an unexpected obstacle when it is discovered that Ms. Beckett is actually a Mrs., having 15 years ago visited a drive-thru chapel with then-beau Rogan O’Leary (Warehouse 13‘s Eddie McClintock), while sloshed in Sin City. Finding Rogan and then getting him to sign off on a dissolution is easier said than done.
Meanwhile back in New York City, the wedding itself was imploding. The venue? Shut down. The couture dress? Ruined. (Stop cheering, y’all.)
And yet… as the finale drew to a close, thanks to quick thinking by Martha and a gift from Jim, the wedding is happening, people!
Until it wasn’t.
All dressed up and ready to wed — yet oddly unable to locate Rick — Kate gets a phone call. Next we see her, she is running down a Hamptons street, on her way to lay witness to a shocking, heartbreaking sight: Rick’s car, having seemingly been forced off the road by an ominous SUV, engulfed in flames.
TVLine invited series creator Andrew W. Marlowe to discuss the twists that transpired and what could possibly happen next, when Season 7 arrives in the fall.
TVLINE | I must say, this was, by and large, an entertaining hour. It was like a “four-quadrant” finale, delivering humor, tragedy, romance, mystery…. All of Castle‘s calling cards.
Thank you for saying that. We appreciate it. One of the things we were trying to accomplish was honoring where the show came from, with the romantic comedy, but also being able to deal with the deep, romantic elements. But we have been known to throw a sucker punch from time to time.
TVLINE | Talk about coming up with the overall idea for this finale.
Well, we knew we wanted to finish off Beckett’s trajectory of getting justice for her mother, in [the May 5 episode] “Veritas,” and we didn’t want that necessarily to be the last episode of the season. But we knew we wanted to deal with that before we got into the wedding stuff, because we wanted to have the sense that if Beckett was moving forward in life that she had that behind her. So, knowing that our second-to-last episode would be relatively weighty, coming into the last episode we were sitting around talking and thought, “Would there be a way to do a Preston Sturges/Coen Brothers-type screwball comedy?” To have some fun, get to see one of our characters in a bit of a new way. We had toyed with this notion of how to complicate the wedding without the conventional, “The old lover comes back into town” thing, and this was a new version of it, courtesy of Jeaneane Garofalo. I think she was the one who discovered, like 20 years later, that she had accidentally gotten married in Vegas not knowing that it was for real. So to be able to do that was exciting, because Beckett has always had the moral high ground in the relationship, because of Castle’s divorces.
TVLINE | Yeah, he even brings up her “one and done” line.
Exactly. And this makes her more human and much more endearing to him. In our minds it’s not a blow to her character, because she was 19 and thought she was being funny at the time, but it’s a huge complication when you have 300 people coming into town and the [wedding] venue is set…. “What are we going to do?” She didn’t want to be embarrassed, and it set us off on a really fun journey. Eddie McClintock playing Rogan gave us the sense that Beckett is drawn to those forces of nature that she can’t quite control.
TVLINE | OK, but talk about your peaks and valleys! You have the screwball comedy for three-quarters of the hour, and then you launch into a romantic swell — with Beckett’s mom’s dress, the scene with Martha, which was just wonderful – and then you yank the rug out from under us. Who was it in the writers room that dared to utter the words, “He drives off a cliff”?
[Laughs] I won’t ascribe blame, in case the fans take out their pitchforks. We’re actually very excited about where we’re going next season, and this helps set up some of the elements that we’re going to be dealing with coming back. We felt like it was an interesting way to end it, in a way that people will want to know what happened, what’s going on. We know that it’s a bit of an emotional blow to the audience but oftentimes good storytelling is. With the mythology that we’re introducing, we want to start it off with a bang. We’re just sorry that the audience has to wait until September to see how we’re going to resolve it.
TVLINE | Because make no mistake, the pitchforks will be out.
No doubt. No doubt. But to us, it’s an indication that they care. Hopefully, in the long term, their trust in us will be well-deserved. But in the short term we’re going to take our lumps.
TVLINE | Are you willing to say that whomever forced Castle’s car off the road is an existing adversary — be it 3XK, Annie Wersching’s plastic surgeon character, a Bracken thug, something pegged to Jackson Hunt, or even this Mickey-the-fugitive mobster guy?
I’ll say that we have a lot of interesting folks out there, and those are the questions we hope people are asking. We have some interesting answers when they come back. Or, at least, more interesting questions.
TVLINE | Nathan Fillion is signed for Season 7, right? This isn’t some loophole to put Castle through reconstructive surgery and have him come out looking like Travis Schuldt?
[Laughs] No, I don’t think we can quite “Doctor Who” Castle. Yeah, Nathan is signed on for Season 7.
TVLINE | What you did to the couture wedding dress…. Was that your way of acknowledging that some viewers weren’t fans of it? Even when I asked Stana for her thoughts on it, she gave a highly diplomatic answer.
It was acknowledging that, having some fun with it…. And also, as lovely as moment as that was in that particular episode [“More Than Skin Deep”], we wanted to make sure that Beckett’s wedding dress had a deeper sense of meaning to her. This was a way to honor that and allow her mother, who has been such a driving force in defining who she is, to “participate” in the wedding. But yeah, we heard the fans and knew that they were deeply divided on that dress, and for good reason.
TVLINE | You of course realize that, now more than ever, you owe the fans a proper wedding — at some point.
We know that we owe them a wedding that accurately reflects who Castle and Beckett are, yes.
TVLINE | I mean, we were so close. You even relocated the wedding ceremony to the Hamptons, which was on the wish list of many fans.
I know, I know….
What did you think of “For Better or For Worse”? Also, email InsideLine@tvline.com with any questions about Season 7.