CASTLE: Andrew Marlowe Teases the Castle-Beckett Relationship and Debunks the MOONLIGHTING Curse
February 7, 2011 by Marisa Roffman
Now that Castle and Beckett have shared a kiss, where do they go from here?
To find out, I went to CASTLE creator Andrew Marlowe to get the scoop about the “Knockdown” fallout, which scene was unfortunately left on the cutting room floor, what’s coming up for Castle and Beckett and that pesky MOONLIGHTING curse…
Did you get the reaction you hoped you’d get from the last new episode, “Knockdown”?
Andrew Marlowe: Yeah. I was very pleased to see the audience’s reaction. And you know, the thing I was most worried about was the kiss. I knew that there were going to be some fans who reacted to the fact that it was a decoy kiss and there are a lot of shippers out there — the relationshippers online who are really rooting for Castle and Beckett to get together — but I want to make sure their relationship develops in the right way. And I think the majority of the fans reacted really well, recognizing that it started out as one thing and ended up as another, so they were able to get what they were looking for without me having to accelerate the Castle-Beckett relationship too quickly.
I think as much as people want them to get together, none of us want to sacrifice the fun of the journey. So we still have a little bit of a journey [to go]. And I thought with the depth of the episode, I’m really proud of that one. It’s one of our finest episodes. You can’t do an episode that personal every week, but when you do it, you want to do it right. We had a great guest cast, all of our principles showed up and all of our supporting cast did a really excellent job. So I was really pleased with it.
It was a great episode. I can understand the reluctance to accelerate the Castle-Beckett relationship too fast, but it seemed like this kiss did move things along its own way. Obviously if it was an intended romantic kiss, it would be an entirely different situation right now for the show.
AM: Yeah, because otherwise it would be game over on their romantic tension. You would have resolved it. But you leave [the “Knockdown” kiss] feeling like, oh they both want more, and yet they’re not quite ready to take that step because of everything that they’d risk. So I think that puts us in a really good place to continue this storytelling and continue to ratchet up the stakes as we move towards the end of the season.
And how will the kiss impact Castle and Beckett? Will they acknowledge it further to each other or anyone else?
AM: It’s unspoken between them initially because we don’t want to delve back in and just talk about the kiss. We all felt that when we looked at scenes like that, it cheapened what they went through. And I think they’re both still processing what it means emotionally. As you know, Beckett is in a relationship with somebody and she’s going to wrestle with that as well.
When we come up to the [upcoming] two-parter, she comes to a crossroads with her boyfriend, Josh and is trying to figure out what to do with it. And part of the issue is Josh is a really great boyfriend on paper: he rides a motorcycle, he’s a cardiac surgeon, he goes off to Doctors Without Borders to save people in Africa. But the problem with that is that he’s not around. She has to wrestle with somebody who is perfect on paper, but not around for her. And she wants someone who is going to be around for her. And then she turns and Castle is always there. Those are things we wrestle with in the two-parter for Beckett — how she deals with her relationship. She’s really at a bit of a crossroads.
All of that is informed by that unspoken thing between her and Castle. She’s trying to manage her life, whereas we can see Castle knows what he missed. At the end of last season, he made the wrong choice. He thought she was with Demming, so he withdrew and the timing was really bad and it kind of broke Beckett’s heart. She put all of her feelings away and now they’re starting to leak out again. And that’s why we were a little bit coy and cool at the beginning of the season in terms of their relationship because she had to find a level of trust again.
Does Castle actually realize the extent of what he missed out on? Obviously he knows that she and Demming broke up, but does he realize she might have been about to make a major confession to him before he revealed he had reunited with Gina?
AM: I’m not sure he knows, but I think the fact that he comes back and she wasn’t with Demming, that speaks volumes to him. It raises questions. No one was in that hallway when [Beckett] broke up with [Demming] and as a character, she plays her cards really close to the vest. She’s somebody who because of things that have happened in her past, she has a hard time trusting and I think we’ve seen that in her behavior. And part of the Castle-Beckett relationship from the very first season was, “Can I trust this guy who’s around me not to screw up all my cases?” And he’s earned a level of trust on the cases with her and that’s a building block for thinking, “Is this guy worthy of a relationship? Can I go there?”
And I’m sure Beckett has questions in the back of her mind that she hasn’t answered yet in terms of his marriages. He’s gone through two marriages — what does that mean for a potential future? He acts like a womanizer, but is he really? Because he seems really loyal. And all these things are all the stuff that is playing in the background of their relationship. And I think fans absolutely pick up on it — the subtleties and the looks between the two of them, that’s where really the magic happens. And when they’re putting a case together and their verbal swordplay, you just see the attraction coming out.
I did love that you revealed in “Knockdown” that Beckett had started working on the secret murder-board for her mother’s case while Castle was away with Gina. It felt like we got so much insight into her character with that one sentence.
AM: Yeah. And the look on his face was, I think, when that moment landed for him. Like, “I went away and this is where she went.”
Exactly. And speaking of Beckett’s family, I know there were promotional pictures of Beckett’s father from “Knockdown,” but he didn’t appear in the episode. Was his scene cut?
AM: Yeah, he had a great scene in the episode and we were just slammed on time. And it was one [scene] where we could pull the scene out and all the storytelling still tracked. It was one of the last things I cut [out of the episode]. Scott Paulin (Jim) is a great actor, he’s a friend of mine, I had to break the news to him that he didn’t make this [episode]. But we love the character and we’re toying whether we want to release the scene now or if we want to use a version of it when we get to the end of the season, because we will be touching on some of this stuff by the end of the season. But it was a great scene, we were really pleased with it, we were just so slammed on time that we just couldn’t include it. It was a fun scene. So we’ll either release it by the end of the year or fans will see a version of it, because Castle meeting the dad is a really nice moment.
Very cool. Looking forward, has the kiss and the events of the last episode shifted the dynamic of the Castle-Beckett relationship? Their power seesaw obviously is constantly shifting, but is someone more in control now?
AM: I think that the fun of the show is that seesaw. So yeah, the power shifts and certainly in terms of the relationship, Beckett has a lot of the power now because she’s the one who has the other relationship, so she’s the one who’s creating the obstacle. So in a lot of ways, it’s really safe for her to push the relationship a little bit further because she has a place to retreat to. And I think that that puts the burden on us to make sure that Castle is bringing his A-game to the cases because that’s the way he proves his worth to Beckett — that he’s the one who’s always there. So in a lot of ways I think it magnifies everything we’ve been playing with, that the audience is going to look through the magnifying lens.
The Castle-Beckett fans are certainly examining those scenes carefully for subtext.
AM: Yeah, that’s true. And there are fans who are probably going to be frustrated if we don’t confront the kiss straight on. But if we do that, I feel that’s not the way the two of these people act. That’s not the way Castle and Beckett act. They try and figure out what it means, they play things in subtext, neither one of them wants to be the one exposing themselves or to be the one to say,”I love you” first because the bar for how hurt they could get if the other one doesn’t respond is so high. Because of the investment they have in the relationship, I think they’re both tip-toeing into it and tip-toeing around it.
I know you’ve mentioned the MOONLIGHTING curse before in relation to Castle and Beckett’s relationship. Is that something you actually take seriously?
AM: I don’t view it as a curse at all. I just think there’s a little more storytelling we can do before we get them together. I think there’s inevitably going to be a point in the show where beyond that point the fans feel like we’re just jerking them around. I don’t think you can get to a season seven or so without doing something because then I think your characters just become brother and sister and the romantic tension goes away. You can’t sustain it that long.
I believe there’s storytelling on the other side of it, you know? That when people are in a relationship it can be just as difficult, it can be just as complex, there can be just as much banter and there can be just as much rooting for people. But I think we’re not at that point yet. I think we have a lot of storytelling to get there. I think inevitably if we got them together too soon, fans would get what they think they want, but they’d be disappointed on missing out on all the stuff that they’re responding to [now] every week.
Are you excited to see where the Castle-Beckett relationship goes from here?
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