Comic Con 2011: CASTLE Panel Recap; “Words were said, bullets were fired; there will be repercussions.”

     July 24, 2011

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Having ended their third season with a literal bang more than two months ago, the ABC series Castle has kept their fans in suspense ever since. Star Nathan Fillion and the rest of the cast of Castle were at Comic Con today to resolve the cliffhanger from the season finale and shed some light on the future of the series. Along with Fillion, who plays mystery novel author, Rick Castle, co-stars John Huertas (Javier Esposito), Tamala Jones (Lanie Parish), Seamus Dever (Kevin Ryan) and Molly Quinn (Alexis Castle) fielded questions from the audience and rewarded the room packed full of Castle fans. Unfortunately, Castle’s muse Stana Katic (Kate Beckett) was unable to attend the event. (This worked out well for one lucky fan, who got to reenact a line of dialogue with Fillion up on stage.) There is a lot to get to about the upcoming season, including new cast members, changing relationships between characters and two special episodes, so hit the jump!

***Fair warning: there will be spoilers ahead! For anyone who hasn’t caught up to the finale of the past season of Castle, you’ll want to skip down to the highlights.

The theme of today’s panel (and the cast interviews that followed) was that season three’s finale had multiple “wow” moments, each of which is going to have repercussions in the next season. In the finale, police Captain Roy Montgomery, played by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, was killed in a shoot-out. While he died protecting Beckett, her reprieve was all too short, as she is gunned down by a sniper while delivering Montgomery’s eulogy. If that wasn’t enough to get our attention, Castle rushes in to try to protect her and when she begins to lose consciousness, he confesses that he loves her. Fillion said the following about season three’s finale and the direction of season four:

“Words were said, bullets were fired; there will be repercussions.”

The loss of Montgomery and the potentially life-threatening injury to Beckett affect every character in the Castle storyline. The old atmosphere in the precinct will be gone as a new Captain, with an internal affairs background, will soon be stepping in. Victoria “Iron” Gates, played by Penny Johnson Jerald (24), is less concerned with justice than she is with playing politics. In addition to that, she is not a fan of Castle:

“He’s not a cop, he doesn’t belong.”

Regarding the relationship between Castle and Gates, Fillion said:

“The new captain…is not invested in these cops or…in Castle in the way that Montgomery was, so it’ll be difficult for Castle. Castle is accustomed to being surrounded by women, he’s accustomed to people adoring him. He thinks pretty highly of himself, he thinks he’s pretty charming and he’s never had a lot of trouble in that area. When you have someone like our new Captain who is not swayed by his charms, who does not see a use for him being around when she has plenty of good cops, you have someone who’s a thorn in Castle’s side. But Castle’s not the kind of guy who takes failure to heart.”

Inner-office politics aside, Castle has a more pressing personal matter to deal with: the fate of Beckett. While they wouldn’t say whether Beckett lives or dies, or even how much time Katic would spend acting from a hospital bed, they did show a short clip from the season premiere. It showed Beckett on a stretcher being wheeled through the hospital while Parish was performing chest compressions with Castle trailing in her wake. The last thing we glimpse from this scene is Beckett being taken away into the depths of the hospital.

While Beckett’s survival certainly impacts Castle’s social life, it also affects his home life. Molly Quinn, who plays Castle’s daughter, was very animated and enthusiastic about the turn her character would be taking this fall:

“She has a serious boyfriend, she’s applying to Stanford. She’s becoming more opinionated even though she’s always been the adult. But how can she continue to live her own life with the repercussions of season 3?”

Not all is dark in Castle’s future, however. Characters Kevin Ryan and Jenny, who are married in real life, are now engaged on the show. Seamus Dever, who plays Ryan, is looking forward to getting some mileage out of his character having to suffer through the wedding planning:

“I think it will be fun to watch him have to do these things like make cake decisions or choose an icing.”

Dever also said that viewers will meet Ryan’s family and although he couldn’t confirm whether or not there would be a wedding this season, Ryan will have to choose a Best Man. The competition between Esposito and Castle for this role was glimpsed during the panel in a comical exchange between Huertas and Fillion. It should be an interesting side-story to follow this season.

As for Huertas’ character, Javier Esposito, he hopes to continue the relationship with Lanie Parish, played by Tamala Jones:

“We’re naked a lot this season. There’s more couple interaction and it will get to a point where, maybe they break up or maybe they go on, who knows? Maybe the other relationships on the show will make one of them want to get married or not, we’ll see!”

Another thing that all of the cast members seem to be looking forward to are the season’s special episodes. To lighten up the tone a little after the season opener, the second episode of Castle will feature a superhero vigilante. Since the franchise is paired with Marvel (who will also put out a new graphic novel this September titled “Richard Castle’s Deadly Storm”), we may see some familiar characters or the show may dream up a hero of their own. Fans of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog will probably not get to see a return of Captain Hammer, I’m guessing. This season will also feature a Halloween episode, in which they hope to cast one of the original Ghostbusters actors, and a bachelor party episode which promises to get out of hand.

The chemistry of this ensemble cast, anchored by Fillion’s charisma, is readily apparent as they could have held the crowd’s rapt attention for hours more. They also show their appreciation for the fans with autographed memorabilia, casual yet personal conversation and even welcoming a fan on stage. I had the remarkable opportunity to interview a few of the actors and I came away thinking that they might be some of the nicest, funniest and most accommodating people in the business. (Full interview recaps will be up soon.) Here are some other highlights from the panel:

–      Molly Quinn came dressed as Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Fillion) from Firely/Serenity

–      The fan who was brought up on stage wore a “Nathan Fillion, One in a Million” t-shirt

–      “Heat Rises” is the new book “written by Castle” coming out in September 2001

–      Tamala Jones remarked that Jon Huertas “is a gentleman and he took care of me…and he has a nice bum” in reference to their sex scene

–      When talking about Alexis starting to voice her opinions to her dad, Fillion replied, “We’ve all heard about the terrible teens.” To which Quinn answered, “I’m the adult on this set.”

–      Some other great quotes from the panel:

  • Fillion: “I ate the S’morelette on the show and I have to say…it was pretty good.”
  • Quinn: “I don’t know where your taste buds are.”
  • Fillion: “Typically, if you’re going to be on a TV show with me, the only thing you have to look forward to is cancellation.”
  • Jones: “If Beckett doesn’t survive, they’re in talks with Ashton Kutcher for her replacement.”
  • Fillion: “You guys…too soon! But funny!”
  • Fillion: “Never touch a man’s car…or spaceship.”

–      Season 3 comes out on DVD September 20th. The bonus features include: bloopers and behind-the-scenes.

–      There may be a return to the “3-Strike Killer” storyline

–      A crime is committed and an innocent killed, both linked to Kevin Ryan’s gun and badge

–      Fillion seems pretty intimidated by co-star Victor Webster, who plays Josh Davidson

–      We will also meet Castle’s dad this season. When asked who they thought should play him, the cast had the following suggestions:

  • Huerta: Ken Howard (The White Shadow)
  • Jones: Christopher Walken
  • Dever: “Dwight Howard of the NBA…or Victor Webster, which would explain a lot of the tension.”
  • Quinn: “I was talking to Susan Sullivan (who plays Castle’s mother) and she thought it’d be interesting if she turned out to be Castle’s father.
  • Fillion: William Katt (The Greatest American Hero)

–      There may be some cameos or guest stars from Firefly/Serenity. Fillion said, “Soon. It’s coming soon.”

–      Fillion also commented on his potential role in a feature film, specifically Uncharted:

  • “While it’s a dream of mine to do movies and I would love to do Uncharted, right now I’m happy to be employed and work with these lovely people and to be having a good time.”

Fans of the show will definitely want to turn in for the new season and people who haven’t been watching should absolutely give it a chance. Season four of Castle premieres on Monday, September 19th on ABC.

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