Who faked Castle‘s car crash, dragged away his body and had him doing heaven-knows-what for two months?
The ABC series’ Season 7 premiere established at least one person who has answers that Rick and Kate so anxiously seek – a mystery man who passed himself off as mild-mannered mobile home-owner “Henry Jenkins,” in the name of pointing the 12th’s investigation down the wrong path.
TVLine spoke with onetime Scandal bad boy Matt Letscher about his super-secret guest-starring turn on Castle, which continues Monday at 10/9c, as well as his portrayal of a Kennedy during Boardwalk Empire‘s final season.
TVLINE | This Castle thing has been surrounded in much secrecy. ABC didn’t even want it out that you were in the second episode.
I know… [Laughs] Honestly, I couldn’t answer to you as why.
TVLINE | They probably didn’t want people eyeballing your character too closely. “I know he’s in the second episode, so something must not be kosher here.”
Yeah. Yeah. They’ve been all over me about that, which is fine!
TVLINE | How would you tease this strange piece of new mythology that the Castle character has gotten himself wrapped up in?
I feel like I’m not allowed to say anything, or else the “Castle secret police” will track me down and shoot me in the street. But he definitely has a history with Castle. As far as I can tell, he is someone who looms large in Castle’s past.
TVLINE | Nathan Fillion in a recent interview suggested that whatever is going on here is perhaps not particularly “dark.”
He would know better than anybody, but I don’t know… Even on the set when we were shooting, they played both sides of the fence with me. I think that could be partially because they want to leave themselves some options.
TVLINE | Did you watch the premiere? Could it be that the characters have made some incorrect assumptions?
I’m sure some of them will be proved wrong…
TVLINE | Who would you say is more cunning – this guy, or Scandal‘s Billy Chambers?
My impression is definitely this guy. There was something more craven and crude about Billy; he didn’t think things through too well, at the end of Season 2 there. [Laughs] But this guy is a lot smarter than that. Again, I don’t know, but maybe he doesn’t have the same “killer edge” that Billy had. He’s a “cooler” character, for sure.
TVLINE | The premiere dropped three breadcrumbs that weren’t followed up on: the “38” key sewn into Castle’s pants, the Dengue fever thing, and the fact that he had been shot. Will any of those be revisited in Episode 2?
Yes, they will be touched upon. But I wouldn’t hope for resolution any time soon.
TVLINE | I’m afraid for this guy if Kate ever gets her hands on him again.
Yeah – it could go badly! It could go really badly.
TVLINE | Is the door left open at the end of the second episode, that you may darken their doorstep further?
There aren’t any definitive hints, like, “See you in a month,” but it’s definitely left open. You definitely have a greater understanding of how this guy figures into Castle’s history.
TVLINE | By the end of the episode, will we have any idea of what this guy wants — or wanted — with Rick?
TVLINE | Maybe a half-of-a-half of an idea?
Yeah, I think you’ll have a half-of-a-half of an idea — and it’s “wants” with regard to something very specific. In terms of the whole mystery, no, you won’t have much more information, but in terms of the short-term circumstances, you will understand more.
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“Clear & Present Danger” – When a pool shark is murdered by an unseen force, Castle and Becket uncover evidence that the killer may have paranormal powers. Meanwhile, Castle and Beckett attempt to get their lives back to normal following his disappearance, on “Castle,” MONDAY, OCTOBER 13 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Home > Episode Stills > Season Seven > 7.03 Clear & Present Danger
“Montreal” – While the team investigates the murder of a toy company CEO, Castle uncovers a lead to his mysterious disappearance, launching him into a dangerous investigation of his own, on “Castle,” MONDAY, OCTOBER 6 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Home > Episode Stills > Season Seven > 7.02 Montreal
ABC’s Castle — pending any adjustments due to football preemptions in three markets — on Monday night returned to 11.3 million total viewers and a 2.4 rating, which is up from both its previous premiere (11.5 mil/2.2) and its May finale (10.6 mil/2.1). TVLine readers gave the episode an average grade of “B+”.
If the numbers hold up, that marks Castle’s top-rated premiere in three years and its highest rated episode since October 2011 (Season 4’s “Cops & Robbers”).
What in the world happened to Rick Castle?
ABC’s Castle and its characters raised that question — a lot — throughout its Season 7 premiere, and left us still grappling with it even after celebratory champagne flutes were clinked and Rick and Kate readied for their first night together in… a while. Up first, a recap of the twisty, turny hour, and then I’ll take inventory of the clues we have to work with, thus far.
Picking Up Where We Left Off
The Castle Season 6 finale had most fans fooled right up until the very last second. It seemed that it was just going to be a fun farce about Castle and Beckett trying to get married after they discovered that Kate wasn’t divorced from her first husband. But then, in the final moments, everything changed when Castle went missing on his way to the ceremony and all that was found of him was his car engulfed in flames.
According to Jones (who plays Lanie on the show), fans should be prepared for the excitement to begin right away in the premiere.
“We’re going to pick up right where we left off, right at the burning car,” Jones said. “So you can expect Detective Beckett to be on top of things even more, because this is involving her fiance. You can also expect her best friend Lanie to be right there with her, trying to help her figure out what caused this, what’s going on and what has Castle gotten himself into?”
What happens in the premiere is promising to be a big surprise for fans, but don’t expect the storyline to kick off a two-part episode or anything like that. Once the premiere is over, things will get back to normal… sort of.
“Some of that stuff [from the premiere] will be brought back up. You know how we do on Castle. We touch on something, move on from it and maybe come back to it later. So I think there’s a possibility that [we could find out more later]. But for the most part, we are trying to solve this — what happened to Castle — immediately.”
A Spicier Lanie in Season 7
Lanie fans can also expect some new fire from the medical examiner. “Lanie is, she’s a little spicier this season. I love it,” Jones revealed.
One thing that will be first and foremost on Lanie’s mind is getting back to her duties as matchmaker. “Her best friend’s wedding was ruined. She’s been working so hard through all the seasons to get Kate and Castle together, and now they’re finally together and this thing happens. So she’s got her work cut out for her. She’s trying to figure out, ‘How are we going to do this, guys? How are we going to get this wedding done? It can’t stop here.'”
A Turning Point for Lanie and Esposito
As for the on-again/off-again romance between Lanie and Esposito, there might be some interesting news there as well. “I also heard — now, this is a rumor — that around Episode 10 you’re possibly going to see a turning point between Lanie and Esposito and their relationship. So I’m dying to get to Episode 10 so I can see what that’s all about. But I wonder if it’s going to be for the better or if it’s going to be bad. I don’t know!”
Talk about a teaser! Fans have been eagerly waiting for Lanie and Espo to just commit to each other already, but so far it hasn’t happened. Jones thinks both characters have a lot to work on personally before that can happen. “I think that Lanie has a wall up and she can be a little bit commitment-phobic. And I think that Esposito has got a wall up as well, that makes him out to be a little bit commitment-phobic,” she said.
“I would love to see, with Lanie, what is in her past made her like this. What got her to this point where she’s afraid to just let go and be in love with someone she knows she loves so much. So hopefully they’ll touch on that throughout the season,” Jones added.
One thing’s for sure, Jones is rooting for them just as much as the fans are. “I want to see them get together,” she shared. “I’m like, ‘Come on, guys! You were getting it on all this time, then you break up because someone mentions the ‘m’ word, marriage.’ And now at the end of last season we kind of saw them a little cuddly and holding hands. It seems like it could’ve brought them closer together, this drama that’s going on with Castle and the car accident.”
Looking Back at 6 Seasons — Favorite Episodes and More
Heading into the shows seventh season, Jones said the entire cast and crew is having a wonderful time. “It’s so easy, because we have such a great cast and great writers and a great crew. It’s like your secondary family. So it makes the work that much easier.”
Another thing that is good about having six seasons under her belt is getting all that medical jargon down. Jones admitted that it used to be harder for her, but now it’s much easier and, in fact, some of that jargon has become quite useful.
“I feel like for the past six seasons I’ve been in med school, learning everything. But it’s been great because I’ve been able to use what I’ve learned from Castle in different situations with friends or family. If they get sick, I can tell them, ‘don’t mix this medication with that because it can cause a chain reaction.’ I kind of impress myself with that sometimes.”
Six seasons adds up to a lot of episodes and though it wasn’t an easy choice, Jones was able to come up with her favorite episode to film so far. “I can tell you — because I love period pieces — [that] I loved “The Blue Butterfly,” Season 4. That was one of my most favorite episodes, and I’ve had a lot of favorite episodes of Castle. But I loved us getting dressed up and going back in time,” she said.
“It was just so exciting to do that and everybody was into it. We all had a good time. We were up one night until about 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning and no one was sleepy. It was like if we’d been dressed in regular clothes and that wasn’t a flashback, we could’ve been a little sleepy. But everyone was still wide awake and just into it, and it was great.”
Castle Season 7 premieres on Monday, Sept. 28 at 10pm on ABC. What storyline are you most excited to see played out this season, Castle and Beckett or Lanie and Esposito?