In the wake of the ending of the “XX” (S8E02), Castle showrunners Alexi Hawley and Terence Paul Winter have been hitting the press circuit to talk about the change. The following snippets are posted from the most recent to one posted immediately following the conclusion of the second-part episode.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Was breaking them up a last resort? I’m assuming you all pondered other options.
TERENCE PAUL WINTER: Oh yeah we pondered several different options of what we could do this year and we kept coming back to this one because it created the most opportunity for interesting new storytelling.
ALEXI HAWLEY: We really wanted to focus on shaking things up and trying to give some new energy this year and also to their relationship. For us, their love affair is the heart of the show and relationships have issues, so we didn’t want to do a one-dimensional, everybody’s-happy-all-the-time kind of thing. But on a bigger front, it just felt like there were some unresolved psychological issues, Beckett more so possibly than Castle, as the fallout of being obsessed with her mother’s murder for 16 years. How do you just turn that off? So that just felt like really interesting character stuff for us that could then give us opportunities on a storytelling front.
How will the precinct feel about the split?
WINTER: Figuratively, mommy and daddy are fighting, and it has a toll on Esposito, on Ryan, on Lanie and also on Alexis and Martha. They’re not trying to take sides, but they’re deeply affected. What’s exciting about what we’re going to be doing — and you’ll see that in episode 3 — is that we kind of have this return to the fun even though Castle and Beckett are in this new paradigm of their relationship.
Read more at: Entertainment Weekly
The show spent several seasons building the couple up and waiting for the wedding to happen only to have the pair split up pretty quickly. It was a risky move to the loyal fans who have been with Castle from the beginning. Can you walk us through the decision to have the breakup happen?
Winter: What we were hoping to do this year was to do some storytelling with some threads that have been left out in the past few years and to figure out how to connect all the pieces that have not been connected and bring them all together. We thought the leap off point for that could be Beckett’s story. Since the time she was 19 years old when her mother was killed, her life has been completely changed. Even though she took Bracken down at the end of season six, It’s hard to turn those muscles off. We were trying to figure out how can we explore her coming to terms with the murder of her mother all those years ago and what it has done to her and how she can move forward with Castle.
Hawley: The reality is they’ve really been together since season five. The wedding was last season, but as a couple they’ve been together and happy for several seasons now. For us we thought, ‘Let’s throw an obstacle in their way.’ Nobody’s getting divorced. They’re not splitting up forever. This is an obstacle in the way that is going to make them ultimately stronger as a couple once they get through it. It adds drama, it adds comedy, it adds a lot of different layers which, as we go forward, we use to breathe some new life and energy into the show. Let’s face it, after 150 episodes we’ve done almost every case you could ever do. So [the breakup] was about what about [Castle and Beckett’s relationship] is going to feel new and how can we get these characters going through a different journey than they’ve ever gone through before?
Read more: The Hollywood Reporter