Will They or Won’t They? A Peek Into the Castle Writer’s Room

[Cross-posting with Film.com because I had more fun writing this than I’ve had writing anything in years.]

We open on a well-lit room, late morning. Eleven people sit at a conference table. They clutch hot coffee cups and fiddle with their notepads and electronic devices. There is a large whiteboard at the front of the room with the words ‘Castle + Beckett’ written on it, and an extremely large question mark below that. An emergency meeting has been called by Castle showrunner Andrew W. Marlowe. Let’s listen in.*

Four weeks ago . . .

ANDREW W. MARLOWE: Okay, writers, settle down, settle down. I’ve called you all here today to make a big decision.

CHRISTINE BOYLAN: We were supposed to be here anyway, Andrew. We work here every day.

MARLOWE: Yes, thank you, Christine, but this is extra special work we’ll be doing today. Today, we will finally decide the romantical fate of Castle and Beckett, and we will formulate a game plan. A plan of action!

[All the writers groan.]

TERI MILLER: I thought we had decided to put that off for as long as possible? Wasn’t that working out really well for us?

ROB HANNING: Yeah, I thought that was the whole point of having two people who totally want to do it and stuff . . . all the yearning. They can’t yearn if they’re together! It’s scientifically impossible.

TERENCE PAUL WINTER: We can’t keep doing that forever, guys. The fans are going to catch on, and then they’re going to get angry. I say we just bite the bullet and get them together. We’ve practically been leading up to it all season.

ELIZABETH DAVIS: They need to get together. We had this exact same conversation last year. Why is this meeting even happening?

DAVID GRAE: Because Andrew can’t make up his mind.

DAVID AMANN: Because Andrew can’t make up his mind but won’t shut up to the press.

MARLOWE: Hey!

SHALISHA FRANCIS: Play nice, Davids. [stage whispers] You know he gets hurt feelings.

DAVID AMANN: I’m not making this up. Listen to this. [He pulls up an article from the internet and begins reading.] ‘My feeling about TV audiences is that they love to be frustrated and then fulfilled. What we’re telling here is a great love story, and great love stories take a long time to resolve. Feelings ebb and flow, relationships are complicated, timing is wrong. I do know where I want to end up with these people. I know what the resolution is between them but there’s a lot of great storytelling between now and then.’

TERI MILLER: Andrew! I thought we all agreed that we didn’t have any idea where this was going! I thought we liked playing it by ear?

MARLOWE: Yes, yes, I know. But it’s so hard to talk to the press! And they get so happy when I tell them stuff like that!

DAVID GRAE: Here’s another one, and I quote, ‘Let me say this — in past years, there have been some near-misses and misunderstandings that have ended the season . . . And this is the season where we put our cards on the table. But I’m not going to give you an indication as to which way the chips fall. But we do deal with things directly.’

TERI MILLER: Andrew!

ROB HANNING: Now we have to put the cards on the table!

TERI MILLER: This is all your fault, Andrew.

WRITERS: [together] Yeah!

MARLOWE: You guys, stop picking on me! I can fire all of you right now.

ROB HANNING: No, you can’t, because then you’d have to figure out how to get out of this mess all on your own.

MARLOWE: I don’t know, I read some pretty good fanfic the other day . . .

ELIZABETH DAVIS: Well, I for one am glad Andrew has a big mouth. All of you are being ridiculous.

TERENCE PAUL WINTER: Hey!

ELIZABETH DAVIS: Except for you, Terence.

ROB HANNING: Why does Terence get a pass?

ALEXI HAWLEY: He has been the number one shipper in this writing room since season two. It has been incredibly annoying.

TERENCE PAUL WINTER: Come on! You guys are all just as bad as me, sticking in cute moments all over the place — you just don’t want to deal with the consequences. Remember that one time Terri and Andrew wrote an entire episode where Castle and Beckett were handcuffed together the whole time!? With a tiger!? And cuddling!? [pause] That was so good.

WRITERS: Yeah.

ROB HANNING: Or that one time Castle and his mother were held at gun point in the bank and afterwards when Beckett found him and she touched his face and was so happy he wasn’t hurt? That made me feel all gooey and warm inside.

WRITERS: [long pause] Yeaaaaahhhhh.

TERENCE PAUL WINTER: That was one of mine!

DAVID AMANN: Or that time in Los Angeles when she was wearing that bikini, and then that tight white t-shirt . . .

DAVID GRAE: . . . And?

DAVID AMANN: And they almost made out and stuff, but then THEY DIDN’T?

DAVID GRAE: And the time he saved her life!

ALEXI HAWLEY: Which time?

DAVID GRAE: Any time!

[The room dissolves into a cacophony of writers gushing about ooey-gooey love moments between Castle and Beckett.]

MARLOWE: [shouts loudly] CUDDLING IN THE FREEZER!

WRITERS: Yeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhh.

[Silence.]

MARLOWE: Or that time Castle told her he loved her at the end of last season, which is why we’re arguing now, which brings me back to my main point here today: what are we going to do?

DAVID AMANN: [banging his head against the table in frustration] Nooooooooooo.

CHRISTINE BOYLAN: You are all being completely ridiculous. Castle and Beckett are adults and it’s time for this to happen.

ELIZABETH DAVIS: Andrew, you’ve said it in interviews tons of times: this doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Here, I found one. This is something you said at this time last year. [Clears throat.] Quote, ‘When I express some concerns about models of the other shows, it’s when the relationship becomes stagnant. When there is no movement, there is no growth and the characters start to feel like brother and sister because they lose the spark. My goal is to not lose the spark, and I know that’s a challenge when you keep people apart for a long time,’ unquote.

MARLOWE: But . . . the Moonlighting curse!

ELIZABETH DAVIS: The Moonlighting curse isn’t real!

MARLOWE: I don’t believe you. Everyone says it’s real. Give me examples. Show me romantic couples who got together and didn’t ruin the show.

ELIZABETH DAVIS: Jim and Pam, The Office. That show was great for almost two and a half years after they got together.

MOIRA KIRKLAND: Sarah and Chuck from Chuck!

SHALISHA FRANCIS: Monica and Chandler, Friends.

ALEXI HAWLEY: Peter and Olivia on Fringe.

DAVID AMANN: Cheers, Sam and Diane.

TERI MILLER: Buffy and Angel, Buffy and Riley, Buffy and Spike . . .

TERENCE PAUL WINTER: John and Aeryn, Farscape.

MARLOWE: What the hell is a Farscape?

MOIRA KIRKLAND: Nobody has seen Farscape, Terence. Give it up.

TERENCE PAUL WINTER: [sobs into arms] Nobody understands me.

ELIZABETH DAVIS: The point is, you don’t have any excuses. We’re doing this.

MARLOWE: You know, none of this would be happening if Teri didn’t put that “I love you” in last year’s finale.

TERI MILLER: Andrew!

MARLOWE: Fine, I put it in. I thought it was sweet.

ELIZABETH DAVIS: So, what’s the plan then?

MARLOWE: Well, we have three options. One, we could just keep dragging it out and prolonging it until there is absolutely no sexual tension left, the audience has abandoned us, and nobody believes anything we write anymore because we have lost all credibility.

CHRISTINE BOYLAN: No.

MARLOWE: Second, we could have them talk about their feelings, but they get so mad at each other for keeping secrets or whatever that their inevitable and now star-crossed relationship is put on hold yet again! ‘You kept these murder files from me, Castle!’ ‘You heard me that day when I told you I loved you and you said you didn’t!’ The new conflict would be, when can I ever trust you again?! It will be agony.

ELIZABETH DAVIS: Yes, it will be. I vote no.

ALEXI HAWLEY: Me too.

ROB HANNING: I like it!

SHALISHA FRANCIS: What’s our third option?

MARLOWE: They totally do it.

SHALISHA FRANCIS: And then what?

MARLOWE: [throws up his hands] Who knows!

[Silence again.]

MARLOWE: You know what, I can’t take this anymore. Let’s vote. Everybody write which one they want to do — one, two, or three — crumple it up and put it in my baseball cap. [Andrew takes off his cap and hands it to ROB HANNING on his left.] Go!

ELIZABETH DAVIS: Are you kidding?

MARLOWE: No! We can do this! We are television pioneers! We are men!

CHRISTINE BOYLAN: Six of us are women.

MARLOWE: Okay, everyone, put your slips of paper in the hat. There we go. This is so much easier than talking through things. Why didn’t we think of this before?

CHRISTINE BOYLAN: Because it’s stupid, Andrew.

MARLOWE: Tallying now!

Five minutes later . . .

MARLOWE: So . . . it’s decided then. We know what we’re going to do, and we know how we’re going to do it — let’s just hope it works out the way we want it to.

WRITERS: [together] Oh, God.

CHRISTINE BOYLAN: Help us.

– – –

*Please note, the preceding transcript is completely fictional. With the exception of interviews quoted and linked to, I made the whole thing up, and I do not for a second believe that any of Castle‘s writers would actually behave in so stupid and petulant a manner. But it sure is funny to pretend like they would.

The season four finale of Castle airs tonight on ABC.

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