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In last week’s episode of Castle, Beckett found herself confronting a few important questions. Specifically, she began to wonder about her future with Castle, with whom she feels she shares a passionate if seemingly directionless relationship.

Up to this point, the pair’s courtship has been a pleasant one — riddled with banter, fun romps and several sweet moments. But as the show heads towards its May 13 season finale, look for the more serious issues to rise to the surface, according to executive producer Andrew Marlowe.

“We’re getting to a point in their relationship where some important questions arise,” he says. “And some complications come in from outside their relationship that are going to force them to deal with where they are, who they are, and what’s next for them both individually and potentially in this relationship.”

Before fans work themselves into a panic, a reminder of what Castle and Beckett have together is the center of tonight’s episode, “Still,” which was rescheduled earlier this month in light of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. (Marlowe says the move, made out of respect, caused slight continuity bumps but nothing too major. “We assume and hope our audience is forgiving of some of those things and reorder them in their heads.”) In the hour, airing at 10 p.m. on ABC, Beckett steps on the pressure plate of a bomb, which will detonate if she steps off. As the team rallies to find a way to get her out of the situation safely, Castle stays with her and relives some of the great moments from their relationship. “It’s a really emotional episode and there are some fun moments in there that I think fans have been waiting for,” he says.

But this is not a clip show. Rather, he says, “there are clips in it but in the story that we’re telling, there are new, important moments for fans [that tell] where Castle and Beckett are in their relationship.”

The May 6 episode will also have its share of telling moments, but of a different kind. As the show goes into the morally murky world of drone strikes, Marlowe teases that “interactions with some folks at the federal level [will] open Beckett’s eyes … and she starts having questions about where she is and what’s she’s doing. And all of that comes to a head in the finale where the two characters are forced to confront some hard realities,” he says. “To a certain extent they’ve been living in this really charmed bubble and some outside events push them to really have to question where they are in their relationship.”

So will the finale pop our couple’s happy bubble? Not necessarily, says Marlowe. “It’s certainly [about] the challenge of that bubble. I think the finale’s goal is to ask some hard questions, and take a look at some preconceived notions and some assumptions that both characters may have that may or may not be accurate.”
In all, the finale puts a laser focus on the Castle-Beckett relationship, says Marlowe. The last two season finales had dealt with the mythology of Beckett’s mother’s murder, and while he says they have plans to revisit that next year, this was not the time for it. “I didn’t want to fall into the trap of doing that sort of thing every year,” he said. Instead, he says, expect “an emotional cliffhanger” that will likely leave fans clamoring for more. “I think we’ll be well positioned to tell some very compelling storytelling as we get to the new season,” he says.