Castle returns from its short winter hiatus on Monday, Jan. 6 with an episode that promises to be an emotional one for both the characters and the fans when Kevin Ryan's baby arrives just as he and Esposito are trapped in a burning building.
BuddyTV spoke exclusively to real-life husband and wife Seamus Dever and Juliana Dever (who play Kevin and Jenny on the show) about what it was like to film what is sure to be a memorable and heartbreaking episode.
"This Might Be It for Kevin Ryan."
The episode, called "Under Fire," will feature Ryan and Esposito getting trapped in an arsonist's lair just as Jenny goes into labor.
"Jenny realizes that's something's not right," Juliana revealed. "The building's on fire at [that] point and she shows up at the crime scene in labor and refuses to leave Kevin's side until he's out safely."
Jenny has more than one worry as she arrives at the scene. "[Not only] are they worried that he won't make it to the delivery, she's worried that he won't make it to see their child grow up at all," Juliana added.
Seamus added, "This might be it for Kevin Ryan. You might not see him again."
"There Are a Lot of Surprises in This Episode."
Okay, so we all know that's not very likely given how popular Ryan is on the show, but the couple did promise that the episode will put both Ryan and Esposito in a lot of danger. The script was a surprise, but not an unwelcome one.
"We thought it would be this happy-go-lucky episode where there are lots of jokes about making it to the hospital on time and lo and behold we get this great gift of higher stakes, so it's kind of cool," Seamus said.
Were they sorry that Kevin and Jenny are going to miss out on a more traditional birth for their baby? "I think it's way more exciting," Seamus said. "It's way more interesting. It's less of what people would expect and I think that's why people watch TV. [They think] they want to have the things that they've always seen before, but they really don't. When you get down to it, they want to be surprised by stuff. So I think there are a lot of surprises in this episode."
Turning the Birth Into a Special Moment
Juliana shared another reason why the circumstances of the baby's birth will make it special for them and for fans as well.
"While it's devastating for Jenny to be going into labor and not have her husband with her and the potential that she may never see him again, I think the one thing that was great - like Seamus was saying you kind of have this expectation of "Oh they're going to the hospital and that's the way it's going to be" - so in my head I thought Jenny was going to the hospital and Kevin was going to be there and that was it. Instead, what I think is really special, is that there's this moment - while even though Kevin and Esposito are in peril - that this baby still comes into the world with just the core Castle family around. It's not clinical, it's not in some anonymous hospital, she's still there with Lanie and Castle and Beckett and I think that's really special. It kind of brings the whole cast together."
Seamus agreed, "Yeah they get a time to share in the moment."
Ryan has been preparing for this baby for a while, even going so far as to practice swaddling on a doll. But he found it wasn't as easy with the real thing in "The Good, The Bad & the Baby." We had to wonder if that moment left Ryan a little nervous about fatherhood, but that may not be the case.
"I Hope We Break America's Heart."
"I think Ryan is always going to be a little nervous about something, when it comes to the unknown," Seamus said. "But I think he had a nice pep talk with Esposito. Ryan has accepted that this is happening, he just wants to be prepared and researched. He wants to be there for the moment, which makes all this build-up that happens when he can't be there for the moment kind of heartbreaking, and I hope we break America's heart."
Once the baby has arrived, what will their parenting still be like? Juliana said, "I think, in a lot of ways, knowing the personalities of these two, they're very similar. They're both kind of traditional, but I do think that Jenny might be a little bit more relaxed. Kevin was the one that's the "What to Expect While You're Expecting" [book]."
Pummeling Ryan With Love
Seamus expects that being a new father is going to leave him open for a lot more teasing by his friends, especially Castle and Esposito. "I think he's going to be the target of a lot of opportunities for Esposito and Castle to make fun of him about showing up bleary-eyed for work and falling asleep at his desk and those sorts of things," Seamus revealed. "We'll see if that's an area they want to mine, but it seems to me that would be a lot of fun actually, for these guys to remember that Ryan is a new dad and pummel him mercilessly with love."
But Castle may also be able to provide more than just teasing. "[Ryan] looks up to Castle in a lot of ways and so I think parenting would be one of those things, knowing that he's been there before. I don't think that Ryan has a lot of role models in that department."
Don't expect the new dad to be seeking advice from his partner, though. "Definitely not Esposito, don't go to him for advice on parenting," Seamus said with a laugh.
Ryan and Esposito: Daddy Duty for a Day?
Knowing how much fans love the Ryan and Esposito relationship on the show, wouldn't it be fantastic to see the two of them taking care of the baby together in an episode?
"That would be pretty adorable, really," Juliana said.
Seamus added, "It might be pretty funny if they go investigating things and [Ryan's] got the Baby Bjorn and those kinds of things. Those could be fun scenes, we'll see."
If we do see a lot of the baby on the show, Seamus revealed how much work would be involved in those types of scenes. "You know, babies are always challenging. People think it's really nice to see a baby, but you basically get 15 minutes a day with a baby. So whenever you see babies most of the time they're twins or triplets or quads 'cause you get 15 and that's it and it's almost impossible to film something in that time. So yeah it's tricky. There are challenges when you bring infants on screen."
Are you excited to see the episode and meet the new baby on Castle?
Castle airs on Monday nights at 10pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)