Now that Castle season 4 is taking a break until the new year, it’s time to take a good, long look at which actors might be appearing when the show returns in 2012. And the most recent piece of casting news will bring Jennifer Beals to the mystery drama.

A Mysterious Woman Arrives
The casting news was first announced by Jennifer Beals will play the part of Sophia Conrad, a CIA operative who joins Castle and Beckett during one of their cases. It seems that one of Sophia’s former spy colleagues has gone rogue — and now that agent is the prime suspect in a murder.

Sophia Conrad won’t just be around for her investigative skills, however. The sexy and intelligent spy will also have a complicated past with none other than Rick Castle. Was she one of his sources while working on an earlier novel? Was she a writing muse for Castle, in the same way that Beckett is now?

That definitely could get very complicated.

Jennifer Beals is still best-known for her early role in the movie, Flashdance, but she has an impressive amount of television work as well. Last season, she starred as police superintendent Teresa Colvin on The Chicago Code and had earlier roles on The L Word and on Lie to Me.

Castle will feature Jennifer Beals as Sophia Conrad in two connected episodes during the February sweeps period.

A Dog Holds the Key?
In another piece of casting news, Castle will also welcome Star Trek: Deep Space Nine star Nana Visitor to the show in 2012. According to a report from TVLine, Visitor will be playing the part of Dr. Phyllis Barker, a canine therapist, in episode 13 of Castle season 4, “An Embarrassment of Bitches.”

This episode will also feature a couple of other prominent guest stars, Hilarie Burton of White Collar and Justin Hartley of Smallville, in what seems to be a loose parody of one of the Kardashians. Burton will play Kay Cappuccio, a woman “famous mostly for being famous” who “feels a prisoner of her own celebrity lifestyle.”

Visitor’s Dr. Barker (feel free to groan at her name) will enter into the fray when it turns out that a dog — one of Barker’s therapy clients — might just be the only witness to a murder.

Want more Castle scoop? Check out our Castle Ultimate Fan Page on Facebook.

Are you excited for these Castle guest stars? Who has been your favorite celebrity guest on Castle so far? Leave your comments below!

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.