It may be an understatement to say that fans are invested in what happens next on Castle.

The show’s Comic-Con panel was packed and then some — a significant number of fans were in line 10 hours early (that would be the middle of the night) and thousands more were turned away at the door. Such interest and devotion may have been worth it, since those lucky few were the first to see the opening scene of Castle, season 4. That opening is more than a little shocking.

As you will see in the video below, Castle will open its fourth season mere minutes after the end of season 3. In case you have a short memory for truly stunning events, this is what happened:

  • Captain Montgomery revealed his traitorous association with those who killed Beckett’s mother.
  • Captain Montgomery paid for his misdeeds by dying.
  • Castle, Beckett, Ryan and Esposito covered up the Captain’s involvement.
  • Montgomery was buried as a hero.
  • While speaking at Montgomery’s graveside, Beckett was shot by an unknown assailant.
  • Castle’s final words in the season finale, as he crouched over the possibly dying Beckett, were a long-overdue profession of love.

All caught up? Good. Now check out the opening scene from season 4 of Castle below:

It doesn’t look too good, does it?

The actual footage is only about a minute in length, but there is still plenty to see. Key points to note:

  • Lanie and Castle look to be the only ones who traveled from the cemetery to the hospital. That makes sense for Lanie (a doctor), but what kind of strings/fits did Castle have to pull in order to catch a ride?
  • Beckett has really, really been shot badly. When a patient is unresponsive and loses vitals on the ride over, I think they tend to worry a bit.
  • Josh (Beckett’s surgeon-boyfriend) hasn’t shown up yet. But he probably will in a bit.
  • Castle looks worried (OK, not a surprise).

Will Beckett pull through? The obvious answer, considering that this is a successful show still in the early stages of its probable run, is of course. The less-obvious answer: it may not be a quick recovery.

In the Comic-Con press room, right after this footage was shown, Tamala Jones (who plays Lanie) refused to say whether Beckett lived or died throughout an entire, several-minute interview. While this doesn’t indicate bad things for Beckett, it does show how committed Castle is to making the injury matter.

But it’s still probably safe to assume that Beckett will be back at some point. Thus, we can move on to the more important question for season 4 of Castle: Did Beckett hear what Castle said to her in the cemetery and what’s going to happen next?

September 19 cannot come soon enough!

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

(Image and video courtesy of ABC)

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.