Just when Castle was starting to drop regular good news on fans, most recently with a Firefly cameo, it was revealed earlier today that star Stana Katic is leaving after Season 8, regardless of whether or not the show makes it to Season 9. But showrunners Terence Paul Winter and Alexi Hawley still want that renewal, as that will dictate whether or not audiences get to see a scene that both of them are very much against showing off.

What is that scene? Well, it’s one of two endings that will be shot for the Season 8 finale, and as you might imagine, it’s not the ending that would get used if Season 9 was ordered.
Alexi Hawley: We have crafted a final scene that would exist only if we weren’t coming back, one that we don’t really want to get into—

Terence Paul Winter:—because our hope is that it never airs

After eight widely popular seasons, Castle is one of those shows that seems like it’s always been around and will always be around. But this was a year that saw series-low ratings and a fanbase that grew increasingly tired of the LokSat plotline, although the ratings did swing back around in recent weeks. So it was already hard to know whether ABC would cancel it or not even before Stana Katic (and co-star Tamala Jones) were said to be leaving. So even though Winter and Hawley may not want to get that particular final scene before audiences, it was clearly a wise move to conceive it in the first place.

After all, fans often need closure when it comes to characters they’ve spent the better part of a decade with. Alexi Hawley is very familiar with this kind of situation, having had The Following get canceled by Fox after the open-ended finale was optimistically created with a renewal in mind. He told TVLine that option isn’t really available on Castle, and that he felt they had to put something together to wrap things up even on the smallest chance that the drama would get canceled.

Now, what about the ending that’s filmed with Season 9 in mind? Here’s what Terence Paul Winter said.
We have one ending, a cliffhanger that we’re really excited about, because we believe in Castle and we believe that ABC will hopefully, hopefully bring us back.

It was also noted that Rick and Kate’s lives will be put in jeopardy, as well as the case, and that the cliffhanger version of the ending would be “very dynamic” and would be crafted with the knowledge that next season might come in a different form. There’s the chance that viewers would get a shorter season with just Nathan Fillion at the head. However it happens, we hope that ABC makes their decision sooner rather than later, so that we know which ending we’re going to get on May 16.

Castle airs Monday nights on ABC.

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