ABC’s Castle has had a lot of fun of late with some comedic beats for Detective Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever). The situation of trying to have a baby itself isn’t funny, but the reactions by those with whom he shares a precinct have been. Castle is known for infusing such ribbing and banter wherever and whenever it can, to lighten up an otherwise serious, scary situation, and what we have seen thus far this season for Ryan may just be a way to ease into a very intense episode, “The Wild Rover.”
“This episode is typical as a Castle episode in that there’s a lot of stuff we get to laugh at in the first ten minutes, and then things get really serious,” Dever said to LA TV Insider Examiner today.
“The whole episode is a great opportunity to delve into Ryan’s past and to hopefully learn exponentially more than what we’ve known about Ryan in the last 99 episodes. We get to learn a lot about the stuff that he was quiet about.”
Dever shared that he was always hoping to get to learn more about Ryan, and that he had secrets he was keeping quiet not because he was shady but because he didn’t feel the need to worry those in his life now. He sat down with Terence Paul Winter, who ended up writing this episode, three years ago to brainstorm some potential pasts for Ryan that would actually surprise fans. The element of surprise was what Dever wanted to instill most.
“It’s all the things that Ryan has done or can do but has just never shared it because he’s not like Castle, who talks about everything!” Dever said.
“A lot of the stuff was Ryan trying to forget and move on because there were a lot of crappy people and a lot of scummy things that he had to do, and he doesn’t want to revisit those old war stories. Basically, the past comes to slap him in the face in the precinct [in “The Wild Rover”]. It gets kind of dark!”
This is an opportunity to also see more of Ryan’s life at home. His wife Jenny (Juliana Dever) has no idea the man Ryan used to be, and that would cause a problem in any relationship (his reasoning? “He didn’t want to scare her with all of his old stories of the times he almost died!” Dever said). But enter Siobhan (Cara Buono), a bartender with whom Ryan also has a complicated past, and who Jenny spies kissing her husband, and things will get even more dicey.
“'Who is this woman? Are you going back to this life? Are you going to hook up with her when you’re over there? Are you going to be killed?' All of these things sends her sort of spiraling without a lot of answers,” Dever said.
After the case into a man found dead in an industrial bakery mixer hits a dead end, Ryan goes back undercover to get some answers, and that could bring the people in his present into harm’s way.
“Ryan has to make amends. He has to help a person who was in his past who helped him out a lot, but he also has to finish the job…and that’s very confusing for Jenny because he can’t give her the answers. He can’t promise he’s going to be out of harm’s way. He’s basically going back into the fire to be challenged,” Dever said.
“Can he do the right thing? He gets tested…and I think he comes out a stronger person for it.”
He also may come out a slightly more focused detective. Though Ryan is usually “on the Castle ride,” when Castle (Nathan Fillion) is holed up at home with a bum leg and thinks he sees a murder in a very Rear Window-eque 100th episode entitled “The Lives of Others,” Ryan actually has a different reaction than normal:
“He’s annoyed by the fact that ‘Okay, we’re trying to solve this other murder, Castle, and you keep having us go over here. Is this a wild goose chase or is this for real? We weren’t there; you don’t have any proof!’” Dever said.
“But the real truth out there hits a little bit closer to home.”
However, this reaction from Ryan doesn’t mean he has been so hardened by his re-entry into undercover work that he is forever changed, per Dever:
“Ryan very happily goes back to being the good cop that he was—very open and sensitive and funny,” Dever said.
“He’s not having an identity crisis; he’s not about to turn into some dick!”
Castle airs on ABC on Monday nights at 10 p.m. “The Wild Rover” airs on March 25 2013 and “The Lives of Others” airs on April 1 2013.
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