"Castle" and the ABC series' on-the-outs couple have settled into a bit of a routine in Season 8. Each week, an eager-to-please Castle (Nathan Fillion) rears his head into another murder case, despite the objections of his estranged wife (Stana Katic), who is off working on a mysterious side project involving her mother's murder and a dangerous drug ring. Each week Castle manages to solve the case and each week Beckett still rebuffs her lovesick husband. When will it end? Well, an upcoming scheduling conflict might reveal the answer.
TVLine reports that Stana Katic will be almost entirely absent from an upcoming episode (she may be in one scene). The site speculates that the actress had an out for the episode written into her contract and that the reason -- ABC declined to comment -- is Katic's appearance at Milan's fashion week festivities, which took place in late September while the show would have been still filming.
While that is an entirely plausible real-world explanation for Katic's absence, fans of "Castle" will be much more interested in what fictional reasons the show's writers will devise to explain Beckett's lack of screen time. TVLine predicts the Nov. 9 episode to be the hour in question, which would be the show's midseason finale! The show will likely employ more than a silly gimmick to explain Beckett's absence in such an important episode. Will it be a turning point in the Castle/Beckett separation? After all, the show has a habit of having one of its leads go missing at key points in their relationship -- see the Season 7 and Season 8 premieres. Whatever the reason, it will not be an episode viewers will want to miss.
In the meantime. the routine continues! The synopsis for episode 5, "The Nose," reveals that a priceless work of art will be stolen and the crime will leave a man dead. Castle will be on the case and will have to rely on the only witness for help, a woman played by guest star Stephnie Weir ("The Comedians") who claims she can, quite literally, sniff out the murderer. Plus, the promo for the episode reveals she believes she can smell Beckett's still-very-intense attraction to Castle as well.
Watch the promo for episode 5 below:
Will Castle ever win Beckett back? Fans will have to wait to find out. "Castle" airs Mondays at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC.