Next week, TV's hottest primetime couple will spend their very first Christmas together in Castle Season 5, Episode 9: "Secret Santa." While the mysterious murder of a man dressed as Kris Kringle challenges Castle and Beckett's crime-solving skills, it's the stressful nature of the holidays that puts their relationship to the test.

Will the festivities bring yuletide bliss for the mystery writer and his detective muse? Read on for more info about Caskett's first Christmas — and how long-awaited episode finally came to fruition — in Wetpaint Entertainment's exclusive interview with show creator Andrew Marlowe.

Wetpaint Entertainment: Why Christmas for the first time, now?

Marlowe: Well, we tried to do it in past years, but the timing didn't work out. We were going to do a Christmas episode last year, and they pulled our last episode into November. And it felt a little weird to me to do a Christmas episode a month in advance. So we decided to do “Cuffed” instead which was a lot of fun. And then, ironically, they pushed us back into December. So we should have done a really fun Christmas episode last year. But, because of scheduling changes, we didn't.

And this year, it feels like it has its own kind of special quality to it. But because it's going to be the first year that Castle and Beckett are together, it makes sense for them to spend the holiday together. But do they get to? What comes up? How are they challenged? How do the traditions between the two of them clash? That's all really fun stuff that we deal with.

Are there surprises in having the two of them together? Is it progressing the way you thought it would, or are you finding new things?

I think it's progressing the way that we had hoped. We feel very good about our run of shows. We felt really good about what we did in the Hamptons episode. We felt really good about what we did in the 3XK episode in terms of making it a challenge to the relationship, but also a way to define it as them moving beyond certain things that they were worried about and opening themselves into new territory. 

And then I think that we have some fun stuff coming up, and I think in any situation like this, we're put in a position where we're looking at the footage. We're looking at what we're doing, and we're feeling our way through a little bit. But in terms of the broad strokes of what we hoped, I think we're right in the strike zone.

What's going on with Esposito and Lanie?

Well, we touch on that in the Christmas episode. I think Esposito is a little bit at sea in terms of what to do with himself now that everybody's in a relationship. And he's trying to be the swinging single guy, and it doesn't necessarily work out for him. But for the Esplanie fans who have lost all hope, just watch the show, we'll touch on those things as we move forward. But if everybody was in a relationship, it would be boring.

Castle Season 5, Episode 9: "Secret Santa" airs on Monday, Dec. 3 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.


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