The Panel: Most of the Castle group was on hand: Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Tamala Jones, Molly Quinn, creator Andrew Marlowe, and one of the executive producers, Laurie Zaks. TV Guide’s Will Keck moderated.
What We Saw: All kinds of video footage: a sneak peek at the Season 3 premiere (Castle gets arrested!), a tour of the morgue with Ryan and Esposito, a message from Castle himself during his stay in the Hamptons, and a faux trailer for the Heat Wave movie.
What They Talked About: The Castle-Beckett URST was the primary topic of conversation—Jones believes that Beckett “has come to the realization that she digs Castle,” Dever made an interesting point about how the relationship mirrors how real people make mistakes and miss opportunities, and Katic thinks that the two of them are secretly “already married.” Fillion and Katic also read a very suggestive passage from Castle’s book Heat Wave. But there was also some talk of Firefly references, the bromance between Esposito and Ryan, and Molly Quinn’s maturity. I also liked the discussion of Beckett’s complexity—Katic mentioned that she’s got a “female superhero quality,” and Marlowe added, “She’s not actually proving herself. She just is.”
Most Valuable Panelist: Nathan Fillion. Who else could have gotten away with making a ton of references to “Double Rainbow,” giving away a jar of his eyebrow hairs, signing a package of Oreos, and dropping an ice cube down his shirt? (Mad props to Molly Quinn, though, who actually embraced the spirit of Comic-Con and dressed up in FULL Star Trek attire.)
Best Question from the Audience: I’m going to give this one to the little boy who dressed up exactly like Captain Mal and went straight up to the panel to shake Fillion’s hand. He couldn’t have been more than four years old, he didn’t even ask a question, and he won over Fillion and the entire audience.
Missing In Action: Martha Rodgers, a.k.a. Castle’s mom, a.k.a. the elegant Susan Sullivan. And Capt. Roy Montgomery, a.k.a. Ruben Santiago-Hudson.
Most Exciting News: For starters, Marlowe agreed to do a musical episode if the show makes it to a fourth or fifth season. And he and Fillion also issued a challenge to Neil Patrick Harris to come on the show. Game on! In other news, Alexis will start dating this season, Beckett will make progress on (but not solve) the case of her mother’s murder, Esposito and Lainie will get somethin’ goin’, we’ll (hopefully) meet Chet, and Fillion is going to get to work with an actress that he loves. He kept repeating the word “love,” leading me to speculate that it’s Jennifer Love Hewitt, but that’s just a guess.
Quotables: Well, that whole Heat Wave reading was one big quote in and of itself, as was basically everything Fillion said. But the rest of his panel-mates unearthed a few gems, too. Regarding the stunt-corpses, Jones said, “I actually flirt with the guys laying on the slab!” And after Dever tried to explain that Esposito and Ryan were just really good friends, Huertas said, “You are digging a deep hole.” The best one probably came from Quinn, though. One audience member asked the cast how they get anything done on set, and the 16-year-old responded, “It’s hard being the only adult on the show.”
But Wait, There’s More! Nathan Fillion wants Christopher Walken to play Castle’s father, if we ever get to meet him. Fillion also talked about how he got into acting—he said that the class clown was absent one day, so he filled in... and has been hooked on entertaining people ever since. Katic got to brag about a prank she played on Dever: She and the crew set him up to think that he was going to do a striptease scene. And everyone revealed some of their favorite books: Fillion’s are Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and World War Z, Quinn’s are Mortal Instruments and Lord of the Rings, Dever likes the Ripley series, Esposito mentioned a book called Living La Vida Loca, and Katic loves The Master and Margarita.
The Big Picture: Probably the best panel I attended overall. Very entertaining, very informative, very engaging. Bravo, Castle!
Follow TV.com writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom