In the world of mystery-writer Richard Castle and Detective Kate Beckett, murder is an everyday occurrence that they take in stride. But things take a decidedly different turn in the upcoming episode “The Blue Butterfly” as the team investigates a double-homicide, one of which is decades old. Stepping into the shoes of the players of another era, the cast of CASTLE gets to dance through a time when blues, torch-singers, and gangsters were all the rage. It is a chance to playfully explore homicide on the lighter-side before tackling the darker-side once again as another serial killer places them in the crosshairs in the upcoming two-parter episodes “Pandora” and “Linchpin,” which air February 13th and 20th. Taking a few minutes to chat in an exclusive phone interview, co-star Tamala Jones, who plays medical examiner Dr. Lanie Parish, shared her insights on the fun they had bringing “The Blue Butterfly” episode to life, where the Lanie/Esposito relationship may be headed, and what to expect as yet another serial killer comes to town.
It looks like in the noir episode that the entire cast is having the time of their lives working in that kind of environment. Do you want to talk about what it was like working on “The Blue Butterfly”?
TAMALA: That is my favorite episode that I’ve worked on in CASTLE. I have so many favorite episodes, but this season, I would say “The Blue Butterfly” is it. It’s so cool how they are studying the case– it happened in 1947 — and they end up uncovering another homicide on top of the one they are looking at, which is about a treasure hunter. What I love about it is that all of us get to play these characters in flashback scenes — to uncover what is going on, as one homicide is related to another one — which then uncovers something more. I don’t want to say too much about that, but it’s really good. The clothes and the acting — everyone really came together. Not that we don’t always, but you can see the passion from the cast, the crew, the writers — I mean, everyone’s really excited and hoping you guys love this episode.
From the previews, it looks like you’re playing a “torch singer.” Can you talk about what it was like to sing in front of everybody?
TAMALA: Oh my gosh, well, I can tell you this. I was nervous at first, but as the night went on it was second-nature to me. I just really enjoyed myself and I tried to embody as much of Billie Holiday as I could. So I hope that rings when you guys see it.
Is that going to trickle into future episodes where we might see Lanie singing around the morgue?
TAMALA: No, I think it was just for that character, and her name was Betsy.
Are we going to find out Betsy’s story?
TAMALA: Yes, she’s part of the actual investigation. I think she comes in on the 2nd homicide ’cause as we’re studying the treasure hunter, another murder that was never solved comes up. So it’s like a double homicide that we’re investigating in “The Blue Butterfly.” In fact, in this episode Seamus does a wonderful job. He plays an Irish hitman and he is amazing. Jon is amazing as well, he plays a Puerto Rican guy. He’s like a mirror, but only in 1947, which is where you’re seeing all this. We’re definitely playing different characters. It’s really fun. I really hope you guys like it!
So everybody is dying to hear about not just the upcoming noir episode “The Blue Butterfly,” but the upcoming two-parter where things look like they take a very dark turn. Can you talk or tease about those two episodes?
TAMALA: Well, I don’t want to give away too much. But I can tell you that it is possible that we could have another serial killer. I don’t want to tell you everything because you need to be there. If I tell you, it’s going to ruin it. But it’s action-packed and it’s mysterious, more mysterious than any CASTLE episode so far. One thing I really love when they do these is — that while this show already digs up so much mystery — but in this they take it even deeper. Everyone watches CASTLE and they think they know what’s going to happen, but this two-parter is really going to have your brain going. I don’t want to say too much, but it’s something. You’re gonna love it!
When there are these types of serial killer type episodes, because those haunt you a little bit, do those have more of an emotional impact on Lanie in her job or does she just take it in stride?
TAMALA: First of all, I think it has an emotional impact on her, but I think she covers it up by taking it in stride. Her thing is — and I believe this is the way she is written — “Just go get him. Whoever it is, let’s get these guys off the street and what can I do to help?” I think she’s balanced in her emotions that way.
So those types of crimes aren’t going to haunt her and make her creeped out and want to go buy a gun to take home with her?
TAMALA: I think think Lanie has a gun already. I think we just don’t know that yet. I even tried to pitch that storyline to Andrew. It’s a little too late, but I wanted to do it around when Beckett was shot. Like maybe she was upset about what happened, and then one night she’s out with Beckett and Beckett freezes up and Lanie pulls out her gun, and everyone’s like, “What’s she doing with that?” Then next thing we know, she’s at the shooting range. [Laughs]
As a last teaser, it appeared at the wedding that everyone attended for Jenny and for Kevin that perhaps there might be something residual still going on with Lanie and Esposito. Do you want to comment on whether Lanie feels ready to move on or whether she might want to give him a second chance?
TAMALA: I would love to see Lanie and Esposito get together! It’s really romantic, but the truth is, I don’t know what those writers are thinking right now. Andrew is very ninja-like when it comes to the writing. So we never know until we get the script what’s going on. But I personally would love to see it. I couldn’t tell you which way I thought they were going, ’cause I would be lying ’cause I don’t know! [Laughs] But they’re cute. I think that might be a nice segue into a Lanie-centric episode which a lot of fans have been asking for a while. To see why Lanie feels that way about relationships or why she’s so closed off. I don’t know. But they’re brilliant and amazing and I’m sure they’ll come up with something that you guys and I will really enjoy.
To see Tamala as the lovely torch singer Betsy and all our other favorite CASTLE characters living it up in the 1940’s, be sure to tune in for “The Blue Butterfly” on Monday, February 6th at 10 p.m. on ABC. Catch up with past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv.
Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to TheTVaddict.com. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).