WARNING: Spoilers ahead!
Spanning eight seasons and 173 episodes, ABC’s procedural drama Castle still remains a fan favorite series even two years after its cancellation and (botched) series finale.
From the series premiere “Flowers for Your Grave,” the chemistry between Nathan Fillion’s award-winning mystery writer Richard Castle and Stana Katic’s no-nonsense NYPD homicide detective Kate Beckett was undeniable, and the love story between them kept fans captivated for eight years, through the awkward will they-won’t they, through their steamy dating phase and into their marriage (made rocky by some questionable writing choices). Fans loved to love this couple, enjoying the pair’s witty repartee as much as their sweet moments.
Let’s take a look back at some of Caskett’s sweetest, funniest, sometimes most bittersweet moments on their roller coaster journey, just in time for Valentine’s Day:
“Knockdown”, season 3, episode 13
At its heart, Castle has always been about the love story between Castle and Beckett, and at this point, they’d spent two-and-a-half seasons swimming in romantic tension, missed opportunities, and pining. You could hear the roar of fans going “FINALLY” when Castle and Beckett locked lips for the first time onscreen….too bad it was for a case. But it did open up a door that couldn’t be closed again. After this kiss, Castle spent the rest of season 3 wrestling with his feelings for Beckett, finally admitting his love for her in the heart-stopping season finale.
“Always”, season 4, episode 23
The dam finally breaks for Beckett in the season four finale “Always.” Season four’s main arc was Beckett dealing with the aftermath of her near-death at the end of season three, and Castle’s admission of love which she wasn’t ready to face yet. She spends most of season four hiding the fact that she remembered Castle’s admission, only for him to find out in the worst possible way and blow up at her over it. But as stubborn as she is, it takes her dangling off the side of an apartment building (our girl KBex is nothing if not a little reckless sometimes) for her to realize that she can’t and doesn’t want to do this alone anymore. She shows up to Castle’s apartment and admits what every Caskett shipper has been waiting for since episode one: “I just want you.” One steamy kiss and Caskett becomes a reality.
“Reality Star Struck”, season 5, episode 14
It’s appropriate to include a Valentine’s Day Castle episode in this list and even moreso because this one marked a significant turning point in Castle and Beckett’s relationship. Up until this point, they had been definitely enjoying the honeymoon phase and all its advantages, but in Beckett’s gift of an empty drawer for Castle in her apartment, she demonstrates that she’s ready to trust him (even more than she already has) and doesn’t see this as a fleeting fling (unlike her previous boyfriends). She sees them as in it for the long haul, and thankfully, after some brief confusion, Castle recognizes this gift for the emotional weight it carries. This is also gift-related hilarity in this episode as Castle mistakenly gives Beckett’s Valentine’s Day gift to Captain Victoria Gates (Penny Johnson Jerald), who up until this point is unaware of the pair’s romantic relationship.
“Watershed”, season 5, episode 23/”Valkyrie”, season 6, episode 1
The end of season five marked another turning point for Caskett, as Beckett is at one of her professional crossroads. She’s been offered a job with the Attorney General’s office in Washington DC, having caught their eye during a previous case. Sure that Beckett is going to take the job (because it would be an amazing opportunity for her), Castle comes to their meeting spot with a very important question and a rather sparkly piece of jewelry. Unfortunately, the season ended before Beckett gave her answer, which was frustrating, even though given the previous season and the progression of their relationship, you were pretty sure she was going to say yes. (Which she did). The moment when she accepts the proposal is adorable and sweet, as only Caskett can be, which makes their separation as Beckett goes to Washington hurt all the more, for both Castle and viewers.
“The Time of Our Lives”, season 7, episode 6
This was the moment that seven seasons had really been leading up to: the wedding. Their first attempt at getting hitched had been aborted when Castle went missing on their wedding day at the end of season six (cause a wedding and all its drama wasn’t dramatic enough) and the beginning of season seven was spent with Castle trying to regain his memories of the two months he’d been missing and Beckett helping him while dealing with her own traumas from those months. This was easily one of the weirdest episodes (and Castle has had plenty of weird) as the basis of the episode was sending Castle to a parallel universe where he and Beckett never met as an impetus for him to push forward with the wedding. It wasn’t the big lavish wedding they’d been planning with Beckett’s fancy dress and all their friends and family; it was small and intimate with just Beckett’s dad Jim (Scott Paulin) and Castle’s mother Martha (Susan Sullivan) and daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn) in attendance, and somehow that was more them than anything. The sweetness of the moment and the collective awww as they share their first dance almost make up for the weird matte-painting-like backdrop behind the wedding. Finally they were Mr. and Mrs. Castle and ready to navigate the next adventure in their relationship and fans were ready to go along for the ride.
“The Good, the Bad and the Baby”, season 6, episode 10
After Castle and Beckett became Caskett and started getting more serious, there was talk of Caskett babies (which turned out to be just as cute as you imagine them to be, which makes the series finale all that more frustrating). One episode that centered on the idea was “The Good, the Bad and the Baby” when Castle and Beckett are tasked with looking after Baby Cosmo, a witness found in a church when a man stumbled in with him and died at the pulpit. Castle is instantly enamoured with the child, remembering the days when he had to play Mr. Mom for Alexis while his first wife Meredith (Scandal’s Darby Stanchfield) was pursuing her acting career, while Beckett is a little more cautious and unsure, as she hasn’t had much experience with babies. In the midst is Detective Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) who is getting ready to have a baby with his wife Jenny (played by Dever’s real-life wife Juliana). There’s so many sweet Caskett + baby moments in this episode that you just want them to hurry up and have a kid already.
“Tick, Tick, Tick…/Boom”, season 2, episodes 17 and 18
I argue that these episodes, when Beckett is facing real consequences for being Castle’s muse and the inspiration behind Nikki Heat, are when their relationship turns from merely work partners to possibly seeing each other in another light. As mentioned in a previous article, fans sometimes point to the scene where Beckett lets Castle sleep over in her apartment as the start of a shift between the two of them and of Beckett’s walls are starting to come down in regards to Castle. There’s an easier give-and-take during the breakfast scene, one more between friends and trusted partners rather than forced colleagues. This two-parter gives Beckett another chance to take stock of what this partnership is about for her, a chance admittedly cut short by the discovery of another body right on her front stoop.
“Still”, season 5, episode 22
This episode is what is typically known as a “clip show” episode, where they just flip through moments in previous episodes with a thin through-line plot around them. Beckett, while on a routine investigation, accidentally trips a sensor on a bomb, forcing her to remain completely still until Ryan and his partner Detective Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas) find the person who can disarm it. Castle stays to keep Beckett calm and distract her from the situation, triggering the clip show with an argument of who fell for who first. This episode, despite having a thin plot, was a fun look back over the evolution of Caskett up to this point, and how they got to it was very them as well. The end of the episode reveals that Captain Gates knew about their relationship, which removes the last “hurdle” to them being them. This episode also serves as another example of how devoted Castle is to Beckett, as he is willing to stay and keep her company knowing that one slight move could blow them both to pieces.