Can you hear the wedding bells starting to chime, fellow Castle fans?
On Monday night, after waiting what’s felt like forever, Castle and Beckett are finally tying the knot, so this seemed like as good a reason as any to reflect back on my favorite moments in their relationship over the last seven seasons. (I did the same for Leslie and Ben right before their perfect Parks and Recreation wedding a couple of years ago.)
Castle and Beckett’s love story is a story of two adults who have learned that nothing worth having comes easily. Happy endings aren’t given away; they’re things we have to fight for, things we have to choose even when we fear we’re not deserving of happiness because we’re too broken, too scared, or too used to being alone. Watching these two characters choose happiness with each other and choose to fight for that happiness whenever it’s been threatened has been nothing short of inspiring. We’ve already seen them choose to be with each other for better or worse; they’ve been promising each other “Always” since Season Three. This wedding is just icing on a lovely cake we’ve watched come together over the years.
Castle has always been, at its heart, a love story. And what an extraordinary love story it is. Without further ado, here are my 10 favorite moments in the relationship between Castle and Beckett (so far). Join the fun and share your favorites with us in the comments!
1. “I’ve gotten used to you pulling my pigtails…” (2.13: Sucker Punch)
This was the moment I went from liking Castle to loving it with the passion I still have today. This was the moment it became my favorite show on television. And it was all because this was the moment I went from enjoying the dynamic between Castle and Beckett to being moved to tears by that dynamic. I could write entire posts about this scene (In fact, I have.), but I’ll keep it short this time around. Castle showing up with every kind of food known to man just to make Beckett feel better is still one of the most realistically romantic gestures I’ve ever seen on television. It took my breath away then, and it continues to do so even now. And for all of the grand speeches and revelations these two have shared, I still think Beckett telling Castle that she’s gotten used to him pulling her pigtails is one of the most important. It was the first time she told him what he meant to her, and I will never forget how blindsided I was by the simple beauty of that moment.
2. “I just want you…” (4.23: Always)
If you want the very definition of an earned moment or emotional payoff, look no further than this scene. After years of dancing around each other and an entire season of Beckett hiding from the truth, all of the tension finally exploded with a love scene audiences had been waiting four long years to see. This scene worked because a thousand details came together in a way that allowed viewers to find something new to love each time they watched it: the beautiful score by Robert Duncan, the way Stana Katic shows Beckett’s knees literally going weak at one point, the emotional resonance of Beckett letting Castle touch the scar on her chest…And it all culminated in that perfect shot of them holding each other’s hand and each other’s gaze, walking into their future together.
3. “Every day I bring you a cup of coffee…” (4.23: Always)
Nathan Fillion has had plenty of great moments on Castle, but I still think this is his best work on the show to date. The incredible, unforced emotion in this monologue is pure brilliance. (I get goosebumps every time I watch him say “I’m right here!”) Every part of this scene is perfect, but I have a particular fondness for the moment when he tells her exactly why he brings her the coffee that had become such an important symbol for their relationship on the show. Watching him try so hard not to cry as he told the woman he loves that he just wants to make her smile every day made me weep then and still makes me an emotional wreck now. If ever there was a moment to say “I want someone to love me like Castle loves Beckett,” it was this moment.
4. “Until tomorrow…” (1.05: A Chill Goes Through Her Veins)
Every character needs a good backstory, and every relationship needs a good foundation. This scene gave us both, as Beckett shared with Castle the story behind her mother’s murder and her father’s alcoholism (and recovery) for the first time. I have a personal soft spot for quiet moments of emotional intimacy between these characters, where Beckett chooses to let Castle see parts of her she tries to hide from the world, and this was the first of those moments. Both Fillion and Katic treated this scene with the reverence and gentle touch necessary to make it resonate with viewers. And I’m not sure it gets more romantic than Fillion’s voice when he tells Beckett “Until tomorrow…” and his face as she walks away. In that moment, we were shown a man falling in love with a woman for her depth and her strength, which was necessary to set the stage for this relationship to be something built on more than just sexual tension.
5. The first “Always…” (3.13: Knockdown)
For most people “Knockdown” will always be known for giving us Castle and Beckett’s first kiss. But for me, this episode will always be known for giving us the first “Always.” When Castle told Beckett that he would always have her back, it meant more than any kiss. This was a man who didn’t seem to have a good history with committed relationships promising a woman that he would always be there for her, and doing it in a way that made us (and Beckett) believe him. It was huge character moment for Richard Castle, and it happened in a scene that was filled with the kind of soft intimacy that showcases Fillion and Katic’s chemistry better than any big, romantic moment.
6. “That’s what makes you extraordinary…” (1.10: A Death in the Family)
This was another one of those moments that took my breath away when I first watched it, and it solidified my opinion of Fillion as the kind of actor who could make my heart ache with the honesty and sincerity he gives to all of Castle’s most romantic lines. This little speech was so important because it was Castle pointing out that what he found extraordinary about Beckett was the very essence of who she is as a woman—her determination. Castle has always seen who Beckett is underneath her walls and has always found that woman extraordinary, and this was the first moment when he made that clear to her.
7. “I am glad to know this about you…” (3.18: Once Life to Lose)
If you’ve been around this website for even a little bit of time, you probably know that one of my core beliefs is that we share so much of who we are when we talk about the media that we hold closest to our hearts. This scene speaks to that belief like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Watching Beckett explain to Castle why soap operas matter to her was like watching her open up an entirely new and vulnerable part of her heart to him. Her smile when she described watching television on sick days with her mom was stunning, and it was a beautiful moment of total openness between a woman learning how to remember the good times in a sad past and a man who adores hearing whatever small details he’s given about the things that have made her who she is.
8. “I know you do…” (3.06: 3XK)
There’s something special about the first time you hold someone’s hand, and I love that Castle made the first time Castle and Beckett held hands feel like the big moment that it was. I remember freaking out when I saw this scene, and that’s always the sign of a great TV couple—when just holding hands is enough to send fans into an emotional tailspin.
9. “We can’t give up…” (6.23: For Better Or Worse)
One of the best things about Castle and Beckett’s relationship once they got together was their stability and maturity. This was a relationship between adults, two people who understood that life isn’t always easy but were willing to go through even the toughest times together because they knew that once they got together, it was forever. This scene took that maturity to the next level by showing both of them come to terms with a hard truth: There is no happily ever after. The best love stories are filled with moments where happiness seems far away, but the strongest couples are the ones who acknowledge that there will be tough times but they can’t ever use those as an excuse to give up. Love doesn’t solve every problem, but it makes it easier to fight through challenges because you have someone to fight alongside you. That’s a very important truth that doesn’t get said enough, and I’m proud of these writers for having the courage to say it.
10. “You have no idea…” (1.01: Flowers For Your Grave)
This is the moment that started it all. It’s impossible to watch this now without a smile, knowing how far these characters have come. As fans, we’ve gone from watching Beckett walk away from Castle to getting ready to watch her walk down the aisle towards him. And you can bet he’ll still be watching her walk with the same awestruck expression he wore that first time.