Four years in the making, through tricky timing, life-or-death cases, and the steady build-up of sexual tension that could be cut with a knife, ABC's Richard Castle and Kate Beckett finally sealed their relationship on Castle last season. He's the famous writer; she's the sharp detective. Together, they have progressed from annoyance with to tolerance of each other, from bickering to a grudging respect, on to a reluctant friendship and increasingly heated flirtation, and now to lovers. Even better, instead of a plot point or instant gratification, they are all in for a real relationship.
Castle: Beckett, what do you want?
Beckett: You. I’m so sorry, Castle. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.
Castle: What happened?
Beckett: He got away, and I didn’t care. I almost died, and all I could think about was you. I just want you.
With Castle and Beckett, it was never a question of “Will they, or won't they?” It was just a matter of when, and their union was raw, passionate, and reverent to all their years of waiting. Coming off such a high point, it could have been easy for the show to lose its momentum or revert to tired contrivances to keep Castle and Beckett apart.
But this season has already seen a resurgence of Beckett's mother's unsolved murder case, central to the show, as well as the return of another serial killer, heightening the emotion and urgency behind these episodes. And what's really remarkable is how quickly Castle and Beckett have come to need each other in a much deeper way. They seem to be growing stronger and stronger as a unit—one week going for a romantic weekend in the Hamptons, and the next standing together when Castle is framed for murder.
Even as the evidence keeps piling up against him and then makes it appear Castle has been unfaithful to her, Beckett's belief in his innocence and fidelity never wavers. In fact, they are now reading each other's subtle hints and speaking in their own private code.
Their new relationship has stayed fresh by trying to keep it a secret from friends and co-workers. Innuendo has a deeper meaning now, and they get a sexual rush from breaks in their cases, adding a whole new dynamic to their crime-solving.
Castle: You are so going to owe me for this.
Beckett: Castle, I don't know if the department's gonna be able to reimburse you for all of this.
Castle: That's not the owing I mean.
Castle and Beckett still have their perfectly-timed banter, but it's made richer by the fact that they are each letting the other one in. Closed-off Kate is finally opening up her most private memories and feelings to Castle, and he can finally be serious when it comes to her and how he feels about her. He softens her, and she gives him purpose and meaning. None of what they've had together throughout the series is lost with the evolution of their romance; it's just become more rewarding to see them in this new stage.
Castle: The good news is they're completely fooled about us.
Beckett: Yeah, well, I don't understand why they even care.
Castle: Eh, why do people care about Brangelina?
Beckett: Oh, so we're Brangelina now?
Castle: No, no, no. We're Rickate. No, we're Kateic.
Castle: Caskett? Ooh, that's good, 'cause of the whole murder thing. Caskett.
After only a few weeks, it's as though Castle and Beckett have been together for years, complete with their own couple name, which is just as it should be.
Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.