The Twelve Days of Castle: G&G’s Top 12 Castle Scenes of 2014

The last 2014 episode of Castle was December 8th.  For a new episode of Castlewe all have to wait.   Now it is time for holiday cheer, whether that’s Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Happy New Year!  …And that’s the end of my rhyming because I am not a member of the Castle household!  However, one thing I liked in the “Bad Santa” episode was the idea of  the Castle household all summing up the major moments of their past year.  This got me thinking.  What were my favorite moments of Castle in 2014?

Castle and Beckett season six

 There were a total of twenty-two Castle episodes in 2014 – twelve in season six and ten in season seven.  Some episodes – like “Veritas” –  could be listed as one giant great moment in the series, but where’s the challenge in that?  Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and his family tradition of describing a person’s year in a poem limited to six lines was a daunting undertaking for detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic).  As such, I decided to use the twelve days of Christmas model to choose the 12 most significant Castle scenes of 2014. my scene choices.

To do this I went back over all the major moments of those twenty-two episodes via YouTube clips and in some cases I rewatched an episode before deciding if a scene would make the cut or not.  The sad part of this process was discovering that some scenes in season six that I’d loved prior to 6×23 were simply unbearable to watch now.  I had thought Castle and Beckett finally being married would make seeing those scenes a happy memory again – but it didn’t.  When you have an entire season dedicated to a wedding that gets blown apart by a storyline that makes no sense  I guess the reminders are always going to bring back bitter feelings and wondering about the waste.

Still, not every episode focused on the Caskett wedding, and there were many scenes for me to sort through from seasons six and seven.  Keeping this list to 12 was not easy!  I left out some of my favorite moments.  Some of my choices are dramatic, some hilarious. Some are two or three minutes – others under 60 seconds.  Regardless of the overall episode, all of these scenes are epic!  Character-wise they are all insightful and illuminating. Some demonstrate the various sides of the Caskett relationship, others are milestone moments.  All of them remind me why I’ve watched this show for over six years. So, without further ado, here are my twelve favorite Castle scenes of  2014

# 12.
Season 6, episode 16:  “Room 147?  – Beckett and Alexis

Until episode 6 x 23 the worst thing about Castle season six was the “Pi” story arc.  The character was silly, but the havoc caused was serious. (Actually…that’s basically the same problem with 6 x 23….)  It’s the first time Alexis Castle (Molly Quinn) came off as a rich spoiled brat, but somehow, Castle was the bad guy?  Anyway, the silver lining of that story line is that when Alexis finally kicks Pi to the curb there was this truly epic conversation between Beckett and Alexis.

How long had we been wanting Beckett and Alexis to have an honest conversation?  Years! Alexis needs a modern woman’s perspective in her life and Kate is perfect to supply that.  After hating how Alexis had been depicted for most of the season, this was a great way to get her grounded again.  Unfortunately season seven has her acting all wonky again.  Rather than see Alexis acting like she’s her dad’s other wife, how about some more Beckett and Alexis chats about life?  We all know she loves her dad, and he’s done a great job.  However, in terms of how to be a grown woman, having Beckett as around could be the best thing to happen to Alexis Castle.  Alexis’s mother Meredith (Darby Stanchfield) is useless.  As Alexis’s grandmother, Martha Rogers (Susan Sullivan) can be wise, but she’s also an eccentric drama queen who likes her wine.  Not that Beckett needs to be a mom figure – she’s more like…a big sister or mentor.

# 11.
Season 7, episode 4:  “Child’s Play” – Castle and Emily have a tea party

The list of things wrong with “Child’s Play” is not something I’m going to go over again. If you’re interested go back and read the review.  However, there were some great moments scattered through it, and this one topped them all.

This is one of those scenes that sums up everything we love about Richard Castle.  It’s his ability to step into a child’s world, the willingness to become a fairy princess, and at the same time be a sensitive & caring man.  Pink wings never looked so butch! Alexis Castle (Molly Quinn) was one lucky little girl to have a dad like Castle.  It was also good to have Castle’s unorthodox ideas validated by Mrs. Ruiz (   ) as having turned out to have some merit. The only thing that would have made this scene more perfect would be if Beckett got to see it happening.  Beckett watching Castle play princess…maybe they didn’t have her witness this because she’d want to get knocked up immediately? That scene just screams “daddy material!”

Season 7, episode 10. The Last Action Hero – The epic bromance of Ryan and Esposito

Detectives Kevin Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Javier Esposito (Jon Huertas) are my favorite scripted bromance on television.  I don’t know who came up with the term “bromance” but I really think it’s ingenious.  A bromance isn’t hearts and flowers.  These guys have each other’s backs, and hang out all the time, but the sweet talk is filled with putdowns, pranks and joshing – the stuff that men save for their best buddies.  If you’ve ever watched Adam Levine andBlake Sheldon on NBC’s The Voice you know exactly what I’m talking about.

In “The Last Action Hero” the bromance of Esposito and Ryan is done in three short snippets.  It was really hard to pick just one, but I finally settled on this:

Even though this doesn’t feature the Ryan “tagline” gag, I decided this illustrated the Ryespo bromance perfectly.  These two guys are very different.  Esposito is a bit of a Neanderthal about women and Ryan is more politically correct.  (The line about “an archaeologist, again” kills me! Esposito is all about the costume, Ryan’s actually thinking about the role!)

Still, no matter how different Ryan and Esposito are personality-wise, they are completely united about their work.  This is why both of them react similarly to Castle’s idea of getting his poster signed.  The sexy actress is their murder-suspect – you don’t go asking her for favors!

This is why Castle is never completely the third musketeer in terms of Ryan and Esposito.  While each of them embody a Castle characteristic – Esposito has Castle’s immaturity about women and Ryan has Castle’s willingness to believe impossible things – Castle doesn’t have their police background.  That blue-line brotherhood tends to pop up and separate Castle.   It’s a reminder that Castle is a consultant – not a cop.

Season 7, episode 2:  “Montreal” – the final scene

“Montreal” is not a favorite episode of mine.  Nevertheless, this list has two scenes from it.   This one making the list surprised me.  It’s the end scene, or as I like to call it, the message scene where the writers tell the audience to have patience and there will be a wedding in a month.  At the same time, now that Castle and Beckett have gotten married, I can appreciate the performance values of Fillion and Katic.  I also can see a bit more of what the writers were attempting to set up in “Time of Our Lives” – 7 x 06.

One of the complaints about 7 x 06 (there  were a number of them) is that while Kate Beckett is the one who didn’t want to get married, Castle is the one who goes through the alternate reality to get his mind changed.  In watching the end scene of Montreal I realize why that was confusing.  The writing is murky on why Kate doesn’t want to get married because of the line “We’re both not ready. We’re both looking for solid ground.”  However, a closer look at the scene – and Katic’s performance – suggests that’s not really true.

What Beckett hears is that Castle wants to get married so that he can stop feeling guilty.  Who wants to get married because her fiance’ is trying to make something up to her.  Beckett is the one who tells Castle that if he didn’t want to remember there’s a good reason for it.  Katic plays the scene as Beckett trying to comfort Castle.  So when he says that Beckett isn’t ready to marry him, she goes along with it by saying the “We’re both not ready.”  Earlier in the episode we heard her tell Lanie that she was making a choice to believe him so we know that she’s already decided to put her faith in Castle.   What she really needs is for Castle to forgive himself, which brings us back to the idea that she doesn’t want him to marry her out of guilt.  It makes Castle going into the AU for “The Time of Our Lives” a logical choice, but because what sticks in our memory of this scene is Beckett saying they can’t get married yet, on the surface she appears to be the holdup.

I still see Montreal – and this scene – as a being part of a huge reset.  The mythology angles that have created it still don’t make any sense.  However, it’s now easier to forget the illogical circumstances and just take in this intimate loving discussion between Castle and Beckett and understand what story they were building for this forced delayed marriage.  Fillion’s performance in this serious moment is excellent.  Yes, there is a touch of little boy in Castle, but it’s not Castle being childish.  It’s his vulnerability and impatience that evokes sense of a man-child here.  Fillion really let’s the audience see the depths of his guilt, confusion, and sorrow.

Then there’s Katic’s part in the scene.  Not since season five’s “Target” have we seen Beckett being Castle’s rock, but that what’s happening here.  The love in her eyes as she promises her impatient man-child that it’s just going to take time to get past this hurdle is sweet, understanding and supportive.  She knows Castle and what he needs to be the man she was set to marry before things when horribly wrong.  The connection these two actors bring to the Caskett relationship is unparalleled and it’s what we all love to watch.

# 08.
Season 6, episode 17: “In the Belly of the Beast” – Beckett’s Undercover Kill

In the “Belly of the Beast” had a setup problem, but once Beckett was brought in by the bad guys the episode was pure cinema.

While there are many harrowing, brilliantly shot and acted scenes throughout the episode, this one stands out because goes beyond Beckett being brave and badass.  As this unfolded  it made the viewer wonder  if Kate Beckett may have actually killed a man in cold blood.  Sure, 30 seconds later we find out  that she used ketch-up and beet juice and some other stuff , covered the guy with it and had him play dead.  That posed a different set of questions, such as:  how long would it take to make it look like you’d blown a guy’s brains out, and how many people have beet juice in their refrigerator?  Nevertheless, the fact that it could cross our minds that Beckett would have a Breaking Bad moment and kill a man in cold blood just to keep her cover is still one heck of an achievement.

# 07.
Season 7, episode 3:  “Clear and Present Danger” –   Don’t Answer the phone, Beckett!

This is one of those, “The whole darn episode should be a number on the list!” – but I decided to try to pick out extra-favorite scenes.  This is the first one:

I loved how Castle is written in this episode – and this scene displays everything I love about him perfectly.  He’s a witty and sexy guy, but one who’s an unabashed geek that can fully get behind the idea that the devil is their killer.   The back-n-forth theory/bantering is classic Castle – only better because they really are a couple.  More of this side of Rick Castle please!

# 06.
Season 7, episode 3: “Clear and Present Danger” – The Caskett Mind Meld!

What nails this into my  2014 awesome Castle scenes list is the perfect display of the crime-fighting partnership between Castle and Beckett.  In particular, I like how the scene sets Castle up as “the brawn” of the duo.  Beckett is smart, trained in some kind of martial arts, and carries the gun, but Castle is this big, strong man!  The first time I remember them really making use of that fact was in the season four finale – when Castle literally just picks Beckett up and carries her away from Montgomery.

The “mind-meld” comment is great, because it is such a Castle Caskett tradition.  They may approach a situation from opposite perspectives, but they have a knack of reaching the same spark of an idea at the same time.  It’s part of their connection and  it’s a bit of a turn-on.  Recall that earlier in the episode Castle listed making out with Beckett as something he’s really missed.  The grin Beckett gives him in response to missing the mind-melds, is filled with joy, sex and mischief.   Really, the whole crime-fighting catching killers thing is a part of the relationship’s charm for them – and for us watching.

Season 7, episode 7,  “Once Upon a Time in the West”  – “Mr. Beckett”

When this short scene aired “Mr. Beckett” trended on twitter for the rest of the hour!

Castle’s reaction to Beckett’s quip is funny, but the line itself is funnier – because there’s an underlining truth to it.  Castle may be the world-famous author, but he’s the one following Beckett around.  Beckett does usually take the lead in their relationship, just like she usually does the driving. (After 6 x 23, I think we all agree he’s never going to be driving again.) As such,  Kate becoming, “Mrs. Castle” makes about as much sense as “Mr. Beckett” and her saying it points out how odd it would be for her to do so. Being married shouldn’t change “Castle and Beckett” – unless they decide to both change their surname to “Caskett.”

At the same time, the scene cements the idea in that these two really are married!  When Beckett naturally calls the loft, “our place” there was a collective swooning by viewers. (Did you hear it?)  There also was the way the show took a practical approach to the reality of Beckett’s job.  Being married to a millionaire doesn’t change that Beckett is a working woman, and Castle’s total respect of that is admirable.  Figuring out vacation days is a normal situation that married couples have to negotiate all the time – even if the vacation Castle and Beckett are planning is a month on a private island… (I really hope they do that episode.  Beckett and Castle in bathing suits making out by the ocean – likeBurt Lancaster and  Deborah Kerr in From Here To Eternity. (Hey, we all know Castle loves the classics! How could they object? YouTube: From Here to Eternity – beach scene)

 # 04.  07. Season 6, episode 11:  “Under Fire”   Kevin says goodbye to Jenny

“Under Fire” is one of my all-time favorite episodes because of the way it brings all of 12th precinct into the story.  It highlights the bond between this group more than any other episode to date, and this scene really brings everyone watching to tears.

Seamus and Juliana Dever are incredible in this scene! It’s not just that which makes it though. It’s the reactions of Castle, Beckett and Lanie as they watch the conversation, Esposito’s face when he hears Ryan say they will name the child “Javier” if it’s a boy.  These people aren’t just colleagues.  They are the family of the 12th.  While Caskett is definitely the most important part of the show – next in line are the 12th dynamics.  They support Caskett, and create most of the world that we see Castle and Beckett in.

Season 6, episode 22: Veritas – Beckett arrests Bracken

“Veritas” is hands-down the best episode of season six, and arguably the best dramatic episode of the series.  While it’s near impossible to find a scene in 6×22 that isn’t major and epic, the scene that sums up six years of viewers watching the saga of finding and catching the murderer of Beckett’s mother is the one that really says it all.

Gosh, I feel like anything I say about this will be inadequate.  The arrest is a heavy-duty Stana Katic/Kate  Beckett scene.  It’s an Emmy-worthy performance.  I like that Beckett does the arrest alone, but that Castle is outside watching as she comes out with Bracken in handcuffs.  She’s his muse, her observer.  Him watching this part of the story unfold felt appropriate – as does Kate coming over and acknowledging none of this could have happened without him.  Ryan and Esposito are also involved in the scene – another reminder that while this was Beckett’s mom, she really didn’t solve this completely alone.  She had the support of Castle and her 12th family.

Season 7, episode 6: The Time of Our Lives – The Wedding Vows.

Castle and Beckett getting married was more a relief than anything else.  The short clip at the end of “The Time of Our Lives” didn’t leave much room for much more than that.  I still cringe at the green screened sunset whenever a fan video uses the wide group shots of their wedding.  There are however, the wonderful close-ups of Castle and Beckett saying their wedding vows.

Watching Beckett and Castle’s faces as they exchange vows describing what they have been for each other, and what they are promising to be for each other, is the memory I hold dear to my heart.  Katic and Fillion pour everything they’ve got into saying those beautifully written words and you can see how much love and emotion Kate and Rick are feeling as they speak them.

# 01.
Season 7, episode 3: Clear and Present Danger – Castle and Beckett make out

I had to think a long time about this number one spot.  I mean, intellectually, it should be the vows…but I don’t watch the vows over and over again. I love them…but I also cringe every time they cut to Martha and Alexis because I can’t help but feel that Lanie, Esposito and Ryan should be there too. With this scene in “Clear and Present Danger” I feel good about all of it – I loved the whole episode, and the whole scene.

One aspect about this scene that’s great is that Castle and Beckett are so happy, playful and into each other! We haven’t had that energy from them in a while. The fact that they actually get some follow through on all the near-misses of kisses that had occurred earlier is a big accomplishment – for Castle. Hopefully going forward our happily married and in love couple will have more moments to express their passionate connection physically. The constant near-misses stopped being funny a long time ago!

Then there’s that whole zombie apocalypses camp thing.  Castle does make nerdy sexy – as does Nathan Fillion.  The triple layered meaning is one of those totally meta moment that Castle does so well.  Then when Martha walks into the trap, it’s the icing on this classic Castle cake.

The vows are gorgeous, but they’re the one perfect snippet of a scene I had higher expectations for.  I do love the vows – because they say what Castle and Beckett have been for each other over the years.  However, this scene with Castle and Beckett shows much of who they are as a couple.  At the end of the day I decided actions speak louder than words, and it wins as my favorite scene from Castle 2014.

Making this list was a lot of fun! There were so many other moments I loved too – I could have done a list of 30 or 40. (I’m sure you’ve got a couple you’d might like to add in.  Feel free to leave your top 12 in the comments.)  It was a great reminder that despite some issues in this season, there is still so much to love about Castle!  Let’s toast to 2015 giving us much more of the stellar Castlescenes we love!  (The show returns from hiatus on January 12th!)