Ah, 2012. It was a fantastic year for “Castle” all around, if I do say so myself. So many things happened. Ryan and Jenny got married, Castle and Beckett got together, Alexis is off to college, the man behind Johanna Beckett’s murder was revealed, and we finally got our Christmas episode. There were so many wonderful scenes to choose from for my picks for this year’s “Best Of” moments, which only goes to show how blessed this fandom is. I’m certainly a happy camper after the past year of the show. How about you all?
Without further ado, here we go!
Best Dramatic Moment – 5×01 “After the Storm” – Beckett confronts Senator Bracken
They’ve finally got a name for the man behind it all, and yet they can’t do a damn thing about it. Or can they? What initially looks like an assassination attempt on Beckett’s part quickly turns into quite possibly one of my most favorite Kate Beckett moments in the history of the show: “Whoever it is you think I am, whatever it is you think you know about me, you have no idea what I’m capable of or how far I will go. I am done being afraid. It’s your turn now.” And bam, she pistol whips him. Oh, Beckett. This is why you are my favorite. That entire scene was flawless. Loved every bit of it.
Runners-up: 4×23 “Always” – Beckett hanging off the roof, 5×05 “Probable Cause” – Beckett and Castle shoot 3XK
Best Comedic Moment – 5×06 “The Final Frontier” – Beckett’s creaver outfit
When I watched the screener for “The Final Frontier”, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I rewatched this scene. The slow reveal, Castle’s giddy anticipation on the bed and then whoa. Creaver mask! And to find out later that it was all improvisation on behalf of Stana Katic? Simply the best. I thought the ending to this episode was hysterical, and it gets my vote as the most comedic “Castle” moment, hands down.
Runners-up: 5×01 “After the Storm” – The morning after, 4×22 “Undead Again” – ‘Castle, call for backup!!!’
Best Romantic Moment – 5×04 “Murder, He Wrote” – Hamptons Heat
Last year, I gave this one to Ryan’s proposal to Jenny in episode “Nikki Heat”. This time around, I’m giving it to Castle and the real Nikki Heat, with gratitude. I absolutely loved the end scene with Beckett suggesting an ending to a potential “Hamptons Heat” book. It was intimate, sexy, and so very them. For the girl who once threatened to break his legs if he called her his muse, and was mortified of being attached to the name Nikki Heat in the beginning, this episode further solidified their progression into a romantic relationship and definitely proved how much these two adore one another.
Runners-up: 5×02 “Cloudy With a Chance of Murder” – Opening scene, 5×09 “Secret Santa” – Caskett kiss by the Christmas tree
Best Inspirational Moment – 5×06 The Final Frontier – Beckett’s speech about Nebula 9
This was one of those scenes that I was definitely not expecting from such a quirky, geeky little episode, but it totally worked.
“It was about leaving home for the first time, about searching for your identity and making a difference. I loved dressing up like Lieutenant Chloe. She didn’t care what anybody thought about her and I kinda did at that time. I mean, she was a scientist and a warrior, and that was all in spite of the way that she looked. It was like I could be anything, and I didn’t have to choose. So don’t make fun, okay?”
Runners-up: Compared to this scene…I can’t even think of anything. Doesn’t get much more inspirational to young women everywhere than that, does it?
Best Tear Jerker – 5×05 Probable Cause – Beckett and Lanie
When Montgomery died in “Knockout” last year, I cried. When Beckett broke down over the sniper rifle in “Kill Shot” last year, I cried again. And when Beckett sobbed her heart out to Lanie about Castle looking like a scared little boy down in lockup at the 12th, the tears started running again. The man she loves was behind bars and she was afraid she couldn’t prove that he’s innocent. The scene was heartbreaking, and Stana Katic really had the waterworks going as Beckett.
Runners-up: 4×23 “Always” – ‘Because I love you!’, 4×20 “The Limey” – Castle blowing Beckett off for a date with Jacinda (okay, so it was not so much a tear jerker as a kick straight to your feelings. That scene just hurt.)
Best Murder Investigation – 4×14 “The Blue Butterfly”
This particular episode got a lot of mixed reviews, it seemed, but I really enjoyed the creativity that went into telling the tale of Joe and Vera and the blue butterfly necklace. When it was revealed that Joe and Vera were seemingly killed in an unsolved murder, I was pretty bummed out. Like Castle and Beckett, I was rooting for them. To have them revealed to be alive and well by the end of it made the case all the more enjoyable to me.
Runners-up: 4×13 “An Embarrassment of Bitches (because doggies!), 4×17 “Once Upon a Crime”
Best Caskett Scene – 4×23 “Always” – Castle and Beckett shut the front door.
Those crazy kids finally got their acts together in the Season 4 finale and had one of the most touching and passionate moments on TV since…I don’t even know when. How many times did we reblog gifsets of the kisses on Tumblr over the summer? How many times did we rewatch that scene? Countless. We’ve had a handful of Caskett moments in Season 5 since then, many of them sweet, many of them funny, but this moment still remains my favorite.
Best Quote – “Is there a police code for ‘Zombie on the loose’?” – 4×22 “Undead Again”
Runners-up: 4×23 “Always” – “I think you’re the most remarkable, maddening, challenging, frustrating person I’ve ever met. And I love you, Kate.”, 5×01 “After the Storm” – See Best Dramatic Moment. That quote, right there.
Best Guest Star – Jennifer Beals as Sophia Turner in 4×15-16, “Pandora”/”Linchpin”
Picking Laura Prepon as Natalie Rhodes last year was a shoe-in (because c’mon, who didn’t love Creepy Beckett?), but this time around it was a toss up for me between Jennifer Beals and Adam Baldwin. By the end of their episodes, they were both characters I loved to hate, but considering Sophia Turner was the initial inspiration for Clara Strike, provided some additional backstory on Castle, had moments where you just think “Wow, she’s kind of cool” and then it turned out she was a traitor all along, I’ll have to go with Beals. Just because she played both sides of Sophia so very well.
Performer of the Year – Stana Katic
Again. For the tears, for the cheers, and for all those moments where Beckett was a goofball and a total badass. I almost gave it to Nathan Fillion this time because the guy was a rockstar in “Linchpin” and “Always”, and so much more. But ultimately Stana’s portrayal of Beckett in the S4 finale, S5 premiere and “Probable Cause” sealed the deal.
Episode of the Year – 4×23 “Always”
Thank you, Andrew Marlowe and Terri Miller, for this beautiful love letter of an episode that you wrote to us fans. Really. Thank you.
So there you have it. My Best of 2012 for “Castle”. Agree? Disagree? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Happy New Year to you and yours, Castle fandom! Cheers!
Want to receive instant updates on Castle-related news, including upcoming cast member appearances, guest star and casting information, promos, sneak peaks, spoilers and more? Click the subscription link at the top of this article for automatic email alerts, or follow National Castle Examiner on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter.
For an archive of Castle news, please click here.