Best of the 2010s: The relationships that shaped the decade

SUITS -- "Harvey" Episode 816 -- Pictured: (l-r) Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter, Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulsen -- (Photo by: USA Network)
SUITS -- "Harvey" Episode 816 -- Pictured: (l-r) Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter, Sarah Rafferty as Donna Paulsen -- (Photo by: USA Network) /
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Best of the 2010s in 2012: Castle and Beckett, “Caskett,” from Castle

When Castle premiered on ABC in March of 2009, few people expected it to survive into the 2010s, much less wind up on a best of the 2010s list. Well, maybe the series’ cast and crew did, seeing as how they would have noticed Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion’s unbelievable chemistry as Richard Castle and Kate Beckett. But the rest of us had to wait until we had the privilege of viewing the finished product.

It was love at first sight for Richard Castle, but for Kate Beckett, it took a few more glances to see beneath Castle’s show-offy, rich writer-boy exterior. Even when Beckett obviously had feelings for her partner in crime-solving, she was held back by the walls she’d built around her heart following her mother’s murder. But Castle just kept peeling back those layers of the Beckett onion and chipping away at the detective’s protective exterior because he knew she was worth whatever it took to get through to her. Kate Beckett was, after all, extraordinary.

Beckett’s walls came crashing down in the series’ fourth series finale, aptly named “Always” as a nod to the couple’s not-so-secret code for “I love you” up until that point. Caskett’s slow-burn dominated the beginning part of this decade, in no small part due to the Katic’s phenomenal portrayal of Kate Beckett; and the moment when the ship became more than just a wish in shippers’ hearts came at the end of a part of the Castle saga that highlighted everything right with the series. “Always” had the drama of the Johanna Beckett case, Katic’s aforementioned skill, a big, emotional scene from Fillion, and Caskett with a capital C.

Thanks to this best of the 2010s ship, coffee and “always” will never be the same; and regardless of anything that followed, the partners’ giant leap forward into something more will go down in television history—as not only one of the best of 2010s, but one of the best of all time.