Katherine (Kate) Beckett

played by Stana Katic

Kate Beckett grew up a nice, middle-class girl in Manhattan, heading for university, and probably marriage and a "normal" life. Then her mother was murdered and the police failed to solve the crime. Unable to reconcile herself to that, Beckett abandoned whatever plans she'd had, and joined the NYPD.

Now a homicide detective, Beckett works out of the 12th precinct in Manhattan. Driven and dedicated, she's extremely good at her job and has risen far enough to have two other detectives, Esposito and Ryan, under her charge. She's good friends with one of the female MEs, Lanie Parish, and has had at least one serious relationship, with Federal Agent Will Sorenson. That lasted six months and ended when he was transferred to Boston and Kate chose not to follow. She's also an avid reader, and a dang fine poker player.
Kate char

Her partnership with Castle begins when a routine call looks startlingly familiar to Beckett, who's a fan of his books. Her work on the case so impresses Castle, who's been along as a consultant, that he decides to model the main character in his new detective series after her. As a friend of the mayor, Castle is able to wrangle himself an ongoing ride-along with Beckett and her squad.

Over the course of the first four seasons, Beckett goes from enduring Castle's presence to valuing his opinion. She has at least two stints with steady boyfriends but eventually has to confront her feelings for Castle, who by now is more than a partner.

Despite Beckett's best efforts, her mother's murder remains unsolved until season 5, when Beckett discovers who is behind it. Finally, in season 6, enough evidence is found to arrest the man responsible for killing Johanna Beckett.

At the beginning of season 6, Beckett has a new job in Washington, DC, as a federal agent, and she and Castle are engaged. Her job status changes over the course of the season, but her relationship with Castle only grows stronger. On their wedding day, though, Castle disappears, and Beckett has to keep the faith while searching for any sign of him.

As of season 7, Castle returns with no memory of where he's been, but he and Beckett decide to try to put that behind them and eventually have a modest wedding ceremony in the Hamptons.

In season 8, Beckett has been promoted to Captain of the 12th, but on her first day as Captain she gets a phone call that means life or death, related to her time with the AG's office. She decides to separate from Castle to keep him out of her investigation, but of course he finds out what she's up to and confronts her about it, leading to the beginnings of reconciliation.

JUST THE FACTS

Beckett BC (Before Castle)

  • Beckett's birthday is November 17th and she was 19 when her mother died, according to producer Terri Miller. Johanna Beckett was murdered on January 9th, 1999 (3x13), so Kate was born in 1979 and had turned nineteen about seven weeks before. This indeed makes her 29 in S1, as she's described in the pilot script, since that takes place in March and she tells Castle her mother was murdered ten years ago (1x05). As of episode 4x01 she is 31, which confirms that she was 29 in S1.

  • She was raised in Manhattan, which means her family had some money (1x01), although she’s clearly not from Castle’s world (1x07). In 3x13, Simmons calls Beckett's mother a 'rich b**ch' from uptown, but that may just have been his opinion. Beckett went to city schools (1x03, 2x22) and worked through high school (2x03, 3x04), so by Manhattan standards they don't seem to have been more than comfortably well-off.

  • Her dad still calls her Katie (2x13, 3x24). He tells Castle that she was scared of the dark when she was little, but she wouldn’t let him give her a night light; it was like a point of honour for her to stare it down (3x24). According to Beckett, Johanna’s favourite phrase was “I told you so” (2x03, 2x13) but she also believed that the truth could never hurt you (2x13). Sadly, the truth seems to have gotten Johanna killed (2x13) and her daughter shot (3x24).

  • More on Beckett's life before Castle waltzed into it...

Work, Work, Work

  • Beckett's training officer was a much older man named Mike Royce, whom she hero-worshipped until he reappeared and betrayed her trust (3x03). He had some pretty interesting stories about flashing suspects to tell, so Beckett still seems to have been a bit wild at the start of her career. Royce was murdered trying to protect a client (3x22).

  • As a rookie, Beckett was still trying to solve her mother’s murder (1x10), which Royce knew and didn’t discourage (3x03). Montgomery first met Beckett during this time -- he caught her looking at her mother's case in the evidence room by flashlight, even though she wasn’t allowed there (3x24). He thought right then with that tenacity she'd make a good homicide cop, but it’s unclear if he had a hand in her promotion. After three years, she went into therapy, and after a year of that managed to let it go (1x10). Even after Castle gave the file to an ME friend and he told her it was a hit, not random gang violence, she was able to ignore the information (1x10, 2x01). Then she accidentally found the hit man and had to shoot him to protect Castle before she learned anything more (2x13). Beckett started re-investigating her mother's death during the summer (post S2) that Castle was in the Hamptons with Gina (3x13) but didn’t get much further than building a murder board hidden in her window. Killing the hit man, Coonan, set off a chain of events starting with the original detective, Raglan, being murdered in the middle of telling her the whole story (3x13), and ending with Roy Montgomery’s death and Beckett herself being shot (3x24). See Johanna’s Murder Board for details.
  • According to Victoria Gates, Beckett is the youngest woman in the NYPD to make detective, beating Gates's record by six weeks (4x01).
  • She seems to have earned her detective badge in Vice - she arrested the scam artist we meet in 3x14 several times back then, and seems to have a rather intimate knowledge of the S&M world (2x16), underground poker (2x01), and clubs even weirder than burlesque (3x01).

  • More on work and life at the 12th...

She's got (ooh!) personality

  • Beckett is a fan of Castle's work and has all his books in hardback with bookplates that say ‘From the library of Katherine Beckett’ (1x01). She also once stood in line for an hour to get Castle’s autograph (1x09). All of the above she finds terribly embarrassing (1x01, 1x09).

  • She reads the New York Review of Books (1x07) and apparently reads plays (1x10). But she's also seen Showgirls (2x03), so it's just as likely she knows her Mamet because she attends the theatre. On the lighter side, she knows Batman (1x05), but she also reads contemporary graphic novels by artists like Frank Miller (2x06) and seems to be a big enough fan of the genre to know when he switched publishers.

  • Her apartment (number 203) was a loft conversion in the East Village (according to designer Alfred Sole), until a serial killer blew it up (2x17). Her bookshelves there showed an interest in ancient art, anthropology and history (DVD commentary). She was still looking for a place to live in 3x07, but by 3x13, she has a new loft and it looks like she's been there awhile. Her insurance must have been spectacular - the magnificent painting in the living room is "Matasaburo of the Wind" by Alex Gross. Her home computer is a Mac, with the ability to scan photographic negatives and convert them into regular digital photos (3x13). She also keeps a murder board for her mother’s case hidden behind the shutters of the window behind her desk. The exterior shots for Beckett's new apartment were done from the intersection of Franklin & Hudson (facing east) and flipped horizontally. Which would mean she's somehow now able to afford living in the middle of Tribeca. Maybe all those fics about Castle buying an apartment and secretly arranging for her to 'find' an amazingly cheap sublet should be reconsidered :)

  • Read up on Beckett's sweet tooth, secret talents and poker tells...

Love, love, love

  • Beckett's immediate answer to 'how do you know if you're in love' (all the songs make sense) suggests she has been...and that possibly Castle hasn't (3x04). She dates a lot, or at least did, but characterises herself as ‘one and done’ when it comes to marriage (1x02). She's been a bridesmaid six times (2x12), but has never been engaged herself (2x22).

  • According to Maddy, Beckett didn't have a 'type' in high school (though she seems to go for tall, lean and law-enforcing now). She dated everything from grunge guitarists, to medical students, to European exchange students rumoured to be royalty (2x22). The grunge rocker 'smelled like wet flannel and clove cigarettes' but she still dated him for seven months to piss off her father because he had tried to interfere with the relationship (3x04). In their senior year, Maddy was helping Beckett stalk a boy in their English class, Brent Edwards. They had a permanent falling out when Maddy stole Brent, and didn't speak until they met again in 2x22.

  • In addition to the boys mentioned by Maddy, we know Beckett dated an FBI agent named Will Sorenson for six months (1x09), at some undetermined point a year or two BC. They met working the kidnapping of a six year old boy, which turned out to be murder. They broke up because he took a promotion and transferred to the Boston field office and Beckett didn’t want to chuck her career to go with him (1x09).

  • Beckett's love life revealed! Urm...

They go together like WAKKA WAKKA WHOA

  • So far, Castle has given Beckett advance copies of Storm Fall (1x01) and Heat Wave (2x05), a formal dress (1x07), $100,000 to find her mother’s killer (2x13), a signed photo from the cast of Temptation Lane (3x18), and had her father’s watch repaired after her apartment exploded (2x18). He took a crazy selection of food to Beckett at the precinct at the end of "Sucker Punch" (2x13), upgraded her to first class when they went to LA, and paid for their luxury suite (3x22). He brought a bottle of 2000 Chateau-neuf-de-Pape when he went to Beckett’s to “protect” her from Dunn (2x17), and flowers when he visited her new apartment for the first time (3x13). He first brought her coffee and a bearclaw in 1x09 (it was still Esposito’s job in 1x05), and has bought or brought her an untold number of coffees since. He even gave the break room an espresso machine (1x04).

  • Beckett has given Castle flowers from her sleeve when he broke up with Gina (3x12), taken him to the movies (with popcorn and possibly dinner - 3x19), brought him coffee and later took him out for consolation drinks when his friend turned out to be a murderer (3x15), and helped arrange for him to purchase one of those bottles of incredibly rare, incredibly expensive scotch (3x10).

  • They’ve saved each other a number of times: In 1x06 Castle gets Beckett a clean shot when a suspect has them pinned down. Beckett saves Castle from the Russian mob (2x01) and shoots Coonan before he can shoot Castle (2x13). In 3x01 they each shoot the shooter about to shoot the other, and in 3x17 Castle saves them both from going splody along with half of NYC. Castle jumps on one killer before he can run away (1x07), and takes Lockwood down hard as he’s about to shoot Beckett (3x13). He also shoots a gun out of Dunn’s hand after they’ve both saved Jordan Shaw (2x18).

  • Read up on all the other stuff Castle and Beckett share.

Stana Katic has also posted a four-part series of interviews with some of the tech people involved with bringing Beckett to life.




JUST THE SPEC

Interested in the missing bits of Kate's story? Feel free to speculate here.

DEFINING EPISODES FOR CHARACTER
  • 1x01 - Meaning to irritate her, Castle speculates that something bad once happened to someone she loved, and that's why she became a cop.
  • 1x05 - While working on the case of a murdered mother, Beckett finally tells Castle the story of what happened to her mother
  • 1x07 - Kate makes a rare connection with the daughter of a murder victim. She also gets to wear an evening gown and walk the red carpet.
  • 1x09 - An ex-boyfriend comes back into Beckett's life.
  • 1x10 - Castle infuriates Beckett by giving her mother's casefile to a pathologist friend -- who comes up with some startling information.
  • 2x01 - Beckett is forced to let Castle come back to the precinct.
  • 2x13 - Beckett's father appears, and her mother's killer is finally brought to a very rough justice.
  • 2x17, 2x18 - A serial killer wants to play cat and mouse with Nikki Heat, and Beckett's apartment pays the price.
  • 2x22 - A witness in their case turns out to be one of Beckett's best friends from high school.
  • 2x24 - About to give in and take Castle up on his invitation to the Hamptons, Beckett is left standing...well, not at the altar, but embarrassed in front of witnesses all the same.
  • 3x03 - Beckett runs into her training officer, Mike Royce, on a routine nab.
  • 3x13 - Raglan, the detective who lied about her mother's murder, is himself murdered by a sniper named Lockwood, setting off the next stage of that investigation.
  • 3x22 - Royce is murdered, and Beckett and Castle go rogue in LA to solve the case.
  • 3x24 - Lockwood escapes and Beckett will do anything to catch him and find out who ordered the hit on her mother.
  • 4x01 - Beckett returns from a 3 month medical leave and covertly begins to investigate her own shooting, only to be discouraged from it by Castle.
  • 4x07 - Despite having no formal training, Beckett plays negotiator when Castle and Martha are held hostage in a bank.
  • 4x09 - A case involving a sniper ignites her PTSD and she confides that she's ready to start to make peace with her mom's case.
  • 4x23 - Kate Beckett finally gets her man.


BECKETT'S ALBUM