Castle Season 5: What Makes Esposito and Ryan Tick

Castle Season 5 Episode 15 Target (5)

For five seasons, the ABC cop dramedy Castle has primarily focused on its lead characters, mystery novelist Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic). But, as any viewer knows, they aren’t the only characters that play a key role in the fan favorite series.

Detective Javier Esposito, as played by actor Jon Huertas, and Detective Kevin Ryan, as portrayed by Seamus Dever, have been playing key roles in all of the cases for which Beckett has investigated with Castle by her side, providing his own unique assistance.

But what do we really know about these partners who have become as integral a part of the show (and the precinct) as have Kate and Rick? Let’s take a look at some of the things we do know about both men:

Javier Esposito, otherwise known as Javi or Espo to his friends at the precinct, is a former Army Special Forces sniper. The skills he acquired from his time in the service has obviously helped considerably in his job with the homicide division especially in the 2011 episode entitled “Kill Shot” where the team searched for a sniper terrorizing New York. While Beckett was suffering from a nasty case of PTSD from her near death experience after getting shot at Captain Montgomery’s funeral, Javi saved Kate’s life thanks to his sniper skills.

In the 2010 episode “Den of Thieves” viewers learned that Javier had a partner before Detective Ryan – a cop by the name of Isaac “Ike” Thornton – who was presumed killed by an underling of a well-known crime boss. As it turned out, Thornton was very much alive, needing help from his former partner to prove his innocence (in a crime for which he did not commit before he faked his death) so he can return to his wife and son. This episode clearly showed just how far Javi will go to save his partner.

We also know that Javier has had an on-again, off-again relationship with medical examiner Dr. Lanie Parish (series regular Tamala Jones) since their tryst was revealed in the 2011 episode “Poof! You’re Dead”. It would seem the two were rekindling their relationship if this month’s Valentine’s Day episode is any indication.

As for Detective Kevin Ryan, viewers got to see just how dedicated he is to his job when an innocent girl was found murdered and the weapon that was used to kill her turned out to be the service weapon that the 3XK stole from him in the 2010 episode called “Kick the Ballistics”. Ryan took it as a personal affront to have that weapon come back to haunt him but, worse, to take the life of an innocent girl.

On a lighter note, in the 2011 episode “Nikki Heat” viewers saw Ryan’s romantic side as he prepared to ask his girlfriend Jenny Duffy-O’Malley (played by his real life wife Juliana Dever) to marry him. He ended up popping the question right in the middle of the squad room.

And, then there was the 2012 season finale entitled “Always” in which Ryan went against his better judgment not to mention the agreed-upon secret formed by Castle, Beckett, Esposito and himself to keep Captain Gates (Penny Johnson-Jerald) out of the loop on their ongoing investigation into the people who killed Beckett’s mom. His decision did save Kate’s life, but put on the outs with his partner Javier. (Their partnership has slowly improved, thankfully, over the course of this current season though).

And, they have both saved Castle and Beckett from life-or-death situations a time or two especially in the two-part 2011 episodes “Set Up” and “Countdown” when the duo found themselves locked inside a freezer while a nuclear device was on the loose in the city and then again in the 2011 episode “Cuffed” in which the duo found themselves handcuffed together in a sealed room next to a room that housed a Bengal Tiger that they inadvertently “rescued”, but put them in desperate straits. It was Esposito and Ryan to the rescue of Castle and Beckett for sure.

All in all, though, Esposito and Ryan are devoted partners on the force, working hard to cover each other’s back when on the streets conducting their investigations; but they also know how to enjoy ripping each other over obscure facts.

To see what Javier and Kevin do next – especially in light of the recent kidnapping of Castle’s daughter Alexis (series regular Molly Quinn) in last week’s episode – make sure to watch ‘Castle’ this coming Monday, February 25 on ABC at 10/9c.