We began with Rick Castle going on his fourth night with no sleep because he's worried about how he and Kate could get past his two-month disappearance and move forward.
When Kate got the invitation to Will Sorenson's wedding, Rick joked about saving her from the boring life she would have had with the square jawed, by the book, FBI agent but deep down he had his doubts. And when Beckett admitted that she didn't plan to go to the wedding because she wasn't ready to witness someone else's perfect day, the look on Rick's face was crushing.
As much as Rick wanted to figure out how to fix this, he wondered if she somehow would have been better off if they'd never met and that's when things got interesting.
Was it a mystical artifact or just a bump on the head? Who cares? It was a fun twist watching the It's a Wonderful Life type theme play out because Detective Beckett was then Captain Beckett but that was far from the only change.
Ryan never married Jenny. Lanie and Esposito never got back together and it appeared she was pregnant with someone else's child and -- Beckett never solved her mother's murder. Heck even the coffee was still the stuff that tasted like a monkey that peed in battery acid without Castle's gift of the uber-expensive espresso machine.
Alexis had transformed by dying her hair black (which looked much better on her than I would have expected) and moving to LA to live with her mother. The only person who appeared to be thriving was Martha, who truly was a Broadway diva with two Tony awards to her name and another hit show on the stage. Was that because she pushed herself to be more when her son's life floundered?
Rick's life was anything but better in this timeline. He never wrote Nikki Heat. He'd squandered his fortune and his writing career tanked. Even his relationship with his daughter deteriorated. Perhaps, worst of all was, that the other version of Kate Beckett disappointed him. She lacked the drive and tenacity to fight for justice and he went so far as to call her out on it.
Could everything have really been so very different for all of their lives if another detective had caught the Allison Tisdale murder case six years ago? Just the thought of it hurt.
One of the things I really appreciated was that even when things looked bleak, Castle didn't give up. He woke up the next day, got two coffees and was determined to keep trying because that's who Rick Castle is in any universe. He's an optimist at heart.
All throughout the episode I kept waiting for Rick to find the darn artifact and get back to his Kate Beckett. I knew a wedding was coming and I grew more anxious as I watched the clock tick down on the hour. I worried I'd be disappointed with so little time left.
When Rick jumped in front of a bullet to save Kate it was as though -- in a strange way -- all was right because no matter the timeline or alternate reality, Rick Castle loves Kate Beckett. Always.
It was such a relief when he finally woke up to the real Beckett and even better that Rick finally had his answer. The only way for them to move forward from the wedding debacle and his two month disappearance was to do simply that…move forward. When he asked Kate to marry him, right then, Kate's smile was almost overwhelming in its joy.
Although I always expected Ryan and Esposito to be there for the ceremony, somehow having only Jim, Martha and Alexis attend seemed right. That it took place at the house in the Hamptons made me very happy. It's where I'd always hoped they'd get married.
As for Kate's pantsuit…I'm still on the fence on that one, but I loved the top and she looked absolutely beautiful in it.
The ceremony only took up the last five minutes of the episode which had always been my greatest fear and yet I ended up feeling nothing but joyous satisfaction by the end.
As seen in these Castle quotes, it was the vows that made it the perfect wedding for Rick and Kate.
Beckett: The moment that I met you my life became extraordinary. You taught me to be my best self. To look forward to tomorrow's adventures and when I was vulnerable you were strong. I love you Richard Castle and I want to live my life in the warmth of your smile and the strength of your embrace. I promise you I will love you. I will be your friend and your partner in crime and in life. Always.
Rick Castle: The moment we met my life became extraordinary. You taught me more about myself than I knew there was to learn. You are the joy in my heart. You are the last person I want to see every night before I close my eyes. I love you Katherine Beckett and the mystery of you is the one I want to spend the rest of my life exploring. I promise to love you, to be your friend and your partner in crime and life till death do us part and for the time of our lives.
What can I say? It's been seven seasons. I've watched since the very first episode when the chemistry between Rick Castle and Kate Beckett transformed me into an instant fan.
As Mr. and Mrs. Castle danced to In My Veins under a setting sun in the Hamptons, I couldn't have been more thrilled that I've stuck around for the ride. Here's to many more seasons to come.
If you missed one wonderful moment or just want to relive it again, watch Castle online here at TV Fanatic.
Ready for the honeymoon? Here's your first look at Castle Season 7 Episode 7:
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.