Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2012 Disney Photo: Lanie, Esposito, Beckett, and Castle in Season 4, Episode 13: “An Embarrassment of Bitches”

We’ve always had a soft spot for Castle’s wise-cracking sidekick, Detective Javier Esposito, but this season the former sniper/current cop has really come into his own.

Although you’d never know it from his on-again-off-again relationship with medical examiner Lanie Parish, Monday’s Castle — Season 4, Episode 13, “An Embarrassment of Bitches” — showed us that the 12th precinct’s hunky crime solver actually does have a sweet and sensitive side. (But that’s not to say he doesn’t know when to unleash his passionate side, too!)

Check out the best, character-showing Esposito moments from "An Embarrassment of Bitches" below.

4. Espo Gives Kay a Pep Talk

Um, was there anybody out there not swooning over Espo as he watched footage and chatted with reality star Kay Cappuccio? Clearly, he has an at-first-sight kinda crush on her (and who wouldn’t? Girl’s gorg!), but he’s also interested in her personality. (And yes, she does have one).

“I think it’s amazing you know what day of the year it is just by the outfit you’re wearing,” Espos muses. “And people say I’m talentless,” Kay quips. “Don’t listen to those haters. How many of them have their own cosmetics line?”

Then, Kay confesses that she thinks her vapid life “depressing,” but Espo gives her a a gentle dose of reality by telling her to look around at all the wonderful things she has: a boyfriend, friends, and a million people who lust after her every move.

Aww, Espo! If this was the kind of positive, loving, life-affirming stuff he was telling Lanie behind closed doors, well, we feel pretty sorry she lost him.

Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2012 Disney Photo: Kay Cappuccio Strikes a Pose in Season 4, Episode 13: “An Embarrassment of Bitches”

3. Espo Gets Angry

After he and Kay track down stalkarazzi Marcus Hiatt, it’s easy to see how important it is for Espo to solve this case by the harsh, domineering and — dare we say? — sexy way he interrogates the guy. There’s something about a man who’s trying to do all that he can to save his woman that is so, so hot.

When Marcus starts to insult Kay’s lack of talent, Espo cuts in to defend his lady: “Hey, watch your mouth!”  Ooh la la.

2. Espo Defends Kay

When Castle and Beckett realize Kay’s perfume contains poppy — and that it places Kay at the crime scene — Esposito vehemently denies that the sexy socialite could have had anything to do with the vicious murder.

And as it turns out, E’s right: Kay met the Vasquez family through her boy toy, Reggie, and the buxom beauty is indeed innocent.

1.Espo Gets Giddy

Before leaving the precinct, Kay thanks Espo for being “so sweet.” Espo adorably giggles like a school girl and tells her if she ever needs anything, she knows where to find him.

“I just might take you up on that one day,” the reality star coos in return, before leaving in for a cheek kiss. Did anybody else notice Espo lean forward a bit, like he was hoping for a real lip-smacker? Too. Cute.


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