Onscreen duos with romantic chemistry like Sam and Diane from Cheers, Ross and Rachel from Friends, Mulder and Scully from The X-Files, and perhaps most infamously, David and Maddie from Moonlighting, have all teased fans with one ecstatic moment built from years of delayed gratification. As television viewers have long known, the time inevitably comes when several seasons worth of romantic tension will finally have to be snapped.

A new teaser for ABC’s Castle hints that the show is ready to join that pantheon of television romances. After nearly three seasons of flirting, innuendo and suggestion, will Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Detective Beckett (Stana Katic) finally seal the deal?

The following clip could be the real deal or just an out of context smooch designed to tease. A quick analysis suggests the kiss could go either way. Does Det. Beckett have more on her mind than how “close” she can get to Castle? Is Castle confounded, or anxiously awaiting this overdue embrace? As the episode’s airdate on Jan. 24th rapidly approaches, we won’t have to wait long in order to find out.

Beyond murders, Castle has always been about the romantic attraction felt by its two leads. So, if Castle and Beckett stop playing and get serious, what will the repercussions be? Well, they certainly don’t have to be all gloom and doom, and Moonlighting curses.

While the show isn’t stale by any means, Castle having a better reason to see Beckett than a dead body might be a nice change to what is perhaps becoming a slew of very similar storylines. Furthermore, creating a deeper relationship between Beckett and the rest of Castle’s family—his daughter Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) and his thespian mother Martha (Susan Sulivan) may just generate some new and exciting situations. Those who fear a Castle/Beckett lip-lock might herald the proverbial jumping of the shark, and suck all the passion and flavor from the show need not worry. Katic’s past comments show she is clearly not taken in by all the superstition.

ABC doesn’t believe in curses either, apparently. Castle has already been picked up for the full 2011-2012 season.

Source: TV Line, Entertainment Weekly