The latest episode of Castle finds us sharing a sublime dinner at a swanky restaurant with billionaire Eric Vaughn and his business associates. We watch as a mysterious hand sprays something onto one of the meals. Moments later,the plates are delivered and Arthur Felder, Mr. Vaughn’s dinner guest, falls over dead after a few bites of his dinner.
Meanwhile, Beckett is at Castle’s place and in the mood to play as she tries to lure Castle into the bedroom. But Castle is distracted by his opponent in his online video game war. What is this? Is the “honeymoon” over? Say it isn’t so! Castle tries to apologize as he at Beckett make their way into the restaurant turned murder scene, but she isn’t in a forgiving mood. She is feeling a bit neglected, perhaps Castle has begun to take their relationship for granted?
We will have to give that more thought later, because right now we have a murder to solve. Lanie is convinced that this is not an allergic reaction, but will need a tox screen to determine what poison was used to kill Mr. Felder. At this point Castle looks around and spots Eric Vaughn in the wings and flips out. Turns out Mr. Vaughn is #8 on Castle’s L.S.L, his “Last Supper List” (the name seems pretty self explanatory). Castle is man crushing in a big way, but it seems he is not the only one crushing. Beckett has taken notice of Mr. Vaughn as well, and though they get off to a rocky start (Mr. V is on his phone and ignoring Beckett) they quickly seem to connect. Eric is more than willing to help the investigation in any way possible. Castle doesn’t miss the way Beckett reacts to Eric either, does it seem he might have some competition?
Espo provides the information that someone from the outside could have gotten into the kitchen that night. A back door was found propped open and a waiters vest was found in a dumpster out back. Ryan and Espo begin interviewing the staff to determine who handled the food that served to Mr. Felder. One busboy does remember seeing someone out of place, but he can only give a very general description. Also, it seems Mr. Felder was not a warm and fuzzy guy. This man was a ruthless businessman who ruined lives without a thought. In fact he had recently closed a chemical plant….but none of the chemicals produced in that plant are a match for our poison. Another interesting fact, the poison was in the squab dish and Felder had ordered the quail. Turns out the waiter delivered the wrong dish to Mr. Felder. Eric Vaughn was meant to receive the poisoned dish, he was the intended victim.
When Mr. V finds this out he is shocked. He can’t think of anyone who would want him dead, but his staff keeps a list of threats. Beckett arranges to get that file and tells him that he should consider beefing up his security until they catch the killer. He takes her advice, but not exactly as she meant it. He wants her to protect him and pulls strings to make this happen. Castle is definitely jealous now. Really, how could the department force her to hang out with some womanizing rich guy against her will??? The irony of this situation is not lost on the boys and they are enjoying Castle’s frustration. They also have a possible witness from the alley behind the restaurant, but at the moment he is in lock up and is “stupid drunk”. Not to worry though, Castle is on the case and sets off to make him the “best cup of coffee” of his life. It seems Castle is on a mission to close this case before he loses his girl.
Beckett is busy shadowing Eric, but she isn’t really pleased. She would rather be working the case than babysitting. Lanie calls with information on the poison. Turns out it is something Eric is familiar with, his company has been working with an outside lab on an antidote to that line of neurotoxins. When asked his Eric has had any problems with anyone at the lab, one name comes up, Cindy. It seems Cindy fancied herself in love with Eric and when she was rebuffed by him she took it hard. She also has a record of stalking ex boyfriends and vandalizing property. Hmmm….we may be onto something here. But Castle has information too. He has sobered up our witness and has a sketch. One that looks a lot like the busboy from the restaurant, Cory Harrison. But when the boys track Cory down at his place, they find he has been shot in the head. This looks like a professional hit.
Further investigation leads the team to believe that a mystery hit man threatened Cory’s young daughter in order to force Cory to poison the food. And they also turn up Cindy’s connection to all of this. She was involved, but not to get even with Eric for rejecting her, it was all about money for her. Someone contacted her and offered her a lot of cash to steal some of the poison for them. But she has no idea who it was.
While this investigation is going on, Beckett is holed up in a very nice hotel with Eric V, who is taking every opportunity to get to know our lovely lady. He is no fool and can see what a catch she is. He can also see that she and Castle are involved but that there is no established commitment in place. Eric works every angle he can think of, and finally leans in for a kiss. Their lips meet briefly and just as Beckett pushes him away, a sniper fires on them. Eric narrowly misses death because of that kiss. This leads to a great scene with Beckett reenacting the shooting for Ryan and Castle. When Castle realizes exactly what was going on Ryan quickly finds someplace else to be (I think I have all I need here). I think this may be my favorite scene of the episode!
A trace of the money paid to Cindy tracks back to Eric Vaughn. Is it really possible that he is behind everything? Could he really have poisoned his business partner and faked his own attempted murder? It looks that way. Further digging leads the team to a company in Mexico that Eric has been pouring big money into. Only it doesn’t exist. The plant was shut down months ago. It is a scam. But, as it turns out, the scam is on Eric. Our billionaire businessman has been too trusting of his staff and someone has been abusing that trust. It’s his lawyer, David Anderson. It seems Mr. Anderson (I’m smiling and hearing echoes of the Matrix here) has a cash flow problem and intended to cover up his theft from Vaughn’s company by killing Vaughn and then framing him for the scam. Case closed.
Now we can turn our attention back to Castle and Beckett’s private life. Castle has planned an evening of pampering for Beckett in order to make up for his distraction of late. Beckett tries to ask Castle about their future, but he misunderstands and we leave Beckett with a sad look on her face. I am sorry, but I am bothered by this! How did we get here? Exactly what happened to the secret romance storyline? Somewhere along the way it got lost. Except for some very brief mentions here and there everyone seems to have forgotten that this relationship is forbidden and if they are found out they will no longer be able to work together. How can Beckett for one minute be upset that Castle hasn’t mentioned commitment? Has she? And she is the one with the most to lose. It is her career on the line. She has been hiding this relationship from Gates for months now and that could have serious repercussions. It would seem to me that she is the one in control of where this is headed. And she needs to speak up. I am frustrated by this turn in the romance, to say the least. I think I see now where we are headed and I don’t like it.
So, what do you think? Are you satisfied with where we are headed? Am I the only one worried here? Leave a comment and give me your thoughts….