WOW! This episode of Castle was intense. I have to admit, the previews had me worried! But before we get into that, let’s catch up with what happened.
The show opens with a cute “college kid home to do the laundry” scene between Alexis (Molly Quinn) and her dad. Of course she runs off to meet with friends, leaving Castle (Nathan Fillion) feeling lonely. But not to worry, it doesn’t last long because they catch a case, and it’s a strange one.
Tessa Horton’s roommate comes home from a weekend away and finds Tessa tied in barbed wire and hanging from the ceiling (a real Supernatural deja vu moment for me). She also has a strange symbol carved on her forehead. The CSU team finds that the apartment has been wiped clean of prints BUT they do find some prints on the door outside the apartment. Guess who’s they turn out to be? Our very own Castle. Beckett (Stana Katic) doesn’t remember Castle touching anything before gloving up, but he must have…right?
Tessa’s roommate says that Tessa was an insurance broker and the shy type, but that recently she had taken up with a secret boyfriend, one who is described as every woman’s fairy-tale; rich, handsome, and generous. Sound like someone we know? Tessa has not been sexually assaulted, in fact despite the fact that she was strangled, her body shows no sign of a struggle. A tox screen shows that she had been drugged.
There is no electronic record on her computer of the secret boyfriend, but portions have been “surgically” wiped. Her phone shows calls to a burner phone, no help there. However, her neighbor did see someone going into her apartment Friday evening. A meeting with a sketch artist yields an i.d., her boss Lloyd Kurtzman, a married man. They bring him in for questioning and he looks guilty, but Beckett has a gut feeling he didn’t do it. Eventually we find out that he did come by the apartment in response to a text message he thought was from Tessa. She denies sending him a text and sends him on his way. And he has an alibi, he spent the rest of the evening with a prostitute.
Meanwhile, Ryan (Seamus Dever) had to pull Esposito (Jon Huertas) aside and let him know about Castle and Beckett’s relationship. He explains that he kept it quiet to respect their privacy. Esposito is understanding and neither of them believe that Castle has done anything wrong. But they have a job to do, so they get back to it.
Back at the apartment the CSU team and Ryan find an very unique and expensive earring shoved between the cushions of the couch. Ryan recognizes the piece as a custom design from a specific jeweler. Ryan contacts the store and they discover that the jewelry was paid for by cashiers check and false identification was given. But the store has security footage of the sale, and they send over the tapes. When they view the tapes, the man looks like Castle. The team is in shock, and Beckett tries to come clean to the boys about her relationship with Castle. They tell her that they already know, playing it like they BOTH worked it out ages. They agree that there is no way Castle did this, but they have to follow the evidence in order to clear him. Surely there is an explanation for everything…..
Unfortunately, a check of Castle’s financials shows a cashiers check for the exact amount of the jewelry purchase was taken out by Castle just days before the jewelry store footage shows Castle in the store. Following procedure, the next step is to get a warrant to search Castle’s home. The next scene has Castle opening the door to a full compliment of NYC’s finest. He is confused, but stands by while they begin the search. Within minutes they find something and he is placed under arrest.
The something turns out to be a carry bag, part of a set that Castle owns, and it is full of the barbed wire and hooks used to string Tessa up on the ceiling. It also contains a shirt with blood splatter that matches the victim. Things are not looking good for our hero. Beckett admits to Esposito and Ryan that she had planned to go to Castle’s for the weekend, but he had begged off to spend some time writing. He has no alibi. Even so, not even Captain Gates (Penny Johnson Jerald) truly believes that Castle did this. Castle’s best hope is for the team to wade through the evidence and find the real killer.
Captain Gates questions Castle while Beckett sits down with Alexis and Martha (Susan Sullivan) to bring them up to speed and question them about who else might have access to their home. They can’t think of anyone who might have gotten into the apartment without setting off the alarm.
Things get worse when a search of Castle’s computer reveals emails between him and the victim as well as an outline of a story about a murder so bizarre that the investigators don’t realize the killer is hiding right under their noses. Can things get worse?? Beckett pours out the whole story to Lanie (Tamala Jones), and for a moment it seemed she was believing the worst, but never fear; in her next breath she tells Lanie that despite his (many) faults, there is no way he could do this. He is a good man and she still has faith in him.
All the while Castle is sitting in a holding cell when a familiar face appears on the other side of the bars. Jerry Tyson (a.k.a. 3XK) is a serial killer that we met in season 3 (episode 306 “3XK”) when the team investigated the death of a witness who may have been able to identify the serial killer known as 3XK. Jerry is the one who got away. At the end of the 3XK episode, he has taken Castle and Ryan hostage and then escaped into the night, leaving Castle with the knowledge that he will kill again. So, jumping back to the present, Jerry tells Castle that he is back to exact his revenge. He blames Castle for the fact that he is still a wanted man. His original plan had been to frame another for his crimes so he would be free to start again somewhere else.
He has set this whole elaborate game in motion in order to get Castle moved to central booking, where he has someone waiting to kill Castle. He even has a plan for Beckett, her punishment is to live with the knowledge that she could not protect her lover and friend.
When Beckett comes to see Castle, he tells her about Tyson, and she tries to block his transfer. But the DA is having none of it. Castle tells her he understands and then he reminds her of the first time she ever handcuffed him at the New York Public Library. He tells her he wishes they could go back there. Two uniformed officers show up and take Castle away. Minutes later 2 more officers arrive to take Castle into custody. Did Tyson get Castle after all?? The DA doesn’t think so, she issues a warrant for Castle’s arrest for escape.
Where is Castle? Beckett knows, the library. She meets him there and together they find the impersonator hired to by Tyson to purchase the infamous earrings. They use the information provided by the look alike to track Tyson to an abandoned building where they find the materials that he used to frame Castle. Richard Castle is cleared but 3XK is still out there.
Beckett and Castle are driving back to the station and are stuck on a bridge. Out of nowhere an SUV rams into them from behind. It’s Tyson, and he is shooting at them. Beckett returns fire, hitting Tyson. But he is wearing a vest and struggles with Beckett, overpowering her and holding a gun to her head. He wants Castle to watch her die, but when he approaches the car, Castle isn’t there. He is behind them, and as Tyson and Beckett spin around Castle shoots Tyson multiple times. Tyson falls from the bridge and disappears beneath the water. His body is never recovered but everyone believes he must be dead. Everyone but Castle. He believes this was all part of his plan. What better way to disappear and begin again than to die? I tend to agree with him…
Back at the beginning I told you the previews had me worried. Did you see them? The way they played to me was that Beckett might believe that Castle could be a murderer. WHAT?? No way. I am so glad that was a misdirect. That might have been it for me, to come so far with this couple only to have them torn apart after only a few episodes…..No sir. I could not keep going if that happened. So, thanks ABC for not ruining one of my favorite shows for me.
This was a very dark and intense episode, so I am really looking forward to next weeks episode “The Final Frontier”. (Have I mentioned I am a sci-fi junkie?) It looks like it is going to be a return to the lighter side of murder, and I can’t wait!