Hello fellow Castle fans! And welcome to the party! Let’s jump right in, shall we? It’s an album release party for pop star Regina Cane and everyone who is anyone is invited, even her musical rival, Josie Lange. This does not please Regina, who storms off in a huff. But she doesn’t seem to be the only one with an eye on the guest list. The DJ is watching the crowd and she spots someone she apparently wants a word with. She slips in a prerecorded play list and takes off after her target.
Cut to the next morning and the crime scene. It’s a body dump at a construction site. As Castle and Beckett arrive they are debating relationship movie protocol and Esposito weighs in on Castle’s side, if you chose a bad movie, you lose a turn in the next round of picks (I agree completely!). And then it’s down to business. Our victim is Holly Rhodes, the DJ from our party last night.
Lanie has determined the cause of death to be a gunshot wound. Holly was wrapped in a tarp and placed in a dumpster on the site, where a homeless man found her. Holly, a.k.a. DJ Beat, was booked at that party until 1am, but Lanie puts time of death at around 11:45. Castle and Beckett go to visit the site of the party and Ryan and Esposito canvas the neighborhood around the dump site.
This leads us back to Regina Cane, who is sleeping off the effects of the party. She complains to Beckett and Castle about Holly skipping out early, then feels bad for a ½ second when she finds out Holly is dead. Other party guests confirm that the DJ left sometime after 11.
Lanie has some more information now. It seems the tarp our victim was wrapped in has peanut oil on it, which leads to the conclusion that Holly was killed near a Chinese restaurant. There are also some synthetic fibers on her clothes, but no results on those yet. There was also a phone number written on her hand and that leads to Tyrese Wilton, who is working with Josie Lange on her new album. He tells Esposito that he witnessed Holly in an argument with rapper MC Thug.
When they pull Mr. Thug in for a talk, he claims that he was sure that Holly was responsible for the theft of a very expensive bracelet from one of his parties that she worked. The team takes a look at her wrap sheet and they see a history of like crimes from Holly’s youth. Could it be that she has returned to her old ways? They track down her assistant, but he claims he didn’t work the party last night. He says that Holly called him and cancelled, claiming that she had a cousin that needed the work. She even offered to pay him anyway. He tells our team that this has happened before, and when shown a list picks about 7 parties that he has not worked. These 7 parties have all had thefts reported the morning after.
So, who assisted her at these parties? No one knows, but Castle knows how to find out. He suggests they run the fingerprints on the equipment from party and guess what they find?!? The prints of a 14 year old boy named Joey Malone. He has a juvenile record that makes him a really good suspect in the thefts, and possibly Holly’s murder.
Okay, maybe not the murder. But Esposito thinks that there must be a mastermind pulling Joey’s strings and it’s a good bet he or she would be willing to kill Holly if the need arose. But who is it? Joey isn’t talking, except to say that he didn’t kill Holly. Esposito feels a connection to Joey and thinks he can reach him. He arranges to take Joey home with him rather than place him in juvenile hall. This seems to be working to build trust, right up until Joey sneaks out the livingroom window and makes a run for it! He almost makes it, but Espo is pretty quick and manages to grab him before he gets away for good.
Joey still isn’t talking, but the team has found a connection between him and Holly, a man named Shane Winters. Shane has bailed Joey out of jail, and Holly too, during her wilder days. Shane owns a car whose fibers are a match for the ones found on Holly’s body. Espo goes alone to bring Shane in. Shane “holds court” in a seedy bar and has a body guard to keep the “little” people at bay. But Espo isn’t so little, and a quick knee to the groin grants him an audience!
Once they have Shane in an interview room he tells Esposito that he didn’t kill Holly, and that his car had a mysterious accident and went up in flames. No fibers to connect him to the crime. It is obvious that Joey told Shane everything he overheard about the investigation. Espo really wants to reach this kid, to make him truly see that he can get out of this life. But he has to cut his ties with people like Shane Winters. Esposito plays Joey a video of the interrogation to show how Shane is willing to let Joey take the fall for the thefts. Joey’s eyes are finally opened and he tells Espo that this last job was really strange. He was told to steal a cell phone belonging to Tyrese Wilton. When Holly found out she flipped out. That was last time Joey saw her.
As for Shane, he really does has an airtight alibi for the time of death. But now Castle is thinking and wondering “why a cell phone?”. Esposito and Ryan go back to Tyrese to ask why he didn’t report the theft. On the way they notice that the studio is located across from the back door of a Chinese food restaurant and they find blood splatter behind the dumpster. They just found the crime scene. When Tyrese is questioned about his phone he explains that he has it, sure it was lost, but he found it after the party. So, why would Shane Winters have Joey steal a phone only to return it so the theft wouldn’t be noticed? Because the phone is actually a key. An electronic key to Tyrese’s studio. And the only thing missing from the studio is a copy of the masters of Josie Lang’s new album. If that album leaks online, the sales will tank and Josie and Tyrese will lose money.
So, who would benefit from that? Regina Cane. Her sales have been flagging and she was familiar with Tyrese’s studio since she used to record there. She hired Shane to steal the phone/key. She disappeared from the party just long enough to go to the studio and download the album. One problem, Holly. She went to the studio too, thinking that she would be confronting Shane, but instead she finds Regina. They fight, Regina shoots Holly and then calls Shane to dispose of the body.
Another case closed. One problem though, Shane is going to walk on all charges. So Esposito pays him one more visit and makes it clear that Shane goes near Joey, he will kill him. As a cop, Espo can make it look like self defense. Shane gets the message. He will leave Joey alone. Next Espo has a talk with Joey and shows him his own juvenile record. Joey sees that Esposito was once a messed up, lost kid too. Esposito tells him that he didn’t get out of the life on his own, he had help. And now he is going to help Joey. Looks like the beginning of a new life for Joey.
I have to say, I am very happy with the way this episode played out. First, it was kind of nice to have a break from the romance for a while. We don’t want to suffer from Caskett burn out after all. Second, I really liked learning more about Esposito. He is a very complex man, and I enjoy watching him. There are a lot of dark secrets there that have shaped him. Things that could have turned him into a very bad man, but that he has used to make a difference. I like that.
This was a great episode, in my humble opinion. What did you think? Do you want to see more romance or less? Want to learn more about Ryan, Lanie, and Esposito? Or should the show focus more on the cases? Let’s here it folks, what are you thinking?