2x17 Transcript


Tick, Tick, Tick... (Part I)
transcribed by YasmineJenny
INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT

CASTLE
(On the phone) Yeah, Paula, that sounds perfect. Yeah, close the deal. Thank you. And to you. (To BECKETT) Hey.

BECKETT
Hey.

CASTLE
Ask me why I’m here.

BECKETT
You know, I ask myself that question every day.

CASTLE
That was Paula, my agent, with big news about my book Heat Wave.

BECKETT
Mmhmmm.

CASTLE
Wanna guess?

BECKETT
Guessing would imply caring.

CASTLE
I’ll give you a hint. The headlines in the trades might read, "Castle best seller to ‘heat’ up big screen".

BECKETT
Your book is being made into a movie?

CASTLE
(Snaps fingers) And you are about to be immortalized on the silver screen.

BECKETT
Actually, Nikki Heat is going to be immortalized, not me.

CASTLE
Yes, well, technically, but it’s been widely publicized that you are the inspiration. So who would you like to play you in the movie?

RYAN
(Walks in with ESPOSITO) Whoa. Are you kidding? They’re really making a Nikki Heat movie? (To ESPOSITO) Dude, did I call it or what?

ESPOSITO
Ah, congrats, bro.

CASTLE
Thank you!

RYAN
What do you think, can we get James McAvoy for detective Raley?

(Telephone rings. BECKETT picks it up.)

ESPOSITO
I’m gonna go with Javier Bardem.

BECKETT
(Into the telephone) Beckett.

CASTLE
(To RYAN and ESPOSITO) You cast your dreams?

MAN ON TELEPHONE
Yes, I’d like to report a murder.

BECKETT
Do you have an address?

MAN
Where is the fun in that?

BECKETT
(Snaps fingers at RYAN and ESPOSITO) Okay… Who is this?

MAN
Oh, a fan.

BECKETT
Tell me more about this murder.

RYAN
Tracing.

MAN
Well, I did it. And that’s all you need to know.

RYAN
Got it.

BECKETT
Hello?

RYAN
42nd and Lex.

CASTLE
That’s Grand Central Station.

BECKETT
Yeah, let’s go.


INT - GRAND CENTRAL STATION

RYAN
According to tech, the phone call came from the second booth on the end.

(They walk towards the telephone booths. BECKETT pushes open the one RYAN points at. She steps inside and finds the phone off the hook. She turns and sees a pool of blood. When they move towards it, they find a dead man in the telephone booth.)


~*~*~


CSU MAN
Here’s his wallet.

LANIE
Thank you.

CSU MAN
You got it.

BECKETT
His name’s Alex Peterman, lives in Dobbs Ferry. So it wasn’t a robbery. He’s a personal injury attorney.

CASTLE
Taking the late train home.

BECKETT
Anything other than GSWs?

LANIE
Nope, just the five shots to the chest from a .45.

CASTLE
A .45 makes a pretty loud snap, crackle and pop. I find it hard to believe no one heard it on the main concourse.

BECKETT
He must have used a suppressor and waited for the train to pass by.

LANIE
And – Let’s face it – New Yorkers are famous for their ‘Hear no evil, see no evil’ attitude. I’ll give you a call with an update once I get him back to the lab.

BECKETT
Thank you.

CASTLE
(To LANIE) Hey, quick. Who do you want to play you in the Nikki Heat movie?

LANIE
Halle Berry.

CASTLE
(To BECKETT) See? Some people are just great at that game. You know who we could get for you? Angelina. No. Kate Beckett, Kate Beckinsale. (BECKETT starts walking away) We’ll call you K-Becks.

BECKETT
(To RYAN and ESPOSITO) Hey guys, where are we on the case?

ESPOSITO
We got a woman who says that she heard a loud sound around 8:45 – sounded like a car door slamming.

RYAN
And she said she saw a white male, 30s, average height, exiting the waiting room, moving very quickly to the 42nd Street exit.

ESPOSITO
Said he was wearing a black coat, black ball cap, sunglasses, and had some sort of beard, maybe a goatee.

BECKETT
All right, let’s see if anyone can corroborate her description, and let’s make up a sketch, show it to Alex Peterman’s family, see if they recognize the killer.

RYAN
Right.

BECKETT looks around.

CASTLE
What is it?

BECKETT
He called to report his crime. And that voice… It’s like he did this for fun.

Camera shutters click and we see the bullets, one with a ‘k’ engraved on it.


INT - CASTLE'S LOFT

ALEXIS
Hey, you’re up early.

CASTLE
Yes, I have a date with Beckett at the morgue. What nefarious plot are you two hatching?

MARTHA
Uh –

CASTLE
My birthday is coming up.

MARTHA
Ah…

ALEXIS
I think you should tell him, Gram. Sometimes he gives good advice.

CASTLE
Sometimes?

MARTHA
Yeah, maybe you’re right. But I am not in the mood for any of your cavalier quips.

CASTLE
I’ll be serious as a shark attack.

MARTHA
Chet has asked me to move in with him.

ALEXIS
I told her.. that I thought it was too soon. They’ve been only dating a few months.

MARTHA
When you get to be our age, every minute counts. To that end, I have made a list of pros and cons. So far the pros are winning.

CASTLE
(Quotes) “Pro – he makes me feel young.”

MARTHA
Well…

ALEXIS
I make you feel young.

MARTHA
Oh, darling.

CASTLE
“Cons – I don’t want to live in another man’s home.” (raises his eyebrows)

MARTHA
You are not another man. Besides, I trained you. Who knows what bad habits Chet picked up along the way, you know?

ALEXIS
Mmhmm.

CASTLE
Mother, whatever you decide, I will support you, the same way I have since the last man you lived with stole your life savings.

MARTHA
(Sighs)


INT - MORGUE

LANIE
Cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds. Tox indicates he had a martini about an hour before he died. Other than that, there is nothing interesting about the body.

BECKETT
So, then why the call?

LANIE
The body isn’t interesting. (To CASTLE) Excuse me. (She pulls out her magnifying glass.) But the bullets are. Check out the marking on the end of the slugs.

BECKETT
Aftermarket factory stamps?

LANIE
No.

CASTLE
Those aren’t stamps. They’re letters. And look, they're hand-etched. They spell something. (He shoves the bullets around trying to figure it out) They spell… ‘kinki’.

BECKETT
No. (BECKETT puzzles with the bullets) ‘Nikki’. Nikki Heat. That’s why he called me. That’s why he said he was a fan. He dedicated this murder to me.


INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, MONTGOMERY'S OFFICE

MONTGOMERY
Does he realize she’s a fictional character, not a real person?

CASTLE
Obviously, he’s delusional, but given that Nikki Heat is based on detective Beckett, maybe he’s confusing the two. And we showed Alex Peterman’s family the sketch of our suspect. He did not look familiar.

MONTGOMERY
How are we on forensics?

BECKETT
C.S.U grabbed about 200 fingerprints, a thousand fibers and 60 odd DNA samples, and that was just from the phone box. They’re working them up now… After they clear their backlog.

RYAN
Beckett. Guy on the phone’s asking for Detective Heat.

BECKETT
(Picks up the phone) Beckett.

MAN ON THE PHONE
Nikki, did you get the first part of my message?

BECKETT
Yes, I did.

MAN
Well, the second is at the Central Park carousel.


EXT - CENTRAL PARK CAROUSEL

Two cars pull up in front of the carousel. BECKETT, CASTLE, RYAN, and ESPOSITO get out. BECKETT opens the door of the carousel and they step inside. She turns on a flashlight. The carousel is turning and the music plays. They walk around the carousel, waiting for a body to pop up. Eventually that happens. A woman is lying in one of the benches. BECKETT gasps.

~*Credits*~


LANIE
Same M.O. She was shot four times with a .45. There are contusions on the victim’s left side consistent with the muzzle of a .45 being jammed into her ribs. I’m guessing the killer is left-handed.

BECKETT
C.S.U pull the slugs from the back of the carriage?

LANIE
Yes, there were letters on the slugs. They spell ‘W-I-L-L.’

BECKETT
So he’s sending a message. ‘Nikki will…’

CASTLE
What? Nikki will what?

BECKETT
Thank you, Lanie.

LANIE
Mm-hmm.

CASTLE
I guess it’s official. Our guy is a serial killer.

BECKETT
I would think that a serial killer would be like the holy grail for a crime novelist.

CASTLE
I guess it would be if it weren’t for the Nikki Heat of it all.

BECKETT
Ah.

CASTLE
I’m feeling a little bit responsible.

BECKETT
Really? Like the Beatles are responsible for Charles Manson 'cause of "Helter Skelter", or is it more like Jodie Foster is responsible for John Hinckley shooting Reagan?

CASTLE
If I hadn’t created Nikki Heat –

BECKETT
He would still be killing. He’d just find another reason why.

MAN
All right, folks. Make way.

WOMAN
Now what’s going on?

A couple of big black mini vans pull up.

CASTLE
Either a U.F.O. just landed on the other side of the park…

BECKETT
Or else the FBI is here to claim jurisdiction over this case.

CASTLE
Maybe they just want to ride on the carousel before the line gets too long.

People start getting out of the car.

AGENT JORDAN SHAW
Rope off a 10-foot circumference around the carousel. Sweep for prints and trace evidence. Close off the park entrance at 6th. Work up the entire footpath.

MAN
Mm-hmm.

BECKETT
Here goes.

SHAW
Nikki Heat, I presume.

BECKETT
It’s Beckett. Detective Kate Beckett.

SHAW shakes her hand, then CASTLE's.

SHAW
Yeah, I read all about you in Cosmo. And you must be the celebrity writer tagalong, Richard Castle. Special Agent Jordan Shaw.

CASTLE
Jor-Jordan Shaw? The same Jordan Shaw that broke the Hudson Valley Strangler case back in 1991?

SHAW
I also play a mean game of Scrabble. Now that we all know each other, I’d like to see the body.

BECKETT
Agent Shaw, my people have already secured the area. C.S.U. is on the scene, and we are canvassing the park. So as happy as I am to see the cavalry, there is really not much left here for you to do.

SHAW
Detective, the gods in the marble halls have sent me here to catch a killer, which I will do with or without your help, okay? Now could I see the body?

CASTLE
That is so going in the movie. Can you say that again, but start from “marble halls”? (He chases after her as she walks away).

RYAN
(Walks towards them) Unis pulled this from a trash bin. Wallet’s inside. The vic’s name is Michelle Lewis.

ESPOSITO
According to her business card, she’s a dog walker.

BECKETT
There’s a print here, and it’s too large to be our victim’s. Let’s get it to the lab for –

JORDAN SHAW clicks her cellphone above the wallet, everyone looks at her.

BECKETT
What are you doing?

SHAW
That print is already in the lab and being processed. No muss, no fuss, no black powder on your clothes.

CASTLE
Wow, there’s an app for that?

SHAW
That’s why I joined the FBI, Mr. Castle, for the toys. I’m really eager to see that body. (She walks away)

CASTLE
(Starts walking after her) Can I take a look at that –

BECKETT pushes him backwards with her arm.

CASTLE
Be a chance to check it later.


INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT

CASTLE
What’s going on?

BECKETT
They’re setting up the war room.

CASTLE
War room?

BECKETT
(Whispers) Tell me everything you know about Jordan Shaw.

CASTLE
She is like the federal you. She is good. She is real good. She cracked open that Hudson Valley Strangler case when she was just 25.

BECKETT
I thought they caught him off of a speeding ticket?

CASTLE
Well, don’t ask me how, but she profiled that he drove a Yugo.

BECKETT
They found a girl tied up in the back.

CASTLE
Uh-huh. Jordan Shaw saved that girl’s life.

BECKETT
I’ve never seen you so excited to meet anyone before.

CASTLE
No, I just – I’m – Oh, I’m impressed with…

MAN
Excuse us.

OTHER MAN
Watch it.

CASTLE
I… Can we go see the war room now?


INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, WAR ROOM

SHAW
You’re running partials too, right?

AVERY
Through all databases. The lab’s getting us information as fast as we can follow up.

BECKETT
I thought there was a backlog at the lab.

SHAW
I have a federal fast pass, so I get to jump the line.

(CASTLE fools around with the touch screen on the smart board.)

SHAW
Currently we are running 35 solid leads based on D.N.A prints, trace evidence found from both crime scenes, and we’re running through the FBI data matrix. The matrix also looks for a connection between the victims in case the killer has a type or a favorite hunting ground or isn’t killing randomly.

CASTLE
Both Alex Peterman and Michelle Lewis belonged to the same Wessex gym, but they went to different locations. They were both members of MoMA. Hmm. They both adopted their dogs from the same A.S.P.C.A.

BECKETT
Wow! Sounds like it does your job for you.

SHAW
A machine can collate. It can’t think. (Slams clipboard onto the table). It takes a mind to hunt a mind. (Walks up to the smart board) Take this guy.

BECKETT
Wow.

SHAW
He calls the police to report his own crime, likes to kill in heavily populated areas and uses bullets as messages. Now, most of these stalker types can barely tie their own shoes. This one’s different, smarter.

BECKETT
You almost sound like you admire him.

SHAW
I admire him the way Robert Shaw admired the shark in Jaws. The better I know him, the easier it’ll be to catch him.

CASTLE
That’s like when I’m writing. The killer’s voice doesn’t sound authentic unless I understand his motivation.

SHAW
Well, this guy likes to make a scene. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was also an arsonist. In fact, I think that’s what drew him to the Nikki Heat character in the first place – her name. Speaking of Detective Heat –

CASTLE
Oh. Whoa, whoa, guys, listen. Not that I don’t appreciate the royalties, but, uh, why do you need a hundred copies of Heat Wave?

SHAW
If our killer’s obsessed with Nikki Heat, then so are we. Avery, "Cliff Notes," please.

AVERY
A real estate tycoon is killed. Detective Nikki Heat catches the case and investigates suspects who wanted the man dead. There’s a trophy wife, of course, dangerous mobsters –

CASTLE
Uh – Uh, excuse me. It’s – it’s a – It’s a New York Times best-seller. I don’t think there’s a need to make it sound quite so dry. Thanks.

AVERY
Heat’s life is complicated by a reporter named Jameson Rook, who’s following her around for an article he’s writing. Heat and Rook verbally spar, and in chapter 11, they admit their attraction for one another and have sex.

(All of the agents chuckle)

AVERY
Mm-hmm.

BECKETT
It’s fiction.

AVERY
In the end, when the killer’s revealed, it turns out it is actually –

CASTLE
Oh. Oh. Oh. Spoiler alert.

SHAW
In deference to Mr. Castle’s artistic sensitivity, you can all read the book to find out the identity of the killer.

CASTLE
Thank you. And if you want me to autograph those for you, just form a single file line right here. (They all look at him in disbelief) Or not.

Computer beeps.

AVERY
We got a hit. That pinkie print off the second victim’s purse belongs to a Donald Salt, 2-time loser, on parole for a manslaughter conviction in 2005. They just matched it to the partial pinkie print your team recovered from Grand Central.

CASTLE
Two pinkie prints? So he was at the station and the carousel.

BECKETT
And the purse puts him with our victim.

SHAW
Let’s mount up.


INT - SHAW'S SUV, ALLEY

SHAW
(On the phone) Yeah. Okay. Just pulling up now. Yep, got it. (To BECKETT and CASTLE) Salt lives in that brick building. His supervisor says he left work an hour ago. So he should be home by now. When the others get here, we’ll take him.

(CASTLE, in the back seat, plays with goggles)

SHAW
(Irritated) What is he doing?

BECKETT
He, um, touches things.

(Whirring)

CASTLE
Night vision goggles. I think I have the newer model though. You know, maybe in my third book Nikki Heat will cross swords with a good-looking, yet coldhearted FBI profiler. Call it Federal Heat. (BECKETT looks at him) Or maybe not.

SHAW
So how long have you two been sleeping together?

BECKETT
I’m… we’re – We’re not sleeping together. We – he –

(CASTLE chuckles)

BECKETT
He just observes me.

SHAW
Yeah, I’ve seen how he observes you.

CASTLE
No, she’s right. Aside from my second wife, this is the most sexless relationship I’ve ever been in.

SHAW
I’ve been profiling people for a long time. I’m hardly ever wrong.

BECKETT
Well, this time you are… wrong.

SHAW
So if you’re not sleeping together, why do you keep him around?

CASTLE
You know I can hear you?

BECKETT
He’s actually proven to be surprisingly helpful.

SHAW
Hmm. Have to take your word on that.

CASTLE powers up the taser; it whirls and beeps.

SHAW (slowly and clearly, as if to a child)
Put the taser down.

CASTLE powers down the taser and it beeps.

SHAW
Okay, the team’s here. You stay in the car.

BECKETT
You heard her, Castle. Stay.

She and SHAW get out of the car.

CASTLE
Could you at least crack the window for me?

MAN
Come on. Let’s go. Move, move.

SHAW
Let’s make it quick and bloodless.

CASTLE stays behind in the car, his head out of the window.

MAN
Go, go, go.

SHAW sees a man walking to the apartment.

SHAW
Hang on. Stop! FBI! Hey!

The man starts running towards the car, away from the FBI. CASTLE sees him coming and powers up the taser. He gets out of the car and fires the taser at Salt.

SALT
Aah! Oh! (Drops on the ground)

CASTLE
See, I’m helping.

SHAW
Yeah, I’ll buy you an ice cream later.

BECKETT
Agent Shaw, we got a problem. His pinkie finger’s missing.

SALT
Which one of you is Nikki Heat?

BECKETT
(sighs)


INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, INTERROGATION

SALT sits smirking at SHAW and BECKETT.

SALT
So I was on one of those internet barter sites, and I was looking – It, uh, doesn’t matter what I was looking for. But I came across the ad. “Finger wanted. Will pay top dollar.”

BECKETT
And what’s top dollar for a pinkie finger?

SALT
5,000 bucks.

SHAW
Sounds like a real deal.

SALT
Hey, you get less than that for a kidney. So anyway, I e-mailed him back. I told him I had everything he wanted.

SHAW
You gave him the finger. What more did he want?

SALT
He wanted me to have a violent felony conviction and to be recently paroled. And you also had to be willing to suffer through the indignity of a false arrest. He told me Detective Nikki Heat would be coming for me… and it might get physical. He didn’t mention anything about Captain America with the taser gun.

BECKETT
So he warned you that he would be planting your finger print at a murder scene.

SHAW
Which is why you have an alibi.

SALT
I was perched on my favorite bar stool at McSorley’s until closing every night since that man took my digit and walked away with it in his cooler.

SHAW
Is this the man?

SALT
I’m not sure. I didn’t really see him. He had a hat and sunglasses.

BECKETT
Who bandaged your finger?

SALT
He did. He said you’d notice. (He sticks out his hand so she can take a look at the bandage)

BECKETT wants to pull the bandage off.

SALT
Oh, be gentle with me, Nikki.

She unwraps the bandage.

BECKETT
There’s numbers here. This looks like a code.


INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, WAR ROOM

CASTLE
Severed digits, a secret code – This is like one of my books.

SHAW
You should have been with me on the Recapitator case.

CASTLE
What, that guy in Phoenix who switched his victims’ heads? That was your case?

AVERY
Our techs have run the numbers through all conventional cryptology. We can’t crack it.

CASTLE
Which means what?

AVERY
There’s either a reference key that we don’t have or the code itself is just a random string of numbers.

SHAW
It’s not random. He bought another man’s finger so he could leave a print that would lead us directly to this code. It’s how he taunts Nikki. “Are you clever enough to solve my riddle?” So whatever this reference key is, he thinks you can find it.

BECKETT
Those numbers could mean anything.

CASTLE
Well, the left-hand column is less than 300. Right-hand column is no more than 260.

SHAW
And the combination of the joined pair most likely yields a word.

CASTLE
Words. It’s Heat Wave. When we typeset a manuscript, it’s usually 300 words a page. And Heat Wave is less than 300 pages. First column is a page number…

BECKETT
Counting backwards from the bottom.

CASTLE
79. Second column is a word. 32-33. “I.”

SHAW
126-80. “Will.”

BECKETT
145-204. “Kill.”

CASTLE
“I will kill”…

AVERY
Hang on. I’m uploading the text right now.

Computer beeping.

CASTLE
“I will kill someone else before midnight tonight unless you stop me."

BECKETT
Midnight. That’s eight hours away. He’s putting us on the clock. He’s daring us to stop him.


INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, BULLPEN

BECKETT sits in front of her white board.

CASTLE
Kickin’ it old-school?

BECKETT
The white board’s always worked for me. I’ve been going over subway routes, trying to see if I can trace a pattern from Grand Central to the carousel to the next location, and so far, nothing definitive.

CASTLE
Well, maybe there’s something about how he chooses his victims. First a man, then a woman.

BECKETT
A lawyer and a dog walker? Let’s face it. There’s no pattern there. There is no way to predict where he’s gonna go next and it’s already 9:00, and we’re out of time. And every murder he commits in the name of Nikki Heat…

CASTLE
A very wise woman once told me you can’t blame Jodie Foster for John Hinckley. But you can blame her for Nim’s Island.

BECKETT
(Chuckles)

MAN
Lead just came in now.

MAN
Let’s get it to Avery.

MAN
Guys, can we put it on the computer real quick?

BECKETT follows the agents to the war room.

BECKETT
What have you got?

AVERY
Lab results came back on that bandage. Tested positive for formaldehyde, methanol, and ethanol.

CASTLE/SHAW
(At the same time) Embalming fluid.

SHAW
The lab found traces of formaldehyde at Grand Central and ethanol at the carousel.

CASTLE
Our killer works at a mortuary.

BECKETT
Or he could be a hospital employee or a janitor at a morgue.

SHAW
No. Castle’s theory is more likely. Bring up all the mortuaries in the city.

AVERY
We’ve got over a thousand in the New York city area alone. We can’t hit all these before midnight.

CASTLE
Can you cross-reference mortuary experience with criminal records?

SHAW
Or job finder groups for ex-cons.

CASTLE
Yes!

AVERY
I can try. Six names.

SHAW
Mobilize the troops. I want every one of these guys in our custody before midnight. (To BECKETT) I see what you mean about him being helpful.

CASTLE sticks his thumbs up excitedly to BECKETT.


INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, OBSERVATION

MONTGOMERY
Any of these undertakers look good for it?

CASTLE
They all say the same thing. “We work with dead bodies all day, we don’t need to make more.”

BECKETT
He baited us, just like with that fingerprint. We’re wasting our time.

RYAN
(Sticks his head in the room) He’s on the phone. He’s asking for Nikki Heat.

BECKETT walks out to the bullpen, to the phone.

SHAW
We’re tracing the call.

BECKETT
(On the phone) Hello.

MAN ON THE PHONE
Nikki? You were supposed to stop me. I wanted you to stop me.

BECKETT
Tell me where you are.

MAN
Will you come alone?

BECKETT looks at SHAW, who nods.

BECKETT
Yes, just you and me. We can figure this out. I can help you. You just need to trust me.

MAN
Tell me something… How does it feel to know that you have failed?


INT - PARKING GARAGE

Cars pull up, tires squealing.

SHAW
Check the stairs. Get a unit on the roof. I want eyes on every inch of this structure.

BECKETT
He was just here. That body can’t be too far.

RYAN
Over here! A lot of blood. A woman’s shoe. Got a broken heel.

SHAW
Strands of hair. Looks like she put up a fight.

BECKETT
There’s four shell casings. There’s no way she would’ve survived without medical attention.

CASTLE
Then where’s the body? He always leaves the body where he kills.

SHAW
And he always kills in famous places with lots of foot traffic. He’s changing his M.O.

CASTLE
Which makes him more unpredictable, which makes him more dangerous.

AVERY
Structure’s clear. There’s no body.

SHAW
Where the hell did he put her?

BECKETT
He put her in his trunk. That blood trail ends right here.

CASTLE
So he waited, probably left his car idling, takes down his victim, popped his trunk, put her in, drove away, body on board.

SHAW
Get the parking attendant to give us a list of all the vehicles through here and the video footage.

AVERY
Mm-hmm.

CASTLE
What, you think he used his own car?

SHAW
No, but if he stole it tonight, he might not have had time to switch the plates. We put out an A.P.B.

BECKETT
I’ll get my guys to get a roster of all the people who had monthlies on this floor.

SHAW
My people are already on it, and I got way more people than you do. Your captain has a unit on your apartment. Go home, get some rest.

BECKETT
It’s not necess –

SHAW
No argument. You’re no good to me if you’re burned out.


INT - CASTLE'S LOFT

CASTLE hears roaring on television; MARTHA is watching herself on the TV show The Incredible Hulk.

MARTHA ON TELEVISON
He roars like an angry, caged animal. Concentrate towards the outer hatch area. The blows don’t seem to be injuring his hands. There’s no – There’s no blood that I can see.

CASTLE
Hey.

MARTHA
Hi.

CASTLE
What are you still doing up?

MARTHA
Oh, can’t sleep. Too much on my mind. You know, decisions to make and…

CASTLE
(While looking at the television) Wow. One of your old wedding videos.

MARTHA
(Laughs) Oh-ho-ho. Are you kidding? This guy’s a pushover compared to my ex-husbands. (Turns off TV)

CASTLE
So the pros outweighed the cons?

MARTHA
Darling, this was always supposed to be a temporary situation – un-until I got back on my feet, you know.

CASTLE
Well, the Rodgers women always follow their hearts.

MARTHA
Yeah. You okay?

CASTLE
This case, it just… If it wasn’t for my book –

MARTHA
What are you gonna do, darling, stop writing because some idiot has got a screw loose?

CASTLE
No, it’s just… I never intended to put her in harm’s way.

MARTHA
Let me tell you something about Kate Beckett. That gal can take care of herself. Really.


INT - BECKETT’S APARTMENT

BECKETT's hanging out, reading. A floorboard creaks. She takes a gun and yanks the door open, pointing the gun at the person behind the door.

CASTLE
WHOO! Wow!

BECKETT
Castle? What are you doing here?

CASTLE
Wine? So what happened to your security detail? I didn’t see anyone outside.

BECKETT
I sent them home after I got in.

CASTLE looks at her in disbelief.

BECKETT
What? The windows are locked, the door is locked, I’m armed. So our guy killed the others where they were found. Why not this girl? Why didn’t he just leave her in the garage where we’d find her?

CASTLE
He’s changing it up.

BECKETT
Or this victim is special. (CASTLE offers her a glass of wine) No, thanks.

CASTLE
No, no, Agent Shaw said we need to decompress. Nothing decompresses like a 2000 Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

BECKETT
Oh, well, if Special Agent Shaw said so…

CASTLE
What is that supposed to mean?

BECKETT
Nothing. I just see the way that you listen to her, the way that you look at all of her fancy equipment. Now my murder board’s not enough for you? Now you need a smart board?

CASTLE
Are you jealous?

BECKETT
I’m not jealous. I’m just embarrassed the way that you act like a ten-year-old, all impressed by her data matrix. “Oh, it collates information so quickly, Agent Shaw, tell me all about it.”

CASTLE
You are ridiculous.

BECKETT
And then to top it off, you are now building theory with her.

CASTLE
So?

BECKETT
So you’re supposed to be building theory with me. You’re supposed to be on my team.

CASTLE
Well, I thought we were all on the same team?

BECKETT
We are. It’s just… I think that if you have an insight, you should run it by me first.

CASTLE
Fine. I will. Now drink your wine.

BECKETT
Thanks. But I am tired. And… I need to go to bed.

CASTLE
Oh, no. I’m not leaving. I’m here to protect you.

BECKETT
What, with your vast arsenal of rapier wit?

CASTLE
There is a madman gunning for you because of me. I am not going to leave you alone.

BECKETT
Okay, fine. I’m too tired to argue. But I see that doorknob turn, I will have you know, Mr. Castle, that I sleep with a gun.

CASTLE
Understood.


INT - BECKETT'S APARTMENT, NEXT MORNING

BECKETT
You’re still here… and you’re making pancakes?

CASTLE
I was hoping for bacon and eggs, but your eggs are expired and your bacon has something furry on it.

BECKETT
Yeah, well, I mostly order in.

CASTLE
I figured that from the Styrofoam temple you’ve got going on in that refrigerator. Coffee’s brewed. I think your filter’s broken though. I’ll order you a new one later.

BECKETT
Wow. Looks like you thought of everything.

CASTLE
(Snaps fingers) Except the paper.

BECKETT
Castle, we don’t have time for the paper. There’s a body out there that I gotta find.

CASTLE
(Dead body drops to the floor when he opens the door) Ah! Looks like it found you.

~*~*~


C.S.U. team’s taking photographs.

RYAN
So you had just gotten up, right?

BECKETT
Yeah. Castle just finished making breakfast and he went to the door –

RYAN
What kind of breakfast?

BECKETT
Uh, I’m sorry?

RYAN
What kind of breakfast was he making?

BECKETT
Pancakes.

RYAN
Well, isn’t that domestic?

BECKETT
Anyway, the paper usually arrives at 4:00, and we were up at 7:00. So that means the killer had a 3-hour window where he could have left the body there unnoticed.

RYAN
And exactly what time did you and Mr. Castle go to bed last night?

BECKETT
I think we’re done here.

~*~*~


ESPOSITO
Dude, I see Beckett in her jammies… Wine glasses on the table.

CASTLE
There’s nothing going on between Beckett and me. No more than there was yesterday.

RYAN
Dude, you made her pancakes?

CASTLE
It’s just breakfast.

ESPOSITO
Pancakes is not just breakfast. It’s an edible way of saying, “Thank you so much for last night.”

RYAN
Castle, come on. We’re your friends. Details.

CASTLE
All right, come here.

RYAN and ESPOSITO lean in.

CASTLE
(In a loud voice) There are no details.

ESPOSITO
I can’t even look at you right now.

RYAN
(Reads out loud what he’s writing) Witness refuses to cooperate.

~*~*~


SHAW
Now we know why he took the body.

BECKETT
“I know where you live.” This was a threat.

SHAW
More than that. He’s saying he’s disappointed in you. In his mind, he gave you a fair warning that he was going to kill again. If you had been smarter, you would’ve been able to stop him. He’s saying, “This one is on you.” (off BECKETT's look) I’m profiling him, Detective, not agreeing with him. The guy’s a freaking nut-bar. Don’t let him get to you.

CASTLE
(Holds up paper with the sketch of their man on the front page) Talk about irony.

BECKETT
Do we have an I.D. on our vic?

SHAW
No, not yet. There’s no purse, no missing persons report filed. The coronor’s van’s downstairs. We need to get the body to the morgue and pull the slugs. Only four entry wounds. If the pattern holds, he should have a 4-letter word for us.

BECKETT
That’s funny. I have a 4-letter word for him, too.

SHAW
Why don’t you two escort the body to the morgue and let me know what you find?

BECKETT
Okay.

SHAW
Once you’re dressed, of course.


INT - MORGUE

LANIE
Hey. Heard you two were making pancakes when the body dropped.

BECKETT
Nothing happened.

LANIE
Right.

BECKETT
So what do you got?

LANIE
Letters on the slugs. B-U-R-

BECKETT
“Burn.” Nikki will burn.

CASTLE
Well, that’s chilling.

BECKETT
Our victim’s fingerprints aren’t in the system. Do you have anything that can I.D. her?

LANIE
Well, I found formaldehyde on her.

BECKETT
Yeah, that’s from the killer. He left it on the other scenes as well.

LANIE
Not traces. It was under her fingernails, in her hair. She worked with embalming fluid. I also found traces of clay, polyurethane, and animal blood. I don’t know who she is, but I can tell you what she does.

CASTLE/BECKETT
(Together) She’s a taxidermist.

LANIE
It’s so cute, the way you two do that.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, BULLPEN

SHAW
Taxidermy?

CASTLE
Embalming fluid plus animal hair equals Norman Bates’ favorite pastime.

BECKETT
It can’t be just a coincidence that we found embalming fluid at our first two crime scenes as well.

SHAW
So the killer and this victim were connected.

BECKETT
It seems so. So there’s only seven taxidermy shops in the city. My guys are running them down right now.

SHAW
But if there was a connection between them, why didn’t the comparison matrix find it?

BECKETT
Maybe it’s not as simple as a work relationship or going to the same gym. Like you said, it takes a mind to hunt a mind.

ESPOSITO
Yo. We got an I.D. on our third vic. Her name is Sandra Keller. She works at a taxidermy shop downtown.

BECKETT
Any connection between her and our killer?

RYAN
A colleague of hers said she had a run-in with a guy who maybe matched our sketch – a customer whose Bichon Frise had been killed in the park by another dog – a Rottweiler.

ESPOSITO
Customer was heartbroken. He paid half up front to have his Mr. Bumpkins preserved for eternity. When he came back to pick up his dog, didn’t have the fee.

RYAN
When Sandra refused to give up stuffed Bumpkins, the guy went ballistic and stormed out of the store. Two nights later, they had a break-in. Among the things that went missing are this guy’s stuffed Bichon Frise and a bunch of embalming fluid.

SHAW
That explains why we found traces of it at the murder scenes.

ESPOSITO
He also trashed the store’s computer. There’s no client data, no name.

SHAW
My agent interviewed all of Michelle Lewis’ dog walking clients. One couple had to put their Rottweiler down because Michelle lost control of it, and it killed another dog.

CASTLE
Mr. Bumpkins. So, grief-stricken, our killer blames Michelle and Sandra for the loss of his best friend and decides to get revenge.

BECKETT
All of this about a dog? What does this have to do with Nikki Heat?

SHAW
The dog’s the trigger. Maybe he was reading the book when it was killed. When he snapped, he somehow blamed Nikki for it.

BECKETT
It seems a little absurd.

SHAW
You must be a cat lover. Detective, he’s looking for a reason to kill. This is it.

ESPOSITO
What about our first vic? How does Peterman fit in to all this?

CASTLE
Well, he was a personal injury lawyer. Maybe our murderer wanted to file a wrongful doggy death suit.

AVERY
According to Peterman’s notes, back in January, he had a meeting with a Ben Conrad over a lawsuit about a dead dog. Peterman declined to take the case though.

CASTLE
That’s the last piece of our puzzle.

BECKETT
What do you have on Conrad?

AVERY
Just a photo from the D.M.V.

SHAW drags the photo onto another part of the smart board, where the computer starts matching the photos.

SHAW
Got you, you son of a *****.


EXT - CONRAD'S APARTMENT BUILDING

SHAW
(On the phone) Yeah. Okay, sweetie. Mommy’s gotta go arrest somebody, okay? I’ll be home for dinner. All right. I love you. Bye.

BECKETT
You’re a mom?

SHAW
Yeah. And you can holster your gun. You’re both staying here.

CASTLE
What? No, come on. This is the final takedown. (To BECKETT) You can’t let her do this to us.

BECKETT
No, Agent Shaw is right. I’m his target. I can’t compromise your team by walking into the line of fire.

SHAW
We’ll take him down. It’ll still be your collar.

BECKETT
Mm-hmm. Wow. She’s a mom. I never would’ve pegged her for that. I figured she was a career-driven woman with no time for a family.

CASTLE
Well, not everybody makes that choice.

BECKETT
(On cellphone) Beckett.

MONTGOMERY
He’s calling for you.

BECKETT
Put him on. Hello?

MAN
Oh, you think you’re so smart, don’t you, Nikki? You think, what, just because you found me that you won?

BECKETT
(Whispers) He knows we’re here. (To the phone) It’s over, Ben. Time to give up.

MAN
No, it’s not over.

We can see the silhouette of a man at the window of the apartment.

BECKETT
Ben, listen to me. You’re surrounded. I need you to put the gun down.

MAN
You know I can’t do that, Nikki.

BECKETT
Ben, I need you to step outside of your apartment with your hands raised.

MAN
That’s not our game. One of us has to die.

BECKETT
No one has to die.

MAN
Somebody always has to die! And since it can’t be you…

BECKETT
Ben!

The figure steps out of sight of the window and a gunshot sounds.

SHAW
Go!

MAN
Go! Go! Go!

MAN
Kitchen’s clear!

MAN
Bathroom’s clear!

MAN
Clear!

~*~*~

INT - CONRAD'S APARTMENT

SHAW
We’re sending the gun to ballistics, but given it’s a .45, it’s probably the same one he used on our other victims.

CASTLE
And probably the same one he was gonna use on you.

SHAW
Uh, actually, no. He was planning something a little bit more spectacular.

She's looking over a pile of electronic bits and pieces on a table.

CASTLE
Cell phones?

BECKETT
He was making a detonator.

SHAW clicks a button on a phone and it gives three short beeps.

MALE VOICE IN THE PHONE
Good-bye, Nikki. Good-bye, Nikki.

SHAW
He was extracting formaldehyde from the embalming fluid he stole to create cyclonite – a near military-grade explosive.

CASTLE
When you profiled him, you said he was probably an arsonist.

SHAW
I also said he liked to make a big scene. Schematics of the precinct. He was planning on killing you and taking the whole station with you.

CASTLE
“Nikki will burn.” I can see the poetry in that. The terrible, homicidal poetry.

SHAW
I just wouldn’t have profiled this guy as suicidal. I guess once we found him, it was the only way he could control the situation.

BECKETT
Well, at least Conrad saved us the trouble of a trial.

SHAW
And the best news is, I’m out of your hair.

BECKETT
The best news… is that it’s over.


INT - CASTLE'S LOFT

CASTLE is looking through the case photos.

CASTLE
Hey. I thought you went to bed an hour ago.

ALEXIS
I couldn’t sleep. I thought the case was over.

CASTLE
Oh, it is. Wrapped up all nice and neat.

ALEXIS
That’s a good thing, right?

CASTLE
In a book, that’s a good thing. In real life, nothing is that neat. What’s got you still up?

ALEXIS
Gram. I can’t believe she’s leaving tomorrow. I mean, yeah, when she first moved in, I couldn’t imagine having her around all the time. But now I… can’t imagine her being gone.

CASTLE
Listen. It’s a fact of life. People we love leave us. Unless you chain ‘em to a radiator, which for some reason is illegal.

ALEXIS
(Chuckles)

CASTLE
But, uh… Knowing her… (Whispers) She’ll be back in six months.

MARTHA
Oh, good. You’re both up. Darling, I need you to help me decide on what to take. Oh, and I need to get my bags down. Richard, could you give us a hand?

CASTLE
A hand.

ALEXIS
What?

CASTLE
The bruising pattern on the second victim – the killer used his left hand. And… you see his handwriting? Look at the slope on the ‘4’ and the loop on the ‘6’.

MARTHA
Yeah. So he was left-handed.

CASTLE
Well, Ben Conrad shot himself with his right hand. If the man in the window was Ben Conrad, he would’ve shot himself on the left side. Ben Conrad didn’t kill himself. Ben Conrad was murdered by the man in the window. Ben – Ben’s not our killer. The real killer was just playing with us.

ALEXIS
But the evidence –

CASTLE
No, it was – it was planted there to lead us to Ben. He wants us to think it’s over. He wants us to drop our guard. He wants to make a big scene. “Nikki will burn.” Beckett.

MARTHA
Oh, God.

CASTLE
Montgomery took the detail off her place. She’s alone. (Picks up the phone and calls BECKETT)


INT - BECKETT’S APARTMENT

BECKETT’s in the shower. Her cell phone is ringing.


INT - CASTLE'S LOFT

CASTLE
Call the precinct. Tell them to get over there right away. Tell them we were wrong. Tell them the killer’s still alive. (To ALEXIS) You lock this door behind me. Don’t let anyone in.

MARTHA
(On the phone) Captain Montgomery, please. Yes, tell him it’s an emergency.


INT - BECKETT’S APARTMENT

She’s still in the shower; CASTLE keeps calling.


EXT - STREET OUTSIDE BECKETT'S APARTMENT BUILDING

CASTLE gets out of a cab, still calling BECKETT.

CASTLE
Come on, Beckett. Pick up. Pick up the phone. Pick it up!


INT - BECKETT’S APARTMENT

Eventually she gets out of the shower and answers her cell.

BECKETT
What, Castle?


EXT - STREET OUTSIDE BECKETT'S APARTMENT BUILDING

CASTLE is running towards BECKETT’s apartment.

CASTLE
It wasn’t Ben Conrad. He’s not the killer! The killer’s still alive! The killer’s still alive!


INT - BECKETT’S APARTMENT

Something beeps.

MALE VOICE IN A CELL PHONE
Goodbye, Nikki. Goodbye, Nikki.


EXT - STREET OUTSIDE BECKETT'S APARTMENT BUILDING

CASTLE
Kate!

Very loud explosion. CASTLE stares in disbelief and concern at what once was BECKETT’s apartment as the building starts to burn.

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