3x04 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda

CASTLE
EPISODE 3x04
"Punked"


EST – NYC DAWN

Horses gallop in Central Park as the camera pans up over a dead body. A foot, a hand, a gunshot wound to the chest. The dead man is wearing only boxers when the mounted police officers find it.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

RICHARD CASTLE is cooking breakfast, flipping an omelet.

CASTLE
I have delicately placed one graham cracker, exactly six marshmallows atop a perfectly melted chocolate bar.

MARTHA RODGERS
(she looks disgusted) In an omelet, darling, really.

CASTLE
Not an omelet. A smorelet.

MARTHA
Uh huh.

CASTLE
(proudly) Care for one?

MARTHA
No, thank you!

ALEXIS CASTLE is not paying attention to their conversation, instead staring off into space. CASTLE places the plated smorelet on the breakfast bar in front of her.

CASTLE
What about you, sweetheart? Are you ready for your taste buds to be launched into breakfast nirvana?

ALEXIS
Sure, thanks. Oh, is it okay if my friend Ashley comes over tonight?

CASTLE
Yes, of course. (he hands her a fork) Now, eat.

She takes a bite of the smorelet, chewing once before spitting it out into her napkin.

ALEXIS
Dad! Are there marshmallows in this?

CASTLE
(happily) Yes.

ALEXIS
And chocolate?

CASTLE
(confused) Yes. That’s the point, it’s a smorelet.

ALEXIS can’t quite believe what her dad is saying.

ALEXIS
Uh… I gotta go. Love you. Love you!

MARTHA
Bye, honey.

She leaves as CASTLE takes a bite of the smorelet that ALEXIS has left on the counter.

CASTLE
Mmm. This is almost as good as my chocolate mousse chimichanga. (ALEXIS comes back) Ah ha, I knew you’d reconsider. It’s like David Hasselhoff. At first you’re repulsed but strangely you’re drawn in.

She was just coming back to get her bag.

ALEXIS
No, still repulsed. Bye!

She leaves for real this time.

CASTLE
I wonder what’s up with Alexis. She seems a little out of it.

MARTHA
Isn’t it obvious?

CASTLE
What?

MARTHA
Oh, she’s in love.

CASTLE
(unbelieving) Alexis?

MARTHA
Oh, come on darling, in case you haven’t noticed, she’s not a little girl anymore.

CASTLE
Thank you, Mother, I think if Alexis were in love she would have told me.

MARTHA
Ah ah ah ah … the fact that she hasn’t told you is how we know it’s real.

CASTLE
(she’s not telling him something) Mother …

MARTHA
Okay, and the fact that she … mentioned it to me last night.

CASTLE
(offended he didn’t know about this) Who is he? Where did she meet him?

MARTHA
I don’t know. She wouldn’t say. (off his unbelieving look) No, diva’s honor. She didn’t tell me anything. She didn’t even tell me his name.

CASTLE
(pouting) I can’t believe she told you and not me. I’m supposed to be her go-to guy.

MARTHA
Oh, darling, of course you are. It’s just, you know, it’s first love. It’s magical, ethereal … it defies logic.

She’s trying, but he’s still hurt and upset that ALEXIS didn’t tell him. His phone starts to ring but he ignores it.

MARTHA
Uh, Richard … your phone.

CASTLE
Hmuh.

MARTHA picks it up off the counter to see who’s calling.

MARTHA
Ah, Beckett. Maybe it’s a nice murder, darling. Brighten your day.

He doesn’t want it to, but the idea that KATE BECKETT is calling him about a murder does cheer him up and he smiles.

MARTHA
Good boy.

She hands him the phone.

CASTLE
Castle.

EST – CENTRAL PARK DAYTIME

EXT – CENTRAL PARK

CASTLE and BECKETT walk towards the crime scene.

CASTLE
When Alexis took her first steps, I was there to catch her when she fell. The first time she rode her bike without training wheels I was the maniac chasing her down the street screaming for her to watch out for the old lady with the walker. Even her first word –

BECKETT
Let me guess. Daddy?

CASTLE
No, it was "denouement". I stressed story structure from an early age. Anyway, I’m afraid this is the beginning of the end of our special thing.

BECKETT
You know, I wouldn’t worry, Castle. I mean, I’ve seen the way that she looks at you. Your real problem is that girls who adore their daddies usually end up marrying guys just like them.

CASTLE
(alarmed) They do?

BECKETT
Dr. Parish! Good morning. Got an i.d.?

LANIE PARISH is working over the body, taking notes and pictures. BECKETT crouches next to her.

LANIE
Not yet. How come you guys never bring me coffee? I’m here before you, doing all the work –

CASTLE
(looks at his own coffee) You can have the rest of mine.

LANIE
Actually, I don’t drink coffee. But would it kill you to bring me a bearclaw?

BECKETT
Speaking of killing … (she eyes the body)

LANIE
Single GSW to the chest, large caliber, probably a .45. Lividity suggests time of death around midnight.

CASTLE
Hey! I have those boxers. Thomas Nash. Very pricey British brand. Amazingly soft, as silk.

LANIE and BECKETT give each other a look over his metrosexual moment before turning to CASTLE to silently question him.

CASTLE
Just saying … he was probably very comfortable when he was … shot and killed.

BECKETT can’t believe where this conversation has gone. She turns to LANIE instead.

BECKETT
So what was this guy doing out here practically naked at midnight.

LANIE
Don’t bother with any of your perverted theories, Castle. I found fibers in the bullet hole.

BECKETT
Which means he was wearing clothes when he was shot.

CASTLE
That doesn’t make any sense. The killer shot him and then hung around to take his bloody clothes off him?

BECKETT
Well, maybe the killer was worried that there was forensic evidence on the clothes that would connect them.

JAVIER ESPOSITO
Yo, uni found this wallet out in a garbage can near 5th.

ESPOSITO hands her an evidence bag while KEVIN RYAN holds up his driver’s license.

RYAN
Photo on the license matches Captain Underpants here.

BECKETT stares at him as ESPOSITO turns to give him a look.

RYAN
Sorry, my nephew loves those books.

BECKETT takes the license.

BECKETT
Daniel Goldstein, 25, lives in SoHo.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, he’s also got a work id from Burman Rose, down on Wall Street.

CASTLE
So he lived downtown and worked downtown; what was he doing way up here?

BECKETT
(hands ESPOSITO the evidence) Let’s take this down to the lab.

ESPOSITO
Right.

BECKETT gets up. She’s got enough to start her investigation so she starts walking away.

CASTLE
So I wear boxers. What do you wear? Thong? Cheekies?

She just walks away, only acknowledging his questions with an amused glance.

CASTLE
(calling after her) I told you mine. Bloomers? Granny panties? (he thinks of something) Commando?

LANIE looks up from the body with an ‘I can’t believe he just said that’ look.

EST – NYC DAYTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

RACHEL
His clothes were taken? Why would anyone take his clothes?

BECKETT
We don’t know, Ms. Goldstein. Can you tell us what your brother might have been doing in the park?

RACHEL
That late? I have no idea.

BECKETT
Well, the place where Daniel was found is known for drug activity. Was he using?

RACHEL
No. He barely even drank.

BECKETT
Did he have any enemies? Or conflicts that you know of?

RACHEL
No. No, look, none of this makes any sense. It’s just … it’s not like him. Our parents both died in a car accident when he was twelve and since then, he’s always been so cautious.

CASTLE
What about dating? Was there anyone special in his life?

RACHEL
No, you wish, but no. He barely had a social life. Or social skills. I mean, he was such a sweetheart, but a dork, you know? And he was always at work anyway.

CASTLE
At Burman Rose? (RACHEL nods) What did he do for them?

RACHEL
Created financial products. He was this incredible math genius. He got his PhD from MIT, I thought for sure that he’d be a professor or something, but these hedge funds, they hire guys like him and they pay them obscene amounts of money. Twenty five years old, he bought my apartment for me.

RYAN knocks on the door.

BECKETT
Excuse me.

She and CASTLE join RYAN.

BECKETT
What’s up?

RYAN
Lab got a fingerprint off our vic’s wallet.

CASTLE
Anyone good?

RYAN hesitates, not sure he can fully explain the situation. He just points, telling them to follow him.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

CASTLE sits looking shocked.

BECKETT
Awaiting court dates on three aggravated assault cases in the past month, Mr. D’Andre. You’ve inflicted dozens of broken bones, gouged out one of your victim’s eyes, bit off part of an ear of another one; sounds like murder was inevitable. I’m just curious, why did you take his clothes?

Roland D’Andre is a large, intimidating man. His long beard and fierce expression make him look scary.

D’ANDRE
Wasn’t me.

BECKETT
Well then why were your fingerprints on a dead man’s wallet? Did he just happen to drop it and you politely picked it up for him? And why did my detectives find this unregistered .45 in your apartment, which just happens to match the size of the bullet hole in my victim. (she puts the bagged gun on the table)

CASTLE can’t stop looking at D’Andre. He notices.

CASTLE (nervously)
Hey.

BECKETT
If you’re so innocent, Mr. D’Andre, why did you resist arrest and try to put one of my detectives through a wall?

This is new information to CASTLE. He turns as if he could see the rest of the gang behind the two way mirror.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT OBSERVATION ROOM

RYAN
You know, the right turtleneck and no one is even going to notice, bro.

ESPOSITO is in a full neck brace, his expression full of contempt. He has to turn his whole body to look at RYAN.

RYAN
Maybe a scarf.

He’s joking, and he slaps ESPOSITO on the chest. The movement hurts and ESPOSITO grunts in pain.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
Why don’t you just confess to the truth, it’s gonna come out sooner or later.

D’ANDRE
He was already dead.

BECKETT
With a wallet lying conveniently next to him?

They just stare at each other.

CASTLE
Look, if you’re not going to admit to it, you might want to try at least coming up with a story that’s a little more convincing –

D’ANDRE stands, startling CASTLE out of his chair and against the back wall. He looks a bit ashamed for goading the big man, but BECKETT is just exasperated.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN and ESPOSITO come out of the observation room at the same time CASTLE and BECKETT leave the interrogation room.

CASTLE
Like you weren’t scared.

BECKETT rolls her eyes.

ESPOSITO
I want this guy to fry, Beckett.

He speaks forcefully, the intensity hurting his neck.

BECKETT
Oh, he will. As soon as Lanie confirms that that bullet is a .45.

INT - MORGUE

LANIE
It’s not a .45.

BECKETT
Are you sure?

LANIE
I’m positive.

CASTLE
.38?

LANIE
Nope. It’s not a .44 or a .357 or .22 or a 9mm or any other kind of bullet I’ve ever seen.

CASTLE
So it’s a new kind of bullet?

LANIE
Oh no. Not new at all. Check it out.

LANIE flips on the lighted magnifying glass and invites them to take a look.

BECKETT
It’s round.

LANIE
See that white coating?

BECKETT
Yeah, what is it? Oxidation?

LANIE
Lead oxide, to be exact.

CASTLE
Rust?

LANIE
Yep. Based on the amount of it I’d say that bullet is 200 years old.

BECKETT is shocked.

CASTLE
200 year old bullet can only mean one thing. (off BECKETT’S questioning look, very matter of fact) Time travelling killer.

LANIE rolls her eyes. CASTLE turns to her for a high five, but she’s already turned and is walking away, leaving him hanging. BECKETT follows her.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

The elevator opens and BECKETT hurries off but CASTLE hustles after her.

CASTLE
Ergo, the killer could have entered present time through a time ripple, killed Goldstein, and gone back through the time ripple. Which means we just need to find the time ripple –

BECKETT
Could you please stop saying ‘time ripple’?

CASTLE
Yeah. It sounds kind of dirty, doesn’t it? If the ripple closed … time machine! We need a time machine.

BECKETT
Well, in this century we still haven’t ruled out our big buddy Mr. D’Andre.

CASTLE
Yeah, he just doesn’t seem like the time travel type to me.

RYAN
Can’t be a time travelling killer. Bullet had 200 years of rust on it. If the killer was a time traveler the bullet would have been brand new.

CASTLE
(thrilled someone is playing his game) Unless time travel causes rust.

BECKETT
(to CASTLE) On your brain. (to RYAN) Have you followed up with the victim’s sister regarding the antique bullet?

RYAN
Yep, she has no clue about antique bullets or guns. But there’s somebody who does. Abe Sandrich, the antiques weapon expert you requested.

CASTLE
That reminds me. I’m starving.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

ABE SANDRICH inspects the barrel of the gun they fround in D’ANDRE’S apartment.

ABE
I like .45s. Catch the right angle and this sucker could take your head clean off. But it’s not the gun you’re looking for.

CASTLE
Why’s that?

ABE
Barrel would have had to be modified. This one’s factory fresh.

CASTLE
(to BECKETT) Well, do you think D’Andre the giant was telling the truth when he said he found the wallet in the grass?

BECKETT
Well, the killer did take Goldstein’s clothes, so it’s possible the wallet might have fallen out when he left the crime scene. (to ABE) What kind of a pistol would have fired that bullet?

ABE
We usually just call them lead balls, for obvious reasons. I’d say a whole lot of eighteenth century flintlocks, too many brands to even speculate. You’ll need to find the actual pistol to match it to this lead ball.

BECKETT
And how many people would own that kind of antique pistol?

ABE
Hard to say. They’re considered collectibles, so they don’t have to be registered.

CASTLE
Making it pretty smart to kill someone with one.

ABE
Oh yeah. Guns may be old, but they got plenty of killing left in them.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO rises gingerly form his chair.

ESPOSITO
So is, uh, D’Andre our guy?

BECKETT
I’m afraid not.

ESPOSITO
What? Why did he go all Hulk Hogan on me?

CASTLE
Well, why did the scorpion sting the frog? It’s his nature.

CAPTAIN ROY MONTGOMERY
Yeah well, D’Andre will be seeing nature from behind bars from now on for assaulting an officer. I’ll see he gets the max, Detective.

ESPOSITO
Thank you, Captain.

MONTGOMERY
You know you can take a couple days, if you like. Catch some movies.

CASTLE
Read Naked Heat!

ESPOSITO
(firmly) No. No need, sir.

MONTGOMERY goes to slap him on the shoulder but reconsiders at the last second, lightly touching it instead. He walks off.

RYAN
Still no luck with the clothes. Unis looked in every trash can within a five block radius of the park.

BECKETT
What is so special about these clothes that our killer would take them?

CASTLE
Maybe our killer came through the time ripple naked and needed the clothes. (they don’t indulge him) Like in The Terminator.

BECKETT
Sadly, I don’t have a better theory at this point.

She turns to the murder board while CASTLE and ESPOSITO ‘feed the birds’.

BECKETT
So, question is, what did a Wall Street number cruncher like Goldstein get himself into? Castle and I’ll go to his firm, you guys see if you can track down any antique gun enthusiasts on social media sites or local clubs. Maybe someone from Goldstein’s life will pop.

RYAN
You got it.

He turns to leave, running into ESPOSITO as he does. ESPOSITO grunts in pain and growls at RYAN.

BECKETT
You know, I just don’t get how someone could shoot Goldstein, steal his clothes, and then not hang onto his wallet. Just doesn’t make any sense.

CASTLE is following her, but he’s distracted by his phone.

CASTLE
(mumbled) Yeah.

BECKETT realizes he’s not paying attention.

BECKETT
Maybe giant moths killed him and then ate his clothes.

CASTLE
Could be.

BECKETT
Hey. Castle. (he turns to her and she’s amused) If this case is boring for you don’t have to stay.

CASTLE
Uh, no. I’m just checking my e-mails, my texts to see if Alexis called. I can’t believe she told my mother she’s in love and is holding out on me.

BECKETT
Ah.

CASTLE
I’m going to call her.

BECKETT
No, no! (she grabs his phone from him) You have to let her tell you in her own time when she’s ready.

CASTLE
I’m the cool dad. Why can’t she be ready?

BECKETT
No wait, listen to me. My dad tried to do the same thing when I was her age, and I ended up dating a grunge rocker who smelled like wet flannel and clove cigarettes for seven months. You do not mess with a teenage girl and her hormones.

CASTLE is horrified and disappointed all at once.

CASTLE
You’re right. I won’t call her. (she gives him back the phone and they enter the elevator) Did you say something about a giant moth?

BECKETT
Nope.

EST – NYC DAYTIME

INT – GOLDSTEIN’S OFFICE

ADAM MURPHY
In his underwear? Danny’s been working for me for two years, but I just don’t know what he’d be up to in the park. He wasn’t exactly the outdoors type.

BECKETT
What about antique guns, Mr. Murphy? Do you know anything about them?

ADAM
Antiques? No, no he wasn’t into guns at all.

BECKETT
Well, I understand he worked long hours. Do you know when he left last night?

ADAM
Uh yeah, right around 9:30.

JULIA FOSTER enters, a tray in her hand. CASTLE jumps up.

CASTLE
Oh hey, let me help you with that.

JULIA
Thanks.

ADAM
This is Julia Foster, Daniel’s assistant. This is Detective Beckett, Richard Castle.

CASTLE
Hi.

JULIA
Hi.

CASTLE
Were you here last night when Goldstein left?

JULIA
Of course.

BECKETT
Any idea where he was heading?

JULIA
No, he just said goodnight.

BECKETT
And what about during the day? Was there anything out of the ordinary? Any strange phone calls?

JULIA
No, just the usual unhappy investor. Although …

CASTLE
Although what?

ADAM
It’s the Lower Tide Fund.

CASTLE
What’s that?

ADAM
It was one of the financial products Daniel created for us. A synthetic CDO cubed.

BECKETT
English?

ADAM
A really big bet that prices would return to historical norms.

BECKETT
So, what happened?

JULIA
It tanked. Hundreds of millions of dollars were lost overnight.

BECKETT
When was this?

JULIA
Three months ago.

CASTLE
There must have been a lot of angry investors.

ADAM
I fielded scores of less than complimentary messages from angry clients.

JULIA
More like apoplectic. And a lot of them blamed Danny.

BECKETT
All right, well, I’ll need a copy of all of these messages and a list of anyone who lost their money in the fund.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO is going through a spreadsheet.

MONTGOMERY
Any luck connecting antique gun owners to investors in Goldstein’s failed fund, detectives?

RYAN
Nah. So far I’ve seen a lot of cool old guns on these social media sites for antique gun lovers, but none of the owners pop in Goldstein’s life.

MONTGOMERY
(reading over RYAN’S shoulder) Erwin ‘Quick Draw’ Finkelstein. Proud owner of a Remington Outlaw made in 1875. Now that’s a great looking gun. Check it out, Esposito.

ESPOSITO turns slowly so as not to wrench his neck but he’s still in pain. MONTGOMERY stifles a smile.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, that’s nice. See, back then they were into the artistry of it all.

RYAN
Yeah. They’re like little sculptures … that can kill.

ESPOSITO
Well, this list of Lower Tide Fund investors? They all lost more than a million bucks a piece.

MONTGOMERY
A million dollars? If I had that kind of scratch I’d put it in something safe. Like my mattress.

RYAN
Huh, check it out. Ivan ‘Yosemite Sam’ Podofski.

ESPOSITO
Wait a minute. Ivan Podofski?

RYAN
Yeah, what do you got?

ESPOSITO turns back to his computer and pulls up a file.

ESPOSITO
Boom.

MONTGOMERY
Looks like we have a winner.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

The gang stands around RYAN’S computer, looking at the new lead the guys found.

BECKETT
You’re right. He does kind of look like Yosemite Sam.

MONTGOMERY
On a bad hair day.

RYAN
Yeah well, in addition to having an antique gun collection, Mr. Podofski here lost more than four million bucks in our vic’s Lower Tide Fund.

ESPOSITO
He also left this message for Goldstein the day the fund flatlined.

ESPOSITO turns to his desk to play the message.

PODOFSKI
(in the message) They had a way of handling folks like you in the old country, Goldstein. It’s called a firing squad.

CASTLE
You think he offered him a blindfold and a cigarette?

BECKETT takes all this into consideration. Looks like they’ve got a new suspect.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

IVAN PODOFSKI sits listening to the message he left for Goldstein, pictures of his gun collection strewn on the table.

PODOFSKI
I think some context is in order. I had only just lost four million dollars.

CASTLE
Yes, and in that context you threatened to kill Mr. Goldstein and then he was killed.

BECKETT
Where were you last night between eleven and one?

PODOFSKI
Asleep, in my bed.

BECKETT
And can anyone vouch for that?

PODOFSKI
Me.

CASTLE
Myself and I got your back, too?

PODOFSKI
Okay, look. I know how this appears. But I think there’s an explanation.

BECKETT
Fire away.

PODOFSKI
Several months ago I had a consultation at Burman Rose. When I mentioned my guns, Goldstein asked if I knew how he could get a hold of a Sherlock Holmes gun.

CASTLE
So … you’re pointing the finger at Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

PODOFSKI
I’m saying that Goldstein clearly had an interest in antique guns. Maybe that interest got him killed.

BECKETT
If you’re so confident that Goldstein got mixed up with someone else, I’m sure you won’t mind submitting your collection for testing to ballistics.

PODOFSKI
These are antiques, Detective.

BECKETT
Would you prefer being arrested for murder?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT puts a picture of PODOFSKI on the murder board.

RYAN
Ballistics is taking possession of Podofski’s guns. They should have preliminaries by tomorrow.

CASTLE
They never prefer to be arrested for murder.

BECKETT
Mmm. All right, keep at it.

RYAN
Yeah.

RYAN leaves as ESPOSITO walks in.

ESPOSITO
Yo. Just got a hit from Goldstein’s car from traffic enforcement. Parking ticket from last night.

CASTLE
(looks at the report) No way.

BECKETT
What?

CASTLE
This has got to be a joke.

ESPOSITO
What’re you walking about, Castle?

CASTLE
Goldstein drives a DeLorean. (BECKETT doesn’t see how that’s important) The car used as a time machine in Back to the Future? There’s no way that’s a coincidence.

ESPOSITO and BECKETT shrug off CASTLE’S revelation.

BECKETT
The ticket was written at two in the morning. That’s post mortem.

ESPOSITO
The car should still be there.

BECKETT
Yeah, East 82nd between Lex and Third. That’s a few blocks from the park.

CASTLE
Yeah, but if you’re going to park illegally, why not park closer?

ESPOSITO
Because – he was going somewhere on that block. Three more parking tickets in the last several months, all on 82nd between Lex and Third.

BECKETT
So he was going somewhere regularly on that block.

ESPOSITO
Maybe a girlfriend?

BECKETT
(to CASTLE) Unless you think that’s where that time ripple is.

CASTLE
Could be.

BECKETT thinks she shouldn’t have indulged him.

BECKETT
(to ESPOSITO) Look into it. Pick that car up.

ESPOSITO
Gotcha.

CASTLE is still thinking intently and BECKETT rolls her eyes.

EXT – NYC STREET, DAYTIME

RYAN and ESPOSITO exit their patrol car.

ESPOSITO
You gotta be kidding me.

RYAN
Ha! Well, it’s definitely Goldstein’s car. Or a time machine.

ESPOSITO
(looking in the window) Yep. If I’m not mistaken that’s a flux capacitor in there.

RYAN
(pointing to the back) And that is the reactor core. Maybe Castle was right, Goldstein came back to the future and he got whacked.

ESPOSITO just shakes his head.

RYAN
Why’d he keep coming here?

ESPOSITO
I don’t know. Maybe there’s something in the car that’ll help.

RYAN
Hope so. Lot of doors to knock on.

ESPOSITO walks a few steps away and pulls out his phone while RYAN continues to examine the car.

ESPOSITO
(on the phone) Yo Patty. I got a vic’s car that needs towing. It’s a 238 East 82nd. It’s an ’81 to ’82 DeLorean, New York plates, J L D -

As ESPOSITO is making the call RYAN starts to walk down the street, looking for anything that might be helpful. He spots a man pushing a shopping cart full of stuff down the street. The man is wearing bloody, vintage clothes, looking completely out of place on the busy street.

RYAN
Hey, Javi.

ESPOSITO turns and spots the man.

ESPOSITO
(to PATTY on the phone) Let me call you back.

They walk up to the man.

RYAN
Excuse us, sir. (he pulls out his badge) I’m Detective Ryan, this is Detective Esposito. Mind if we ask you a few questions?

LORD HENRY
Ah. Top of the morning to you, Constables. Lord Henry, at your service.

RYAN
Uh, thanks. Mind telling us where you got those clothes?

LORD HENRY
Oh, not at all, dear boy. I picked them up at the haberdashery across the park. Well gentlemen, if that is all, I shall bid you good day.

ESPOSITO
Just a second, pal. You know, we think those clothes might have been involved in -

LORD HENRY
(forceful) I said, good day.

ESPOSITO
Sir, we need you to come –

LORD HENRY
Good day!

LORD HENRY rams ESPOSITO with his shopping cart, sending him flying backward. ESPOSITO grunts in pain and holds his neck while RYAN tries to subdue LORD HENRY, who has started whipping around his cane at the detectives. RYAN manages to pin LORD HENRY’S arms behind him and he pulls out handcuffs.

RYAN
You okay, bro?

ESPOSITO is moving gingerly, his gun weakly drawn.

ESPOSITO
(through gritted teeth) I’m fine.

LORD HENRY
Unhand me, you rogue!

INT – MORGUE

The clothes LORD HENRY was wearing are tagged and lying on LANIE’S slab.

BECKETT
(on the phone) All right, thank you Ryan.

CASTLE
How’s Esposito?

BECKETT
At home, resting. So our Lord Henry’s story checks out. Ryan found a matching ascot in a garbage can where Henry said he found the clothes. Our guy might be unstable, but he is not our killer. So why was Goldstein wearing this costume?

CASTLE
Well, it’s Victorian. Antique. Kind of fits with the whole time traveler theory, don’t you think?

BECKET gives him a look.

LANIE
I don’t know what to think, but the plot thickens.

BECKETT
Forensics came back on the clothes?

LANIE
Between the garbage can and our homeless guy there was a quite a list of gross-out substances, of which I will spare you the details. (CASTLE drops the sleeve of the jacket he’d been playing with). But I did find something interesting on the right hand glove and the right sleeve of the shirt. Potassium nitrate and sulfur.

BECKETT
Gunshot residue?

CASTLE
So Goldstein did not go quietly into the night, he had a gun.

BECKETT
And he fired back.

EXT – CRIME SCENE, CENTRAL PARK

A CSU tech scans the area with a metal detector. It starts beeping furiously.

CSU TECH
I got something here.

RYAN runs over and picks the item out of the grass. It’s a lead ball.

EXT – CRIME SCENE, CENTRAL PARK

RYAN
Hey Beckett! (he hands her an evidence bag)

BECKETT
Another antique.

RYAN
It’s exactly like the one that killed Goldstein.

CASTLE
Yes, it does.

Something clicks for CASTLE.

CASTLE
Let’s say that our killer (he moves RYAN back a few steps), say our killer is standing over here. Goldstein was killed all the way over there. A nice, flat area between them.

RYAN
What are you getting at, Castle? Some kind of game?

CASTLE
Not a game. Goldstein was wearing formal, turn of the century clothes. He shot an antique bullet, identical to the one the was killed with. Probably fired from an identical gun. (CASTLE takes off walking, his strides even, murmuring) four, five, six, seven, (calling back to the others) Lanie said he was killed at about midnight? Saint James Church is right over there – thanks – on Madison. I bet they could hear the bells chiming all the way from over here. (mumbled) … thirty nine, forty … (he jumps a bit, ends up about where Goldstein was found, and calls back to the others) They stood at about forty paces from one another. It wasn’t a game. It was an old fashioned duel.

BECKETT and RYAN get it as RYAN mimes firing a gun.

EST – CASTLE’s LOFT, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE walks towards his apartment but stops before opening the door. Smiling, he looks down at the antique gun he’s brought home. He quietly inserts his key into the lock, turing it slowly to not make any noise. He unzips the gun case and pulls out the gun, quickly opening the door and bursting through.

CASTLE
Who dares besmirch –

He stops short. ALEXIS is sitting on the couch with her new boyfriend, ASHLEY. They’re clearly kissing and CASTLE is interrupting. ASHLEY jumps off the couch.

ASHLEY
Oh, God. Don’t shoot.

ALEXIS
It’s okay Ashley, he’s not going to shoot you. (to CASTLE) What the heck, dad?

ALEXIS’ hair is messy and CASTLE is flustered.

CASTLE
I might be asking you the same – Ashley? This is Ashley?

ALEXIS
Ash, this is my dad, Rick. And I have no idea why he’s waving a gun.

ASHLEY
So nice to meet you, Mr. Castle.

CASTLE
(distracted) You too, Ashley. And I have a perfectly good reason why I’m waving a gun.

ALEXIS
(to ASHLEY) Excuse us.

She pulls CASTLE farther away. He’s still stunned by the fact ALEXIS has a boy in the loft.

ALEXIS
Explain yourself!

CASTLE
I got this gun for research for a case. Which you might know if you had checked in with me today.

ALEXIS
What’s that supposed to mean?

CASTLE
Let’s just say that one of us has nothing to hide. Perhaps you’d like to explain yourself?

ALEXIS
What, that I was kissing a boy? Is that a problem?

CASTLE
You tell me.

ALEXIS
Dad, the only reason I invited Ashley over tonight was so that you could meet him.

CASTLE
Yes well, me meeting Ashley has smeared the lip gloss all over your face.

ASHLEY
I… I … I … really should be going.

ALEXIS
You can stay, Ashley.

All three pause, trying to feel out the situation. ASHLEY glances at the gun in CASTLE’S hand.

CASTLE
Oh, the gun? My bad. Please, Ashley, stay. You can check out the gun.

ASHLEY
No, thanks.

ALEXIS
Call me later?

ASHLEY
Yeah, if it’s okay with your gun. – Dad.

CASTLE
Yeah, it’s okay with me.

ASHLEY
Thank you. And I just want you to know how much I respect Alexis. I mean, you don’t have to worry about issues of respect. She’s probably the most respectable person I know and I respect you, too.

CASTLE
It’s good to know that. (he gestures to the open door) Thank you.

ASHLEY is still nervous – CASTLE hasn’t taken his glare off the boy since he’s walked in the door. ASHLEY makes his way to the door, squeezing between CASTLE and ALEIXS to get out.

CASTLE
I like him. He’s respectful.

ALEXIS huffs, slapping her dad on the shoulder before turning and storming off.

EST – NYC DAWN

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
Got it, thanks.

She hangs up the phone as CASTLE walks in.

CASTLE
Hey.

BECKETT
Hey. So Ivan Podofski’s antique gun collection all cleared ballistics.

CASTLE
Well, at least some guy in ballistics had fun firing them off.

CASTLE moves PODOFSKI’S picture on the murder board.

BECKETT
I also checked with Goldstein’s sister and coworkers. None of them know anything about duels and Victorian clothes or what Goldstein was doing on East 82nd.

BECKETT makes coffee for both her and CASTLE.

CASTLE
Sounds like he had a secret life.

BECKETT
That somehow led to a duel.

CASTLE
Maybe he figured someone besmirched his honor. Maybe it was about a girl. Matter of fact Alexis, her new boyfriend – who has a girl’s name, by the way – he thought I was going to shoot him last night.

RYAN
Hey.

CASTLE
Hey. How’s Esposito?

RYAN
He’s sleeping in. Mostly because he can’t move.

BECKETT
Did you figure out what Goldstein was doing on East 83nd?

RYAN
No, but get this. I’m going through Goldstein’s car and I found a pile of receipts he must have been planning to submit for reimbursement, one of them from three weeks ago at a café. On it he wrote ‘coffee with Troy Kenworth’ and that name kind of rings a bell.

CASTLE
One of the angry Lower Tide Fund investors?

RYAN
No, but his father Charles Kenworth was. Guy loses two million bucks and then he loses his house, his marriage, and then two months ago he killed himself.

BECKETT
Did Troy have any priors?

RYAN
More like afters. After his father committed suicide he was charged with assault in four separate bar fights.

CASTLE
Revenge! Oldest motive for murder in the book. Maybe Troy thought someone besmirched his father’s honor.

BECKETT
And then he forced Goldstein to settle the score.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT OBSERVATION ROOM

CASTLE is watching BECKETT interrogate TROY KENWORTH.

TROY
Yeah, I was the one who found his body.

BECKETT
The report says that he used a shot gun.

MONTGOMERY enters.

MONTGOMERY
Hey. Why aren’t you in there?

CASTLE
Beckett’s doing a mothering thing. Wanted to limit the testosterone in the room.

BECKETT
Can’t imagine walking in on that.

TROY
Yeah. Pretty messy. I try not to think about it.

BECKETT
I understand.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
But since then, Mr. Kenworth, you have charges pending in four assault cases.

TROY
I started drinking too much, lashed out.

BECKETT
But those were just random people at bars. I mean, they weren’t even responsible for your father’s suicide. But Goldstein… he put your father in the fund that lost him all of his money. I could understand blaming him.

TROY
I did. But then I talked to him and he said he warned Pop to diversify. And the fact is, Dad and Mom had been having problems for years. When we lost the house and I had to drop out of school it was the last straw and Mom left him. That’s what pushed him over the edge. And ever since his death, Mom’s been struggling to make payments on our apartment.

BECKETT
Is that why you went to go and see Goldstein three weeks ago?

TROY
Look, I wanted to figure out if any money was left in the account.

BECKETT
And what did Goldstein tell you?

TROY
The truth. All the money’s gone.

BECKETT
Well that must have made you pretty angry.

TROY
Okay, I know what you’re getting at, but that meeting is what turned me around. I haven’t had a drink since. Mom and I have been able to stay in our place. I might even go back to school next semester. All because Danny’s a stand-up guy and he gave me a job. That’s where I was the night he got killed.

BECKETT
At Burman Rose?

TROY
(hesitates) Uh, no.

BECKETT
What kind of a job did Danny give you?

TROY
I can’t say. Look, I had to sign a confidentiality agreement, okay? I could be fired.

BECKETT
Or you could be arrested. Is this job on 82nd between Lex and Third?

TROY hesitates to answer.

EXT – NYC STREET, DAYTIME

BECKETT uses a doorknocker to knock on a door. After a second, the door opens. There’s a man dressed in turn of the century clothes, complete with vintage looking machine inspired goggles. BECKETT is taken off guard.

JOE
What was the exact number of pounds that Mr. Fogg bet that he could travel around the world in 80 days?

The odd question catches CASTLE’S attention.

CASTLE
Twenty thousand.

JOE
Correct, sir. Name the volcano that led to the center of the Earth.

CASTLE
Oh! I want to say –

BECKETT
(holding up her badge) NYPD. Open the damn door.

INT – NYC STEAMPUNK SOCIETY

CASTLE and BECKETT follow JOE through the room. It’s filled with people dressed in vintage clothes and the décor is from the turn of the century. Neither are sure of what to make of the place.

BECKETT
Where are we?

JOE
Victorian London.

CASTLE
When are we?

JOE
1892.

BECKETT
What is this place?

JOE
Gas Lamp League. It’s a steampunk society. Straight ahead is our club president, Owen Peterson. He’s on the pennyfarthing.

CASTLE
All right, then.

CASTLE and BECKETT continue to walk through the club.

CASTLE
Oh, it’s the time machine from Time and Away. I love that movie.

STEAMPUNK MEMBER
Owen! Give us a poem!

BECKETT
Steampunk.

CASTLE
It’s a subculture that embraces the simplicity and romance of the past, at the same time couples it with the hope and promise and sheer super coolness of futuristic design.

OWEN PETERSON
… you’re a clone, you say? There are more of you? Well, the more the merrier! To you alls I’ll be true. Baaaah!

OWEN jumps off the pennyfarthing and into the line of CASTLE and BECKETT.

BECKETT
Excuse me, Mr. Peterson. I’m Detective –

CASTLE
Can I try that?

BECKETT gives CASTLE a look for interrupting.

INT – NYC STEAMPUNK SOCIETY

OWEN
I don’t know what to tell you, Detective. We all heard about Danny yesterday. It’s hard to believe. We saw him here the night before.

BECKETT
Well, the way you and your friends were yukking it up makes me feel like you weren’t so upset.

OWEN
We’re just romantics, Detective. Look at the world, don’t like what we see, so we recreate it here. An oasis where potential and ingenuity is limitless. Where there’s poetry and wonder and meaning, even in death.

BECKETT
What time did he leave that night?

OWEN
Around eleven thirty.

CASTLE
Did he tell you what he was doing?

OWEN
No.

BECKETT
He went to the park. For a duel.

OWEN
What do you mean, a duel?

CASTLE
The kind where people shoot at each other. They were using antique guns. Do you know anything about that?

INT – NYC STEAMPUNK SOCIETY

A case with dueling pistols sits in a glass box.

OWEN
Dueling pistols.

CASTLE
With uh, lead balls with white coating?

BECKETT picks up a gun with a handkerchief and smells the barrel.

BECKETT
This has been fired recently.

OWEN
They’re just for show.

BECKETT turns to give him a look. In doing so, she spots GOLDSTEIN’S coworker, ADAM MURPHY. He’s dressed like everyone else. When he sees BECKETT, he turns and runs.

BECKETT
Adam. Stop! Stop!

He’s running away, pushing people out of the way to make his escape. BECKETT and CASTLE are following after him.

BECKETT
Out of the way! Get out of the way!

CASTLE
He’s going for the time machine!

EXT – NYC STREET

RYAN and ESPOSITO walk up to the door. ESPOSITO is still in a neck brace.

RYAN
It’s just a bunch of interviews. I don’t know why you didn’t take the whole day off.

ESPOSITO
Because I’m fine.

RYAN rolls his eyes and produces his badge, moving to knock on the door. Before he can, the door opens and ADAM comes running through, running into ESPOSITO and sending them both to the ground. ESPOSITO grunts in pain from the ground as RYAN just stands there, holding his badge.

BECKETT
Stop him!

BECKETT and CASTLE come through the door to see RYAN, with ESPOSITO on the ground. They stop short. ESPOSITO is still clearly in pain.

CASTLE
Hey, Esposito. How’s your neck?

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

ADAM
Yeah, I shot him. He just kind of crumpled over backwards, but I thought he was kidding. I jogged over, expecting him to jump up any second. He was just lying there, so still, and then I saw the blood and I hear Julia, she’s on her knees screaming ‘no, please, God no’… I freaked out. I took his clothes and I just ran.

BECKETT
Julia? You mean Goldstein’s assistant?

ADAM
He was in love with her.

CASTLE
Had they been seeing each other a long time?

ADAM
No. No, Dan just kissed her once. A couple of weeks ago, out at a bar. She wasn’t interested in him.

BECKETT
So you were involved with her?

ADAM
Not really … involved, but Dan caught us fooling around in my office late one night last week.

BECKETT
And you couldn’t think of a better way of settling this other than a duel?

ADAM
Oh, we … we … we just thought it would be funny. Danny swore that we couldn’t get hurt.

CASTLE
Shooting at each other?

ADAM
He ran all these complex equations. He said that at 40 paces there was no chance that we could actually hit each other. Something about 18th century guns having no rifling in the barrel.

CASTLE
So if you couldn’t kill each other, what was the point of the duel?

ADAM
To impress Julia. She would never get serious with geeks like us. But we figured if … if maybe she saw us duel over her, then maybe that one … one of us could ... (he starts crying)

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN comes out of the other interrogation room. JULIA is inside, crying.

RYAN
Julia confirmed that she was the only other person present at the duel. No one else knew.

BECKETT isn’t happy how things have turned out.

BECKETT
All right, let her go.

RYAN
Yeah.

BECKETT
How do you point the gun at someone and shoot and not expect to kill them?

CASTLE
Well, they were blinded by the romance of it all. And Goldstein did the math.

BECKETT
Well, between this and the Lower Tide Fund, maybe he’s not a genius.

CASTLE
Or maybe he’s just unlucky.

BECKETT
Well then, I’ve got a problem. Because I have to make a recommendation to the DA between murder and manslaughter, the difference being life in prison or just a couple of years. I mean, are antique guns really so inaccurate?

CASTLE
Only one way to find out.

INT – FIRING RANGE

With help from the antique guns expert, CASTLE and BECKETT are loading and firing off the dueling pistols from the steampunk society. They fire as one would in a duel and the bullets go completely off target, hitting the sand behind the targets and not anywhere near where they were aiming. A uniform in the next booth comes over to CASTLE, trying to point out which target CASTLE should be aiming for. He’s annoyed.

UNIFORM
That’s your target, that’s my target. Shoot your target.

They keep reloading, trying to hit a target. Each time they brace themselves to try to get a better shot, but each time they miss. The uniform that is annoyed with CASTLE comes over, trying to get him to hit his own target. He puts down a sandbag to steady CASTLE, but the shot misses. Next is a cradle, which also misses. Finally CASTLE has a remote set up, complete with a laser pointer. If anything should make this bullet hit the target, it should be this. He pulls the trigger with a string, and still the bullet misses.

CASTLE
Manslaughter it is.

BECKETT
Yep.

EST – NYC, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE is dressed in vintage clothes, looking like an explorer. He has a mechanical attachment over his arm.

ALEXIS
Hey, Dad.

CASTLE
Hey. There’s my girl. Come here. Come here.

He holds his arms out for a hug, which she gladly gives. His mechanical arm gets stuck, trapping her to his chest until he can reach around and release a steam mechanism.

CASTLE
Sorry. Hang on. There we go. Hey, about last night, um… it was unexpected.

ALEXIS
Yeah.

CASTLE
I’m sorry.

ALEXIS
I’m sorry, too. I should have told you Ashley was a boy.

CASTLE
Ha, well … why spoil the surprise?

ALEXIS
So I have a question for you. But it’s a little embarrassing.

CASTLE
Ooh, I love when you’re embarrassed.

ALEXIS
Dad.

He realizes this is not a joking situation.

CASTLE
Oh hey, listen. You can … you can ask me whatever you want. And I promise I’ll do my best to make it as un-embarrassing as possible.

ALEXIS
(deep breath) How do you know when you’re in love?

CASTLE
Well –

ALEXIS
I know it’s an emotion, a feeling, and you can’t exactly define, like technically, how you know when you’re feeling it, but since I’ve never felt it before how do I know what I’m feeling is even it at all? Except of course for the fact that I’m feeling all these things I’ve never felt before like in my stomach, in my throat, and even kind of in my ears … I mean, which just has to mean that it’s love, right? Considering I only feel them when I’m with Ashley or thinking about him … I mean, it’s gotta be love, right?

ALEXIS is rambling as CASTLE tries to throw in his opinion.

CASTLE
It’s –

ALEXIS
Because I’m feeling all these things I’ve read about in poems and heard about in songs but never completely understood but now I do. I understand and I’m listening to all this music and reading all this poetry in a completely new and glorious light which I just think has to mean it’s love. What do you think?

CASTLE
I –

ALEXIS
And I can’t stop thinking about him, Daddy. I don’t even want to, because he’s the greatest, sweetest, most adorable guy and his nose crinkles when he laughs and … I’m just so happy.

CASTLE is melancholy because he’s realizing that ALEXIS is growing up. She’s so happy, even though he hasn’t said anything, she got to talk. And that’s all she needed. She gives her dad a hug.

ALEXIS
Thanks, Dad. I love you. I feel so much better now.

She runs off, leaving CASTLE speechless.

CASTLE
Glad we had that talk.

The doorbell buzzes and CASTLE opens it to find BECKETT on the other side.

CASTLE
Beckett. How do you know when you’re in love?

BECKETT
All the songs make sense.

CASTLE is surprised that that’s what ALEXIS had mentioned in her rambling as BECKETT walks past him into his apartment.

BECKETT
Adam Murphy didn’t kill Goldstein.

CASTLE
But he confessed.

BECKETT
And I believe that he believes he did it. But he didn’t.

CASTLE
Do tell.

BECKETT
It bothered me that we couldn’t hit the target at the shooting range. And so I ran ballistics on the dueling pistols. The bullet that hit Daniel Goldstein didn't match either one of them. Adam couldn’t have killed him.

CASTLE
You’re talking full on grassy knoll conspiracy theory.

BECKETT
Not theory. Fact. There was a third shooter and that’s our killer.

CASTLE is amazed with her theory. As they’re reveling in her discovery CASTLE’S mechanical arm malfunctions again, sending his arm across his body. BECKETT doesn’t want to understand.

EXT – CENTRAL PARK, CRIME SCENE

RYAN is climbing a tree.

RYAN
Hey Beckett!

BECKETT
Did you find Adam Murphy’s bullet?

CASTLE
Lead ball.

RYAN
Yep. He didn’t kill Goldstein, but he did kill squirrel-stein.

RYAN climbs down the tree hold a dead squirrel. CASTLE looks sad.

RYAN
What are the odds, huh?

CASTLE
Oh no… they took his clothes, too.

This gets him a look from BECKETT.

RYAN
Could you? (he hands the squirrel to a CSU tech who makes an 'aww' noise) Yeah I know. I’m sorry.

EXT – CENTRAL PARK, CRIME SCENE

BECKETT is crossing the yellow police line. CASTLE follows, getting stuck in the tape.

BECKETT
Okay, so we know Goldstein was standing right over here.

CASTLE
Facing Adam, who was right over there.

BECKETT
Right. And if our killer wanted to shoot him without either of them seeing, he would be standing right over … (she scans the area) there, by that clump of trees.

EXT – CENTRAL PARK, CRIME SCENE

A CSU tech scans a tree with a magnifying glass. She finds a red fiber.

CSU TECH
Detective? I’ve got clothing fibers.

She hands the evidence bag to BECKETT.

BECKETT
This thread look familiar?

CASTLE
Oh, I’d recognize that burgundy velvet anywhere.

BECKETT
Kind of says steampunk, doesn’t it?

CASTLE
Matter of fact, I think I know the murder weapon.

INT – NYC STEAMPUNK SOCIETY

CASTLE
(to JOE) Volcano in Journey to the Center of the Earth. Snæfells.

BECKETT
Castle.

JOE confirms the right answer and CASTLE celebrates. They’re still on a mission, looking for someone. They find TROY KENWORTH tending the bar.

TROY
Couldn’t stay away. Can I get you guys something?

BECKETT
Sure, Troy. We’re looking for a shooter.

CASTLE
Actually, I think we already found one. Nice uniform, by the way.

BECKETT
We found your father’s shotgun. We know you modified it in order to shoot antique lead ball bullets.

TROY
What are you talking about? Adam Murphy already confessed, right?

CASTLE
Turns out, Adam Murphy couldn’t have done it. It’s a science-y ballistics thing.

BECKETT
It was pretty clever, firing your father’s shotgun at the exact moment that Adam and Goldstein fired their guns.

CASTLE
Making Adam believe that he was the one that killed Goldstein, right as the church bells chimed midnight. Isn’t that right?

TROY has been caught and he knows it.

TROY
Seeing him in here every night, in that ridiculous outfit, just throwing around all that money … why should he get to live like that when my dad is dead?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

A uniform leads TROY away.

BECKETT
Knowing that our shooter was a staff member at the club led us straight back to Troy.

CASTLE
He overheard Goldstein and Murphy planning the duel and took his opportunity.

BECKETT
And then Troy’s alibi fell apart as soon as we started interviewing other staff members who couldn’t remember seeing him there half an hour before or after the duel.

MONTGOMERY
Dueling over a girl, avenging the death of a loved one …

CASTLE
Cuts to the heart of romance.

BECKETT
And the tragedy.

MONTGOMERY
Speaking of tragedy, did you hear about Detective Esposito?

BECKETT
No, what about him?

MONTGOMERY
Oh, he …

MONTGOMERY gestures behind CASTLE and BECKETT to ESPOSITO, who is in a wheelchair being pushed by RYAN. He’s in a full body brace that hold his upper body and his head still. He looks pitiful and CASTLE and BECKETT look horrified.

BECKETT
Oh…

CASTLE
Oh, God … dude. What happened?

BECKETT
Esposito …

CASTLE
Are you all right?

ESPOSITO
No, I’m okay –

His voice get s stronger and he jumps up from the wheelchair, throwing the brace at CASTLE. The whole precinct laughs as RYAN gives him a high five.

ESPOSITO
No, I really am fine, bro. We got this stuff from storage.

RYAN
You should have seen your faces!

ESPOSITO
Captain, you really sold it.

RYAN
(mimicking MONTGOMERY) Speaking of tragedy, did you hear about Detective Esposito?

MONTGOMERY
Hey.

RYAN
Sir.

CASTLE
That was good.

CASTLE slaps ESPOSITO on the shoulder; he grunts in pain.

ESPOSITO
I’m not really that fine.

RYAN
Oh yeah, let me just …

ESPOSITO
Dude, neck brace.

RYAN dumps the face brace and pulls out the neck brace that ESPOSITO has been wearing the whole episode and fastens it around his neck.

ESPOSITO
Lock it down, lock it down.

RYAN
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

As they watch, there’s a voice behind them.

JOSH DAVIDSON
Kate!

BECKETT
Josh, what are you doing here?

JOSH
I got your text.

BECKETT
You mean the text where I said I was going to pick you up?

CASTLE is watching, his face falling. Maybe it’s not what he thinks.

JOSH
Yeah, I was nearby.

BECKETT
Well uh, Josh, this is Captain Montgomery, Richard Castle, Detectives Esposito and Ryan.

The guys are appraising Josh like brothers would their sister’s boyfriend.

JOSH
Hey, boys.

RYAN & ESPOSITO
Boys?

JOSH
Catch any bad guys today?

RYAN
Every day.

JOSH
Right. (to BECKETT) You all set?

BECKETT
Yeah, let me just get my stuff.

JOSH
Okay.

She walks away to get her stuff, leaving JOSH with CASTLE.

CASTLE
So … you and Beckett?

JOSH
Mmm… what about us?

CASTLE
You tell me.

JOSH
You’re the writer.

CASTLE
Yeah. Yeah. And you are …

JOSH
Ah, Kate hasn’t told you about me, has she?

CASTLE
What’s to tell?

BECKETT chooses that moment to come back, but JOSH and CASTLE are still sizing each other up.

BECKETT
Hey. You ready to go?

She’s holding a helmet.

JOSH
Yeah. (to the others) See you around.

BECKETT
‘Bye guys.

She and JOSH walk off arm in arm.

CASTLE
Later.

CASTLE isn’t sure how he feels about this development, but he’s pretty sure he doesn’t like it. RYAN and ESPOSITO and MONTGOMERY approach him, watching BECKETT walk away with the same contemplative look on their faces.

EST – CASTLE’S LOFT, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE comes home and comes through the door with his eyes shut, in case there’s something he doesn’t want to see.

CASTLE
Just you?

ALEXIS
Yes. Thanks for that talk last night. I feel so much better.

CASTLE
Hey, you can, uh … you can always talk to me. Or, at me.

ALEXIS
Yeah. Being in love is exhausting.

CASTLE
Yeah, you got that right.

ALEXIS
You okay, Dad? You seem distracted.

She’s right, but he’ll set aside his problems to listen to her.

CASTLE
What are you talking about? You have my undivided attention.

ALEXIS
Good. Because I want to go on a date tonight. How’s that sound?

He’s not thrilled with all the women in his life leaving him for other men.

CASTLE
Of course. Great. Have a good time.

ALEXIS
I meant with you, Dad. You’ll always be my go-to guy.

He’s touched but slightly skeptical.

CASTLE
Did Gram put you up to this?

ALEXIS
I have no idea what you’re talking about.

CASTLE
(shaking his head) Pity date. I’ll take it.

They laugh as he leans in for a hug.

CASTLE
You’re a terrible liar.

It just makes her laugh more before they hug on the couch.

THE END

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