3x07 Transcript

Almost Famous
transcribed by lika_mikala
ACT ONE
[INT. APARTMENT, HALLWAY - NIGHT]

DEREK BROOKNER
NYPD, open up! I have an arrest warrant for Jamie Ruiz. NYPD!

--
[INT. CASTLE LOFT - MORNING]

MARTHA/ALEXIS
Ho-ha! Ma-ma-ma-ma! Ho-ha! Ma-ma-ma-ma! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

MARTHA
And relax.

CASTLE
I had a dream. I was floating on a lily pad and the Swedish bikini team was reciting positive reviews of Naked Heat.

MARTHA
Oh, well, that must have been lovely.

CASTLE
Yeah.

MARTHA
Why are you telling us this?

CASTLE
Well, because of you, my Swedish paradise turned into a wailing cat shelter.

ALEXIS
We were doing voice exercises to strengthen abdominal breathing.

CASTLE
At 5 a.m.?

MARTHA
Preparation is the foundation of an inspired audition, ah-ha.

ALEXIS
I mentioned to Gram last night that I was thinking about trying out for Grease at my school.

CASTLE
Oh, the old Gram-goes-overboard-because-acting-is-in-your-bones routine.

ALEXIS
Apparently.

CASTLE
Yeah. Yeah. Rookie move, telling her about the audition.

ALEXIS
I wasn't sure I'd have time with all my other clubs, but I thought it might be fun. I didn't know she'd wake me up when it was still dark outside.

MARTHA
An actor learns to make sacrifices for his craft. Besides, we'll all have plenty of time to sleep when we're dead.

MARTHA hands
CASTLE his ringing cell.

CASTLE
Oh! Speaking of dead. Castle. No! No, no, don't be silly, of course I was up.

--
[EXT. STREET - MORNING]

CASTLE
Geez, what's the big hurry? Victim's not going anywhere, right?

BECKETT
This one's different. Lanie.

LANIE
Heard we got an officer down.

BECKETT
Yep, that's the word.

CASTLE
Who is it?

BECKETT
Don't know, but a cab driver called 9-1-1 after he parked and stopped for a smoke.

LANIE
Let's see. Single gunshot wound to the chest, and our guy isn't wearing his kevlar.

BECKETT
Mind if I step in there for a sec?

BECKETT picks up the victim's badge.

BECKETT
It's from the 116 in Queens. This is an old style badge, though.

CASTLE
Well, maybe he's old school? Didn't want to give up the badge he built his career on.

LANIE
Castle, he's mid-20s.

CASTLE
You ever heard of a brilliant doctor named Doogie Howser?

BECKETT pulls out the victim's sidearm.

BECKETT
It's fake!

CASTLE taps the end of the gun with his finger and smells it.

CASTLE
That's tequila. (Tastes it.) It's cheap tequila. And he needed a refill.

BECKETT
So, a squirt gun and an old badge. Clearly he's not a cop.

CASTLE
Maybe he was impersonating one to prey on vulnerable women.

BECKETT
Armed with a tequila pistol?

LANIE
Actually, I think women were preying on him.

LANIE rips the victim's pant leg up the side.

CASTLE
Tear-away pants?

BECKETT
He's a stripper? Not finding any ID. He does have a car.

BECKETT clicks the keychain and the car beeps.

CASTLE
Of all the cases in the city, and it's a big city, you catch a male stripper.

BECKETT
Yeah, well, luck of the draw, I guess.

CASTLE
Yeah, I-- I'm just saying. Just...stand... Shotgun.

BECKETT
Castle, you're the only one here.

CASTLE
Yes.

CASTLE opens the car door to find it covered with junk.

CASTLE
Whoa. This place reminds me of my first dorm room.

BECKETT
Victim's name is Derek Brookner. He's 27.

CASTLE
He wrote an address on the back of this deposit slip. 423 West 59th, 4B. That's right around the corner.

BECKETT
His body was found halfway between that location and this car.

CASTLE
What do you want to bet that's where he was coming from?

--
[INT. APARTMENT, HALLWAY - MORNING]

BECKETT
NYPD, open up!

KATHLEEN PARK
Still sleeping, go away.

The hungover girl starts to close the door, but BECKETT stops it with her foot and holds out her badge.

BECKETT
Excuse me. Sorry.

CASTLE
Wow.

BECKETT
Oh.

CASTLE
Wow. Wow. Wow. That, hey, whoa. They make cakes in that shape? Tha--

SARAH LIEBERMAN
Another stripper?

JAMIE RUIZ
Whoo! Take it off! Whoo! Take it off!

BLONDE BACHELORETTE
Mm-hmm!!

JAMIE RUIZ
Take it...

CASTLE
Ladies, I am not a stripper. Though, I can understand how you'd make that mistake.

BECKETT
NYPD. The ones with the real guns. We're here to investigate the murder of Derek Brookner.

CASTLE
We believe he was your entertainment for last night's soirée.

KATHLEEN PARK
Oh, my God. Officer McNaughty?

BECKETT
We need to know the exact time that he arrived and left yesterday.

KATHLEEN PARK
It was dark.

SARAH LIEBERMAN
And his dance was long.

JAMIE RUIZ
That's not all that was long.

BECKETT
All right, let's pack it up. I think a trip down to the station will jog everyone's memories.

KATHLEEN PARK
Can we stop and get brunch on the way?

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - MORNING]
RYAN and ESPOSITO wait for SARAH LIEBERMAN to vomit into a garbage can while they interview her.

ESPOSITO
Miss Lieberman, do you remember anything about last night?

SARAH vomits again.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, INTERVIEW LOUNGE - MORNING]

BECKETT
Derek was still wearing his costume when he was killed last night and he never made it to his car, which makes your party the last place that he was seen alive.

JAMIE RUIZ
Well, he seemed fine when he left, right? I mean...

KATHLEEN PARK
Yeah.

[CASTLE hands them coffee.]

JAMIE RUIZ
Oh, thank you.

BECKETT
Were there any problems at the party? Any jealous husbands or boyfriends that showed up?

KATHLEEN PARK
No, it was-- it was just the girls.

CASTLE
Who arranged the gig?

KATHLEEN PARK
I did. Ja- Jamie's always had a thing for cops.

CASTLE
Might interest you to know I'm an assistant volunteer homicide detective myself.

BECKETT
How'd you set it up?

KATHLEEN PARK
The same way you'd order a pizza. I called this place that I found online, Mucho Men, and gave my credit card. Three hundred bucks an hour to send my best friend off in style.

CASTLE
Did he mention where he was going after that?

KATHLEEN PARK
We were all wasted by the time he showed up. I mean, he could have told me his life story and I wouldn't remember.

CASTLE
A bachelorette party, male stripper, loads of alcohol? One of you had to be taking pictures.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - DAY]

RYAN
Well, here is the last one.

KATHLEEN PARK
I figured Jamie could refer back to these when she's old and bored of her marriage.

RYAN clicks through the pictures.

KATHLEEN PARK (cont'd)
Ugh, tequila shots.

ESPOSITO
Treating him like a piece of meat.

CASTLE pats him on the back.

CASTLE
It's okay.

KATHLEEN PARK
It's what he's paid for. He had fun, too.

BECKETT
Wait, wait, wait. Stop on that one.

CASTLE
Well, it's a good thing you took 30 pictures of that one pose.

BECKETT
Can you enhance the background? Over there behind the group. Who is that woman?

KATHLEEN PARK
Oh, that's Camille. She's a friend of Jamie's from high school.

CASTLE
It looks as though she and Derek know each other.

KATHLEEN PARK
She never mentioned anything.

BECKETT
Can you enhance her face? She wasn't at the apartment this morning. Where is she?

KATHLEEN PARK
She left. Right after Officer McNaughty.

--
[LATER]

ESPOSITO
Turns out Camille Roberts has a record. Five years ago, an ex-boyfriend filed a restraining order against her after she threw all his stuff out the window.

CASTLE
As a man who's dated several rapid boilers, I can safely say "been there."

BECKETT
Yeah, but a restraining order doesn't mean that she's our killer.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, except that her ex-boyfriend happens to be our vic.

--
[LATER]

RYAN
Picked up Camille Roberts at a café where she waitresses. She's in interrogation room one.

BECKETT
All right, what did we find from Derek's apartment?

RYAN
Mostly just old movie posters and a bunch of Donald Trump books about finance.

CASTLE
Maybe Derek dreams about being an entrepreneur, or maybe he's just a fan of Celebrity Apprentice.

BECKETT
Anything else?

RYAN
There was a day planner with nothing in it but a business card for a guy named Jesse Mandalay.

BECKETT
All right, run it. I'll talk to Camille.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, INTERROGATION - DAY]

CAMILLE ROBERTS
This is like a bad dream. I can't believe he's dead.

BECKETT
Why did you leave the party right after Derek did?

CAMILLE ROBERTS
I needed to get out of there.

BECKETT
And where did you go?

CAMILLE ROBERTS
Home. I just wanted to be alone.

BECKETT
You didn't see him afterwards?

CAMILLE ROBERTS
I turned the corner, but he was gone. Wait, you don't think I had something to do with this.

BECKETT
Camille, he had a restraining order against you.

CAMILLE ROBERTS
That was years ago. It was just a big misunderstanding. Look, Derek broke my heart, but then I got over it.

BECKETT
This doesn't look like the face of a person who got over it.

CAMILLE ROBERTS
When he walked into the party and started ripping his clothes off, it upset me, but I didn't kill him.

BECKETT
Okay, why don't we just go over the facts. You had a volatile relationship with him. You left the party the same time that Derek left, and then he turned up dead. So, why don't you just tell me what was really going on.

CAMILLE ROBERTS
Nothing. I just couldn't believe he was stripping.

BECKETT
And why was that a shock to you?

CAMILLE ROBERTS
We met in acting class. He was the one everyone thought was gonna hit it big. When I confronted him about giving up on his dream, he said he was stripping because he was so desperate for money.

BECKETT
And did he tell you why?

CAMILLE ROBERTS
He had some other recurring gig, but he said he had to quit 'cause it was gonna kill him.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - DAY]

BECKETT
My instinct says it's not her.

MONTGOMERY
Mine too, but have CSU check the clothes she was wearing for gunshot residue.

BECKETT
All right. Any luck tracking down the gig that he was telling Camille about?

ESPOSITO
Derek has a low rent theatrical agent who says he hasn't booked anything in over a year.

RYAN
He just e-mailed Derek's acting reel. Here's a taste of his illustrious career.

ACTRESS (on video)
Hey there, I'm just stopping a few couples to see if they've ever heard of a product called Prolong.

DEREK BROOKNER (on video)
(scoffs) Are you kidding? We just started using Prolong. Now, things are really looking up.

ANNOUNCER 1 (on video)
Prolong now available without a prescription.

RYAN
He also did serious work.

DEREK BROOKNER (on video)
Give me all your money, and whatever parts you got out there in that garage, and I'll consider not puttin' one in your noggin.

ANNOUNCER 2 (on video)
Billie Grimm is the leader of the Visigoth motorcycle gang. If you or anyone has any information on this dangerous criminal, please contact your local authority.

MONTGOMERY
Damn, I can see why the guy had to strip to pay his bills.

BECKETT
Well, I guess it's safe to say that the gig that he was telling Camille about had nothing to do with his acting pursuits. So, you guys head off to Mucho Men.

RYAN
Mucho Men?

BECKETT
That's the place that booked him for the bachelorette party. See if he had any regular stripping gigs or troubles there. (answers cell) Beckett.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, AUTOPSY - DAY]

CASTLE
He's not that handsome. You want my opinion? Three hundred bucks an hour, little steep.

LANIE
As a person in this room that's seen everything under the sheet? Bargain.

BECKETT
What else did you find?

LANIE
Take a look.

BECKETT
A hair?

LANIE
Your vic has hair that's been recently dyed gray. Looks like temporary hair dye that hasn't completely washed out yet.

BECKETT
Well, most men color their hair to cover the gray.

CASTLE
Well, some women want Officer McNaughty, and some want an older guy who knows mutual funds. You know, daddy issues.

BECKETT
It's more likely he was coloring it for an audition.

LANIE
Speaking of hair, this is the more important hair that I found on your vic's clothing. That could belong to our killer.

BECKETT
Long blond hair. Well, this could have come from one of the women at the bachelorette party.

LANIE
That's what I thought until I had it tested. It came back positive for testosterone and anabolic steroids. Your blondie is a man.

[CASTLE INTRO]
--
ACT TWO
[INT. MUCHO MEN - DAY]

LLOYD SAUNDERS
Listen. Stu, you want my guys oiled up in euro booty shorts for the montage pool deck launch, you're gonna need to meet me halfway here, buddy. Hey, be my guest. Shop around. It's a fair rate.

ESPOSITO clears his throat.

LLOYD SAUNDERS (cont'd)
Listen, I gotta go. I got guys here. (hangs up the phone) My apologies. Promoters are always a pain in my ass.

ESPOSITO
Lloyd Saunders?

LLOYD SAUNDERS
I'm already up to my ears in A-Rods. But, uh, your friend here...I got women requesting that skinny Twilight dude like crazy.

SAUNDERS tosses RYAN a G-string.

LLOYD SAUNDERS (cont'd)
They're one-size-fits-all. We can pad if need be. Bathroom's down the hall if you're shy.

ESPOSITO
Hey. NYPD. We have some questions about Derek Brookner.

LLOYD SAUNDERS
My mistake. We're doing open auditions today.

RYAN
I can assure you, this would fit.

LLOYD SAUNDERS
That's what they all say. What about Derek?

RYAN
Well, he was murdered.

LLOYD SAUNDERS
Wow. Derek was one of my best guys.

RYAN
We think he took a job that might have got him into trouble. What kind of work did you book for him in the last month?

LLOYD SAUNDERS
He did the occasional, uh, handsome guest at rich people parties. Other than that, it was all, uh, bachelorette or rowdy birthday party stuff.

ESPOSITO
What about any male parties?

LLOYD SAUNDERS
Nah. Derek was a women only guy.

RYAN
He had contact with a blond haired man who was on steroids the night he was killed. Any idea who that might be?

LLOYD SAUNDERS
Well, it could have been someone at his other job.

ESPOSITO
What other job?

LLOYD SAUNDERS
In addition to the private gigs, he also danced at a club called The Package Store couple nights a week. Most of those guys are juicing.

RYAN
Anyone he didn't get along with?

LLOYD SAUNDERS
People think woman are catty, but, uh, from what Derek said, those guys would make Showgirls look like an Afterschool Special.

RYAN
Thanks for your time.

LLOYD SAUNDERS
Hey, if, uh, you change your mind, I'll provide fangs and some hair gel.

RYAN
Eh...

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - DAY]

MUCHO MAN (website recording)
You like my sexy abs? Come see me at The Package Store.

ESPOSITO
All of them are buff enough to be juicing, but none of them have long hair.

CASTLE
Certainly not long blond hair.

BECKETT
Well, maybe these are old photos.

RYAN
It's possible they change their style based on the latest trend. The booking agent mentioned the Twilight look is big right now. Maybe the Fabio look's making a comeback.

BECKETT
Well, there's one surefire way to find out. Oh, Castle.

--
[INT. THE PACKAGE STORE - NIGHT]

CASTLE
I can't believe you got dressed up for this. Tell me again why Ryan and Esposito couldn't come with you.

BECKETT
We all agreed, as Volunteer Assistant Homicide Detective, you could really sink your teeth into this avenue of investigation. And they called "not it."

CASTLE
You know, ever since I've been following you, I've been dreaming of the day that you'd say, "Let's go to the strip club and get this dirt bag." I just never imagined it would feel like this.

BECKETT
Let me know if you need any singles.

BECKETT walks ahead of CASTLE. A stripper throws his cowboy vest into the crowd and CASTLE catches it. The ladies around him cheer and stuff singles into his shirt.


--
[INT. PRECINCT, BREAK ROOM - DAY]
RYAN makes coffee while ESPOSITO takes off his over-shirt and flexes his biceps behind him.

RYAN
It's sad, really. A guy comes to town looking for his big break, dreams of making it in the Apple. What does he get for his trouble? The city chews him up and spits him out. Doesn't seem right, man.

ESPOSITO
Damn right, it doesn't seem right.

RYAN
You know, all I think he wanted was a little respect.

ESPOSITO
It's all about respect, bro.

ESPOSITO pulls out a chair and starts doing tricep lifts.

RYAN
Just trying to make ends meet, he ends up face down in a stairwell...

ESPOSITO
Shh.

RYAN
...wearing a G-string. All right, here you go.

RYAN turns around to see ESPOSITO's impromptu workout.

RYAN (cont'd)
What the hell are you doing?

ESPOSITO finishes and stands up.

ESPOSITO
Up to his ears in A-Rods? I got an A-Rod for that son of a *****. Three years varsity ball, two years Special Forces triathlon, and NYPD police calendar 2007. What?

RYAN
It was a group photo.

ESPOSITO
I got letters.

RYAN
Yeah, three. Two of them from your mom.

ESPOSITO
One of them was from my mom.

RYAN
Sure.

ESPOSITO
Twilight, my ass.

--
[INT. THE PACKAGE STORE - NIGHT]
BECKETT goes to CASTLE's table with drinks to find him surrounded by giggling ladies.

BECKETT
Castle?

CASTLE
Hey, honey! Oh, you found me. I was just telling Denise here about you. This is, uh, my girlfriend, whose idea it was to come here tonight. She's very adventurous. You have no idea. There's...

By this point all of the girls have scattered. BECKETT sits down in a now-vacant seat next to CASTLE.

CASTLE
Thank God you found me. Oh, my God, these women are like piranha.

BECKETT
So, listen, I just talked to one of the bartenders who confirms the booking agent's story that Derek was having troubles with one of the other dancers. Apparently, some guy named Hans was upset that Derek was getting the headliner shift. That gives us evidence and motive.

CASTLE
Let's go backstage, grab us some Hans.

BECKETT
No need to, honey. He's in the next act.

CASTLE
Firemen? Really? It's not a little cliché? Oh, God. Haven't these guys got that memo about the correlation between sun tanning and skin cancer?

BECKETT
Can you just relax, Castle? We got to figure out which one is Hans.

The front and center stripper takes off his fireman hat and shakes out his long blond hair just before ripping off his pants. CASTLE looks at BECKETT.


BECKETT
Yeah.

BECKETT goes up to the stage and badges the strippers.

BECKETT
NYPD, please come off the stage.

HANS
Uh-huh. Ooh.

HANS dances closer to BECKETT and the other strippers jump off the stage to surround and dance around BECKETT.

BECKETT
No. No, not you. Just Hans. Guys, knock it off, okay? I'm a cop. I'm a real cop. Look, it's not funny. Now cool it.

CASTLE sprays the fire extinguisher on them all. BECKETT turns and gives him a look.

CASTLE
Too much?

--
ACT THREE
[INT. THE PACKAGE STORE, DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT]

HANS
Derek was a little *****. Do you know how many hours he spent rehearsing our Pirates of the Caribbean routine? Hmm? Zero. He was all artsy-fartsy with his acting auditions this and play rehearsals that. Hans Von Mannschaft is the one doing the real work out there every night.

CASTLE
Hans Von Mannschaft? That's a hell of a stage name.

HANS
I'll have you know, I come from a long line of proud Von Mannschafts.


BECKETT
And have any of them served time for murder?

HANS drops the fake accent.

HANS
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Murder?

CASTLE
Careful, Hans, your New Jersey is starting to show.

HANS
This place is about fantasy. Women come here to escape. It's just part of the act.

BECKETT
Does that include getting rid of the competition? Derek was found shot and killed last night, and we found one of your hairs on his clothes. You just admitted the two of you were rivals.

HANS
Rival? Lady, I spend days with women shoving bills down my shorts. Do you really think I killed somebody over that?

CASTLE
That doesn't change the fact that we can place you at the scene of the crime.

HANS
Because of my hair? All that proves is that we keep our costumes in the same big closet backstage. Hell, I'm using Minoxidil twice a day just to keep it on my head.

BECKETT
Where were you last night?

HANS
I was onstage doing shows from eight till one. There are over 100 women who witnessed it.

CASTLE
His alibi's as hard as his abs.

HANS
Did you talk to his girlfriend?

CASTLE
What girlfriend?

HANS
Some rich cougar who was obsessed with him. It was obvious Derek was using her for the money. But I guess he got fed up with her and kicked her to the curb.

CASTLE
How do you know that?

HANS
She always sent expensive bouquets to his dressing room. (fake accent) Und then last week, for ze first time in months, no flowers. *pout face*

CASTLE turns to BECKETT and imitates Hans's pout face.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - NIGHT]

ESPOSITO
Yo, what's up? You run out of singles?

RYAN
Hey, Hans was right. Found a flower shop that confirmed weekly deliveries for the past four months.

CASTLE
I knew if we beat on Mannschaft something would pop.

BECKETT
Who were they sent to?

RYAN
They were charged to an AmEx belonging to Rebecca Dalton, 48. She lives at 63rd and Madison.

ESPOSITO
Yo. Check this out. Fortune 500 lists Rebecca Dalton's husband as having a publishing empire in 2005. Says here that Rebecca used to be a runway model.

CASTLE
She's married. Juicy.

ESPOSITO
Mm-mm. Not anymore. Her husband died a couple of years ago, left his entire fortune to his grieving wife.

CASTLE
Even more juicy. Rebecca marries young, spends her 20s and 30s under the thumb of a rich, yet domineering husband. Well, he dies, leaving our aging beauty finally free from the shackles of a loveless marriage. One night she's out with her ex-model posse. She meets a very charming, very handsome, Derek. Well, for the first time in years, she feels alive again. The relationship reaches its inevitable conclusion when Derek meets someone closer to his own age. Well, the-- the heartache has Rebecca so distraught that she kills Derek in a jealous rage. If she couldn't have him, well then, no one could.

RYAN
Did you go home and watch Sunset Boulevard before your little trip to The Package Store?

BECKETT
Thank you for your always entertaining stories, but I think we will get a lot closer to the truth if we just ask Rebecca a few questions tomorrow morning.

CASTLE
It's good though, right?

RYAN
Yeah, I liked it.

ESPOSITO
Yeah.

CASTLE
Mm? Yeah.

--
[INT. CASTLE LOFT - NIGHT]

MARTHA
Well...

CASTLE
Hey. Are you guys celebrating with root beer floats and nobody told me?

ALEXIS
I wish. They narrowed the part of Sandy down to Kelly Burton and yours truly. We're taking a little break, but I'm really nervous.

MARTHA
That's why we're running lines in costume. Tomorrow it'll be second nature.

CASTLE
Well, I see you dug up your time capsule to resurrect those pants.

MARTHA's wearing skin tight black pants like the pair Sandy wears at the end of Grease.

MARTHA
I will have you know, I had some of my best memories happen in these pants.

CASTLE
Aaaand ew.

ALEXIS
I'm off to bed. Big day tomorrow.

MARTHA
Okay, darling. Sleep well. Oh. Whatever happens, I am so proud of her. She is fearless.

CASTLE
You know, mother, I think you're a really good influence on Alexis.

MARTHA
What's with you, kiddo? Fever? Delirium?

CASTLE
No. No, I'm serious. You have always been...dedicated. And that-- that can't have been easy.

MARTHA
Well, it hasn't always been days of wine and roses. I had to take a lot of less than prestigious jobs to ply my craft.

CASTLE
Such as?

MARTHA
Ugh, lord. I played an elf, Santa's Village. Uh, Lady Liberty. Lady Liberty outside some low rent tax service. And then-- oh, no. The worst job. The worst job I ever had. I was terrible at it. They hated me. It just-- I-- I was-- it was absolutely the-- just completely.

CASTLE
What was it?

MARTHA
Secretary.

CASTLE
You'd be terrible at that.

MARTHA
Awful.

--
[INT. REBECCA DALTON'S PENTHOUSE, FRONT HALL - DAY]

CASTLE
Oh, I'm sure many a pretty boy has walked this hall. Doesn't take them long to realize they're trapped in a strangling embrace of an aging spinster.

BECKETT
Maybe we should talk with her before you start writing the Lifetime movie.

CASTLE
Ooh. Quick casting idea. Ashton and Demi.

MICHAEL GRANT answers the door.

BECKETT
NYPD, we're here to speak with Rebecca Dalton.

MICHAEL GRANT
Please, come in. I'm Miss Dalton's attorney, Michael Grant. I'll be sitting in on the interview.

--
[INT. REBECCA DALTON'S PENTHOUSE, LIVING ROOM - DAY]

REBECCA DALTON
I bumped into Derek at a fundraiser. He later admitted that he had been hired by the host to mingle and encourage people to bid on the silent auction, but it was too late, I already liked him.

CASTLE
And when you found out he was a stripper?

REBECCA DALTON
I never found out. He told me. He never hid any of that from me. It gave him the freedom to pursue his acting career, audition during the day, and I respected his tenacity.

BECKETT
What caused the breakup?

REBECCA DALTON
The relationship had run its course.

BECKETT
That sounds like something you would say when you're lying either to yourself or to us.

REBECCA DALTON
You don't really think I had anything to do with his death.

BECKETT
I just find it curious that, right after you've split up, he's found dead.

CASTLE
Who broke it off?

MICHAEL GRANT
My client did.

BECKETT
Why?

MICHAEL GRANT
Last week, he asked my client to borrow $25,000.

REBECCA DALTON
I've learned it's never a good idea to mix relationships with money. Intentions get foggy.

BECKETT
And why did he need the money?

REBECCA DALTON
He wouldn't say. And, to make matters worse, he seemed distant.

CASTLE
You thought he was cheating.

REBECCA DALTON
It occurred to me. And I'm not proud of it, but I had Michael hire a private investigator. I had to know.

MICHAEL GRANT
When my client saw the photographs, she realized that Derek was mixed up with some disreputable people.

BECKETT
And what made you think it was a bad element?

REBECCA DALTON
Because Derek didn't hang out with people like that. He was a good kid from Michigan. If they had something to do with his murder, I'd have taken my decision back and given him the money in a heartbeat.

BECKETT
I'm gonna need to see those photos.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - DAY]

RYAN
The PI took a picture of Derek talking to this woman, and then he followed her to the next location.

CASTLE
So, Derek is outside his apartment talking to Bombshell McGee, what's so dangerous about that?

BECKETT
Wait a minute. Ryan, can you pull up Derek's acting reel?

RYAN
Man, once was bad enough.

DEREK BROOKNER (on video)
Give me all your money, and whatever parts you got out there in that garage, and I'll consider not puttin' one in your noggin.

ANNOUNCER 2 (on video)
Billy Grimm is--

RYAN stops the video and BECKETT holds the PI surveillance photo up to the computer screen of Billy Grimm's mug shot.

BECKETT
That's the same guy as the mug shot.

MONTGOMERY
Billy Grimm, leader of the Visigoths' motorcycle gang.

--
[LATER]

ESPOSITO
Billy Grimm's rap sheet.

MONTGOMERY
Extortion, assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery.

ESPOSITO
Derek's episode of America's Most Dangerous Criminals aired, Grimm had an attempted murder warrant out. Apparently some guy owed him money, so he chained him to the back of his bike and dragged him down the LIE.

MONTGOMERY
Why isn't this psycho in jail?

ESPOSITO
He was. As a matter of fact, he was caught because of Derek's re-enactment on the show. But the guy he chained to his bike had a change of heart, refused to testify. So, Grimm was recently released from jail.

BECKETT
Well, if this guy was such a whack job, what was Derek doing talking to one of the members of his gang?

RYAN
I think I can answer that. When Grimm was arrested, a reporter asked him how he felt about being brought to justice by a TV show. He swore vengeance against those who put him in jail. Especially, and Grimm says, "That actor that made me look like a clown."

ESPOSITO
I can tell you this about Visigoths from my gang task force days, they're serious about their colors. These patches they wear on their vests, they're not varsity letters. They got to spill blood to get them. And some guy wearing them on national TV?

BECKETT
So, she was setting him up...for murder.

--
ACT FOUR
[EXT. VISIGOTHS' MACHINE SHOP - DAY]

CASTLE shrinks from a barking dog.

BECKETT
Relax, Castle, he's on a chain. NYPD.

VISIGOTH
This your old lady?

BILLY GRIMM
This is a private establishment.

BECKETT
Well, then, we'll try to keep this private, Billy Grimm.

Someone starts up a handsaw in the shop.

BILLY GRIMM
Bobby! Yo!

BOBBY stops the saw.

BECKETT
I need to ask you a few questions about your association with Derek Brookner.

BILLY GRIMM
I've never heard of the guy.

BECKETT
I make one phone call and auto theft detail's down here checking VIN numbers. They find so much as a stolen tail light, you're violated. You remember him now?

BILLY GRIMM
Now I do. Seemed like a good kid.

BECKETT
He's dead. And I'm willing to bet that you had something to do with it.

CASTLE
Derek wore the colors and you got popped because of the show.

BECKETT
That's why you put a contract out on him.

BILLY GRIMM
Well, I might have been a little pissed off. But the kid came with respect. He brought a donation.

BECKETT
A donation? What are you, the Salvation Army?

BILLY GRIMM
Well, I was surprised too, but I guess Derek felt 25Gs might help bring down my old red.

BECKETT
Do you really expect me to believe that a struggling actor had enough money to give you 25 grand out of nowhere?

BILLY GRIMM
That's what happened.

CASTLE
Where did he get the money?

BILLY GRIMM
I didn't ask to see his friggin' tax return. Ain't my business how he got the money. He brought the cash, and that was good enough.

BECKETT
Aren't you forgetting the part about the extortion? The part where you asked your girlfriend to deliver a message that Derek had to pay you 25 grand? You gave him a week to do it, he couldn't scrape together the money, and so... you killed him.

BILLY GRIMM
Babe, what is this?

MANDY CARSON
I can explain.

BILLY GRIMM
What the hell were you doing talking to that b****?

MANDY CARSON
Listen, when you got out of jail, I got nervous you were gonna do something stupid. So, I went to talk to the kid. Told him, if he didn't want any trouble, he'd bring you a preemptive donation.

BILLY GRIMM
So, you warned him? That's why he showed up here?

MANDY CARSON
I couldn't stand the thought of losing you again. The only way you're going back to jail is over my dead body.

BILLY GRIMM
Pookiebear, that is the most romantic thing I've ever heard, baby.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - DAY]

RYAN
Hey. Billy's alibi checked out. Bartender confirmed that he was shooting pool till close.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, and we talked to our CI, and there's no word of our victim hitting up any of the usual loan sharks.

BECKETT
You know what I want to know? Is how a stripper comes up with that kind of cash in such a hurry.

CASTLE
Cash in gold.

BECKETT
Castle, you watch way too many infomercials.

RYAN
I also checked his account at JLP Bank Corp. He never carried an account balance of more than a couple thousand dollars.

CASTLE
Wait a minute. If Derek had an account with JLP Bank Corp, why was there a deposit slip for Rampart Federal in his car?

BECKETT
Let's run down withdrawals for 25 grand from Rampart Federal branches for the day that Derek paid Billy.

RYAN (to ESPOSITO)
I don't know how you missed that.

[LATER]

ESPOSITO
Yo. Rampart Federal on 93rd posted a transaction that size, made by Jesse Mandalay at 11:53 AM that day.

RYAN
Derek had a card for Jesse Mandalay tucked inside one of his books. I called the number. It was disconnected.

MONTGOMERY
It's possible that Mandalay was the one that loaned Derek the money.

CASTLE
Maybe Derek thought he was on a flexible payment plan, needed more time, and Mandalay killed him for it.

ESPOSITO
Well, the bank is sending over the surveillance footage of Mandalay right now. Here we go. There's Mandalay taking the cash.

MONTGOMERY
And by the looks of that suit, the loan business must be pretty lucrative. Okay, let's see this guy's face.

BECKETT
Wait, wait, wait. That's not Jesse Mandalay. That's Derek with gray hair. Jesse Mandalay is Derek.

--
ACT FIVE
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - DAY]

BECKETT hangs up the phone.

BECKETT
The branch manager said that Derek withdrew money from an account called Sunfire Limited.

CASTLE
And his alter ego, Jesse Mandalay?

BECKETT
Was the signatory, but the rest is a mystery. Sunfire is linked to an offshore account, and the only person that they can trace it to is Mandalay.

ESPOSITO
The money trail leads back to a man who doesn't exist.

CASTLE
Derek was dying his hair gray, wearing fancy suits to look more distinguished, and he was reading books on finance and investment so that he could play the role of Jesse Mandalay for someone.

ESPOSITO
But why hire a struggling actor to play a business man?

CASTLE
I did some research on Chinese companies that would, uh, sometimes hire a-- a white man to pose as an executive at uh, ribbon cutting ceremonies, uh, shareholder meetings, just to instill confidence in investors. Likewise, uh, college students seeking venture capital will sometimes hire an older looking shill. You know, someone who looks more, uh, distinguished to help them secure money.

BECKETT
So, if Derek was hired to be the face of the company, then whoever hired him was the person behind the bank account. Let's see if we can track down any checks that were deposited into Sunfire Limited recently. If we can trace the money, maybe we can figure out if Jesse Mandalay was a role to die for.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, INTERVIEW LOUNGE - DAY]

BELLA LOMBARDO
Yeah, that's Mandalay. 100%. Why?

BECKETT
Ms. Lombardo, we need to know about the $10,000 check that you wrote him a couple of days ago.

BELLA LOMBARDO
Sure, best money I ever spent.

CASTLE
What was the money for?

BELLA LOMBARDO
An exciting investment opportunity. My girlfriend Sammy heard from a boyfriend Ronny, who heard from his cousin Pauly about Mr. Mandalay's presentation.

BECKETT
And what was the sales pitch?

BELLA LOMBARDO
The beautiful Braverman Lofts in idyllic riverfront Hoboken.

CASTLE
And Mandalay was there himself?

BELLA LOMBARDO
He gave us the awesome news that, if we put down the $10,000 that day, we could purchase the loft for $400,000.

BECKETT
A riverfront loft?

BELLA LOMBARDO
I know. Amazing, right?

CASTLE
Um, amazing is-- is one word for it, yes.

BELLA LOMBARDO
Yeah, you have to be, like, a frickin' bonehead to pass up on a deal like that.

BECKETT
Did anyone else at the presentation hand over a check to Mandalay that day?

BELLA LOMBARDO
Uh, everyone. My dad was pretty butt sore that I took the money out of my college fund, but when I explained that it would fold into the purchase price, he recognized that business smarts runs in our family.

CASTLE
Let me guess, the, uh, contract is in the mail, right?

--
[INT. BRAVERMAN LOFTS - DAY]

BECKETT
Yeah, this is it. The Braverman Lofts. And that must be the showroom.

CASTLE
Ho. $400,000 for one of these? I'll take two.

BECKETT
Castle, let's go. Excuse me.

BERT KRAMER
Can I help you?

BECKETT
NYPD. Who's in charge here?

BERT KRAMER
I am. I'm the developer, Bert Kramer.

BECKETT
We're here about Jesse Mandalay. Do you know him?

BERT KRAMER
Unfortunately. If I ever see that guy again, I'm gonna bust him in the jaw for all the crap he put me through.

CASTLE
Let me guess, he took advantage of you.

BERT KRAMER
Damn right. Tried to sell my friggin' property like it was his. Showed up here claiming to be a real estate agent. He had this rap about all these properties he's sold.

BECKETT
And you gave him access to the building?

BERT KRAMER
Well, he wanted to bring a caravan of clients through, and he insisted it be on a Sunday. So, I gave him the lockbox codes.

CASTLE
How did you find out he wasn't legit?

BERT KRAMER
Ever since that day, I got people showing up saying they got the Mandalay deal and threatening to sue.

BECKETT
Well, we have reason to believe that Mandalay was working with a partner. Did anyone else contact you?

BERT KRAMER
Uh, no. And when the tents folded up, it was radio silence. But I did call some of the other developers and, sure enough, this Mandalay guy brought caravans to their properties. Now they're dealing with the same mess.

BECKETT
Do you have any brochures? I'm looking for a place. Mine blew up.

--
[INT. APARTMENT LOBBY - DAY]

CASTLE
Ten grand a pop all over Jersey? That adds up quick.

BECKETT
I don't understand why Derek was still working as a stripper the night that he was killed if he was involved in a scam that was raking in that much money.

CASTLE
Because he wasn't the one raking in all the dough. He was just the actor hired for his looks and his personality that charmed the investors.

BECKETT
So, all along, Derek sees his partner taking the money to the bank.

CASTLE
And when he gets in trouble with the bikers, and suddenly he needs cash...

BECKETT
He raids the bank account for the 25 grand that he needs, and his partner figures it out.

CASTLE
Which leads to a heated confrontation where he admits to borrowing the money, but he says he's pulling out of the scam.

BECKETT (answers cell)
Beckett. Got it, thanks. (hangs up) Ryan and Esposito did a little digging and they found the real owner of the Sunfire account that Derek used to withdraw the money. The articles of incorporation were signed by our very own orchid-loving widow, Rebecca Dalton.

CASTLE
Shut the front door.

--
ACT SIX
[INT. PRECINCT, CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY]

MONTGOMERY
Beckett, you sure about this?

BECKETT
Sir, it's all right here in black and white. We tracked the money from the real estate scam to this offshore account in the Cayman Islands.

MONTGOMERY
So, Derek decides he's done playing the Mandalay role and, because he knows too much, the only option is to kill him.

RYAN
You were right. I was able to confirm Rebecca Dalton's whereabouts.

BECKETT
Get a warrant to search for the murder weapon.

CASTLE
As someone who's written just about every ending in the book, can I just say...? Amazing.

BECKETT
You can say that after we get the confession.

--
[INT. REBECCA DALTON'S PENTHOUSE, LIVING ROOM - DAY]

BECKETT
Miss Dalton, we did a thorough search of your finances. You've lost quite a lot of money since your husband passed away.

MICHAEL GRANT
My client doesn't need to defend her spending habits.

BECKETT
She does if it's relevant to my case.

REBECCA DALTON
What does my money have to do with Derek's death?

CASTLE
Everything, actually.

BECKETT
Let's see, there is a clothing line that never took off. A failed jewelry business. I mean, should I go on?

REBECCA DALTON
That doesn't make me a murderer.

BECKETT
Well, it was only a matter of time until all the money was gone.

CASTLE
Derek was handsome. He was charming. You knew he was a decent actor. It made him the perfect guy to present investors with an opportunity they couldn't refuse.

MICHAEL GRANT
This is wildly speculative, and your allegations are baseless.

BECKETT
Derek took 25 grand from an account that initially led us in circles. The Sunfire account.

REBECCA DALTON
Well, this isn't possible. I didn't even sign this.

MICHAEL GRANT
Rebecca, I'm advising you, don't say another word.

REBECCA DALTON
Wait a minute. September 29th. I wasn't even in the country.

BECKETT
We know.

CASTLE
The date it was signed, smack dab in the middle of Paris fashion week.

BECKETT
I knew that any former model worth her salt would have been there. And, of course, after checking flight records, you were in Paris.

CASTLE
Yes. And, while you were drinking champagne, your lawyer was using his access to your information to create a scam in your name. Oh, he was also stealing from you, funneling the money into his offshore account. That's why your businesses failed.

BECKETT
He offered Derek a job behind your back to play Jesse Mandalay.

CASTLE
The money was decent, but when the bikers came after Derek, he needed more.

REBECCA DALTON
Oh, my God, Michael. What did you do?

BECKETT
When you found out that Derek made an unauthorized withdrawal, you confronted him. But he knew that you couldn't go to the cops. So, he told you that he wanted out. You couldn't afford him exposing your fraud. So, you followed him from his apartment, and then killed him that night.

MICHAEL GRANT
I'm not saying another word.

CASTLE
Do you want a lawyer? Or do you want to hire an actor to play one for you?

--
[INT. CASTLE LOFT, KITCHEN - NIGHT]

MARTHA
So, what happened with your struggling actor case?

CASTLE
Well, they found the murder weapon at the lawyer's office. He confessed in an effort to cut a deal.

MARTHA
Oh, God, it's so sad. Poor kid was just trying to catch a break, and he kept stepping in the dog poop.

CASTLE
You should stitch that onto a pillow.

ALEXIS enters.

CASTLE
Oh, hey, sweetie! Do we have a Sandra Dee in our midst?

ALEXIS
I didn't get the part.

MARTHA
Ohhh. Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, honey! This is the best thing that has ever happened to you. Rejection is the bedrock of a great acting career. Until an actor has suffered, he hasn't really lived.

ALEXIS
Thanks, Gram.

MARTHA
You're welcome. And besides, auditions are like men. There's another one right around the corner.

CASTLE
Where are you going?

MARTHA
Oh, we need ice cream to ease the pain, stat. I'm going to the corner store.

CASTLE
I'm sorry, sweetie.

ALEXIS
Can I admit something?

CASTLE
Always.

ALEXIS
Going up against Kelly made me realize I didn't really want the part. I could see how hungry she was, and I didn't want to disappoint Gram, but I don't love it the way she does.

CASTLE
Well, maybe it's not in your bones, as Gram would say. I am proud of you for trying.

ALEXIS
Thanks, Dad. And there's a silver lining. After the announcement, the drama teacher offered me stage manager. It's way more my style, and I get to keep all my after school clubs.

CASTLE
My little overachiever. Well, congratulations on not getting the part.

ALEXIS
Mmm, smells good.

CASTLE
Come help me. Wash up. So, you need to chop these up...

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