3x09 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 3x09
"Close Encounters of a Murderous Kind"


EST – OLD TRAINYARD, NIGHTTIME

EXT- OLD TRAINYARD

A security guard walks between old trains. It’s dark and foggy and generally just creepy.

GUARD
Hello? Is anybody out here?

He continues walking and spots a car. He goes to investigate, walking up beside it slowly. He can see the outline of someone in the driver’s seat and he pulls out his nightstick. Shining his flashlight in the window he sees the bloated body of a woman. He screams.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

RICHARD CASTLE starts a stopwatch.

RICHARD CASTLE
All right. Twelve letter word for ‘transcendent’. (he thinks for a moment) Otherworldly. Honestly, sometimes it’s like they’re not even trying.

MARTHA RODGERS
Doing the crossword in pen. Feeling cocky today, are we?

CASTLE
What is life without challenges? Eight letter word for ‘estrange’. (he sees ALEXIS) Ah, you are just in time, my mini thesaurus. I need an eight letter word for ‘estrange’.

MARTHA
She doesn’t hear you, darling. She’s still talking to Ashley.

CASTLE
I should be timing that phone call. That’s got to be a record.

MARTHA
Please. I’ve had relationships that didn’t last this long.

CASTLE
True.

ALEXIS hangs up and joins them for breakfast.

ALEXIS
Sorry. We were talking about the hiking trip next Saturday.

CASTLE
Oh, has Ashley got the ‘all clear’ from his parents to come with us?

ALEXIS
They say they want to meet you, first.

CASTLE
Ah… they want to vet me to make sure if there’s some kind of rock slide that I won’t leave their boy stranded on a mountainside, having to gnaw off his own arm to survive.

ALEXIS
So you’ll do it?

CASTLE
We’ll have them over for dinner. We’ll schmooze and impress them.

MARTHA
Would you like me to cook something?

CASTLE
(quickly) No! We want to impress them.

MARTHA sends him a disapproving look.

MARTHA
And what is that supposed to mean?

He’s got nothing.

EXT – TRAINYARD

KATE BECKETT has arrived with CASTLE at their newest crime scene.

KATE BECKETT
So it’s meet the parents time, huh Castle? This is a pretty critical moment for you.

CASTLE
Me? Why me?

BECKETT
Well, I mean Ashley is Alexis’ first love, right?

CASTLE
Mmhmm.

BECKETT
What do you think will happen if you don’t get on with his parents?

CASTLE
She’ll lose interest in him?

BECKETT
Oh no. The exact opposite. I mean, it’ll make their romance feel forbidden and they’ll be off doing God knows what. Trust me. I know.

CASTLE
I never thought of it that way.

BECKETT
My advice is keep the boyfriend close but the parents closer.

They cross the police line into the scene.

BECKETT
Hey guys. What do we got?

JAVIER ESPOSITO
Something messed up. I’ve never seen anything like it.

He steps aside to let BECKETT see into the car.

ESPOSITO
Victim’s name is Marie Subbarao. She’s thirty five. Security guard found her last night. He’s still getting over it.

CASTLE
Wow. She looks like an overstuffed sausage.

BECKETT
Lanie, what the hell happened to her?

LANIE PARISH
It’s called explosive decompression.

BECKETT
From … what? What would cause this?

LANIE
It’s the result of exposure to a zero atmosphere environment.

CASTLE
Zero atmosphere. As in (he points upward) outer space.

LANIE
Yep.

CASTLE goes to look around the car after BECKETT gives him a ‘don’t go there’ look.

BECKETT
Or?

LANIE
I don’t have an 'or' for you right now, sweetie. I have to get her body back to the morgue and then I may have some answers.

BECKETT
Okay well, her body’s in a car, in the middle of the rail yard, so clearly she wasn’t killed in outer space. There’s gotta be … another explanation.

CASTLE pulls a book out of the back seat and whistles the ‘X-Files’ theme music.

CASTLE
Check this out. She was reading Taken By The Fourth Kind. A book on alien abductions.

BECKETT shares a look with LANIE.

BECKETT
So what’s your theory, Castle? That she was abducted and then killed by aliens?

CASTLE
Well… a story that makes more sense is … alien abduction gone wrong. One that ends with Marie accidentally being blasted out of the airlock of the alien spaceship.

She tries, but BECKETT can’t suppress a smile.

ESPOSITO
Well, if it was ET he has a nicotine addiction. (he hold up an evidence bag) Found a cigarette butt by the rear tire. It was laying in the track, which means it was dropped after the car was parked.

BECKETT
All right well, have CSU check for DNA. Maybe we’ll get lucky, and can you look into explosive decompression? See what else might cause it?

ESPOSITO
You got it.

BECKETT
Thank you.

CASTLE
You do have to admit – the condition does seem … otherworldly.

He raises an eyebrow and she just humors him.

EST – NEW YORK CITY DAYTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

KEVIN RYAN puts a photo on their murder board.

KEVIN RYAN
Marie Subbarao, the before version. Born in Chicago, did post grad at Johns Hopkins. Two years ago she takes a job at the Aubrey Science Center in Midtown … as an astrophysicist.

CASTLE gives BECKETT a ‘told you so look’ that she ignores.

BECKETT
Doing what?

RYAN looks at his notes.

RYAN
Not really sure. According to the Center’s website, she recently landed a grant from the SETI institute.

CASTLE
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence SETI? That could explain why –

BECKETT
No, it couldn’t.

CASTLE
So her working for SETI is just a wild coincidence?

BECKETT
I’m saying it’s an interesting fact that’s unrelated to our case. Aliens were not involved in Marie Subbarao’s death.

RYAN
Um… (he moves to stand with CASTLE) I don’t know.

BECKETT looks at him, shocked.

CASTLE
Why Detective Ryan, I never figured you for a believer.

RYAN
All I know is my father’s cousin Raymond left this party in Jersey one night. He’s driving back to Queens and bam! Blinding white light comes down from the sky and the next thing he knows it’s morning and he’s on the Jersey Turnpike.

RYAN had been looking at BECKETT while he was telling his story, but now he’s looking at CASTLE.

CASTLE
(to BECKETT) Let me guess, no memory of what happened.

BECKETT
That is not called an alien abduction. That is called a hangover.

RYAN
Maybe. Raymond always was the lightweight in the family.

BECKETT
Hmm. (she’s back to the case) Speaking of family, did our victim have any? A husband, maybe?

RYAN
Neighbors said she was single and lived alone. They barely saw her. Apparently she normally came home from work around ten PM.

BECKETT
Lanie said the time of death was around nine PM. Which means work was the last place she was probably seen alive.

EST – AUBREY SCIENCE CENTER

INT – AUBREY SCIENCE CENTER

DR. CHUCK VAUGHN
This is unbelievable. Marie was one of my best researchers.

BECKETT
What did she do here, exactly?

VAUGHN
Uh, she analyzed the data fed in from our radio telescope in New Mexico studying radiation from quasars.

CASTLE
For the SETI institute?

VAUGHN
No, most of her work was NASA-related.

BECKETT
When was the last time you saw her?

VAUGHN
Uh … last night. She was still here at her office at seven when I left.

INT – MARIE’S OFFICE

BECKETT
And what about you, Ms. Holder?

AYYANA HOLDER
Uh, we went over the calendar for next week, then she sent me home at seven thirty.

BECKETT
Was she having any problems in life? Anything unusual happening lately?

VAUGHN
Not that I’m aware of.

AYYANA
Actually, since Monday she’d been acting anxious and uptight. I finally asked her what was wrong and she said that something life changing had happened to her.

CASTLE
What was it?

AYYANA
I don’t know. Then on Wednesday she left work in the middle of the day. She didn’t come back until Thursday morning.

BECKETT
Dr. Vaughn, Marie’s body showed signs of explosive decompression. Was she doing any kind of research that would account for that?

VAUGHN
Oh my God.

CASTLE
(to BECKETT) That’s a yes.

INT – ALTITUDE CHAMBER

VAUGHN
It’s called an altitude chamber. We use it to study thermal life support systems under reduced pressure, for NASA.

BECKETT
What would happen if a person went inside?

AYYANA
Without protective gear?

BECKETT
Mmhmm.

AYYANA
Your lungs rupture from gas expansion and all the liquid in your body evaporates.

CASTLE
So all the horrible effects of outer space without the view.

BECKETT
Who else had access to this area?

VAUGHN
Mostly our researchers. And their assistants. Maybe … thirty five people in all?

BECKETT
I’ll need a list of all of their names. Did Marie have problems with any of them?

AYYANA
(hesitant) Ted Carter. Her ex-boyfriend. After their breakup things got ugly.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

RYAN and ESPOSITO are the ones to interrogate TED CARTER. He’s a small, nerdy man.

TED
Can I ask what this is about?

RYAN
Mr. Carter, your keycard was swiped at the Science Center last night at seven forty two. You mind telling us what you were doing there?

RYAN Is calm but ESPOSITO sits down right next to TED and glares at him.

TED
I went to see someone.

RYAN
Marie Subbarao?

TED
Why is this any of your business?

ESPOSITO
We’re investigating her murder.

He doesn’t believe them.

TED
What? Marie’s not dead. How could she be dead?

ESPOSITO
Someone put her in an altitude chamber.

The implications of this shock TED.

TED
Oh my God. Who could have done something like that?

RYAN
She was killed at around nine PM, not long after you arrived at the Center.

TED
Not me. It wasn’t me! How could you think I would do something like that?

ESPOSITO
You had motive. You had access to the chamber. Why else would you even go and see her?

TED
To ask her to dinner.

RYAN
After Marie dumped you and had you fired, you hoped she –

TED
It wasn’t like that. I quit. It was too painful to be around her. Then on Wednesday, out of nowhere, she called me. She wanted to go to coffee.

ESPOSITO
Now why would she do that?

TED
To mend fences, I guess. She gave me back some old T-shirts, some CDs she had of mine. Said she felt bad about the way things ended. I thought maybe we still had a chance, you know? So I went looking for her at the Center.

RYAN
What happened when you found her?

TED
Nothing! We talked for a few seconds. She seemed upset about something. I tried to find out what but she was in a hurry to get somewhere, so I left. I went home. I was there by eight.

ESPOSITO
Make yourself at home. You’re gonna be here for a while.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE is staring at the murder board.

BECKETT
CSU is going through the altitude chamber. Once they get back with forensics we should be able to charge Ted Carter.

CASTLE
Tell me this – how did Carter get the body to the rail yard?

BECKETT
Well, the altitude chamber is right next to the parking garage, so he probably dumped her body in the car, took it out to the rail yard, and tried to throw us off the trail.

CASTLE
You know what would be a better story?

BECKETT
Hmm? (he holds up the book Taken By The Fourth Kind) We have an earthbound solution to this mystery and you are disappointed. I get it. But that? Really?

CASTLE
C’mon. Marie said she had a life changing event. What could be more life changing than being beamed up by this guy? (he holds the book up again)

BECKETT
C’mon Castle, we all know that there are no such things as alien abductions.

CASTLE
Yet most abductees report the same experiences. The white light, the memory flashes.

BECKETT
That’s because they all read the same books, so of course they describe the same event. The dark, lonely road, the bright light out of nowhere, memories of being poked and prodded.

CASTLE
I believe the word you’re looking for is ‘probed’. And then of course there’s the alien implant that’s used to track the abductees.

He hands her the book, open to a page and she looks at it.

BECKETT
That reminds me of the LEGO I got stuck up my nose when I was six.

CASTLE
You what?

Her story is interrupted by ESPOSITO.

ESPOSITO
Uh, guys? CSU finished going over the altitude chamber. (BECKETT raises her eyebrows) Nothing turned up.

BECKETT
What? I mean, that was the exact machine we were looking for, right in the building where Marie and her ex-boyfriend worked. That had to have been the murder weapon.

ESPOSITO
(shrugs) There’s no blood, no tissue. It’s clean.

CASTLE is hopeful that his theory might pan out but BECKETT is confused.

BECKETT
That makes no sense whatsoever.

CASTLE taps the picture of the alien implant in the book. BECKETT swats his hand away.

BECKETT
Check other altitude chambers.

ESPOSITO
It’s not like they grow on trees.

BECKETT
Well, that can’t be the only one around. And look for any other devices that cause the same injuries.

ESPOSITO
I’ll do my best.

He leaves and BECKETT turns to her computer.

BECKETT
If it’s not an altitude chamber then what could it be?

CASTLE whistles the ‘X-Files’ theme again and get an exasperated look from BECKETT.

BECKETT
Other than that.

CASTLE just smiles and BECKETT’s phone rings.

BECKETT
Beckett.

INT – MORGUE

BECKETT
Lanie, what did you find?

LANIE
Not the answers I was looking for. Instead, just more questions.

CASTLE
How deliciously cryptic.

LANIE
Because of the unique nature of Marie’s injuries, I wanted to thoroughly document her condition before conducting the autopsy. (she turns on a lighted board that contains X-rays) While I was taking the X-rays, I saw this embedded in her sinus cavity.

She points to the X-ray and CASTLE starts rifling through the alien book he’s brought along.

BECKETT
What is that?

LANIE
(shrugs) I have no idea.

CASTLE
Call me crazy, but that looks just like – (he holds the picture of the alien implant up next to the X-ray) – an alien implant.

BECKETT is skeptical but she can’t deny that he’s right.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE is still reading Taken by the Fourth Kind.

CASTLE
What could you possibly be looking for by probing up there?

He’s interrupted by ALEXIS.

ALEXIS
Can we talk about dinner?

CASTLE
Oh, no… you couldn’t convince Gram to stay out of the kitchen. I will stock up on antacids and garbage bags.

ALEXIS
No, it isn’t that. It’s Ashley’s parents.

CASTLE
What about them?

ALEXIS
He’s an economics professor. The two of them are serious people, Dad. You may need to be more… buttoned up.

CASTLE
I can be buttoned up. And if I become unbuttoned, you can discreetly let me know with a brutal kick to the shin.

ALEXIS
(shakes her head) I won’t be there. (CASTLE is shocked) They thought it would be better if it was just you and Gram.

CASTLE
You’re going to leave me alone?

ALEXIS
You’ll do great. I just … wanted to make sure that you’ll make a good impression.

She’s serious.

CASTLE
Trust me. So do I.

She’s happy they’re both on the same page, albeit for different reasons.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT is updating the murder board when CASTLE comes in with coffees.

CASTLE
Where do you come down on deficit spending during economic downturn?

BECKETT
(takes the offered coffee) Thank you. I take the theory that’s held by most economists: That deficit spending is acceptable as long as it focuses on public investments, like infrastructure, defense, education, research.

CASTLE
Wow. Where did that answer come from?

BECKETT
Semester of economic theory at NYU. Where did that question come from?

CASTLE
Trying out conversation starters.

BECKETT
Well, we started a conversation so … I guess it worked. Kind of.

CASTLE
It’s for a dinner with Ashley’s parents. He’s this stuffy economist, you know, and I just want to win him over. Get them on my side. But what if they don’t take to me?

BECKETT
Oh, c’mon Castle. They’ll take to you.

CASTLE
Really?

BECKETT
Yeah.

CASTLE
Thanks.

BECKETT
So long as you don’t act like yourself.

She walks past him.

CASTLE
Oh… nice one.

He follows her.

CASTLE
So, where do we stand on this mysterious implant?

BECKETT
It is not an implant. Lanie says that it’s a metal fragment and she’s running tests on it right now.

CASTLE
How did it get up her nose?

BECKETT
Well, maybe it’s a piece of the altitude chamber that got lodged up there.

CASTLE
The altitude chamber we haven’t found.

BECKETT
Yet. The altitude chamber that we haven’t found..yet. And I’m sure that as soon as we do, it will lead us straight to our killer.

CASTLE
I notice you said ‘killer’ and not ‘Ted Carter’.

BECKETT
Yeah, Carter alibied out. He ordered pizza the night of Marie’s murder and signed for it at eight twenty five.

CASTLE
Alibis in thirty minutes or less. So at this point, we have no human suspects.

BECKETT
By definition, no suspect means no human suspect.

RYAN
Well, one might be coming your way. I checked Marie’s phone logs at work. Turns out she made a 30 minute phone call before she left the Science Center on Wednesday.

BECKETT
To whom?

RYAN
Benny Stryker.

CASTLE
The Benny Stryker? This Benny Stryker? (he holds up Taken By The Fourth Kind and points to the back) Benny Stryker, renowned author of Taken By The Fourth Kind?

RYAN
One and the same.

BECKETT takes the book from CASTLE.

BECKETT
An astrophysicist and a UFOlogist? Isn’t’ that like oil and water?

RYAN
Actually, they used to be colleagues. Three years ago he and Marie were members of the same research team, but Marie was worried that all his UFO talk would destroy their credibility so she had him kicked off the team. From what I hear, there’s been bad blood ever since.

BECKETT
Where can we find Stryker?

INT – LECTURE HALL

STRYKER is giving a talk to what seems to be an abductee survivors group of maybe 15 people.

BENNY STRYKER
Imprisoned in a cold, white room. Strange faces staring down at us. These are images that will haunt us, but they’ll also unite us and help us remember. We didn’t choose this, we were chosen.

He says it with passion and everyone in the group repeats him when BECKETT and CASTLE walk in.

STRYKER
One more time. We didn’t choose this, we were chosen.

CASTLE
(whispered to BECKETT) He’s like the Tony Robbins of alien abduction.

STRYKER spots them.

STRYKER
I see we have some new members. Maybe you’d like to introduce yourself. Tell us your story.

BECKETT holds up her badge.

STRYKER
Huh.

INT – LECTURE HALL

The group is over and people are milling around, sharing stories.

STRYKER
Do you actually think I had something to do with Marie’s death?

BECKETT
Mr. Stryker, where were you on Thursday at nine PM?

STRYKER
At a book singing. In Queens.

BECKETT
But you did have recent contact with Marie. In fact, she called you on Wednesday. What was that about?

STRYKER
You know, I could tell you, but I see you wouldn’t believe it.

BECKETT
Whatever you say will receive a fair hearing.

STRYKER
Well, that hasn’t been my experience. (he sits down) Marie called me last week in crisis. She picked up anomalous sub microwave bursts on her radio telescope. Was not just the background noises of the universe. It was a signal coming from somewhere nearby, with a repetitive pattern.

CASTLE
As in, contact?

STRYKER
Or so she believed. So she booked more time on a radio telescope array and studied that section of the sky, which is when the trouble started.

BECKETT
What trouble?

STRYKER
Lost time. Four hours on Sunday, just gone. Then she started having mental flashbacks. A white room, a blurry face, questioning her.

CASTLE
Are we saying Marie was abducted by aliens?

STRYKER
The classic indicators where there. I just tried to help her make sense of it.

BECKETT
After Marie called you on Wednesday, she left the Center. Do you know where she went?

STRYKER
She said she was going to get proof of what she knew was there.

CASTLE
Proof of aliens. And did she?

STRYKER
I never heard from her again. I assumed they stopped her before she got to close to the truth.

BECKETT
Who?

STRYKER
The government. I warned her she was probably being followed. By men determined to keep the existence of aliens a secret.

CASTLE
(to BECKETT) It’s like that Will Smith movie. Only, I’m guessing, a lot less funny.

STRYKER
These agents are real, Mr. Castle. They fear the revelation that we are not alone would be too shocking. Hysteria would break out. Nations would crumble. That’s why they try to discredit believers like me and eliminate people who threaten to expose the truth. People like Marie.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT moves STRYKER’S picture from the suspect column to the witness column.

BECKETT
Bookstore confirms that Stryker was signing his opus between seven and ten PM. Looks like we’re back to an empty space in the suspect column.

CASTLE
Yeah, but at least our timeline is making more sense. This whole Sunday-ish area. The life changing event? That’s when she was abducted. Wednesday she leaves work. That’s when she was looking for proof of alien life. Thursday she comes back to work, feeling better, until she leaves and winds up … explosively decompressed. (he considers how his story just fell apart) Overall big week.

BECKETT
You know what this timeline shows me? A lot of erratic behavior that could be due to drug use or any number of medical conditions.

CASTLE
All right. Let’s say that Marie is a drug-addled psychotic with a brain tumor. She still went looking for proof.

BECKETT
She went looking for what she thought was proof.

CASTLE
Whatever it was. What if she found it? Where would it be?
­
INT – AUBREY SCIENCE CENTER

CASTLE and BECKETT have gone to see if they can find proof that MARIE found proof of alien life.

BECKETT
C’mon, Castle. You don’t actually believe that Klingons are behind this, do you?

CASTLE
Killer aliens is a reach, even for me. But government agents covering up the truth? Not so crazy.

BECKETT
Yes it is. I mean, when this is all said and done, it will all come down to where and how she was killed. And I bet it will have nothing to do with secret agents or massive government conspiracies.

CASTLE
I’ll take that bet.

CASTLE opens the door to MARIE’S office. It’s completely empty. BECKETT is shocked.

AYYANA
Detective?

BECKETT
Where did everything go?

AYYANA
Two men came this morning with a federal warrant. They loaded all of Marie’s stuff into a truck.

BECKETT
Who were they? From which agency?

AYYANA
They just said the government.

CASTLE’S eyebrows raise and he looks at BECKETT. She’s speechless.

CASTLE
I’d like my payment in small bills, please.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

MONTGOMERY
My contact at Justice says no warrant was issued for Marie’s office.

BECKETT
Well then, people claiming to be federal agents seized her property. I mean, there’s gotta be an explanation.

CASTLE
(coughs) Men in black.

BECKETT
Other than that.

MONTGOMERY
I’ll put out more feelers. Meantime, keep me posted.

BECKETT
Okay, thank you.

CASTLE
Marie found proof and they covered it up. It’s just like Benny Stryker said.

BECKETT
Do you honestly expect me to believe a theory, any theory, that ends with “like Benny Stryker said”?

CASTLE
What else could it be? Who made off with all her stuff?

BECKETT
Maybe Marie was working on a classified government project and they confiscated her data.

CASTLE
Was her data in her furniture? Because they took that, too.

BECKETT glares at him.

BECKETT
Without knowing who ‘they’ are, we can’t find them. (she has a thought) You know, the key lies in the murder weapon. Esposito, tell me that you’ve located that altitude chamber.

ESPOSITO
I did. At the physics center. At Hudson University. It’s the only other one in five boroughs.

BECKETT turns to CASTLE and smiles.

BECKETT
See?

ESPOSITO
It’s clean. CSU just checked.

BECKETT won’t let her defeat show on her face. CASTLE just smirks.

BECKETT
Well, there’s gotta be another device that does the same thing.

ESPOSITO
Lanie and I looked into that. The only thing we found was an industrial vacuum packer used for food processing.

BECKETT
Check into every single one in town. We need to locate that crime scene.

She leaves to go back to her desk; CASTLE moves to follow her.

ESPOSITO
Castle. Just prove that ET did this, bro, please. I hunt people, not machines.

CASTLE
I’m working on it.

They give a show of solidarity by ‘feeding the birds’.

ESPOSITO
Thank you.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT is back to looking at the murder board.

CASTLE
Maybe we should focus on Marie’s mystery Wednesday trip.

BECKETT
Castle, finding proof of aliens will not help us catch our killer.

CASTLE
It will if she went somewhere with an industrial vacuum packer.

RYAN
If she did, it was off the Jersey Turnpike. Her EZPass account shows her getting off at exit nine.

BECKETT
Where’d she go from there?

RYAN
Hard to say. I checked her credit cards. No activity in the area.

CASTLE has pulled out his phone and is playing with it. BECKETT notices.

BECKETT
What are you doing?

CASTLE
I am mapping it. (he uses the voice search function) ‘New Jersey Turnpike, exit nine.’ Let me share with you the many wonders that await us at exit nine. Oh, there’s an arts center. Uh… state park, with scenic hiking trails and canoeing. An astounding amount of day spas. And the Plainsboro Observatory.

EST – PLAINSBORO OBSERVATORY, DUSK

INT - OBSERVATORY

JOY HARRISON
Yeah, Marie was here on Wednesday.

BECKETT
But she had access to her own telescope. Why would she need this one?

JOY
Marie usually worked with a radio telescope. This is an optical telescope.

CASTLE
So she came here to get a visual on something. Up there. In space.

JOY
She said she picked up signal anomalies. She wanted to see where they were coming from. She took an image capture, then she left.

BECKETT
Could we get a copy of that image?

JOY
I checked the telescope’s hard drive. She erased everything. Coordinates, the image capture, it’s all gone.

EXT – DARK, LONELY ROAD

CASTLE and BECKETT are driving back in her Crown Victoria.

BECKETT
She erased everything? What the hell did she see up there?

CASTLE
Marie Subbarao, a sober-minded scientist, believes she was abducted by aliens after intercepting strange radio signals. Using a telescope, she photographs the source of the signal. The next day, dies mysteriously. Then her office is raided by shadowy government agents. (He looks at BECKETT) I’m not asking you to dye your hair red and call me 'Mulder.' I would simply ask that you consider the possibility that Marie had knowledge of, or made contact with, something up there that somehow led to her death.

BECKETT
We will continue our investigation and solve this case and it will have nothing to do with little green men.

CASTLE
They’re grey, actually.

BECKETT
Castle. The truth, the real truth, is out there.

She’s satisfied with her rebuttal of all things paranormal. Suddenly, her car loses power. The dash lights are gone and the headlights shut off, the engine dies, and the car coasts to a stop. She puts it in park.

CASTLE
Dead battery?

BECKETT
Maintenance just replaced it.

She tries to turn the car back on.

CASTLE
My phone isn’t working.

BECKETT
Mine isn’t either.

CASTLE
Neither is my watch. (BECKETT looks at him) You have a logical explanation for this, too, right?

She doesn’t. In that moment, a bright light shines down on the car. CASTLE and BECKETT look at one another before slowly moving forward to look out the windshield above them. They see nothing except the bright light.

INT – A DARK ROOM

CASTLE sits in a chair, disoriented. A bright light shines on him.

AGENT EASTMAN
Marie Subbarao had information. Information we need.

CASTLE
Where’s Beckett?

INT – A DARK ROOM

BECKETT sits restrained in a dark room under a bright light, also disoriented.

BECKETT
Who are you? (there’s no response) Where’s Castle? (again no answer) I am an NYPD detective!

AGENT WESTFIELD
Where is it?

BECKETT
Where’s what?

WESTFIELD
We all know what Marie Subbarao was involved with, Detective. That information must not get out.

INT – DARK ROOM

CASTLE
Yeah, but we don’t have it.

EASTMAN
Where is it?

CASTLE
Is this the part where you bring out the old Nazi with the dentist drill?

INT – DARK ROOM

WESTFIELD
If you don’t cooperate, we will find a way to get the truth. We’ll do whatever it takes to protect our way of life.

BECKETT
From what? A woman who thought that she was abducted by aliens?

WESTFIELD
You’re out of your league, Detective. You have no idea how deep this is. Now where is it?

BECKETT
Who are you? Identify yourself.

INT – DARK ROOM

CASTLE
What, CIA? NSA? MIB? Ooh… shape shifting aliens who only look human?

INT – DARK ROOM

BECKETT
Who killed Marie Subbarao?

WESTFIELD
If you keep asking questions you shouldn’t, you may end up like Marie.

BECKETT
Who killed her?

WESTFIELD
No one you could ever reach.

INT – DARK ROOM

CASTLE
What about JFK? Was that the second shooter on the grassy knoll? Third shooter, backed by Mafia? Castro? Mafia and Castro?

EASTMAN holds up an injector gun and CASTLE’S eyes widen.

CASTLE
Okay, whatever you guys are looking for, we don’t know where it is.

EASTMAN walks to CASTLE and presses the injector to his neck.

INT – DARK ROOM

WESTFIELD pulls out an identical injector gun and puts it to BECKETT’S neck and pulls the trigger.

EXT – DARK ROAD

CASTLE and BECKETT are still alive, but unconscious, once again in her car. She wakes first and finds she’s lying against CASTLE, her head on his shoulder. He wakes and they share a confused look.

CASTLE
You okay?

She takes a second.

BECKETT
(whispered) Castle, did that really happen?

He feels his neck.

CASTLE
Do I have a - ?

She looks at the red spot on his neck.

BECKETT
Oh. Oh no.

She feels her own neck, looking in the rearview mirror.

CASTLE
‘Cause you got a - .

They take a chance again, leaning forward to look above them through the windshield. There’s nothing there but black sky and stars.

INT – MONTGOMERY’S OFFICE

MONTGOMERY
This is outrageous. An illegal detention of an NYPD detective?

CASTLE
Who says the government is unresponsive? They’re all over this alien cover up.

MONTGOMERY
Who are these men?

BECKETT
Agents, of some sort. They’re probably the ones that cleared out Marie’s office.

MONTGOMERY
Well I’m glad you two are all right. But no one snatches up my people and detains them. I’ll get into this.

He’s on his phone making calls.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
Those men knew who killed Marie and they refused to tell us.

CASTLE
They also refused to confirm that J. Edgar Hoover liked to wear dresses.

ESPOSITO
Hmm. (he looks at CASTLE’S neck) Abducted by government agents, huh? C’mon, what were you two really doing?

BECKETT
It’s not a hickey, Esposito.

ESPOSITO
You both have one.

CASTLE
I wish it was a hickey.

BECKETT looks at him.

CASTLE
It’s from the injectors.

ESPOSITO
Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

CASTLE
They were men in black.

BECKETT is done with talk of aliens and hickeys.

BECKETT
Where are we with the vacuum packers?

ESPOSITO
So far I have found over a hundred machines in the five boroughs. CSU’s checking them as fast as they can.

CASTLE
And the cigarettes?

ESPOSITO
No DNA match. But they are a Chinese brand, only found in Asia or on the black market in Chinatown.

CASTLE
So maybe she was killed by an alien. Just an illegal alien.

RYAN
Hey. (he spots the marks on BECKETT and CASTLE) Those hickeys?

ESPOSITO
Yes.

BECKETT
No.

CASTLE
I wish.

RYAN
Okay. So, tech just went through your vehicle. Turns out you were hit with an EMP - an electromagnetic pulse – which knocked out all the electronics. And here’s how they found you in the first place.

He hands BECKETT a box of stuff.

BECKETT
Tracers, listening devices … they must have been watching the science center. That’s when they put these … accessories in my car.

CASTLE
Maybe that’s what was up Marie’s nose. Perhaps they were tracking her, too.

ESPOSITO
No, it wasn’t a tracer or an implant. Lanie identified it as a spurgulus. It’s a rare calcification resulting from a sinus infection. The calcification is so dense, it reads like metal.

BECKETT
(to CASTLE) There you go. Logical explanation.

CASTLE
Yeah. I would disguise my tracking implant as a rare medical –

BECKETT
(she’s out of her chair) You know, bottom line is that these guys were desperate to get whatever Marie took, so we’ve got to find it first because that will lead us to the killer.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, but we really don’t know what we’re looking for.

BECKETT
But we do know that they don’t have it.

CASTLE
Which means it wasn’t in Marie’s office.

RYAN
She maybe hid it somewhere?

ESPOSITO
Maybe with someone she trusted. Somebody under the radar.

BECKETT
Ted Carter said that Marie gave him some of his stuff back last Wednesday night.

CASTLE
Maybe that’s not all she gave him.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

They’ve called in TED CARTER. He’s carrying the box of stuff MARIE gave him back.

TED
I don’t understand. It’s just books and T-shirts, mostly.

BECKETT
Mr. Carter, did you notice anything different in the things that she gave you? Anything that wasn’t there before?

TED
No, it’s all my stuff. T-shirts, Jefferson Starship CD –

CASTLE grabs the CD.

CASTLE
Ooh! This CD got me through two weeks of Storm Watch writer’s block.

He opens it and a CD falls to the ground.

CASTLE
I don’t remember it being a two disc set.

BECKETT
This one’s unmarked.

CASTLE
Marie’s proof, perhaps?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT has the unmarked CD and she’s ready to play it on her computer.

CASTLE
Oh, oh … wait. (he grabs it from her and she looks confused) That’s it? I mean, no pomp? No circumstance? What’s on this could shake the very foundations of our existence. We need to pause and savor –

She grabs the CD back.

BECKETT
Please, let’s just stick it in and get it over with.

CASTLE tries hard to resist the innuendo.

BECKETT
I mean, the fact of the matter is there’s probably nothing of any value on that CD to our investi –

She trails off as the CD loads. CASTLE is looking over her shoulder. It’s a picture of the night sky with a very large object in the middle. Neither has any idea what it is, but it’s vaguely UFO shaped.

CASTLE
You were saying?

BECKETT
No way.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT has called over RYAN and ESPOSITO to look but first, CASTLE tries to ramp up the drama.

CASTLE
Behold this image, gentlemen. And lady. We are witness to a stunning event, a turning point in history. The moment that we knew, we are not alone. For who can deny that this (he uncovers the monitor) is an alien spacecraft!

RYAN and ESPOSITO take a closer look.

RYAN
It does kind of look like one.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, but this image? I mean, it’s gotta be doctored. Right, Beckett?

BECKETT
(she shrugs) I don’t know.

ESPOSITO
Woah.

RYAN
What are you saying? Are you saying you think that this is real?

CASTLE watches her expectantly.

BECKETT
Well, it doesn’t look doctored.

CASTLE
Okay, just for clarity, so we know later who said what, you are conceding that it is a possibility that this is an alien spaceship.

She can’t say yes but she can’t say no, either.

BECKETT
What I am saying is that we now know what these agents were after.

CASTLE
(to RYAN) That close.

BECKETT
And as far as I’m concerned, let a higher pay grade deal with it. We now have leverage that we can use with our mystery agents.

RYAN
How? It’s not like we can just call them up.

CASTLE
Hmm. (he has an idea) Uh, we… (he picks up the box of listening devices that was in the car) do have a box of bugs. It’s the next best thing to a Bat Phone.

He hands the box to BECKETT. She hesitates, then lifts a corner of the lid and speaks into the box.

BECKETT
We have what you want. You know where we are.

She closes up the box and sets it on her desk. They wait.

ESPOSITO
You really think that’s going to work?

She shrugs. A second later, the phone rings.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

MONTGOMERY escorts AGENT WESTFIELD into the room. CASTLE and BECKETT are already there, waiting.

BECKETT
Please take a seat.

WESTFIELD
So where is it?

BECKETT
Not a chance. I want something in return. The name of Marie Subbarao’s killer.

WESTFIELD
Ladies first.

She regards him for a second, then slides a folder across the table. He opens it to see a picture of the sky that was on the unmarked disc.

WESTFIELD
Why are you showing me this?

CASTLE
It’s the photo that Marie took from the Observatory. Of the alien ship.

WESTFIELD
I’ll be on my way now.

He stands.

BECKETT
Wait a minute. We had a deal.

WESTFIELD
You said you had what I want. As it happens, you don’t.

MONTGOMERY
You’re not leaving. Marie Subbarao was murdered in the most awful way imagined. And her killer is still out there. You owe it to her. Give us that name.

WESTFIELD
Maybe she isn’t who you think she is.

BECKETT
What’s that supposed to mean? I mean, if it’s not this, then what? Why all this fuss over an astrophysicist who analyzed radio signals?

CASTLE
Unless what she analyzed was secret. That’s it, isn’t it? She intercepted classified information.

BECKETT
Yeah, you did say that she took something that was vital to our security. And we found Chinese cigarettes at the crime scene. Was she working with the Chinese?

WESTFIELD is stoic.

CASTLE
Look, either you tell us the truth now or we take what we know to the media.

WESTFIELD
What makes you think they’ll print it?

CASTLE
Oh, they probably won’t. But I know more than a dozen bloggers that will. Not to mention over half a million of my own followers on Twitter.

WESTFIELD knows that can’t happen. He sits.

WESTFIELD
Nothing I say can leave this room.

MONTGOMERY
You have our word on that.

WESTFIELD
Last month we determined that an enemy operative had intercepted classified, coded data streams between the Pacific Fleet and the Pentagon.

BECKETT
You think it was Marie.

WESTFIELD
The intercepted transmissions coincided with Marie’s tasking her radio telescope to point at our satellite, which is nowhere near where she was supposed to be doing her research.

CASTLE
So that wasn’t a photo of a UFO. That was your spy satellite.

WESTFIELD
But the real damage done is the data she downloaded, which I fear is now in the hands of the Chinese.

BECKETT
So then who killed her?

WESTFIELD
Her handler, I imagine. The Chinese must have known that we were on to them. They were smart enough to make it look like the boyfriend did it.

MONTGOMERY
Who’s this handler?

WESTFIELD
Someone from Chinese intelligence. We were never able to identify him. Whoever he is, you’ll never catch him. It’s over.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE and MARTHA are having dinner with ASHLEY’S parents.

BOB LINDEN
In the book, I take a bold, new look at the linear aggregation of markets.

CASTLE
It’s about time someone did.

BOB
So Ashley tells me you’re an author as well. Tell me about your writing, Mr. Castle. I don’t read popular fiction. I find most of it crass and tawdry.

MARTHA is dreading how CASTLE will respond.

CASTLE
Yes. Right. Well, uh … I (he clears his throat) I think of my writing as character studies in human behavior, looking into the heart of what makes people tick. For instance, what would make an ordinary person like yourself commit an act that’s unusually heinous or somehow … out of character.

He’s had a thought about their case.

CASTLE
Would you excuse me for a moment?

He leaves the table, leaving his guests confused. He’s on the phone with BECKETT, who’s still at the precinct.

BECKETT
Beckett.

CASTLE
Marie was acting out of character. What self respecting espionage agent would act strangely and risk blowing her cover? Maybe she wasn’t the real spy.

BECKETT
Well, that might explain the test results that Lanie just sent over. Marie had traces of sodium pentothal in her system.

CASTLE
Somebody gave her truth serum? Maybe it was the real spy. The white room, the questions, that’s why Stryker thought she was abducted by aliens.

He hasn’t gone far from the table and ASHLEY’S parents can hear everything he’s saying.

BECKETT
Well, if Marie wasn’t the spy …

CASTLE
Then the real spy was someone with access to the radio telescope at the Science Center.

BECKETT
I’m heading over there right now.

CASTLE
I’ll meet you there as soon as I can.

He hangs up and turns around to find his dinner guests staring at him.

CASTLE
More wine?

INT – AUBREY SCIENCE CENTER

CASTLE and BECKETT are going over papers from the Center.

CASTLE
Got another request here, redirecting the telescope to the coordinates.

BECKETT
Signed by Marie, just like all the others. Well, out of character or not, looks like she was the spy after all.

She looks down and spots something.

BECKETT
Wait a minute. These two signatures are different. The As don’t match.

CASTLE
You’re right.

CASTLE flips through a few more pages.

CASTLE
And look who else makes an A like that.

BECKETT
Dr. Charles Vaughn.

CASTLE
He forged her signature to make it look as though Marie was the one intercepting the satellite transmissions.

BECKETT
So maybe Marie saw a request with her fake signature and she got curious. So she put in a request of her own to have the telescope scan that part of the sky.

CASTLE
So that’s when she intercepted the weird signals. After that she lost time.

BECKETT
And when she told Benny Stryker about it, he assumed she had been abducted.

CASTLE
Which she had been. Only not by aliens. By Dr. Vaughn, who drugged her to find out how much she knew. When he realized how close she was, he got rid of her.

BECKETT
Yeah, but he’s the one who told us about the altitude chamber.

CASTLE
Yeah, because he knew it would lead us to Marie’s ex-boyfriend.

INT – APARTMENT HALLWAY

ESPOSITO is on the phone.

ESPOSITO
Dr. Vaughn is gone. He’s not at his place. But you know what is? Three vials of sodium pentothal.

BECKETT
Any idea where he went?

ESPOSITO
Nope. But it looks like he left in a rush.

BECKETT
Call TSA and have him put on a no-fly list and keep me posted.

INT – AUBREY SCIENCE CENTER

BECKETT
He’s on the run.

CASTLE
If he heard we asked for those request forms, he would have been tipped off.

BECKETT
He probably had an escape plan in place, just in case his cover was blown.

CASTLE
And Chinese handlers who can smuggle him out of the country. Not to be negative, but the odds of catching this guy are not great.

She stops.

BECKETT
Unless we enlist the help of a certain government agent who wants him just as bad as we do.

She dials her phone.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

AGENT WESTFIELD steps off the elevator to meet a waiting BECKETT.

WESTFIELD
I may want to put you guys on my friends and family plan.

BECKETT
We now believe that Dr. Vaughn is the spy. Marie figured it out and then he killed her.

WESTFIELD
I’m inclined to agree, which leaves the agency with some egg on its face.

BECKETT
And which agency did you say that was again?

WESTFIELD
I didn’t. We dug deeper on Dr. Vaughn. Turns out he has a fondness for gambling. He ran up quite the tab at an Atlantic City casino controlled by the Chinese. After that they owned him.

BECKETT
Do you know where Dr. Vaughn is now?

WESTFIELD
I know where to start looking.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

WESTFIELD sets up a computer.

WESTFIELD
Using his cell phone number, I can triangulate his position.

BECKETT
Well, he’s got to be worried about being tracked. He probably turned it off.

WESTFIELD
Then we’ll just turn it back on.

CASTLE
You can do that?

WESTFIELD
We turned off your phones, didn’t we?

CASTLE
(sarcastic) Yeah, and the car.

WESTFIELD’S computer has a hit and brings up video of VAUGHN.

WESTFIELD
He’s in the warehouse district in Chinatown. 1400 block of Canal Street.

BECKETT
Can we get a closer look?

WESTFIELD zooms in.

CASTLE
There he is. Fancy. You know, that’s just a few block away from where we found Marie’s body.

BECKETT
Maybe that’s where he killed her.

There’s another man in the video.

CASTLE
And who’s that guy? (WESTFIELD zooms in) Oh, wait. He’s the cigarette smoking man.

WESTFIELD
Otherwise known as Ung Kyu. He’s a high level Chinese intelligence agent.

BECKETT
So our murder suspect is meeting his handler.

WESTFIELD
Which means Dr. Vaughn may still have the data.

CASTLE
Well then, let’s go get him.

EST – CHINATOWN

CASTLE
Where are the predator drones? The black helicopters? All those SWAT teams rappelling down on ropes?

CASTLE is less than impressed with WESTFIELD’S team.

WESTFIELD
Budget cuts. (to BECKETT) It’s vital to our national security that we take these men alive.

CASTLE
These guys are trained agents. They probably have cyanide capsules in their teeth in case they’re caught.

WESTFIELD
We’ll worry about their teeth when the time comes.

RYAN
Patrol cars have closed off all streets in a five block radius.

ESPOSITO
And air support’s on their way.

CASTLE
All right. What’s the plan?

WESTFIELD
Vaughn’s cell phone signal has gone dark, which means he’s underground. According to our intel, this building has an extensive basement with two methods of ingress.

BECKETT
Actually, most of the basements on this side of town are linked through doorways used as escape routes for illegals in case of an INS raid.

WESTFIELD
So you’re saying that Vaughn and Kyu could be in either of the adjoining buildings as well?

BECKETT
Welcome to New York.

WESTFIELD
(shakes his head) Let’s go.

INT – BASEMENT

CASTLE and BECKETT have broken off from the group. BECKETT has her gun raised. A noise catches her attention. Two men are working.

BECKETT
NYPD. Stay where you are.

The men are surprised and do as they’re told, raising empty hands in surrender.

CASTLE
That’s a vacuum packer at one o’clock.

BECKETT
Looks like we found our murder weapon.

She opens a pocket and pulls out a picture of KYU.

BECKETT
Have you seen this man?

The men are silent. Taking a guess, CASTLE starts speaking Chinese.

CASTLE
(in Chinese) My partner is crazy and may start firing at any moment.

BECKETT is confused but as soon as CASTLE is done talking, the men point behind them.

BECKETT
(gestures) Go, go!

The men waste no time running from the room.

BECKETT
Semester abroad?

CASTLE
No, TV show I used to love.

BECKETT
Huh. Nice job.

CASTLE
Thanks.

INT – BASEMENT
The basement is dark. RYAN and ESPOSITO are walking through, also checking for VAUGHN. All four hear Chinese being spoken and follow the voice. They find KYU and VAUGHN in the middle of an open room.

KYU
Get on your knees!

VAUGHN does.

VAUGHN
No, please! I got rid of Marie. I did everything you asked.

KYU points his gun at VAUGHN.

VAUGHN
Wait, wait! Wait, I can still help you.

BECKETT catches sight of RYAN and ESPOSITO and gestures to them to follow her.

VAUGHN
Wait, wait! Please don’t! I can help you, please!

BECKETT
NYPD! Drop that gun!

KYU looks toward BECKETT and while he’s distracted, he’s tackled by RYAN. VAUGHN uses the opportunity to try to escape only to be stopped by WESTFIELD.

WESTFIELD
On the ground. Now.

VAUGHN follows orders. RYAN is handcuffing KYU, who is chewing on something.

CASTLE
Cyanide capsule!

CASTLE runs to KYU and wrestles something from his mouth. He holds it up triumphantly.

CASTLE
Ew (he throws it) Gum. False alarm.

WESTFIELD
(to VAUGHN) Where’s the data?

VAUGHN
In a USB drive. In his pocket.

RYAN digs around and pulls out the USB drive.

RYAN
Think we’ll get a medal for this?

WESTFIELD
This never happened.

WESTFIELD leads a handcuffed VAUGHN away and ESPOSITO shrugs.

CASTLE
Guess that means I can’t put this on Twitter.

EXT – CHINATOWN

VAUGHN and KYU are being led from the building.

WESTFIELD
Vaughn’s already spilling his guts.

CASTLE
Yeah, a near execution will shake your loyalties like that.

WESTFIELD
Between his conviction and the espionage charges, he and Ung Kyu will spend the rest of their lives in federal prison, thanks to you.

BECKETT
(smiles) And to Castle.

WESTFIELD
Yes, Mr. Castle. (shakes his hand) Might I have private word with Detective Beckett?

BECKETT looks surprised and CASTLE’S phone rings.

CASTLE
Of course.

He answers his phone. It’s ALEXIS.

CASTLE
Hey, sweetie. Look, about the parental review. I failed and I know and I’m sorry. (he’s sheepish) Woah, woah, woah, woah … they … they found me fascinating? (he pauses) Camping with … they want to go camping with us? No, no! No, no, it’s … yeah, that’d be great. (he clearly doesn’t think it’ll be great) That’ll be so much fun. Mmhmm. I love you too. ‘Bye.

He hangs up. BECKETT is done talking with WESTFIELD.

CASTLE
So what’d he tell you?

BECKETT
Ah, he told me something in confidence.

CASTLE
What?

BECKETT
Well, I wish I could tell you, Castle, but … it was classified.

He’s intrigued.

CASTLE
What … what did he tell you that was classified? Was it about aliens? (she’s coy) The truth about UFOs? Are you going to tell me or just make me keep guessing?

BECKETT
(shrugs) I don’t know. This guessing thing is kind of fun.

CASTLE
All right. Was it about what happened at Roswell?

BECKETT
No.

CASTLE
Area 51.

BECKETT
No.

CASTLE
Loch Ness Monster is real?

BECKETT
Yeah.

CASTLE
Really?

BECKETT
No.

CASTLE
Ugh. You had me. They’re controlling the weather.

BECKETT
No.

CASTLE
Our thoughts?

BECKETT
No.

They’re walking off, side by side, into the light from an emergency vehicle.

THE END

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