3x18 Transcript

One Life To Lose
transcribed by lika_mikala
ACT ONE
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, BEDROOM SOUNDSTAGE - MORNING]

MANDY BRONSON (as Angela Cannon)
Joseph, this is the last time we can do this.

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
What are you talking about?

MANDY BRONSON (as Angela Cannon)
I'm going back to my husband.

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
Alfonso?

MANDY BRONSON (as Angela Cannon)
I'm sorry.

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
Angie, baby, what about us?

[A door closes.]

MANDY BRONSON (as Angela Cannon)
Oh, my God. Oh, my God, that's him. He's home early.

ALFONSO
Angela, are you upstairs?

MANDY BRONSON (as Angela Cannon)
Hide in the closet. Mi bello!

[LANCE opens the closet and a body drops out with an axe in the back. MANDY screams. LANCE relaxes and we see the TV crew on the set.]

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
All right, what's going on, fellas? The gag reel getting a little thin?

CREWMAN (mouths)
No.

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
Oh, my God. It's Sarah! They killed Sarah!

--
[INT. CASTLE LOFT, KITCHEN - MORNING]
CASTLE skirts cautiously into the room, watching his mother sing and dance around the kitchen wearing rubber gloves. She tosses him a lemon.

CASTLE
I know you aren't cooking breakfast. So, what is all this?

MARTHA
Spring cleaning.

CASTLE
Oh! Well, Mother, I am-- I am shocked that you even know how to operate a sponge.

MARTHA
Oh! I have cleaned before. Well, I-- supervised cleaning before.

CASTLE
And what has, uh, prompted this sudden burst of domestic devotion?

MARTHA
The space for my acting school won't be ready for another month, Alexis is all busy with her AP tests, my lunch date canceled.

CASTLE
Oh.

MARTHA
And if I don't do something productive, I'm going to tear my hair out. So, out of my way.

CASTLE
Pardon.

[CASTLE's cell rings.]

CASTLE
Oh, speaking of hair. Hello, Beckett. Yes. 1777 21st Street. All right, I'll meet you there.

MARTHA
Did you say 1777 21st Street?

CASTLE
Yeah, there was a murder there. Why?

MARTHA
Oh, I know that address. That's Gemstar Studios. That's where they film Temptation Lane.

CASTLE
The soap opera you used to be on.

MARTHA
Oh, I-- I hope it's nobody that I know. Maybe I should go with you.

CASTLE (chuckles)
It's a crime scene, Mother, for trained professionals.

MARTHA
Richard Castle. You are neither trained, nor a professional.

CASTLE
I'll text you with updates.

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS - MORNING]

ESPOSITO
Victim's name is Sarah Cutler. Looks like she was killed last night and stuffed into a closet on set.

BECKETT
Was she a part of the production?

ESPOSITO
Yeah.

CASTLE
Let me guess. The diva actress that everyone hated.

ESPOSITO
Actually, Castle, she was a writer.

CASTLE
A writer?

ESPOSITO
Mm.

CASTLE
Why would anyone want to kill a writer?

BECKETT
Oh, so many reasons.

CASTLE
Or maybe Sarah discovered that Greek billionaire Mikos had invented a machine that could cause blizzards that would plunge the entire world into an ice age.

BECKETT
Really? You're gonna go with a evil weather machine?

CASTLE
It already happened. On General Hospital. Look, bear in mind, we're entering into a world of epic drama with larger than life characters, each one teeming with twisted secrets and personal intrigue. It stands to reason that the motive for this murder will be worthy of a soap opera.

BECKETT
Castle, even in a world of epic drama, the motives are usually quite ordinary.

[They turn a corner and see the victim with the bright red fire axe in her back.]

CASTLE
Now, does that look ordinary to you? The victim with an axe in her back on the set of her own show. Odds are, the killer walks amongst us on this very soundstage.

BECKETT
So, what've we got?

LANIE
Her spinal cord was severed with the axe. Upon contact, her lungs filled with blood, causing her to drown. I can put the time of death in the four hour window somewhere between 7 and 11 p.m. last night.

BECKETT
And where did this axe come from?

ESPOSITO
It's the fire axe from the stage. Crew members think it might be symbolic.

CASTLE
Symbolic?

ESPOSITO
Well, when Miss Cutler took over writing the show, first thing she did was kill off one of the main characters with an axe. Helped save the show, but some of the fans were unhappy.

LANIE
You damn right, we were unhappy. Ashley Conrad was the matriarch of Temptation Lane for thirty years. And then, all of a sudden, whap!

BECKETT
Lanie.

LANIE
Right. Based on the CSU sweep, she was killed right here. The killer wiped up the blood spatter and shoved her in the closet.

CASTLE
Which means they knew there was a closet to shove her into, suggesting someone familiar with the layout. An insider, perhaps.

RYAN
So, I just checked with Security. They're on high alert now, but, as you can tell, things aren't exactly buttoned up around here.

BECKETT
And what about the cameras?

RYAN
Only one at the main entrance, but no one was manning the entrance to this soundstage.

BECKETT
Oh, so, it is possible that someone from the outside got in. Have you talked to next of kin?

ESPOSITO
Husband was on set when the body was discovered. Turns out, he's one of the directors.

BECKETT
Okay. So, why don't you guys get statements from the actors that found her. Castle and I'll talk to the husband.

ESPOSITO
Right.

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, BACKSTAGE - MORNING]

LANCE HASTINGS
It's tragic, really. Sarah was a gem. Supremely talented, too.

MANDY BRONSON
It all begins with the words.

ESPOSITO
But it's also how you say them.

MANDY BRONSON
So true. My performance brings Angela Cannon to life. Without Sarah's words, I'd just be an incredibly gorgeous woman named Mandy Bronson.

LANCE HASTINGS
She really understood Joseph Fox. My character. He's very complicated.

MANDY BRONSON (scoffs)
Complicated? A five year old could write him.

LANCE HASTINGS
Yeah, I'd be insulted if you actually knew anything about acting.

[ESPOSITO steps forward to interrupt. And flirt with MANDY.]

ESPOSITO
Miss Bronson, what time did you leave the studio last night?

MANDY BRONSON
We wrapped at six and then went straight home. I, um...

[MANDY sits up to expose her cleavage more.]

MANDY BRONSON
Drew a bath, poured a glass of wine, put on a little John Legend. Then I slipped out of my silk robe and let the bubbles soak every inch of my body.

ESPOSITO
Wow. Dude. Dude.

[RYAN steps up in front of ESPOSITO.]

RYAN
Dude.

ESPOSITO
I'm just--

RYAN
Mr. Hastings, how about you?

LANCE HASTINGS
Ditto.

RYAN
You also drew a bubble bath and listened to some John Legend?

LANCE HASTINGS
No, I left right after we wrapped.

ESPOSITO
And when did you last see Sarah?

LANCE HASTINGS
She came down to the set right before we shot a love scene.

MANDY BRONSON
Ha! More like a torture scene with me getting smothered by his bulk. Why don't you get your ass to the gym?

LANCE HASTINGS
I'll go to the gym if you pop a tic-tac the next time we have to kiss.

RYAN
Can we get back to Sarah for just one more moment? Did she have any enemies in the production?

LANCE HASTINGS
No, no! Sarah was wonderful. Everybody loved her.

MANDY BRONSON
Yeah, she treated everyone with respect. I can't imagine who would do this.

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, BACKSTAGE - MORNING]

BECKETT
Mr. Powers, when was the last time you spoke with your wife?

VINCE POWERS
I, um, spoke with Sarah last night. Right-- right here. Right where we're standing right now.

BECKETT
And what did the two of you talk about?

VINCE POWERS
End of the day, just touching base.

BECKETT
What time was that?

VINCE POWERS
Maybe a little after six.

BECKETT
Didn't you find it strange that Sarah didn't come home last night?

VINCE POWERS
I'm used to it. Sarah's the head writer. Long hours writing scripts kind of comes with the territory.

CASTLE
She have any trouble with cast or crew?

VINCE POWERS
Well, everybody here has an agenda, and Sarah had to make a lot of tough decisions, but nobody here would actually hurt her. We're like a family.

BECKETT
And what about anyone outside the show?

VINCE POWERS
No, not that I-- Wait.

BECKETT
What?

VINCE POWERS
FoxCanLover.

BECKETT
FoxCanLover?

VINCE POWERS
About a week ago, Sarah had this-- this crazy, obsessed fan kicked off the set. Sh--she writes an unofficial blog about the show. She's a shipper who goes by the screen name FoxCanLover.

CASTLE
A shipper?

BECKETT
Uh, yeah. It's a person who invests in the relationships of a show. In this case, it would be Joseph Fox and Angela Cannon. Hence, FoxCan.

[CASTLE nods. Then does a double take that BECKETT would know a tidbit like that.]

VINCE POWERS
Exactly. But once she gets here, she loses it, goes crazy, threatens Sarah. Security has to escort her off.

BECKETT
Do you know the lady's name?

VINCE POWERS
No, I-- I don't, but Sarah's assistant would. Reese Harmon.

[GLORIA CHAMBERS runs up to VINCE.]

GLORIA CHAMBERS
Is it true?

[Gloria hugs him.]

VINCE POWERS
I'm so-- I'm so sorry.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
My baby's gone!

VINCE POWERS (whisper)
I'm sorry.

[VINCE pulls out of the hug.]

VINCE POWERS
This is, um, this is Sarah's mom, Gloria Chambers. Detective Beckett is investigating Sarah's murder.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
It's so unfair. I just got her back and now she's gone.

BECKETT
Mrs. Chambers, were the two of you estranged?

GLORIA CHAMBERS
We had been for years. I gave her up for adoption when I was young. What kind of monster would do this?

BECKETT
We don't know just yet, but we are gonna do everything we can to bring them to justice.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
You'd better. Or I will sue the entire city for every nickel it's worth!

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, BACKSTAGE - MORNING]

CASTLE
Well, I understand being upset, but threatening to sue?

BECKETT
Yeah, well, everybody processes their grief differently.

CASTLE
Yes. Unless she's a gold digging opportunist who's insinuated herself back into her daughter's life because she's in need of a heart transplant and Sarah is the only compatible donor.

BECKETT
Mm, sure, maybe on Temptation Lane. Not in the real world.

CASTLE
Oh, speaking of which, FoxCan?

BECKETT
Mm-hmm.

CASTLE
Joseph Fox and Angela Cannon, how did you know their names?

BECKETT
Uh, one of the uniforms briefed me.

CASTLE
Oh. And shippers. Relationship fans?

BECKETT
Castle, I do read, you know.

CASTLE
Cool.

[CASTLE and BECKETT turn a corner to find Sarah's assistant, REESE HARMON, sitting on the soundstage bed at the crime scene. She's crying.]

BECKETT
Excuse me, are you Reese Harmon?

[REESE nods.]

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, SARAH'S OFFICE - MORNING]

REESE HARMON
FoxCanLover's real name is Carrie Edwards. She won the set visit from a literacy charity that Sarah supported. She paid a thousand dollars for it. Everything was fine at first, but when she saw Sarah, she got in her face and started yelling, "You ruined everything!"

BECKETT
Did she ever send Sarah any threatening letters? Anything that you might have on file?

REESE HARMON
No. But she did write some pretty awful things on her blog. I'll show you that.

CASTLE
If Sarah was working late, why weren't you here? You-- you are her assistant.

REESE HARMON
I usually stay, but Sarah wouldn't let me.

BECKETT
Why not?

REESE HARMON
One of her passions was helping young writers. She got me a position at the network fellowship program. We had a mixer last night. She was supposed to come, but she never showed.

BECKETT
When was the last time you saw her?

REESE HARMON
Around 6:30. Brought her her coffee and scone. Here it is. Last week, the day of the set visit, look at what she wrote.

BECKETT
"Made it onto the set, but didn't complete the mission."

CASTLE
Look at the most recent post. "Last time, I failed. This time I will succeed. She's been stabbing us loyal fans in the back. Now it's our turn to take her down..."

BECKETT
"It's time to give her the axe."

[CASTLE INTRO]
--
ACT TWO
[INT. PRECINCT, INTERROGATION - DAY]

CARRIE EDWARDS
She's dead? Sarah Cutler's dead? This is the best news ever. Can I send a quick Tweet? Not cool? I'll wait.

BECKETT
Must've been difficult not to blog about it last night.

CARRIE EDWARDS
Yeah, how would I know. Wait. You guys think I had something to do this?

BECKETT
Well, I mean, your blog clearly spells out your determination to take out Sarah.

CARRIE EDWARDS
But everybody talks tough on the internet.

CASTLE
You wrote, "It's time to give her the axe," the day she was killed with an axe.

CARRIE EDWARDS
Okay. Now, I can explain this!

BECKETT
We already figured it out. You bought the set visit to get closer to Sarah. The visit was cut short. You came back last night, when no one was around, and then you remembered there's an axe on the soundstage.

CARRIE EDWARDS
No, no, no! I bought the set visit because she was being swayed by the CanFonsos!

CASTLE
Who?

CARRIE EDWARDS
The CanFonsos. The opposition. (scoffs) They believe that Angela Cannon should be together with Alfonso Dominguez. I was trying to convince her that Angela belongs with Joseph!

CASTLE
With an axe.

CARRIE EDWARDS
Yes! Wait. No. I was organizing a protest, okay? We were gonna send a whole bunch of axes to the head of the network, demanding that Sarah be fired. I've got everybody on my website doing it. We want them to know that we think Sarah's ruining the show!

BECKETT
Where were you last night between seven and eleven?

CARRIE EDWARDS
I was chatting with the other FoxCans.

CASTLE
Wild guess. Alone?

CARRIE EDWARDS
No. No, and I can prove it. Mary and Dennis were home.

BECKETT
And those are your roommates?

CARRIE EDWARDS
No, my parents.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BREAK ROOM - DAY]

CASTLE
Just don't see that girl swinging an axe, let alone leaving her house.

BECKETT
What's the matter? Homicidal fan not soapy enough for you?

CASTLE
You know, when you say soapy, I conjure up images--

BECKETT
Castle, focus.

CASTLE
I am.

BECKETT
On our suspect.

CASTLE
Oh.

BECKETT
I mean, you saw how obsessive she was. She invests in these fictional relationships. She cares if Angela's gonna get back together with Alfonso, if Marguerite's gonna survive her cancer scare--

CASTLE
Oh, my god.

BECKETT
What?

CASTLE
You watch Temptation Lane.

BECKETT
What? No.

CASTLE (chuckles)
No one said anything--

[BECKETT tries to escape from the break room, but CASTLE puts his arm across the doorway.]

CASTLE
--about Marguerite's cancer scare. You know a lot about shippers. You know about FoxCans. You are a fan. A big, fat, Temptation Lane fan.

BECKETT
Okay, maybe I watched, it, like, once or twice.

[BECKETT ducks under CASTLE's arm, but he follows her into the bullpen.]

CASTLE
It's just so delightfully not you!

BECKETT
So says the guy who rattles off plot points from General Hospital.

CASTLE
Oh, that is completely different! That is for research.

ESPOSITO
What was for research?

BECKETT/CASTLE
Nothing.

[BECKETT shoots CASTLE a "Tell him and I will kill you" look.]

ESPOSITO
Mary and Dennis confirm that blogger chick was in her room all night.

CASTLE
What about the cast and crew?

ESPOSITO
So far, all their alibis checked out. But I was looking over Sarah's schedule. Last week, there were a couple of appointments that just say "M". And there was another one the day before the murder, and then one scheduled for tomorrow.

BECKETT
So...

ESPOSITO
So, her assistant didn't schedule these, which means it was personal. And her husband didn't know about them, either.

CASTLE
With Sarah's work load, it must've been important for her to make time.

ESPOSITO
Exactly. And her husband and assistant both say, when she came back from this appointment, she was upset.

BECKETT
All right, let's see what we can dig up from that.

RYAN
Hey, Beckett.

BECKETT
Hey. What'd you find at the apartment?

RYAN
Her husband's stuff. His clothes are gone, and only her stuff is in the bathroom. So, I talked to the doorman, and he said that Vince hasn't lived there in almost two months. They've been separated.

BECKETT
Funny he didn't mention that earlier. Looks like someone's hiding something on Temptation Lane.

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, LIVING ROOM SOUNDSTAGE - DAY]

VINCENT POWERS
Look, I knew if I told you that my marriage was in trouble that I would be suspect number one.

BECKETT
Maybe. But, now that we know that you lied, it makes you look even worse.

CASTLE
Why did you separate?

VINCENT POWERS
Everything changed after Sarah got the big promotion. If I wanted to spend time with my own wife, I had to schedule an appointment. It wasn't working. So, I moved out.

BECKETT
You know, there's another version of this story where your wife kicked you out, and then she demanded a divorce.

CASTLE
Mmm. Only, this way, you don't have to worry about splitting your assets.

VINCENT POWERS
I didn't kill my wife.

BECKETT
Well, then where were you the night that she was killed?

VINCENT POWERS
I was at the hotel. I went there immediately after we wrapped here.

BECKETT
And can anyone vouch for that?

CASTLE
Come on, Vince. Tell us you were alone. It'll make arresting you that much easier.

VINCENT POWERS
I, um... I wasn't alone.

BECKETT
I'm gonna need a name.

VINCENT POWERS
Mandy Bronson.

CASTLE
Mandy Bronson? As in Angela Cannon? As in star of Temptation Lane?

VINCENT POWERS
Yes, that Mandy Bronson.

CASTLE
Just checking.

BECKETT
Did she stay the night?

VINCENT POWERS
No. We ordered room service and, um, about seven o'clock, she got an e-mail from Sarah and she went running off.

BECKETT
So, the night that your wife was killed, she e-mailed your mistress? And you didn't think that that was important to mention?

VINCENT POWERS
It wasn't a big deal. I asked Mandy about it. Well, she got some new script pages that Sarah wanted her to look over. So, she went home to memorize them.

BECKETT
Were you alone the rest of the night?

VINCENT POWERS
Yes. Yes, I cracked the mini-bar, I ordered Pay Per View. You can check.

BECKETT
I will.

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, BACKSTAGE - DAY]

CASTLE
It can't be the husband.

BECKETT
Why? He's got motive?

CASTLE
Yeah, but marriage on the rocks, killing for money? That's just so...

BECKETT
Ordinary.

CASTLE
We need to focus on Mandy Bronson. Home wrecking diva engaged in a tour d'affair with the victim's husband. She fled their illicit love nest after a mysterious e-mail from Sarah on the eve of her murder.

BECKETT
Yeah, but we don't even know if there was an e-mail. I mean, Vincent could've been lying. But, you are right, Mandy Bronson does have some explaining to do.

CASTLE
Esplanie.

BECKETT
What?

CASTLE
Lanie and Esposito. Like FoxCan. We can call them Esplanie. Which is perfect, because they're always Esplaning things. Mother.

MARTHA
Hi.

BECKETT
Martha. What a surprise.

CASTLE
Yes. What an unexpected surprise. What are you doing here?

MARTHA
Grieving!

CASTLE
You didn't even know the victim.

MARTHA
Darling, a loss for a show like this is a loss for anyone who was ever part of its history. And...I think I can be of help here. I think I could be your inside source and get the scoop on what's really going on here. Oh-ho-ho, and what better place to start than Lance Hastings?

CASTLE
You know him?

MARTHA
He was my love interest 30 years ago. On screen. And off.

[BECKETT chuckles. CASTLE's not pleased.]

MARTHA
After my character married his character, Joseph Fox, she was kidnapped, buried alive, trapped in a cave with bears, uh, kidnapped again, and held hostage in the sewers of Paris.

BECKETT
How long were you on the show?

MARTHA
Three weeks. Got to go. Excuse me.

[MARTHA boosts her chest and fluffs her hair as she walks over to LANCE Hastings.]

CASTLE
My mother gives new meaning to the word "transparent".

[BECKETT grins as she and CASTLE exit. MARTHA and LANCE hug in the background.]

MARTHA
Yes. Oh, darling, I know.

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, SARAH'S OFFICE - DAY]
REESE types in SARAH's user name and password on the computer.

REESE HARMON
There's her account. What are you looking for?

BECKETT
An e-mail that Sarah sent before she died.

CASTLE
There it is.

BECKETT
"Meet me at the office ASAP." So, Sarah had Mandy meet her here that night.

CASTLE
You think she found out about the affair? Planned to confront her?

BECKETT
I don't know. Here's an attachment.

CASTLE
Oh, it's a script for an upcoming episode.

BECKETT
The characters are vacationing in Pamplona. Oh, my god!

CASTLE
Oh, my god. Mandy Bronson's character is gored to death while running with the bulls.

BECKETT
Sarah brought her here to tell Mandy she was writing her off the show.

CASTLE
Looks like Mandy wrote her off first.

--
ACT THREE
[INT. PRECINCT, OBSERVATION - DAY]
ESPOSITO waves CASTLE into the room to watch MANDY BRONSON through the one-way glass.

ESPOSITO (whisper)
Castle! C'mere, c'mere! I know she's a murder suspect, but you got to admit, she is smoking hot.

CASTLE
Agreed. So hot, in fact, that it led to a torrid affair with Sarah's director husband. Sarah found out about it, decided to kill off Mandy's character. Doesn't get any soapier than that.

ESPOSITO
Well, obviously, you haven't seen Chiquitas.

CASTLE
As in [?].

ESPOSITO
No. As in telenovelas. I used to watch it growing up with my grandmother. Bro, there was this one episode where Gabriella discovered that her husband was sleeping with her evil twin sister Teresita. Only to later find out that she had multiple personality disorder.

CASTLE
Wait, does that even qualify as cheating?

ESPOSITO
Dude.

BECKETT
What?

ESPOSITO
Don't even think it.

[BECKETT enters Interrogation.]

BECKETT
Miss Bronson, I'm curious how you felt when you found out that Sarah was gonna kill off your character.

MANDY BRONSON
Kill off my character? (scoffs) That's ridiculous. I'm the reason the ratings were up.

BECKETT
Well, then why did she write this scene where Angela Cannon has an unfortunate encounter with a bull?

MANDY BRONSON
Sarah probably writes a death scene for every character on the show. To keep the actors in line.

BECKETT
She wrote those particular pages the night that she was murdered. While you were with her husband. He told us that you left right after you got an e-mail from Sarah. But you didn't go home, did you? You went to go and confront her.

MANDY BRONSON
Sarah wanted to save her marriage. She thought the way she could do that was to get me out of the picture.

BECKETT
And you wanted to urge her to reconsider and, when she didn't, you killed her.

MANDY BRONSON
I admit, I went to see the *****. I told her Angela Cannon is the heart and soul of the show. But when I saw she wouldn't back down, I left. I didn't need to kill her.

BECKETT
And why is that?

MANDY BRONSON
Because I still had a hand to play. Everybody thinks Sarah calls the shots at Temptation Lane, but the second in command, Peter Connelly? He's the one the network really trusts.

BECKETT
What is this other hand that you had to play?

MANDY BRONSON
I did what any industrious actress would do. I went to his apartment straight from the studio and used my powers of persuasion to get him on my side.

BECKETT
When did you leave?

MANDY BRONSON
The sun was up, and my character's still alive.

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, BACKSTAGE - DAY]

PETER CONNELLY
Yeah, she showed up at my apartment last night. She was wearing a fur coat.

BECKETT
So?

PETER CONNELLY
Just a fur coat. And I nearly had a heart attack when she let it slip open. Years of fantasizing and there she was, standing right in front of me.

BECKETT
And what did she want?

PETER CONNELLY
She was all fired up about Sarah wanting to write her off the show. So, then I had to listen to Mandy summarize every soap digest article praising her performance. Just to make her stop, I agreed that I would talk to Sarah.

CASTLE
Only now you don't have to.

[REESE walks past them.]

PETER CONNELLY
Reese! Grab your laptop and join the group. We're all hands on deck.


REESE HARMON
You mean it?

PETER CONNELLY
I'm not gonna ask you twice.

CASTLE
Sounds like you're pretty desperate.

PETER CONNELLY
Mr. Castle, you publish, what? One book a year?

CASTLE
Give or take.

PETER CONNELLY
In that same time period, we produce 250 episodes. I'm down a writer. Reese wrote some script about horses that Sarah actually liked. So, yeah, I'm gonna take the extra help where I can get it. Unless, of course, you'd like to jump in.

CASTLE
You know what's interesting? With Sarah out of the way, Mandy gets to stay on the show and you get promoted.

PETER CONNELLY
Hey, I'm a professional. Mandy's staying because Angela Cannon is the heart and soul of this show.

BECKETT
Well, where have I heard that before? Uh, we'll keep in touch. (answers cell) Beckett.

[INT. PRECINCT, HALLWAY/INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, BACKSTAGE - DAY]

ESPOSITO (on cell)
So, the hotel confirmed that the time sensors in Vince's mini-bar were activated until 11:30 p.m.

BECKETT
So, I guess our deadly love triangle wasn't so deadly after all.

ESPOSITO
Not on his side, anyway. But the hot news is, Ryan got a hit on those mystery appointments Sarah was going to. He found credit card charges that matched up time and date to the meetings.

BECKETT
And where was she going?

ESPOSITO
To a coffee shop on 7th. According to her calendar, her next meeting is in about an hour.

[BECKETT hangs up.]

BECKETT
Castle, you up for a coffee break?

--
[INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY]
Lauren serves a cup of coffee to a customer sitting at the counter.

LAUREN GOLDBERG
Here you go.

CUSTOMER
Thanks.

LAUREN GOLDBERG
Can I help you?

BECKETT
Yes. I hope so.

[BECKETT pulls out a photo of SARAH CUTLER.]

BECKETT
Do you recognize this woman?

LAUREN GOLDBERG
Yeah. Why?

[LAUREN cries as she sits across from CASTLE and BECKETT at a table.]

LAUREN GOLDBERG
She can't be dead! She can't be dead! She can't.

BECKETT
I'm so sorry, Miss Goldberg.

LAUREN GOLDBERG
It's not fair. It is so not fair. What am I supposed to do?

BECKETT
Did the two of you know each other very well?

LAUREN GOLDBERG
Actually, I didn't know her at all.

CASTLE
Then why would you be so upset?

LAUREN GOLDBERG
Well, because she promised she would read my screenplay and, if she liked it, she would help me find an agent.

BECKETT
Who would she meet when she came here?

LAUREN GOLDBERG
What's it matter? She's dead. I lost my chance.

[BECKETT looks at CASTLE, shifts her eyes to LAUREN back to him. CASTLE shakes his head. BECKETT gives him wide "Tell her!" eyes.]

CASTLE
I'll tell you what, I'll make you a deal. If you tell us what happened after that, I'll read your script and if I like it, I'll give it to my agent.

LAUREN GOLDBERG
Really?

[CASTLE glares at BECKETT.]

CASTLE
Really.

LAUREN GOLDBERG
She met with a guy and they sat at a table in a corner.

BECKETT
Do you remember what he looked like?

LAUREN GOLDBERG
Um. Like him.

[LAUREN points to a guy who just entered the coffee shop behind them.]

LAUREN GOLDBERG
Exactly like him.

JOHNNY DIMES
A double espresso...

LAUREN GOLDBERG
What about my script?

CASTLE
I'll come back and get it when we're done.

[BECKETT and CASTLE sit down across from the man LAUREN pointed out.]

JOHNNY DIMES
Do I know you?

BECKETT
I'm a friend of Sarah Cutler.

JOHNNY DIMES
Yeah? You bring my money?

BECKETT
What money?

JOHNNY DIMES
Look, I did what she asked, and now I want what I'm owed.

BECKETT
And, uh, what is it that she asked you to do?

JOHNNY DIMES
None of your damn business. Who the hell are you?

BECKETT (badges him)
NYPD. Sarah's dead, so it is my business. Now, who the hell are you?

JOHNNY DIMES
Johnny Dimes, I'm a P.I. Sarah Cutler was a client. What do you mean she's dead?

CASTLE
She's dead. Only really has the one meaning.

BECKETT
Did she hire you to follow her husband?

JOHNNY DIMES
Husband? No. She hired me to investigate Gloria Chambers.

CASTLE
The mom. I knew it. Was she involved in organ harvesting?

JOHNNY DIMES
That didn't really come up. But I can tell you this, Gloria Chambers isn't her real birth mom. She's a fake.

CASTLE
Oh. The mom isn't really the mom? Does it get any soapier than that?

--
ACT FOUR
[INT. PRECINCT, HALLWAY - DAY]

CASTLE
Ooh! Oh, it's that the P.I.'s file on Sarah's faux mother?

BECKETT
Yeah. Apparently, Gloria showed up three years ago claiming to be Sarah's birth mom and Sarah got suspicious, so she hired a P.I. in order to look into Gloria's history.

CASTLE
What nefarious scheme has Gloria set into motion? Perhaps she planned on replacing Sarah with a clone.

BECKETT
She wanted Sarah's money.

CASTLE
Money!

BECKETT
Yeah, sorry to burst your bubble, Castle, but Gloria's got a history of insurance scams and husbands with empty bank accounts.

CASTLE
You bringing her in?

BECKETT
Yeah, we're trying. We put out an APB. Her apartment's empty, and the doorman saw her leave with a suitcase this morning.

CASTLE
Ooh.

BECKETT
So, maybe Dimes tells Sarah about Gloria. Sarah confronts her, and then Gloria kills Sarah in order to avoid exposure.

CASTLE
And, after playing the role of grieving mother on set, Gloria knew enough to get the hell out of Dodge.

[The elevator opens and ESPOSITO steps out with GLORIA CHAMBERS in cuffs.]

ESPOSITO
Yo. Look who got caught trying to buy a ticket to the Bahamas at JFK.

CASTLE
Gloria.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
Everything in New York reminded me of Sarah. I needed to distance myself from the agonizing truth that she's dead. And now, if denial is a crime, I plead guilty.

BECKETT
Good to know. Now, how do you plead on murder?

--
[INT. PRECINCT, INTERROGATION - DAY]

BECKETT
Gloria Chambers, also known as Charlene Sullers, you have been a very busy woman.

CASTLE
Yours is a real rags to riches story. Only trouble is, the riches never seem to be yours.

BECKETT
Fraud in Florida, embezzlement in North Carolina.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
I served my time for those prime misunderstandings.

BECKETT
And then you latched onto your next meal ticket, Constantine Pirelli. After him, it was Ernesto Cruz.

CASTLE
I hear they're very anxious for you to come back. With their money.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
I was married to those men. It was our money. I can tell you, I earned every penny.

BECKETT
But, as usual, you blew it all, and so, you looked for your next ticket, which you found in Sarah Cutler.

CASTLE
You heard an interview where she mentioned being adopted, did a little research, and then showed up as the long lost mother.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
Sarah might've been under the impression that she was my daughter, but I didn't kill her. And, in my own way, I was-- I was fond of Sarah.

BECKETT
Fond enough that you were able to masquerade as her mother. You had motive to kill her. That's why you tried to flee the country.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
What motive?

BECKETT
Her will shows that she planned to leave you $300,000.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
Oh, she's a generous girl, my Sarah.

CASTLE
She's not your Sarah.

BECKETT
And that's not your money. You knew she wrote you into her will. In fact, you probably planned it all along. So, when she confronted you, you knew that you had a narrow window within which to kill her before she wrote you out.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
Here's your problem. I am not your killer. If I were you, I'd look into the other man in her life.

CASTLE
What other man?

GLORIA CHAMBERS
The one that gave her the two karat Arthur Klein earrings just the other day.

BECKETT
Does this other man have a name?

GLORIA CHAMBERS
Sarah didn't tell me that, but whoever he was, they must've just split up, because he was trying to win her over.

BECKETT
Really? You're going to point us to a mysterious stranger?

GLORIA CHAMBERS
It's the truth.

BECKETT
Coming from a professional liar.

GLORIA CHAMBERS
I was nowhere near this godforsaken soap set when she died. I-- I was doing something useful with my time.

CASTLE
Reading to the blind?

GLORIA CHAMBERS
Mm, close. I was donating. To the ponies.

CASTLE
Oh.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - DAY]

ESPOSITO
OTB receipts in Gloria's purse put her betting on races till 10 p.m.

BECKETT
And our time of death is estimated at 11 on the outside, and we don't have anything to tie her to the studio.

CASTLE
I thought fake mom was a lock.

RYAN
Starting to look less that way by the minute. I found the earrings that Gloria talked about in Sarah's apartment.

CASTLE
Fancy.

BECKETT
Yeah, over ten grand worth of fancy.

ESPOSITO
Those are worth over ten grand? Please.

BECKETT
Lanie loves diamonds.

CASTLE
"Diamonds are forever. Like my devotion to you." Who writes notes this cheesy?

RYAN
Well, not the husband. I checked on his financials; he didn't buy them.

BECKETT
Okay, so, maybe Gloria was telling us the truth. Maybe Sarah was having an affair.

CASTLE
Well, that makes perfect sense. Sarah was separated from her husband, Vince. And after long, grueling days at work, she'd go home to a cold empty apartment. Feeling lonely, betrayed, she seeks comfort the arms of this mystery man...

BECKETT
And she decides that she wants her husband back. So, she writes his mistress, Mandy Bronson, off the show in order to save their marriage...

[RYAN looks at ESPOSITO and grins as he points at CASTLE and BECKETT finishing each other's sentences.]

CASTLE
And her next step would be to get rid of the other man...

BECKETT
So, maybe the other man didn't go off quietly into the night.

RYAN
Do you two practice this when we're not around?

BECKETT
These earrings are exclusive to Arthur Klein's boutique in Chelsea. Let's find out who bought them.

RYAN
Okay.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - NIGHT]

BECKETT (hangs up)
Okay. So, Gloria is in the clear. Uniforms showed her the photo at the OTB and a bartender there remembers seeing her at 11:15.

CASTLE
You know, I can see why she fell for Gloria's con. Sarah was motherless, childless, she was taking young writers under her wing. She's looking for family.

BECKETT
Wow, Castle, that's a refreshingly down to earth theory.

CASTLE
Just trying to keep you on your toes.

RYAN
Hey. So, we ran down purchases at Klein's boutique, and guess who popped?

CASTLE/BECKETT
Lance Hastings?

ESPOSITO
And that's not all. I ran Lance's credit card activity to confirm the purchase, something else caught my eye. Lance charged a cab ride to the studio the night of the murder.

RYAN
But when we interviewed him, he said he went straight home at 6 p.m.

ESPOSITO
Cab company drove him back to the studio around eight.

BECKETT
Okay. So, that falls right within the window of our time of death. Go pick him up.

RYAN
Yeah, we already sent a unit for him. He's not home, he's not answering his phone.

CASTLE
My mother was speaking to him earlier on set. (on cell) Hi, sweetie. Is Gram there? I need to talk to her.

BECKETT
What's wrong?

CASTLE
I know where the killer is. He's with my mother.

--
ACT FIVE
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, DRESSING ROOMS - NIGHT]

CASTLE and BECKETT rush down a hallway to the dressing rooms.

BECKETT
Castle, it's okay. I'm sure your mom's not in any danger.

CASTLE
Yeah, you're probably right.

[They stop in the hallway when they hear LANCE's voice coming from the dressing room.]

LANCE HASTINGS
I'm sorry, my dear, but after everything I've told you, I can't let you leave this room alive.

MARTHA
Lance, think about what you're doing.

LANCE HASTINGS
I'm thinking about it...

MARTHA
Think about us!

LANCE HASTINGS
...I can't--!

[CASTLE kicks in the door and MARTHA shrieks. LANCE is standing behind her with a knife to her throat.]

CASTLE
Drop the knife!

[BECKETT comes in, gun raised.]

BECKETT
Drop the weapon!

LANCE HASTINGS
Whoa, whoa, wait, wait-- Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

[LANCE lets go of MARTHA. CASTLE grabs her arm and pulls her behind him.]

MARTHA
Oh! Richard! What are you doing?!

CASTLE
Oh, nothing. Just saving your life, that's all. She said drop the knife!

MARTHA
The only thing that knife could kill is butter.

CASTLE
What are you talking about?

[MARTHA sighs and gestures to LANCE. LANCE holds up the knife by the end and drops it on the floor. It flops limply.]

BECKETT
It's a prop.

LANCE HASTINGS
We were just working out a scene.

MARTHA
Guys, it was completely my idea. You know, the actor's version of "Show me your golf swing."

CASTLE
The knife may be fake, but the axe he put into Sarah's back was real.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, INTERROGATION - NIGHT]

BECKETT
You lied to Detectives Ryan and Esposito regarding your whereabouts the night of the murder.

LANCE HASTINGS (sigh)
You want the truth?

BECKETT
That would be a great place to start.

LANCE HASTINGS
"You can't handle the truth!"

BECKETT
Sir, I am not interested in your Jack Nicholson impressions. We know that you went back to the studio the night of the murder. And what I'm asking is, why?

LANCE HASTINGS
It was a friendly conversation between colleagues.

BECKETT
A friendly conversation in which she told you she was going to go back to her husband.

LANCE HASTINGS
What the hell are you talking about? Why would she do that?

CASTLE
Because she was breaking up with you.

LANCE HASTINGS
Is that what you think is going on here? You think that-- Sarah and I were lovers?

BECKETT
Did you or did you not buy an expensive pair of diamond earrings for her.

LANCE HASTINGS
Yes, but not to woo her. It was to encourage Sarah to let me out of my contract for a movie role.

CASTLE
A movie role?

LANCE HASTINGS
Yes. The Coen brothers have asked me to play Matt Damon's halfwit dad in their new movie. It's a role of a lifetime. It has nominations written all over it.

BECKETT
That still doesn't explain why you went back to the studio that night.

LANCE HASTINGS
I went to thank Sarah in person, because my agent had called me that evening to tell me that she had agreed to let me out. The reason I didn't mention any of this is, I didn't want to risk missing work on the movie.

BECKETT
Why didn't you just call her?

LANCE HASTINGS
I wanted her to know how much I appreciated it.

BECKETT
So, you went back to thank her, and that's it?

LANCE HASTINGS
No. Not exactly. Um, when I got there, she was reading a script and she seemed upset. I asked her why, and she said somebody'd betrayed her.

BECKETT
Who?

LANCE HASTINGS
At first I thought it was me for taking the movie role, but then she said that someone wasn't who she thought they were.

CASTLE
And she didn't let on as to who this person was?

LANCE HASTINGS
No. I didn't want to give her the opportunity to change her mind about the movie. So, I exited stage left.

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, SARAH'S OFFICE - NIGHT]

BECKETT and CASTLE search the office.

BECKETT
Okay, found the deal memo Sarah signed in order to get Lance out for his movie.

CASTLE
He wasn't lying. My mother's never going to let me forget this.

BECKETT
Oh, come on, Castle. She'll probably think it was sweet that you were concerned about her.

CASTLE
This is Martha Rogers we are talking about. I intruded on her "moment." No, I will pay dearly.

BECKETT
When Lance came here, Sarah told him that someone wasn't who she thought they were. Who do you think that was?

CASTLE
How about the woman who makes my mother look like a saint?

BECKETT
Yeah, but Sarah already cut Gloria out of her life. Maybe... maybe it was her cheating husband.

CASTLE
Except Lance met with Sarah after Mandy Bronson. By the time Mandy showed up, Sarah'd already decided what she wanted to do with her marriage.

BECKETT
Yeah, but even if Sarah decided that she was gonna get back together with Vince, it doesn't mean that she didn't have doubts.

CASTLE
No. No, you're right. Except, he has an alibi. Everyone has an alibi.

BECKETT
Yeah, well, somebody out there doesn't, and we are gonna find them.

[CASTLE checks his watch.]

CASTLE
Well, maybe we should sleep on it.

[BECKETT gives him a look.]

CASTLE (cont'd)
Separately. Katherine Beckett, I never.

--
[INT. CASTLE LOFT - NIGHT]

CASTLE
Hello, ladies.

ALEXIS
Hey, Dad. Gram told me how you went all Jason Bourne on her date.

CASTLE
Come on, I think I deserve some kudos for my selfless courage in the face of perceived danger.

MARTHA
Think what you will, but I've taken the liberty of selecting an apology gift. Page 47, dog-eared for your convenience.

[MARTHA hands CASTLE a magazine and he flips to page 47.]

CASTLE
The dress?

MARTHA
Uh-huh. And the shoes. Oh! And the purse, ha-ha. Where did you get this, darling?

[MARTHA picks up LAUREN GOLDBERG's script.]

CASTLE
Oh, from a woman I met on the case. She's a-- aspiring writer. In a moment of weakness, I told her I'd read it.

MARTHA
Oh, it's really pretty good. She's got very vivid characters, well plotted, pleasantly salacious.

CASTLE
Great. That's what I'll tell her.

MARTHA
No, no, no, no, no. You said you would read it, honey. You.

[She hands him the script.]

CASTLE
I will. I just have to do a little more thinking on the case.

[MARTHA laughs.]

ALEXIS
He's procrastinating.

[MARTHA and ALEXIS exchange grins.]

CASTLE
No, I am not. I am just about to solve a critical piece of our mystery.

MARTHA
Now that you've determined that Lance is not the axe murderer.

ALEXIS
So, what's the critical piece of evidence, Dad?

CASTLE
Shortly before she died, Sarah Cutler said that someone had betrayed her. I think that person is our killer.

MARTHA
Well, then it could be anybody, darling, because betrayal is a way of life on a soap opera. And, let me tell you, Temptation Lane is like this seething cauldron of sordidness, and treachery, and naked ambition. And do you know which people are the most manipulative and devious?

CASTLE
I do. I know who betrayed Sarah.

--
ACT SIX
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, BEDROOM SOUNDSTAGE - MORNING]

LANCE HASTINGS (on cell)
Look, there's nothing in my contract that says I have to be a cop. So, I-- I gotta rehearse.

MANDY BRONSON
Get off the phone, please.

LANCE HASTINGS
Let's go.

[BECKETT walks to the set and spots CASTLE.]

BECKETT
Okay, Castle, let's go.

CASTLE
Oh, wait, no. Hang on, I just wrote my first soap scene, which they are about to shoot.

BECKETT
Well, I-- I'll catch it on TV, we've got to arrest to make.

CASTLE
No, no, wait. Th-- this scene is going to expose the killer. "The play is the thing wherein we'll catch the conscience of the king." Hamlet.

BECKETT
"We already know who the killer is. So, you're wasting my time." Me.

CASTLE
Not if I get us a confession.

DIRECTOR
Places, please.

CASTLE
They're starting, let's go.

--
[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, CONTROL ROOM - MORNING]

PETER CONNELLY (on phone)
No, send it back. Yeah. All right, thanks. (hangs up) Hey, come on in, guys.

CASTLE
Thanks.

BECKETT
Castle, what are you--?

CASTLE (whisper)
Ah-- Sh-sh-sh. Just watch. Just watch.

VINCE POWERS
Can we close the downstage door to get better eyes on Mandy, please? And clear the set. Here we go, everybody. In five, four, three, two. Two's on the line.

[INT. GEMSTAR STUDIOS, BEDROOM SOUNDSTAGE/CONTROL ROOM - MORNING]

MANDY BRONSON (as Angela Cannon)
Can't you at least knock? I'm changing.

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
Nothing I haven't seen before. And enjoyed immensely.

BECKETT
Really?

CASTLE
It's a soap opera. I had to honor the form.

MANDY BRONSON (as Angela Cannon)
What are you doing here, Joseph? If this is about our relationship--

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
No, it isn't. It's about your research paper. The one I had you submit for the Montenegro Journalism Fellowship.

MANDY BRONSON (as Angela Cannon)
Is there news about the winner?

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
The thing about the Fellowship is that it can open doors that launch careers.

[BECKETT looks over at CASTLE mouthing the words to his own script. She grins.]

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
That's why I recommended you.

VINCE POWERS
Over to one.

MANDY BRONSON (as Angela Cannon)
So, did I win?

VINCE POWERS
Three.

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
Went to the coffee shop this morning and a barista there asked me to read an article that she had written for her college paper. Oddly enough, it was identical to yours.

MANDY BRONSON (as Angela Cannon)
There must be some mistake.

[PETER CONNELLY looks at REESE HARMON. She fidgets nervously.]

LANCE HASTINGS (as Joseph Fox)
No, just the one you made in assuming that you could pass off somebody else's material as your own. You are a fraud, Angela! And I am going to call the Fellowship and let them know that exactly. Oh, and by the way, you're fired.

VINCE POWERS
And cut. Nice job, people.

REESE HARMON
Um, I don't understand. This is-- this is not the scene that we worked on yesterday.

PETER CONNELLY
We made some adjustments.

CASTLE
And yet it has an oddly familiar ring to it.

BECKETT
Reading other people's scripts is a part of your job.

REESE HARMON
What are you accusing me of?

CASTLE
Did you not see the scene? If you're going to be a writer, you have to have a better grasp of subtext.

REESE HARMON
Look, I-- I m-- I might've mixed up some of the scripts, but I was at the fellowship mixer the night that Sarah died.

CASTLE
Nobody there remembers seeing you after 8 p.m.

BECKETT
Sarah was killed with an axe, Reese. Whoever killed her got blood on their clothes and on their shoes. Some of it invisible to the naked eye. But it doesn't matter how much you try to wash it, it's still there. I have officers at your apartment.

REESE HARMON
You have no idea what I did for her. Picking up her dogs, picking up her dry cleaning, the late nights, the weekends, no vacation. You try writing a script with all of that going on! I worked too hard to let it end that way. I deserve that opportunity, and I could not let her take that away from me.

CASTLE
It was never yours to begin with.

--
[INT. PRECINCT, BULLPEN - DAY]

ESPOSITO
Killing Sarah to keep a lid on her plagiarism? That's cold.

BECKETT
And pretty ordinary as far as motives go.

RYAN
She didn't want to put in the work, so she took a short cut.

CASTLE
There are no shortcuts in writing.

RYAN
No. But there is to our favorite bar. I found a new route that'll get us to The Old Haunt in eight minutes. You up for a beer? Come on, I know the owner.

[RYAN points to CASTLE.]

ESPOSITO
Yeah, I'm down, bro. What about you, Castle?

BECKETT
I'm right behind you.

[They do triple props and RYAN and ESPOSITO take off. CASTLE looks back at BECKETT doing paperwork. He grabs a manila envelope off of RYAN's desk and brings it over to BECKETT.]

BECKETT
What?

CASTLE
Got you a present.

[She takes the envelope and opens it.]

BECKETT
Signed cast photo from Temptation Lane. How did you even get this?

CASTLE
I know people who know people.

[BECKETT looks at him and shakes her head. CASTLE leans on her desk and cups his chin in his hand, waiting with rapt attention.]

BECKETT
Okay. I was nine and I had to get my tonsils taken out and I was miserable. And so, my mom took time off of work and stayed with me and cuddled up in front of the TV on the couch and we would watch episodes of Temptation Lane. So, every time I see it now, it just-- it makes me feel like home and safe. So, there you go. Judge away.

CASTLE
My DVR would make yours look like Masterpiece Theater. But I am glad to know this about you.

[They smile at each other. BECKETT's cell rings. It's JOSH. BECKETT hesitates to pick it up.]

CASTLE
I'll leave you to it.

BECKETT
Hey, Castle, thank you for the photo.

CASTLE
I'll see you.

BECKETT (answers cell)
Hey.

--
[INT. CASTLE LOFT - NIGHT]

LANCE HASTINGS
After all these years, all the times I could've been holding you in my arms...

MARTHA
Then let's not waste more time with words. Let's just let our lips do the talking.

CASTLE
Are you two running lines again?

[They break apart.]

MARTHA
Oh! Well, no. No, we were just, uh, you know. Talking.

CASTLE
Oh.

[LANCE kisses MARTHA's fingers.]

CASTLE
Oh. Um... I'm gonna -- I'll j-- I'll-- go to the--

[CASTLE turns around awkwardly and Martha rolls her eyes. CASTLE shudders as he exits.]

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