4x02 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 4x02
"Heroes and Villains"


EXT – DARK BACK ALLEY

A woman is running down the alley. She’s being followed.

TYLER FARIS
C’mon, baby! Where you going? The party is just getting started!

MARIE MARCADO
Help! Somebody help me!

TYLER
Hey! Come here!

He tackles her to the ground. He’s on top of her.

MARIE
Get off me!

TYLER
Ah … shh. I’ll teach you to run from me.

MAN
Leave the girl alone.

TYLER
Why don’t you get lost before I take you down.

TYLER draws a gun but before he can do anything, his hand is chopped off. While he’s busy screaming, the MAN draws his sword again and brings it up and then down again, chopping TYLER in half...from top to bottom.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

RICHARD CASTLE is in the kitchen, chopping vegetables.

CASTLE
Mother, prepare to feast on the finest omelet in the land.

MARTHA RODGERS has come downstairs. She’s dressed in a white gown that looks distinctly Shakespearean.

CASTLE
Before you join the convent.

MARTHA
No, I am making costumes for my Shakespeare class. So, what do you think?

She twirls and poses to show him the full effect.

CASTLE
I seem to remember asking you to make me an E.T. Halloween costume and you told me you didn’t know how to sew.

MARTHA
Details. Besides, you were thirty-two at the time. The point is, proper wardrobe helps an actor connect to the words.

CASTLE
So, Lady Macbeth, I presume?

MARTHA
Desdemona.

She sounds disappointed he didn’t recognize her.

CASTLE
Ah… Desdemona.

He goes back to cutting his onion. ALEXIS CASTLE comes through the door.

ALEXIS
(on the phone) Yeah, you too. No, you hang up first. No, you. It’s your turn.

MARTHA and CASTLE watch her, amused, as she finally hangs up the phone.

ALEXIS
Stanford sounds so amazing. I can’t wait for January.

CASTLE
January?

ALEXIS
When I leave. For Stanford.

CASTLE
What?

MARTHA
Alexis applied for spring admission. You remember.

CASTLE
Yeah, I just thought … well, you haven’t talked about it for a long time so I thought …

ALEXIS
Because every time I did I saw the look on your face.

CASTLE has a wounded puppy look on his face.

ALEXIS
That look. Right there.

CASTLE
Well, I … honey, it’s just that Stanford is a big decision. I mean, you should… you should think it over.

He’s pleading with her to reconsider.

ALEXIS
I did. And there’s no downside. It’s a great university, Ashley’s there, I mean … I’ll have enough credits to graduate early.

CASTLE
Yeah, but don’t you want to finish off senior year with your friends? Right? And, prom. (he looks to MARTHA) Don’t you want to go to prom?

ALEXIS isn’t paying attention. She’s gotten a text message and is busy with her phone.

ALEXIS
Yeah, uh, Ashley just gave me his password so I can go check out his classes online.

She leaves and CASTLE doesn't move. His daughter has made up her mind. His phone rings and MARTHA hands it to him.

MARTHA
Lady Beckett, my lord.

CASTLE moves to wipe his eyes.

MARTHA
Richard, are you crying?

CASTLE
No, it’s the onions!

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET, DAYTIME

CASTLE
Okay, I admit, it wasn’t just the onions. Not completely. I mean, she’s going to be gone in a few months. My little girl!

CASTLE has joined KATE BECKETT and they’re headed to their newest crime scene.

BECKETT
Yeah, but she’s growing up, Castle. She’s going to be going to a great school. It’s what you want, isn’t it?

CASTLE
Yes. I’m just not ready.

BECKETT
Okay, well, she is. So you two are just not on the same page.

CASTLE
So what do I do?

BECKETT
Let her go.

CASTLE looks at her, surprised.

BECKETT
Trust me. If you hold on too tight you’ll just drive her away.

CASTLE doesn’t have time to consider her advice. They’re at their crime scene. It’s swarming with reporters and observers.

PAUL WHITTAKER
Detective! What can you tell us about this homicide?

BECKETT
Uh, no comment. Excuse me.

BECKETT pushes her way through the crowd.

CASTLE
Wow. For a murder in an alley? Really?

BECKETT
Officer Hastings, what’s this all about?

OFFICER ANN HASTINGS
You should see for yourself, Detective.

She pulls the barrier back to allow CASTLE and BECKETT to pass. LANIE PARISH is already with the body, along with CSU. There is a lot of blood. BECKETT gets a closer look and realizes the body has been sliced in two.

CASTLE
Oh!

JAVIER ESPOSITO
Yeah. Tell me about it.

BECKETT
Uh, so he was …

LANIE PARISH
Split right down the middle. From the top of his head all the way down to his –

CASTLE
Eh!

LANIE
Please. The guy was sliced in two. I’d say his unit is the least of his problems.

CASTLE
Then you do not understand the sacred bond between a man and his unit.

LANIE gives him a glare.

BECKETT
Okay, so what was the murder weapon? Guillotine?

LANIE
A sword. (she hands BECKETT an evidence bag) The tip broke off in the body. Blood spatter indicates that the killer first lopped off the victim’s hand, then took the big swing.

CASTLE
Single edged blade. Some kind of saber? Sword … that is so Game of Thrones.

He hands the bag back to LANIE.

BECKETT
Esposito, this looks like it could have been a ritual killing, so let’s get photos of all the bystanders in case the killer came back.

ESPOSITO
On it. Meanwhile, the victim’s name is Tyler Faris. He just got out of Sing Sing a year ago for sexual assault.

BECKETT
Okay. We got any witnesses?

ESPOSITO
Yeah, the girl he was in the middle of assaulting. A Marie Marcado.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY ALLEY, DAYTIME

MARIE MARCADO is still in her dress. She’s still all bloody.

MARIE
I met him last night at Matt’s bar around the corner. He seemed like a nice enough guy, talking all big about his ship coming in. Anyway, it got late. I left with him. But that’s when he started getting all super aggressive. I took off running, he caught me. I mean, God knows what he would have done if …

CASTLE
If Conan the Barbarian hadn’t shown up?

MARIE nods.

BECKETT
What did the killer look like?

MARIE
It was so dark I didn’t really get to see his face.

She’s avoiding their gaze and CASTLE notices.

BECKETT
You didn’t catch anything? Ethnicity? Age? Weight? Height?

MARIE doesn’t say anything, but she’s clearly not telling them something.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY ALLEY, DAYTIME

BECKETT
She’s holding out on us.

CASTLE
Conan probably saved her life. She doesn’t want to throw him under the bus. Or under a Ben Hur style chariot.

BECKETT
Yeah, but she saw the killer. Isn’t she afraid for her life?

CASTLE
She probably knows he wasn’t after her. Career felon smited in two? It’s very Old Testament. This … this plays like a vigilante killing. Think Dirty Harry with a sword.

BECKETT
Who just happens to be in the alley when Faris is committing a felony. That timing is a little suspicious. The killer probably followed him from the bar.

CASTLE
With a sword?

BECKETT thinks.

BECKETT
Touché. Let’s talk to the next of kin.

INT – MORGUE

His mother is identifying TYLER FARIS’ body. CASTLE and BECKETT are behind her.

BECKETT
Mrs. Faris, we’re very sorry for your loss.

MRS. FARIS just shrugs.

MRS. FARIS
Don’t sweat it.

LANIE looks up, shocked.

BECKETT
Pardon me?

MRS. FARIS
These things can happen.

CASTLE
Not in this century they don’t.

MRS. FARIS
Don’t get me wrong. I never expected my boy to end up in two hunks, but I always knew he’d end up there, laying on a slab.

CASTLE
And why’s that?

MRS. FARIS
Because Tyler was a no good loser. He made one dumbass mistake after the next.

BECKETT
I see. Um … do you know if he was involved in anything that could have gotten him killed?

MRS. FARIS
Well, I certainly expect so.

BECKETT isn’t expecting her candidness.

BECKETT
He told someone that his ship was coming in. What does that mean?

MRS. FARIS
His ship was always coming in. That was Tyler, always working an angle.

BECKETT
Ma’am, um, I’ll need the names of all the enemies you son may have had.

MRS. FARIS looks at BECKETT’S notepad.

MRS. FARIS
You’re gonna need a bigger pad.

BECKETT raises her eyebrows.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN and ESPOSITO are sitting at their desks going through TYLER’S file.

RYAN
Larceny, assault, fraud … you name it, Tyler Faris has done it. Still, nobody deserves ending up like that.

He motions in a vertical direction with his hand.

ESPOSITO
He got what was coming to him.

RYAN
Dude. That’s for the criminal justice system to decide.

ESPOSITO
Maybe a sword is a justice system.

RYAN
Yeah, if you’re Quentin Tarantino, maybe.

They go back to looking through the papers.

ESPOSITO
He made lots of calls to an untraceable burner phone in the last six months. Behavior consistent with a criminal dirtbag. Check this out. Tyler Faris got into an altercation at a bodega three days ago. He was gone by the time the cops showed up, but the shopkeeper says he was fighting with some other guy over money.

RYAN
This other guy have a name?

ESPOSITO
Yeah. Tony Valtini.

RYAN stops.

ESPOSITO
This guy’s got a record, too.

ESPOSITO hands RYAN a file.

RYAN
Damn right he does. I remember Valtini from back in Narcotics. The guy is totally mobbed up. You know what else? His family owns a meat packing plant out in Jersey. Tony’s nickname? Tony the Butcher.

He throws the file back on ESPOSITO’S desk.

ESPOSITO
I bet he split a few sides of beef in his day.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

CASTLE and BECKETT have TONY VALTINI. They’re listening to his story.

TONY
Yeah, I had words with Faris. He used to work for me at Tony Valtini Enterprises.

BECKETT
Which division? Drug sales or distribution of stolen property?

TONY
I am a legitimate businessman. Faris sucked at his job, so I canned him. He thought I owed him back pay. We settled it like gentlemen. If you don’t believe me, go ask him.

CASTLE
We’d have to hold a séance.

TONY looks at CASTLE, then BECKETT.

TONY
He’s dead?

CASTLE
Let’s just say Tyler Faris is half the man he used to be.

TONY gives him a blank look.

CASTLE
A man divided? Split personality? Really, nothing?

BECKETT
He was cleaved, in two, with a sword.

TONY
A sword?

BECKETT
Much like the knives used at a meat packing plant.

TONY finally gets what he’s hinting at.

TONY
Oh, hey, it wasn’t me. I had nothing to do with it. But, I know who did. It was that guy. That nut-job vigilante who attacked me.

BECKETT
You never reported an attack.

TONY
I don’t like to be a burden on law enforcement. Bottom line is, I’m leaving my warehouse one night. Two weeks ago. All of a sudden, here comes this guy with a sword. He accuses me of criminal conduct, unjustly, by the way, then he threatens to kill me if I don’t leave town. Then … (he slaps the table) You know what he does then?

TONY stands and starts undoing his belt.

BECKETT
What does he do then?

TONY
He cuts me.

TONY unzips his pants and pulls them down. BECKETT averts her eyes as he bends over, but CASTLE is curious.

TONY
See that? See that scar there?

CASTLE
Looks like an L.

BECKETT
Mr. Valtini, could you please put your pants back on –

TONY
He did that to me! He did that with his sword, to me. Okay?

BECKETT
What did this man look like?

TONY
You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, okay?

He pulls his pants back up and fastens his belt.

TONY
But, I got cameras in my warehouse. When he ran off, I caught him on video.

CASTLE and BECKETT look at each other.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

RYAN, ESPOSITO, CASTLE, and BECKETT are watching surveillance footage from TONY’S warehouse.

ESPOSITO
The time code lines up with the night Valtini said he was attacked.

RYAN
According to ER records, he was admitted that night. Knifing to the buttocks.

ESPOSITO
The sword of justice, bro.

RYAN sighs. They’re silent as the watch the footage. It’s quick, but someone runs down the alley.

BECKETT
Wait, is that…

She rewinds.

CASTLE
No.

ESPOSITO
It can’t be.

As the person runs by again, she pauses and zooms in. He’s wearing a red body costume.

RYAN
It is.

CASTLE is gleeful.

CASTLE
(to ESPOSITO) Our killer is a superhero!

INT – GATES’ OFFICE

BECKETT places a picture of the suspect on CAPTAIN GATES' desk.

GATES
Really? A superhero?

BECKETT
Yeah. Our witness from the alley confirms that she saw this man kill Tyler Faris.

GATES
Why didn’t she say that before?

BECKETT
She didn’t think that we’d believe her. And quite frankly, she’s right.

GATES
A masked vigilante on the loose hacking people up. Tell me what your plan is to apprehend this individual.

BECKETT
We’re uh… we’re looking for murders with the same MO. We’re also checking into enemies that Tyler Faris and Tony Valtini might have had in common. And finally we’re trying to track down where that suit and sword came from.

She’s less sure of her plan as she goes on. She knows it sounds ridiculous.

GATES
Reach out to Bellevue, they probably admitted our suspect before. He’s clearly delusional or psychotic.

BECKETT
Yes sir.

She goes to leave.

GATES
Keep me apprised, Detective.

BECKETT
Yes.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT exits GATES’ office and CASTLE is waiting for her.

CASTLE
Don’t waste your time on Bellevue.

BECKETT
You were eavesdropping?

CASTLE
Can I help it if I have superhuman Daredevil-like hearing? Our killer is not crazy.

BECKETT
He cut a man in two and he’s running around wearing a superhero suit.

CASTLE
I know costumes. That one is not commercial. He probably designed it himself, which means he’s highly functional.

She’s exasperated.

BECKETT
You know what I would love right now is if someone would come here and give me a theory that would actually help me solve this case.

CASTLE
I’ve got one. Every superhero has a persona, a mission, a origin story. Learning who he is as a hero, what drives him, that will lead us to the man behind the mask.

BECKETT
Castle, what good is comic book mythology when our killer is not a superhero?

CASTLE
What if he is a superhero? Like this one, who operates out of Queens. Meet the Red Maroon.

He hands her his phone, on which he’s cued up a video.

BECKETT
Red Maroon? Isn’t that redundant?

He just points to the phone. A video is playing. A man is standing on the side of the building, dressed in a red bodysuit.

RED MAROON
Don’t worry ma’am, Red Maroon, protector of all, beholden to none!

He gracelessly jumps off the wall and into some bushes. He untangles himself as he tries to grab the man mugging the old lady.

RED MAROON
Sir … this is clearly not your purse. I demand you unhand it!

He’s not doing a very good job. Finally the mugger gets the upper hand and throws RED MAROON into the opposite bushes and runs off with the purse.

RED MAROON
Ma’am, are you okay?

The woman starts to hit RED MAROON with her umbrella. BECKETT pauses the video.

BECKETT
Wow. Impressive crime fighting skills. What do you think, mutant powers or years of training?

She’s not impressed.

CASTLE
Yes well, sometimes the runner stumbles. The point is, there is a subculture of real life superheroes that actually exists out there. People crusading for the public good.

BECKETT
Yes, and usually they get their asses kicked, just like this guy.

She hands him back his phone.

CASTLE
I think our vigilante’s one of them.

BECKETT
Castle, if he’s a crusader for the public good, then why did he partition Tyler Faris?

CASTLE
Ah, because tragically his pursuit of justice has led him down the dark side. That is a fate that has befallen many a hero.

He’s talking, but a bike messenger has made his way into the precinct. CASTLE takes the offered envelope and signs the receipt. BECKETT can’t help but smile at him.

CASTLE
(to the bike messenger) Cheers. (to BECKETT) Trust me. I’m onto something with this superhero angle. My Spidey senses are tingling.

He walks off with the envelope.

ESPOSITO
What’s with him?

BECKETT
Something about Spidey senses and tingling.

He hands her a folder.

BECKETT
Photos from the alley?

ESPOSITO
We may have a suspect.

BECKETT opens the folder and looks.

ESPOSITO
Tech says that guy matches the height and build of the guy in the suit. Not only that, when he saw the cops taking his pictures he ran.

BECKETT
All right, have uniforms circulate his photo. I want to know his name.

EPOSITO
All right.

RYAN
You know, Castle might be right about this guy being a superhero. I talked to a buddy of mine in Narcotics. He said he heard rumors about a guy on the street rousting drug dealers and dumping their stashes. A masked man with a sword. Yes, it is a samurai sword, so we’re checking specialty stores and martial arts suppliers.

BECKETT
And what about the costume?

RYAN
Not available in any stores. Just like Castle said.

CASTLE
Speaking of costumes, I know who the killer is.

CASTLE is across the precinct, by the murder board. He spins it around to reveal his own evidence board.

CASTLE
Behold, a photo of our masked vigilante juxtaposed with issues from my own Marvel collection.

BECKETT
(pointing) You have Avengers #1?

He looks her up and down.

CASTLE
And there’s more where that came from. You’re welcome to peruse my issues anytime. (to everyone) Please note how the killer has drawn inspiration from costumes of other superheroes. For example, the color scheme evokes Spider-Man. The horned helmet, obviously an homage to Daredevil. The sword and scabbard, Deadpool. The high collar, just like Black Panther. Now, what do these characters all have in common?

ESPOSITO
They’re make believe?

BECKETT
They’re driven by the death of a father figure or loved one.

CASTLE
Exactly.

ESPOSITO shrugs.

CASTLE
I believe that our killer shares a similar back story. Which is why he’s been inspired by these characters' costumes. Furthermore, out of costume, these heroes tend to be … unassuming. So, let’s add mild mannered to our profile.

GATES
Mr. Castle. So this is you working a homicide.

She’s come out with coffee and is judging CASTLE’S board work.

GATES
A superhero who’s mild mannered and someone killed his parents. Isn’t that all of them? How can any of this produce even one useful conclusion?

He’s annoyed by her disbelief and second guessing.

CASTLE
Let me direct your attention to the golden belt worn by our masked vigilante. (BECKETT is subtlely shaking her head.) Based on the golden belt worn by Iron Man in only eleven original issues in 1963.

GATES
Which proves what, exactly?

CASTLE
Our killer collected comic books. Which means there is one place in the city he would definitely go.

GATES doesn’t follow.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET DAYTIME

CASTLE and BECKETT are headed to follow up on CASTLE’S thought.

BECKETT
You know, Castle, you might want to tone down the theories until Gates warms up to you.

CASTLE
Oh, I plan to melt Captain Permafrost by solving this case.

She chuckles.

BECKETT
Yeah well, good luck with that one.

CASTLE
Whoa. (he stops) You smell that? Wafting scent of printed pages? Comicadia. Beckett, this place is the premiere comic book shop. It’s the Vatican to a Catholic. It’s Mecca to a pilgrim. It’s upstream to a spawning –

She’s amused by his enthusiasm.

BECKETT
I know, Castle. I bought my first comic here when I was fourteen. Sin City. "A Dame to Kill For."

CASTLE is impressed.

CASTLE
How hardcore! Okay, wait, wait, wait … if you could be any comic book character in the world, who would you be?

BECKETT
Elektra.

CASTLE
Ah. A ruthless assassin who hides from her emotions.

BECKETT
No, maybe it’s because she’s got bad-ass ninja skills.

CASTLE
Uh huh.

BECKETT
What about you? Iron Man? Spider-Man? No wait, I know. Annoying Man.

CASTLE
Ah. Try billionaire industrialist Bruce Wayne, aka The Dark Knight. He’s brooding, he’s handsome, and he has all the coolest toys.

BECKETT
Wow. Digging deep on that one.

INT – COMICADIA

They walk into comic book heaven.

CASTLE
And did I mention what discerning tastes they have here at Comicadia?

He stops in front of a display of the newly released graphic novel, Deadly Storm. He touches it fondly. An enthusiastic employee walks up.

MIKE HOOVER
Mr. Castle. And you’re Kate Beckett, right?

BECKETT
Mmhmm.

MIKE
Sir, I am a huge fan. It is such an honor to meet you.

MIKE shakes CASTLE’S hand and BECKETT smiles.

CASTLE
Oh, the honor is mine.

MIKE
We just got your Derrick Storm graphic novel. I mean, the art, the writing … it is, in a word, awesome.

CASTLE
Tell me, what’s your favorite part?

BECKETT
Ah, you don’t have to answer that question. His ego does not need any more feeding.

MIKE
Definitely where Derrick Storm escapes from the two bad guys by crashing the –

MIKE and CASTLE
- taxi cab.

CASTLE grins.

MIKE
Oh! I’m sorry, Detective Beckett, I should have said spoiler alert.

BECKETT
Oh, that’s okay. I won’t be reading it.

She’s nonchalant as CASTLE looks at her.

MIKE
Really? I saw your name on our list. You pre-ordered a copy.

CASTLE turns to BECKETT.

CASTLE
Did she now?

BECKETT takes only a moment to compose herself before turning to CASTLE.

BECKETT
I was just being supportive.

They share a look before BECKETT turns back to MIKE.

BECKETT
Anyway, we’re not here about that. We need to ask you a few questions.

CASTLE
Yes, we do. I don’t suppose you know of any collectors of early Iron Man.

MIKE
I’m sorry, Mr. Castle. I can’t share customer information.

BECKETT holds up a photo of their suspect from the crowd.

BECKETT
Mike, do you recognize this man?

MIKE
Uh … no. He doesn’t look familiar.

CASTLE grabs another photo from BECKETT. It’s of their mystery superhero.

CASTLE
What about this one?

MIKE
Yeah, him I know.

CASTLE
You do? Really?

MIKE heads to a computer. CASTLE and BECKETT are shocked, but follow.

MIKE
Yeah.

He types something and flips around the screen to show them.

BECKETT
The sword, the suit … that’s our vigilante.

CASTLE
Lone Vengeance. That explains the L he carved into Tony Valtini’s backside, but Sword of Lone Vengeance? How come I’ve never seen this?

MIKE
Oh, it’s online only. It’s kind of fringe, but it has a following. A guy named Sean Elt writes it.

BECKETT
Looks like you put more thought into the killer’s costume than he did, Castle. It’s a direct copy out of the comic book.

CASTLE points to the screen.

CASTLE
I’ve seen that before.

BECKETT
The knuckle plates? Where?

CASTLE
On the ground, at the crime scene. I thought it was a button. But this is it, that’s what it was. It fell off of his suit. If we can find that, if it’s still there, it could lead us to the killer.

INT- TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN puts a picture of their unidentified man on the murder board.

RYAN
Uniforms widened their canvass. Still can’t find anyone that knows our mystery man.

ESPOSITO is on hold on the phone.

ESPOSITO
Ah, whoever he is, I can’t connect him to any swords, either. I pray we nail this dude before I have to call every store on that list.

RYAN
I thought you were kind of rooting for this guy?

ESPOSITO
That’s when he was Joe Citizen taking it to the bad guys. Now he’s just some nimrod in a suit.

RYAN
Ah. You gotta give him props for spirit, though, right? I mean, haven’t you ever wanted to be a superhero? Going out there, prowling the city, knocking some heads?

ESPOSITO gives him a look.

ESPOSITO
I do that now. (on the phone) Yeah, I’m still here. You did? When? Be right there.

ESPOSITO hangs up and turns to RYAN.

ESPOSITO
Jake’s pawn shop sold a samurai sword to some guy two hours ago. They say he matches our photo of our mystery man.

RYAN
Maybe he’s replacing the one he broke off in Tyler Faris?

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

EXT – NEW YORK CITY ALLEY

It’s dark. BECKETT and CASTLE have returned to the alley where TYLER FARIS was murdered.

CASTLE
It was here. I know it was here.

BECKETT
Well, maybe somebody picked it up. Or maybe it was a button.

CASTLE
No … it was … ah! Ah ha! (he points) There it is. That is no button.

BECKETT crouches and puts on a glove to pick up the knuckle plate.

CASTLE
That is a piece of his costume.

BECKETT
You’re right. Castle, I think there’s a partial print on it.

She flips the plate over, but it’s knocked out of her hand by a sword. They jump back as the person dressed as LONE VENGEANCE starts to run away. CASTLE recovers first, chasing their suspect down the alley. He looks like a superhero, jumping off walls and onto trash cans to escape. BECKETT is right behind them, gun drawn.

BECKETT
Police! Stop!

It’s too late. Their suspect is driving away on a motorcycle.

CASTLE
How cool was that?

BECKETT
Which part? That that was our murderer, or that he just got away? I gotta call in an APB.

She pulls out her phone but at that moment it rings. It’s ESPOSITO. She answers.

BECKETT
Espo, I gotta call you back.

ESPOSITO
Whoa, whoa, you’re going to want to hear this.

BECKETT
Yeah, we just saw our suspect. He fled the crime scene.

ESPOSITO
Yeah. And I know where to find him, because I know who he is.

BECKETT
What? How?

ESPOSITO
Well, he bought a samurai sword at a pawn shop today. And now, get this. He paid for it with a check. His name is, uh, Chad Hockney. His photo matches the mystery man from the crime scene.

BECKETT
What’s his address?

INT – CHAD HOCKNEY’S APARTMENT

A man dressed as LONE VENGEANCE is practicing with his sword. He’s surprised when BECKETT breaks down the door, gun drawn.

BECKETT
NYPD! Do not move a muscle.

His hands are above his head.

CASTLE
Unless you can move faster than a speeding bullet.

He drops the sword.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT OBSERVATION ROOM

CASTLE, BECKETT, and GATES are behind the mirror watching CHAD HOCKNEY. He’s still practicing his superhero moves.

GATES
This man? He’s our killer?

CASTLE and BECKETT are chagrined.

CASTLE
Well, to be fair, it … he was a lot more imposing in a dark alley. With a sword.

GATES Is skeptical.

GATES
Uh huh.

BECKETT
Yeah, he lives four blocks away from the crime scene and CSU is going through his apartment right now to find … evidence to link him to the murder.

GATES
Tie this up in a bow, Detective. Get me a confession.

They all look at CHAD through the mirror.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT is authoritative as she walks in the room. CASTLE is right behind her.

BECKETT
Sit down, Mr. Hockney.

CHAD
Uh, look. This is just a big misunderstanding. I’m on your guys’ side here.

BECKETT
Our side doesn’t execute criminals.

He’s confused.

CHAD
See … yeah, neither do I.

CASTLE
Except for last night’s episode of two half men.

BECKETT
We have a witness, Chad. She saw you kill Tyler Faris.

CASTLE
And then, like a moth to a flame, you were inexorably drawn back to the scene of the crime.

BECKETT
Which is when you realized you lost part of your suit, so you came back to get it. Or rather, take it from us.

CASTLE
This is all about your father, isn’t it? You’re driven by his death.

CHAD
My father is in Miami. I – I don’t know what you people are talking about.

BECKETT
So you’re saying you weren’t in the alley, slapping my hand with your sword? And you didn’t kill Tyler Faris?

CHAD
No! I would never kill anyone. Neither would Lone Vengeance.

BECKETT
Aren’t you Lone Vengeance?

CHAD
Not the real one.

CASTLE
The real one being the comic book character?

CHAD
Comic book characters aren’t real, okay?

CASTLE looks at BECKETT. She gives him a smirk.

CHAD
I mean the guy who assumed the persona of the comic book character.

BECKETT
And who’s that?

CHAD
No one knows. And he’s a legend in the superhero community. I dreamed of being him when I was Red Maroon.

CASTLE
Protector of all, beholden to none?

CHAD
You’ve heard of me.

BECKETT
We saw the purse snatching video.

His face drops.

CHAD
Yeah. That. Ugh. That hit the web and pretty much turned Red Maroon into a joke. Those were dark days. I was about ready to hang up my tights for good. Then I decided to seek out Lone Vengeance’s council.

CASTLE
What did he say?

CHAD
To stay the hell away from him. But that – that only steeled my resolve. I mean, I made this costume. I got a sword. I was about to go out on patrol when you guys busted in.

BECKETT
How did you find him?

CHAD
I – I heard that Lone Vengeance, uh, frequented lower Manhattan. I – I roamed the streets night after night looking for him. I finally ran into him, uh, near Beakman in Theater Alley. I want to be his disciple. Maybe his partner. It’s – it’s my destiny.

CASTLE makes a face.

CASTLE
He doesn’t want a partner.

CHAD
How do you know?

CASTLE
Lone Vengeance. (he emphasizes) Lone.

CHAD gets it. His face drops and he sighs.

INT – GATES’ OFFICE

GATES
What do you mean you can’t make a case against him? He’s wearing the same suit.

BECKETT
Yeah well, apparently he’s not the only one. Chad Hockney was in his apartment making that suit the night of the murder. In fact, neighbors were complaining about the noise from the sewing machine.

GATES
I told the Mayor we had our man.

BECKETT
Yeah well, you shouldn’t have done that.

GATES glares at her and BECKETT realizes what she’s said.

GATES
Perhaps what I shouldn’t have done was place my faith in you, Detective.

BECKETT grabs her folder and leaves.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN and ESPOSITO are working at their desks.

BECKETT
Guys, where are we on the motorcycle?

ESPOSITO
Checking registrations on silver Kawasakis.

RYAN
We’re also canvassing around Beakman for other sightings of Lone Vengeance.

BECKETT
Okay, let’s put in a court order for the names of all of the people who downloaded the Lone Vengeance comics. One of them might be our murderer.

RYAN nods.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

EST- CASTLE’S LOFT, DAYTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE is paging through printouts of the LONE VENGEANCE comic.

CASTLE
To the untrained eye, this might look like a grown man reading comic books, but –

ALEXIS
I’ve been thinking about this, Dad. I think you should be happy for me.

CASTLE
I am. I am. I’m just going to miss you, that’s all.

ALEXIS
Me too. But this is what I want.

He gives her a sad smile.

CASTLE
Come. Tell me about your classes. What will you be taking come January?

She sits on the footstool.

ALEXIS
Uh, Intro to Statistics. Microeconomic Theory. The Economic Theory of the Islamic Middle East.

CASTLE
Isn’t Ashley an economics major? Don’t – are you just taking his classes?

ALEXIS
That way we can spend more time together. What’s wrong with that?

CASTLE
To quote Spider-Man, “with great power comes great responsibility”. Not a lot of people get a chance to go to a school like this. You need to think about your dreams and what you want.

ALEXIS
This is what I want.

CASTLE
This is what Ashley wants.

ALEXIS
This wasn’t even his idea. It was mine.

She stands.

CASTLE
Well, this can’t be all about Ashley, Alexis. I mean, what if you guys break up? What then?

ALEXIS
We’re not going to break up! Why are you trying to talk me out of this?

CASTLE
I’m not. I’m – I’m just trying to stop you from making irrational choices.

ALEXIS
Why does everything I do have to make sense? Why can’t I just do what I want once in awhile? It’s all you ever do.

She storms away and CASTLE sighs. He glances down. Something in the LONE VENGEANCE comic has caught his attention.

INT – BECKETT’S APARTMENT

CASTLE knocks and BECKETT opens the door. She’s out of breath and sweaty, but she’s happy to see him.

BECKETT
Hi.

He takes in her appearance.

CASTLE
I should’ve – I should have called.

BECKETT
Yoga, Castle. I was doing yoga. C’mon in.

CASTLE
Gotcha.

He hurries past her to place the comic on the kitchen island.

CASTLE
I found something that will shock and amaze you. I downloaded all of the Sword of Lone Vengeances.

BECKETT
That is not shocking or amazing.

CASTLE
You didn’t let me finish. I was looking for clues as to the killer’s identity in the comic books. I didn’t find any. But check out what I did find. Take a look at these panels. The hoodlum leaves his warehouse. Lone Vengeance swoops in and then carves the letter L in his right cheek. Who does that remind you of?

BECKETT
Tony the Butcher.

CASTLE
I checked the dates on the issue. It came out after Lone Vengeance attacked him. These panels emulate that event. The only other person there was our vigilante.

BECKETT
So then you’re saying that –

CASTLE
It has to be. Our killer is the writer of this comic book. Sean Elt.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT is on the phone. CASTLE waits for her to finish.

BECKETT
Okay. Thank you. (she hangs up) Sean Elt doesn’t exist. His name is an alias.

CASTLE
Or a nom de plume, as we writers say. Though, why anyone would choose Sean Elt … wait a minute. It’s an anagram. Change the letters around and you get –

BECKETT
Stan Lee. Comic book genius.

CASTLE
(chuckles) Trust me. He is no Stan Lee. He’s not even Sean Elt.

RYAN
(on the phone) Yeah, all right. Thanks Bill. Maybe next time.

He hangs up.

RYAN
So no help from tech on the real name. The Lone Vengeance website is registered solely to Sean Elt.

ESPOSITO
Well, whoever he is, he put more than Tony the Butcher in his comics. I found two more real life incidents that wound up as storylines. Lone Vengeance shook down a drug dealer and here he set a truck full of flat screens on fire.

He hands out copies of the stories in question.

BECKETT
Okay, pull up a copy of the two police reports, see if they have anything in common.

ESPOSITO
I’m on it.

BECKETT
Thanks.

He leaves.

CASTLE
Something doesn’t add up. Lone Vengeance stamps out crime, both in the comics and real life. He’s into this vigilante style ass-kicking, or in Tony’s case, ass-carving, but never murder. So why would he suddenly kill Tyler Faris? And why in such a brutal way?

BECKETT
The Sword of Lone Vengeance, this time it’s personal?

CASTLE
That has to be it. Tyler Faris must have known Sean Elt.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

MRS. FARIS
He didn’t, as best as I recall. I never head of no Sean Elt.

BECKETT
Did your son ever hang out with the comic book crowd? Was he into comics?

MRS. FARIS
Just those slutty schoolgirl ones. Oh, but lately he had gotten all into … oh, what was it …? (she thinks) Uh … Sword of Lone Vengeance.

CASTLE looks at BECKETT.

BECKETT
Did he ever mention the writer of that comic? Was he hanging out with anyone out of the ordinary lately?

CASTLE
Somebody mild mannered, perhaps?

MRS. FARIS
Actually, I saw him talking on the stoop to a guy a few days back. He was different. Wore a suit.

CASTLE
As in, mask and cape?

MRS. FARIS
Jacket and tie. I overheard Tyler saying, “I know the truth. I know who you really are.”

CASTLE looks at BECKETT and she nods.

BECKETT
Do you think you could describe him?

MRS. FARIS
Uh, fair haired, youngish, with a beard. Oh, and he wore one of those plastic ID cards. A green one.

CASTLE
Fair hair with a beard.

BECKETT
A green press badge.

BECKETT and CASTLE
The reporter from the crime scene.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN adds another photo to the murder board.

RYAN
Our suspect is one Paul Whittaker. Former graphic artist who works the crime beat for the New York Ledger. He’s also a no show at work and he’s not at home, either. We put out an APB and we flagged his credit cards.

CASTLE
Actually, that makes perfect sense. As a crime reporter, Paul would see firsthand how lawlessness would ravage a community. Compelled to do more than just write about it, he would don a mask and form-fitting tights to become Lone Vengeance.

RYAN picks up on the story.

RYAN
But his plan to purge the streets hit a snag when Tyler Faris threatened to reveal his secret identity, causing Lone Vengeance to cut him down in a single fearsome blow.

Everyone has turned to look at RYAN incredulously.

RYAN
What?

CASTLE
The student has become the master. Or at least, he tried. Actually, for a truly Castle-esque theory, it has to be fully thought through.

BECKETT laughs over her coffee.

BECKETT
Since when?

RYAN
I did think it through.

CASTLE
Really? Then how did Tyler Faris know that Paul Whittaker was Lone Vengeance?

RYAN just stares at them.

ESPOSITO
I got that one. Just got off with the Ledger. Turns out that our reporter, Paul Whittaker, has a burner cell phone that he uses to talk to confidential sources. It’s the same number that Tyler Faris made calls to.

CASTLE
So Faris was a source or a paid informant. So that’s how they knew each other.

RYAN
So maybe Faris was tipping off Paul about crimes going down in the neighborhood, but Lone Vengeance kept showing up instead. And that (he turns to CASTLE) is how Faris knew that Lone Vengeance was actually Paul.

CASTLE
He confronted Paul, threatened to expose him –

BECKETT
So Paul Whittaker killed him to hide his identity as a half-assed superhero?

RYAN shakes his head at her disbelief. She rolls her eyes and goes to answer her ringing phone..

BECKETT
Beckett.

CASTLE
Actually, it’s perfect superhero psychology. It’s symbiosis. See, Lone Vengeance is a part of Paul Whittaker. Yin and yang. One can’t exist without the other.

BECKETT
Okay, seal off the area.

She hangs up and turns to the guys.

BECKETT
Paul Whittaker just maxed out his ATM at 71st and 7th.

CASTLE
Hmm. That is one block away from Comicadia.

ESPOSITO
Hmm.

RYAN shrugs and BECKETT just rolls her eyes.

INT – COMICADIA

PAUL WHITTAKER is trying to sell his comic book collection.

MIKE
Two grand for all this? Man, you’ve got a Hulk #181 here. That alone is worth, like –

PAUL
I just need the money. In cash.

MIKE is still going through the comics but PAUL is antsy.

PAUL
Look, I’m in a bit of a hurry here, so …

BECKETT
Really? Where are you off to, Mr. Whittaker?

CASTLE
Or should we say, Lone Vengeance?

PAUL is trapped.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT OBSERVATION ROOM

GATES Is with CASTLE and BECKETT getting a read on PAUL before they interrogate him.

GATES
Really. Our killer is a writer?

CASTLE
Well, writers can be men of action.

She turns to glare at him.

GATES
I’ve yet to see that, Mr. Castle.

She turns to BECKETT.

GATES
So he’s a journalist like Peter Parker.

BECKETT
Actually, Peter Parker was a news photographer.

CASTLE
Yeah, our guy is more like Clark Kent. And he’s mild mannered, just like… I… predicted.

CASTLE becomes less confident as GATES levels another glare at him.

GATES
Detective, I’d like to call the Mayor, let him know that we caught our killer. Try to get a confession this time.

BECKETT
Yes sir.

GATES leaves.

BECKETT
I think she’s warming up to you.

CASTLE raises his eyes.

CASTLE
Mmm.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
We’re searching your apartment now, Paul. We found this artwork there. We know you were behind Sword of Lone Vengeance.

PAUL
Well … there’s no law against that, is there?

He’s not trying to talk his way out of it. He’s resigned.

CASTLE
Except you took it a lot farther than just making a comic book.

BECKETT
I mean, it’s only a matter of time before we find the suit and the murder weapon.

PAUL
Lone Vengeance stands for all that is good and virtuous. An army of one at war against crime. A defender of the innocent. (he clears his throat) It’s just a character I create. It’s not someone real.

BECKETT
According to this, you were mugged last year outside an abandoned tenement building?

PAUL
Oh, it’s – it’s New York. People – people get mugged.

BECKETT
Only the mugger got the worst of it. You ended up with a few stitches, the mugger ended up in the hospital and cops say that you were non-compliant.

CASTLE
There’s a critical moment in the arc of every superhero. An awakening that transforms him, that drives him to embrace his destiny. For you, the mugging was that moment. That’s when Lone Vengeance was born.

BECKETT
And then you used the Sword of Lone Vengeance as your comic book diary. We know you killed Tyler Faris, Paul. Your life is over. Both of your lives. You’re going to prison.

Something’s not right. He’s afraid, but he’s not fighting.

BECKETT
What do you think those cons are going to do when they find out that you ran around in tights? If you help us, if you confess, I will keep you safe. I will get you placed in segregated housing. Now that is a good deal, Paul. I would take it if I were you.

He thinks for a moment and then nods.

PAUL
Okay. Okay, okay. It’s me. I’m Lone Vengeance.

BECKETT
And Tyler Faris found out?

PAUL
Yeah, he threatened to expose me, so I killed him.

BECKETT considers this. CASTLE catches on that something isn’t right.

BECKETT
I’m going to need you to write that down, Paul.

PAUL reaches for the pen BECKETT has put on the table and poises to write.

CASTLE
You said Lone Vengeance stands for all that is good. (PAUL looks at him.) So he has a code. So killing someone, someone like Tyler Faris, violated that code. In a typical superhero that would trigger a crisis of faith. You must have been conflicted. How did you feel when you killed Tyler Faris?

PAUL
Well, I – I felt bad. I felt really bad.

CASTLE isn’t convinced. BECKETT catches on, too.

BECKETT
Paul, why did you chop off Tyler’s hand after you killed him?

PAUL shakes his head.

PAUL
I don’t know. I – I just did. Can I – can I write my confession now? Is that okay?

CASTLE looks to BECKETT. PAUL isn’t their killer.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN
Are you sure he didn’t do it?

BECKETT
Yeah, Faris’s hand was chopped off before he was killed. Paul didn’t know that.

ESPOSITO
Then why did he confess?

CASTLE
Because Paul is protecting the real killer. Paul is the writer, Lone Vengeance is the subject. That’s their relationship. (to BECKETT) It’s you and me, all over again. But I’m Paul and you’re Lone Vengeance.

BECKETT
Really, Castle? Is that how you see me? Like a sword wielding killer?

CASTLE
Depends. Will you be scantily clad?

BECKTT
In your dreams.

CASTLE just stares, but as they turn back to RYAN and ESPOSITO, BECKETT smiles.

ESPOSITO
Not to rain on your comic book fantasy, but if Paul is not Lone Vengeance it puts a whole new spin on his mugging.

CASTLE
That’s right, it does. I bet Paul didn’t beat up that mugger. I bet that was Lone Vengeance. I bet that’s probably how they met.

BECKETT
Wait a minute. That abandoned tenement building where Paul was mugged. Where is that?

ESPOSITO
Near Beakman. In Theater Alley.

RYAN
That’s the same place where Chad Hockney found Lone Vengeance.

BECKETT
So either that’s a coincidence …

RYAN
Or that’s where he hangs out.

CASTLE
An abandoned tenement building. Perfect place for a superhero lair.

EST – ABANDONED TENEMENT BUILDING, NIGHTTIME

INT – ABANDONED TENEMENT BUILDING

CASTLE
You sure this is the place?

BECKETT
Yeah. Power company said that unit 209 is the only one with electricity. Somebody tied it up to a pole.

She unlocks the door and walks in, gun drawn.

CASTLE
Okay, if this is a lair, can I just say … disappointing. I mean, where’s the mood lighting? Glass case with fifty samurai swords?

BECKETT runs her hand along a wall.

BECKETT
(whispered) Castle.

She pushes on the wall and it revolves. The backside is full of swords.

CASTLE
Oh ah ah. All right. It’s a modest lair, built on a budget. Wonder what else he’s got hidden around here.

From her hip her radio crackles. It’s ESPOSITO.

ESPOSITO
Beckett. Got a guy on the fire escape heading your way. I think it’s him.

She turns the wall of swords back around and moves to the door. CASTLE stops the wall of swords from swinging back around, putting it back into place before hiding himself. LONE VENGEANCE comes through the window and walks down the hallway. BECKETT is right behind him.

BECKETT
NYPD. Don’t move.

LONE VENGEANCE makes a slight move toward the window only to be stopped by BECKETT.

BECKETT
I wouldn’t do that if I were you. There are cops everywhere downstairs. Now, very slowly, take off that mask.

LONE VENGEANCE complies and takes off the mask.

BECKETT
Officer Hastings?

BECKETT is shocked and CASTLE comes out to stand right behind BECKETT.

CASTLE
I did not see that coming.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN adds a photo of ANN HASTINGS to the murder board.

RYAN
Can you believe it? Lone Vengeance, sword wielding killer, ends up being one of our own.

ESPOSITO
I don’t know. Maybe she had her reasons.

RYAN
Whoa. Maybe she had her reasons? What happened to nimrod in a suit?

ESPOSITO
Well, that’s before I knew she was a cop.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
CSU is going over your suit and they’re looking for Tyler Faris’ blood.

HASTINGS
They won’t find any.

BECKETT
Yeah well, you would know how to clean it up.

BECKETT is clearly disappointed.

HASTINGS
I always admired you, Detective. The kind of cop that you are, it made me want to get to know you.

BECKETT looks up.

BECKETT
Well, you could’ve been that kind of a cop. Awards, first rate evaluation … why did you let it go?

She’s quiet for a moment.

HASTINGS
My father owned a dry cleaner's in the neighborhood. He got held up, by some junkie probably. Shot dead over eighty bucks. The day after I buried him I applied to the Academy.

BECKETT nods.

BECKETT
So then you decided to take the law into your own hands. Being a cop wasn’t enough?

HASTINGS
Someone killed my dad. Nothing will ever be enough. But doing what I do makes me feel better.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

PAUL is pacing when CASTLE walks in.

CASTLE
We arrested Ann. I just thought you should know.

PAUL sighs and nods. He’s trying not to cry.

PAUL
You’re probably wondering why I confessed, then.

CASTLE considers, but he already knows.

CASTLE
You’re in love with her.

PAUL just looks at him sadly.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
You crossed the line, Ann.

HASTINGS
Don’t pretend that we’re so different.

BECKETT
Let’s talk about Tyler Faris.

HASTINGS
Didn’t you lose your mom?

BECKETT
We’re not here to discuss that.

HASTINGS
Didn’t you shoot the guy who killed her, right here in this precinct? The bullet that you took, isn’t that connected to her murder, too? Because that’s the rumor.

BECKETT breaks.

BECKETT
I am not like you. I didn’t chop a man in half.

HASTINGS
Neither did I.

BECKETT
Yes, you did. And you’ve got Paul Whittaker so turned around over it that he tried to confess to your murder.

HASTINGS
Paul? Why would he do that? Damnit, I told him to leave town until I got this sorted out.

BECKETT
Well, you’ve got it sorted out now.

HASTINGS
I did not kill Tyler Faris. I threw up my breakfast when I saw that body.

BECKETT
You were in the alley with me, Ann. You took that piece from your suit.

HASTINGS
It wasn’t from my suit. And the only reason I wanted it was to figure out who’s behind this.

BECKETT
Do you actually expect me to believe you?

HASTINGS
It’s true. I saw that disk at the crime scene. I knew it wasn’t mine. But before I could get it, I got sent off to canvass. So I came back for it, and yes, I took it from you.

BECKETT
And what did you do with it?

HASTINGS
I had a friend in the crime lab run it for prints. It came back with a partial, but it wasn’t in the criminal database. Look, if you don’t believe me, ask him. He still has it.

BECKETT
So somebody else dressed up as Lone Vengeance and killed our victim?

HASTINGS
It’s the only thing that makes sense.

BECKETT
How does that make sense?

HASTINGS
Because it wasn’t me. I came across something when I canvassed Matt’s bar where Tyler Faris came from. He was a creature of habit. He drank there every night. He’d always leave between one and two and take the backdoor to the alley. Usually with a girl.

BECKETT
So you’re saying that the killer knew that Faris was going to show up in that alley?

HASTINGS raises an eyebrow as she nods.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
Well, she didn’t kill Tyler Faris.

CASTLE
How do you know?

BECKETT
I – I just – I know.

There’s something she’s not telling him, but he lets it go.

CASTLE
Well, if she didn’t do it and Chad Hockney didn’t do it, then we’re looking at a third Lone Vengeance. A clever imposter.

BECKETT
Okay, so let’s suppose that our killer is an imposter. That would mean that he targeted Tyler Faris and wore a costume, either to make sure that no one could identify him –

CASTLE
Or to make sure he would be identified and frame Lone Vengeance for the murder.

BECKETT
And Tyler Faris was the perfect victim.

CASTLE
Yeah, he shows up in a dark alley like clockwork and brings his own witness.

BECKETT
Okay, so maybe our killer was a criminal who wanted Lone Vengeance off the streets.

CASTLE
A criminal who wanted vengeance from Lone Vengeance and Tyler Faris.

BECKETT
Someone who knew Tyler and his habits.

CASTLE
Someone who had experience wielding a blade.

BECKETT
Someone who pointed us to Lone Vengeance in the first place.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

They’ve brought TONY VALTINI back in.

TONY
You think I killed Tyler Faris. C’mon. You’re dreaming.

BECKETT
We know you wanted Lone Vengeance off the streets. He was costing you money. We read the comics. Lone Vengeance was shaking down your dealers, burning your trucks. So when Faris thought that he figured out Lone Vengeance’s true identity he knew you’d pay top dollar for it.

TONY
All right, even if this were true, which it’s not … I’ve got no motive for murder.

CASTLE
You’ve had to be asking yourself, all these times Lone Vengeance was harassing your people, how did he know where to go? Who was tipping him off?

BECKETT
I mean, it had to have been someone from the inside, someone with an axe to grind. Someone just like Tyler Faris.

CASTLE
So you figured why not kill two birds with one stone? Get rid of Faris and hang the murder on Lone Vengeance.

TONY
And that’s it. That’s all you’ve got?

CASTLE just smiles. TONY starts to laugh.

TONY
You guys call yourselves cops? You’ve got to be embarrassed. Here’s the problem. You got no proof.

BECKETT just smiles and slides an evidence bag with the knuckle plate in it across the table.

BECKETT
Actually, we do. That’s from your outfit. We matched the partial print to your cousin, Ernesto.

CASTLE
The tailor. I’ve heard great things about his custom made shirts. But he also confessed to making a Lone Vengeance outfit… for you.

TONY sits back in his seat, stone faced.

TONY
I want a lawyer.

BECKETT smirks.

BECKETT
And you will need one.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT LOCKUP

A uniform is opening the door to the cell that ANN HASTINGS is being held in.

BECKETT
Those are your personal effects, you probably want to make sure everything is there.

HASTINGS
Thanks, Detective Beckett.

BECKETT
Ann, you’re a good cop. And you’ve got somebody that cares about you.

PAUL is waiting for her with another uniform. GATES and CASTLE are behind him.

BECKETT
Don’t be so driven by the past that you throw away your future. (they regard each other) Take care.

ANN joins PAUL and they head out.

CASTLE
Well, a murder solved and a notorious hoodlum off the streets for good. I call that a solid win.

GATES
I agree. All because of the hard work and dedication of this team.

CASTLE smiles.

CASTLE
Well, thank you, Captain. That means a lot.

GATES
Of police officers. Team of police officers, Mr. Castle.

CASTLE is once again shot down by GATES. He’s annoyed.

GATES
Detective. About Officer Hastings. She uh, fled the alley when you ordered her to stop. Some reason you’re not pressing any charges?

BECKETT
I, uh –

GATES
Think that given the number of folks wearing that costume, we can’t prove that it was her in that alley. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

BECKETT nods.

BECKETT
Exactly, sir.

GATES
She’s a promising officer. That said, it would be bad for all of us if Lone Vengeance were to show up ever again.

BECKETT
I don’t think that that will be a problem, sir.

GATES
Well, let’s make sure it isn’t.

GATES leaves.

CASTLE
Either she just grew a heart…

BECKETT
Or she’s worried about how it would look if the press found out that Lone Vengeance was one of our own.

The elevator dings. CASTLE and BECKETT watch ANN and PAUL get on to leave.

CASTLE
A writer and his muse, fighting crime. Just like us.

BECKETT smiles.

BECKETT
Mmm.

Before the elevator doors shut, ANN steps close to PAUL and kisses him. BECKETT suppresses a smile before shifting her eyes to CASTLE. He’s hoping she doesn’t hurt him.

CASTLE
So, tomorrow?

BECKETT
Mmhmm.

CASTLE
Okay.

CASTLE leaves abruptly. BECKETT just smiles after him.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

EST – CASTLE’S LOFT, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE is just getting home from his evening at the precinct. MARTHA is once again dressed in a costume, this time with a long beard. ALEXIS is watching from the table.

MARTHA
Ah!

CASTLE
Oh, hello Mother.

She’s acting out the character she’s dressed as again. And CASTLE laughs.

CASTLE
Falstaff!

MARTHA
Really? It’s King Lear. Oh… (she groans) I have work to do.

She rips off her beard and walks off to redo her costume.

CASTLE
Uh, hey. What’s up?

ALEXIS
Skyping with Ashley, but we just finished.

She shuts her computer as he sits down at the table across from her.

CASTLE
You know, even when you were a little girl, you were a serious person. I think I’ve just gotten used to you being sensible and mature. Even more than me sometimes.

ALEXIS
Sometimes?

CASTLE
Point taken. Thing is, Alexis, I know there are other sides to you. Impulsive sides. Romantic sides. And I don’t want you to deny them.

ALEXIS
You were right. With great power does come great responsibility. I’ve always been good at doing what I’m supposed to. But college is about doing what you want. You know, following your passion. (she grabs his hand) I’m picking my own classes. I don’t know which ones yet, but um … no economics.

CASTLE smiles.

CASTLE
You know what? Even if you’re not in classes with Ashley, you’ll still see each other plenty.

ALEXIS
I know. Especially if we move in together.

CASTLE’S face falls. She’s excited. He’s never considered the possibility that ALEXIS would want to live with her boyfriend.

THE END

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