4x22 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 4x22
"Undead Again"


INT – CASTLE’S LOFT


A hand opens the door from RICHARD CASTLE’S office. ALEXIS CASTLE is on the couch, but the person doesn’t make a sound as they walk behind her, out of her view. They walk around to the side of the couch; still ALEXIS is oblivious, reading something from her iPad. Suddenly the laser gun on the table next to ALEXIS goes off and she startles. CASTLE is standing in the doorway in full laser tag gear, holding out the other vest.

ALEXIS CASTLE
Dad! What are you doing?

He walks toward her and drops the other vest on the couch.

RICHARD CASTLE
You have 30 seconds to suit up.

ALEXIS
I –

CASTLE
A game is afoot.

ALEXIS
Dad –

CASTLE
Wait. Let me savor this. I haven’t got the drop on you since you were 10. (he takes a moment) Oh, this feels like … victory.

ALEXIS
Dad, look. I can’t, okay? I have a big decision to make.

He takes off his laser tag glasses and sits in front of her.

CASTLE
Well, have you at least narrowed it down?

ALEXIS
I made a list of all the classes and extra circulars. And the best choices seem to be Oxford and Stanford.

CASTLE
What about Columbia? NYU? Vassar?

ALEXIS
They’re all too close. I’d come home all the time. (his smile falls) I want to challenge myself. And I’d get sucked into things like this. (she holds up her laser tag gun)

CASTLE
But then who’s gonna play with me?

His tone is odd; somewhere between broken and sad and joking.

ALEXIS
(takes a long moment to organize her words, when she speaks it’s soft) I think it’s time to holster the laser guns and be adults.

He doesn’t want to look at her and see someone that’s not his little girl willing to play with him. She stands and kisses his temple before walking away. He watches he go. He’s proud and sad and nostalgic all at once, and it hurts as he takes a look at the forgotten laser tag vest. He takes one last shot at the vest and it deactivates.

VEST COMPUTER VOICE
Game over. Please proceed to exit.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE is putting away the laser tag equipment.

MARTHA RODGERS
Oh, darling. It’s just a game.

CASTLE
No, it’s not. It’s a time honored family tradition that we’ve been honoring since Alexis could wrap her little finger around a trigger. First one to a thousand points wins. And we were so close. We laser tagged our way through her preteen years and now, suddenly, she’s too old to play.

MARTHA
She’s growing up.

CASTLE
Well she doesn’t have to. Look at me.

His phone buzzes on the table and he checks it. It’s BECKETT.

MARTHA
Oh! Well it seems like Detective Beckett is available for a playdate.

He just silences the call.

MARTHA
Really?

CASTLE
Beckett and I have not exactly been … hitting it off lately.

MARTHA
Uh huh. (she sits across from him) And why do you think that is?

CASTLE
Oh, I’m sorry. Are you saying that it’s my fault?

MARTHA
Cavorting with some awful gang detective, showing up at a crime scene with a stewardess? (she gives him a look) If you want to punish Beckett at least let her know why.

CASTLE
I’m not punishing her. (MARTHA scoffs) I’m – Am I?

MARTHA
Oh, darling. You’re hurt. I understand that. But quite honestly, the two of you cannot go on like this.

He thinks about it for a second.

CASTLE
You know what, Mother? You’re absolutely right.

He stands and grabs his phone from the table and turns away.

MARTHA
Where’re you going?

CASTLE
To a crime scene. (he sighs) Work my last case with Detective Beckett.

He forces a smile before disappearing into his room. MARTHA watches him go, not really fond of his decision.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, MORNING

EXT – PARKING GARAGE

KATE BECKETT
Thought you didn’t like coffee?

JAVIER ESPOSITO
I like vanilla lattes.

CASTLE runs to catch up with them.

CASTLE
Hey guys!

ESPOSITO
Hey.

CASTLE
Thanks for calling.

BECKETT
Sure.

ESPOSITO
So, our victim is David Locke, 29. He’s a currency trader at a foreign exchange office upstairs. Looks like he was heading into work when it happened. His body was found by his boss at around 7 o’clock this morning.

They walk up to meet DR. PERLMUTTER already examining the body.

PERLMUTTER
Ah, our intrepid heroes have arrived. (he pauses) And Castle.

CASTLE
Ah, Perlmutter. I will treasure these special moments we’ve shared.

His use of tenses catch BECKETT’S attention but she does nothing more than look at him. When he looks at her, she’s quick to change the subject.

BECKETT
So I take it this is Mr. Locke?

She’s trying to be all business. CASTLE watches her.

PERLMUTTER
It appears he was set upon by an unknown assailant. Time of death was about 4AM.

BECKETT
Cause of death?

She crouches to get a better look.

PERLMUTTER
Well, probably blunt force trauma to the head where it hit the concrete. (he moves to show her)

BECKETT
Wallet and cash?

ESPOSITO
Still intact, so it definitely wasn’t a mugging.

CASTLE
Savage beating at 4AM, there must be some motive.

BECKETT
Is this a bite mark on his arm?

PERLMUTTER
It’s not just a bite mark. Look at the skin. You see how it’s torn? The killer latched on and shook like a pitbull trying to tear off the flesh – (he mimes the biting and tearing)

BECKETT
Thanks. I think we got it. (she stands) Anything else?

ESPOSITO
Just this. It was, uh, found in out victim’s hand. (he holds out an evidence bag) It was probably torn off the killer’s shirt during the struggle.

CASTLE
(examines the bag) It’s a lace cuff. Hand stitched, pearl buttons, I’d say this was circa … 1870.

He gets a look from BECKETT and PERLMUTTER.

CASTLE
I did a lot of research on the era. I was writing a book. A comedy about the Civil War. Turns out, not so funny.

PERLMUTTER
You don’t say.

ESPOSITO
Who would beat a guy to death wearing a hundred and fifty year old shirt?

BECKETT
You know, the bigger question is, why was he attacked here where he worked?

ESPOSITO
Might wanna ask his boss, Mike Matthews.

ESPOSITO gestures behind him to a man already talking to a uniform.

EXT – PARKING GARAGE

MIKE MATTHEWS
I can’t believe it.

BECKETT
We think that David was killed around 4AM. Do you have any idea why he was here so early?

MIKE
David handled the Asian markets, so he usually got in by 4. (he sighs) He was a terrific kid. He was hard working, well liked.

BECKETT
And was that the consensus?

MIKE
What do you mean?

BECKETT
I mean did he have any conflicts with anyone at work?

MIKE
Actually, yeah, there was an incident last week. Someone keyed his car.

BECKETT
Who?

MIKE
David thought it was Charlie Coleman, one of my other traders. The two of them were vying for a promotion and I went with David. Charlie didn’t take it too well.

BECKETT
What time does Charlie usually show up for work?

MIKE
4AM. Same time as David. (BECKETT nods) Look, Charlie’s kind of an oddball, but I – I don’t see him mixed up in this.

BECKETT
We’re gonna need to talk to him anyway.

MIKE scans the parking lot.

MIKE
That’s strange. His car is right there, next to David’s.

CASTLE
Why is that strange?

MIKE
Because Charlie never came into the office this morning.

BECKETT
What’s his address?

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – APARTMENT BUILDING

CASTLE
Well that’s a shame. This case had real promise. (the elevator dings and they both step off) Savage bite marks, reconstruction era clothing. It’s a mystery here, a whiff of intrigue. Now we’re just slapping cuffs on some disgruntled employee.

She stops and tries to read him and gives him a look at the same time.

CASTLE
I just wanted this one to be special.

BECKETT
Yeah well, I’m sorry it’s not entertaining enough for you, Castle. (she pounds on the door) Charlie Coleman! NYPD! Open up!

CHARLIE
Stay away! It isn’t safe!

She looks at CASTLE and pulls her gun.

BECKETT
Stand back.

CHARLIE
It’s for your own good! Don’t come in!

She doesn’t listen, instead kicking the door open. CHARLIE has propped everything he could find against the door, but her kick opens it enough to get in.

CHARLIE
You can’t come in here!

CASTLE
It’s all right, Charlie.

BECKETT
Charlie, are you okay? Anyone here?

CHARLIE
No, no, no. Stay back. Stay away from me!

BECKETT
Listen, we just gotta ask you a few questions.

CHARLIE
You need to leave! You need to leave right now! It’s not safe.

He’s chained to the radiator.

CASTLE
Relax, Charlie. Relax. We’re cops.

CHARLIE
(relaxes slightly) You’re a cop?

BECKETT
Yeah.

CHARLIE
Is that your gun?

BECKETT
Yeah?

CHARLIE
You need to shoot me. Do it now! (he braces himself) Do it! Do it!

BECKETT and CASTLE look at him curiously. He’s acting insane.

INT – CHARLIE’S APARTMENT

BECKETT hands CHARLIE a glass of water.

BECKETT
Charlie, you feeling better?

CHARLIE
Yeah.

BECKETT
Just gotta ask you a few questions about what happened this morning with you and David. Did you see him in the parking structure?

CHARLIE
Yeah, he had just pulled in. I said hello, he said hello. The two of us aren’t real friendly.

CASTLE
So we’ve heard. What happened next?

CHARLIE
And then he stopped. And he stared right past me with this weird look on his face and he the said ‘what the hell is that?’.

CHARLIE pull son the chain holding him to the radiator.

CASTLE
What the hell was it?

CHARLIE
I couldn’t tell at first because that thing was all over us.

BECKETT
Wait, you were attacked too?

CHARLIE
Yeah, but it was mostly after David. I mean, it was just wailing on him. I elbowed it in the head, but it didn’t even slow down.

CASTLE
Okay, what do you mean by it?

CHARLIE
I called 911, they didn’t believe me. No one believes me.

BECKETT
Just tell us what you saw.

CHARLIE looks at her.

CHARLIE
As long as you promise you’ll believe me.

BECKETT
Yeah, fine. I promise.

He grabs her hand and she jumps.

CHARLIE
Promise that you will use your gun on me when I start to turn.

She grabs her arm back roughly.

BECKETT
Turn?

CHARLIE
Yeah.

BECKETT
What do you mean, turn?

CHARLIE
The thing that bit me? That killed David? (he pulls up the sleeve of his shirt to show them bite marks) It was a zombie.

BECKETT isn’t sure what to make of this.

BECKETT
A … zombie?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE and BECKETT are listening to audio of CHARLIE’S 911 call.

CHARLIE (on tape)
It was a zombie! I freaking zombie!

911 OPERATOR (on tape)
Uh, sir. Can you repeat that, please?

CASTLE gives BECKETT a look.

CHARLIE (on tape)
A zombie! The undead! Oh man. With those dead eyes and flaps of rotting skin coming off its face.

911 OPERATOR (on tape)
Sir, this is for emergencies only. Are you having an emergency?

CHARLIE (on tape)
Yes! I’m having a major emergency here! Don’t you get it? This thing just killed someone and it bit me. I’m gonna turn! I’m next!

CASTLE shuts off the audio and turns to BECKETT.

CASTLE
Now Charlie made this 911 call moments after the attack. Does it sound like he’s faking to you?

BECKETT
It sounds like Charlie’s having an psychotic break. What if his guilt made him snap and he created a fantasy in which zombies killed David and not him?

CASTLE
I’m not so sure. I mean, his voice does have that authentic ring of pants-wetting terror.

BECKETT
You do not believe in Charlie’s story.

CASTLE
I believe that he believes it.

BECKETT
Okay, well whatever you believe, all the evidence points to the fact that Charlie Coleman is our killer.

ESPOSITO
Maybe not all the evidence. (he holds up a folder) CSU analyzed that bite mark on Charlie’s arm. It turns out it matches the bite mark on our victim.

BECKETT
Maybe Charlie bit David and then he bit himself?

ESPOSITO
I was thinking the same thing, but CSU also says that the bite marks weren’t made by Charlie’s teeth.

CASTLE
Oh, wait … um… sorry. Let me make sure I understand, so I might properly relish this moment. You’re saying the evidence shows that Charlie and the victim both were bitten by an as yet unknown third party.

ESPOSITO
That’s what I just said –

CASTLE
Perhaps even a mindless, shuffling, undead third party?

BECKETT is exasperated.

BECKETT
Castle, just stop. There’s no such thing as a zombie.

KEVIN RYAN
Guys – (he walks in and stops short) You gotta see this.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

KEVIN RYAN is manipulating some video footage.

RYAN
So I was combing through security cam footage near the parking garage and I found this.

He enhances and zooms in on part of the video. There’s a man walking away from the parking garage.

ESPOSITO
Time stamp’s 4:06AM, which fits time of death. That’s our guy.

CASTLE
Yeah, but it’s not Charlie.

BECKETT
Wait, what is he wearing? That looks like an old fashioned suit.

The man walks into the road and they get a better look. It does look like he’s wearing a vintage suit. It also looks like he’s walking funny; methodically.

CASTLE
Circa 1870. And his shirt’s missing a cuff.

The man continues to walk into the road, just missed being hit by a taxi.

BECKETT
Whoa. He almost got his by that taxi, didn’t even flinch.

RYAN
Well maybe this is why. Look what we get from the other angle.

RYAN flips to other footage. The man’s face is now more visible; it looks like he could very well be undead. BECKETT and ESPOSITO are shocked but CASTLE is thrilled. RYAN stops the video.

CASTLE
My friends. (he points to the face of the man on the screen) That is a zombie.

He leaves them in the workroom, still focused on the screen. They can’t shake their shocked look.

CASTLE
Our killer’s a zombie.

He highfives with a passing woman on his way out to the bullpen.

EST – CASTLE’S LOFT, DAYTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE rounds the kitchen island and gives MARTHA a secret smile.

MARTHA
Well you’re rather upbeat considering you said this was your last case with Beckett.

CASTLE
That’s because I am going out with a bang. I have one word for you, Mother. (he pauses for effect, drops his voice) Zombie.

MARTHA
Too much makeup?

CASTLE
You look lovely. I’m referring to our victim being killed by one of the walking undead. And I mean that literally. A zombie. A security camera caught him in all his putrefying glory.

MARTHA
Whoo. I don’t suppose you downloaded this video by chance? (she looks at his iPad)

CASTLE
Absolutely not. That video is police property. It would be very, very wrong of me to … get a screen grab of it and email it to myself.

He smiles deviously and wiggles his eyebrows.

MARTHA
Oooh… it’ll be our little secret, darling.

She’s excited to see it and he’s excited to show her. He rounds the island to get his iPad.

CASTLE
I’m actually surprised that you’re interested in this case, Mother.

MARTHA
Well, I really do know the difference between a first rate makeup job and actual decay. (he laughs) You want to see some real zombies check out the red carpet at the Tony awards.

CASTLE
Hmm. (he pushes a few buttons on his iPad, then pauses) I thought I – I thought I put this away.

He picks up the center of a laser tag vest. MARTHA backs away slowly and he turns to her; watches her move slowly with a sly smile. He finally gets it and looks around the room quickly.

CASTLE
Where is she? Where –

The pad in his hand goes off and ALEXIS rappels from the ceiling with a diabolical laugh.

ALEXIS
You were fooled by my act yesterday and now you’ve fallen right into my trap.

CASTLE
You will pay dearly for your treachery. (he turns to MARTHA) E tu, Mother? For luring me here?

MARTHA
Why, whatever do you mean?

CASTLE
Ah. That’s my girl.

ALEXIS laughs and unhooks herself from the line.

ALEXIS
So what’s this about a zombie?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT HOLDING AREA

CHARLIE is in holding, but now he’s examining a photo of the zombie that they saw on the tape.

CHARLIE
Oh. My God. I told you people. That’s him. Oh, so vile and disgusting. That’s the zombie that I saw.

RYAN
Well we’re not exactly sure that he’s –

CHARLIE
What do you mean you’re not sure? What else could he be?

RYAN
(he’s at a loss) Point is, this puts you in the clear. (he unlocks and opens the door) We’re releasing you.

CHARLIE doesn’t move.

CHARLIE
I’m not sure that’s a good idea.

RYAN
Charlie, if you were going to turn you’d have done it by now.

CHARLIE looks at the photo.

CHARLIE
This thing, have you caught it?

RYAN
Not yet. (smiles) Rest assured, we will.

CHARLIE stands and walks to the door. He gives RYAN back the photo, then shuts the door again.

CHARLIE
I’ll just stay here.

RYAN’S confused.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
He won’t leave?

RYAN
Charlie’s pretty convinced about this whole zombie thing.

BECKETT
Yeah, but that’s just – that’s ridiculous.

CASTLE
Or is it? Charlie has not been wrong yet. Maybe our killer is patient zero, other there right now on the streets of New York building an army of the undead.

BECKETT
Castle, what we are looking for is not a zombie but a very smart criminal who murdered David Locke and is now making our only witness look crazy. And he also dressed up in makeup and a costume to hide his identity.

CASTLE
Unless that’s not costume or makeup.

BECKETT gives him a look.

RYAN
I mean, he does look like a real zombie.

BECKETT shifts her glare to RYAN.

ESPOSITO
A real zombie? I’m embarrassed for you, bro.

RYAN shrugs and ESPOSITO walks away.

BECKETT
Okay, then explain this. Why would a zombie go after a currency trader, at 4AM, in a garage?

RYAN looks to CASTLE.

CASTLE
(to RYAN) This one’s easy. (to BECKETT) The more intelligent the victim, the more delicious the brains.

BECKETT rolls her eyes and walks past them.

BECKETT
So, returning to the land of facts, what did you find at the crime scene canvass?

ESPOSITO
Nada. Only in New York could some guy dress like a friggin’ zombie and walk down the street unnoticed.

RYAN
I did find a gap in our timeline before the murder. (he consults a paper)

BECKETT
What do you mean?

RYAN
Well, according to the doorman, the victim left his apartment at 2AM and he never came back.

BECKETT
He was killed at 4AM. What was he doing for 2 hours?

RYAN
I don’t know. But he drove there. His credit card showed that he gased up on Houston at 2:44AM.

BECKETT
All right, let’s figure out where he went. Trouble might have followed him to the garage.

CASTLE
Or a zombie did.

ESPOSITO
I’ll tell you where he went. Booty call. Tech guys pulled a text message off David’s phone. He sent it to a chica the night he died, wanting to hook up with her.

CASTLE tries to look shocked.

BECKETT
Does she have a name?

ESPOSITO
Greta Mastroianni.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

GRETA MASTROIANNI
I – I don’t understand. Who would do something like this to David?

RYAN
Did you see him that night? We know that he texted you wanting to come over.

GRETA
No. I called him and told him not to come over.

RYAN and ESPOSITO watch her. There’s something she’s not saying.

GRETA
I split up with David about a week ago. He was still trying to hold on.

RYAN
Why’d you two split up?

GRETA
(pauses) I’m engaged. Um… to Tom. (she fingers her ring) Tom Williams. We’ve been together five years.

ESPOSITO
How did David figure in?

GRETA
I met him when I was 21, visiting a cousin in LA. We had an intense couple of weeks, you know, and three months ago I ran into him at a coffee shop.

RYAN
And did you fiancé know about this affair with David?

GRETA
Yeah, he found emails on my computer last week.

ESPOSITO
And how did he react to that?

GRETA
He was hurt. He threatened to leave me and that’s when I realized what I was about to lose, so I broke it off with David and begged Tom to give me another chance. And he did.

ESPOSITO
So where was Tom that night?

GRETA
Home. We went to bed around 11.

RYAN
And he was there all night?

GRETA looks pained.

RYAN
Greta, where was Tom at 4AM?

GRETA
Look, I don’t know, okay? I woke up around 2:30 and he wasn’t there. I figured he was watching TV in the living room but when I got up in the morning –

RYAN
He wasn’t in the apartment, so where was he all night?

GRETA
I see what you’re getting at with this, okay? But Tom had nothing to do with it.

RYAN
Did David email you from his office account?

GRETA
Yeah. Why?

RYAN looks at ESPOSITO.

ESPOSITO
Because that means that your fiancé knew where David worked.

It’s not what GRETA wants to hear.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

TOM WILLIAMS is at the table, alone in the room with BECKETT.

TOM WILLIAMS
Look, I can’t say I feel bad this guy’s dead. But I had nothing to do with it.

BECKETT
Even though he was trying to snake your fiancée?

TOM
He was out of the picture. Greta made her choice and she picked me.

BECKETT
Yeah, except he wouldn’t take no for an answer. (she pauses) You know, I bet you found out that he was texting her and you decided to make him stop texting her. Permanently.

TOM
(sighs) Well, you’re wrong. I never touched the dude. I never even met him.

BECKETT
Yeah, but it had to have made you angry.

TOM looks down and shrugs.

TOM
I won’t lie to you. This whole thing had been tough. But Greta and I are building a life together and I think we’re going to come out of it stronger –

BECKETT is done with his heartfelt line.

BECKETT
Tom, how tall are you? About 6 foot?

TOM
6’2”.

BECKETT
So about the same height as this guy, right?

She throws a photo of their zombie killer on the table.

TOM
What the hell is that? (off BECKETT’S look) C’mon, that’s not me!

BECKETT
When you left the apartment that night, where were you for the next hour and a half? David was missing for the same amount of time, 2:30 to 4AM.

TOM
I was a the Hudson Law Library, studying.

BECKETT
You were at the library at that hour?

TOM
It’s open 24/7 during finals. You can ask the librarian and the 10 other people who were studying there.

She grabs her folder and walks to the door.

BECKETT
I will.

She leaves him alone in the room.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT hangs up her phone.

BECKETT
Tom’s alibi checks out. He was at the law library between 3 and 6AM. (she sighs) I really thought he was our man. It’s not like David Locke has any other enemies. I mean, we confirmed that with his friends and coworkers.

CASTLE
What about recently deceased friends and coworkers?

She glares at him.

CASTLE
Okay. Well, whatever or whoever this is, can we at least agree that he looks like a zombie, he dressed like a zombie, and he acts like a zombie?

BECKETT
And that helps us how?

CASTLE
We’re looking at standard motives here. But our killer isn’t driven by revenge, greed, or power. Not if he thinks he’s a zombie.

BECKETT
So by that line of thinking, his motive is a primal urge to kill? (CASTLE nods) Regardless of who the victim is, he kills at random.

CASTLE
Precisely.

BECKETT
Then how do you propose we find a random killer in a city of 8 million people?

RYAN walks up and clears his throat.

RYAN
Maybe we start with where the victim went during those missing 2 hours.

CASTLE
Do tell.

RYAN
Well the lab ID’d a chemical found recently deposited on the bottom of David Locke’s shoes.

BECKETT
What kind of chemical?

RYAN flips through his papers.

RYAN
Uh… I won’t even begin to try to pronounce it, but it is used in 3 factories in New York and New Jersey.

BECKETT
The night that David was killed he went to a gas station on Houston. Which one of those factories is closest to Houston?

RYAN
The one on the lower East Side, but it’s been closed for over a year.

BECKETT looks at CASTLE.

BECKETT
Let’s go.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

EXT – ABANDONED FACTORY

CASTLE and BECKETT come out of the building. It’s dark and they’re the only ones around.

CASTLE
Well, we know now this is in fact an abandoned factory. A desolate, God forsaken alley.

CASTLE is an alert; the alley is creepy.

BECKETT
Imagination getting the better of you, Castle?

CASTLE
No. No, course not. Just wish we had more to show for our efforts, that’s all.

He looks around again, trying to make sense of all the sounds he’s hearing.

BECKETT
The thing that I don’t get is why would a currency trader like David Locke come down here? It just doesn’t make any sense.

CASTLE
He had a dark side we knew nothing about?

BECKETT
Like what?

CASTLE
All I know is that normal people don’t come to places like this at 2AM in the morning. In fact, I think I’ve seen enough, haven’t you?

BECKETT stops.

BECKETT
Wait. Do you hear that?

CASTLE
I’m not falling for that.

He starts walking again but she grabs his arm.

BECKETT
No, no, no. I’m serious. Listen.

CASTLE does.

CASTLE
Footsteps.

BECKETT
Yeah.

She’s listening more intently.

CASTLE
Lots of them.

Just then a woman comes running by them, screaming. CASTLE jumps at the sudden sound.

WOMAN
They’re after us! They’re after us!

She doesn’t stop. She runs right past them.

CASTLE
Who is?

A man runs past them, also screaming.

MAN
They’re coming! Don’t just stand there! Run!

BECKETT
What the hell’s going on?

They turn to where the people have come from, heading to see what’s wrong. CASTLE stops suddenly as he rounds a corner. There’s a group of zombies heading straight toward them. BECKETT pushes in front of him and raises her gun. The zombies are undeterred.

CASTLE
That’s – that’s a – that’s a zombie horde.

BECKETT
(unbelieving) There’s no such thing as zombies.

CASTLE
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to aim for the head.

BECKETT holds her stance. CASTLE looks behind them, there’s a group of zombies coming for them from behind now, too.

CASTLE
Beckett! Behind us. We’re surrounded. Oh jeez, oh jeez. You don’t have enough bullets.

She looks around too. He’s right, they’re surrounded and the zombies are getting closer.

EXT – ABANDONED WAREHOUSE

CASTLE
It’s ground zero for World War Z.

They’re confused and at a loss, but the zombies are getting closer.

CASTLE
Get behind me. We’ll have to fight our way out. Uh …

BECKETT
There’s no way this is real. (she steels herself and raises her gun a bit higher) NYPD! Stop moving, now!

They’re closing in on CASTLE, close enough to touch him.

BECKETT
And stop pretending to be zombies!

The zombie horde slows slightly. The zombie that was leading the assault straightens.

PAUL
Hey, hey, hey, hey. Take it easy. We’re just zombie walking here.

BECKETT lowers her gun slightly and CASTLE turns to him.

CASTLE
You’re what?

PAUL
Zombie walking. It’s like an amped up form of tag. We dress up like zombies and we chase the normal.

CASTLE looks behind him and sees the WOMAN and MAN who ran past them earlier. The WOMAN waves.

WOMAN
That would be us.

PAUL
Yeah, yeah, if we tag them we turn them and they become zombies, too. Look, if this is because we didn’t get a permit –

BECKETT
It’s not. You’re all coming with me. Now.

The group of zombie players groan.

CASTLE
How did I now know about this? (CASTLE walks over to one of the zombies) This is outstanding. Did you do this yourself?

The zombie nods and CASTLE starts to inspect his makeup. BECKETT makes a disgusted noise as she turns away.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT has made good on her threat to get the zombies to the precinct. They’re scattered all over, talking with any available police officer.

CASTLE
Being a fan of zombie lore, I get it. But what’s the appeal of being a zombie? Like look at this guy. Who would want to be alive in a decayed, mindless state? Being a vampire, that I understand. That’s the romantic route to immortality. The gentleman’s monster, as it were.

BECKETT isn’t really paying attention. She’s holing up the photo from the security footage, trying to find a zombie that matches.

BECKETT
Speaking of monsters, none of these zombies match the photo of our killer.

CASTLE
Maybe he’s trying out a new look. (he pauses, then turns to her) How about you? If you could be any supernatural creature, what would it be?

BECKETT
Van Helsing, no question.

CASTLE
(nods) Monster slayer. Befitting.

BECKETT
And imagine, the monster that we are hunting might be in this very room.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN and ESPOSITO exit the interrogation room, leading the way for two zombies.

RYAN
All right, thanks ladies.

They stop as the zombies continue walking.

ESPOSITO
I don’t know about those shoes with that top. (he holds up his hand) Just sayin’. I would’ve went open toed.

BECKETT
You guys having more luck than we are?

ESPOSITO
Not at all. (forces a laugh) Oh, and guess what? None of these knuckleheads are real zombies.

RYAN
I think what my colleague means to say is that no one recognizes our zombie from the video or our victim David Locke.

BECKETT thinks.

BECKETT
If David wasn’t part of the zombie crowd then what was he doing down there?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

BECKETT and CASTLE are interviewing yet more zombies. This time it’s the leader,

RHETT
He wasn’t part of our group, I can tell you that.

BECKETT slides a photo of DAVID over the table.

BECKETT
What about you? Do you recognize him?

PAUL is breathy and unfocused.

PAUL
What?

BECKETT
Paul, are you high right now?

PAUL tries to collect himself.

PAUL
Whoa, whoa. Hey now. Where’s that … (he laughs) coming from? No. No, of course not.

He’s a little too adamant.

BECKETT
Hello? (she taps the table)

PAUL
Right. Um… (he looks at the photo) Yeah, yeah. I don’t know this dude. He’s not a – a zombie or a normal.

BECKETT looks at CASTLE. PAUL leans heavily back into his chair.

RHETT
Listen, will this take much longer? I have class in the morning.

CASTLE
You’re a student?

RHETT
Uh, teacher.

CASTLE
Really?

BECKETT
Really?

RHETT
Assistant professor of anthropology. I believe our fascination with zombies is a cultural phenomenon. A commentary on the inner numbness of modern life.

PAUL is having a hard time. He’s definitely on something.

BECKETT
Yeah, okay. Do either of you recognize this … uh .. (she slides them a picture of their zombie killer) … zombie.

RHETT
That’s Kyle. Kyle Jennings.

BECKETT looks at CASTLE. They finally have their break.

INT – KYLE’S APARTMENT

RYAN and ESPOSITO kick in the door.

ESPOSITO
NYPD! Kyle Jennings!

They fan out, prepared to search the apartment. They don’t have to look far; RYAN turns around and spots KYLE lying on the floor, still in zombie makeup.

ESPOSITO
Is that him?

RYAN
Yeah. That’s him. (RYAN kneels next to his body) Kyle!

There’s no response. RYAN steels himself and grimaces as he presses his fingers to KYLE’S throat, checking for his pulse.

RYAN
He’s dead.

INT - MORGUE

Two assistants wheel in KYLE’S body.

BECKETT
So do we have cause of death?

PERLMUTTER
I assume by ‘we’ you mean me. I’ll have answers after I cut him open.

CASTLE
Charming.

PERLMUTTER
We’re all meat, Castle. Get over it. (he turns to the body) What I can tell you is his teeth match the bite marks and the blood on his clothes came from the victim. Kyle Jennings is your killer.

BECKETT
But the question is, who killed him?

PERLMUTTER readies and holds up a needle.

PERLMUTTER
Isn’t that always the question.

He goes to inject the needle into KYLE’S arm, but CASTLE stops him.

CASTLE
Ah…

PERLMUTTER
What is it, Castle?

CASTLE
No, I was just … wondering. Before this man died, he was behaving exactly like a zombie. Is there any medical way to determine if he actually was … one?

BECKETT scoffs loudly.

PERLMUTTER
(to BECKETT) Why – why is he in my morgue? There are no zombies, Castle. This is a man. He was a live man, now he’s a dead man. End of story.

PERLMUTTER moves to inject the needle again but just as he does, KYLE’S eyes open and he sits upright on the table. CASTLE, PERLMUTTER, and BECKETT all startle and jump back. KYLE jumps off the table and starts stumbling around.

CASTLE
He’s undead!

BECKETT
Whoa!

At a loss for what else to do, BECKETT draws her gun and trains in on the now alive KYLE JENNINGS. The man is disoriented, stumbling around for a second before finding his footing and running for the door. BECKETT is right behind him, flailing slightly.

BECKETT
Castle, call for backup!

CASTLE heads for the phone on the wall, still intrigued by what just happened. He looks at the phone.

CASTLE
How – how do I -?

PERLMUTTER
9. 9.

CASTLE
9. (he presses the extension to leave the building and waits) Is there a police code for zombie on the loose?

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
So based on the latest report from the ER, Kyle Jennings was transferred up to ICU. He is stable but under sedation.

RYAN
I’m telling you, that guy was dead.

ESPOSITO
Remind me never to choke on a chicken bone in front of you.

RYAN
Hey! You checked that guy. So did the paramedics.

BECKETT
Whoa, you guys. I’m sure there is a medical explanation for it.

CASTLE
Oh… there’s an explanation, all right.

BECKETT
Besides that one.

CASTLE
C’mon. You were there. You saw it. He rose from the dead.

BECKETT
He didn’t rise from the dead, Castle. He wasn’t dead in the first place.

ESPOSITO
He’s not a zombie, Castle. He’s just a murderer.

CASTLE
Well then, what was his motive for murder, Detective Esposito?

ESPOSITO raises his eyebrows.

CASTLE
Kyle sold insurance. He had no criminal record, there’s no evidence that he even knew our victim.

BECKETT
He’s a human killer, with a human motive.

Her phone rings.

CASTLE
Or he’s a zombie killer. With a zombie motive.

He gets an incredulous look from ESPOSITO. BECKETT gives him her own look before she answers her phone.

BECKETT
Beckett.

CASTLE leans over to RYAN.

CASTLE
(whispered) Tasty brains.

RYAN
You know, Castle, do you really believe in all this zombie stuff? Because I would swear on my Nana’s grave that Kyle Jennings was dead.

CASTLE claps him on the shoulder.

CASTLE
(whispered) No. You know what I do believe in? Driving Beckett crazy.

RYAN smiles and CASTLE pats him on the shoulder.

RYAN
Yeah, I have to say. It’s good to see you guys hitting it off again.

CASTLE thinks about it. Are they hitting it off again?

BECKETT
Well Castle, it looks like we’ll get our motive straight from the source. Mr. Kyle Jennings is officially awake.

EST – HOSPITAL, NIGHTTIME

INT – HOSPITAL

BECKETT
Kyle, I’m Detective Beckett. This is Mr. Castle.

KYLE JENNINGS
What am I doing here? Why are there cops outside? No one’s telling me anything. What, was I mugged or something?

BECKETT
We need to ask you a few questions about David Locke.

KYLE
Who?

BECKETT shows him a photo.

BECKETT
This man.

He takes it and shakes his head.

KYLE
I don’t know him.

BECKETT
Two nights ago he went on a zombie walk. Did the two of you meet there?

She’s no nonsense.

KYLE
I’m telling you, I’ve never seen the guy before. What is this about?

BECKETT
He was murdered. Beaten to death.

KYLE is confused, but he’s starting to get what she’s talking around. He looks down at his hands. They’re covered in bruises and cuts.

CASTLE
What happened at that zombie walk?

KYLE
I can’t remember.

BECKETT
Well, what’s the last thing you do remember?

KYLE
Uh … I got dressed to head over there. The next think I know I woke up in the morgue.

BECKETT
Did you drink or do drugs that night?

KYLE
I don’t do that stuff. Look, I didn’t hurt anyone, okay. I would never do that. I just – I don’t remember anything.

BECKETT
Well, the victim’s blood was found on your clothes, bite marks match your teeth, the cuff of your shirt was clutched in his hand, and a security camera caught our killer on tape. (she shows him a photo of their zombie killer) Is that you, Kyle?

KYLE is silent. He looks at the photo and doesn’t know what to say; what happened that night.

KYLE
(low) Yes. (he shrugs) That’s me.

BECKETT puts the photo back and lets the business drop from her demeanor.

BECKETT
I think you’re going to need a lawyer.

KYLE is stunned with the turn of events. BECKETT’S got all she needs; she turns and leaves the room. CASTLE follows her.

CASTLE
So, Kyle killed someone he never met for no reason. Is that what we’re supposed to believe.

BECKETT
Well isn’t that what you said zombies do?

CASTLE
It is with a sad heart that I say that man is no zombie.

BECKETT
Oh, even though he rose from the dead?

CASTLE
It’s common knowledge that when you turn into a zombie you cannot turn back.

BECKETT
So you concede to the fact that there’s a medical explanation to all of this.

CASTLE
I concede to nothing, except that Kyle is not telling us the whole story.

BECKETT
You think he remembers?

CASTLE pauses.

CASTLE
When a life altering moment occurs, people remember.

He looks at her. He’s not talking about KYLE anymore. She doesn’t drop his gaze, thinks about what he’s really saying.

BECKETT
Well maybe it’s too big to deal with. Maybe he (she pauses) … can’t face it just yet.

He’s not really what he wanted to hear. When he speaks again, it’s with a bite.

CASTLE
Well you think he ever will be?

BECKETT
(nods) Hopefully. If he feels safe.

She hears a noise and glances over his shoulder.

BECKETT
Perlmutter.

CASTLE is disappointed, like they were getting somewhere with their subtext.

BECKETT
What are you doing here?

PERLMUTTER walks up to them.

PERLMUTTER
I came to tend to one of my patients. Kyle Jennings.

CASTLE
Uh … do you think that’s such a good idea?

PERLMUTTER
I’ll have you know I’m perfectly capable of treating living patients. I simply prefer not to. I made an exception here because the results of his blood work were quite unusual.

BECKETT
What do you mean?

PERLMUTTER
Kyle Jennings had scopolamine in his system, which in small doses is used to treat motion sickness. In larger doses it acts on the central nervous system to promote compliant and suggestible behavior.

CASTLE
Exactly how suggestible?

PERLMUTTER
You’ll basically do whatever you’re told.

CASTLE raises his eyebrows.

PERLMUTTER
It’s like a date rape drug, except the victims remain conscious. And when the drug wears off, they’ll have no recollection of what happened.

CASTLE
Is it possible somebody slipped Kyle that drug?

PERLMUTTER
I think it’s highly probable that they did.

BECKETT
What time do you think he was given the scopolamine?

PERLMUTTER
Between 2:45 and 3:45 the night of the murder.

BECKETT
That’s when he was on that zombie walk.

CASTLE
Someone on that zombie walk drugged Kyle and sent him after David. Kyle’s innocent.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT is adding new information to the murder board.

CASTLE
Far from an act of zombie mayhem, this murder was fiendishly deliberate. It was meticulously planned.

BECKETT
By someone with a powerful motive.

CASTLE
With access to those drugs.

BECKETT
Who was also at our zombie walk.

CASTLE
But we interviewed those people. There’s no evidence that David knew any of them or had anything to do with the zombie scene.

BECKETT
Well we know he was down there. He had to have gone there for a reason.

RYAN walks up.

BECKETT
Maybe our best bet is to work this through the drug angle.

RYAN
Ah, I got started on that and I did some research on scopolamine.

CASTLE
Nice.

RYAN
Quite the list of side effects, including drowsiness, confusion, slurred speech, death.

BECKETT
Is it available on the street?

RYAN
It’s uncommon, but it’s out there. And get this, users refer to it as the zombie drug.

CASTLE
And I know just the zombie to tell us all about it.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT and CASTLE walks into the room. PAUL is waiting for her.

PAUL
What is this? I answered all your guys’ questions.

BECKETT
When you were here last time, what were you on?

PAUL
(pauses) On? What do – what do you mean?

BECKETT
You were under the influence, Paul.

CASTLE
Heavily … under the influence. Was it scopolamine?

PAUL
Whoa, what now?

BECKETT
Do you use the zombie drug?

PAUL
I suppose that’s … possible.

BECKETT
Do any of the other zombies use it?

PAUL
Some do. Some say is enhances the zombie experience.

BECKETT
Where did you get it?

PAUL
A guy I know sells the stuff.

BECKETT
Who? What’s his name?

PAUL
I don’t know. I never ask.

BECKETT
Well, describe him.

PAUL
Dark hair, tall, over 6 feet.

BECKETT looks up at him, then passes a photo across the table of TOM.

BECKETT
Is this him?

PAUL
Yeah, that’s him.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

BECKETT
Thanks for coming in again, Tom.

TOM
Sure. Though I’m not sure what I can do. I heard you caught the guy.

BECKETT
Yeah well, we just needed you to help us tie up a few loose ends. (she holds out a photo) So, this is our suspect, Kyle Jennings.

TOM
Yeah, I remember from last time.

BECKETT
Now, you said you’ve never seen him before.

TOM
(laughs) He’d be hard to miss, right?

CASTLE
Yeah, that’s funny. Because Kyle said he saw you.

BECKETT
Yeah, he says you were at the zombie walk. You never told us you were part of the zombie subculture.

TOM
Detective, I’m pre-law. I have no time for regular culture, let alone subculture.

CASTLE
Oh Tom, you’re too modest. A number of zombies sang your praises.

BECKETT
Yeah. Apparently you’re the real go to guy for the real zombie experience with the scopolamine.

TOM
(pauses) The what?

BECKETT
You’re a kid from Ridgewood, Tom. You don’t even have a job. And yet you manage to afford a really nice apartment and you’re able to pay your tuition.

TOM
I took out student loans. Look, I – I’m – I’m not a drug dealer.

CASTLE
You’re trying to get ahead. You know, make a life with Greta. And then she steps out with some Wall Street douche, who would just not let her go.

BECKETT
David wanted to see Greta the night that he was killed. She said no. We canvassed the area. He was seen sitting in his car outside of your apartment.

CASTLE
When you left that night he followed you to the zombie walk. I’m betting he told you he was going to fight for Greta.

BECKETT
He was handsome, he had money, the two of them had a history. I mean, you knew you couldn’t compete.

CASTLE
Yeah, especially when David told Greta you’re nothing but a lowlife drug dealer. You had to take matters into your own hands. Or more specifically, Kyle’s hands.

BECKETT
So you had this brilliant plan. You dosed Kyle with scopolamine, told him to kill David thinking nobody would ever figure it out.

CASTLE
Actually, that last part didn’t work out so well.

BECKETT
Yeah.

TOM absorbs the story they’ve told him. He’s cool about it. Too cool.

TOM
All you have is the word of a few whacked out zombies. That’s not even close to probable cause.

BECKETT
Yeah well, that’s all I need to keep you here for 24 hours. (she gestures to a uniform) And by then I will have my proof.

TOM is unflinching.

TOM
No you won’t.

He walks out of the room.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE and BECKETT sit on her desk, staring at the murder board.

BECKETT
He’s right. We’ve got nothing.

CASTLE
Nothing is a strong word.

BECKETT
The only person that can link Tom to the killing is Kyle and he doesn’t remember anything. And on top of all of that, the evidence shows that Kyle alone committed the murder.

CASTLE
Well, when you put it like that… yes, it sounds a little bleak.

BECKETT
Maybe this is it. What every homicide cop fears. (he looks at her) The perfect murder.

CASTLE
No. (shakes his head) This is not the perfect murder. Can’t be.

BECKETT
It happens.

CASTLE
Not to me. Not unless I’ve written it. No, we’re just missing something.

BECKETT
Like proof. (she stands) Without it we did the only thing we could. We went at Tom head on. He didn’t blink. We’re out of moves.

CASTLE thinks.

CASTLE
We’ve got one move left. (she looks at him and he stands) We went at Tom head on. Now we need to go at him sideways. And I know just what to do.

She’s skeptical, but she’s out of ideas. She’s willing to give it a shot.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

They’ve called GRETA back in. BECKETT sits with her alone in the room. She’s talking gently.

BECKETT
Greta, I know how you feel. You’re in love with Tom and you want to see the best in him, but you have to look at the facts.

GRETA
What you’re saying isn’t true. Okay. None of it is.

BECKETT
Then take the money. How is he able to pay for an apartment in Manhattan.

GRETA
Not by being a drug dealer, I’ll tell you that much.

BECKETT tries again.

BECKETT
What about that engagement ring? (GRETA fingers her ring) How can he afford that?

GRETA
(sighs) He said it was his grandmother’s.

BECKETT
Greta, you are my last chance. If you don’t help me, an innocent man is going to go to prison. For life. For David’s murder.

GRETA is so close to agreeing. She fights with herself for a second, then steels herself.

GRETA
No. (she grabs her bag) Tom’s the innocent one, okay? You got your killer and it’s not my fiancé.

She leaves. BECKETT sighs, out of ideas.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT HOLDING AREA

TOM is waiting. He thinks he’s clear.

TOM
Still waiting on that proof of yours. (BECKETT is silent) No? Nothing? Ah. Thanks for the hospitality. Is there a comment card I can fill out about the level of service I received?

He’s goading her and all it’s doing is convincing her that he’s the one that is guilty. She opens the door to the holding cell.

BECKETT
You’re free to go.

CASTLE
Take advantage while you can.

TOM
You know, Greta told me about your little conversation. That was you big play? To use my own fiancée against me?

BECKETT
She’s gonna figure out who you are sooner or later, so what are you gonna do about it then?

ESPOSITO walks up. BECKETT doesn’t waver from TOM’S gaze.

ESPOSITO
Yo. Kyle Jennings made bail. Got released a couple of hours ago.

TOM
Wait, Kyle is out?

CASTLE
His bail was set at a million dollars. Where did he get the money?

ESPOSITO
Turns out he’s got an uncle who’s got some serious dough.

BECKETT
I’d steer clear of him if I were you.

TOM
What kind of lies did you tell him?

BECKETT
We didn’t tell him anything. But Kyle’s a smart guy. He’s gonna do the math.

TOM
I want police protection.

ESPOSITO laughs.

CASTLE
I thought you didn’t do anything wrong.

TOM
I didn’t. But thanks to you, Kyle thinks that I did and now he’s out there.

CASTLE just raises his eyebrows.

TOM
You’re releasing me with knowledge and forethought that he could attack me. If he does, think about the lawsuit I’ll file against you.

TOM shrugs. It doesn’t faze BECKETT.

BECKETT
Detective Esposito, please process Mr. Williams and then escort him to his apartment and make sure it’s clear. And after that, you are on your own.

Her tone is final as she steps closer to him. He cracks his neck and walks away.

TOM
I’ll be sure to check excellent service on that comment card.

INT – PARKING GARAGE

ESPOSITO pulls his car up to a parking spot. TOM is on alert.

TOM
I want a patrol car outside the building.

ESPOSITO
Yeah well, that’s not gonna happen. I’m gonna come in and let you –

He doesn’t get to finish because someone takes a baseball bat and slams it into ESPOSITO’S windshield.

ESPOSITO
Get down and stay in the car!

ESPOSITO gets out and draws his gun.

ESPOSITO
NYPD! Drop the bat and show me your hands.

The man swings again, this time knocking out ESPOSITO. TOM watches from the car, afraid, then makes a break out the other door. The man moves slowly but uses the bat to startle TOM enough to pin him to the car. It looks like KYLE is dressing as a ZOMBIE to get his revenge on TOM. The ZOMBIE’S voice is low and growly.

ZOMBIE
I know what you did to me.

TOM
I didn’t! I didn’t!

ZOMBIE
You made me kill a man and now I’m going to do the same to you.

TOM
Oh, no! Please! I … I’m very sorry.

ZOMBIE
You’re lying! (he draws his bat back)

TOM
No! I swear! He was going to take Greta away from me! I had to do something!

The ZOMBIE growls at TOM.

TOM
I’m sorry I used you. Just – please. Please. Please don’t hurt me.

The ZOMBIE draws back once more and TOM screams. ESPOSITO jumps up from his place on the ground, his hands in the air.

ESPOSITO
Okay. Enough.

The ZOMBIE backs away. ESPOSITO walks towards TOM.

ESPOSITO
Huh? (he laughs and gives a little bow) Good actor, huh? I had you going.

BECKETT
Tom Williams, you are under arrest for the murder of David Locke.

TOM
Wait, hang on a second. Just – Kyle?

The ZOMBIE looks at TOM, the proceeds to rip at his mask.

TOM
Kyle?

The ZOMBIE peels off his wig and the mask plate to his costume. It’s CASTLE.

CASTLE
Sorry. Kyle couldn’t make it. But he, uh … (he manipulates his voice lower) sends his regards.

ESPOSITO
Turn around. (TOM doesn’t and he grabs TOM’S arm to force him around) Turn around.

ESPOSITO pulls out his handcuffs.

ESPOSITO
(to CASTLE) Gotta tell you, bro. Coming at me like that? You almost make me a believer.

CASTLE steps closer to ESPOSITO and growls low in his zombie voice. ESPOSITO whirls around and shoves him back.

ESPOSITO
Stop it. Don’t do that. You’re creeping me out.

CASTLE growls once more, softer. BECKETT tries to hide her laugh.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE and BECKETT escort KYLE out.

CASTLE
You really nailed it, Kyle. Your costume is what sold that bit.

BECKETT
Yeah, and by helping us you actually helped yourself. The DA is looking in to dismissing the charges against you now that he has Tom’s confession.

KYLE
Detective, Mr. Castle. I – I don’t know how to thank you.

CASTLE
Uh. (he looks at BECKETT) Let me borrow the zombie outfit for another day, we’ll call it even.

BECKETT looks to KYLE.

KYLE
You know what? Keep it. My zombie walking days are over. I just want to put all this behind me.

He smiles sadly. CASTLE waves as he turns to leave. They watch him go and CASTLE sighs.

CASTLE
How does somebody put something like that behind them? He’s going to need therapy.

BECKETT
It helps. (CASTLE is surprised) First he won’t even be able to deal with it. It’s going to take everything he’s got to just put one foot in front of the other and get through the day.

CASTLE
I didn’t know you were seeing a therapist.

BECKETT
Yeah well, I didn’t want to make any excuses. I just wanted to put in the time and do the work. But I think I’m almost where I want to be now.

He’s cautious.

CASTLE
And where is that?

She smiles slightly.

BECKETT
In a place where I can finally accept everything that happened that day. (she pauses to see if he understands) Everything.

CASTLE
(nods slightly) I think … I understand…

BECKETT
And um… that wall I was telling you about? I think it’s coming down.

CASTLE
Well I’d like to be there when it does.

She can’t stop her wide smile.

BECKETT
Yeah, I’d like you to be there, too.

CASTLE
Only without the zombie makeup.

BECKETT
I don’t know. I kinda think that the zombie makeup suits you, Castle.

CASTLE
Yeah, I make it work.

She laughs, then smiles.

BECKETT
Tomorrow?

CASTLE
Tomorrow.

She nods and walks to her desk. He watches her for a second, then turns to leave.

EST – CASTLE’S LOFT, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

ALEXIS opens the door from CASTLE’S bedroom and creeps out into his office. She’s clearly carrying a laser tag gun as he walks slowly towards the figure reading on the couch. She takes her stance to shoot, but the figure on the couch jumps up and turns toward her, growling. CASTLE is in full zombie makeup once again. ALEXIS screams and CASTLE takes the opportunity to shoot her vest. It deactivates.

CASTLE
Victory is mine. One… thousand… points. And that is the icing on the cake that has been my day. (he mimes blowing the smoke from his gun)

ALEXIS
(sadly) That’s it? It’s over?

She walks slowly past him to drop down in a chair.

CASTLE
What? C’mon, Alexis. It’s just a game.

ALEXIS
A game we started when I was 5. And it’s over. And I’m going to graduate, leave for college and I’ll be there and you’ll be here and we can play at Christmas and during the summer, but it won’t be the same, will it?

CASTLE
No. But you know what? (he takes off the zombie wig) Things change. And change is good.

ALEXIS
(shakes her head) I can’t do it.

CASTLE
Do what?

ALEXIS
Go that far away. I want to go away, but not that far. And I hate myself for it, because my personal motto is do the thing that you fear the most, but every time I get ready to hit the accept button on my acceptance to Oxford or Stanford I – I get all sick inside.

She looks at him, torn.

CASTLE
Well you … follow your heart. Follow your heart and you can’t go wrong.

She nods as she thinks.

ALEXIS
And my heart is telling me … go to Columbia.

CASTLE inhales, hoping she’s serious and not wanting to say anything.

ALEXIS
But here’s the other thing. If I do this you have to promise not to drop in on me. If I do this, you have to give me my space. (CASTLE looks away) Do you think you can do that?

He stands.

CASTLE
I think I can give a sincere and solemn oath … to … try.

ALEXIS smiles and looks down.

ALEXIS
Then … (she shoots his vest) Best two out of three.

She runs away.

CASTLE
This isn’t over! (he turns around and lowers his voice to a zombie growl) This isn’t over. (he growls again and wiggles his eyebrows)

THE END

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