5x02 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 5x02
"Cloudy With a Chance of Murder"


EST – NEW YORK CITY, MORNING

INT – BECKETT’S APARTMENT

DETECTIVE KATE BECKETT walks to the mirror and stops. She looks at herself for a second, messing with her outfit before she accepts the coffee RICHARD CASTLE hands her.

DETECTIVE KATE BECKETT
Castle, what do you think of this one?

He appraises her look and moves to sit on the end of her bed.

RICHARD CASTLE
Mmm… sexy.

BECKETT
Sexy? (it’s clearly not what she was looking for) What do you mean by sexy?

CASTLE
I mean – (he pauses), well – I mean sexy. Yeah, sexy. What’s wrong with sexy?

BECKETT
God Castle, this is my first day back at work. I’m supposed to look normal.

She sets her coffee down and starts rummaging through her closet for another shirt.

CASTLE
No one is going to be able to tell that we’re together by how you are dressed.

BECKETT
Oh no? (she rips her shirt off and grabs another) I only work with a room full of detectives. It’s their job.

She’s annoyed and nervous but CASTLE is distracted by her so comfortable with being shirtless in front of him. He watches her intently as she pull son a white shirt and turns to him.

BECKETT
What about this one?

He takes on an appraising look, studying her.

CASTLE
Mmm… no.

BECKETT sighs and turns back to her closet. CASTLE watches, the appraising look drops from his face and he looks for more glimpses of her skin. It doesn’t take her long to realize what he’s playing at and she glares him.

BECKETT
You just want me to take my shirt off again, don’t you?

CASTLE
What?

BECKETT
Stop it. I told you the NYPD has a strict policy about coworkers - … dating.

She pushes the word out like she has no better option.

CASTLE
Yes, but since I’m not getting paid technically we’re not coworkers.

BECKETT
Oh really? You think that Captain Gates is going to see it that way? If anyone finds out and she gets wind of it –

CASTLE
No one is going to find out. I haven’t even told my mother or Alexis.

BECKETT
Yeah, that’s because they’re in Europe celebrating her graduation.

She finishes buttoning her shirt and takes a sip of her coffee.

CASTLE
That’s true, but I haven’t told them long distance. (BECKETT’S phone chines and she moves to pick it up) Look, no one is going to find out. But … just to be safe you might want to change out of those pants.

He pulls her closer, his hands on her hips as she reads the message on her phone.

BECKETT
Oh, there’s a murder uptown.

CASTLE
… and looks like the pants stay on.

She turns from her phone and drapes her arms around his neck. His hands tighten around her back.

BECKETT
Castle, remember. Act normal. And when we’re in public you’re single and I’m single. Got it?

CASTLE
Got it.

BECKETT
Thanks.

She leans in and gives him a comfortable kiss.

BECKETT
Wow.

She turns away and heads for the door, grabbing her jacket.

CASTLE
So that’s a no to carpooling then?

She gives him a look as she pulls the door shut behind her.

CASTLE
I’ll take a cab.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

DETECTIVE JAVIER ESPOSITO is already there, talking with witnesses when BECKETT walks up.

DETECTIVE JAVIER ESPOSITO
Yeah, yeah. That’s a –

BECKETT Is about to join him but CASTLE runs up to meet her.

CASTLE
Good morning, Detective Beckett.

She looks at him.

BECKETT
Castle, where’s my coffee?

CASTLE
You already had one.

BECKETT
You’ve been bringing me coffee for the pastfour years. I told you to act normal. This is going to look suspicious.

He laughs it off.

CASTLE
Don’t worry. Relax. You are over thinking this. Really.

ESPOSITO turns to greet them and they fall in line next to him.

ESPOSITO
What, no coffee?

CASTLE’S smile falls and he looks at his coffee before he looks at BECKETT. She gives him an annoyed look.

CASTLE
I … forgot hers.

ESPOSITO
You forgot. On her first day back from suspension?

They duck under the crime scene tape.

BECKETT
It’s all right. I’ve already forgiven him. So who’s our vic?

ESPOSITO
Local celeb. Groundskeeper found her tucked behind this fountain early this morning. She’s actually the weather girl for WHNY, Mandy Michaels.

Uniforms are working to move her body to an easier to get to location and CASTLE looks at him, shocked.

CASTLE
Mandy Michaels?

ESPOSITO
Yeah.

CASTLE
Really?

ESPOSITO
Yeah.

CASTLE
Oh man. I watched her every night. She had the best – (he pauses, realizing what he was going to say won’t thrill BECKETT) ­– forecasts. (off BECKETT’S look) Wha- look- listen, as a single man, I appreciated her assets. (BECKETT rolls her eyes) You can’t tell me people watched her for the weather.

LANIE PARISH joins them, taking her spot next to the body.

LANIE PARISH
Welcome back.

BECKETT gives a small nod and smile.

BECKETT
Thank you.

LANIE
What – are you doing something different?

BECKETT
No. (she shakes her head) Why?

LANIE
I don’t know. Something’s changed.

CASTLE looks at BECKETT. She stops, then tries to change the subject.

BECKETT
So, how’d she die?

ESPOSITO
Single GSW. Shot was called in by neighbors last night at 10:28PM.

LANIE
Which fits lividity. There’s also signs of a struggle. Vic has bruises on her upper arm and her blouse was ripped.

ESPOSITO
No sign of a wallet, purse, or phone.

CASTLE
Sounds like a mugging gone wrong.

BECKETT nods.

ESPOSITO
I got tech pinging her phone as we speak. (DETECTIVE KEVIN RYAN runs up) Speaking of which, I’m gonna go check on that.

ESPOSITO glares at RYAN as he turns, which RYAN returns.

BECKETT
You guys still haven’t buried the hatchet?

DETECTIVE KEVIN RYAN
It is what it is.

BECKETT sighs in frustration.

RYAN
So, according to Mandy’s producer at WHNY, she was last seen by her camera crew doing a weather spot at City of Trust Children’s Hospital last night at 9:30PM.

CASTLE
That’s 20 blocks from here.

RYAN
Yeah, Mandy’s apartment is the other direction.

BECKETT
So what was she doing here in the park an hour later?

ESPOSITO
Yo. Mandy’s phone is active. Tech tracked her GPS signal to a building on the lower East side.

CASTLE
Sounds like our mugger.

BECKETT
All right, you guys check into it. Castle and I’ll talk to next of kin.

RYAN and ESPOSITO pause.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, I’d –

RYAN
You know, I’d be much –

BECKETT interrupts them both.

BECKETT
Just go. Okay?

They turn and walk off, obviously not thrilled.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – APARTMENT BUILDING

ESPOSITO
The signal’s coming from one of the rooms on this floor.

RYAN follows ESPOSITO down the hallway.

RYAN
Question is, which one?

ESPOSITO pulls out his phone and dials.

RYAN
What the hell are you doing?

ESPOSITO
Being a good cop and narrowing down my options. What are you doing?

RYAN just shoots him a nasty look and follows him through the hallway, listening for a ringing cellphone. Finally ESPOSITO points at a door.

ESPOSITO
Right here, right here.

He puts his phone away and pounds on the door.

ESPOSITO
NYPD!

There’s no response. He tries the knob and it turns. RYAN nods at him and he opens the door. They take a stance at the doorway, guns drawn.

ESPOSITO
Hands now! Don’t move!

There’s a man sitting on the floor and he puts his hands up.

JONATHAN GOODHEART
I didn’t do anything. I didn’t do anything, I swear!

The phone is still ringing. RYAN and ESPOSITO glance down and it’s sitting on the floor, next to the contents of a purse.

RYAN
That’s her phone.

HARVEY reaches down and picks up the phone, cradling it to his chest.

JONATHAN
No, it’s my phone.

ESPOSITO
I suppose that’s your purse, too?

JONATHAN fingers the bag.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

JONATHAN plays with the microphone in the middle of the table. ESPOSITO watches him for a second through the window before he enters the room.

ESPOSITO
Jonathan Goodheart. You have been a very, very bad boy, Jonathan.

ESPOSITO grabs the microphone from him and sets it back on the table.

JONATHAN
It’s Johnny.

ESPOSITO
It says here, Jonathan, that you have priors for stalking, indecent exposure –

JONATHAN
That stalking was a misunderstanding and – (he pauses and ESPOSITO looks at him) – that other thing happened on a really hot day.

ESPOSITO
Well you just have an explanation for everything, don’t you Jonathan? So why don’t you explain to me what you were doing with Mandy Michaels’ purse?

JONATHAN
I found it.

ESPOSITO
You found it?

JONATHAN
In a dumpster on Lexington and 9th. (he pauses) It was soft. I like things that are soft.

ESPOSITO just watches him.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
(on the phone) Yeah. Take care, Mrs. Michaels.

She hangs up her phone and stands. It was a tough call and CASTLE can tell as he walks up and hands her a cup of coffee.

BECKETT
Hey.

CASTLE
You okay?

BECKETT
I just got off the phone with Mandy’s parents. They said that she spent most of her time at work, that there was no boyfriend, and they have no idea why she was in the park.

RYAN
Hey guys, check this out. I was going through Mandy’s purse and I found this folded up in her wallet.

He hands CASTLE an evidence bag with a piece of paper in it.

CASTLE
“If any of this gets out I’ll kill you.” (he hands the bag over to BECKETT) I’m going to go ahead and say she was threatened.

BECKETT
That doesn’t mean this is why she was killed. All the evidence points to the fact that she was mugged.

INT – MORGUE

LANIE
It wasn’t a mugging.

BECKETT
How can you tell?

LANIE
Blood splatter on her blouse indicates the shirt was ripped after the gunshot.

CASTLE
And what about the bruising?

LANIE
Post mortem.

BECKETT
To make it look like a mugging.

LANIE
Someone’s trying to cover their tracks. Speaking of which, I figured out what’s different. (she pauses, then waves a finger) You’re having sex.

BECKETT wasn’t expecting that and pauses. CASTLE is also surprised at the statement.

BECKETT
Excuse me?

LANIE
Oh, don’t try to deny it. There’s a glow. I know that glow.

BECKETT is trying to recover. She looks at CASTLE, then back at LANIE.

LANIE
So. Who’s the guy?

It takes CASTLE half a second before he’s playing along.

CASTLE
Yeah, Beckett. Who’s the guy?

BECKETT turns to him incredulously for throwing her under the bus.

BECKETT
Nobody that you would know, okay?

CASTLE
Are you sure? I know a lot of guys.

BECKETT
I’m sure. (her tone is both final and amused. She turns back to LANIE) Anything else?

LANIE is apparently willing to let it go.

LANIE
As a matter of fact, I found makeup on Mandy’s blouse that’s much lighter than the shade that she wears. The position indicates close contact, like she fought
with someone.

CASTLE
Rounding up all the women in the city who wear lighter makeup is a pretty wide net.

LANIE
It isn’t just any makeup. It’s formulated for hi-definition cameras.

BECKETT
Like the ones they use at TV stations.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – WHNY TV STATION

CASTLE and BECKETT are waiting for the live newscast to be finished.

MILES HAXTON
In the meantime, authorities are still on the hunt for suspects in the Mandy Michaels slaying. Through few details that have been released, we can confirm that she was shot to death late last night in Paley Park. (he pauses, takes a breath) Speaking on behalf of the whole broadcast community, the five day forecast just won’t be the same. Chuck?

CHUCK HARRISON
Thank you Miles. We’ll bring you more on this difficult story as events unfold. But coming up next, your morning coffee could be killing you. We’ll have that story when we come back.

PRODUCER
And we’re out to commercial.

The studio breaks and CASTLE and BECKETT can finally talk to people.

HARVEY
The entire studio is devastated. We’re like a family.

CASTLE
Well what kind of family? Happy or dysfunctional?

HARVEY
What do you mean?

BECKETT
Meaning as the station manager you would know your personnel. Did she have any conflicts with anyone?

HARVEY
Sure, but I can’t imagine that has anything to do with what happened.

BECKETT
Well who was it?

HARVEY
The other weather girl, Rebecca Fog.

CASTLE
Is Fog her real name?

BECKETT
And what was the conflict?

HARVEY
Rebecca was the new meteorologist. She was ambitious and nipping at Mandy’s heels.

BECKETT
Had anything happened recently?

HARVEY
As a matter of fact, they did just get into a bit of a scuffle.

BECKETT
Really? When was this?

HARVEY
Last night. I’ll show you.

He gestures for them to follow him.

INT – WHNY EDITING ROOM

HARVEY
Sorry Chip. We need the bay.

CHIP CHAMBERS
Yeah sure, Harvey. What’s up?

HARVEY
Bob, I need the unaired footage from Mandy’s segment last night at City of Trust. The police need to see some tape on Mandy.

CHIP
That was a terrible thing. (he looks at BECKETT) Whoa, talk about New York’s finest. Is she really a cop?

BECKETT rolls her eyes, offended. CASTLE bristles.

CASTLE
Yes, she’s really a cop.

CHIP
Chip Chambers. I do sports. And you can arrest me any time.

BECKETT
Yeah well, maybe I will.

Her tone leaves no room for interpretation.

HARVEY
That’s it.

BOB finishes calling up the tape. CASTLE and BECKETT watch.

MANDY
(on tape) Well, that’s the weather folks. Straight from my lips to your living room. This is Mandy Michaels reporting live from the toy drive at the City of Trust Children’s Hospital.

PRODUCER
(on tape) And we’re clear.

On tape MANDY plays with her microphone for a second before looking over the her right.

MANDY
(on tape) Rebecca?

She doesn’t get to say more before REBECCA shoves her.

MANDY
(on tape) What the hell are you doing here?

REBECCA FOG
(on tape) You know exactly what I’m doing here, you conniving b*itch.

MANDY
(on tape) Hey, let go!

They struggle for the microphone.

REBECCA
(on tape) You have no idea who you’re dealing with.

MANDY shoves REBECCA back and the tape goes black.

BECKETT
What happened?

HARVEY
The cameraman turned off his camera and broke up the fight.

BECKETT
Did he see Rebecca leave?

HARVEY
No. Once they settled down he left them there talking.

CASTLE
Well it must have been a hell of a talk. An hour later Mandy was dead.

He turns to look at BECKETT.

INT – WHNY TELEVISION STUDIO

REBECCA FOG
Look, Mandy Michaels was a lazy, entitled, big boobed bimbo. I’ve been picking up her slack since the minute I got here. (she puts on a falsetto to mimic MANDY) Harvey, I can’t go in the helicopter for traffic live because of my asthma. Make Rebecca do it. (she goes back to her normal voice) I mean, did I hate her? Yes. But I would never kill her.

BECKETT
Except now that she’s dead you get to trade in the 4AM shift for the coveted and lucrative evening news spot, right?

REBECCA
(laughs) Oh, please. I didn’t need to kill her for that. I just needed to wait. She was already past her sell by date.

CASTLE
Well according to Harvey, she still had a very loyal audience.

REBECCA
Sure, yeah. People who cared about how many buttons on her blouse where open. But at her age in hi-def, she was running out of buttons, fast.

BECKETT
Then what was the fight about, Ms. Fog?

REBECCA
Look, I’m a certified meteorologist. I have a brain. Mandy was just set dressing with cleavage. My forecasts were way more accurate than hers and people were starting to notice. So last week, to get back at me, she breaks into my office. She steals a bunch of my equipment. I mean, that’s why I went to confront her. But that’s it. That’s all.

BECKETT thinks.

BECKETT
Where were you at 10:28 last night?

REBECCA
Home, sleeping. I have the 4AM shift, remember? And besides, she left the children’s hospital before I did. You want to find out who killed Mandy, ask the person in the silver G Wagon who picked her up.

CASTLE
What person?

REBECCA
Ah, beats me. Car had tinted windows. But it sure seemed like she knew them.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
(on the phone) So Rebecca was telling the truth about where she was. She paid for the cab with a credit card and the cabbie dropped her off at her apartment before Mandy was killed.

INT – WHNY TV STUDIOS

BECKETT is on the other end of the line, taking notes.

BECKETT
(on the phone) Okay, yeah, so check traffic cams and surveillance in the area for the silver G Wagon.

She’s working on the phone and CASTLE is playing in front of the green screen.

BECKETT
(on the phone) Yeah, I mean if we’re lucky we’ll – uh –

She’s distracted when she notices what CASTLE is doing and she smiles. Her voice softens.

BECKETT
(on the phone) We might actually get a plate. (she listens, but she’s still watching CASTLE play) Mmhmm. (she smiles and forces herself to go back to work) So were you able to track down the phone records to see if she made any calls that night?

CASTLE is now pretending to be a flying superhero in front of the green screen.

BECKETT
(on the phone) Mmhmm. Okay. Uh huh.

KRISTINA COTERRA
Richard? Richard Castle!

CASTLE stops playing.

CASTLE
Kristina!

She leans in and gives him a kiss on both cheeks. BECKETT notices and her attentions shifts from her phone call to CASTLE and this new woman.

CASTLE
I have not seen you since –

KRISTINA
Since I interviewed you on the red carpet and you promised to do my show.

BECKETT
(on the phone) Um –

CASTLE
Oh that’s right, I did.

KRISTINA
Fred Willard cancelled on me tonight. I don’t have a guest. I feel like it’s fate.

BECKETT
(on the phone) Okay. I gotta go, Espo. Bye.

She hangs up and walks in the direction of CASTLE and KRISTINA.

CASTLE
Wow, tonight. (he checks his watch)

KRISTINA
9 o’clock. I’m not taking no for an answer.

CASTLE
Well then, I won’t say no.

KRISTINA
Good.

BECKETT approaches and watches as KRISTINA obviously flirts with CASTLE, smiling and running her hand down his arm.

KRISTINA
See you soon, Ricky.

CASTLE
All right.

She giggles as she leaves him, passing BECKETT and giving her a once over as she does. BECKETT stops in front of CASTLE, her eyebrow raised.

CASTLE
Oh, that’s just their entertainment reporter. She’s – my agent has been haranguing me to promote Frozen Heat, so –

BECKETT doesn’t say anything, instead just allows him to ramble. Finally she smirks.

BECKETT
Isn’t she reporter that shows up to cover stories in her bikini?

CASTLE doesn’t meet her eyes, trying to play it cool.

CASTLE
I – I don’t – is – I didn’t notice that.

BECKETT quirks an eyebrow.

BECKETT
You want to try it again? Make it seem a little more convincing?

CASTLE
No, I’m good.

BECKETT
Okay.

Her words sound harsh almost, but she smiles as the start to walk.

BECKETT
So, the boys are running down our mystery car. In the meantime they found something on Mandy’s phone records. She as getting calls from an anonymous burner cell. In fact, the last call she got before her murder was from that number.

CASTLE
But there’s no way to trace it.

Her phone rings but she ignores it.

BECKETT
Yeah, there might be. There’s a pattern on the calls. Most of them came in on weekdays between 2 and 4.

CASTLE
That’s right before her broadcast.

BECKETT
Which means she was here.

INT – WHNY MAKEUP ROOM

MAKEUP LADY 1
Yeah, Mandy was here between 2 and 4. She needed all the time in that chair she could get.

MAKEUP LADY 2
When a woman hits mid-30s, those HD cameras can turn on you, fast.

MAKEUP LADY 1
Faster than my ex-husband in the sack, fast.

CASTLE laughs.

BECKETT
You know, we were wondering about a series of phone calls that she might have gotten while she was here.

MAKEUP LADY 1 turns to MAKEUP LADY 2.

MAKEUP LADY 1
Ahh… our secret man.

CASTLE
Secret man?

MAKEUP LADY 2
Mandy was always open about her love life. But when this guy would call, she’d leave the room. She was keeping it on the down-low.

MAKEUP LADY 1
Yeah, you always think you’re being so discrete. But trust me. People know.

This hits CASTLE and BECKETT hard. It’s exactly what they don’t want to happen. BECKETT tries to move past it.

BECKETT
So do you guys have any idea who he is?

MAKEUP LADY 2
Yeah. A few weeks ago I went outside to get a Nutterbutter from the vending machine and I overheard them talking about his big game.

BECKETT
He’s an athlete?

MAKEUP LADY 1
More like an MVP. Of a very well-known local basketball team.

MAKEUP LADY 2
Does the number 17 ring a bell?

CASTLE gasps.

CASTLE
Reggie Blake? (he startles at his reaction, then quiets) She was dating Reggie Blake?

BECKETT
Castle, isn’t he married?

CASTLE nods.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO has looked up REGGIE BLAKE online and is relaying information to BECKETT over the phone.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, not only is he married, but rumor has it he has a very strict no-cheating clause in his pre-nup. Based on his income, it would be very costly if he got a divorce.

RYAN calls out so CASTLE and BECKETT can hear.

RYAN
And guess what he drives?

BECKETT has her phone of speaker so CASTLE can listen in.

CASTLE
A silver G Wagon?

RYAN
Yep.

BECKETT
All right, pick him up.

RYAN and ESPO deflate. It’s the last thing either wants to do. ESPOSITO hangs up his phone and moves his chair back at the same second RYAN does. They struggle a second, each trying to jostle the other out of the way. A glare from ESPOSITO later and they’re off.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

REGGIE BLAKE drives up in his silver SUV and gets out to a bunch of fans waiting for him. They want autographs and pictures and REGGIE eats up the attention. His BODYGUARD is helping to contain the crowd so he can walk through. It doesn’t stop REGGIE from signing some basketballs and shaking some hands.

REGGIE
All right, thanks. I appreciate it. (to someone else) Good to see you, man.

RYAN and ESPOSITO are watching from the side.

ESPOSITO
Let me take the lead.

RYAN
Whatever.

ESPOSITO
What? I got more experience.

RYAN’S had enough.

RYAN
Yo, Javi. Do you mind if we call a time out? While we collar this guy? Huh?

ESPOSITO doesn’t answer and they dodge their way through the crowd. REGGIE is at the door and he gives one last wave and a goodbye to his fans before heading inside. RYAN and ESPOSITO walk right up to the door.

ESPOSITO
Reggie. Reggie!

He moves to walk through the door but is stopped.

BODYGUARD
Whoa, whoa, whoa, fellas. No autographs today.

ESPOSITO unzips his jacket to flash his badge.

ESPOSITO
We’re NYPD.

BODYGUARD
I don’t give a hobo’s crap if you’re CIA. No autographs.

ESPOSITO
We’re not here for autographs, we’re here for Reggie.

RYAN flashes his badge.

RYAN
And you’re obstructing our investigation.

They’re at an impasse. It’s ESPOSITO that speaks first.

ESPOSITO
So move.

The guard does. He even opens the door for them. ESPOSITO swaggers a little.

ESPOSITO
That’s what I thought.

They move to enter the building but are stopped by and even bigger man.

RYAN
Oh hell.

SECURITY GUY
You’re not taking Reggie anywhere.

ESPOSITO gives RYAN a look.

ESPOSITO
Get out of the way, man.

ESPOSITO goes to walk past him, but this guy is big. He takes a second before he grabs ESPOSITO and punches him in the face.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE walks over to find BECKETT coming toward him. He gestures to RYAN and ESPOSITO’S desks.

CASTLE
Shouldn’t they be back by now?

BECKETT
Well maybe they hit traffic.

CASTLE
Or each other.

BECKETT
Either way, Reggie is going down. (she hands CASTLE a paper) Unis canvassed Mandy’s building and neighbors said that they heard her in a yelling match with a guy the day that she was killed. They said it sounded like a lover’s quarrel.

CASTLE
Relationship goes bad, his marriage is threatened –

BECKETT
So Reggie threatens her with the note. “If this gets out, I’ll kill you.”

CASTLE
She refuses to play ball, so Reggie does what he does best. Start shooting.

They smile. They’ve got a story. A second later, the elevator dings. They turn to find RYAN and ESPOSITO with REGGIE and his BODYGUARDS, but both RYAN and ESPOSITO have black eyes. BECKETT makes a concerned face as they walk by.

ESPOSITO
Don’t ask.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

REGGIE BLAKE
Look man, I’m sorry. My security guys are protective. We get a lot of nutbars hanging around the block.

ESPOSITO
Apology not accepted. Now sit down.

REGGIE does.

REGGIE
Look, I told you. I didn’t have anything to do with her murder.

RYAN
And yet we have witnesses that saw Mandy get into your car shortly before she was killed. We know about the affair, Reggie. Can’t imagine your wife would be too happy if she found out, so you made sure she didn’t.

REGGIE
What are you talking about? Affair? Yeah, I knew Mandy. So did my wife. We were friends. That’s all.

ESPOSITO
You really expect us to believe that, Reggie?

REGGIE
It’s the truth. If you don’t believe me, ask my watch.

ESPOSITO
Oh, we will.

RYAN
So I imagine it’s a coincidence that you just happened to be driving by the hospital right after Mandy’s segment ended.

REGGIE
No. We’re both on the hospital charity board. I was stopping by the toy drive. I’m telling you, we were just friends.

ESPOSITO
Well there are sure a lot of phone calls to Mandy, considering you are just friends.

REGGIE hesitates.

REGGIE
Mandy and I … we both had a ticking clock on our careers. Her looks, my knees. It was nice to chat with somebody who understood.

RYAN
Okay. Say you were just friends. Why didn’t she want her coworkers to find out about you?

REGGIE
Because that’s how rumors get started. I know what you’re thinking. I’m a professional athlete, she’s a blonde weathergirl. But it wasn’t like that. She wasn’t like that. Those kids at City of Trust? To other celebs, they were just a photo op. Not to her. She cared. You should have seen her last week, asking them questions. Listening to their stories. People think she was some kind of bimbo. But she wasn’t. Anyway, I saw her hailing a cab, I offered her a ride. She asked to be dropped off at the park. That happened around 10.

RYAN
Where were you at 10:28?

REGGIE
I was across town at X Bar, promoting my new shoe line. (off their skeptical look) Check it.

RYAN
Mandy mention why she wanted to get dropped off at the park?

REGGIE
No. She seemed nervous. Maybe it had something to do with what happened a couple days ago.

ESPOSITO
What happened a couple days ago?

REGGIE
She called me for a ride from the emergency room. I asked her what happened, but she wouldn’t say.

RYAN
Wait, she was there as a patient?

REGGIE
Yeah. She didn’t look hurt, but she seemed pretty upset.

They consider this. It’s new information to them.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHT

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
Do you actually buy this whole just friends thing?

She and CASTLE are sitting on her desk, staring at the murder board.

CASTLE
It’s possible.

BECKETT
Yeah, it’s possible. But it’s not probable.

CASTLE
I don’t know. You and I were just friends for 4 years.

BECKETT
Yeah, except you were trying to sleep with me that whole time.

CASTLE
What?

BECKETT
Mmhmm.

She smirks at him.

CASTLE
Excuse me, it was you that was trying to sleep with me.

BECKETT
(scoffs) Wha-?

CASTLE
Don’t tell me you dress like that for Esposito.

She gives him a look as he sips on his coffee.

ESPOSITO
What’s for me?

They turn to him, not realizing he was near.

CASTLE
Don’t worry about it.

BECKETT
Nothing.

ESPOSITO moves on.

ESPOSITO
Reggie’s alibi is solid – he was at the X Bar buying shots for everyone when Mandy was killed. His wife confirms that they were all just friends. In fact, she’s the one that bought him that prepaid cell phone because his was hacked or something.

BECKETT
Okay, so then touch base with the ER doctor that treated Mandy a couple days ago. Whatever landed her in emergency might have caught up to her last night.

RYAN
Hey guys, I found out who Mandy –

ESPOSITO
Yo. (RYAN pauses) Are you wearing makeup?

CASTLE and BECKETT turn to look at RYAN. His black eye is much less noticeable now.

RYAN
No.

ESPOSITO
Really. Because an hour ago, you and I both had black eyes and now you don’t.

RYAN
No, this is not makeup. This is tinted moisturizer.

ESPOSITO
Ah. Oh.

RYAN
Jenny just stopped by, she happened to have some in her purse and I figured since the – you know – you – fine. Just judge all you want. (he turns back to BECKETT and CASTLE) So. I found out who Mandy was fighting with at her apartment the day she died. The store across the street from her building uses surveillance. There was no sign of Reggie, but I did see another familiar face. (he holds up a photo) WHNY reporter Miles Haxton.

CASTLE looks at BECKETT, who gives a small smile.

INT – WHNY TV STUDIOS

MILES drops the photo on the desk.

MILES HAXTON
Yeah, that’s me.

CASTLE
So what were you doing at her place?

BECKETT
Mandy’s neighbors overheard the two of you fighting. What was it about/

MILES
(he hesitates) Uh …our relationship.

BECKETT
You were dating?

MILES
Mmhmm.

BECKETT
Why did you tell us this before?

MILES
Because I couldn’t take the chance that it would get out. The – the reporter and the weathergirl? No. This – this station has a very strict policy about interoffice dating. And even – even with what happened to Mandy, Harvey still would have suspended me.

That’s a bit too close for comfort for CASTLE and BECKETT.

BECKETT
How long had the two of you been seeing each other?

MILES
A couple months.

CASTLE
Well what went wrong?

MILES
Here’s the thing about a secret workplace romance, okay? In the beginning you’re on a high. Every stolen moment feels like a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart. You get butterflies on your way into work. It’s exciting and dangerous and the sex is amazing.

CASTLE and BECKETT listen to him and they obviously agree. This is just like them.

CASTLE
And … then what?

MILES
Then it imploded. (it’s not what CASTLE and BECKETT want to hear) We’re never going to keep up the secret. We’re already drowning in all the lies we had to tell.

BECKETT chooses to not think about that in the context of her relationship with CASTLE.

BECKETT
Did – did your coworkers ever find out?

MILES
Uh, not yet. But I – I had to stay out in front of it to keep it from destroying both of our careers. I mean, I still have a shot at a national desk.

BECKETT
And Mandy didn’t want it to end.

CASTLE
She could have threatened to tell Harvey.

MILES
What, no. No. Are you kidding? Mandy didn’t want this to get out any more than I did. I mean, you’re not going to tell, are you?

BECKETT avoids his question.

BECKETT
Where were you last night at 10:28?

MILES
At a press party at the Ritz Carlton for the launch of the Vega smartphone.

CASTLE
Did Mandy say anything to you about going to the ER a couple of nights ago?

MILES
No, she didn’t mention it. But then again, she was acting pretty strange last week.

BECKETT
What do you mean?

MILES
Well she wouldn’t tell me, but I got the feeling it was more than just us she was upset about. That there was something else that was bothering her.

INT – WHNY TV STUDIOS

CASTLE and BECKETT are on their way out.

CASTLE
Well it looks like the makeup ladies were right about Mandy’s affair. They just had the wrong guy.

BECKETT
Castle, what about the other stuff that they said? About how secret romances are impossible to keep hidden? I mean, you heard Miles. I don’t want to drown in a sea of lies.

She’s seriously concerned about them.

CASTLE
Well if it’s any comfort to you I do know mouth-to-mouth.

It’s not really the reassurance she wanted, but his joke does break the tension. She glares at him anyway as she answers her ringing phone.

BECKETT
Hey Espo.

ESPOSITO
Yo. Found something weird. The ER doc that treated Mandy? Turns out it was for a severe asthma attack.

BECKETT
Yeah that’s not weird. We know that Mandy had asthma. That’s why she couldn’t go up in the station helicopter.

ESPOSITO
Which brings me to the weird part. (he catches RYAN reapplying makeup to his black eye and he falters) She arrived at the ER in the WHNY news chopper. She landed on the helipad and the pilot walked her inside.

BECKETT
Okay. Thank you.

She hangs up.

CASTLE
With her asthma? What was she doing up there and why did no one know about it?

BECKETT
There is one person that knew about it. The helicopter pilot.

CASTLE raises his eyebrows and they turn to follow that lead only to be stopped by a makeup lady.

MAKEUP LADY 2
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Where’re you going pretty boy?

CASTLE turns back to her.

MAKEUP LADY 2
It’s 8:30. It’s time for your segment with Kristina.

CASTLE
(checks his watch) Oh!

MAKEUP LADY 2
Gotta get you into makeup.

CASTLE is clearly hesitant about the whole thing. He looks at BECKETT for help.

BECKETT
It’s okay. I’ll take care of it.

CASTLE lets himself be lead off by MAKEUP LADY 2.

CASTLE
Okay. Don’t solve the case without me!

He gives her one last smile before he’s led away.

BECKETT
Hmm.

EXT – WHNY HELICOPTER HANGAR

HELICOPTER PILOT
Look, I wasn’t supposed to, okay? But a few days ago she showed up with an envelope stuffed with a thousand bucks. Said she needed the chopper for 20 minutes and nobody could know.

BECKETT
Did she tell you why she needed it?

HELICOPTER PILOT
No. But it must have been important. Look, I liked Mandy. Bubbly, easy on the eyes. I wanted to help her out. But then we get up there, she’s got all this equipment, and she wants to fly over Jersey.

BECKETT
Why New Jersey?

HELICOPTER PILOT
Beats me. All I know is it’s more fuel and my boss might notice.

BECKETT
Okay, so did you do it?

HELICOPTER PILOT
Yeah. We were over Jersey for a few minutes. Then she started breathing heavy. She didn’t have her inhaler so I flew straight to the hospital.

BECKETT
Do you have any idea what she was up to?

HELICOPTER PILOT
No. When I told her I didn’t want to leave New York she said it was a matter of life or death. I guess maybe she was right.

BECKETT considers it. Another new piece of information.

INT – WHNY TV STUDIOS

BECKETT is back. CASTLE is still in the middle of his interview with KRISTINA.

CASTLE
(laughs) Well, that was the last time I took my laptop into a coffee shop.

KRISTINA laughs with him, but it’s more flirty than a normal laugh.

BECKETT can see his interview on one of the studio TVS and she smiles with pride.

KRISTINA
So, as a handsome, best-selling author I’m sure you must have women throwing themselves at you all the time.

CASTLE
Well, we all have our crosses to bear.

CASTLE is charming in his interview. BECKETT gives the biggest eye roll ever. She makes herself move past the monitor.

BECKETT
(fondly) Yes, you are such a martyr.

KRISTINA
(laughs) So no one special in your life right now?

This stops BECKETT and she backs up to watch CASTLE’S answer.

CASTLE
Um … (he’s hesitating hard) I – uh – no. Actually, no. No one special. I am single right now.

BECKETT gapes at the monitor. It hurts more than it should.

KRISTINA
That’s good. Because there’s a question I’ve been wanting to ask you. (she pauses) Will you have dinner with me tomorrow night?

CASTLE
Oh. (his tone is flat)Um… wow. (he laughs) I’m flattered.

KRISTINA laughs too.

BECKETT
(talking to the monitor) But I have to decline.

KRISTINA
C’mon Castle, there’s only 3 seconds until commercial.

CASTLE struggles to stall.

CASTLE
I uh – I –

BECKETT
(to the monitor) Exactly. What are you waiting for. Hello?

KRISTINA
We’re gonna need an answer.

CASTLE is stuck.

BECKETT
(to the monitor, willing him to respond) No.

CASTLE thinks for a moment.

CASTLE
Uh actually, I would love to.

BECKETT’S jaw drops.

KRISTINA
It’s a date.

CASTLE
Great.

He smiles, unaware of BECKETT’S shock.

KRISTINA
(holds up a copy of Frozen Heat)Frozen Heat. It’s on bookshelves now. We’ll have more with Richard Castle after the break.

BECKETT glares at CASTLE’S smiling face on the monitor.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE
I’m telling you, it’s the perfect cover. No one’s going to suspect us if they know I’m going out with Kristina.

ESPOSITO
Yo. Castle. (he gives him fist bump) Nice work with Coterra, bro.

CASTLE smiles at BECKETT as ESPOSITO walks away.

CASTLE
See? Perfect.

BECKETT
Yeah, it’s perfect. (it’s not) So, how far do you plan on taking this date with her?

CASTLE
I’ll take her out to a fancy dinner, someplace romantic where everyone will see us. Maybe even end up on Page Six. How great would that be?

He’s proud of his plan. BECKETT forces a laugh.

BECKETT
So – that would be really great.

Her tone is strained and he notices.

CASTLE
You are okay with this, right?

BECKETT
Yeah. Yeah. Why?

CASTLE
Just asking. (he moves on) So, what did we learn about Mandy’s helicopter ride?

She’s a bit thrown by his sudden change of subject but she tries to compartmentalize.

BECKETT
Well, we found the equipment that she used in her apartment. It turns out it’s all the stuff she stole from Rebecca Fog.

She walks past him.

CASTLE
(whispered) Rebecca Fog.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT CONFERENCE ROOM

REBECCA
What, you mean it wasn’t a prank? I mean, she actually used this stuff?

REBECCA plays with some of the equipment.

BECKETT
Mmhmm.

REBECCA
Why?

BECKETT
Well we were hoping you could tell us.

REBECCA
Uh, well, if she was up in the chopper she must have been using the direct tox monitor.

CASTLE
The direct tox monitor. Of course.

BECKETT
You have no idea what that is.

CASTLE
No, not a clue.

BECKETT
Mmhm.

BECKETT has to hide her smile.

REBECCA
It’s an instrument to test air quality, but she was a glorified spokesmodel. What the hell was she up to?

CASTLE
Is there any way to find out?

REBECCA
Yeah, the monitor stores measured data. (she hits a bunch of things on the touchscreen then looks confused) Oh wai - … this can’t be right.

BECKETT
What?

REBECCA
The monitor’s indicating high levels of styrene.

BECKETT
And is that unusual?

REBECCA
Styrene’s a dangerous chemical. Prolonged exposure can lead to severe respiratory problems.

BECKETT looks at CASTLE.

CASTLE
Like asthma.

BECKETT
Mandy had an asthma attack right after she did that test.

CASTLE
And remember Reggie’s statement? He said Mandy was hanging out at the hospital with those sick kids. Maybe there’s a connection.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

A kid looks at a photo of MANDY.

KID
She was really nice. She said she had asthma too and that it didn’t have to hold me back. When the doctors come in, they only talk to my mom. The weather lady? Shea actually wanted to talk to me.

BECKETT
What kind of things did she ask you about?

KID
Lots of things, like school and friends. Last time she asked me where I played baseball.

BECKETT
What did you tell her?

KID
Conway Field.

BECKETT
Did she tell you why she wanted to know?

KID
She thought it had something to do with my asthma.

RYAN knocks softly on the glass door.

CASTLE
Excuse me.

CASTLE leaves to join RYAN.

RYAN
Hey. So I just talked with the mothers of all the other patients that Mandy visited with at the hospital. They all said the same thing. Mandy asked them about their practices at Conway Field.

CASTLE
Let me guess. Conway Field’s in New Jersey?

RYAN
Union County to be exact. So I spoke with admissions at the hospital and they said their numbers for severe asthma patients are up for that neighborhood.

CASTLE thinks on that.

CASTLE
Well as a weathergirl and someone with asthma, Mandy would have understood the impact of air quality on someone with respiratory illness. (RYAN nods) The note said “if any of this gets out, I’ll kill you”. What if Mandy found out what or who was responsible for the styrene in the air?

RYAN
It’s possible they had her killed.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN
So based on the direction that Lenny travelled while Mandy took air samples, they flew over 8 factories all near Conway Field.

ESPOSITO
And of the 8 factories, only 1 produces styrene. Cazoulli Carpeting. It’s a chemical byproduct of their manufacturing. And check out the bottom of one of their bills. Look familiar?

ESPOSITO hands BECKETT a paper. It’s got a swirl on the bottom that matches to the threatening note.

BECKETT
Their logo has the same design that’s on the death threat Mandy got.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, and the owner of Cazoulli Carpeting, George Cazoulli, is no stranger to carrying out threats. Assault and battery, spousal abuse, and the attempted arson of one of his competitor’s factories.

CASTLE
Well then it all makes perfect sense. A hotheaded factory owner is confronted by an idealistic weathergirl who accuses him of pumping poison into the air.

BECKETT
And if her allegations went public he’d face criminal charges. His factory would be shut down.

CASTLE nods.

CASTLE
Only Cazoulli shuts her down instead.

BECKETT nods.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
Mr. Cazoulli. Have a seat.

He doesn’t.

George Cazoulli
I’ve seen enough episodes of Law and Order to know how this works. You think you’re going to trick me into saying something that ain’t true. I’ll tell you what. I ain’t saying another word into my lawyer gets here.

BECKETT forces a smile.

BECKETT
Not a problem. Mr. Castle and I will just use that time to go through your file before your lawyer gets here.

She sits on the table. CASTLE hesitates, not sure what’s going on, until it clicks.

CASTLE
Oh. Yeah, that’ll be helpful.

He sits in a chair next to her.

BECKETT
A big file, huh?

CASTLE
Mmm.

BECKETT opens the file and starts to read. CAZOULLI watches.

BECKETT
Okay. Let’s see. 6 months ago Cazoulli modified their carpet backing to create a “longer lasting product”.

CASTLE
Who doesn’t want longer lasting carpet?

BECKETT
Yes, but unfortunately this process released a harmful chemical called styrene. Now that’s normal in small doses but in the case of Cazoulli’s factory they were way over the legal limit.

CASTLE
Oh, that’s terrible. Did Mr. Cazoulli know?

CAZOULLI is listening to their talk and growing more agitated. He wants to clarify, to defend himself.

BECKETT
You know, it’s hard to imagine that he didn’t, right? I mean, according to this, local weathergirl Mandy Michaels made a connection between elevated levels of styrene and an increase in asthma cases.

CASTLE
This is not sounding good for Cazoulli. Hey, I wonder if he was aware she was looking into this?

He reads over a paper BECKETT hands him. CAZOULLI moves to defend himself but stops short.

BECKETT
Matter of fact, a receptionist at Cazoulli Carpeting went on record saying Mandy showed up at the factory a few days ago. And I bet you she went there to confront Cazoulli.

CASTLE
Cazoulli had to know that the cost of shutting down production to address the problem would have been sky high.

BECKETT
You know, that explains the threatening note that Mandy got. “If any of this gets out, I’ll kill you.”

CASTLE takes the evidence bag, then picks up another.

CASTLE
Hey, this matches exactly to the Cazoulli Carpeting stationary.

BECKETT
That’s why she was in the park. The Environmental Protection Agency is right around the corner.

CASTLE
You might be right about that. When I called them, they confirmed that Mandy was on her way there to drop something off in the afterhours box.

BECKETT
I think Cazoulli killed her to keep from turning him in.

CAZOULLI
All right, enough!

He’s had enough. They turn to him.

CAZOULLI
This broad was sticking her nose into something that was none of her business. She shows up, she’s all high, she’s all mighty with her stupid ass file of evidence and I told her. I told her to scram. Get out of here! Beat it! And if I ever see your face around here, you’re going to regret it. I told her. She says to me if I don’t close everything down she’s going to expose us. The friggin’ note? The note was to scare her away a little bit! Seemed to work, right? Because I never heard from her again. C’mon, give me a break. I thought this mess was over with.

BECKETT
Thank you, Mr. Cazoulli.

CAZOULLI
Oh yeah? For what?

BECKETT
For admitting to motive and to threatening Mandy.

The door opens and CAZOULLI’S lawyer walks in.

CAZOULLI
What?

BECKETT
He’s all yours, Councilor.

CASTLE and BECKETT leave. CAZOULLI is confused, but his lawyer is here now and that’s good enough.

CAZOULLI
Where you been?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

BECKETT
Cazoulli’s lawyer’s looking for a plea on the styrene violation.

CASTLE
What about the murder rap?

BECKETT
Claims he’s innocent.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, but unfortunately we’ve got nothing that places Cazoulli there the night of the murder.

BECKETT
Look, if we can’t physically tie him to it then all we have is speculation. Without evidence he’s going to walk.

RYAN
Hey. Something you’re gonna want to take a look at. Search warrant came through on Cazoulli’s office. (he sets a pile of folders on the table) We found the file that Mandy left with him. Now in her research is this picture of their smokestack.

He holds up a photo.

CASTLE
Looks like it was taken at street level.

RYAN
Exactly. Now, take a look at the timestamp. This picture was taken last Tuesday at 5:46PM. Based on the position of the sun, tech confirmed that the time was correct.

He throws the photo on the table.

ESPOSITO
Meaning?

BECKETT
Meaning unless Mandy could be in two places at once she couldn’t have taken that photo. She was on-air at 5:47.

RYAN
So who took the picture?

CASTLE
She had a partner.

RYAN nods.

BECKETT
Which is why Mandy told Cazoulli ‘they’d’ expose him.

ESPOSITO
Well if she had a partner then why haven’t they come forward?

CASTLE
Maybe they’re afraid of Cazoulli.

RYAN
And if we can find them maybe they’d have some info on Cazoulli that would nail him.

BECKETT
You know, why don’t we order dinner and work through.

They grab seats around the table. And get comfortable.

ESPOSITO
Wait a minute. Castle, don’t you have a date with Kristina Coterra tonight?

CASTLE manages a proud look.

CASTLE
Yes I do.

BECKETT’S face hardens and CASTLE realizes what ESPOSITO was trying to hint at as he checks his watch.

CASTLE
Oh crap! Oh, I’m late.

He jumps up and scrambles for the door.

BECKETT
Yeah well, don’t let us keep you.

He stops short and turns back at her tone.

CASTLE
Uh, are you sure you’re okay? (he realizes and addresses the others) You’re okay with this?

ESPOSITO
Okay? Are you kidding? It’s Kristina Coterra.

BECKETT has to hide her grimace.

RYAN
Yeah. Besides, when have you let cop work get in the way of your busy social life?

His eyes flick to BECKETT.

BECKETT
Go. Enjoy your date.

She still doesn’t sound normal but he nods.

CASTLE
Right. Okay. I’ll call you later.

BECKETT hums in recognition as he starts to walk away. Realizing what he’s said, he jerks back.

CASTLE
To check on the case.

ESPOSITO nods and he leaves.

BECKETT
Okay guys, let’s just …get … back … to work.

This shouldn’t make her upset but it does.

EST – CASTLE’S LOFT, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE has finished getting ready and grabs his keys off the desk as he finishes playing with his phone. He heads for the kitchen when his doorbell buzzes. He’s not expecting anyone, but he opens the door anyway.

KRISTINA
Surprise.

She holds up a bottle of champagne.

CASTLE
What are you – how – I – I thought we were meeting at the restaurant.

KRISTINA
I know, but this is so much more romantic. You. Me. (she holds up a bag) Some oysters.

CASTLE
Oh. Wow. You got oysters in there?

He’s not so smooth, but he’s still trying to get over his shock.

KRISTINA
To get us in the mood. Also, some chocolate covered strawberries.

She saunters past him, taking special care to exaggerate the swing of her hips. He watches her go. He’s not sure how to handle this.

CASTLE
I –

He’s at a loss but has no real choice but to shut the door.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

RYAN
I spoke with everyone at the station, including her boyfriend. No one admits to being the partner, or even knowing what she was working on.

They’ve ordered Chinese food but BECKETT isn’t really enjoying hers.

ESPOSITO
There’s nothing in her phone records either.

RYAN reaches for a carton but ESPOSITO gets to it first. ESPOSITO gives RYAN a glare, who returns it with one of his own.

BECKETT
Yeah, there’s gotta be something that we’re missing.

RYAN
Speaking of missing something, Castle should be way more excited about his date tonight.

BECKETT stops eating.

BECKETT
Why?

RYAN
According to Celebrity Examiner, Kristina is notorious for seducing famous men with her extensive bikini collection.

BECKETT glares. She’s not amused.

BECKETT
Huh.

RYAN smiles, almost proud of CASTLE.

RYAN
(off BECKETT and ESPOSITO’S look) What? Jenny buys it and it just happened to be open to that page on the coffee table.

BECKETT
What’s your point?

RYAN
Isn’t it obvious? She’s totally going to put the moves on him.

ESPOSITO
No way. Not gonna happen.

BECKETT
Thank you. For actually showing some maturity.

ESPOSITO
He’s totally going to put the moves on her.

He’s not helping. BECKETT is disgusted.

BECKETT
Don’t you guys think that he’s actually evolved beyond that by now?

ESPOSITO
He’s a man, he has a pulse, so … no.

RYAN answers at the same time.

RYAN
No.

As much as she doesn’t want to believe them, they’ve gotten to her.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE is unpacking the bag KRISTINA brought. Putting the fruit into the fruit bowl he reaches back in for the boxes of food. He’s trying to go slow, to stall.

KRISTINA
You know, ever since I saw you on that red carpet, with that face of yours, I have been waiting to do this.

She’s moved around the island to invade his personal space and she tries to kiss him. He backs away quickly.

CASTLE
Oh … ah .. .you’ve been waiting that long, why not wait a few minutes more?

He backs over to the refrigerator and she laughs.

KRISTINA
Where’re you going?

CASTLE
To the fridge. Put away these strawberries. Wouldn’t want the chocolate to melt.

He’s trying to keep her away without having to give a reason why he’s not really into her. She doesn’t catch on as walks toward him again until she’s pressed against his back. He startles.

KRISTINA
I could think of a better use for that chocolate.

She reaches her hand into his back pocket and he yelps. In the process his cell phone clicks on and starts calling.

CASTLE
Okay! (he turns around, his back to the fridge) Let’s talk about this for a second.

She laughs and presses closer, trapping him against the metal doors.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT’S phone rings on her desk.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

KRISTINA
Oh, you want to talk?

His laugh is strained.

CASTLE
Well we – what are we doing here?

He manages to slide so that he’s not pressed against the fridge. He starts backing towards the living room.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT throws a file onto her desk and realizes that CASTLE is the one calling her. She picks it up.

BECKETT
Hey Castle, how’s your date?

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE backs into the island and in the process knocks off the fruit bowl. The glass slams to the floor and shatters.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT listens through the phone and hears the breaking glass.

CASTLE
(on the phone) Whoa, whoa, whoa. Get back! Whoa! Whoa!

BECKETT
Castle?

The line cuts off and BECKETT is worried.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE
Sorry. Careful.

CASTLE is shell-shocked as KRISTINA makes her way through the broken glass to stalk closer.

KRISTINA
Don’t worry. I got it.

She slides down her body, making CASTLE jump as she goes.

CASTLE
Okay! I’ll help, I’ll help.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT tries to call CASTLE back but can only get his voicemail.

CASTLE
(voicemail message) Hi, you’ve reached Richard Castle. Lucky you.

It’s enough for her. She grabs her jacket and runs out for the elevator. RYAN and ESPOSITO watch her go, confused.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

KRISTINA sweeps the broken glass into the trash. CASTLE is in shock and seriously starting to reconsider this whole idea. She’s on a mission.

KRISTINA
Now that that’s out of the way, where were we?

CASTLE
Um – um – oysters.

KRISTINA
Ooh, let’s skip the oysters.

She tries to run her hands down his chest and he startles away.

CASTLE
Really? ‘cause I thought maybe -

KRISTINA
Why are you playing so hard to get?

He lets out a strained laugh.

CASTLE
I’m not. I just –

KRISTINA
You are.

CASTLE
No.

He’s backed into the back of the couch.

KRISTINA
You know, no man has ever said no to me. Well, there was one.

CASTLE
Really? That sounds like an interesting story. Tell me about him. How did he get away?

She pushes him down onto the back of the couch.

KRISTINA
I assure you, it has nothing to do with me.

She rips open her dress to reveal her hot pink bikini. CASTLE can’t help but look.

CASTLE
Oh. Wow.

She pounces on him and sends them both tumbling over onto the couch. She kisses him.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

BECKETT has made it to his floor and can hear the sounds of a struggle coming from his loft. She pulls her gun out and when she hears more breaking glass she doesn’t hesitate to kick in the door.

It’s scene she doesn’t want to see. CASTLE is struggling on the couch, but KRISTINA is straddling him, kissing him in only her bikini.

BECKETT
Castle?

He manages to get away from KRISTINA’S lips and he sees BECKETT.

CASTLE
I – I – I, uh … I know who the killer is.

BECKETT is too overwhelmed to compute what he’s just said. She just knows that CASTLE is with another woman and she’s not happy.

INT – WHNY TV STUDIOS

CASTLE
Look, I tried everything to get away. I – I hid under the counter, I was hiding in the bathroom. At one point I was trying to pull a Cape Fear up under the piano.

BECKETT is still upset but she’s got work to do. They’ve got a killer to catch.

BECKETT
Yeah, when I walked in she was straddling you on the couch.

CASTLE
Right? She’s like the Terminator of sexbots.

BECKETT
What is that even supposed to mean? She just keeps on coming?

CASTLE
What? No. That’s –

He grabs her arm and pulls her aside. He’s not done.

CASTLE
The only reason I went on the date in the first place was because you made a big deal about (he drops his voice further) being single in public.

BECKETT
Castle, I have 12 missed phone calls from Chip the sportscaster because he thinks that I am single. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to let him mount me in his speedo just to prove it.

CASTLE
You didn’t tell me he called.

BECKETT
Really? You’re going to play the jealousy card now?

CASTLE
Okay, look. I’ll make it up to you. Whatever you want.

BECKETT
What I want is not to have this vision of a bikini clad woman stuffing her boobs in your face, so. Good luck with that.

She turns away.

CASTLE
Don’t I even get credit for figuring out who the killer is?

BECKETT
No!

They make their way farther into the studio.

REBECCA
Later in the week we’ll start to notice a … warming … trend.

Everyone seems to be gathered in the newsroom. They watch BECKETT and CASTLE walk towards them, shocked. CHIP mimes a phone call to try to get BECKETT’S attention and CASTLE shoos him away.

BECKETT
Mr. Haxton, can we have a word?

MILES
Uh, I’m about to go live with a story.

BECKETT
So are we.

MILES has no choice.

INT – WHNY TV STUDIO

They’ve led MILES into an office. BECKETT shuts the door so they’re alone, even though the walls are glass.

CASTLE
I just had a very interesting conversation with Kristina Coterra. She told me that you are the one man who’s rejected her advances in the past.

BECKETT
Yep. The one man.

She shoots CASTLE a glare as she sits next to him.

MILES
Well I don’t see how that’s relevant.

CASTLE
Well her pride was hurt. So she did a little digging. Turns out you did have a secret relationship. Just not with Mandy. She discovered you have a boyfriend that no one here knows about.

They watch for his reaction.

MILES
Well, my personal life is none of my business.

BECKETT
Normally, yes. But it became our business when we found out that you lied to us about why you were at Mandy’s apartment and about what you were fighting over. (she holds up the photo of the smokestack) Now did you take this photo?

MILES
No.

CASTLE
Well that’s funny. Because a search of your apartment turned up a camera with this photo and other photos on it.

BECKETT
She was your partner. She was helping you with this story. So why didn’t you come forward?

CASTLE
Well, there’s only one conceivable reason. Because you killed her.

MILES scoffs.

MILES
She was a colleague and a friend. Why would I kill her?

CASTLE
Because she discovered and expose of a lifetime. A story that big has to be vetted by legal and that could take weeks, even months.

BECKETT
But Mandy couldn’t wait that long. Not while kids were getting sick. So she decided to turn the findings over to the EPA.

CASTLE
At which point, you lose your big exclusive. Now when was the last time you had a bog exclusive?

MILES
This is crazy. This is crazy. You – you think I killed someone for a story.

BECKETT
We know it was you, Miles. We found gunshot residue on the clothes in your hamper. On the ski mask. The shirt.

They watch as his face falls. He knows he’s been found out.

MILES
(low) You have to understand. It was an accident. I only meant to scare her. I thought if I got those files back I’d be able to stop her. I’d be able to break the story like she promised. But she fought me. She fought me and went and grabbed for the gun. Why would she fight me? I mean, I – I didn’t even know the gun was loaded.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE
Well the station manager confirmed that Miles was on thin ice. The only way that he could save his career was to break a splashy story. So he made a deal with Mandy to help her in exchange for the exclusive.

He sits on BECKETT’S desk. RYAN and ESPOSITO are working to box up the murder board.

BECKETT
Right, and then when she betrayed him he snuck out of the press party to confront her and then things just got bad from there.

RYAN
Gotta say, it was pretty brave of Mandy to take up that cause. Not what you’d expect from what people said about her.

ESPOSITO
All her coworkers thought they knew her so well and she had this whole secret life she was hiding from them.

BECKETT hesitates a moment in putting on her jacket.

CASTLE
Yeah. It’s late. I’m gonna get out of here.

BECKETT picks up a stack of files.

BECKETT
Yeah, me too.

CASTLE
Walk you out?

BECKETT
Uh … no. Thanks. I’m good. (she makes sure she’s got everything) Night guys.

RYAN
Good night.

ESPOSITO
Night.

CASTLE watches her go. She doesn’t turn back or give him a second look and he’s not sure what to make of it. He finally stands.

CASTLE
Uh … good night.

ESPOSITO
Night.

RYAN
Night Castle.

CASTLE leaves in the opposite direction. ESPOSITO grabs a box then catches sight of REGGIE on TV.

ESPOSITO
Look. It’s Reggie.

He moves to change the channel to the news.

CHIP
And finally, here is number one on this week’s top ten sports moments of the week. This one sent from a Reggie Blake fan. This is what happens when you try to barge though to see the Blake.

The video is of ESPOSITO being beaten up by REGGIE’S security guard. The guy is wailing on ESPOSITO until RYAN steps in and tries to get him to stop. RYAN takes a punch to the stomach and then to the eye.

CHIP
Yeah, I’m guessing those eager fans did not get an autograph.

ESPOSITO
Yo. You took that punch for me.

RYAN shrugs.

ESPOSITO
You didn’t have to do that.

RYAN
Well, it’s what partners do, right?

ESPOSITO looks at him. He drops the attitude.

ESPOSITO
C’mon. Let’s go get a beer. I’m buying.

RYAN nods.

RYAN
Cool. (he pauses) Uh … anywhere but a sports bar.

ESPOSITO
Definitely not a sports bar.

EST – BECKETT’S APARTMENT, NIGHTTIME

INT – BECKETT’S APARTMENT

The buzzer buzzes and BECKETT heads to the door to see who it is. She pauses and takes a step back. Whoever is there, she wasn’t expecting them. She steels herself and opens the door. It’s CASTLE looking repentant.

CASTLE
I’m sorry.

She rolls her eyes and tries to shut the door on him but he pushes it back open and walks past her.

CASTLE
I’m sorry. I should not have gone on that date. I – I should have said no.

BECKETT
Then why didn’t you?

CASTLE
Well, I’m no good at this. Pretending to be single?

BECKETT
Yeah, but Castle, neither am I. And the last thing I want to do is have to worry about you with other women.

Her admission shocks both of them.

CASTLE
Wh – for the record, I – I wasn’t going to sleep with her.

She hesitates.

BECKETT
I know.

He’s not sure she does.

BECKETT
Look, that’s not even the point. The point is – is I don’t even know how to do this. (he sighs) Do you remember when Miles said that it’s inevitable that this will fall apart, that it’s destined to implode –

He steps closer.

CASTLE
Just a reminder, Miles is a lying killer.

She gives him a sigh.

CASTLE
But, okay. Maybe people find out and maybe we won’t get to work together and maybe we’ll implode. Or maybe we’ll continue to be amazing. The point is, we don’t have the answers. We just have to live with the questions and … find our way.

BECKETT considers him.

BECKETT
Okay, can – (she starts over) Well, can we just start here then? Can we say that we will talk about dating other people but we won’t actually date other people?

CASTLE brightens.

CASTLE
Yeah, I -. No, I can do that.

BECKETT
Good. Because I have a gun and you don’t really have a choice.

She smiles and he gives her a big smile back.

CASTLE
Clearly I don’t have a choice.

BECKETT
No.

She giggles, a brilliant smiles taking over her face. They fall silent, sharing a moment before she leans in for a kiss. He lowers his head but just as their lips
are about to touch, she jumps back and makes a face.

BECKETT
I’m sorry. I can’t. It’s too soon. I just keep seeing her boobs in your face.

She grimaces and turns away abruptly. CASTLE is left alone. He thinks for a second and then smirks.

THE END

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