5x13 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 5x13
"Recoil"


EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET, NIGHTTIME

A homeless man walks up to a burning barrel. He holds his hands out to warm them, but something catches his attention. He peers in and realizes there’s a body in the barrel. He gags.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET, NIGHTTIME

KATE BECKETT and RICHARD CASTLE get out of her car and approach the crime scene.

KATE BECKETT
So what makes you so sure that Alexis isn’t serious about this guy?

RICHARD CASTLE
Well, I haven’t met him or approved of him yet, so it can’t be serious. All suitors must be met and intimidated by me personally before they can be considered for official boyfriend status.

BECKETT rolls her eyes at his melodrama. CASTLE goes to pull the plastic back from the body.

LANIE PARISH
I would not do that.

CASTLE stops short.

LANIE
Her body was in that barrel over there. Burned. And I mean beyond recognition.

BECKETT
Any chance of a positive ID?

LANIE
Not from fingerprints. But bone structure tells me it’s a young woman, about 5’4”.

CASTLE
So a transient?

LANIE
I doubt it. There’s a bullet hole in the back of her head. And then there’s her teeth. Every one of them was knocked out of her mouth.

CASTLE
So much for dental records.

BECKETT
Someone obviously went to great lengths to make sure she disappeared.

KEVIN RYAN
So none of these guys saw anything. They panhandle by day and don’t come back here ‘til it’s dark.

JAVIER ESPOSITO
First guy who showed up said the fire was already going. Sounds like a dump job.

BECKETT
All right, we have a female. She’s 5 foot 4. Let’s start looking through missing persons reports.

RYAN and ESPOSITO turn to leave.

LANIE
Wait. (she pulls something from the body) You may not have to do that. A titanium screw. From her jaw.

CASTLE
Dental implant.

LANIE
And there’s a batch number. Which could give us her name.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN hangs a photo on the murder board.

RYAN
We traced that dental screw to Melanie Rogers, 27. Lived in New Jersey near Rutgers University where she was a post-doc engineer in ecofriendly design. By all accounts she was well-liked, respected. No one I talked to had any idea who could have done this to her.

CASTLE
What’s an engineer from New Jersey doing in a barrel in Manhattan?

ESPOSITO
I don’t know, but something was going on with her. I pulled her phone records for yesterday. She made half a dozen calls to the same number in a 20 minute period.

CASTLE
Boyfriend?

ESPOSITO
Could be. It’s a 202 number, but it’s listed as blocked.

CASTLE
202 … uh, that’s Washington D.C.

ESPOSITO
Yep. Preliminary check shows it’s a cell phone.

BECKETT
Which means whoever it is might be in the city. Whoever it is, let’s get a warrant on that phone number.

ESPOSITO
She made one other call after that around 4PM. And then after that all her phone activity went dark.

BECKETT
Who was the call to?

ESPOSITO
It was to her half-sister, Julie. I took a look, she’s her only family. She works as a loan officer in Midtown.

BECKETT
Bring her in. She might be able to shed some light.

ESPOSITO heads off.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

JULIE
Melanie and I were never all that close. But when our dad got sick we … um … we found each other.

CASTLE
Do you have any idea what your sister was doing in the city yesterday?

JULIE
No. She came in from time to time.

BECKETT
Do you know if she was dating anyone recently?

JULIE is quiet.

CASTLE
Someone from D.C. perhaps?

JULIE
Not that I knew about. (she pauses) Although, just two nights ago she met me for dinner. She mentioned meeting a friend afterwards.

CASTLE
Did she say who?

JULIE
Well, I asked, but she said that she couldn’t talk about it for some reason.

That’s interesting to CASTLE.

BECKETT
So when you spoke with her yesterday did it sound like anything was wrong?

JULIE
I never spoke to her yesterday.

CASTLE
He phone records indicate she called you about 4 o’clock.

JULIE
4? No, I was in a meeting. (she pulls out her phone to check) Oh my God. She left a message.

JULIE hands her phone to BECKETT.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

They’ve taken MELANIE’S message to tech. They’ve analyzed it and now CASTLE and BECKETT are listening.

MELANIE
Hey, it’s me. Listen, I think something’s going on. Something’s not right. I’m pretty sure someone’s after me.

BECKETT
She’s in a parking structure.

CASTLE
You can hear two sets of footsteps.

BECKETT
(nods) Mmhmm.

MELANIE
If anything happens, tell them X T 3.

There’s a gunshot and a click, then the message goes dead.

TECH
That’s it.

BECKETT
She recorded her own murder.

CASTLE
Okay, parking structure. Letters and numbers. Sounds like she’s reading off a license plate.

BECKETT
Of the guy that was following her. And X T 3, I mean, there’s going to be thousands of plates with that partial. (she thinks, then to the TECH) Can you play the end again? I thought I heard something after the phone hit the ground.

The TECH nods, then sets up the message again.

MELANIE
If anything happens, tell them X T 3.

The gunshot sounds again, then a click.

BECKETT
There. Did you hear that? There was a click.

TECH
Let me see what I can do with that.

The TECH messes around with different audio levels, then plays it again. And again. And again.

CASTLE
That’s a lighter. That’s a Zippo lighter. So he killed Melanie and then stopped to have a cigarette.

BECKETT
Which means we might be dealing with a psychopath.

RYAN walks in.

RYAN
So that D.C. number? Looks like whoever owns it was in town. She called it the other night right after dinner with her sister.

CASTLE
When she said she was meeting someone.

RYAN
Yeah, that’s right. Credit card record says that she was in a cab just a few minutes later. I tracked down the driver. Said he dropped her off at the Standish Hotel at 11PM.

CASTLE
Perhaps she was meeting her Washington friend for a secret tryst?

RYAN
Makes sense. The Standish is popular with married men who value discretion.

CASTLE
Maybe someone at the hotel saw her with him.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – STANDISH HOTEL

The CONCIERGE looks at a photo of MELANIE.

CONCIERGE
I’m really not sure. So many people come through here every day.

BECKETT
Look again. (she slides the photo closer) And keep in mind, this is a murder investigation.

CONCIERGE
I might have seen her a few times.

BECKETT
What about two nights ago?

CONCIERGE
Probably.

CASTLE
Was she meeting someone?

The CONCIERGE nods discreetly.

BECKETT
I’m gonna need a name.

CONCIERGE
Look, our clients value their privacy. You’re really putting me in an awkward position here.

BECKET
Oh, you think this is awkward? Wait ‘til I get a warrant and start questioning all the people that have stayed here over the past year.

CONCIERGE
Fine. (he grabs a newspaper and points to a photo) You didn’t hear it from me.

BECKET gapes at the photo.

BECKETT
It can’t be. Melanie was having an affair with Senator Bracken.

INT – STANDISH HOTEL

BECKETT
That’s it. Esposito’s confirmed it. The number that Melanie was calling was Senator Bracken’s cell phone.

CASTLE
Late night phone calls, secret hotel meetings. Bracken was having an affair with Melanie. She must have become a liability.

BECKETT
Or she stumbled on to something that he was involved in and became a threat.

CASTLE
So he dealt with her. Same way he dealt with your mother and tried to deal with you.

She steps closer.

BECKETT
This is it, Castle. This is my chance to finally make him pay.

CASTLE
But we have to be cautious. We know what happens to people who go after him.

BECKETT
Except this time he doesn’t know we’re on to him. We’ve got the advantage here.

CASTLE
Do we? What do you think he’s going to do when he sees you coming?

She thinks about it.

EXT – SENATOR BRACKEN’S HOUSE

ESPOSITO
How many people do you think this bastard put in the ground to get here?

RYAN
Hey, remember. We’re only here to see if he can help us locate Melanie.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let him think he got away with it. Like he does everything else. You know, I was really hoping the next time I saw this guy would be down the barrel of my gun.

RYAN pauses as ESPOSITO rings the doorbell.

INT – SENATOR BRACKEN’S HOUSE

BENJAMIN MOSS
You sure I can’t change your mind? I could really use your help on this one, Bill.

SENATOR WILLIAM BRACKEN
I would if I could, you know that. You also know what this legislation is to me.

BUTLER
Senator. Some detectives here to see you.

RYAN
Sorry to trouble you, Senator. This won’t take long.

SHIELA BRACKEN
What’s this about, Bill?

BRACKEN
I’m not sure. (he looks at RYAN) You look familiar. Have we met?

RYAN
I don’t think so, sir. Is there someplace we can talk?

INT - SENATOR BRACKEN’S HOUSE

BRACKEN
I’d offer you both a drink, but I get the feeling this is an official call.

RYAN
Well, we’d just like to ask you a few questions about someone. Melanie Rogers?

BRACKEN
Yeah, sure. I know Melanie. She’s a great girl. Is there a problem?

ESPOSITO
She’s – she’s missing. Since yesterday.

BRACKEN
She’s missing? That’s terrible. Whatever I can do to help.

RYAN
When was the last time you saw Ms. Rogers?

BRACKEN
Just yesterday. We’re both attending the same eco-conference in the city.

RYAN
Oh. So you ran into her there?

BRACKEN
No, I’m uh, giving the keynote address and she was helping me with my speech.

ESPOSITO
Oh, so she works for you?

BRACKEN
Not exactly. She agreed to consult with me on a very important piece of legislation that I’m unveiling.

ESPOSITO
So she’s an non-paid consultant?

BRACKEN pauses.

BRACKEN
I suppose. Why?

ESPOSITO
It’s just that you were seen at the Standish Hotel together two nights ago.

BRACKEN
What are you implying?

RYAN
We’re just trying to establish a timeline of Melanie’s whereabouts.

BRACKEN
The hell you are. You’re trying to take a professional relationship and use it against me.

ESPOSITO
Look, man. We’re not trying to jam you up –

BRACKEN
I know where I’ve seen you. (he points) You work with Detective Beckett.

They don’t acknowledge that.

RYAN
We just have a few more questions.

BRACKEN
Then call my lawyer.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
Well the guy’s guilty as hell, but he has an alibi. He was at some conference all day. Ryan’s checking it out now.

BECKETT
It’s gonna check out. He never does this on his own. He always sends someone else.

CASTLE
Okay, okay, so now not only do we have to find this killer, but we have to connect him to Bracken.

ESPOSITO
Except we have no idea where to start looking. We don’t even have a real crime scene.

BECKETT
No, but we’re getting closer. (she references her computer) The FBI performed an analysis of Melanie’s voicemail. It was a call made from a parking garage where she was abducted.

CASTLE
They identified the background noise as a hydraulic motor of a TC-501 tower crane.

ESPOSITO
Tower cranes are used in heavy construction.

CASTLE
Which means the garage is near a construction site. And only 12 sites in the city are currently using that crane.

RYAN
Hey, so Bracken’s alibi checked out. Witnesses put him at the Golden Ecological Conference all day yesterday. They also confirmed that Melanie was there, just like he said. She was seen leaving at 3:45.

BECKETT
Melanie left the voicemail from the parking garage at 4.

CASTLE
Where was that conference being held?

RYAN
At the Widmark Hotel, downtown.

CASTLE
The Widmark. That’s 5 blocks from that construction site. (he points)

BECKETT
Which is right next to a parking garage.

INT – PARKING GARAGE

They’re sweeping the parking garage.

RYAN
Hey, Beckett! You need to see this!

RYAN and ESPOSITO have found a car.

RYAN
XT3. Just like in Melanie’s voicemail.

BECKETT
Did you run the plates?

RYAN
Yeah, just came back stolen reported 4 days ago.

ESPOSITO jimmies open the door.

BECKETT
All right, you guys check inside. Espo, pop the trunk.

He does and she opens it to find a duffle bag. Inside the bag there are plans of the Widmark Hotel and a rifle.

CASTLE
I may be wrong, but that looks like a sniper rifle.

RYAN
You wouldn’t be wrong.

ESPOSITO holds out the plans.

ESPOSITO
Yo. Widmark Hotel. That’s where their conference is.

RYAN
Didn’t Bracken say that he was giving a speech there in a couple of days?

ESPOSITO
Mmhmm.

BECKETT pulls out a notebook and starts to page through it. It has a drawing of a gun and a threat in it, along with an x-ed out photo of BRACKEN.

BECKETT
I don’t think Bracken’s our killer.

She shows them what she’s found.

CASTLE
He isn’t.

RYAN pulls surveillance photos from an envelope.

CASTLE
He’s the target.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
Based on what we found in the car, someone was planning on shooting the Senator at the Eco Conference tomorrow night while he delivers his keynote speech.

CAPTAIN VICTORIA GATES
And if our suspect is still out there he’s still a threat. (everyone nods) Did we get any prints off that duffle bag?

BECKETT
Not yet, sir. CSU’s still dusting the car, the notebook, and everything else in the bag, including the rifle. Now, we have serial numbers on the rifle and we’re looking into those.

GATES
And our victim. How did Melanie Rogers get mixed up in this?

CASTLE
Somehow she stumbled onto his plot and he killed her.

GATES sighs. A UNIFORM hands her a paper.

GATES
Excuse me. It’s the Mayor. Keep me posted.

BECKETT
Mmhmm.

RYAN
We might have a description of our potential shooter. Widmark security stopped someone from getting into the conference without proper credentials.

BECKETT
When?

RYAN
Two days ago. Caucasian, baseball cap, beard, long stringy hair, and he was carrying a large grey duffle bag just like that one.

CASTLE
What time?

RYAN
They said it was about 3:45PM.

CASTLE
That’s when Melanie left the conference. In her message she said something wasn’t right. What if she saw this guy and followed him to the garage?

BECKETT
All right, grab Espo and a sketch artist. Go down and talk to security at the Widmark. I want a picture of this guy in circulation within the hour.

RYAN
Yeah.

RYAN leaves and the elevator dings.

CASTLE
Kate.

She looks to him, then follows his gaze. BRACKEN is getting off the elevator.

BECKETT
I was finally going to put this guy away, Castle. (he stops when he sees her) And now I’m protecting the man who killed my mother.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

GATES
Senator, we can provide you with an increased security detail. But until we apprehend this man, I recommend you postpone your speech.

CHIEF OF STAFF EVAN HOWARD
Is that really necessary? I mean, isn’t the threat all but neutralized?

BECKETT
But we haven’t stopped him. Look, we’re talking about someone that is ruthless, methodical. Someone that killed Melanie Rogers just to keep her from talking. That suggests a person that is intent on seeing this through.

HOWARD
Yes, but you said you could increase his security detail. Look, this isn’t just any conference. The Senator is going to unveil a far-reaching environmental initiative that is the cornerstone of his term. We have issued dozens of press credentials –

GATES
Senator, I cannot guarantee your safety.

BRACKEN
I’m speaking at that conference. This keynote address puts me on the national stage. I’m not going to run and hide just because some whacko with a notebook made a threat. Now, I suggest that you people do whatever it takes to stop this man. Thank you.

He stands. He’s done discussing.

GATES
Very well, Senator. Detective Beckett will need a moment with you.

He stops.

BRACKEN
Why?

GATES
Because she’s leading the investigation.

BRACKEN looks at BECKETT. She’s calm; stoic.

GATES
Is there some reason you don’t want to work with Detective Beckett?

BECKETT challenges him with her look. He puts on his jacket.

BRACKEN
Let’s find someplace private, shall we, Detective?

BECKETT nods and CASTLE watches them leave.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

BRACKEN takes in his surroundings, but he jumps a bit when BECKETT shuts the door behind them. She gestures for him to sit. He does.

BRACKEN
Well. Hard to miss the irony of this situation.

She’s quiet for a long moment.

BECKETT
(dryly) Senator Bracken, do you have any enemies? Is there anyone you can think of that would like to kill you?

BRACKEN
I get threatening letters and emails all the time. Comes with the office. My chief of staff keeps a file.

BECKETT
Anyone with a legitimate claim?

BRACKEN
A man doesn’t get to my position without upsetting people along the way. Most of them aren’t crazy enough to want to kill me. (he gestures) Present company excluded.

She sits.

BECKETT
You know Senator, I’m not the one you should be worried about right now.

BRACKEN
It’s just us here, Detective. A shooter on the loose, me in the crosshairs. Must be a dream come true for you.

BECKETT
(low) In my dreams I’m the one that gets to pull the trigger. (he smiles) But you know, if you’re not comfortable with me leading this investigation you’re welcome to step outside and tell everyone why.

He considers her before he leans back. She smiles.

BECKETT
Well then, I guess we’re stuck with each other. So then let me make one thing clear. This man killed Melanie Rogers. And when someone commits murder, whoever he is, Senator, I will bring him to justice. No matter how long it takes.

He leans closer.

BRACKEN
I’ll have my chief of staff send over the letters.

He's done. He leaves her there.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
I’ll tell you something. If I’m her, I sit in there shuffling papers until whoever it is puts a bullet in Bracken’s head.

RYAN
No you wouldn’t. Because that would make you no better than he is.

ESPOSITO gives him a look.

ESPOSITO
The guy murdered Beckett’s mother. Captain Montgomery. Who knows who else. Bracken’s got it coming to him. So I say let it come.

RYAN is uncomfortable with that.

GATES
The mayor’s asking for an update. What’s the latest?

RYAN hands GATES a paper.

RYAN
Serial number on that rifle led us to a hunting store in Patterson, New Jersey. The owner ID’d our suspect from the sketch. The paperwork indicates that several firearms were purchased, but the name and address are all bogus.

GATES
Okay, take a few units to canvass the area near the store and take the sketch of our suspect.

RYAN heads out.

GATES
Detective Esposito.

ESPOSITO
Mmhmm.

GATES
Any word from CSU?

ESPOSITO
Yes, sir. They discovered part of a receipt with a smudge on it in the duffle bag, been trying to get a partial print off of that. There’s no point of sale on the receipt, but the SKU number matched that hat. (he points to a photo on the murder board) Manufacturer’s sending over a list of outlets in the tri-state area, but there’s over 200 locations.

GATES
Focus on the ones in Jersey first. (ESPOSITO nods) 24 hours before Bracken speaks. Maybe Beckett will have better luck with those threat letters.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DUSK

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

CASTLE
Man, these people need to get a life. Most of these guys it seems like their only companionship is the space alien that talks to them through their microwave.

BECKETT
Yeah well, there’s a lot of lonely, confused people out there. But so far none of the letters match the handwriting in our suspect’s notebook.

She grabs another letter. It’s not a match.

CASTLE
Considering what he’s capable of, you would think Bracken would have more … formidable enemies.

BECKETT
Oh, obviously you never saw the letter that I sent him.

CASTLE
No, I did actually. I liked the way you uh, dotted the ‘I’ in kill with a little heart. It was a nice touch.

She smiles.

BECKETT
Well, I was trying to give it a personal feel.

CASTLE
Well done.

BECKETT
Yeah.

They work in silence a bit longer, then CASTLE speaks again.

CASTLE
So we’re really not going to talk about this?

BECKETT
(shrugs) I mean, Castle, what is there to talk about?

CASTLE
Honestly? Practically … everything.

BECKETT
Which is why all I can do is treat it like another case. Because that’s what it is. It’s – (she opens another envelope and pauses) – just like any other case.

She shoves the letter back in the envelope. CASTLE doesn’t notice her odd demeanor. He yawns.

BECKETT
You’re tired, Castle. Why don’t you go get some rest?

CASTLE
No, no, no. I can stay if you like.

She pats his arm.

BECKETT
No. C’mon. Go. I’ll call you if I need anything, okay?

He watches her for a second. She forces a smile and looks down.

CASTLE
You really are remarkable, you know that?

He smiles at her and she breaks and smiles back. He stands and grabs his jacket. She watches him go. He pauses in the doorway, looks her over once more and smiles again before he leaves.

When he’s gone BECKETT pulls out the letter she shoved away. It’s a match to the writing in the notebook.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

INT – DR. BURKE’S OFFICE

BECKETT
I’ve been working on this case where I have to find a suspect and I came across a piece of evidence. It’s a letter that he wrote and there’s no address. There’s no name. Just a postmark from New Jersey. And I know in my gut that this is our big break. One way or another it’s going to lead us straight to him.

DR. CARTER BURKE
Yet here you are talking to me.

BECKETT
If we find this suspect, someone worse, much worse, is going to escape justice.

INT – BECKETT’S APARTMENT

She’s spread out her mom’s case on the table. She regards it all, keeps looking to the letter. The evidence that could keep BRACKEN safe.

BURKE (VOICEOVER)
I take it no one else knows about the letter.

BECKETT (VOICEOVER)
No. Not yet.

BURKE (VOICEOVER)
As a police officer you must have faced similar dilemmas.

BECKETT (VOICEOVER)
Yeah.

BURKE (VOICEOVER)
Why is this time different?

She lights a match and watches it burn down.

BECKETT (VOICEOVER)
Because this time it feels like there’s no right choice.

BURKE (VOICEOVER)
Maybe the right choice is the one you can live with.

BECKETT picks up the letter. It would be so easy to destroy it; to watch it burn.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE arrives with two coffees.

CASTLE
Hey. You guys seen Beckett?

RYAN
No. Not since last night. We thought she was with you.

CASTLE
No. I tried her a couple of times this morning, but wasn’t picking up.

ESPOSITO
(on the phone) All right, thanks. (he hangs up) Yo, I’m trying to get through this list of stores that sell the baseball caps. Half of them aren’t even open yet. What about you?

RYAN
Nada. A canvass around the gun store turned up empty.

CASTLE looks up when BECKETT walks in.

BECKETT
Hey.

CASTLE
Hey.

BECKETT
You guys, where are we on the suspect?

ESPOSITO
Nowhere. And Senator Bracken speaks in 10 hours. You find anything in those letters?

BECKETT
(hesitates) Uh, no. Nothing significant.

Something’s off and CASTLE notices.

CASTLE
You doing all right?

BECKETT
I need a second.

He watches her head in the direction of the break room.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BREAK ROOM

BECKETT stops at the counter and braces herself against it with a deep breath. She’s still torn, but the letter is still intact. Out the window she can see GATES comforting MELANIE’S sister JULIE. She watches for a minute, then looks down at the letter. She knows what she has to do.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

It’s hard, but BECKETT prepares herself.

BECKETT
You guys, there’s something that I –

ESPOSITO hangs up his phone again.

ESPOSITO
Yo. I just heard back from CSU on that receipt from the duffle bag.

RYAN
They get a print off that smudge?

ESPOSITO
No, but it contained traces of synthetic motor oil and brake pad residue.

CASTLE
Sounds like our guy’s a mechanic.

BECKETT
So maybe he was shopping for the rifle near work. Where’s that store again?

RYAN
Patterson. Just off the highway.

ESPOSITO
That’s the place to start.

BECKETT
All right, I’m going to get you guys addresses on your way. I’ll compile a list of every service station within a five mile radius and we’ll expand from there.

RYAN and ESPOSITO continue on to the door.

CASTLE
Were you going to say something?

BECKETT
(picks up her phone and smiles) No, we’re past it.

EST – NEW JERSEY, DAYTIME

EXT – CAR MECHANIC

RYAN
Who knew Patterson had so many service stations, huh?

ESPOSITO
I’m pretty sure we left Patterson five shops ago.

They head for the door, but stop.

RYAN
Ugh. Back in 20 minutes.

ESPOSITO
Well we don’t have 20 minutes to waste. Let’s move on to the next one. We’ll circle back around.

RYAN
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. (he looks in the window) Hey, look on top of the counter. They sell those hats here.

ESPOSITO starts pounding on the door. RYAN joins him.

ESPOSITO
Open up! Police business!

There’s nothing and RYAN holds up his badge.

BEN
All right, I’m coming. Relax! Don’t break my glass. Yeah, I see it.

He opens the door.

ESPOSITO
How’re you doing? NYPD. (he hands over the sketch) Do you know this guy?

BEN
Maybe. He looks like one of my mechanics. I mean, he used to be. I laid him off like 3 weeks ago.

RYAN
Do you have any paperwork he might have filled out? Maybe a work order?

BEN
I might have something back here.

They wait while BEN looks through paperwork. RYAN examines the hats.

BEN
Yeah, that’s it right there.

ESPOSITO examines the work order.

ESPOSITO
Handwriting’s a match. It’s our guy.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE opens a folder.

CASTLE
Robert McManus. Has a history of schizophrenia, multiple stays at a psych ward. Recent episodes were triggered by his son’s death.

RYAN
Hey.

BECKETT
Hey. Where are we on deployment?

ESPOSITO
Every beat cop in the city has his photo. SWAT is sitting on his place in Jersey, but his neighbors say he hasn’t been there in a month. He disappears for long stretches.

RYAN
I’m scouring through his financials, but they are severely outdated. Guy closed his accounts years ago. Basically living off the grid.

GATES
Got something. We canvassed near a diner McManus used to frequent. An SRO desk clerk just ID’d him. He’s been staying there a month.

INT – SRO HALLWAY

BECKETT and RYAN and ESPOSITO lead the SWAT team to the door where he’s staying. BECKETT gives a nod when they’re assembled and ESPOSITO kicks down the door.

BECKETT
NYPD!

RYAN
NYPD!

They sweep the apartment and check the bathroom and the closets and under the bed.

RYAN
Clear!

ESPOSITO
Clear.

BECKETT
Take the place apart. Look for anything that might lead us to him.

RYAN
We should check the rest of the building.

BECKETT
I’ll talk to the manager for details on his routine.

She leaves the apartment and makes her way down the hallway. The elevator dings and she watches as a man gets off. It’s ROBERT MCMANUS and she stops short. It takes her a second, but she raises her gun.

BECKETT
NYPD. Show me your hands.

He does, but he starts backing away.

BECKETT
Don’t move. (he bolts) Don’t move or I’ll shoot!

She takes two shots, but he’s around the corner. She takes a second. CASTLE runs around the corner and she looks at him. He gives her a confused look. She’s almost as surprised by herself.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BREAK ROOM

The door opens and CASTLE walks in.

CASTLE
Hey. Just spoke to Ryan. McManus is still out there, but the boys are going door to door in every building nearby.

BECKETT
I had him in my sights. I had him.

CASTLE
So you missed. So what? It could happen to anyone.

BECKETT
No. I didn’t miss.

He cocks his head.

CASTLE
What do you mean?

BECKETT
(hesitates) I found a letter. In the threats file. It was from McManus.

CASTLE is confused and steps closer.

CASTLE
How long have you known about this?

BECKETT
Since last night. McManus was accusing Bracken of murdering his son. I looked into it. He was a 24 year old kid. He was an intern for Bracken’s reelection campaign. He had a meeting scheduled with a reporter and the next day they found him hanged.

CASTLE
And you think Bracken –

BECKETT
I don’t know, Castle. (low) Oh my God.

He watches her struggle.

BECKETT
I almost suppressed evidence. I was going to burn that letter.

CASTLE
But you didn’t.

BECKETT
I didn’t miss McManus. (she’s firm) I looked him in the eye and I saw his pain. And I couldn’t take that shot.

CASTLE tries to work through what that means.

BECKETT
What if I wanted him to get away? Wanted him to go through with this? Then what does that make me?

CASTLE can’t respond before the door opens. It’s GATES and BECKETT pulls herself together.

BECKETT
Is there anything new?

GATES
Nothing yet on McManus. But a search of his room turned up wires, detonator, traces of C4. Looks like he was building a bomb.

BECKETT
A bomb, uh – (she realizes) did anyone find it?

GATES
No. If he built something it’s either with him or already out there waiting to go off.

CASTLE looks at BECKETT.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT walks from the break room.

CASTLE
Beckett, hang on.

BECKETT
He had a rifle, Castle. A rifle. Not a bomb. If he detonates that thing tonight at the conference and innocent people get hurt –

CASTLE
Okay, this is not your fault.

BECKETT
How? How is it not my fault? I’m a cop. I had a job to do and I didn’t do it. I’ve got to make this right. I’ve got to find that bomb and save Bracken’s life.

The elevator dings and CASTLE looks over her shoulder.

CASTLE
Looks like you might have some help.

She turns to see RYAN and ESPOSITO walk in with MCMANUS.

ESPOSITO
Found him hiding on a rooftop three blocks away.

BECKETT
What about the bomb?

ESPOSITO
Asked him about it. Asked him about Melanie Rogers, too. He’s not much of a talker.

RYAN
He hasn’t said a word since we picked him up.

BECKETT
Take him to interrogation.

RYAN leads MCMANUS away.

ESPOSITO
What makes you think he’s going to talk to you?

BECKETT
‘cause. I know him.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT sits across from MCMANUS. She’s trying not to spook him.

BECKETT
Hi Robert. I’m Kate. (she slides a handcuff key across the table) Why don’t you take those things off? They look uncomfortable.

MCMANUS takes the key and slowly uncuffs himself.

BECKETT
I know what it’s like to lose someone that you love. To live with that pain. To feel the rage towards the person responsible for it. Towards Bracken.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINT OBSERVATION ROOM

CASTLE watches her from behind the mirror, but he startles when the door opens and GATES comes in.

BECKETT
He took someone close to me. He killed my mother. And then he went after my friends. Even tried to kill me.

GATES
Is she talking about Bracken?

CASTLE
She’s … just trying to get through to him any way she can.

GATES continues to watch.

ROBERT MCMANUS
The man killed my son. No one cared.

BECKETT
I care.

MCMANUS
He needs to pay.

BECKETT
Not with a bomb, Robert. You and me, we’re not like him. We don’t hurt innocent people. (low) Where’s the C4?

MCMANUS
You’re trying to confuse me. Trick me into saying something I shouldn’t.

BECKETT
I’m trying to take down Bracken, same as you. And we’ve gotta do it the right way. You and me, we’re on the same side, Robert.

MCMANUS
You’re on his side. He controls everybody. You’re all in his pocket. (he turns to the mirror and points) Every last one of you.

BECKETT
No I’m not. I’m just like you, Robert.

GATES
She’s losing him.

MCMANUS
You’re not like me. You’re making stuff up. Making up stories. If you went through what I went through you would want to see him dead.

She’s having a hard time staying calm.

BECKETT
Everything that I told you was true. (he looks away) Robert, look at me.

He doesn’t. Instead he recuffs himself. BECKETT stands and slams her hands on the table. He doesn’t flinch.

BECKETT
Where’s the C4? If that thing goes off then there’s blood on our hands, and I cannot live with that, and I know that you can’t, either.

The door to the interrogation room opens.

GATES
Detective? A word.

BECKETT
Sir.

GATES
(firmly) Detective.

BECKETT searches MCMANUS again, but he won’t look at her.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

GATES follows BECKETT out of the interrogation room.

BECKETT
Sir, I can do this. I can reach him.

GATES
It’s over, Detective.

BECKETT
Sir, just give me another minute.

GATES
I just got a call from the Feds. They found the bomb.

BECKETT is unbelieving.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BRACKEN is being debriefed by GATES.

GATES
McManus rented a box at a post office. The C4 was there. He’d wired it into a vest. He’d also obtained credentials for the conference somehow.

BRACKEN
Well, thank you, Captain. For everything you’ve done.

GATES
Well actually, Detective Beckett deserves most of the credit. She led the team. (GATES’ phone rings) Excuse me, Senator. (she steps away) Good afternoon, Mr. Mayor.

When GATES is gone, BRACKEN steps closer.

BRACKEN
I heard how you led the team. You fired, what, two shots from close range and both of them missed? All this talk about justice. I guess I was right about you.

BECKETT is stoic as he walks away. She then catches sight of MCMANUS being led away. Something doesn’t sit right with her.

INT – BECKETT’S APARTMENT

She’s got the case spread open in front of her when CASTLE knocks on the door and lets himself in.

CASTLE
Check this out. What better way to celebrate the end of a difficult case then with a bottle of – (he trails off when he sees her work) – what are you doing?

BECKETT
Castle, look at this vest McManus supposedly made. (she hands him a photo) The zip ties and wires. They’re expertly done. You saw McManus. He was barely able to button his own shirt.

CASTLE
In his current state, no. But he could have done this while he was still on his meds.

BECKETT
And what about Melanie’s body? He burned it and he knocked out her teeth to keep it unidentifiable. And then he leaves a duffle bag in a stolen car for us to find? That doesn’t make any sense.

CASTLE
Well, he’s mentally ill. I mean, not everything he does is going to make sense.

BECKETT
No Castle, something is not right. That Zippo lighter we heard on Melanie’s voicemail. McManus doesn’t smoke. We didn’t find a Zippo in any of his things.

CASTLE
Kate … (he shakes his head) Let it go. I mean, you don’t have anything to prove. Not to Bracken. Not to me, not to yourself.

BECKETT
Castle, this isn’t about proving something. This is about evidence.

CASTLE
Well, all the evidence – the letter, the notebook, the bomb – everything traces back to McManus.

She hesitates.

BECKETT
What if somebody wanted us to find him? What if they’re framing him? So that everyone would think that the threat was over while the real assassin is still out there. The C4 in the vest. What if that was the bomb we were supposed to find? What if there’s another bomb that’s still out there planned for the keynote address? That’s an event that the time and place has been known for weeks.

CASTLE
(considers) Okay, if a bomb went off during Bracken’s speech they could say McManus set it before he was apprehended.

BECKETT
Bracken’s supposed to go on stage at 8 o’clock. That’s (she checks her watch) 20 minutes away. Look, I know that I don’t have any proof. I know that this sounds crazy –

CASTLE
And you know how determined Bracken was to give this speech. If you stop it and you’re wrong? Your career is over.

BECKETT
And if I’m right?

CASTLE gives her a look and finally nods. BECKETT nods back before pulling out her phone and dialing.

BECKETT
This is Detective Beckett, badge number 41319. I’m calling for the evacuation of the Widmark Hotel.

EXT – WIDMARK HOTEL

Police cars pull up outside. There is already a bunch of press there trying to cover the story.

BRACKEN
Detective Beckett!

BECKETT
Castle, why don’t you see if you can get an update from the bomb squad?

CASTLE
Right.

He leaves her.

BRACKEN
What the hell is going on here? Who called in the bomb squad?

BECKETT
We had a credible threat, sir.

BRACKEN
Credible according to who?

BECKETT
I think we should speak alone.

BRACKEN nods and his staff wanders off.

BECKETT
We believe someone that you know is trying to kill you.

BRACKEN
What? You already have the man in custody.

BECKETT
We believe that McManus was set up because of the threatening letter he sent you, which means the individual involved has access to the files in your office.

BRACKEN
And you have evidence for all of this? (she doesn’t respond) You don’t have evidence?

BECKETT
Look, I’m not going to make this kind of accusation lightly.

BRACKEN
Are you – so you called in a bomb scare based on – on what? A hunch?

CASTLE
Beckett?

BOMB SQUAD MEMBER KOCH
We finished our sweep of the primary target area, Detective. We found no explosive device.

BECKETT
What about the stage? Did you check the podium?

KOCH
We swept everything in a 50 foot radius of where the Senator would be speaking.

BRACKEN
All right, this is ridiculous. Let’s just get everybody back inside.

KOCH
I’m sorry, Senator. We still have to conduct a thorough search of the building. It’s going to take a few more hours, I’m afraid.

KOCH leaves them and BRACKEN turns back to BECKETT angrily.

BRACKEN
You think I don’t know what you’re doing? You let McManus get away so he would take me down, and when that didn’t play out you decided to ruin the most important moment of my career.

BECKETT
That’s not what this is about.

BRACKEN
You save that for the review board! You have overplayed your hand. And I am going to bury you.

He walks away and BECKETT sighs.

BECKETT
Oh God, Castle. I don’t understand. How did we get this so wrong?

CASTLE
We knew we were taking a risk.

BECKETT
There’s got to be a reason that they were framing McManus. They had to have been planning this for tonight. Here. It’s the only thing that makes sense.

CASTLE
Or he wasn’t being framed.

BECKETT
Maybe they couldn’t get the bomb in the building. With the heightened security because McManus was on the loose, maybe they had to make a different plan. Place the bomb somewhere more accessible.

CASTLE
Kate. It’s over.

She goes silent and there’s a clicking noise. Just like from MELANIE’S voicemail. BECKETT turns. BRACKEN’S chauffeur is flicking the top of a Zippo lighter. She watches as the chauffeur switches the Zippo for a detonator in his pocket. She takes off running toward BRACKEN. CASTLE is right behind her. The bomb explodes the limo just as BECKETT tackles BRACKEN.

CASTLE
Kate!

She’s fine. So is BRACKEN as she helps him up.

BECKETT
Castle! The driver!

CASTLE nods once and takes off after the chauffeur. He tackles him to the ground and within seconds the NYPD and SWAT teams have him in custody. BRACKEN just looks at BECKETT in a daze.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT OBSERVATION ROOM

BECKETT is in the interrogation room with the chauffeur.

BRACKEN
His name is Noah Charles. He was my driver for 5 years.

CASTLE
Any reason he would suddenly want you dead?

BRACKEN
I assume because someone paid him a great deal of money.

CASTLE
You don’t seem shocked.

BRACKEN
It’s another world out there, Mr. Castle. One that most people don’t see, run by money, influence, power. And the people in it will do anything they can to stay on top. But I assume that you already know that.

CASTLE pauses.

CASTLE
I wouldn’t have done it, you know. What she did. I’d’ve stood and watched.

BRACKEN’S face changes, like he realizes that BECKETT has more than he realized. BECKETT joins them.

BECKETT
So he’s not talking. But a search of his apartment turned up a pair of gloves with traces of Melanie Rogers' blood on it. They also found a fake beard and a baseball cap just like McManus’.

CASTLE
So McManus could be seen at the conference by security. It’s all part of the setup.

BRACKEN
Melanie met Noah a bunch of times. She probably recognized him on the day, wondered what he was doing, and followed him.

BECKETT
If she got on to him he would have had no choice but to kill her.

BRACKEN
What a shame.

Both CASTLE and BECKETT look startled that BRACKEN would have an emotion over it.

BRACKEN
(off their looks) She was a sweet kid.

RYAN opens the door.

RYAN
Hey. Got a sec?

BECKETT
Yeah.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN
I did a little digging into that driver of yours. Turns out you’re not his only employer, Senator.

ESPOSITO
We took a look into his financials. There’s a series of large deposits into his checking account.

BRACKEN
Let me guess. Untraceable wire transfers bounced through shadow accounts and Switzerland and the Middle East.

CASTLE
Just like you would have done.

BRACKEN looks at him. Everyone else is silent.

BECKETT
Thanks, guys.

She walks away. BRACKEN and CASTLE aren’t far behind her.

BECKETT
You know who’s behind this, don’t you?

BRACKEN
I have my suspicions.

BECKETT
Who?

BRACKEN
Someone who’s gotten rich making powerful people promises that I need to keep. What does a kingmaker do when the king no longer follows orders?

BECKETT
I need a name.

BRACKEN
You’ve done enough, Detective.

BECKETT
Senator, that person is still out there and I have no way of getting to him. You’re not safe.

BRACKEN
I’m touched by your concern. But I think maybe you forget who you’re dealing with.

HOWARD
Sir, we have to leave. You’re already 30 minutes behind schedule.

BRACKEN
Detective Beckett, would you uh, walk me out?

She’s under no impression that it’s a goodwill gesture but she follows him anyway.

EXT – TWELFTH PRECINCT

She waits for him to talk.

BRACKEN
You saved my life.

BECKETT
(rolls her eyes) Yeah well, you can’t win ‘em all, can you?

BRACKEN
I suppose this means I’m in your debt.

BECKETT
Nothing’s changed between us, Senator.

BRACKEN
Even so. It’s a dangerous world out there, Detective. You never know when you might need a friend.

She’s silent as he walks away.

BECKETT
McManus’ son. Was that you?

BRACKEN
If I said no, would you really believe me?

At that moment the press catch sight of him.

REPORTER 1
There he is!

They run towards him hoping for a statement.

REPORTER 2
Senator! Is it true that the attempt on your life was an inside job?

REPORTER 1
Witnesses say they arrested your driver. Any comment?

REPORTER 2
Did it have anything to do with your environmental initiative?

HOWARD
The Senator is very busy –

BRACKEN
No, it’s okay. I’ll – I’ll make a statement. (he turns to the reporters) As you all know, last night an attempt was made on my life. Even though I was not able to introduce my initiative at the eco conference, it has only strengthened my resolve to move forward with this historic piece of legislation.

BECKETT watches him for a minute, uncomfortable. Finally she heads back inside.

INT – BECKETT’S APARTMENT

BRACKEN’S statement has become a press conference that is aired with the nightly news. CASTLE and BECKETT watch from her living room.

BRACKEN
And I would like to especially thank the brave men and women of the New York City Police Department who thwarted this plot.

ANNOUNCER
And in a shocking development, Federal Agents arrested Benjamin Moss, founder of the powerful super-PAC American Way, after connecting him to payments made to the Senator’s would-be assassin. Moss, a former presidential –

BECKETT mutes the TV.

CASTLE
My God. It was Ben Moss.

BECKETT
Biggest kingmaker of them all.

CASTLE
But Bracken only had him arrested. The way he was talking I half expected the guy to die in a “plane crash” or some kind of mysterious “car accident”.

BECKETT
No. Look, this is so much better. Now Bracken’s a folk hero. The rare politician willing to stand up to special interests and fight for what’s right, even if it costs him his life.

BECKETT rolls her eyes.

CASTLE
You’re right. That’s a better story. (he thinks) The kind of story that could make a guy President.

BECKETT
He’ll slip up eventually and when he does, I’ll be ready.

CASTLE smiles at her and they both turn back to BRACKEN’S face on the TV.

THE END

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