7x01 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda

CASTLE
EPISODE 7x01
"Driven"


[Previously on CASTLE]

EXT – HAMPTONS

CASTLE’S car burns and BECKETT wastes no time running down the embankment to get to it.

KATE BECKETT
Castle!

JAVIER ESPOSITO
Stay back! There’s nothing you can do.

She doesn’t listen and RYAN and ESPOSITO don’t try to stop her. She stumbles a bit in her haste to get to the car, but each time she scrambles forward. She reaches for the door handle but the flames are too hot. She can’t get inside.

ALEXIS CASTLE and MARTHA RODGERS watch from the road. ALEXIS gasps when she sees the car.

MARTHA RODGERS
Oh my God!

BECKETT tries again to get inside the car, to see if she can pull him out, but the flames flare and she has to pull her hand back.

BECKETT
(sobs) Castle.

She backs away and sinks to the ground crying. No one moves; there’s nothing they can do. They’re all in shock. But then it stars raining – water from a fire hose – and BECKETT has a moment of clarity. The flames are out. And now she needs to see for herself, see that CASTLE is dead. She makes her way to the car slowly, her head down. She needs to see.

But when she looks into the car, there’s no body. Just a charred mess of the interior.

BECKETT
It’s empty. (louder) He’s not here. He’s not in the car!

EXT – HAMPTONS

ESPOSITO helps BECKETT back to the road.

ESPOSITO
You’re sure he’s not in the car?

BECKETT
Even with a fire that hot there’d still be a body. He’s gotta be nearby.

MARTHA
You really think he –

BECKETT
He’s here. He has to be. We have to start a search.

RYAN
We could use more men.

BECKETT nods. She looks past him.

BECKETT
Sergeant. (he runs over and he shakes her hand) I’m Detective Beckett, NYPD. The man that was in that car is one of our own. We need to scrub every inch of this area.

SERGEANT TAGGERT
I’ll get my men on it.

RYAN
You have search and rescue dogs?

TAGGERT
I’ll call them in.

RYAN
Okay.

TAGGERT turns away to get started.

BECKETT
I need to help them.

ESPOSITO
You’re no use to anyone dressed like that. We’ll get started here. You go change.

MARTHA reaches for her.

MARTHA
Come on. Let’s get you into some other clothes.

BECKETT takes MARTHA’S hand.

BECKETT
Okay, I’ll be right back.

MARTHA leads BECKETT away.

RYAN
All right, I’m going to search up near the road. Maybe Castle managed to bail out before the bar crashed.

ESPOSITO
All right. We’ll start on the car, see if we can tell what happened and where he went.

RYAN
All right.

RYAN runs off to the road.

EXT – HAMPTONS

TAGGERT
Airbag went off. It only activates when someone’s in that seat, so your man was definitely at the wheel.

He points to the driver’s seat.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, but if he walked away, where is he and why isn’t he picking up?

ESPOSITO hangs up.

TAGGERT
Maybe his phone’s damaged. Or he’s disoriented. I’ve seen it before. But if he left this vehicle there’s going to be tracks or a blood trail.

ESPOSITO’S phone rings.

ESPOSITO
Hello?

RYAN
Hey, Javi. Walk to the back of Castle’s car.

ESPOSITO
What for?

RYAN
Just do it, okay? Check the passenger rear side. Tell me what you see?

ESPOSITO does as he’s told and inspects the back side of CASTLE’S car.

ESPOSITO
It looks like it took a hit on the right side. Busted the tail light.

RYAN
That’s because Castle got bumped by another car and run off the road. I’ve got debris up here.

ESPOSITO
All right. Call local CSU. Maybe those pieces can help us ID that car.

He hangs up.

TAGGERT
Detective. I think I’ve got something. (ESPOSITO joins him) Tracks. Going from the car up to the road. Water washed part of the trail but it looks like three people.

ESPOSITO
Three people? That can’t be right.

TAGGERT
See the two troughs in the dirt? (he points) Made by heels from a pair of shoes.

ESPOSITO
So he was run off the road and dragged from the car? Castle got grabbed.

EXT – HAMPTONS

A car pulls to a stop in front of ESPOSITO and RYAN. BECKETT jumps out. She’s dressed in normal clothes; the only trace of the wedding left are the boys' tuxes.

BECKETT
What?

RYAN
Had Taggert set up road blocks to stop and search every vehicle.

ESPOSITO
We figured that the car that ran Castle into the ditch may be the same car he’s in now.

BECKETT
Did we get a description?

ESPOSITO
Not yet, but CSU thinks the side marker glass up ahead came from a GM. Local PD’s canvassing to see if anyone saw any vehicles leaving the area.

BECKETT
What about Castle’s cell phone?

ESPOSITO
His provider says it’s shut off.

RYAN
Contacted the FBI to see if it can be turned on remotely. It’s a long shot, but you never know.

BECKETT
What else?

ESPOSITO
Kate. Everything that can be done is being done.

She stops abruptly and faces them.

BECKETT
Espo, don’t tell me that. They took him. I need to do something.

ESPOSITO
Then tell us about that phone call you got.

RYAN
Was he nervous? Did he indicate in any way he was being followed?

BECKETT
No. He was just – normal. (she’s starting to break) He was normal.

ESPOSITO’S phone beeps.

ESPOSITO
Hey. Sergeant Taggert may have a witness. Guy runs a fruit stand up the road.

EXT – HAMPTONS

CAL HARPER
Yeah, I definitely saw a Mercedes go by around the time you’re talking. Uh … bronze colored.

ESPOSITO
That’s Castle’s car.

BECKETT
What about any cars after that?

CAL
Uh. Let’s see. There was a Volkswagen Bug, a Ferrari, an SUV.

ESPOSITO
(to BECKETT) No one’s going to run him off the road with a Bug or a Ferrari.

BECKETT
Talk to me about that SUV.

CAL
It was an Escalade. Black, with tinted windows and chrome wheels.

ESPOSITO
How is it you happen to remember it so clearly?

CAL
Because I saw it twice. It passed heading north and he flew by again, maybe ten minutes later.

BECKETT thinks.

BECKETT
They were headed south, off of Long Island. (she turns to TAGGERT) With Castle.

TAGGERT
I’ll put out an APB on the Escalade.

ESPOSITO
I’m going to call state police, have them set up checkpoints at every road heading off of Long Island.

RYAN runs up.

RYAN
Getting Castle off of the island may not be the plan. (he shows her his phone) The Feds just called. They were able to remotely activate Castle’s phone for a few seconds.

BECKETT
Did they get a location?

She’s already running toward the car.

RYAN
Yep. He’s still on the island. According to his GPS, he was in Medford.

BECKETT
How far is Medford from here?

TAGGERT
Not far the way I’m going to drive.

EXT – SALVAGE YARD

TAGGERT stops the car quickly and RYAN jumps out. He’s quickly followed by ESPOSITO and BECKETT.

RYAN
It says Castle’s GPS puts him about a hundred feet into this junkyard.

TAGGERT yells out the window.

TAGGERT
State police is ten minutes out. They want you to wait for backup.

They pause, but BECKETT turns back to the gate, her gun drawn.

BECKETT
Not a chance in hell.

ESPOSITO rips open the gate and they swarm in.

RYAN
It’s right over there. 85 feet and closing.

ESPOSITO
Which way?

RYAN
Other side of this car carrier, I think. (he watches his phone) 60 feet now.

BECKETT
There. Black Escalade.

RYAN
Yeah. That’s ground zero for Castle’s GPS.

ESPOSITO
So he’s in there?

They start to rush forward toward the car, but just as they do it starts being crushed. The windows blow out and the frame crumples inward.

BECKETT
No.

They’re frozen until GARY DUFFIN walks from behind a pile of junk. He’s holding the remote to the crusher.

BECKETT
Stop! Do not move!

He drops the remote and bolts. BECKETT, RYAN, and ESPOSITO run after him.

BECKETT
Stop!

They split up but the guy is out of sight. They don’t give up, searching through the junk yard until BECKETT catches sight of him. She tracks his path, following him until he’s trapped by RYAN and ESPOSITO.

RYAN
Freeze!

ESPOSITO
On the ground, now!

He moves to run in the opposite direction, but before he gets more than two steps away BECKETT barrels into him and knocks him to the ground.

BECKETT
What have you done? (she’s enraged) What have you done?

RYAN
Beckett, we got him.

ESPOSITO
Beckett, stop.

They have to pull her off GARY.

BECKETT
No! No!

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
Gary Duffin. You’re no stranger to rooms like this. But this time it’s different. (she’s harsh) This time, your only option is give me answers.

GARY DUFFIN
And what if I don’t?

She puts tension on the chain holding him to the table.

BECKETT
You were at the junkyard when that SUV came in. Who was in it?

GARY
You know what? I want a lawyer.

She slams her foot on the chain and his hands jerk forward against the table. He groans in pain and she grabs his thumb, leaning in close.

BECKETT
You’re a low-level dirtbag, Gary. You’re not a criminal mastermind, so start talking. (she wrenches his thumb backward and he yells) Who was in the car? Who had you crush it?

GARY doesn’t respond. She shows him CASTLE’S photo.

BECKETT
Was Castle in the car? (GARY’S still silent) Was he in the car? Was he alive?

She bends GARY’S thumb back further.

GARY
Ah! You’re going to break my finger.

BECKETT
And then after that there’s nine more, so tell me what I want to know. Start talking.

GARY yells in pain again.

GARY
I’ve got nothing to say.

She’s about to put more pressure on him but a knock at the door interrupts her. She lets GARY go.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
What? What is it?

ESPOSITO
Forensics came back on the SUV. There was no blood or tissue. Castle wasn’t inside.

It takes a second for the news to register, but she gasps in relief.

BECKETT
Okay. So he’s still out there.

ESPOSITO nods slightly. BECKETT bolsters herself, regaining some of her Detective Beckett-ness.

BECKETT
Which means they crushed the car to cover their tracks. Okay, get CSU to sweep for DNA and prints. And let’s move Gary Duffin to a holding cell.

ESPOSITO
So you can do what to him? (off her look) I was watching. Getting booted of the force is not going to help anything.

BECKETT
Espo, he knows who took Castle.

ESPOSITO
Well, he’s never going to give them up. Whoever they are, he’s way more afraid of them than he is of you.

BECKETT
(considers) Fine. We’ll try another angle. For now.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN
Thanks. (he hangs up his phone) So, we are dead-ended on the SUV. Ran the VIN number. It turns out that it was stolen from a long term parking lot near JFK with conveniently lousy video surveillance.

BECKETT
(sighs) Okay. Let’s dig deeper into our car-crusher, Gary Duffin. Look into his background, his known associates. That might lead us to whoever took Castle.

ESPOSITO
We’re on it.

She’s already headed for her desk.

CAPTAIN VICTORIA GATES
Detective. Do you have a moment?

BECKETT
Yes, sir.

BECKETT steps closer.

GATES
How are you holding up?

BECKETT
(pauses a little too long) I’m fine.

GATES
I truly can’t imagine what you’re going through. How you can focus at a time like this.

BECKETT
Ah, sir, please don’t take me off of this case.

GATES
Oh, I won’t. Unless you give me cause to. You keep doing what you’re doing.

BECKETT
(nods) Okay. Thank you.

GATES
And you should know, we’re using every resource that we have to find Mr. Castle. Including calling in the FBI. There’s a Special Agent Connors waiting to speak with you.

BECKETT
Sir, with all due respect, I’m under the gun here. I don’t have time to bring the FBI up to speed.

SPECIAL AGENT CONNORS
I’m already up to speed, Detective. I just have a few questions.

He gestures for her to follow him.

GATES
Kate, they can help.

BECKETT gives GATES a strained look, but follows after CONNORS anyway.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

CONNORS shuts the door for privacy.

CONNORS
I understand investigating this case puts you in a terribly difficult position.

BECKETT
Yeah.

CONNORS
But I need to talk to you about Mr. Castle. Outside of his family, you’re the one who knew him best.

BECKETT gets where this is going.

BECKETT
Yeah well, he didn’t have any problems with gambling, money, drugs - (she pours herself a glass of water) – affairs, so we can skip all of that.

CONNORS
I understand he was headed to the Hamptons when he was abducted.

BECKETT
Yeah. For our wedding.

CONNORS
Who knew he was making that drive?

BECKETT
The wedding guests. Um … catering staff.

CONNORS
I’ll need their names.

BECKETT
I’ve got a list. But they’re all friends and family.

CONNORS
Still. (he forces a tight smile)

BECKETT
Agent Connors, do you think that this could be a ransom kidnapping?

CONNORS
If it is, we’ll be ready. It’s standard protocol to set up a trap and trace in Mr. Castle’s loft. In the event the kidnappers call. We’ll also monitor family cell phones.

There’s something he’s not saying.

BECKETT
You sound like you don’t expect those phones to ring. (he doesn’t answer) Agent Connors, do you know something that I don’t?

CONNORS
I just keep coming back to how much easier it would have been to grab Castle in the city. Instead they took him on Long Island. Just as he was about to get married. To you.

She flinches.

BECKETT
Do you think that this has something to do with me?

CONNORS
You and Mr. Castle worked a lot of cases together. Could someone you went after have taken revenge?

It’s something she didn’t want to consider.

BECKETT
Yeah. A lot of people.

He nods.

CONNORS
Okay. Well, I’ll start by taking a run at Gary Duffin. You go through your case files, come up with a list of potential suspects. Keep me apprised at what you find.

She nods.

BECKETT
As long as you do the same.

He nods.

INT – RICHARD CASTLE’S LOFT

The FBI is setting up their tech all around CASTLE’S loft. ALEXIS watches them set up a trace in CASTLE’S office.

ALEXIS
(dully) He’ll come back.

MARTHA
Of course he will, darling. Your father will be home before you know it.

She’s trying to be comforting, but even she’s not sure she can believe that.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT’S murder board has turned into all the leads they have on CASTLE’S disappearance. She stares at his photo for a long moment before turning back to her paperwork. A coffee is thrust into her line of vision and she brightens and turns. That’s CASTLE’S greeting. But her face falls when she sees that it’s not CASTLE offering her the coffee. It’s ESPOSITO.

BECKETT
Thanks.

ESPOSITO
We’ll find him.

BECKETT
So, was Agent Connors able to get anything out of Duffin?

ESPOSITO
Not a word, so he went back to FBI HQ. (he points) Are those the perps you think might have made a move on Castle?

She nods.

BECKETT
Yeah. Starting with Senator Bracken.

ESPOSITO
You think Bracken’s behind this?

BECKETT
Well, we’ve ruined his life and had him sent to prison. Taking Castle down on his way to our wedding would be just like him. Or like 3XK, for that matter, or Mickey Barbossa, or any of the other dozens of people we’ve had put away over the last few years. I mean, it could be any of them. Or none of them.

ESPOSITO
Hey. We’re going to figure this out, okay? (she can’t believe that) Kate. Don’t get lost in worst case scenarios. When Alexis was taken, it tied back to Castle’s dad. Maybe he’s mixed up in this and if he is, he’s going to look out for his son.

RYAN
Except … this is shaping up to be more mob related.

BECKETT
What makes you say that?

RYAN
I ran Gary Duffin’s cell records. Right before he crushed that SUV he got a call from a Jersey mobster.

ESPOSITO
That must be the guy who ordered Gary to squash that car. And why he’s so scared to talk.

BECKETT
Who was this mobster?

RYAN
One Vincent Cardano.

BECKETT
Vinnie Cardano? I – I’ve met him. Castle knows him.

RYAN
Was there ever a problem between them?

BECKETT
Yeah. There was.

She turns back to her desk.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

VINNY CARDANO
No, there wasn’t, trust me. Things were simpatico with me and Castle. Fact is, it pains my soul that Rick is missing. What can I do to help?

BECKETT
I was there the night that you got angry with him and stormed out.

CARDANO
He near accused me of murder. He impugned my integrity. But we made our peace ages ago over a nice bottle of Valpolicella.

BECKETT
Then why did you call Gary Duffin earlier today? Was it to tell him to destroy a certain SUV?

CARDANO
What’s a SUV got to do with this?

BECKETT
It was involved in Castle’s abduction.

CARDANO
This I did not know.

RYAN
But you did have Gary crush that car?

CARDANO
We’re entering into a gray area here.

BECKETT
You’re an accessory to kidnapping. There’s nothing gray about that.

CARDANO
I’m telling you, Kate. I did not have Rick grabbed!

BECKETT
Then stop playing games and tell me why did you have the car crushed? (he doesn’t respond) Vinny, you said that you wanted to help him. This is your chance.

CARDANO
(nods) Okay, listen. On occasion clients might need to make a vehicle disappear. And for 10 grand such a thing can be handled.

BECKETT
What was the name of the client?

CARDANO
No names came up. He called me in the morning, he said the right things, we struck a deal. But I never met the man. It was all anonymous.

RYAN
Then how did you get paid?

CARDANO
We used a drop. The client left a bag full of cash in a dumpster on the Lower East Side. Right after the SUV got turned into a panini.

RYAN
After? What happens if you crush the car and then you don’t get your money?

CARDANO
(laughs) That does not happen.

BECKETT
Where exactly is this dumpster?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

TORY ELLIS
Based on what Cardano said, this is the drop point.

She’s got a video of the area projected onto the screen.

ESPOSITO
Now what are we looking at here? This is not street cam footage.

TORY
There’s no coverage in the area, but after a rash of break-ins one of the buildings installed hidden cameras and I was able to tap in. (she lets the video play) This is in the time window when the drop should have taken place.

RYAN
We get eyes on Cardano’s client, we can get a real lead on who took Castle.

They watch as someone approaches the dumpster.

BECKETT
There. Go back.

TORY does, and slows the video to play in normal time. The man in the video has a paper bag in his hand; he looks up and down the alley before dropping the bag into the dumpster.

RYAN
That’s him. That’s the client dropping off the cash.

ESPOSITO
I’ll set up a canvass. Someone had to see where this guy came from or where he went.

They’re excited about this new lead and they’re planning their next move. But something isn’t right for BECKETT.

BECKETT
Wait. Freeze that. Zoom in.

TORY does and the image enhances. It’s CASTLE.

RYAN
It can’t be.

ESPOSITO
It is. That’s Castle. He’s the one who dropped off the cash?

It doesn’t make sense. BECKETT is stunned.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

TORY
Do you want me to run it again?

They’re all silent.

BECKETT
I – need to get some air.

She rushes from the room.

RYAN
Yeah Tory, run it one more time, please.

ESPOSITO
What are you going to see that you didn’t see before?

RYAN
(determined) Maybe we missed something.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, we missed something. Castle’s in on this. He planned the whole thing.

RYAN shakes his head in refusal. He can’t believe that.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT HALLWAY

The hallway is empty and BECKETT takes the opportunity to try and compose herself. But she can’t, she’s stuck on the photo of CASTLE alive, dropping off the cash to fake his own death. She can’t understand.

RYAN
Maybe it isn’t really him. Just think about it. 3XK, he used a lookalike to try and frame him for murder, a guy with Castle’s face.

When BECKETT speaks, she’s crying.

BECKETT
No, no, Kevin, it wasn’t just his face. It was his clothes, it was his movements, his body. It was him, on his own, just hours after he was supposedly abducted.

RYAN
Beckett, this doesn’t make any sense. He wouldn’t do that. Not Castle.

She doesn’t know what to believe.

BECKETT
Look into Castle, okay? Find out what he did, who he talked to just before he went missing. And um … brief Agent Connors.

RYAN
What are you going to do now?

BECKETT
(she thinks) I’m going to talk to his family.

It’s the last thing she wants to do, but if he was running from her, they’d know.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

ALEXIS flips through the surveillance photos.

ALEXIS
And these images were taken after the accident, the car fire?

BECKETT
Yes.

MARTHA
So he’s alive! He’s not being held captive by God knows who.

ALEXIS
Wait, are you saying Dad was run off the road by an SUV and after that he paid to have it crushed?

BECKETT nods.

BECKETT
It looks that way, yeah.

MARTHA
Well that’s ridiculous. Why on Earth would he do such a thing?

BECKETT doesn’t want to know, but she has to ask.

BECKETT
Was he going through anything that I didn’t know about?

MARTHA
Like what?

BECKETT
Pressure that he was under. That he kept to himself.

ALEXIS
Of course not. Right, Gram?

MARTHA
No, no, no, no. I would have noticed.

ALEXIS nods.

BECKETT
And what about the wedding? Did he have any misgivings?

MARTHA catches onto what BECKETT is fishing for.

MARTHA
Misgivings? Katherine, that was the farthest thing from his mind. He couldn’t wait to be married to you.

ALEXIS
You don’t think he’d just walk away, do you?

BECKETT thinks for a second, really thinks about CASTLE and their relationship, and she smiles.

BECKETT
No.

MARTHA
Then what’s going on here?

BECKETT
I don’t know. There’s gotta be another explanation.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORKROOM

AGENT CONNORS
I don’t think there is. The video clearly shows Castle out in the world, not under duress. It changes the dynamics of the case.

BECKETT
No, this is still a kidnapping. That video could be a fake. All it shows is Castle throwing away a bag. That could have been shot a month ago.

CONNORS
It wasn’t. Our tech team analyzed the footage. It’s authentic. (she pauses) Were you aware he withdrew a large sum just before he disappeared?

BECKETT
Yes. It was for our honeymoon.

CONNORS
Vinny Cardano turned over the ten thousand dollars that was left in the dumpster. It’s the same money that Castle withdrew.

BECKETT
That’s not possible.

CONNORS
That’s because you’re locked into your own version of events, but Detective, I can show you those bills. The matching serial numbers.

She tries to come up with an explanation, with an excuse.

BECKETT
There’s something else going on. There has to be.

CONNORS
It all lines up. Right down to the fact that Castle knew Cardano, knew that he could make cars vanish.

BECKETT
So, what? He went through this charade to stage his own disappearance? Why?

CONNORS takes a long time to respond.

CONNORS
People are complex. Maybe he had a breakdown. Or a personal crisis. And maybe there’s a secret side to the man that nobody knows. Including you.

She refuses to believe that.

BECKETT
Look, Agent Connors, I know that there are a lot of unanswered questions here. But you cannot stop looking for him.

CONNORS
We’ll follow every lead to the end. But once those leads dry up, we have to scale back our investigation.

BECKETT
I will find Castle, with or without the FBI.

CONNORS
You’re assuming he wants to be found.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT has made CASTLE’S disappearance her own personal case. She’s trying everything she can, calling everyone she knows.

BECKETT
My name is Detective Kate Beckett, I’m calling from the New York Homicide division … (later) … calling to see if there was any recent activity … (even later) … you had a gentleman named Richard Castle check into your hotel within the last … (and later) … about six foot two… (and later) … take a look at local airlines, gas stations … (and later) … traffic cam … (later) … traffic footage in the Hamptons, anything you can get me. Thank you.

NEWS REPORTER
… Richard Castle’s mysterious disappearance, FBI agents left the NYPD’s 12th Precinct …

BECKETT takes her work home, turning the glass behind her shutters into a board for CASTLE. The place where her mother’s case lived is now the place for her fiance’s.

Days turn into weeks, and then it’s six weeks later and BECKETT is still working, still looking for CASTLE.

BECKETT
Hey Merc, can you put me into the French consulate? (later) … calling from the United States, yes … (later) … yes, je suis(later) … in regards to a Richard Castle.

BECKETT
Okay, anything coming out of the Hamptons? … (later) … for the past two weeks … (later) … okay, I’ll look for it in my email … (later) … no, I need it right away.

Things get harder – leads are gone, there’s nowhere for BECKETT to keep looking. The FBI closes the case, but BECKETT keeps working. Two months go by and CASTLE is still gone.

EXT – OCEAN

A Coast Guard ship comes up alongside a smaller boat.

COAST GUARD SHIP
This is the United States Coast Guard. Please respond if you are in distress or need assistance.

There’s no response, but when their lights illuminate the boat they find a man lying in it, unconscious. It’s CASTLE.

INT – HOSPITAL

ESPOSITO
He was found adrift 80 miles off the coast of Delaware by a Coast Guard cutter that was out there mapping the currants.

RYAN
The Captain recognized who he was and had him airlifted here.

BECKETT
What was he doing in the middle of the Atlantic ocean?

RYAN
Yeah, especially in a dinghy with three bullet holes in it.

BECKETT
He was shot?

ESPOSITO
The Captain said no, but the doctors here won’t give us any updates on his condition.

BECKETT
Where are Martha and Alexis?

ESPOSITO
They’re in a patrol car on their way here now.

BECKETT
Okay.

They hang back and let BECKETT go ahead, but when she sees CASTLE in his room she stops short. He’s here. He’s alive.

ESPOSITO
Kate?

She turns back. They’re concerned.

BECKETT
I’m fine. (she smiles) I just never thought I’d see him again.

She turns back and finishes the walk to his room. He’s still unconscious, but she reaches for his hand.

BECKETT
(low) Castle. Hey. It’s me.

He doesn’t stir.

ALEXIS
Dad?

MARTHA
Richard, darling.

ALEXIS’ joy doesn’t last long.

ALEXIS
What’s wrong with him?

INT – HOSPITAL

DR. MCLEAN
Mr. Castle hasn’t sustained any serious injuries, and his vital signs continue to improve. But he is recovering from the effects of exposure and dehydration.

MARTHA
Uh huh.

ALEXIS
Why hasn’t he regained consciousness?

DR. MCLEAN
We’re running some additional tests to find out, but at this point we don’t think there’s any cause for alarm.

MARTHA
We’d like to stay with him, keep him company, if that’s all right.

DR. MCLEAN
Of course.

MARTHA
Thank you.

MARTHA ushers ALEXIS back to CASTLE’S room.

LANIE PARISH
Kate! (BECKETT turns around and walks to meet LANIE) How is he?

They hug.

BECKETT
He’s stable, but he’s still unconscious.

LANIE
So we still don’t know what happened to him?

BECKETT
No.

LANIE
Well if there’s anything that I can do –

BECKETT
Actually, yeah. I need you to take a look at him.

LANIE
You do know living patients aren’t my thing, right?

BECKETT
No, Lanie, look. I don’t want you to treat him. I want you to look at him as if it was a case. See if you can find any evidence of where he’s been and what he’s been through.

LANIE
I’ll see what I can do.

BECKETT
Okay.

LANIE
All right.

She squeezes BECKETT’S arm as she goes.

INT – HOSPITAL

RYAN
I’m with Beckett. I never thought that we’d see Castle again.

ESPOSITO
(shrugs) Still. Where’s he been?

BECKETT stops short of joining them. Instead she hangs back to listen.

RYAN
You saw those bullet holes. Maybe he used the boat to escape from whoever abducted him.

ESPOSITO
The guy faked his own kidnapping and then ran off. Now how could he do that to Beckett?

RYAN
As long as we’ve known him? Worked with him? Don’t you think Castle deserves the benefit of the doubt?

RYAN catches sight of BECKETT over ESPOSITO’S shoulder. He turns too, slightly ashamed. She smiles tightly.

BECKETT
You guys, none of us knows the truth about Castle. Not yet. And Espo, you know what? If you’re wrong, then he was a victim, so instead of us just standing around, waiting for him to wake up, why don’t we start by figuring out who owns that dinghy.

RYAN
I’m already on it. The boat had expired tags registered to a Curtis Holt of Savannah, Georgia.

ESPOSITO
We called Holt. He said that he sold it over a year ago at a garage sale. He can’t recall who he sold it to.

BECKETT
Okay. Check his story. Find the current owner. We find the owner, we’ll find out where Castle was coming from. In the meantime I’ll talk to the ship’s captain and see if he can tell us anything else.

INT – HOSPITAL

BECKETT has gotten CAPTAIN MUNDY on a video chat.

CAPTAIN MUNDY
Based on Mr. Castle’s condition, I’m guessing he’d been in that vessel four or five days.

BECKETT
Okay, could the dinghy have come from a larger boat?

MUNDY
Not likely. See, it has fenders, or pads to protect the paint. And the position of the fenders points to it being moored at a dock.

BECKETT
Is there any way to know where that dock is?

MUNDY
I can give you my best guess. The dinghy had a six horse motor, two hours’ worth of fuel, if the tanks were full. After it ran dry it drifted for four or five days. So based on wind and current vectors it probably launched somewhere between Rhode Island and southern Maine.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
It looks like we caught a break. It turns out that sky blue dinghy was a standard white when it came out of the factory.

BECKETT
And how does that help us?

ESPOSITO
Well, the previous owner pimped it out. He added custom fishing rod holders and painted it sky blue.

RYAN
Making it a relative rarity in the world of dinghies.

ESPOSITO
So going off what the captain told you, we put out a BOLO on all sky blue dinghies, to all law enforcement along the coast from Rhode Island to Maine.

RYAN
We got a hit. A park ranger in Gloucester, Massachusetts recalled seeing it at a private dock.

ESPOSITO
(points) This is a satellite photo off the web taken a month ago. This is the private dock that the ranger was talking about.

BECKETT
And there’s a sky blue dinghy.

RYAN
Complete with custom fishing rod holders, just like the boat Castle was found in.

BECKETT
Okay, so this looks like a mobile home. Does the dock belong to it?

ESPOSITO
It’s all part of the same property. (he adds a photo) Owned by one Henry Jenkins. Whatever’s going on with Castle, this is where he came from. And this guy must be involved.

Finally, a real lead.

EST – GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

EXT – MOBILE HOME

BECKETT
Thanks for holding down the fort, Sergeant Simms.

SERGEANT SIMMS
All I did was hang around and watch a mobile home. What’s this about?

ESPOSITO
It’s about the owner, Henry Jenkins. Do you know him?

SIMMS
No, we don’t get over here too much. Whoever he is, he’s not home. I didn’t see any signs of life.

BECKETT
Okay, well, we’ll take it over from here.

SIMMS
I’m a radio call away if you need me.

BECKETT
Thank you.

BECKETT, RYAN, and ESPOSITO continue on without him. They stop in sight of the trailer.

RYAN
It looks like Henry Jenkins scrubbed himself off the web. All Tory can find out is what we already know. He runs a private security firm in Boston.

ESPOSITO
We still don’t know what kind of security we’re talking. Mall cops or military contractor?

BECKETT
Either way that would give him access to firearms, which could explain the bullet holes in the boat.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, but what’s the link between him and Castle? Why would he be mixed up with this guy?

BECKETT checks her phone.

BECKETT
It’s Lanie. She may have something. Stand by.

They nod and she moves to take the call.

LANIE
Kate, I talked Castle’s doctor into letting me look him over, and I came across a few … strange things.

BECKETT
Strange how?

LANIE
No trace evidence on Castle’s clothes, but I did find a key sewn into the lining of his pants.

BECKETT
What kind of a key?

LANIE
I’m not sure. But it has 38 stamped on it. Does that mean anything to you?

BECKETT
No.

LANIE
Okay. Then there’s his blood work. I found antibodies to dengue fever. That means Castle was exposed to the virus within the last two months.

BECKETT
Wait, isn’t dengue fever tropical?

LANIE
Yeah. It’s mostly found in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

BECKETT
That doesn’t make any sense.

LANIE
Neither does the bullet wound I found. Castle was grazed across the ribs.

BECKETT
Oh, that makes a little bit more sense. There were bullet holes on the boat.

LANIE
But this wound was mainly healed. He was shot a few weeks ago.

BECKETT
A few weeks ago? Are you sure?

LANIE
Maybe even longer. Kate, what the hell was Castle mixed up in?

RYAN notices the curtain in the trailer move.

RYAN
(hissed) Beckett! I just saw the curtain move. Someone’s in there.

BECKETT
(to LANIE) I’ll call you back.

She pockets her phone and rejoins the boys.

BECKETT
Let’s go.

They storm toward the mobile home.

ESPOSITO
Did you get eyes on anyone?

RYAN
Negative.

The door opens and HENRY JENKINS walks out, his hands full of trash bags.

ESPOSITO
On the ground!

RYAN
Put your hands where I can see them. Now! Now! Now!

ESPOSITO
What’s in the bags?

JENKINS drops to the ground and puts up his hands.

HENRY JENKINS
Trash! Trash! I was taking out the trash!

EXT – MOBILE HOME

BECKETT
Talk to me about Richard Castle.

JENKINS
I’m telling you, I don’t know the guy. I mean, I’ve never even heard of him.

ESPOSITO
There’s no sign that anyone else has been here.

JENKINS
That’s because no one comes here but me. This is my weekend place.

BECKETT shows him a photo of the dinghy.

BECKETT
This is your boat, correct?

JENKINS
It would appear to be.

BECKETT
If you don’t know Mr. Castle then how did he end up in this boat in the middle of the ocean?

JENKINS
I have no idea. But I did notice that it was missing when I came up here a few days ago.

ESPOSITO
So your boat was missing and you didn’t report that?

JENKINS
Well, I never use the damn thing. I mean, I don’t even know why I bought it. I just figured it came unmoored or got stolen.

RYAN
Who would steal a dinghy?

JENKINS
(thinks) Well, there was a man who was hanging around down by the beach.

BECKETT
A man? Describe him.

JENKINS
Um… late 30s, I would guess. Tall, brown hair, big build. (BECKETT shows him a photo of CASTLE) Yeah, that’s definitely him.

BECKETT
He was on the beach? What was he doing?

JENKINS
Camping.

BECKETT
Camping?

RYAN
That can’t be right.

JENKINS
He was in a tent. He seemed to be minding his own business and it was on state land, so I just left him alone.

BECKETT considers this.

BECKETT
Ryan, would you finish taking Mr. Jenkins' statement?

RYAN nods.

BECKETT
Where exactly was this man?

EXT - LAKE SIDE

The tent is still where JENKINS said it would be.

ESPOSITO
That’s the dock where the dinghy was tied up.

BECKETT crouches to look inside the tent. It does look like someone had been living in it; there’s food and water and a sleeping bag and clothes. BECKETT picks up a shoe.

BECKETT
These are Castle’s shoes.

She notices a watch hanging from the ceiling of the tent.

BECKETT
This is Castle’s watch.

ESPOSITO
Newspapers, dating back two months. Clothes, supplies … he has everything here. He could have walked up to that trailer and made a phone call. He never did.

BECKETT sighs. But she’s not convinced CASTLE would have walked away. She grabs the duffle bag and hesitates a second before she opens it. What she sees makes her gasp.

ESPOSITO
What?

It’s CASTLE’S tux.

ESPOSITO
Castle’s wedding tux?

BECKETT sighs, but she doesn’t have time to make sense of things before her phone dings.

BECKETT
Castle’s awake.

INT – HOSPITAL

MARTHA
It’s wonderful news. The doctor just told me Richard will make a full recovery. (she’s ecstatic) Oh, I am so relieved. Oh, and I was right there when Richard started to wake up. First thing he did was ask for you.

BECKETT
Did he say where he had been?

MARTHA
We don’t know what he’s been through, so perhaps that question can wait.

BECKETT is torn between being a cop and being a fiancée.

INT – HOSPITAL ROOM

BECKETT opens the door and walks in. CASTLE stirs and smiles at her.

RICHARD CASTLE
Hey.

BECKETT
Hey.

CASTLE
Just so you know, the doctor said that kissing will speed my recovery.

She stops at the end of his bed.

BECKETT
Kissing can wait, Castle.

CASTLE
Right. Sorry. I guess I put a little kink in our wedding plans.

That hits a nerve.

BECKETT
Is that supposed to be a joke?

CASTLE
What do you mean?

BECKETT
I mean, tell me what happened.

CASTLE
I was on my way to the wedding and this black SUV –

BECKETT
No, no. After that.

CASTLE
After the accident?

BECKETT
Yes, after the accident.

CASTLE
(confused) I was here.

BECKETT
No, before here, Castle. You were found in a boat at sea. A boat that you apparently stole?

CASTLE
What are you talking about? A boat? No, I was in a crash. With a black SUV. And then I woke up here.

BECKETT
No, tell me what happened in between.

CASTLE
Nothing! I mean, I – I don’t know. I was unconscious.

His face falls when he realizes something isn’t adding up.

BECKETT
So the black SUV and waking up here. That’s all you remember?

CASTLE
Yes, right. Why?

She hesitates a moment.

BECKETT
You’ve been missing for two months.

INT - HOSPITAL

CASTLE is still in his room. He’s awake and walking. BECKETT and MARTHA meet with a psychologist outside.

BECKETT
What do you think is going on with him?

DR. CYNTHIA SWANN
Well, Mr. Castle shows no sign of psychosis or break with reality. Nor does he exhibit cognitive deficits except for his inability to recall the last two months.

BECKETT
So is is possible that he underwent trauma and he’s blocking it out?

DR. SWANN
He may have. Although I didn’t see any evidence of that.

ALEXIS
Maybe his memory will come back once he’s had some time to readjust.

DR. SWANN
It very well might.

MARTHA
Then what he needs, maybe, is to get back to his life, his routine, the people who love him. Can’t we just take him home?

DR. SWANN
You’ll have to speak to his doctors.

MARTHA
Of course, of course. Thank you very much.

MARTHA leads ALEXIS away. BECKETT grabs DR. SWANN by the arm.

BECKETT
Dr. Swann? What do you think is really behind all of this?

DR. SWANN
What I do is not an exact science. I wish it were. This could still be the result of emotional trauma. There are also drugs and drug interactions that can trigger memory loss. But …

BECKETT
But what?

DR. SWANN
I can’t exclude the possibility that Mr. Castle simply walked away from his life for whatever reason and facing that fact is just too humiliating for him.

BECKETT
So you think that he could be pretending not to remember?

DR. SWANN
As I said, it’s a possibility.

BECKETT can’t believe that, but it’s starting to look more and more undeniable.

INT – HOSPITAL ROOM

BECKETT wrenches open the door. It’s not a friendly meeting.

CASTLE
To say I owe you an apology seems an understatement.

BECKETT
I don’t want an apology, Castle. I just want to understand.

CASTLE
You know me, Kate. I wouldn’t just leave.

BECKETT
There’s evidence. We found the place where you were staying.

That intrigues him.

CASTLE
Where?

BECKETT
What difference does it make?

CASTLE
Because I want to go there. Maybe it will help me remember. Whatever happens, I need answers. And so do you.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO is taking down CASTLE’S board.

RYAN
I don’t get it. How could Castle just leave and go camping?

ESPOSITO
What happened to giving him the benefit of the doubt?

RYAN
Beckett asked me to have CSU take a look at the contents of the tent. Javi, you were right. Castle’s fingerprints were all over the newspaper. All that stuff. Hair, DNA. I can’t explain that away. Not this time.

EST - GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

EXT – LAKESIDE

CASTLE
It kind of reminds me of the Hamptons, or Maine, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never been here.

They stop at a taped off area.

BECKETT
Okay, this is it. This is where your tent was.

He takes a second.

CASTLE
(shrugs) No, none of this looks familiar.

BECKETT
Castle, just tell me the truth. You owe me that much.

CASTLE
I am telling you the truth. I was not here.

BECKETT
Well, your clothes were here. Your watch was here. Your tuxedo. The one that you were going to wear when you married … me.

It’s awkward and it hurts.

CASTLE
It must have been planted here. You know, along with –

BECKETT
Nothing was planted, Castle. It was you. It was your DNA, your prints.

CASTLE
It must have been a mistake at the lab. There have been numerous cases –

BECKETT
I believed in you. I – I convinced myself that the evidence didn’t matter, that everything that seemed so obvious couldn’t possibly be true. I was searching for you. I didn’t even know if you were alive, or if you were dead, and you were right here, right where you wanted to be.

CASTLE
I promise you. I did not pitch a tent here. I could not have.

BECKETT
I saw it for myself, Castle.

CASTLE
I would not camp in this spot. Not after the research I did on Tropical Storm.

BECKETT
I can’t even do this with you.

She starts to walk away.

CASTLE
Hey, wait. Listen.

BECKETT
You never wrote a book called Tropical Storm, Castle.

CASTLE
Kate, wait.

She stops.

CASTLE
Listen. I started the book. I threw it out. It was … supervillain controls the weather … it was – it was terrible. But the research I did on catastrophic storms stuck with me, leaving me with an irrational but overpowering fear of tsunamis.

BECKETT
You bought a beach house in the Hamptons.

CASTLE
Yeah, on the inland side. Not on the ocean side.

She can’t believe him.

CASTLE
Kate. I would never camp here. I would go for higher ground.

BECKETT
(defeated) Castle … there was a witness.

CASTLE
What witness?

EXT – MOBILE HOME

BECKETT bangs on the door and waits. It opens, but it’s not HENRY JENKINS.

MAN
Can I help you?

BECKETT
Yeah. NYPD. (she flashes her badge) I’m here to see Henry Jenkins.

MAN
Well, I’m Henry Jenkins.

BECKETT
I’m sorry. I was here yesterday and I met a different Henry Jenkins.

MAN
What do you mean? I’m Henry Jenkins, and I haven’t been here in months.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
We ran prints and passport. He is definitely the real Henry Jenkins.

CASTLE
Which means the first guy was a fake Jenkins. Also a liar.

ESPOSITO
But he matched the DMV photo.

CASTLE
That’s because his photo got switched. When we called the DMV, they realized their system had been hacked two days ago, right after the news broke that I’d been found.

RYAN
What about all your stuff in the tent?

BECKETT
Well, it looks like it was all set up in order to create a false trail.

ESPOSITO
So why don’t you remember anything?

CASTLE
These people have managed to make it look like I staged my own abduction. They hacked the DMV, they provided a false Jenkins who pointed you to doctored evidence that I’d gone camping. Whoever they are? They have unlimited resources. Maybe the kind of resources that would allow them to alter someone’s memory.

ESPOSITO
What about the money?

CASTLE
What money?

He points to a photo on the board.

ESPOSITO
We have you on video dropping off ten thousand dollars in a dumpster. After you were taken.

CASTLE
I can’t explain the money. Yet. But I will, and fake Jenkins was part of the setup. So whoever he is, he’s somehow in the middle of this.

EST – CASTLE’S LOFT, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

MARTHA fills up CASTLE’S glass of champagne. CASTLE is on the couch and everyone is gathered around him.

MARTHA
Here you go, darling.

CASTLE
Thank you, Mother. And let me just say, in the immortal words of Dorothy, there’s no place like home.

ALEXIS
Here’s what I don’t get. Why would someone do this to you, Dad? Where did you actually go for two months?

CASTLE
Well, those answers lie within the vast, insidious conspiracy behind all of this. The tangled web that I fully intend to untangle.

MARTHA
Enough of that. I’d like to propose a toast. To safe returns.

She raises her glass.

ALEXIS
And to no more departures.

CASTLE
And to my amazing mother, my wonderful daughter, and the love of my life.

BECKETT
And to coming home.

They all raise their glasses and drink.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE picks up his watch from the bedside table. BECKETT comes into the room from the bathroom and stops by the foot of the bed.

BECKETT
We’ll find out what happened.

CASTLE
I know. I was just thinking … I feel like I just wore this yesterday. That we slept in this bed last night. But for you it must seem like a lifetime ago.

BECKETT
Yeah, it does.

CASTLE
How did you not lose hope?

BECKETT
I did lose hope, you know. But I – I would get it back. Developed rituals in order to hang on to it.

CASTLE
Like what?

BECKETT
It’s … stupid. It really doesn’t matter.

CASTLE
No, I’d like to know.

BECKETT
I would stare at your photo on the murder board. And I started thinking that if I would look at it long enough every day, that that would keep you alive.

CASTLE
I guess it worked.

He approaches her and sits on the foot of the bed.

BECKETT
And then I had this thing about your chair.

CASTLE
My chair at the precinct?

BECKETT
I wouldn’t let anyone touch it. And the night janitor came by, he tried to move the chair, and I freaked out. I almost shot him.

CASTLE laughs softly. It fades into a longing look and finally BECKETT breaks and allows herself to sit next to him and bury her face in his chest. He holds her close.

CASTLE
I am so sorry. For everything that I put you through.

She’s quiet as she tries not to cry.

BECKETT
It’s not your fault, you know, you went through stuff, too, so …

CASTLE
Well, it’s not the same. I can’t remember. Though I do know I missed you terribly. Because there’s no way I wouldn’t.

BECKETT wipes away the tears that won’t stop, but she doesn’t pull away from him.

CASTLE
We can’t just, um… pick up where we left off, can we? As if nothing happened.

BECKETT
(softly) No.

CASTLE
We’ll get there. We’ll find our way home.

They sit together. He’s back. He’s safe. And hopefully the rest will come.

THE END

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