7x18 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 7x18
"At Close Range"


INT – HOTEL BATHROOM

KEVIN RYAN enters the bathroom. He’s upset as he paces in front of the mirror, his shirt stained with blood. He takes a long time trying to compose himself, but he’s having a tough time. He punches the mirror and it shatters.

[SIX HOURS EARLIER]

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

The elevator opens and RYAN exits. JAVIER ESPOSITO, RICHARD CASTLE, and KATE BECKETT follow him off.

RICHARD CASTLE
Okay, that was interminable. How are fifteen PowerPoint presentations a unique research opportunity? You guys said crime stat briefings were fascinating.

KATE BECKETT
(laughs) Wait a minute, you guys told him that?

KEVIN RYAN
Well, I’m sure they’re fascinating to someone.

ESPOSITO laughs.

CASTLE
Oh my … you lied to me. I just squandered three hours of my life.

RYAN laughs.

JAVIER ESPOSITO
So did we. Oh, come on, Castle. No hard feelings. I tell you what. I will buy the first round at the Old Haunt.

RYAN
Sorry guys, I can’t tonight. I have another security gig with my brother-in-law.

ESPOSITO
Really? Again?

RYAN
Yeah. The good news is Sarah Grace will have enough money for college. The bad news is she’ll have no idea who I am.

BECKETT
So who’re you guarding this time?

RYAN
Uh … truth is, I’m not allowed to say.

BECKETT scoffs.

ESPOSITO
What do you mean, you’re not allowed to say? (he gestures between the group) It’s us. Who is it.

RYAN
Seriously, man. I can’t.

He starts to gather his things.

CASTLE
That means this goes beyond the usual pro athlete or reality star. This is someone important. Someone revered. Perhaps … the Pope. The Dalai Lama. Angela Merkel.

RYAN
My lips are sealed.

CASTLE gasps. RYAN starts to head for the door.

CASTLE
Ryan! Is it One Direction? You’d tell me, right? (to ESPOSITO) Are they in town?

RYAN waves goodbye.

ESPOSITO
No, they’re in Hong Kong.

CASTLE
Right.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

INT – LIMOUSINE

RYAN
Hey, how’s my sister doing?

FRANK KELLY
Sleeping easier, now that I’ve retired from the force.

RYAN
You don’t miss the job at all, working vice?

FRANK
Nah. I was dealing with lowlifes every freaking minute. Now I’m my own boss. I’m telling you, Kev, security is a better way of life.

RYAN
I have to say, a lot of guys, when they retire, they just drift. But you’re really making this work.

FRANK
You could make it work for you, too.

RYAN hums indifferently.

FRANK
Anyhow, there’s a permanent spot for you, with me, the minute you make the call.

RYAN
Wow, Frank. (he sighs) That’s a hell of an offer.

FRANK
With your background I’d be lucky to have you. Now tell me, did you memorize the rogues' gallery?

RYAN
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every face. (he flips through photos on his iPad) So what’s the threat level here?

FRANK
Low. It’s a charity event for Pure Water Now, it’s not a middle east peace conference. There’s going to be protesters wanting to bother Congressman Lopez. You’ve heard of him, right?

RYAN
Yeah, yeah. Who hasn’t? He’s a rising member of the House, super charismatic. Though let’s face it, there’s not a hell of a lot of competition in that.

FRANK
He’s still a standup guy. Every time he comes to the city he hires me, so treat him right. He’s going places.

The intercom beeps and FRANK rolls down the partition to the backseat.

ALEX LOPEZ
What’s our ETA, Frank?

FRANK
Just a few more minutes, sir. (he points to RYAN) Detective Kevin Ryan, Congressman Alex Lopez.

RYAN waves.

LOPEZ
Frank speaks very highly of you.

RYAN
(nods) As he does of you, sir.

LOPEZ
Please, call me Alex. Or Mr. Lopez if you want. (he gestures to the woman beside him) My wife, Mia. You’ve met my Chief of Staff, Megan Brooks. Kevin, what do you think your job is tonight?

RYAN
To protect you, sir.

LOPEZ
Mostly it’s my reputation you need to protect. These days a single photo can cause major damage if some idiot approaches, tries to create a scene.

RYAN
We’ll make sure that doesn’t happen, sir.

LOPEZ
Good. Because come campaign season I may need some men I can rely on.

RYAN raises his eyebrows at the thinly veiled almost job offer. FRANK gives him a told-you-so look.

MEGAN BROOKS
Sir, about tonight’s schedule. It’s the red carpet and then mingling over cocktails. Uh, these are the people you’re going to want to connect with. Some of them you know, all of them are major donors with their own super-PACs still looking for a candidate they can believe in. I’ve broken down all their past campaign contributions and net worth.

LOPEZ
I hope all these rich guys are ready to fork over some money to Carolyn and her Pure Water project.

MIA LOPEZ
Well they are, darling. But the real reason they’re coming is to see you.

He chuckles. RYAN listens in discreetly on their conversation.

MEGAN
Okay, after meet and greets you’re going to take the stage and introduce Carolyn, and here is your speech.

MEGAN hands LOPEZ a piece of paper.

FRANK
Excuse me, folks. We’re pulling in now.

INT – HOTEL BALLROOM

The room is crowded. There are tons of cameras and reporters milling around. RYAN blocks it all out as he focuses, taking in the details of the event. It’s mostly business as usual.

BREE COLTON
Congressman Lopez, is there any truth to the rumor that you’re launching a presidential campaign?

LOPEZ
No, Bree, tonight is all about my very good friend Carolyn Decker and her Pure Water project. She’s going to be providing clean water for families all over the globe.

CAROLYN DECKER
Work that is only possible because of the support and generosity of people like Alex Lopez.

RYAN keeps to himself, scanning the crowd for anyone that was on his undesirable list. A MAN catches his eye and he thinks for a second before realizing that it’s one of the men he was supposed to be watching for. He ambles closer, trying not to stick out as being security. The MAN reaches into his jacket, but -

RYAN calmly catches his arm before it can leave his jacket. They struggle quietly over a bottle but ultimately it ends up in RYAN’S control.

RYAN
What is this, blood? What were you going to do, spray him with it?

MAN
The drone strikes that he supports kill innocent children.

RYAN passes the MAN off to another security agent.

RYAN
Detain him and get him out of here.

RYAN passes off the bottle of blood, too. He sighs heavily and catches FRANK’S eye. FRANK nods at him.

CAROLYN
Nice work. You might find yourself protecting the first Latino president of the United States.

It’s a compliment, but RYAN doesn’t take it too seriously.

EST – HOTEL BALLROOM

The event is underway. Everyone is having a good time. RYAN is bored by the content of the night, but he’s diligently keeping watch.

JIM BOYCE
Ha ha ha … there he is.

They shake hands.

LOPEZ
Congratulations, Jim. State Party chairman? It’s a great fit for you.

BOYCE
Well, thank you for all your support, Alex. You know I’ll have your back when you make a run for that White House.

LOPEZ
Little too soon for that kind of talk, but I appreciate the thought.

BOYCE
Enjoy your evening.

LOPEZ
Likewise.

They part ways. BOYCE nods at RYAN as he leaves. RYAN makes sure to stick close to LOPEZ but far enough away to not be too obvious.

LOPEZ
Mr. Sheldon, it’s a pleasure to see you.

CARL SHELDON
You’re being very coy about your aspirations, Alex. But you obviously have some or you wouldn’t be here.

LOPEZ
Well now, I’m just happy to serve the people of my district.

SHELDON
Being coy isn’t in my nature. You and your ideas aren’t what this country needs. And I’ll see to it that you never become president.

MEGAN
Sir.

LOPEZ
Nice talking to you.

MEGAN
Oh, Aryana Jones, this is Alex Lopez.

LOPEZ
Aryana, my wife and I are huge fans. Can’t wait to see the performance tonight.

ARYANA JONES
You are too sweet, Alex. Please come say hi after the show.

MEGAN
Uh, sir? Five minutes until you’re on. You better get backstage.

LOPEZ
Okay. Okay. (to ARYANA) Bye.

LOPEZ follows FRANK and RYAN to a backstage area.

LOPEZ
Give me some room, fellas. I’d like a word with Carolyn.

RYAN nods. LOPEZ heads for CAROLYN and kisses her on the cheek.

RYAN
Man, Lopez is a rock star.

FRANK
Yeah, you’re telling me. All right, I’ll keep eyes on him on stage. You got him back here?

RYAN
Yeah, copy that.

FRANK leaves. RYAN waits while LOPEZ continues to talk to CAROLYN. He watches a worker wheel a cart full of chairs past them and it’s in that second that things start to happen. There’s one shot, then another, then another. RYAN reacts and rushes to LOPEZ and CAROLYN and pushes them both to the ground.

LOPEZ
(groans) God, I think I’ve been hit.

RYAN
Sir, stay right where you are. Help’s on the way, okay?

LOPEZ nods.

RYAN
Carolyn?

She doesn’t respond. RYAN looks her over and realizes that she’s bleeding quickly. She’s conscious, but she’s in shock. The pool of blood grows around her shoulder.

RYAN
Carolyn! You’re going to be all right.

His tone suggests that he doesn’t know that to be true but he’s trying to be reassuring.

FRANK
Kev? Kev, what the hell happened?

RYAN
Call 911! We need a doctor in here right now.

FRANK
Who did this? You see who did this?

RYAN looks around.

RYAN
No. No, no, no, no. (he catches sight of a man starting to run) Stop! Grey suit! Stay right where you are.

RYAN leaves LOPEZ and CAROLYN to FRANK and takes off after the man in the grey suit with his gun drawn. He chases the man out of the ballroom and down a hallway. The man in the suit bursts though a door and into a stairwell. RYAN chases him down through the lobby of the hotel. People are panicking and rushing for the exits.

RYAN
NYPD! Stop that man! Police! Move out of the way, move out of the way!

Just as he reaches the door a SWAT team rushes in.

SWAT MEMBER
Drop the weapon! Drop the weapon!

RYAN
The shooter’s getting away!

SWAT MEMBER
Put the gun down now or I’ll shoot!

RYAN makes a choice. He raises his hands and moves deliberately to place the gun on the ground. He doesn’t move as the SWAT team moves toward him.

INT – HOTEL BATHROOM

RYAN tries to make sense of what’s happened, but he’s having a tough time. He leans over the sink but he punches the mirror when he can’t take the sight of himself anymore. It shatters. He storms out of the room.

INT – HOTEL BALLROOM

The ballroom has become a crime scene. Between the witnesses and the police RYAN finds FRANK.

RYAN
Hey, how’s Lopez?

FRANK
Lucky. Round hit his collarbone but missed his heart.

RYAN
How about Carolyn Decker?

FRANK
Still in surgery.

RYAN sighs.

RYAN
I took my eyes off him for one second –

FRANK
No, no, no, Kev. We are going to find this shooter. NYPD sealed off ten square blocks from this place.

RYAN
Did we get a description?

FRANK
Only the one you gave us. Six feet, medium build, brown hair.

RYAN
Come on, no one saw his face?

FRANK
Yeah, they did. But they were too busy panicking to remember.

It’s not the answer RYAN wants.

FRANK
Look, why don’t we walk through what happened?

RYAN
No, Frank, I already did that.

FRANK
And what’s the harm in doing it again?

RYAN
Yeah. Okay. Shots rang out. Three of them. I – I dove on Lopez, took Carolyn down, too. Saw they were hit, that’s when you came in –

FRANK
All right.

RYAN
- and then I spotted the shooter. I only ever saw their back.

FRANK
All right, think about his hands. Rings on his fingers? A watch?

RYAN tries to remember.

RYAN
No, no, no. Wait. Uh … blue card. Yeah, he had a pale blue ID card hanging from his neck. This guy had a press pass.

FRANK
Kev. That’s good. I’m going to brief NYPD.

FRANK leaves.

RYAN
Yeah.

RYAN’S phone rings. He sighs.

RYAN
Bad news travels fast.

He picks up.

BECKETT
Are you okay?

RYAN
No, not really. Can we talk later?

BECKETT
Uh, no. Kev, this can’t wait.

RYAN
Beckett, I have to work this case.

BECKETT
Look, it’s a homicide now.

That hits RYAN hard.

BECKETT
I’m at the hospital. Carolyn Decker just died in surgery. (he doesn’t respond) Kev? Are you there?

RYAN
Yeah, I’m here.

BECKETT
I read your statement. We should talk about it.

RYAN
No, no, no. There’s no point. I never saw the shooter’s face, but hey. Have you talked to Lopez yet?

BECKETT
No. Why?

RYAN
The shooter was in his line of sight. If anyone saw him it was Lopez.

BECKETT
Okay. I’m on it. I’ll call you as soon as I know something.

They hang up.

INT – BACKSTAGE

RYAN approaches the place where he tackled LOPEZ and CAROLYN. CSU is photographing everything. The pool of blood is still on the ground. RYAN can’t stop thinking about watching CAROLYN bleed out on the ground, but footsteps behind him catch his attention.

RYAN
I’m sorry sir, this area is off limits.

MR. DECKER
Carolyn is my daughter.

He’s in shock, too. RYAN’S face falls.

RYAN
(low) I’m very sorry, sir.

MR. DECKER
All she ever tried to do is help people. Why her?

RYAN has no answers. MR. DECKER turns away angrily.

FRANK
Kev?

RYAN
Yeah. (he’s glad for the distraction) Any luck on that press pass? Who’d it belong to?

FRANK
No one.

RYAN
What do you mean, no one?

FRANK
Event security kept extra passes on hold for last minute attendees. Somehow our shooter got ahold of one.

RYAN
Damn it.

INT – HOSPITAL

CASTLE
So how’s Ryan doing? He knows it’s not his fault, right?

BECKETT
Well, it happened on his watch, so for Ryan it means it’s all on him until he finds this guy.

JIM BOYCE
Detective Beckett, Jim Boyce. (the shake hands) State party chair. This whole thing is just terrible. Is there any news?

BECKETT
Just that we’re doing everything we can to apprehend the suspect.

BOYCE
Well, I’m glad that you’re the one handling the case.

BECKETT
I’m sorry, Mr. Boyce, do we know each other?

BOYCE
No, but you have an outstanding reputation and it’s gotten the attention of the people in my world. I won’t hold you, Detective. Pleasure to meet you.

BECKETT
Yeah. Likewise.

She’s a little stunned. Even CASTLE doesn’t know what to make of that meeting.

CASTLE
What was that about?

BECKETT
I have no idea.

INT – HOSPITAL ROOM

LOPEZ has his arm in a sling. He’s surrounded by MIA and MEGAN.

LOPEZ
Maybe we can set up a foundation in Carolyn’s name.

MIA
Yes. Let’s do that. Like a scholarship fund.

MEGAN
Why don’t I look into that and get back to you with options?

LOPEZ
That’d be great, Megan.

BECKETT knocks on the door to announce her presence.

BECKETT
Congressman Lopez, I’m Detective Beckett, this is Mr. Castle. We’re investigating the shooting.

LOPEZ
You know, as a politician you know in the back of your mind that harm may come to you. But it should never come to an innocent bystander.

BECKETT
Congressman, did you notice anything or anyone suspicious prior to the shooting?

LOPEZ
(shakes his head) Everything seemed normal. (he thinks about greeting CAROLYN and then lying on the ground next to her) Until it wasn’t.

BECKETT
Well, we believe that the shots originated from the north end of the backstage area.

CASTLE
That’s the direction you were facing when you were speaking with Carolyn Decker.

BECKETT
Did you notice anyone in the background?

LOPEZ
I saw … stage hands … production crew … there was this one guy.

CASTLE
What was he wearing?

LOPEZ
(thinks) A grey suit. Is that him? Is that the man who killed Carolyn?

BECKETT
Did you see his face? Can you describe him?

LOPEZ thinks back.

LOPEZ
I can most definitely describe him.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO adds a photo next to the sketch given by LOPEZ.

ESPOSITO
This is our guy, Eric Chambers. French blogger and political activist with some pretty extreme ideas.

BECKETT
Okay, he looks like the sketch. But can we place him at the crime scene?

ESPOSITO
CSU pulled Chambers' print off the wall, so he was there. It was definitely him.

CASTLE
I’m guessing he’s not a big supporter of Lopez?

ESPOSITO
That’s an understatement. Two weeks ago Chambers ranted on his blog about how Lopez posed a threat to the American way of life and that he would get what all traitors deserve.

BECKETT
Where’s Chambers now?

ESPOSITO
His last known address was in the Bowery. Tactical’s gearing up.

BECKETT
Take Ryan. He should be there when you pick Chambers up.

ESPOSITO agrees before he turns and leaves. CASTLE focuses his attention on CHAMBERS’ photo.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY STREET

ESPOSITO parks his car along the side of the street near CHAMBERS’ apartment. RYAN sighs heavily.

ESPOSITO
Tactical’s about three minutes out.

RYAN
How do we know Chambers is at home?

ESPOSITO
Tory pinged his cell. He’s in there.

RYAN sighs again and checks his watch.

ESPOSITO
Hey, bro. We’re going to get this guy.

RYAN
Yeah.

Just then CHAMBERS leaves his building. They watch as he starts down the street in their direction.

RYAN
There he is.

CHAMBERS keeps walking, but he slows when he sees ESPOSITO’S car. No one moves for a minute, then CHAMBERS takes off running across the street.

RYAN
He’s on the move!

They scramble out of the car.

ESPOSITO
Chambers, freeze! Chambers!

They run after him across the street and then down an alley. CHAMBERS tries to climb a fence, but he’s grabbed by RYAN and pulled down. RYAN slams him into the wall and holds CHAMBERS while he struggles. RYAN finally grabs his gun and points it at CHAMBERS.

RYAN
Give me a reason!

ESPOSITO
Eric Chambers, you’re under arrest. (to RYAN) We got him, Ryan. We’re good.

RYAN doesn’t let up.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
Mr. Chambers, you are facing charges for murder and the attempted assassination of a congressman. Your best hope for leniency is to confess.

ERIC CHAMBERS
I’ll never confess. I won’t give you the satisfaction.

BECKETT
Okay, why don’t you consider this a chance to tell your side of the story?

CHAMBERS
My side of the story is that I’m innocent. This is all a charade.

CASTLE
The evidence would suggest otherwise.

CHAMBERS looks to CASTLE before he shakes his head with an eye roll.

BECKETT
We found this stolen press pass at your apartment along with a floorplan of the ballroom.

CASTLE
Then there’s the pesky issue of you fleeing after firing the shots.

CHAMBERS
A true patriot, by definition, is an enemy of the state. Our government has a long and sorry history of persecuting people like me.

BECKETT
So you are the victim here?

CHAMBERS
And you’re the instrument they’re using to try to destroy me. You’re too blind to see that this is a script. You’re just playing your part.

CASTLE
Ok – okay. Here’s the part that fascinates me. You hated Lopez, you wanted him dead, so you shot him. Not fatally, it turns out, but still, you struck a blow for – (he gestures) –“true patriots” everywhere. Isn’t this the proudest moment of your life, Eric? I mean, why not own it? Why not take credit for what you’ve accomplished?

CHAMBERS looks away.

BECKETT
You want your day in court. So you can have a public forum.

CHAMBERS
(sharply) I’m done here.

BECKETT flips her folder shut and stands to leave. CASTLE follows her.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
Chambers isn’t talking.

RYAN
Well, that may not matter. I think we literally just found the smoking gun.

ESPOSITO
Get this: unis found a .38 caliber pistol in a storm drain about a block away from the hotel. Recently fired.

CASTLE
Weren’t there metal detectors at the venue?

ESPOSITO
Yeah, which means the gun might have been waiting for him, stashed at the hotel.

RYAN
Along with the press pass.

CASTLE
So that suggests he wasn’t acting alone.

BECKETT
And Lopez might still be a target.

ESPOSITO
I’ll call down to the hospital and beef up security.

ESPOSITO steps away.

BECKETT
If we can reconstruct Chambers’ movements from the venue we might be able to figure out how he got that gun.

CASTLE
And who he was working with.

RYAN
You know, when we were trying to ID Chambers we rounded up hundreds of photos from that event. I think I know where to start.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

TORY ELLIS pulls up a file of digital photos.

TORY ELLIS
Some were taken by photographers, others by guests on their cell phones. I used facial recognition to try and search for Chambers.

RYAN
Did you find him?

TORY
He appears in fourteen pictures, mostly in the background. Since each photo is time stamped, I was able to plot his movement at the venue. (she pulls up a floor plan and imports the photos) Each dot represents where Chambers was photographed.

RYAN
Does anyone in the photos ever hand him something? Does he ever retrieve an object the size of a gun?

TORY
I’m afraid not. But there is a five minute gap when Chambers is unaccounted for. (she pulls up a photo) This is the last photo before the missing time.

RYAN studies the image.

RYAN
That door leads to a storage area.

TORY
Then maybe that’s where the gun was stashed.

RYAN
No. No, no. Security protocol would have had that door locked for the evening.

TORY
Well, this room wasn’t locked. Here’s another picture of it taken around the same time.

She pulls up another photo. This one has JULIAN BAILEY exiting the door.

RYAN
That guy works for the hotel. That door was supposed to be locked. What was he doing in there?

INT – HOTEL

RYAN and ESPOSITO have gone back to the ballroom. RYAN flashes his badge.

RYAN
Julian Bailey?

JULIAN BAILEY
Yes?

ESPOSITO
You mind telling us what you were doing in the storage room last night?

JULIAN
I wasn’t in any storage room.

RYAN
Oh? Then who’s this? Your evil twin?

RYAN holds out the photo TORY found of JULIAN leaving the storage room.

JULIAN
Okay, yeah. I snuck in there for a girl, you know? We were going to meet up, but she never showed.

RYAN
All right. Have you seen this guy?

RYAN holds out a photo of CHAMBERS.

JULIAN
Yeah. He came in the room. I wasn’t supposed to be there, so I hid.

RYAN
What was he doing in the room? Was he looking for something? Did he have a gun?

JULIAN
A gun? No. He was with another dude. They were talking all intense.

[FLASHBACK – HOTEL STORAGE ROOM]

JULIAN hides behind some shelves.

CARL SHELTON
We have to be smart about where and when we bring Mr. Lopez down.

CHAMBERS
I’ve got it covered, okay? Lopez is going to get what’s coming to him.

INT – HOTEL

ESPOSITO
And you didn’t think to mention this before?

JULIAN
I was afraid I’d get fired. Besides, by the time I’d realized he was the one who shot the Congressman you guys had already caught him.

RYAN
All right, this other dude that he was talking to, did you see his face?

JULIAN
(nods) Just for a second as the two of them were walking out.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE and BECKETT are on the phone with RYAN and ESPOSITO.

CASTLE
Carl Shelton? As in, billionaire industrialist Carl Shelton?

RYAN
Yeah. And he’s no fan of Lopez. I saw Shelton tell Lopez to his face that he would never become president.

CASTLE
Maybe Shelton wanted to make sure so he colluded with Chambers.

ESPOSITO
It’s starting to look that way. Especially since Shelton is co-owner of this hotel.

BECKETT
Which means he would have access to a press pass and know how to get a gun past security.

CASTLE
It’s money versus power. Tycoon versus politician. A story as old as America itself.

BECKETT
All right, let’s try and find out what the connection is between Eric Chambers and Carl Shelton.

BECKETT hangs up her phone.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

SHELTON has brought a plethora of assistants and lawyers with him to this meeting.

LAWYER
I’m afraid Mr. Shelton does not know anyone named Eric Chambers.

BECKETT
Well, we have a witness that saw the two of you talking to each other.

LAWYER
That witness is mistaken.

BECKETT
Uh, Mr. Shelton, you financed a group called America for Americans. It’s co-founded by Eric Chambers.

LAWYER
My client –

CARL SHELTON
I fund many grassroots organizations who share my concern about the decline of this great nation. But I’m not acquainted with every person in every group.

BECKETT
Eric Chambers' views are hard to miss. He advocates armed resistance against what he calls the US police state.

SHELTON
Well, there’s nothing wrong with ordinary Americans defending themselves against government overreach.

CASTLE
Well, this isn’t about overreach. This is about you getting rid of a politician who stood against you.

SHELTON
Well, what is that, Mr. Castle? Your latest work of fiction?

SHELTON’S LAWYER laughs. CASTLE raises his eyebrows.

LAWYER
I believe that concludes our interview. (they stand) If you have more questions get a subpoena.

BECKETT
Mr. Shelton, you put Chambers up to this and I intend to prove it.

He stares at her.

SHELTON
Good luck with that.

SHELTON and his LAWYER leave.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN studies the photos on the murder board of everyone involved in this case.

ESPOSITO
What’s up, bro? Everyone’s gone. What’re you still doing here?

RYAN sighs. He doesn’t look at ESPOSITO.

RYAN
Thinking.

ESPOSITO
Come on. This is a win. We got the shooter.

RYAN
What about Shelton?

ESPOSITO
We’ll build a case against him. And I bet that Chambers will help us out and roll on Shelton.

RYAN
Why hasn’t he done that already?

ESPOSITO
Maybe Shelton made Chambers some promises in return for him keeping his mouth shut.

RYAN
Why would a man in Shelton’s situation risk being seen with Chambers?

ESPOSITO
Because. He’s like all these other rich sons of b*tches who think they can get away with anything.

RYAN
(sighs) I don’t know. Something about this just isn’t sitting right, Javi.

ESPOSITO
You’re spinning. You just need a good night’s sleep. In the morning everything will be clear to you. (he clasps RYAN’S shoulder) All right?

He leaves RYAN. RYAN nods.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, MORNING

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

BECKETT’S phone rings. She fumbles around before she grabs it and answers sleepily.

BECKETT
Hello?

She sits up. CASTLE isn’t in bed.

BECKETT
What?

INT – BALLROOM

RYAN
Great. How about now?

BECKETT walks into the ballroom. Her jaw drops. RYAN and CASTLE have targets set up with lasers all around the room.

CASTLE
That looks good. (he sees BECKETT) Oh, good. You’re here!

BECKETT
What is this? What are you guys … doing?

CASTLE
Ah. Well, Ryan was working all night and he texted me.

BECKETT
You texted Castle and not me?

RYAN
Well, when you have a crazy theory you don’t call the voice of reason.

CASTLE shrugs.

BECKETT
What theory?

CASTLE
Eric Chambers is not our shooter. We got the wrong guy.

CASTLE holds his fist out to RYAN. RYAN gives him a fist bump. BECKETT just gapes at the setup.

INT – GATES’S OFFICE

GATES
You’re telling me Eric Chambers is not our shooter? Based on what?

RYAN
Physics, sir.

BECKETT
Congressman Lopez said that when he talked to Carolyn Decker he saw Chambers by the far wall.

RYAN
Which is where CSU found his prints.

CASTLE
Seconds later our assassin opens fire. Three shots.

RYAN
(nods) The first one strikes Lopez beneath the left clavicle.

BECKETT
The second one grazes Carolyn Decker’s shoulder and then the third one strikes her in the upper back.

RYAN
That shot severs her pulmonary artery. She never has a chance.

GATES
How does any of this lead you to think that Chambers is not the assassin?

CASTLE
Chambers' vantage point. He had a side angle view of Lopez and Carolyn Decker.

RYAN
So how did Chambers manage to shoot Carolyn in the back? The answer is that he couldn’t have. Not unless that bullet took a hard right turn in midair.

CASTLE
Which means the shots were fired from the grassy knoll. Metaphorically speaking.

GATES
Detective Beckett, do you actually find any of this plausible?

BECKETT nods.

BECKETT
Yes, sir. Plausible enough that I’m getting ballistics to reevaluate the crime scene.

GATES
Chambers had motive. He stole a press pass. He fled the shooting. How do you explain all that?

RYAN
I think Chambers was set up to be the fall guy.

CASTLE
Probably by Carl Shelton.

GATES
Then why isn’t he vigorously protesting his innocence?

CASTLE
Chambers distrusts authority.

RYAN nods.

BECKETT
And he believes that we’re part of a plot against him.

GATES
Nonetheless, Eric Chambers remains our prime suspect unless proof comes in that he isn’t.

RYAN
In the meantime, sir, I’d like to take another run at him.

GATES considers it.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT HOLDING AREA

RYAN drags his hand along the wire of the cells.

CHAMBERS
(sighs) You’re wasting your time. I’m not talking.

RYAN sighs too. He leans his back against the cell.

RYAN
Well, that’s okay. You don’t have to talk. You can just listen.

CHAMBERS scoffs.

RYAN
We know that you’re not the shooter.

CHAMBERS
Of course you do. You people orchestrated the whole thing.

RYAN
You know, Eric, I got a news flash for you. You’re not the focus of some big governmental conspiracy. No one has the least bit of interest in you. Actually, I take that back. Someone is very interested in you. Whoever set you up. Somebody went to a significant amount of trouble to frame you and now … now you know too much. You’re a loose end. I don’t see a very bright future for you.

CHAMBERS stands to approach RYAN.

CHAMBERS
You honestly expect me to believe a word you say?

RYAN
Nah, it’s up to you. It’s your life. (CHAMBERS considers) Just tell me everything about how you got backstage and I’ll keep you safe. If not, I can’t help you. Nobody can.

CHAMBERS is silent. RYAN sighs again.

RYAN
Just think about it. (he moves to leave, but then stops) Um, but don’t think too long.

RYAN leaves.

CHAMBERS
Wait.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
So if Chambers isn’t our shooter then what was he doing backstage?

RYAN
He wanted to make a political statement by confronting Lopez during his speech in front of the cameras. That way he knew that it would blow up on the 24 hour news cycle.

CASTLE
What about Carl Shelton?

RYAN
Castle, it’s looking like Shelton may not be involved.

CASTLE
The billionaire industrialist with his grubby hands on the levers of power? Of course he’s involved! They were seen in the storage room.

RYAN
That’s because Shelton realized that Chambers has crashed the event so he tried to talk him out of making a scene.

BECKETT
So where did Chambers get the press pass from?

RYAN
Left for him. In his mailbox.

CASTLE
In his mailbox? By whom?

RYAN
An anonymous sympathizer contacted him through his website, left him the pass and instructions about where to wait backstage.

CASTLE
(laughs incredulously) Okay, can I – can I just say, I know I have occasionally theorized that a conspiracy was afoot –

BECKETT
Occasionally?

CASTLE
- but this time a conspiracy really is afoot. Guys, Chambers was clearly being manipulated by a person or persons unknown into being backstage so he’d be the perfect patsy.

BECKETT
Why would someone go to all that trouble to set him up as Lopez’s shooter?

ESPOSITO
I may have an answer for that. (he wheels over a white board with a diagram) Prelim ballistics reports. You were right. The shots did not come from where Chambers was standing.

CASTLE
So where did the shots come from?

ESPOSITO
Well, based on trajectories the shots were fired from this position right here.

He points on his diagram.

RYAN
The shooter was behind the lighting stanchion.

BECKETT
That’s why no one saw him. He took his shot and then he slipped out the back.

ESPOSITO
Yeah. It’s good concealment; no one would be able to spot him. But check out this angle.

CASTLE
Carolyn Decker’s blocking Lopez.

RYAN
That would explain why the assassin missed Lopez.

BECKETT
Unless he didn’t miss him.

ESPOSITO
Exactly. Carolyn Decker was almost square to the shooter and she’s the one who got hit center mass.

BECKETT
You guys, what if we’re looking at this the wrong way?

CASTLE
And Carolyn Decker’s the real target.

RYAN
All right, we’ll dig through her life, see if anyone had motive to do this.

TORY
There’s something you should see first.

They follow TORY into the work room.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

She plays them a video.

TORY
This is from Eric Chambers' building. I was reviewing it to piece together his timeline when I saw this. He goes straight to Chambers' mailbox.

CASTLE
Okay, that is definitely not the mailman.

BECKETT
He must be leaving the press pass for Chambers. When was this?

TORY
Three hours before the shooting.

ESPOSITO
Can we get a look at this guy’s face?

TORY
Not a good one.

She rewinds the video and pauses it. She does her best to enhance it. RYAN’S jaw falls.

RYAN
Oh my God.

BECKETT
What is it?

RYAN
That’s my brother-in-law. That’s Frank.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN is still in shock. He’s got his back to his colleagues.

GATES
Are you sure that’s Frank Kelly?

RYAN
(nods) Yeah. No question.

BECKETT
Ryan, I know this is hard but … where was Frank during those shots?

RYAN thinks.

[FLASHBACK – BALLROOM BACKSTAGE]

FRANK
All right, I’ll keep eyes on him on stage. You got him back here?

RYAN nods. FRANK leaves.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN
He was on the other side of the curtain. He went into the ballroom to cover Lopez.

CASTLE
Did you see him out there?

RYAN
(shakes his head) No.

GATES
So you don’t really know where he was. After the shots, how soon did he arrive?

RYAN remembers.

RYAN
Ten seconds, maybe.

BECKETT
Long enough for him to get from the light stanchion to where you saw him.

RYAN tries to work the details out. He turns to them.

RYAN
So what are you saying here? That Frank killed Carolyn Decker? Why would he?

GATES
I don’t know. But we need to consider the possibility. At the very least he was involved. So we’re bringing him in.

RYAN
Good. Because you know what? He’ll tell his side of the story. There’s an explanation for this.

CASTLE
(quickly) I’m sure there is, Ryan. And it would make us happier.

RYAN
Guys, this is my brother-in-law. There’s no way he could be mixed up in something like this.

ESPOSITO
Hey, bro. I’m sorry to say that unis just tried to pick up Frank. As soon as he saw the patrol car he bolted. They lost him.

GATES
(low, to BECKETT) Issue an APB. See if there’s any connection between Frank Kelly and Carolyn Decker.

BECKETT
I’m on it.

BECKETT and CASTLE leave to get to work. RYAN turns away. ESPOSITO follows him.

GATES
Where are you going?

RYAN
I’m going to go find Frank.

He grabs his jacket.

ESPOSITO
I’ll go with you.

RYAN
Thanks, Javi, but this is family here. I’ve got to do this one alone.

ESPOSITO
Okay.

He lets RYAN leave.

INT – FRANK AND GWEN’S APARTMENT

RYAN knocks on the door.

RYAN
I need to talk to Frank, Gwen.

She doesn’t ask him to come in. She just leaves the door open. He follows her inside.

GWEN KELLY
He’s not here.

RYAN
Where is he, then?

GWEN
Kevin, don’t you walk in here and start pointing fingers at your own family!

RYAN
He ran! Why would he do that, Gwen?

She can’t answer.

RYAN
What’s he into?

GWEN
Nothing!

RYAN
I know that look. Yeah, that’s the look you used to get when you’d sneak a cigarette and lie to mom about it. Look, Gwen, I’m here for you but I need to know the truth. What’s he into?

She sits.

GWEN
Things were tight last year. You know, both kids are at Saint Margaret’s now, and that costs an arm and a leg. But then some money started coming in.

RYAN
From where?

GWEN
Frank said that he was picking up extra work, but he never ran it through the company. It was always cash.

RYAN
How much cash?

GWEN
Over time … close to fifty grand. (off RYAN’S reaction) Kevin, you know Frank! You know he would never hurt a soul.

RYAN
Okay, then tell me where he is before he’s the one who gets hurt.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

BECKETT pulls things from CAROLYN DECKER’S bag. CASTLE sets a cup of coffee next to her on the table.

CASTLE
Any word from Ryan?

BECKETT
Uh, no. Not yet. It’s gotta be tough. Frank is like a brother to him.

CASTLE
Well, maybe Frank isn’t in this as deep as we think. Esposito still hasn’t found anything connecting him to Carolyn Decker.

BECKETT
Yeah well, neither have I. (she sighs) I hate this part.

CASTLE
Going through a victim’s effects?

BECKETT
Yeah. Especially a purse. Everything in it is just so intimate. It’s like you get a chance to see who a person really is. Or was.

CASTLE
And who was Carolyn Decker?

BECKETT
Uh, she was um … a workaholic. The daily alarm on her phone is set for 4AM and her calendar shows that she was completely dedicated to Pure Water Now. (she points) She has that handwritten letter from a little boy in Africa in her wallet thanking her. His village was almost completely wiped out by cholera, and then once they set up the water filtration system in the village, nobody died. She was actually making a difference.

CASTLE
(surprised) You know, you make a difference too.

BECKETT
(scoffs) Yeah, not like her. (she opens a side pocket) Okay.

CASTLE
What?

BECKETT
She’s got a second phone.

CASTLE
Anything on it?

BECKETT flips through the phone.

BECKETT
Yeah. Motive for murder.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY PARK

It’s dark and wet. RYAN walks under a bridge footpath and stops halfway. He waits. FRANK comes from around the corner.

RYAN
What’d you do, Frank?

FRANK
Not what you’re thinking, man.

RYAN
It’s a nice touch, when you acted all surprised when I remembered Chambers was wearing a press pass. I mean, you weren’t surprised, Frank, because all along it was you who gave it to him. (FRANK doesn’t respond) You hired me for this job because you knew that I would never suspect you. You knew you could steer the investigation.

FRANK
No, no. It wasn’t like that. And nobody was ever supposed to get hurt.

RYAN
What the hell does that even mean? Carolyn Decker, she’s dead. I blame myself. All along it was you!

FRANK
Kev, I got myself into something and I can’t get myself out.

RYAN
How could you do this? How could you do this to Gwen and the kids? Look me in the eyes and tell me, did you kill Carolyn? (FRANK steps forward) Did you know her? Did you do it for the money?

FRANK is serious.

FRANK
I didn’t kill nobody.

RYAN
You had to have done something, Frank. Where’d you get all that cash?

FRANK
The security thing – (he shakes his head) – ain’t going as good as I said. Times are tough, you know? I needed money so I made some cash on the side … by selling access.

RYAN
What kind of access?

FRANK
(shrugs) Slipping people in backstage at a concert, passes to fringe journalists, you know, who can’t get in the front door. I swear to you, I didn’t know that press pass was going to Chambers. I’m just trying to provide for my family. For your sister. I thought of all people you’d understand that.

RYAN
Who paid you for that pass?

FRANK
No, I told you everything I know. And that’s all you’re going to get, because we both know what happens to cops in prison. (he shakes his head) I ain’t turning myself in.

FRANK turns and starts to walk away. RYAN doesn’t move.

RYAN
Frank.

FRANK doesn’t stop. RYAN’S had enough. He takes his gun and chambers a round, holding it out to his side.

RYAN
Frank!

FRANK stops and turns back to RYAN.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN exits the elevator first. FRANK is being led in by OFFICERS. RYAN joins CASTLE and BECKETT, and FRANK is led off.

BECKETT
Ryan, I’m so sorry.

RYAN
Well. Going to be a lot harder on my sister. (he sighs) But at least Frank isn’t our shooter.

CASTLE
Does he know who is?

RYAN
No. He received five thousand dollars in an envelope along with an address of where to leave the press pass.

BECKETT
And who paid him?

RYAN
He was contacted by an outfit called Manhattan Politics. Turns out it’s a front with a dead email address.

CASTLE
So whoever’s behind this set up Eric Chambers and used Frank to do it.

RYAN nods.

BECKETT
Can we trace the money?

RYAN
No luck so far, though the bills are sequential so it probably came from a bank withdrawal.

CASTLE
What about the envelope?

RYAN
CSU pulled off a partial print, but it’s not enough to run against the database.

BECKETT
Maybe we don’t have to.

RYAN
What do you mean?

CASTLE
Well, given the texts we found on Carolyn Decker’s phone we may only have to check one name.

INT – HOSPITAL

MIA LOPEZ is giving a brief statement to the press.

MIA
Alex will be discharged later today. And we are so grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support from all over the world. But it’s also a time of mourning for the tragic death of Carolyn Decker. My husband will honor her name by continuing to fight for the people of this country and for those whose voices aren’t always heard. Thank you.

She turns away and the press disperses.

BECKETT
Excuse me.

MIA
Detective Beckett, Mr. Castle. What brings you here?

BECKETT hands her an evidence bag.

BECKETT
This. It contained cash used to buy a press pass for Eric Chambers.

MIA
A press pass? That’s how the assassin got in?

BECKETT nods.

CASTLE
Well, you should know. Your fingerprint is on the envelope.

BECKETT
Where were you during the shooting, Mrs. Lopez? Because we can’t account for you.

MIA
You can’t be suggesting that I tried to kill my husband.

CASTLE
Oh, no. No, no, no. We’re suggesting you tried to kill Carolyn Decker. And succeeded.

MIA
That’s ridiculous. And despicable.

BECKETT holds up another evidence bag.

BECKETT
These are texts between your husband and Carolyn.

CASTLE
Going back three years, when their affair first started.

BECKETT
That’s motive for murder, Mrs. Lopez.

MIA’S jaw drops.

CASTLE
Now, maybe it was purely personal, or maybe you saw her as a liability to your husband’s chances at becoming president. Either way, Carolyn Decker had to go.

BECKETT
But you had to make sure it didn’t lead back to you.

CASTLE
So you created a narrative where Mr. Lopez was being targeted by an assassin and Eric Chambers was the patsy. A plan which happened to raise your husband’s profile on the national stage, as we just saw. Well done.

MIA
You don’t think I knew about the affair? I understood the deal I was making when I married Alex. And far from a liability, Carolyn was his behind the scenes advisor. She was conduit to major donors, who backed –

BECKETT
Where were you during the shooting, Mrs. Lopez?

She hesitates, then takes a deep breath.

MIA
Alex and I have an agreement. I was at the hotel. Room 717. I can give you her name if it’s absolutely necessary.

CASTLE realizes what she’s hinting at.

BECKETT
It will be. But it still doesn’t explain away your fingerprint.

MIA
This envelope is from Alex’s office. I know that because I ordered the stationery. I help out there sometimes. I sent letters to his constituents. I must have touched it at some point.

CASTLE
Who else has access to those envelopes?

MIA shakes her head, then her jaw drops.

INT – HOSPITAL ROOM

LOPEZ
I’m afraid I don’t understand. So you think that one of my people played a part in this?

MEGAN
Well, that’s impossible. I personally vetted everyone.

RYAN
Once we knew where to look, we matched the serial numbers on those bills to a withdrawal from your bank account.

LOPEZ
My bank account?

BECKETT
Specifically your campaign travel account.

LOPEZ
That can’t be. I’m the only one authorized to access the account. Just me. And Megan.

CASTLE
Who is, oddly enough, the one who showed up on the bank security video making the withdrawal.

MEGAN
Alex, this is a mistake. I would never do this. I have no reason to.

BECKETT
That’s not exactly true. We looked into Carolyn’s texts again. She had misgivings about you.

RYAN
Carolyn believed that you could make it all the way to the presidency with the right team in place, but she didn’t think that Megan belonged on that team.

CASTLE
The thought of being cast aside was more than you could bear.

RYAN
So you came up with a plan to eliminate your problem and win your boss the sympathy of a nation. Two birds with one stone.

BECKETT
We got a search warrant to look into your apartment, Megan. The coat that you were wearing tested positive for gunshot residue.

MEGAN freezes. LOPEZ turns to her.

LOPEZ
You killed Carolyn. Megan, how – how could you do that?

MEGAN
How could I? How could you? When you started at city council I was putting signs on people’s lawns. I was passing out pamphlets in the freezing cold. I write your speeches. I craft your bills. I have invested my entire life in you, and doing whatever it is you need me to do. And I’ve done it well. That should count for something.

RYAN
Megan Brooks, you’re under arrest for the murder of Carolyn Decker.

RYAN steps forward to handcuff her. LOPEZ is shocked.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT is taking apart the murder board.

BECKETT
Backstabbing, adultery, and betrayal. That is why I hate politics. Representatives of the people should be honorable. They should be trustworthy.

CASTLE
Oh, I’m sure some of them are. But Washington could probably use a few more people that think the way you do. (he sets the box on her desk and moves an envelope to find a copy of the NYPD Captain’s Exam Tutorial) What’s this?

BECKETT
Oh, study materials.

CASTLE
For the captain’s exam. So you’re going to go for it?

BECKETT
Well, it’s the next step. I’m not sure if it’s the right one. Yet. But I figured I’d take the test, see how I do.

CASTLE
And if you do well?

BECKETT
(shrugs) Then maybe that’ll make me decision for me. You ready to go home?

CASTLE
Yeah.

He offers her his arm. She takes it with a smile and they leave.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

INT – FRANK AND GWEN’S APARTMENT

FRANK
What am I going to tell her?

RYAN
The only thing you can. The truth.

FRANK
I messed everything up. Even with a plea deal I’m going to jail.

RYAN
No, you don’t know that.

They stop in front of the apartment door. FRANK takes a long moment to look at it before he turns back to RYAN.

FRANK
Gwen’s going to hate me. For lying. And for not being the man I said I was.

RYAN
She’s strong, Frank. Stronger than you think.

FRANK nods. He turns back to the door slowly and then turns back to RYAN.

FRANK
I don’t know if I should knock or just open the door.

He doesn’t have to make the decision. GWEN opens the door. She takes a long look at FRANK before she steps forward to hug him.

FRANK
I’m sorry, Gwennie. I’m so sorry.

GWEN
We’ll get through it, baby. We’ll figure it out.

Over FRANK’S shoulder GWEN mouths “thank you” to RYAN. He nods and mouths back “yeah”. GWEN takes FRANK inside and RYAN turns to leave.


THE END

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