7x22 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 7x22
THE 150th EPISODE
"Dead From New York"


EST – NEW YORK CITY, DAYTIME

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STUDIOS

PATRICK and STACEY stop in front of a cardboard cutout in honor of the 30th anniversary season.

STACEY
Wait, we didn’t approve this poster.

PATRICK
No, Sid Ross did. What Sid wants Sid gets. He doesn’t care what the network thinks.

STACEY sighs and they walk away. They enter the elevator.

STACEY
Then what’s the point of discussing cast changes with him? He’s just going to do what he wants regardless.

PATRICK
As always.

PATRICK bites into his donut. He doesn’t notice the drops of blood dripping onto his shoulder, but STACEY does. The drips fall faster. There’s a creaking noise and they both scream when the body of SID ROSS drops through the ceiling.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

MARTHA RODGERS
Is he dead? (pause) Is he dead? Is he dead? Is he dead?

She starts to scoop out a grapefruit for breakfast.

KATE BECKETT
Hey, good morning, Martha.

MARTHA
Is he dead?

BECKETT
Is who dead?

MARTHA
No, I’m just – (she gestures) Is he dead? (she walks away) Is he dead?

BECKETT is confused.

MARTHA
Is he dead?

BECKETT
Castle. Something’s wrong with your mother.

RICHARD CASTLE
You’re just realizing this now?

MARTHA
Is he dead?

BECKETT
No, no, no. Shh. Listen.

MARTHA
Is he dead?

CASTLE
Oh. She’s doing 48-hour first line. (off her confused look) Oh, that’s right. You haven’t lived here while Mother is preparing to open in a play. This, believe it or not, is her little ritual for getting into character.

MARTHA
Is he dead? (she laughs)

BECKETT
Okay, so this is normal?

CASTLE
She’s an actor. What’s normal? I call it 48-hour first line because for the two days prior to opening night she will say nothing but her character’s first line of the play.

BECKETT
Okay. That’s unique.

CASTLE
Mmm.

MARTHA
Is he dead?

BECKETT
But doesn’t her play open next month?

CASTLE
That’s right. It’s previews that are two days away. Well now, that is odd.

BECKETT’S phone buzzes with a text.

BECKETT
Oh, Castle, there’s been a homicide.

MARTHA
Is he dead?

BECKETT
Yes, unfortunately Martha, he –

She stops when MARTHA waves her off.

BECKETT
Right. Never mind.

CASTLE
Be honest. When you vowed for better or for worse, you really had no idea what you were agreeing to, did you?

She laughs.

MARTHA
(singing) Is he dead? Is he dead? Is he dead? Is he dead? Is –

CASTLE
Bye, Mother.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STUDIOS

CASTLE
We can stay at a hotel. That way you don’t have to listen to her say that line over and over again.

BECKETT
No, it’s okay. I mean, we’re going to manage. It’s just … your mom’s kind of –

CASTLE
Annoying? Yeah, I know. Trust me. We’re getting off easy. One time her opening line was “Come on, baby, I’ll make it worth your while”.

BECKETT
(laughs) Ooh, I see what you mean.

CASTLE
Yeah. Most awkward parent teacher conference ever.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STUDIOS

BECKETT
Hey, Lanie.

LANIE is already with the body. They’ve moved him to a stretcher.

LANIE PARISH
Good morning, you two. This is –

CASTLE
Sid Ross!

BECKET
The creator of Saturday Night Tonight?

CASTLE
Yeah, not to mention all the movies he produced. The man’s a mogul.

BECKETT
So, what happened?

LANIE
He was strangled with his own tie and then thrown down that elevator shaft from the SNT studios on the seventh floor. His body was on the roof of that elevator for hours before the panel gave way and Sid popped out.

CASTLE
Like some jack-in-the-box from hell.

BECKETT
Time of death?

LANIE
Based on lividity, between 11PM and 2AM.

CASTLE
Looks like Sid was burning the midnight oil.

BECKETT
Let’s check with security, see if they know if anyone else was in the building with him.

She answers her buzzing phone.

CASTLE
Considering where we are, maybe one of Sid’s employees killed him.

BECKETT
Yeah, well, Ryan and Esposito are bringing his wife in now. Maybe she knows who would have done this to him.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

MRS. ROSS
Everyone was scared of Sid. But they didn’t know him like I did. They thought he was just a cold, tyrannical dictator.

KEVIN RYAN
Sounds like he had enemies.

MRS. ROSS
After thirty five years of making and breaking careers you … you’re bound to piss of a few people.

RYAN
Anyone at the Saturday Night Tonight studio?

ESPOSITO
Yeah, was he having trouble with any of his employees there?

MRS. ROSS
I don’t know. Maybe. (she thinks) Sid called me last night. It was odd. Um … he said he was going to be working late.

ESPOSITO
And that’s unusual?

MRS. ROSS
No. He was a workaholic. The odd part was his tone. He was anxious. He said someone was out to get him and he needed to handle it.

RYAN
And idea who that someone might be?

MRS. ROSS
I – I just assumed it was one of his big business deals.

ESPOSITO
Was there anyone else who might know what Sid was involved in?

MRS. ROSS
Yes. The head of his production company. Gene Vogel.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STUDIOS

CHAD
Mr. Vogel is right over here.

CASTLE
Chad – it’s Chad, right?

CHAD
Mmhmm.

CASTLE gestures to the framed posters lining the hallway.

CASTLE
Are these cast photos from all thirty five seasons of the show?

CHAD
Yep. Every performer who has ever been on SNT.

BECKETT
Oh, I love him. He played Fluffy the Space Puppy. That was my favorite.

CASTLE
You know, the majority of this nation's comedy was born in the mind of these geniuses. (he spots a poster of the current writers) Except for this season. Those guys suck.

BECKETT
Yeah, they were terrible.

CASTLE
Oh, this guy! Ned what’s-his-name. Played uh, Doctor Finger. (he waves a finger in the air and then, in a German accent) “I’m sorry, sir. It’s necessary I probe you.” (off her unamused look) How can you not like Doctor Finger?

BECKETT
Because, Castle, I wasn’t a thirteen year old boy.

CASTLE
(laughs) No.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STAGE

CHAD gestures to the stage. GENE VOGEL is onstage with the rest of the performers.

CHAD
That’s Mr. Vogel. He’s the president of Mr. Ross’s production company.

GENE VOGEL
Gather around, please. Thank you, everybody. As tragic as Sid’s death is, the network has asked us to go on with tomorrow night’s show. As a tribute. (to DANNY VALENTINE) Would you care to say a few words?

CHAD
Check it out. That’s –

CASTLE (with BECKETT)
Danny Valentine!

BECKETT (with CASTLE)
Danny Valentine!

CHAD
He’s our guest host this week.

They’re impressed.

DANNY VALENTINE
I remember when Sid asked me to host the pilot of this crazy show. Everybody said “turn him down, show’s a dud”. Well, thirty five years later it’s still going strong. We honor Sid by honoring his creation, so … let’s put on a show.

Everyone, including CASTLE, claps.

BECKETT
Mr. Vogel? Excuse me, I’m –

LIZ BELL
Detective Kate Beckett! And you’re Richard Castle. Hi, I’m Liz Bell, I’m the head writer for SNT and I absolutely adore you. (to BECKETT) And you, especially you.

BECKETT
Wha – me? Really?

LIZ
Oh, of course. I followed your career. I wanted to be a cop, but I ended up a writer. I know, it’s pathetic.

She laughs. CASTLE is offended.

CASTLE
Excuse me?

LIZ
So I’ve seen footage of you at crime scenes and I have to ask: how do you fight crime and keep your hair like that? And do it in high heels?

BECKETT isn’t sure how to respond. VOGEL clears his throat and steps in before she has to.

VOGEL
Detective, I assume you’re here about Sid’s death. How can I help?

BECKETT
Well, uh, we checked with security and I understand that most employees enter and exit through the front door but apparently there’s also a private VIP entrance?

VOGEL
That’s right. Sid had it installed for the actors so they could come and go with more privacy.

CASTLE
Are there any security cameras on that private entrance?

LIZ
(laughs) They’re actors, so they also use it to do other things, like –

VOGEL
Sid opted not to have surveillance.

CASTLE
So there’s no way of telling who came in or out of the private entrance?

VOGEL
I’m afraid not.

BECKETT
Was anyone working here last night between 11PM and 2AM?

LIZ laughs again.

VOGEL
Yes. All the writers and actors. Thursdays is rewrite night so most of them were here until sunup.

CASTLE
Of those people, did anyone have a problem with Sid?

LIZ and VOGEL both hesitate. BECKETT notices.

BECKETT
Who?

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT OFFICE

CASTLE and BECKETT are watching a tape of the show.

TINA TAMINO (on tape)
Morning, sir. We’re not quite open yet.

LIZ
I record all our rehearsals. This took place yesterday evening.

TINA (on tape)
Dude, why are you wearing armor?

MICKEY FRANKS (on tape)
Because the sketch sucks and I’m trying to save it.

CASTLE
(laughs) Mickey Franks is hilarious.

VOGEL
Yes, well. Just watch.

TINA (on tape)
Mickey, you can’t do this. Sid already approved the sketch.

MICKEY (on tape)
You know, screw Sid. Screw Sid! You want to know what I think of Sid? Here’s what I think of Sid. (he kicks over a shelf) Sid’s dead, that’s what he is! He’s dead to me. I’ll kill him. He’s dead! He’s dead! He’s dead! He’s dead! He’s –

LIZ turns off the video.

VOGEL
Over the season Mickey’s become more and more … unstable. Mood swings, outbursts. He talks to himself. And to people that aren’t there.

LIZ
But that was the first time he ever went this far.

BECKETT
Well, did he have a reason to be angry with Sid?

CASTLE
Aside from the lame sketch?

VOGEL
Actually, yes. I talked to Sid yesterday morning. He said he was planning to fire Mickey.

CASTLE
How could he fire his star?

VOGEL
I – he’s volatile. Unpredictable. He’s become more and more of a liability.

BECKETT
Mr. Vogel, did Sid break the news to Mickey last night?

VOGEL
I don’t know. But he might have.

BECKETT
Well, Mickey wasn’t at the gathering for Sid. Is he in the building?

LIZ
If he is he’d be in the wardrobe and props room. He hangs out there to develop new characters.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT PROP ROOM

BECKETT pokes her head into the room.

BECKETT
Hello? Anybody there?

CASTLE
I’m really hoping Mickey’s not the one behind this. I mean, the man is just so damn funny on the show. Even the crappy episodes. Guy’s hysterical.

BECKETT
And quite possibly suffering a psychotic break.

CASTLE
Yes, the fine line between genius and madness.

They stop. There’s a creaking noise. It’s MICKEY in his knight costume.

CASTLE
Mickey Franks? Is that you?

MICKEY stops and turns to them.

MICKEY
I’m sorry, you must have mistaken me for another suit of armor. Now, if you’ll excuse me –

He turns away.

BECKETT
NYPD. We need to talk.

MICKEY grabs a sword from a nearby suit of armor.

MICKEY
You’ll never take me alive!

He lunges for them but before he can swing BECKETT grabs his arm. She leverages him over her shoulder and onto the ground.

MICKEY
Ow, my pancreas.

CASTLE cringes and then laughs.

CASTLE
You see what I’m saying? Even arrested he’s hilarious. Mr. Franks, you’re a comedic genius. I’m a huge fan.

MICKEY looks from a hysterical CASTLE to a stoic BECKETT.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
Mr. Franks –

MICKEY
Please direct all your questions to my personal attorney. (he holds up a puppet) Mickey! Don’t say another word. I am lead council for Mr. Franks.

CASTLE smirks. BECKETT is confused. She watches as MICKEY pretends the puppet is whispering in his ear.

BECKETT
Uh, Mr. Franks, you made some threats against Sid Ross last night.

MICKEY
You’re damn right – (as the puppet) – Don’t answer that! Detective, address your questions to me, please. Thank you.

CASTLE and BECKETT share a look. CASTLE nods.

BECKETT
Uh, where were y – (she redirects begrudgingly) – where was your client between 11PM and 2AM last night?

MICKEY
(as the puppet) He was minding his own damn business. My client is an upstanding citizen and a pillar of the community, not to mention he’s one funny mother fudgesicle. (as MICKEY, to the puppet) Hey, watch your language.

CASTLE smiles. BECKETT isn’t so amused.

BECKETT
What happened, Mickey? Did Sid tell you you were fired so you snapped and killed him?

MICKEY drops the act.

MICKEY
Hold on, what? Sid – Sid’s dead?

BECKETT nods. MICKEY looks at his puppet and quickly places it on the table.

MICKEY
Whoa! Hey! Oh, whoa, whoa. I – I didn’t kill him.

CASTLE
I noticed you’re no longer seeking counsel from your attorney.

MICKEY
No, uh … no, that’s uh – that’s just an act. I mean, I’m not crazy. (shrugs) Just spent a year of my life convincing people I was.

BECKETT
Yeah, and you’ve done a pretty good job of it.

MICKEY
I’m an actor, okay. I am an actor that’s tied to a long term contract that’s uh … not exactly covering his expenses.

CASTLE
Are you saying you were trying to get fired?

MICKEY
I’m saying, Sid controlled my career. Because of him I’m missing out on major movie roles. That’s why I attacked you guys. I figured if you 51-50’ed me on a Bellevue psych hold he’d finally cut me loose.

BECKETT
Okay, look, crazy or not, you still made some pretty serious threats against Sid and hours later he ended up dead.

MICKEY
Okay, you’re asking my whereabouts, right?

BECKETT
Mmhmm.

MICKEY
Okay, I was upstairs at the rooftop bar getting wasted all night. Then I stumbled down to the wardrobe and props room about 3AM and passed out. I had just woken up when you guys came in. Plus I had no idea Sid was even dead so how could I have had anything to do with it?

BECKETT
Okay.

BECKETT starts to pack her stuff. She’s not convinced.

MICKEY
Look, I might know who did!

BECKETT stops.

BECKETT
Okay. We’re listening.

MICKEY
Look, at around 9PM last night I – did go to Sid’s office. To beg to be let out of my contract. But I never went in because I heard him on the phone. He was yelling at someone.

BECKETT
Who was he yelling at?

MICKEY
I don’t know. But it had something to do with a deal that was going down around midnight.

CASTLE
Midnight? Did he say what the deal was?

MICKEY
No. But Sid told that person on the phone they better stick to the agreement or else.

BECKETT and CASTLE exchange another look. MICKEY knocks the puppet off the table.

MICKEY
Can I call my real attorney?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT hangs up her phone.

BECKETT
The bartender confirmed Mickey’s alibi. He is not our killer.

CASTLE
Well then, we can assume Mickey was telling the truth about the phone call he overheard Sid making.

BECKETT
Yeah, but what kind of deal would Sid be making at midnight?

RYAN
Whatever it was, it went down in the middle of his time of death window.

CASTLE
So this deal could be connected to his death. We need to figure out who Sid was talking on the phone with.

ESPOSITO
Well, that’s easier said than done. I just got Sid’s phone dump. At 9PM a phone call came from an untraceable burner phone.

BECKETT
You know what? Why don’t we get a hold of Sid’s associates, see if any of them know what this deal was.

ESPOSITO
And I know exactly who to start with. Right after that mystery call, Sid phoned none other than Danny Valentine. If anyone knows about that deal, it’s Valentine.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STUDIOS

VALENTINE and TINA are in the middle of a run through of a sketch. It’s clearly supposed to be about CASTLE and BECKETT.

VALENTINE
Detective, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

TINA
Look, buddy. I’m a cop and a model so I know when someone’s lying to me. And when their outfit is clashing. Now stand back! This could be dangerous.

VALENTINE
Don’t worry, my experience writing crime novels has prepared me for danger. Plus, I have my vest.

He grabs a Kevlar vest that has “RIGHTER” written on it. CASTLE laughs.

TINA
Look out, bad guys! Here we come!

TINA tries to kick in the door but her high heel gets stuck in the door.

TINA
Oh. Oh, model cop down. I broke a heel.

LIZ
And scene! Great job, guys.

BECKETT
Okay, well, I don’t know whether we should be flattered or offended.

CASTLE
Who cares? Danny Valentine’s playing me!

He holds his hand up for a high-five she doesn’t return.

LIZ
Well? What do you think?

BECKETT
Um, about the sketch? It’s … uh, cute.

CASTLE
Danny Valentine’s playing me.

LIZ
Yeah.

BECKETT
Speaking of Mr. Valentine, we need to talk to him.

LIZ
Oh. (she turns) Uh, Danny?

BECKETT flashes her badge.

VALENTINE
Ah ha. The real police. Here to give us some pointers?

CASTLE
Mr. Valentine, Richard Castle. I’m a big fan of you –

VALENTINE shakes CASTLE’S hand, but only for a moment. He passes by CASTLE in favor of BECKETT.

VALENTINE
Yeah. What about you, Detective? Are you a fan?

She laughs, flattered. She tries to compose herself.

BECKETT
Uh, Mr. Valentine. We need to talk.

VALENTINE
Sure. Let’s go to my dressing room.

He smiles and winks. BECKETT follows him off. CASTLE hesitates a moment, trying to digest what’s just happened.

INT – DANNY VALENTINE’S DRESSING ROOM

VALENTINE
Surely you’ve seen some of my work. Starfleet? Family Practice? My uh, my car rental commercials?

BECKETT
Uh, yeah well, I – I did catch my fair share of Hot Suspect reruns in college.

VALENTINE
I knew it! The cop watched the cop show. Come on, I inspired you to become a detective, didn’t I? Huh?

BECKETT smiles. VALENTINE is flirting with her. CASTLE frowns at the display.

BECKETT
May – maybe a little bit.

VALENTINE laughs in delight. CASTLE insinuates himself between VALENTINE and BECKETT.

CASTLE
We’re investigating a murder. (to BECKETT) Right?

She realizes that he’s trying to deflect attention back to the case and off of her.

BECKETT
Right. Yeah. Uh, so we checked Sid’s phone records and apparently he called you at 9:03 last night. Can you tell us why?

VALENTINE
Yeah, I was supposed to have drinks with Sid and his ex, Evelyn. But Sid called last minute to cancel.

CASTLE
You and Sid were going out with his ex-wife? Isn’t that a bit odd?

VALENTINE
Not for us. Sid and Evelyn split twenty years ago but we were all still close friends.

BECKETT
Did he say why he was canceling?

VALENTINE
(shrugs) ‘Fraid not.

He’s flippant. He stares at BECKETT.

CASTLE
(dryly) Anything about a deal at midnight?

VALENTINE
No, but he was going somewhere because while we were on the phone I literally bumped into him leaving the building from the private entrance.

BECKETT watches VALENTINE. She unconsciously flips her hair.

CASTLE
Wait, Sid was leaving the building the night of his murder?

VALENTINE
Mmhmm.

BECKETT
Uh, Mr. Valentine, did he mention meeting with someone?

CASTLE notices BECKETT’S hair flip. He does a double take.

VALENTINE
Please. Call me Danny. And no, Sid didn’t say where he was going. (there’s a long pause) But I did see something strange. He went into the subway on the corner.

VALENTINE has taken steps toward BECKETT. CASTLE pushes him back with a finger.

CASTLE
And why was that strange, Danny?

VALENTINE
Well, he had an around-the-clock driver. Why would he take mass transit? Unless it was a secret rendezvous.

BECKETT considers his story. CASTLE isn’t amused by his interest in BECKETT.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE and BECKETT get off the elevator.

BECKETT
Well, wherever Sid went he obviously didn’t want anyone to know about it. (off CASTLE’S side eyed look) Oh, come on, Castle. He was flirting with me. I can’t control that.

CASTLE
But you were flirting back.

BECKETT
Yeah, but what was I supposed to do? He’s Danny frickin’ Valentine.

CASTLE’S jaw drops.

BECKETT
Espo. Hey. You find you where Sid went on that subway ride?

ESPOSITO
Not yet, but I spoke to Gene Vogel, from Sid’s company. The only deal that he knew about was one that hasn’t been officially announced yet. Apparently Sid was going to sell 49% of his company to an equity firm.

CASTLE
Could that be the deal Sid was talking about.

ESPOSITO
Doesn’t look like it. The terms of the sale would have been set weeks ago. There’s nothing left to negotiate.

RYAN
Hey guys … you’re going to want to see this.

They follow RYAN into the work room.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

RYAN
So Sid paid for his Metro card in cash. But I was able to use security cams to track him all the way to Grand Army Plaza subway station. He got off there at 11:30PM.

BECKETT
In Brooklyn? What was he doing in Brooklyn?

RYAN
You know, I wondered the same thing. So I checked with the 87th precinct. Apparently they responded to a 911 call in that area.

ESPOSITO
About what?

RYAN
Well, check it out. Officers used traffic cam footage and they caught the tail end of it. This is about a block away from where Sid got off the subway. Now keep your eye on that alley right there.

He lets the video play. There’s nothing of interest except three flashes that happen in the alley.

ESPOSITO
Were those gunshots?

RYAN
Fits with the 911 call. It was a report of shots fired. Now, watch what happens next.

He zooms in when a man runs stumbling out of the alley.

BECKETT
That’s Sid. You guys, look at the time stamp. It’s from just after midnight.

CASTLE
This must be the deal he was talking about. And judging by the speed his 60 year old legs are moving I’d say he was in danger.

The video continues to play. Another man runs from the alley. He’s dressed in black.

BECKETT
Who’s that?

RYAN
I don’t know. But he’s got a gun. And he’s wearing a mask.

CASTLE
And hours later Sid gets thrown down an elevator shaft. What the hell was Sid mixed up in?

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

RYAN has the video paused on the frame of the man dressed in black.

BECKETT
You guys, is it just me or does none of this make sense? I mean, Sid was a multimillionaire. Guys like that don’t make shady deals in the middle of dark alleys.

RYAN
Or if you do, you have someone else do it for you.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, and take a look at our suspect there. I mean, is this a deal gone wrong or a failed hit?

CASTLE
So, uh, what are we saying here? That the masked man followed Sid back to the SNT building and killed him?

ESPOSITO
Well, with a private entrance with no surveillance cameras it’s possible, right?

CASTLE
But after an apparent attempt on his life, why would Sid just go back to the office?

BECKETT
And if Sid really was in danger why didn’t he call security?

RYAN
Well, we may find some answers in that alley.

ESPOSITO
Let’s go check it out.

RYAN nods.

BECKETT
Okay, Castle and I are going to scrub traffic cams. Maybe we’ll find the shooter there.

EXT – NEW YORK CITY ALLEY, NIGHTTIME

RYAN and ESPOSITO are sifting through trash.

RYAN
Anything yet?

ESPOSITO
No. No blood, no shell casings, no nothing.

RYAN
Hey, doesn’t this remind you of that sketch from Saturday Night Tonight where um … Mickey Franks plays Sherlock Holmes’s wacky cousin?

ESPOSITO
No. I don’t watch that stupid show, bro.

RYAN
You don’t?

ESPOSITO
No. Hell no. The sketches never have any endings. It’s a big waste of time, just like searching this alley is.

RYAN
You know, Javi, I think you need to find a way to be more positive.

ESPOSITO
No. I don’t.

RYAN
And you need to stop saying “no” all the time. Instead, why don’t you trying saying “yes, and”.

ESPOSITO
What the hell are you talking about?

RYAN
Oh, I learned it in an SNT sponsored improvisation class I took in college. See, by simply substituting “no” with “yes, and” partners can’t deny one another’s progress, moving forward in a scene and accomplishing goals.

There’s a squeaking noise. It’s a homeless man pushing a cart.

ESPOSITO
Yo. That guy might have been here last night.

RYAN
Yes, and he might have seen the exchange between Sid and the gunman. See what you can accomplish by saying “yes, and”? Hmm?

ESPOSITO
Yes, and you need to shut the hell up. (he runs off to chase down the homeless man) Hey!

RYAN follows him.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, MORNING

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

BECKETT is headed to the precinct. MARTHA is alone on the couch. She’s stopped her line repetition.

BECKETT
Martha, are you okay?

MARTHA
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Just a little tired, that’s all.

She’s dismissive about it. BECKETT isn’t convinced.

CASTLE
Ready to head out?

BECKETT
Hey! (she stops CASTLE and lowers her voice) Something’s wrong with your mom.

CASTLE
I thought we already covered that.

BECKETT
No, no, no. She’s not repeating the line. Something else is going on.

CASTLE
Can’t we just be happy that she stopped?

BECKETT glares at him.

BECKETT
Castle, I have to go to the precinct. Can you just talk to her and meet me over there?

CASTLE
Yeah.

BECKETT
Okay. Bye. (she leans forward and kisses his cheek) Bye, Martha!

MARTHA
Bye, honey.

BECKETT leaves. CASTLE turns to face MARTHA.

CASTLE
So. Previews tonight. Pretty exciting, huh? Come on. "Is he dead?"

MARTHA
(scoffs) Wrong question. Am I dead?

It’s not what he was expecting. He sits next to her on the couch.

MARTHA
You know, I don’t know what I’m thinking. Eight performances a week, major play, on Broadway.

CASTLE
You’ve been on Broadway before.

MARTHA
Yeah, well – not since the Clinton administration. And now it’s all viral. Bloggers, tweeters. You know, people actually come to the previews, record the show on their phone, put it online, and make comments.

CASTLE
And you don’t feel your performance is ready?

MARTHA
Well, I just – I’m still honing my performance. That’s what previews are for. And I just … (she takes a long moment) … I just don’t want to be humiliated. When I got this part I thought, well, hey. There’s a chance, you know? This could be my second act.

CASTLE
It is.

MARTHA
No it isn’t! It isn’t. I’m not going to have a second act. I – (she sighs) – I think what I need to do is just drop out, let my understudy take over. She is very -

CASTLE
Oh, absolutely not! You will not. And do you know why? Because you’re a fighter. What have you always told me? No one will give you anything in this life. You must earn it. And look at you. Almost twenty years later and you are back on Broadway? You have earned this.

She’s touched.

MARTHA
I have. Haven’t I?

CASTLE
You have. Please don’t let some idiot with a cell phone take that away from you. (he scoots closer) You want me to come to tonight’s show? Just for moral support?

MARTHA
I want you to come to the opening, kiddo. Just like you always do.

CASTLE
All right. But if I have to wait, at least let me hear that sweet first line one more time.

She brightens.

MARTHA
Okay. Um … is he dead?

CASTLE
But with feeling.

MARTHA (louder)
Is he dead?

CASTLE
One more for the cheap seats!

MARTHA
(leaps to her feet and bellows) Is he dead?

CASTLE
(stands up beside her) He’s so dead!

She laughs.

CASTLE
And bow.

He bows with her.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

RYAN is waiting for BECKETT when she gets off the elevator.

BECKETT
Hey. So what’d you guys get from the homeless man?

RYAN
Well, he didn’t witness the exchange between Sid and our masked gunman. However he did hear the gunshots, and a few minutes later he saw a black Explorer speeding away.

BECKETT
Did he get a plate?

RYAN
Yeah, the last four numbers, which got us a match to an SUV rented by this guy. (he adds a photo to the murder board) Kurt Van Zant. Just did a thirty five year stretch in Folsom for drug trafficking but he was just released.

BECKETT
Is there a connection between Sid and this ex-con?

RYAN
Oh yeah. While he was in prison Van Zant filed a lawsuit claiming that he financed the pilot for Saturday Night Tonight and that Sid screwed him out of all the profits.

BECKETT
Wait a minute, you’re telling me that a drug kingpin bankrolled that comedy show?

RYAN
Yeah, I know. It sounds like one of their comedy sketches, right?

BECKETT
So a show that brought joy, laughter, and Judge Booty to people everywhere may have been built on drug money.

RYAN
Yeah, but the lawsuit was thrown out. So while Sid was getting rich, Van Zant was rotting in prison.

BECKETT
You know, maybe Van Zant was who Sid was talking about when he told his wife someone was after him.

RYAN
Makes sense. Right. Van Zant felt that Sid owed him a fair share of profits from the show. Maybe he came to collect.

BECKETT
And when Sid didn’t want to go along, Van Zant opted for revenge instead. (RYAN nods) Where is Van Zant now?

RYAN
He’s registered at a hotel up in Queens.

ESPOSITO
Yo. I sent Van Zant’s photo to security at SNT, asked if anybody saw him last night. No one did. However, thirty minutes ago Van Zant entered the building on a day pass called in from someone at the show.

BECKETT raises her eyebrows.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STUDIOS

VOGEL
Kurt Van Zant? You’ve got to be kidding me.

BECKETT
Yeah. Do you know him?

VOGEL
No, but Sid told me all about him. He’s dangerous. You’re telling me he’s here in the studio?

CASTLE
Do you know who called in his pass?

VOGEL
No. But I can find out. (he gestures with his head) Follow me.

CASTLE and BECKETT follow VOGEL. They pass TINA, who stands and follows behind them. BECKETT slows when she realizes they’re being followed.

BECKETT
Um … can I help you?

TINA
Oh, no. It’s fine. You just have a very bizarre gait.

TINA tries to mimic BECKETT’S stance.

BECKETT
I’m – I’m sorry, what?

TINA
(mimicking) I’m sorry, what?

BECKETT turns and gives CASTLE a look. She huffs, indignant. TINA does the same thing. When BECKETT turns and faces CASTLE, her arms crossed, TINA does, too.

BECKETT
Castle, please tell me I don’t move like that. … I mean, do I?

CASTLE watches TINA. It’s a fairly decent imitation of BECKETT.

CASTLE
Is this a trick question? What answer is not going to have me sleeping on the couch tonight?

She shakes her head at him and continues to follow VOGEL. CASTLE gives TINA an “okay” sign before he follows them, too.

VOGEL
Chad. Find out who called in a day pass for a Kurt Van Zant.

CHAD
You’re looking at him, sir.

BECKETT
Wait a minute, you called in the pass? Why?

CHAD
I was told to. By Mr. Valentine.

BECKETT (with CASTLE)
Danny Valentine.

CASTLE (with BECKETT)
Danny Valentine.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STUDIOS

CASTLE
Oh ho ho. I knew it. That smug, no talent playboy is up to his neck in this.

Before CASTLE can knock on the door to VALENTINE’S dressing room they hear a commotion.

VALENTINE
Hey! Hey! Help! Help! He’s going to kill me! Hey!

BECKETT draws her gun and kicks in the door.

BECKETT
NYPD!

INT – DANNY VALENTINE’S DRESSING ROOM

KURT VAN ZANT has VALENTINE dangling out the window to his dressing room.

VALENTINE
Help!

CASTLE
Let him go!

VALENTINE
What? No!

CASTLE covers his mouth when he realizes how his command could be taken.

INT – DANNY VALENTINE’S DRESSING ROOM

BECKETT
Pull him in, Van Zant. Now!

KURT VAN ZANT
Hey lady. Relax.

But he pulls VALENTINE in anyway.

BECKETT
Come on. Let me see your hands.

BECKETT handcuffs VAN ZANT.

VALENTINE
Thanks. The guy’s a psychopath.

CASTLE
Then why did you give him a pass to get on?

VALENTINE
He left a note at my hotel. He said he had information about Sid’s murder.

BECKETT
You’re saying you don’t know this man?

VALENTINE
I’ve never met him before today.

VAN ZANT
Listen, this thing is a big misunderstanding.

BECKETT
I’m sure it is. Come on.

She pushes him toward the door.

CASTLE
So what information did he have about Sid’s murder.

VALENTINE
Nothing. This was a shake down. He claims Sid owed him money for Saturday Night Tonight but since Sid didn’t pay he wanted me to sign over my shares of the show.

CASTLE
You own a piece of the show?

VALENTINE
(shrugs) Five percent. Sid needed a – a celebrity guest for the pilot so he gave me a piece of the backend. It was the best deal of my life.

CASTLE
So Van Zant wanted his cut, but with Sid dead, his only option was to come after yours.

VALENTINE
I refused. I said hey, that’s show business, baby. But that’s when he started shoving me out the window.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
Thirty five years in Folsom. That’s a long time to hold a grudge, Mr. Van Zant.

VAN ZANT
Lady, I didn’t kill Sid.

BECKETT
And yet you were seen fleeing the alley where those shots were fired. It’s not hard to imagine that you would follow Sid and finish off the job.

He slams his hands against the table.

VAN ZANT
Look. You got this all wrong. When I got paroled I went straight to Sid. We had it out and he apologized.

BECKETT
Except now he’s dead.

VAN ZANT
Why would I move on him? He agreed to give me a major chunk of change of an upcoming sale of shares to some equity group. So we were good.

BECKETT
That doesn’t square with you shooting at him in the alley.

VAN ZANT
That wasn’t me, I swear!

BECKETT
If it wasn’t you, then who was it?

VAN ZANT
I don’t know. Sid called me and told me the paperwork for my stake in the show was ready. But he wouldn’t sign off unless I brought him something.

BECKETT
All right, fine. (she sits) I’ll play along. What did Sid want you to bring?

VAN ZANT
An unregistered gun.

BECKETT
Why would Sid want a gun? Oh wait, no. Let me guess. He didn’t tell you.

VAN ZANT
It’s true! He just told me to meet him near that alley, so I did. I gave him a .38 special and he told me I could pick up the signed papers in the morning. And then he told me I should take a hike.

BECKETT
But you didn’t.

VAN ZANT
(shrugs) Well, a man asks for a gun he’s looking to dance with danger. I thought it wise to protect my investment.

BECKETT
So you’re saying you stuck around just to see what would happen.

VAN ZANT
Yep. Saw Sid go down the alley and hide in a doorway. Twenty minutes go by and some dude in a mask shows up, opens the dumpster, pulls out a green duffel bag.

BECKETT
And what was in the duffel bag?

VAN ZANT
Hell if I know. But that’s when Sid jumps out with a gun screaming, “You got what you wanted, now where is she!”

BECKETT
Who is "she"?

VAN ZANT
I have no idea. But the masked man got the drop on Sid. They wrestled for the gun, and then, pop, pop, pop! Shots go off in the air.

BECKETT
You know what? If you were protecting your investment then why didn’t you help him out?

VAN ZANT
Well, Sid ran off. And the guy in the mask wasn’t giving chase so I figured I’m on parole, I need to bug out before the cops show up.

BECKETT considers him.

BECKETT
And that’s all you did?

VAN ZANT
I drove to Sid’s building to see if I could catch him and ask him what the hell he got me into. But he never showed up. Next thing I know he’s dead.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
I think he’s telling the truth. Security video outside of Sid’s apartment shows Van Zant waiting out front, in his car, from 12:30AM to 3:30 in the morning.

BECKETT
That’s on the other side of town from the studio.

ESPOSITO
Yeah. Van Zant couldn’t have done it.

BECKETT
Okay, that dumpster that you searched? There was no duffel bag?

ESPOSITO
The guy in the mask must have taken it, which means that Sid must have been the guy who dropped it off.

BECKETT
This has to be the deal that Sid was talking about. That duffel bag was the payoff.

RYAN
Yeah. It sure was. I spoke with the business manager. He just discovered that on the day he was murdered Sid made a huge bank withdrawal.

BECKETT
How huge?

RYAN
Four million dollars in non-sequential bills.

BECKETT
Non-sequential bills? You guys, this was a ransom gone wrong. That’s why Sid asked “where is she”. Some woman in his life was kidnapped.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, but who?

BECKETT
That’s what we’ve gotta find out. Because whoever took her might be our killer.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT hangs up her phone.

BECKETT
The cast and the crew of Saturday Night Tonight are all at the studio. No one is missing.

CASTLE
So we’ve covered Sid’s wife, his family, his friends, and now his job. Everyone’s accounted for.

RYAN
Uh … actually not everyone. (he flips a photo around) Evelyn Ross, Sid’s first wife.

BECKETT
She’s missing?

RYAN
Well, I followed up with Sid’s son. And he said she hadn’t returned any of his phone calls. So I spoke with her doorman. He said Evelyn went on her usual 6AM run two days ago and he hasn’t seen her since. She’s gotta be our kidnap victim.

ESPOSITO
Yes, and I was able to ping her cell phone.

RYAN
Yes, and.

ESPOSITO
I wasn’t doing that.

RYAN
No, you did it. Just now.

ESPOSITO
Anyway, uniforms found the phone dumped in a trashcan near a bodega in the Bronx. Probably tossed there by the kidnapper.

BECKETT
(sighs) Something’s not right here.

CASTLE
Starting with our victim’s behavior. You’re Sid. Your ex-wife gets kidnapped. The deal in the alley to get her back goes south. At that point, why wouldn’t you go to the police? Why do you go back to your office?

ESPOSITO checks his text messages when his phone beeps.

RYAN
Well, I’ll circle back with Sid’s office, see what I can find out.

ESPOSITO
Yo. Unis just arrived with Evelyn’s phone.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

TECH
This is Evelyn’s cloud account. It’s synced to her cell phone.

A TECH pulls it up on the screen so everyone can see it.

BECKETT
Map My Jog. That’s a fitness app. Can you click on it?

TECH
Mmhmm.

ESPOSITO
It looks like it’s been running this whole time.

BECKETT
I’ve seen this app before. They use GPS to calculate a jogger’s distance and pace and, most importantly, their route.

ESPOSITO
Can you replay Evelyn’s last path?

The TECH does. They watch an icon trace EVEYLN’S last run.

ESPOSITO
That’s her leaving her building.

BECKETT
Okay, so she jogged to the park.

The icon turns around and starts to move quickly.

ESPOSITO
Wait, is this when she got kidnapped?

BECKETT
It’s gotta be. She’s moving at thirty miles an hour.

ESPOSITO
She had to have been in a vehicle.

BECKETT
Yeah. (to TECH) Can you fast forward so that we can see where she ended up?

TECH
So she was taken up to the Bronx.

The TECH forwards the route.

ESPOSITO
Okay, looks like she stopped at this building.

BECKETT
Evelyn might still be in that building.

ESPOSITO
Yeah.

BECKETT
What do we know about that place?

ESPOSITO
I don’t know. We’ll find out.

BECKETT
Okay. (she answers her ringing phone) Hey Ryan, you find anything in Sid’s office?

RYAN
Nah, just paperwork and spreadsheets.

BECKETT
So nothing that speaks to a possible kidnapping?

RYAN
Pretty straightforward stuff, but I’ll bring it in so we can go through it with a fine-tooth comb.

ESPOSITO
Beckett, we got something.

BECKETT
Okay. Ryan, I gotta go.

ESPOSITO
That building where Evelyn was taken is an abandoned warehouse. It’s the ideal location to hold someone hostage.

INT – ABANDONED WAREHOUSE

A SWAT TEAM MEMBER kicks in the door.

SWAT TEAM MEMBER
NYPD! Go, go, go.

They sweep the area. They finally find a body.

SWAT TEAM MEMBER
There. Over there.

ESPOSITO
Over here! (to SWAT TEAM MEMBER) Kick it.

SWAT TEAM MEMBER kicks the gate open. EVELYN ROSS is alive, her hands chained together and her mouth gagged.

ESPOSITO
Evelyn? We’re the police. You’re safe now.

ESPOSITO removes the gag from her mouth.

EVELYN ROSS
Oh God.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

EVELYN
I had just stopped to stretch and the next thing I knew there was a rag over my mouth and … uh, when I came to I was in that warehouse.

CASTLE
At any point in time did you look at your kidnapper’s face?

EVELYN shakes her head.

EVELYN
He always wore a mask. It was like a ski mask, but shiny. With a silver zigzag up the middle and a gold headband.

The description catches CASTLE’S attention.

CASTLE
A gold headband? Are you sure about that?

EVELYN
I’m pretty sure that’s what it was.

CASTLE pulls out his phone.

BECKETT
And uh, how about his clothes? Do you remember anything distinctive about them?

EVELYN
(shakes her head) No. But he wore a ring. A red and silver signet ring on his right hand. I remember that.

CASTLE
Evelyn, back to the mask. (he shows her a photo on his cell phone) Did it look anything like this?

EVELYN
(she takes a deep breath) Yes. Exactly like that.

BECKETT
Is that from Saturday Night Tonight?

CASTLE
It’s from an obscure sketch they did two years ago called “Lucha Libre Lunch Buffet”.

BECKETT
So our kidnapper had access to the props and wardrobe room at the studio.

CASTLE
This was an inside job.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STUDIOS

They’re running though the episode of SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT.

CASTLE
Carly! Carly Rae Jepsen! (he rushes forward) I’m Rick – I’m Rick. This is Kate. We’re huge fans.

CARLY RAE JEPSEN
Oh, thanks! That means a lot to me.

BECKETT
So nice to meet you. Um, Castle, we really need to –

CASTLE
Yeah. (he ignores her) Um, Carly, quick question. That one song, um, "Call Me Maybe", what did you mean by the lyric “it’s –“

STAGE MANAGER
Carly? Two minutes.

CARLY RAE JEPSEN
Oh, I’m so sorry. I have to go perform the song.

CASTLE
Oh, that’s cool. We’ve gotta go solve a murder, so…

CARLY RAE JEPSEN leaves. BECKETT pushes CASTLE away.

BECKETT
Okay.

CASTLE
Nice to meet you!

BECKETT
Okay.

CASTLE
Bye.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT PROP ROOM

BECKETT
Excuse me. Someone recently checked out one of these masks and we need to know who.

PROPMASTER
Now? We’re in the middle of a live show.

CASTLE
It was from the “Lucha Libra Lunch Buffet” sketch.

The PROPMASTER studies the photo BECKETT holds out to him.

PROPMASTER
Yeah, that sketch sucked. We haven’t used those masks in years.

BECKETT
Well, is there a record of someone signing it out?

PROPMASTER
Probably not, but I can check. Can you give me, like, five minutes?

BECKETT
Okay. We’ll be back.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STUDIOS

CASTLE and BECKETT move to the side of the stage to wait. They watch as CARLY RAE JEPSEN steps on stage.

CASTLE
We are so close.

BECKETT
Yeah, but who would be so brazen or so naïve as to use a mask from the show to perpetrate a kidnapping?

VALENTINE
Ladies and gentlemen, performing her hit single “I Really Like You”, Carly Rae Jepsen!

CARLY RAE JEPSEN
This is for you, Sid.

BECKETT watches CASTLE as the song starts. He smiles.

CARLY RAE JEPSEN starts to sing her song “I Really Like You”.

The studio starts clapping along with the song. In the wings CASTLE holds his hand out to BECKETT. She smiles, takes his hand, and they start to dance. She goes along with it willingly, and smiles when he dips her. She laughs as he pulls her back up.

CHAD
Nice moves. You guys want a better seat? There’s nothing like watching the show from house seats.

CASTLE pauses. He grabs CHAD’S wrist.

CHAD
Hey. It’s cool. You can stay here if you like.

CASTLE
Beckett, check out his ring.

It’s a red and white signet ring.

BECKETT
Just like Evelyn described. Hey Chad? We’ve got a house seat for you. Down at the twelfth precinct. Let’s go.

She handcuffs him.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

BECKETT
So, Chad, tell us. How long have you been a page with SNT?

CHAD
Uh, five incredible years. Why?

CASTLE
Don’t most pages quit if they don’t get promoted after a year or two?

CHAD
Oh, for me it’s worth the wait. Any day now.

BECKETT
Yeah, sorry. I don’t buy it. I think you got tired of waiting and after so many years you wanted payback.

CHAD
Payback? What do you mean, payback?

BECKETT
I’m talking about the four million dollar kind. You kidnapped Sid’s ex-wife.

CHAD
Wait, what?

CASTLE
It was a pretty clever plan. All except that one tiny detail you could not have foreseen: Sid confronting you at the money drop. He recognized your ring, didn’t he? That was when you realized your only way out was to kill him.

CHAD
You think I killed Mr. Ross?

CASTLE
You can drop the act. We know what you did. Even Evelyn saw your ring.

CHAD
My ring? No, no. I bought this ring at the SNT gift shop. Lots of people have it.

BECKETT
Yeah, except lots of people don’t have evidence in their apartments.

CHAD
What are you talking about? I didn’t do anything.

BECKETT
So then why don’t you explain how detectives found a .38 revolver and a Lucha Libre mask under your bed?

CHAD
(laughs nervously) Um … must have been an evil tooth fairy that put it there, because it wasn’t me. Please, I – I – I didn’t do this.

CASTLE
All right, then where were you the night that Sid was murdered?

CHAD
At home.

BECKETT
Can anyone verify that?

CHAD thinks. He sighs.

CHAD
No.

BECKETT and CASTLE exchange a look.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

VALENTINE (on television)
Sid was a tough SOB, but he loved his job and his job was to get us to make America laugh. And tonight we honor him by doing just that.

CASTLE and BECKETT watch as OFFICER LT leads CHAD away.

CASTLE
Chad can’t be the killer, can he?

BECKETT
Well, it doesn’t feel right, but there is an abundance of evidence.

CASTLE
Yeah, it’s too abundant. The mask, the gun, the ring? It’s just too perfect.

BECKETT
So, what? You think he was framed?

CASTLE
I think there’s more to this story.

BECKETT
You know, it’s possible the killer wanted Evelyn to see the mask and the ring.

CASTLE
Chad is the perfect fall guy.

BECKETT
Okay, but it Chad didn’t do it then who did?

RYAN
Uh, I may have a line on that. I figured out what Sid was doing in his office with those spreadsheets. He was going over his corporate bank accounts.

BECKETT
Sid went from paying a kidnapper at gunpoint to checking his corporate financials? (RYAN nods) That’s … weird.

RYAN
That’s not the only thing that’s weird. Check out those expenses he highlighted.

BECKETT scans the paper RYAN hands her.

CASTLE
Oh, these are weird. Because …

RYAN
Because. I called the bank in the Cayman Islands. All of those expenses are bogus.

BECKETT
So someone with access at Sid’s company was embezzling money.

RYAN
Almost four million dollars, the exact amount of the ransom.

CASTLE
Wait. That’s it. The embezzler was trying to replace the money he’d stolen from Sid.

BECKETT (with CASTLE)
I know who the killer is.

CASTLE (with BECKETT)
I know who the killer is. (his eyes widen) Nice. In fairness though, I walked you right through that.

INT – SATURDAY NIGHT TONIGHT STUDIOS

STAGE MANAGER
Places for the final sketch. Places for the final sketch.

MICKEY is getting ready for his part. He startles when he sees CASTLE and BECKETT, but he gives them a hesitant thumbs up. CASTLE smiles at him. TINA gives BECKETT a final look. BECKETT is uncomfortable with the attention. But VALENTINE is there, snapping at BECKETT in appreciation. She smiles. CASTLE frowns.

LIZ
Oh, hi. Is everything all right?

BECKETT
Yes. In fact, we have some good news.

VOGEL
Great. Let’s talk after the show.

CASTLE
Actually, the show’s already over. At least for you.

VOGEL
Excuse me?

BECKETT
Drop the act, Mr. Vogel. We know that you killed Sid.

VOGEL
That’s insane.

CASTLE
Not really. Not considering the partial sale of Sid’s company was on the horizon. A sale that would mean a review of the company’s books.

BECKETT
Which would expose the four million dollars that you embezzled.

VOGEL
What? Are you out of your mind?

CASTLE
No, but you must have been. Faced with the inevitability of being caught, you had to do something. So you kidnapped and ransomed Evelyn in order to reimburse the money you’d stolen.

BECKETT
A duffel bag full of cash would be easy to deposit in the company’s Cayman Island bank, where no questions are asked.

CASTLE
After that, all you’d have to do is falsify a few bank statements and you’d be in the clear.

VOGEL
How dare you? This is absurd.

BECKETT
We followed the money, Gene. You siphoned four million dollars to invest in a startup company.

CASTLE
And when that company went belly up you could not get your money back.

BECKETT
Sid must have recognized you at the drop but he didn’t confront you until after he discovered the faked expenses.

LIZ
(incredulously) So you killed him? Gene, how could you?

VOGEL
No. These are – these are baseless accusations. They can’t prove anything.

BECKETT
Actually, we can. We went through your financials and found millions in undeclared deposits from Sid’s company.

CASTLE
Oh, by the way. Nice touch wearing the mask and SNT ring that Chad has. Only problem with your frame job? You were witnessed hanging outside his apartment this afternoon when you planted them. Oops.

BECKETT
Gene Vogel, you’re under arrest for –

She doesn’t get to finish. He bolts in the direction of the stage.

TINA
Model cop down! I broke a heel –

TINA and VALENTINE are interrupted by VOGEL being chased by BECKETT. She crashes into him and tackles him onto the couch on set. CASTLE rushes in behind her.

BECKETT
Gene Vogel, you are under arrest for kidnapping and murder.

She’s focused on her arrest and doesn’t realize they’re on live television. CASTLE does and he tries to cover. He grabs her hand and makes her follow his lead in taking a bow.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
Beckett, that was a badass takedown tonight on that show. It was strong yet … sexy.

RYAN
Yeah, Beckett. The camera really loves you.

She laughs at the teasing.

BECKETT
You guys, shut up, both of you.

CASTLE
What about me, guys? How did I look?

ESPOSITO
Like you should stick to writing.

RYAN emphasizes the burn.

MARTHA
Yeah, I think so. There’s only one star in this family, kiddo.

CASTLE
Mother. How was your preview performance?

MARTHA
Well … check out the, uh, the twitterverse, as they say.

She hands him her phone.

CASTLE
All righty … (reading) "Martha Rodgers is a revelation. Martha Rodgers gives a masterful performance. A display of why theater is still a relevant art form. Martha Rodgers is amazeballs."

BECKETT cheers. Even RYAN and ESPOSITO are happy for her.

MARTHA
Yeah, about that. Is that "amazeballs" a good thing, because –

CASTLE
It sure is. Congratulations. (they clap) Congratulations.

MARTHA
Okay. Oh, great. Then we can celebrate! (she pulls a bottle out of her bag) I brought some champagne for everybody – (she hands it to RYAN) – if you will open it. Do we have some glasses?

BECKETT
Well, we don’t do a lot of entertaining here, Martha, but ta-da.

BECKETT pulls a stack of paper cups from her desk.

MARTHA
Ah. That’ll work. Thank you, thank you.

RYAN pours everyone a drink.

CASTLE
Perfect. Thank you, Detective Ryan. (he turns to MARTHA) To my amazeballs mother, the best second act on Broadway.

She smiles and they clink glasses.

BECKETT
Cheers.

MARTHA
Cheers.

Everyone clinks glasses. They toast to MARTHA one more time.


THE END

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