7x23 Transcript

Transcribed by:
McManda
CASTLE
EPISODE 7x23
"Hollander's Woods"


EST – WOODS

EMMA MALLOY presses herself against a tree. She tries not to cry, but she’s scared. She peers around the tree and can see the dark figure she’s running from coming toward her. She takes her chance and runs but the figure is right there. She startles and runs again. She reaches a clearing. It’s a road and she doesn’t have a chance against the truck rushing down the road. She screams.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

RICHARD CASTLE
Boom.

He props up an oversized portrait of himself on the counter.

CASTLE
Hello. I’m serious and brooding Richard Castle.

KATE BECKETT and ALEXIS CASTLE share a look. CASTLE props another portrait of himself on the counter.

CASTLE
And I am friendly, accessible, ruggedly handsome Richard Castle.

ALEXIS CASTLE
Wow, Dad. Could your head get any bigger?

CASTLE
Can you blame me? I’m accepting the Poe’s Pen career achievement award. It is the biggest honor a mystery writer can get. I am joining the pantheon of greats to whose heights I have always aspired, so …which big head?

KATE BECKETT
Um … I like the ruggedly handsome, smiling giant you.

ALEXIS
Mmm. I like the serious, brooding giant you.

CASTLE
Oh. All right, Mother. You are the tie-breaker. Which of these should be hanging behind me at the ceremony next week?

MARTHA RODGERS
Oh, darling, you know I refuse to play favorites. I love both of my son’s big heads equally. (ALEXIS chuckles) All right, I am off to meet a friend of mine whose father just passed away.

BECKETT
Oh, Martha, I’m so sorry.

MARTHA
Oh, no, no, no. Don’t be. He had a rich, full life. And, more importantly, he has a rent controlled loft in Chelsea. Which, if I play my cards right, could be mine. (she waves) Bye.

MARTHA leaves. BECKETT looks at her dinging phone.

CASTLE
Well, there’s the death-is-opportunity spirit we all love.

BECKETT waves her phone.

BECKETT
Oh, looks like we have another opportunity of our own.

CASTLE
Oh. Let’s head out. We’ll go head-to-head later. See where I’m heading?

BECKETT groans.

EXT – WOODS

CASTLE shuts the door to BECKETT’S car.

CASTLE
You know, with this award, you going for captain? We could be New York’s newest power couple.

BECKETT
Oh, Castle, don’t jinx it. I haven’t even gotten my results back yet.

He waves her off.

CASTLE
It’s you. You aced it.

KEVIN RYAN and JAVIER ESPOSITO pull up. RYAN gets out of the car first.

KEVIN RYAN
No, man. It was the guy with the axe in his heart. He bled out in the Barcalounger. We called him lord of the flies. No?

JAVIER ESPOSITO
No, no, no. You’re wrong, bro. It was the pet shop owner whose wife fed him to the dogs.

BECKETT
What are you guys fighting about?

RYAN
The first case that Captain Montgomery partnered us on. Ten years ago today?

CASTLE
Really? It’s your manniversary? And I didn’t get you anything.

ESPOSITO
There’s still time.

TROOPER COLLINS
You folks from the 12th? I’m Trooper Collins. Thanks for coming out of your jurisdiction. (she turns to lead them to the scene) Our victim’s a Jane Doe. It appears she was attacked in the woods and chased onto the road where she was hit by that truck. Because of the assault we’re classifying the death as a homicide.

CASTLE
Any idea where she was coming from?

TROOPER COLLINS
It’s state game land. Not a house for miles.

BECKETT
Any idea on the body?

TROOPER COLLINS
No. And we ran her prints but they’re not on file. We’ve got our teams out there searching the woods, but we found these tucked into her bra.

She hands RYAN evidence bags.

RYAN
A fifty dollar bill, key card, and a cash receipt.

TROOPER COLLINS
From a coffee shop in the city. Dated yesterday.

ESPOSITO
This card looks like a hotel key.

TROOPER COLLINS
But it’s not from anywhere around here. We think maybe she was staying in the city. We were hoping you could help us track down who she is and what she was doing here.

BECKETT
Yeah, of course.

CASTLE notices the body hasn’t been taken away yet. He walks over to look. She doesn’t look any different than any of the other bodies he’s seen, but there are crosses carved into her cheeks and her forehead.

CASTLE
Trooper Collins? These carvings on her face?

TROOPER COLLINS
The crosses? Freaky, right? We think she was maybe running from whoever did that.

BECKETT
They look ritualistic.

TROOPER COLLINS
Yeah. And it gets freakier. Just as that trucker hit the girl he says he saw something emerge from the woods.

CASTLE
Something?

TROOPER COLLINS
A dark figure wearing a mask.

CASTLE
What kind of mask?

TROOPER COLLINS
He was pretty shaken, so we didn’t press. We’ll get a full statement from him once he’s been treated.

CASTLE
Where is he?

TROOPER COLLINS
At the hospital in Woodburry. (he radio crackles) Excuse me. Trooper Collins. Go.

She steps away and CASTLE looks back to the body.

CASTLE
We need to talk to that driver.

INT – HOSPITAL

TRUCKER
I tried to stop, I did. But she just came out of nowhere.

CASTLE
Mr. Walters, the Trooper said you saw something in the woods.

TRUCKER
Yeah. (he sighs) It almost didn’t seem real, like it was some kind of ghost. Freaky as all hell.

BECKETT
Can you describe it?

TRUCKER
It wore a dark, ragged coat. Um … with a mask, like a doll’s face.

CASTLE
Like porcelain.

BECKETT looks at him oddly.

TRUCKER
Yeah. It was white with black where the eyes should have been.

CASTLE
Were there markings on it?

TRUCKER
Yeah.

CASTLE
Like what?

TRUCKER
Like streaked teardrops coming from the eyes. And the face, it was, uh –

CASTLE
Bisected with two black lines, like a cross.

TRUCKER
Yeah. How did you know that?

BECKETT
Castle, what’s going on?

CASTLE
(low) It was real.

BECKETT
What was real?

CASTLE
Beckett, I’ve seen that mask before.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
Sketches from the truck driver. You ready to talk about it?

She’s talking but he’s not listening. He’s staring at the drawings of the mask the TRUCKER described.

CASTLE
I was eleven years old. Uh … my mother was touring with Pippin. I was in New Hampshire, staying with the family of a classmate for President’s Day weekend. Their home abutted a few hundred acres of state forest called Hollander’s Woods. We were told never to go into the woods alone.

BECKETT
Somebody told you not to so you had to do it anyway.

He doesn’t smile. He remembers.

CASTLE
I walked for hours. I was cold, completely lost, and that’s when I saw him. A figure clad in black, kneeling. And after a few moments he left and that’s when I saw her on the ground.

BECKETT
Her?

CASTLE
A body. The first body I ever saw. He throat had been slit and those same symbols were carved into her forehead and her cheeks. I touched her arm. I remember thinking how cold it was.

[[FLASHBACK – HOLLANDER’S WOODS]]

YOUNG CASTLE touches the hand of the dead woman on the ground. But just as he does he’s thrown back into a nearby tree and a knife is held to his throat.

MASKED ASSAILANT
Tell anyone what you’ve seen here today and I’ll find you and kill you. Do you understand?

YOUNG CASTLE nods.

MASKED ASSAILANT
Go!

YOUNG CASTLE runs.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT
Why do you think he let you live?

CASTLE
I don’t know. I waited until I got back to the city to call the police. From a payphone. I was too scared to let them know who I was.

BECKETT
And who was the girl?

CASTLE
That’s just the thing. They searched the woods with cadaver dogs. They never found a body.

BECKETT
So you never figured out who she was?

CASTLE
I checked local papers. No one in the area had been reported missing. When I got older I checked with missing persons, even the FBI database, for anyone matching her description, or any crimes involving those symbols or that mask, but there was nothing. It’s like it never happened. And after a while I just … started to wonder if it had. That day in the woods, Kate, that’s why I do what I do. I’m driven to figure out the story because – (he looks at the sketch of the mask) – I could never figure out that one.

BECKETT
Why didn’t you ever tell me this before?

CASTLE
I think I didn’t want it to be real. But it is real. He’s real. He killed before and he just tried to kill again.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

BECKETT adds a photo of their victim to the murder board.

RYAN
I checked with the police department near Hollander’s Woods. Their logs do show that they received a call in February of ’83 reporting a body. But after coming up empty they assumed it was a prank.

BECKETT
Okay, what about the FBI database?

RYAN
There’s been no other occurrences in the past thirty years of any assaults or murders with this MO. Beckett, this thing that Castle says happened … it was decades ago. Is he really sure about this?

BECKETT
As sure as I’ve ever seen him.

RYAN
Mmm.

BECKETT
So, our Jane Doe? Anything on that coffee shop receipt?

RYAN
Yeah, a barista there remembered seeing our victim. She wasn’t a regular there but she’d been in several times in the past few days.

BECKETT
Was anyone with her?

RYAN
No. She came in alone, she’d get her drink, take a seat, and spend hours staring out the window.

BECKETT
Okay, why don’t we set up a canvass of the neighborhood. Maybe somebody there knows who she is.

RYAN
After all these years do you really think it could be the same killer?

BECKETT
We won’t know until we find him.

ESPOSITO
Yo. That key card that we found on the victim? It was tracked to an extended stay motel out in Queens.

INT – MOTEL

ESPOSITO
She paid cash for the room, didn’t present an ID. Registered as Jane Smith. Not her real name, I’m guessing.

BECKETT
So we still don’t know who she is. Did she have a car when she checked in?

ESPOSITO
No. A cab dropped her off.

BECKETT
Which means someone took her to those woods.

CASTLE
How long had she been staying here?

ESPOSITO
About two weeks.

He unlocks the door and they enter the room.

INT – MOTEL ROOM

BECKETT gestures to a set of drawers.

BECKETT
Espo, check the drawers. See if we can find anything to ID our victim.

CASTLE checks the nightstand. There’s a matchbook for the EastSide Bar on top of a stack of photos. CASTLE picks the photos up and flips through them. They’re all the same photo, a head shot of a young lady.

CASTLE
Beckett.

She joins him. He hands her some of the photos.

BECKETT
Photos? All of the same woman?

CASTLE
And look at this.

BECKETT
License plate numbers.

CASTLE
Hundreds of them. Along with the registered address of each of them.

BECKETT
Why would she have that?

CASTLE
Look at the numbers.

BECKETT
Each one has the letters X and Z in it. Our victim’s looking for someone specific.

CASTLE
Yeah, but who?

ESPOSITO
I think I know someone we can ask.

He holds up a suitcase. It’s got an address and phone number for a FRANK MALLOY.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERVIEW ROOM

FRANK MALLOY
I knew something bad would happen to Emma. I was trying to find her, to stop her.

BECKETT
Mr. Malloy, what was your daughter doing in the city?

FRANK
Two months ago a friend of hers disappeared. Emma was trying to find her.

BECKETT
Wait – (she holds up one of the duplicate photos) – was this her friend?

FRANK
Yeah. Zoey Addison.

CASTLE
And what exactly do you mean by ‘she disappeared’?

FRANK
Zoey had a boyfriend who was beating on her. So she took his car and was on her way to stay with Emma, but she never showed. A couple days later the cops found the car by the side of the road with a busted radiator. But no sign of Zoey.

BECKETT
Did they talk to the boyfriend?

FRANK
Well, yeah. He was two states away with an alibi. He reported the car stolen, so the cops just figured that Zoey was on the run and ditched it for another ride. But Emma knew that Zoey wouldn’t do that. Not without calling. So Emma took a leave from her cashier’s job to try to find her. Retracing her route, Emma found a waitress at a truck stop who saw Zoey get into the back of a white sedan.

BECKETT
With New York plates containing the letters X and Z?

FRANK
Yeah. The waitress told Emma it had an oval sticker in its back window that said NYC.

BECKETT
That’s what she was doing in the city. She was trying to track the car Zoey got into. Mr. Malloy, do these woods mean anything to you? Is there any reason that Emma would be in them?

CASTLE
Were they on Zoey’s route, maybe? Somewhere near where she disappeared?

FRANK
No, Zoey was coming from Pittsburgh. The opposite direction.

CASTLE
And all this time no one’s heard anything from her?

FRANK
Zoey didn’t have family. And if it wasn’t for Emma no one would have even known she disappeared.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE
That’s why I could never find the girl I found in the woods. He targets people who won’t be missed. Hitchhikers, stranded motorists. He asks them a couple of questions. If they fit the profile, he kills them. And if not, he’s just some good Samaritan giving them a ride. That’s why he didn’t kill me. It would have attracted attention. Thirty years. How many times do you think he did this? Ten? Twenty? A hundred? I should have found a way to stop him.

BECKETT
Castle, you were eleven years old. And what happened to you back then was terrible, and I know that you’re thinking of this case as a way to exorcise those demons, but we don’t know what we have here. We don’t even know if this is the same person.

CASTLE
(sharply) Of course it’s the same person. Emma must have been able to do what I never could. She tracked him down. That’s why he went after her. I have to find this guy, Kate. I need to end this.

There are footsteps behind them. It’s RYAN and ESPOSITO.

BECKETT
Guys, is there any way to check police records from thirty years ago? See if there were any abandoned cars ticketed within a fifty mile radius of Hollander’s Woods?

ESPOSITO
Sure. We just have to call all municipal police departments in the area –

RYAN
And wait for them to stop laughing long enough to beg them to check their dusty storage rooms – (off CASTLE’S serious look) – you’re serious?

BECKETT
We need to know exactly what we’re dealing with, here, so … happy manniversay.

They glare at her. It’s not what they wanted to be working on, but they leave to get to it anyway.

CAPTAIN VICTORIA GATES
Detective Beckett? A word?

BECKETT gives CASTLE a confused look, but she heads into GATES’S office.

INT – CAPTAIN GATES’S OFFICE

GATES
Close the door.

BECKETT does.

GATES
I just got a call from 1PP. They want me to take you off shift tonight for a performance review.

BECKETT
Um, sir, my review’s not scheduled for another three months. (GATES nods) Do you think this has something to do with the captain’s exam?

GATES
No, they don’t ask for a meet to discuss exam results. They notify you by mail.

BECKETT
(sighs) So what’s going on?

GATES
I don’t know. And none of my sources are talking, but they want you there at 7:30.

BECKETT swallows hard. That doesn’t sound good.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE
Well, maybe it’s good news. Maybe you’re getting an award, too. A career achievement in homicide.

BECKETT gives him a wry look.

CASTLE
Yeah, okay, it’s probably not that. But still, it could be good news.

BECKETT
Well then, why is my cop sense telling me it’s bad?

TORY ELLIS
Hey, guys. Got something.

They follow her into the work room.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT WORK ROOM

TORY
I was running those license plates on Emma’s lists, seeing if any of the owners have criminal backgrounds, when I noticed this car registered to an address right down the street from the coffee shop where Emma went the day that she was killed.

CASTLE
She was surveilling that car.

BECKETT
She must have thought it was the one that Zoey got into at the truck stop.

CASTLE
And when the owner of the car realized she was onto him, he went after her.

BECKETT
Whose car is it?

TORY
That’s the weird thing. It belongs to this woman.

TORY pulls up a photo of an older woman.

BECKETT
Connie Lewis.

TORY
But she’s 72 and has no criminal record.

BECKETT
What’s her address?

EXT – CONNIE LEWIS’S HOUSE

CASTLE
There it is. White sedan. X and Z in the plate. NYC sticker in the window. Exactly as Emma’s witness described.

BECKETT
Yeah, but how’s a 72 year old woman connected to all this?

CASTLE pauses.

BECKETT
You okay?

CASTLE
After all these years we finally get some answers.

He steps forward and knocks on the door.

INT – CONNIE LEWIS’S HOUSE

BECKETT
Mrs. Lewis? NYPD.

CASTLE tries the door. It’s unlocked.

CASTLE
It’s open. (he pokes his head in) TV’s on. Mrs. Lewis? Can you hear me?

They enter cautiously. The house seems normal, even if the décor is a bit on the old-lady creepy side.

BECKETT
Mrs. Lewis?

There’s someone sitting in the chair in front of the TV.

BECKETT
Mrs. Lewis? (no response) Mrs. Lewis? Mrs. Lewis?

BECKETT swivels the chair to face them. She grimaces. It’s a mummified body. MRS. LEWIS has been dead for some time.

INT – CONNIE LEWIS’S HOUSE

LANIE PARISH
There were no outward signs of trauma or carvings in her skin, but until I get her back to the morgue we can’t rule out homicide.

CASTLE
How long has she been dead?

LANIE
Based on decay I’d say about three years.

BECKETT
How did no one notice?

CASTLE
The killer did and he used her car.

BECKETT
And maybe her place.

ESPOSITO
Beckett. (he hands her an evidence bag) Look what I found in the kitchen.

BECKETT
The same matchbook that we found in Emma’s hotel room.

CASTLE
If Emma was tailing the killer she could have followed him there.

RYAN
I tracked down Lewis’s next of kin. Only family listed is a son. I found this number for him in her things.

BECKETT
910 area code? Where’s that from?

RYAN
North Carolina.

BECKETT
Okay. I’ll handle the notification, see what he knows.

She turns away and starts to dial.

CASTLE
Not much, if he hasn’t seen her in three years. What kind of son doesn’t check on his own mother?

RYAN
Not all families get along. My father didn’t talk to his brother for twenty years –

BECKETT gestures for them to be quiet. She’s dialing, but the phone that’s ringing is in the house. They draw their guns and head for the ringing.

INT – CONNIE LEWIS’S HOUSE

The ringing is coming from the bedroom. A CSU TECH points toward the wardrobe. RYAN and ESPOSITO approach, but when they open the wardrobe doors it’s empty.

ESPOSITO
It’s empty.

BECKETT
Check for the phone.

CASTLE notices the scrapes on the wood floor.

CASTLE
It’s been moved.

There’s a gunshot fired from behind the wardrobe. BECKETT fires six shots back and when there’s no response RYAN and ESPOSITO move it away from the wall.

BECKETT
You inside, drop your weapon!

The passageway behind the wardrobe is small, but there’s a way out.

BECKETT
There’s a hole in the floor. You guys, he’s below us. Let’s go!

RYAN and ESPOSITO head for the door.

EXT – CONNIE LEWIS’S HOUSE

NOAH LEWIS scrambles out from the crawlspace under the house. RYAN and ESPOSITO are right behind him but he doesn’t stop running. They follow him along the side of the house and over a fence, but when they get their bearings in the neighboring yard he’s gone.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

ESPOSITO adds NOAH’S photo to the murder board.

ESPOSITO
Noah Lewis, 52. He did a stint in the army back in the 90s. There’s no recent record of employment. He told the neighbors that his mother was bedridden and that he was taking care of her.

BECKETT
So they just assumed he was the good son.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, but the relationship was far from rosy. Four years ago his mother had him committed to a state mental institution after he threatened her with a knife. So I got in touch with the state-appointed shrink who was treating him. He says that Noah has borderline personality disorder and exhibited violent tendencies.

CASTLE studies NOAH’S photo.

CASTLE
So it’s him? Any record of where he was thirty years ago?

ESPOSITO
No, we’re a little bit more focused on where he is now. We have teams still combing the neighborhood. We put out a BOLO but so far nothing.

RYAN
Your theory about the killer’s MO may have just paid off.

BECKETT
You found something?

RYAN
Yeah. From February of ’83. The day after you saw that body police ticketed an abandoned pickup truck they saw by the roadside near Hollander’s Woods. The truck belonged to a farmer who loaned it to a young woman, a migrant worker, to go out and make a supply run. When the cops told the farmer that they found his truck he assumed that she’s just run off.

CASTLE
So he never reported her missing.

RYAN
No. He didn’t want to get her in trouble with immigration.

CASTLE
Did he remember who she was?

RYAN
Yeah. And he had her photo.

RYAN hands CASTLE the picture. CASTLE studies it. It matches the picture of the woman in his memories.

CASTLE
What was her name?

RYAN
Rosalita Cambeau.

They can tell that CASTLE is affected.

ESPOSITO
We’ll dig deeper into Noah, see if we can connect him to that area thirty years ago.

RYAN and ESPOSITO leave. BECKETT touches CASTLE’S arm. He hasn’t stopped looking at the photo.

BECKETT
We’ll find him, Castle. I promise. Uh … I’m supposed to head off to my review. Do you want me to postpone?

CASTLE
Uh … no, I should go with you.

BECKETT
I’ll be all right. (she forces a smile) I’ll call you when I’m done, okay?

CASTLE
Okay.

She kisses his cheek.

BECKETT
Bye.

CASTLE
Bye.

BECKETT leaves. CASTLE continues to stare at the photo.

[FLASHBACK – CASTLE’S BEDROOM]

YOUNG CASTLE sits at his desk. He’s writing about his experience. It’s a short story he’s titled “A Death in the Woods”. He’s even got a sketch of how he remembers the mask of the killer.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE is at his desk. He’s paging through that short story he wrote thirty years ago. Maybe there are things in there that he can’t remember. There’s nothing that jumps out at him and he puts the story away. ALEXIS knocks on the door frame.

CASTLE
Hey.

ALEXIS
Hey. Are you busy? I can –

CASTLE
No, I was just … um, reading something I wrote a long time ago.

ALEXIS
Dad, how old were you when you knew?

CASTLE
Knew what?

ALEXIS
That you wanted to be a writer.

He thinks. He looks down at his story.

CASTLE
Since I was a kid, I guess. Why?

ALEXIS
I’m finishing my junior year and I have no idea what I want to do. By the time you were my age you’d already published your first book and now you’re winning this amazing award because you followed your passion. How can I be amazing if I can’t find mine?

CASTLE
Trust me. You will. Or … or it’ll find you. And one day you will look back and you will realize that every experience you’ve ever had, every seeming mistake or blind alley, was actually a straight line to who you were meant to be. And whatever you become, there is no question in my mind you are going to be amazing. And you know how I know?

He comes around his desk to stand in front of her.

ALEXIS
How?

CASTLE
Because you already are.

She smiles and pulls her into a hug.

INT – 1 POLICE PLAZA

BECKETT waits for her meeting. She’s nervous but she tries not to let it show.

ADMINISTRATIVE AIDE
They’re ready for you, Detective.

INT – 1 POLICE PLAZA

BECKETT walks into the room. It’s intimidating; there’s a lone chair in front of an elevated desk.

KEITH KAUFMAN
Take a seat.

BECKETT does.

KAUFMAN
So, Detective Beckett. It says here you took the captain’s exam.

BECKETT
Yes, sir.

KAUFMAN
What makes you think you’re qualified to be captain?

BECKETT
My experience in the 12th Precinct has made me comfortable in a leadership position and at this point –

KAUFMAN
What I mean is, what makes you think you’re even qualified to be an NYPD detective?

BECKETT
(questioningly) Sir?

KAUFMAN
Your job is to enforce the law, yet you have repeatedly ignored it. In Los Angeles you investigated a case outside your legal jurisdiction.

BECKETT
But –

KAUFMAN
You used your badge to pursue a personal vendetta against Senator Bracken, crossing the line and endangering the lives of others numerous times.

BECKETT
Sir, that man was a murderer.

KAUFMAN
You've withheld case information from superiors and flown in the face of authority whenever it suits you. Not to mention your working relationship with Richard Castle. Tell me, Detective, how often have you let your personal feelings for your husband dictate your actions in pursuit of a suspect?

BECKETT
Sir, that is unfair. I never let –

KAUFMAN
When he went missing you used your position and a great deal of the taxpayers' money to search for him, enlisting the aid of fellow detectives and, well, you are infamous for being the inspiration for the fictional NYPD detective Nikki Heat, who spends more time on her back than she does pursuing killers.

BECKETT doesn’t respond. She has to bite her tongue.

KAUFMAN
Detective Beckett, how do you expect to lead, or even continue in your current job, when it’s clear you’ve exercised such poor judgment?

BECKETT
Sir, if you were looking at my record –

KAUFMAN
We are looking at your record! You are not qualified for captaincy and in my opinion, you are not qualified to be a detective.

She has no words.

KAUFMAN
Thank you. You can go.

She’s stunned at the attack. She stands and moves to leave, but she stops.

BECKETT
You’re wrong, sir.

KAUFMAN
Excuse me?

BECKETT
I said, you’re wrong. In every case you have referenced I have not only successfully brought the killer to justice I have done so with the utmost respect for the law and for the department I represent. And regarding my relationship with Mr. Castle, he has proven to be a brilliant partner and he’s always had my back. And as for his fictional representation of me, I’m proud to have been his inspiration and I am proud to be his wife. You asked, how do I expect to lead? By continuing to fight for what’s right, not for what’s easy. My job is to protect the citizens of New York and I will do it by doing my job better than anyone else and getting results. I don’t cross the line. I put myself on it. And if you have any other questions then you can ask the families of the victims that I have served.

She turns away.

PAUL GIBNEY
Detective Beckett? (she turns back to them) Sit down.

She does but she’s still angry.

GIBNEY
That was an impassioned and powerful response. In fact, it was exactly what we were hoping for.

KAUFMAN
This wasn’t a performance review.

BECKETT
Then why would you attack me like that?

KAUFMAN
We wanted to see if you could defend yourself. Kate, this was an audition.

BECKETT
For what?

GIBNEY
Your future. We’ve been looking for someone like you. Someone who isn’t corruptible. A certifiable hero who the people can get behind. Kate, you’re bigger than what you’re doing now. You know it. It’s why you went to DC, why you took the captain’s exam. You want a bigger stage and we want to give it to you. We think you have an amazing future.

BECKETT
Doing what?

KAUFMAN
We’d like you to run for New York State Senate.

BECKETT’S jaw drops.

EXT – PARK, NIGHTTIME

CASTLE sits with BECKETT on the swings.

CASTLE
State senator?

BECKETT
And they say it’s just the start. Apparently the party has had their eye on me for a while now. They think that people are looking for someone like me.

CASTLE
And what do you think?

BECKETT
I don’t know, Castle. I’m a cop. I’m not a politician. (she pauses) Did I even tell you I was in Model U.N. when I was a kid?

CASTLE shakes his head but he’s interested.

BECKETT
My mom was one of the chaperones and after watching me she said, “You know, Katie, you can grow up and be anything you want.” I just wanted to be her. I just wanted to make a difference.

CASTLE
And you have. Question now is, can you make a bigger difference?

BECKETT
(sighs) Castle, if you saw the way that they attacked me in that room? And in a campaign it would only be worse. You, Alexis, my dad, Martha. You guys would all be fair game.

CASTLE
We’re a tough bunch.

BECKETT
So you think I could do it?

CASTLE
I know you can.

BECKETT
They said that I aced my captain’s exam. I could probably have my own precinct within the year.

CASTLE
When do you have to decide?

BECKETT
Soon.

CASTLE
Well, whatever you decide, I will back your play.

He leans forward and smiles.

BECKETT
Thank you.

She meets him in a kiss. A second later, her phone rings.

BECKETT
Beckett.

ESPOSITO
That matchbook lead paid off. The unit that we put on that bar spotted Noah Lewis heading inside. ESU just took him down.

BECKETT grabs CASTLE’S arm.

BECKETT
They found him.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT INTERROGATION ROOM

NOAH sits stone-faced in the interrogation room. He doesn’t move when BECKETT and CASTLE walk in.

NOAH
Where’s my mother?

BECKETT
Being autopsied.

NOAH
I warned her. But she wouldn’t stop running her mouth at me. Now she doesn’t say a word. It’s what she deserved.

CASTLE
What about the others? Did they deserve what they got? We know what you’ve done, Noah. Who you really are.

BECKETT
Tell us about Emma Malloy.

NOAH
I’m not good with names.

BECKETT slaps a photo down in front of him. NOAH doesn’t flinch.

CASTLE
You know her.

BECKETT
Where were you the night before last?

NOAH
Out.

BECKETT
Out where? Neighbors said your car was gone.

NOAH
I took a drive.

BECKETT
Did you drive to the woods? (NOAH doesn’t respond) Or what about this girl? Zoey Addison.

CASTLE
She was seen getting into your car, Noah. Now she’s gone.

NOAH
Mmm. She’s pretty.

CASTLE
Is she dead?

NOAH
I can’t help you.

CASTLE
Where do you take them? The others. How do you make them disappear?

BECKETT
We have your car, Noah. Your house. We will find evidence.

CASTLE
Did Emma find evidence? Is that why you went after her? Because she got too close? Is that why you shot at us?

NOAH
You were in my house! Don’t you see? I’m the victim here. I’m the victim.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

NOAH glares in their direction as he’s led off.

BECKETT
What’s wrong?

CASTLE
Just … he’s been getting away with it for thirty years. I thought he’s be more … vulnerable.

RYAN
We have a problem. I just spoke with CSU. So far they haven’t found anything in the house or the car that links Noah to Emma or Zoey.

CASTLE
So we can’t connect him to either of their murders?

ESPOSITO shakes his head.

BECKETT
What about his mother’s?

ESPOSITO
Autopsy results indicate that she died of natural causes.

RYAN
Right now, all we have this guy on is mishandling a body.

CASTLE
He shot at us.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, but he was hiding in the closet at the time.

BECKETT
He can claim he didn’t know we were cops. He can plead out.

RYAN
Castle, we can’t even link this guy to Hollander’s Woods. In ’83 he was at a military academy all the way in South Carolina.

CASTLE
It was President’s Day weekend. He could have been on vacation, or – or just skipping school.

ESPOSITO
Except those records are gone, so there’s no way to prove it. All a jury’s going to hear is that he was a thousand miles away from New Hampshire. Without evidence we don’t have a case.

BECKETT
The key to this is Emma. We need to place his car in the area at the time she was attacked. Let’s coordinate with Collins and set up a canvass up there.

CASTLE
(low) There’s gotta be a place he goes. Somewhere out of the way where he puts the bodies.

BECKETT
(to ESPOSITO) You said that he was seeing a shrink?

ESPOSITO
Yeah, a uh … a Dr. Van Holtzman.

BECKETT
You know, maybe Noah said something during a session that could help us. Where do we find Holtzman?

INT – MENTAL HOSPITAL

CASTLE
If Noah ends up walking you’re going to have to have me committed.

BECKETT half-laughs at the joke and approaches the front desk.

BECKETT
Excuse me, we need to speak with Dr. Holtzman, please.

RECEPTIONIST
Of course. Just a moment.

BECKETT
(to CASTLE) Listen, if after seven years of your crazy theories you haven’t already been committed, then I think you’re pretty safe.

CASTLE smiles.

DR. VAN HOLTZMAN
Hi. I’m Dr. Holtzman. I understand you’ve been looking for me.

BECKETT
Yeah, I’m Detective Beckett, this is Richard Castle. We need to speak with you regarding one of your patients, Noah Lewis.

BECKETT is talking but CASTLE isn’t listening. Something about this man has triggered a memory.

HOLTZMAN
Of course. Let me just finish with these prescriptions and I’ll be right with you.

BECKETT
Okay.

HOLTZMAN wanders away. As soon as he’s gone CASTLE turns to BECKETT.

CASTLE
Beckett, I know that voice. From that day in Hollander’s Woods. It’s him. He’s the killer.

INT – MENTAL HOSPITAL

BECKETT
Castle, that was over thirty years ago. You can’t possibly –

CASTLE
Kate, when he spoke I could feel the knife at my throat. I will never forget that voice as long as I live.

BECKETT gestures subtly and CASTLE turns. HOLTZMAN has returned.

HOLTZMAN
Sorry about that. Shall we talk in my office?

BECKETT steps around CASTLE to follow HOLTZMAN. CASTLE follows them reluctantly.

INT – VAN HOLTZMAN’S OFFICE

HOLTZMAN
Please, have a seat. I wish I could say that I was surprised to hear what Noah had done but he was very troubled. We did everything we could for him while he was in our care.

BECKETT sits. CASTLE doesn’t. He paces the room.

BECKETT
Dr. Holtzman, how long have you been treating Mr. Lewis?

HOLTZMAN
Four years. We got him stable after his mother committed him, but the condition of his release were state mandated sessions every month.

BECKETT
And what did the two of you talk about?

CASTLE takes in the décor of the room, trying to get a feel for HOLTZMAN. He’s married with a family. CASTLE frowns. He’s even got a prestigious degree from Dartmouth College framed next to the photo.

HOLTZMAN
Anger, intimacy, his animosity towards women.

CASTLE
You went to Dartmouth.

It’s more a statement than a question.

HOLTZMAN
Yes. For undergrad.

BECKETT
Uh … when was the last time you saw Mr. Lewis?

HOLTZMAN
A few days ago. He was quite agitated. He thought someone was following him. I thought he was just being paranoid so I adjusted his meds.

BECKETT
And you had no idea that he was about to do something violent?

HOLTZMAN
None.

CASTLE
He’s done this before, you know. Abducted women, killed them in the woods. Possibly for years.

HOLTZMAN
How do you know?

CASTLE
Witnesses. When he does it he wears a mask. Now, why would he do that, wear a mask when he kills them?

HOLTZMAN
I don’t know.

CASTLE
If you had to guess. What kind of psychosis would drive a man to do that? Something … terrible in his childhood?

HOLTZMAN
The mind of a psychopath is not that simple.

CASTLE
But he kills them anyway. (CASTLE shows HOLTZMAN the sketch of the mask) So why would he need to hide his face behind this?

HOLTZMAN
Maybe he’s not hiding it. Maybe this is his true face. The monster he knows he really is, and he wants his victims to see it and fear it before they die. Maybe his real mask is the man he has to pretend to be every day.

INT – TWELFTH PRECINCT BULLPEN

CASTLE
His voice. I know, it sounds crazy.

RYAN
Because it is, Castle. We already have a suspect.

CASTLE
Ah, but the perfect suspect. Because Dr. Holtzman knew intimate details about his patients. He set Noah up to take the fall just in case anyone got onto the murders. And Holtzman was in New Hampshire, at Dartmouth, in 1983.

ESPOSITO
He’s a family man. Married to his wife for twenty-four years. Kids. Well respected. Never been arrested.

RYAN
And witnesses. They saw the victim get into Noah’s car, not Holtzman’s.

CASTLE
I – can't explain that yet, but Holtzman is behind this. And …

He trails off at their skeptical look. He looks at BECKETT.

BECKETT
Babe, the voice – is it possible you’re misremembering? You’ve made this killer your personal boogeyman. You said so yourself, you wanted him to be more formidable.

CASTLE
You don’t believe me.

She looks to RYAN and ESPOSITO for just a second.

BECKETT
He’s clean. He has no connection to this case. We’ve got nothing to go on.

ESPOSITO
Less than nothing. All we have is a thirty year old voice ID from a witness who was a kid at the time.

CASTLE sighs heavily. He stands.

BECKETT
Look, Castle, we want to solve it as much as you do –

CASTLE
You know what? I expected this from these guys. Just … not from you.

He walks away.

BECKETT
Castle –

He doesn’t stop.

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE remembers his time in Hollander’s Woods, can remember the dark figure, the feel of the dead girl’s skin. It’s too much. He’s overwhelmed and angry and trying to deal with it all when BECKETT walks in.

BECKETT
I’m sorry. You said it was him. I believe you.

CASTLE
Except you’re right. There’s nothing we can do. We’d have to sit on him for years hoping he makes a move. (he sighs) This is not how the story was supposed to end.

BECKETT
I was thinking, how did he make those victims disappear without a trace?

CASTLE
Well, he would’ve had to have taken them somewhere.

BECKETT
Somewhere his family didn’t know about.

CASTLE
He’d have to have had a lair. A storage space somewhere.

BECKETT
Too many things could go wrong. There could be a flood, a nosy manager. He would have to find a place over which he had absolute control, so I did a property search. It came up empty on him, but I did find this.

She hands him a paper.

CASTLE
Farmland?

She sits next to him.

BECKETT
Yeah. Owned by Holtzman’s parents. Both deceased. It’s listed in a trust. Holtzman is listed as the sole trustee. It’s possible his wife doesn’t know about it.

CASTLE
It’s only a few miles from where Emma was hit by that truck.

BECKETT
Tax records show that there’s a barn on the property.

CASTLE
He must have held her there. It’s private, in the middle of nowhere, the perfect lonely place.

BECKETT
Only I would never get a warrant. And if I searched it without one, then any evidence I would find would be inadmissible.

CASTLE
Because you’re a cop.

BECKETT
But … you’re not. It would be trespassing. You would be breaking the law. But if you found something… And I know how much this means to you, so whatever you decide I will back your play.

EXT – BARN

CASTLE pulls up outside the barn. BECKETT is in the passenger seat.

BECKETT
Looks deserted.

CASTLE
This is the property line. You should stay back here on this side.

BECKETT
Okay, but you’re not going in alone. (she holds up her phone) Keep me on speaker. Let me know what you find.

CASTLE
Right.

He gets out of the car.

EXT – BARN

CASTLE uses bolt cutters to cut the chain locking the barn doors. BECKETT watches from the car.

INT – BARN

CASTLE turns on a flashlight and looks around the barn.

BECKETT
So what do you see?

CASTLE
Looks like he uses it for storage. Creepy, creepy storage.

He continues to look around. There are knickknacks and piles of junk everywhere. CASTLE moves a sheet. There’s a car underneath.

CASTLE
Beckett, he has the same car that Noah has. Same color, same license plate, same sticker, everything. That’s how he did it.

BECKETT
So if someone spotted him it would lead right back to Noah. But you’re going to need more than that to call the police. Look around. He may have kept trophies from his victims.

CASTLE does. His flashlight falls on the black and white mask and CASTLE startles.

BECKETT
You okay?

It takes a second for him to respond. All he can remember is that day in the woods.

CASTLE
Yeah.

CASTLE finds a desk. The dust on the desk has been disturbed, so CASTLE opens the drawer. He finds a book inside and when he opens it there are photos. Photos of the women who were kidnapped and then photos of their mangled bodies.

CASTLE
Oh God.

BECKETT
Castle? Castle, what do you see now?

CASTLE
I see them. Photos of his victims. I see all of them.

The barn door slams shut and CASTLE turns toward it. He walks closer and realizes the mask that was hanging on the wall is gone.

CASTLE
Beckett, he’s here. He’s inside.

HOLTZMAN
How did you find me?

CASTLE swivels around but there’s no one. It’s just the voice. Outside BECKETT has scrambled from the car to help.

CASTLE
I’ve been looking for you since Hollander’s Woods.

HOLTZMAN
The boy. That was you? I should have killed you when I had the chance.

CASTLE
You can’t win, Holtzman. We know who you are.

HOLTZMAN
It doesn’t matter. You’ll both be dead and they’ll never find me.

EXT – BARN

BECKETT tries the doors but they don’t open; they're barred from the inside.

BECKETT
Castle! (she knocks) It’s locked!

INT – BARN

CASTLE rushes for the door but before he can try to open it he’s tackled to the ground. HOLTZMAN is on top of him with a long knife in his hand and the mask over his face.

CASTLE
Beckett!

BECKETT
Castle! I can’t get in!

CASTLE and HOLTZMAN struggle. HOLTZMAN presses the knife closer and closer to CASTLE’S throat.

HOLTZMAN
The danger of facing your demon is that sometimes your demons win.

The knife bites into CASTLE’S skin. It draws blood.

EXT – BARN

BECKETT slams into the barn door with her shoulder. It doesn’t open.

BECKETT
Castle, what’s going on in there?

INT – BARN

Blood starts to run down CASTLE’S neck as the blade of the knife cuts deeper.

EXT – BARN

BECKETT
Castle!

INT – BARN

CASTLE struggles. He sees a gap between the ground and the bottom edge of the door, takes a chance and reaches his hand under the door.

CASTLE
Beckett!

EXT – BARN

She sees the hand reach under the door. She knows that hand, recognizes the wedding ring on his fourth finger, and doesn’t hesitate to hand over her gun. The hand disappears.

INT – BARN

CASTLE shoots. He fires off six shots and the pressure at his neck falls away. HOLTZMAN crumbles to the floor, his mask falling off and shattering onto the ground. CASTLE sighs. It’s over.

EXT – BARN

BECKETT moves slowly away from the door when it opens. CASTLE stumbles out and she doesn’t hesitate to throw herself into his arms.

BECKETT
God! Oh, God. Are you okay? Are you okay?

CASTLE
Yeah.

She pulls back to look at him. He’s okay. She hugs him again.

EST – NEW YORK CITY, NIGHTTIME

INT – CASTLE’S LOFT

CASTLE is almost dressed for the evening's event, but he’s lost in thought, staring at the rows of his books on the bookshelf. The television is on in the background.

NEWSCASTER
Still more gruesome discoveries and many more questions at the rural property of noted psychologist Van Holtzman as authorities continue to find the buried bodies of his victims.

BECKETT shuts the television off.

BECKETT
I thought you were practicing your speech for tonight.

CASTLE
Oh, yeah, I was. I just, um … I couldn’t help but wonder, if it wasn’t for him, for that day in the woods, would I even be here? Would we be here?

BECKETT
(low) Babe, we’re not here because of him. We’re here because of who we are in the face of people like him. That’s why you write mysteries, that’s why I became a cop. We’re both trying to bring justice to this world. (she steps closer) Now – (she leans down and kisses him) – I’m going to go and get dressed so I can be very proud tonight of who you are.

INT – BALLROOM

MICHAEL CONNELLY
Murder. Mystery. The macabre. Tonight’s honoree has mastered them all. For years he’s kept his readers under his spell with his electrifying prose. I’m very proud to present this year’s recipient of the Poe’s Pen Career Achievement award, my good friend, Richard Castle.

The room starts to clap and CASTLE appears on stage. He shakes hands with MICHAEL CONNELLY and accepts his award.

CASTLE
Michael Connelly, everyone. Thank you very much, Michael. And um … my thanks to all of you for this honor. You know, I’ve spent a lot of time the last few days thinking about how I got here. The long hours, the blank pages. Most people think that writing is a solitary profession, that we spend our days in our imaginary worlds, fighting, loving, dying, but we don’t do it alone. Because anything that’s good in our writing comes from truth and the truth is I’m here because of the people in my life. Mother, you will always be a star in my eyes. And Alexis, you amaze me every day. You two are my red-headed pillars of unconditional love. To my friends at the twelfth precinct, you let me in. Especially you two, Javier, Kevin. You’ve made me your brother in arms and I thank you for that. And Kate. Seven years ago I thought I would never write again and then you walked in the door and my whole world changed. You were right, you said I had no idea. But now I do. This is because of you, because of us. Always.

The room erupts in applause. BECKETT ducks her head for a moment but looks back up with an illuminating smile. People stand and continue to clap and cheer.

INT – BALLROOM

Most of the crowd has left. The night is winding down, but CASTLE’S table is still full.

MARTHA
That was a lovely speech, darling.

CASTLE
Oh, well – (he throws his arm around BECKETT’S chair) – I was inspired.

ESPOSITO
Castle, who’s going to be your inspiration if Beckett becomes state senator?

LANIE
Yeah, you won’t be able to follow her around anymore.

CASTLE
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll write a political thriller next.

JENNY RYAN
Ooh, I would so read that.

They laugh.

ALEXIS
Beckett, if you do run I’ll help with your campaign.

BECKETT
Thank you.

GATES
It’s a pretty big step, Kate. Have you decided what you’re going to do?

BECKETT
Not yet, but whatever it is I’m looking forward to the adventure.

RYAN
One thing’s for sure: things are going to change.

CASTLE
Well, I know one thing that’ll never change. (he looks around the table) What we all have. A toast. To us.

They all raise their glasses. He smiles at BECKETT. She gets to smile back before her phone chimes.

BECKETT
It’s the precinct. (she holds out her phone) There’s been a murder.

They all grab their things and stand. Their night of celebration is over. But no one is upset to have to get back to work as they head for the door.

THE END

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