8x19 Transcript

CASTLE EPISODE 8x19
“DEAD AGAIN”


Transcribed by Pegship

INT - APARTMENT

ALAN MASTERS is on hold; music plays on the speakerphone.

WOMAN ON PHONE
Customer service. May I help you?

ALAN
(grabs the phone)
Yes. I’m here. Alan Masters. It’s account number 34697721. You guys recently added the Adventure Channel, and I paid to get it, but my screen is all wavy, so -

WOMAN
Wrong department, sir.

ALAN
No, what do you mean, wrong department? I pressed 3 -

WOMAN
Please hold.

ALAN
Don’t you put me on hold. I’ve been on hold for 45 min—

Hold music comes back on.

ALAN
Wow.

He returns the phone to its cradle. He takes a pill from his line-up on the counter and puts it in his mouth, then goes over to fill his glass with water from the tap.


ALAN
Mm-mmm.

He’s about to drink when a voice comes over the speakerphone.

WOMAN
Your call is very important to us.

ALAN lunges for the phone.

WOMAN
Please continue holding.

ALAN
Hello, hello, hello, hello!

Hold music resumes. ALAN replaces the phone in its cradle and takes a swig of water from the glass in his hand. The voice on the phone returns just as ALAN is starting to choke.

WOMAN
Sorry about that, sir. I can connect you to the correct department now.

ALAN starts to foam at the mouth. He reaches for the phone but passes out before he can grab hold of it.

WOMAN
Sir? Are you okay? Hello?

ALAN falls to the floor out of sight.

INT - CASTLE’S LOFT - BEDROOM

KATE BECKETT is in bed. She turns over and opens her eyes to find RICK CASTLE standing at the foot of the bed, gazing fondly at her.

BECKETT
What are you doing?

CASTLE
Watching you sleep. Is that creepy?

BECKETT (smiles)
Mnh-mnh. I think it’s sweet.

CASTLE
I took some pictures.

BECKETT
Less sweet.

CASTLE
They’re part of a series. Usually you don’t wake up.

BECKETT
And now it’s creepy.

She sits up; CASTLE sits at the end of the bed beside her.

CASTLE
Hey, I’ve been thinking.

BECKETT
Oh, no.

CASTLE
Oh, relax. I’m over that whole sex-in-zero-g thing.

BECKETT
Good, ‘cause that was just an accident waiting to happen.

CASTLE
Seriously, though. I think it’s time we shake things up. Move to Paris, you know, search for buried treasure in Nepal. We could fly a hot air balloon across the Sahara.

BECKETT
You know what, I love all of those ideas, but I just became captain, and you have your P.I. business.

CASTLE
And then there’s LokSat.

BECKETT
Exactly.

Her cell phone rings and she reaches to pick it up.

BECKETT (to CASTLE)
We have responsibilities, right?

CASTLE
But what if we didn’t? (he takes the phone from her; into the phone:) Hold, please.

BECKETT
Um, I might need that. That might be a homicide.

CASTLE
The victim’s not gonna get any deader. Listen. Let’s say we find LokSat and take him down — without getting killed —

BECKETT
Mm-hmm.

CASTLE
What then? You’re not gonna be captain of the 12th Precinct for very long. You’re on a rocket. Sky’s the limit. So you know what happens then?

BECKETT
Mnh-mnh.

CASTLE (ominously)
We become normal.

BECKETT
No, Castle, you’re never gonna be normal.

CASTLE
I’m serious. Think about it.

He hands her the phone.

BECKETT
I will. (into the phone) What do you got?

INT - ALAN MASTERS’ APARTMENT

ALAN is lying on a gurney, apparently unresponsive.

LANIE PARISH
Alan Masters. All signs point to poison — dilated pupils, bluish discoloration around the lips. That’s a giveaway. But I’ll know for sure after the autopsy.

CASTLE
Who called it in?

LANIE
Customer service operator for his cable company. She was on the phone with him when it happened.

CASTLE
What a way to go.

LANIE
Poisoned, or on the phone with the cable company?

CASTLE
Well, at least the poison was quick.

JAVIER ESPOSITO
Looks like our killer jimmied that window open. Neighbor thought she heard somebody on the fire escape last night around 8:00.

CASTLE
How was he poisoned?

LANIE
In his water. The filter underneath the kitchen sink was tampered with.

ESPOSITO
Ironically, he works for the city as a safety inspector.

CASTLE
Mm. You know, if I were an expert on character, which I am, I would say that Alan was a bit of a dreamer — (he’s looking around the apartment) — spending his days on the ground inspecting things, but his nights in the clouds, fantasizing of adventure.

LANIE and ESPOSITO have followed CASTLE across the room to look at ALAN’S decor.


CASTLE
Tragically, his life was cut short before he ever truly lived.

MAN’S VOICE
Hey. What’s going on?

CASTLE, LANIE, and ESPOSITO turn to see ALAN MASTERS standing up and looking at them, very much alive. LANIE drops her clipboard in shock.


ALAN
What are you all doing in my apartment?

ESPOSITO
Um, Lanie…

LANIE
Don’t “um, Lanie” me! That man was dead!

INT — HOSPITAL — CARDIOLOGY DEPARTMENT

DR. REBECCA ELLINS
Well, he’s very much alive now.

LANIE
He had no pulse, no breath sounds, and his pupils were dilated and fixed.

DR. ELLINS
Was there rigor mortis, lividity?

LANIE
No, but he’d been dead less than an hour.

Enter BECKETT.

BECKETT
Lanie, hey. Is it true that our victim —

LANIE
He was dead, okay? I know how to do my job.

BECKETT
Okay, calm down. It’s all good. I just —

LANIE
No, no, no. It’s not all good. I almost stuck a thermometer in his liver.

She’s really rattled.

BECKETT
Uh, so is he stable?

DR. ELLINS
Well, I’m still running tests, but he seems completely healthy despite having ingested a deadly dose of tetrodotoxin.

BECKETT
Hm?

LANIE
TTX. It’s a neurotoxin found in several species of fish. It’s extremely potent.

BECKETT
And yet he survived, so do you have an explanation? (asking the doctor)

DR. ELLINS
No, but your husband sure does.

INT — HOSPITAL ROOM

CASTLE is pacing around the bed occupied by ALAN, awake but bemused.

CASTLE
You are a modern-day Lazarus, risen from the grave to answer the eternal question — what’s on the other side?

ALAN
I’m sorry. Who are you again?

BECKETT
You’ll have to forgive him, Mr. Masters. He’s very excitable.

CASTLE
Well, excuse me if I find pulling back the curtain on what happens when we die just a tad exciting. Was there a white light or is it more of a tunnel thing?

ALAN
The last thing I remember, I was taking my pills, trying to get my cable fixed, and then I woke up to an apartment full of police.

CASTLE
So, no out-of-body experience?

BECKETT
Do you have any enemies?

ALAN
Me? No. I’m an average guy. I go to work, I come home.

CASTLE
But you dream of so much more, don’t you?

ALAN
How do you know that? Did you read my diary?

CASTLE
No, I saw your pictures on your — Wait, you keep a diary? As a grown man, call it a journal.

BECKETT
What about work? Have you upset anyone there recently?

ALAN (thinking)
Yeah. There is this guy that works for me — well, used to work for me — Dave Barton. I had to fire him because he was letting serious infractions slide with just a warning.

BECKETT
Was it for money?

ALAN
That was the rumor. And he did seem a little miffed when I let him go. I’ll play you the message that he left me.

ALAN pulls out his cell phone and plays back the message.

DAVE BARTON (on phone)
You slimy little maggot. I’m gonna stab you with a rusty spoon and strangle you with your own intestines. Or better yet, I’m gonna force-feed you your toes one by one, and then I’m gonna light you on fire. First, I’m gonna paralyze you with a claw hammer and then cover you with ants, you son of a *****!

ALAN (unconcerned)
And it goes on and on like that for a while.

BECKETT
And you never thought to call the police?

ALAN
On Dave? No! He’s just got a big personality.

INT - 12th PRECINCT - INTERROGATION

DAVE BARTON
What can I say? I have anger issues.

KEVIN RYAN
And a gift for murderous creativity. Threatening to (reading) “nail Alan to the ceiling by his feet and piñata the hell out of his face with a Fungo bat”.

DAVE
It’s all just talk. I actually get nauseous at the sight of blood.

ESPOSITO
Oh, is that why you decided to poison Alan last night?

DAVE
Hey, I was home last night with my wife and my mother-in-law, which, believe you me, is no good for my anger issues. I mean, that woman drives me crazy. Sometimes I just think about getting a blender and a trowel and — (off their look) Kidding.

RYAN
Well, you better hope your alibi holds up, ‘cause you had all the motive in the world.

DAVE
You want motive? We’re safety inspectors. You think we’re making friends, handing out millions in fines? We’re not getting any Christmas cards. Especially Alan.

ESPOSITO
What do you mean, especially Alan?

DAVE
The guy’s got a rep for being a real stickler. He doesn’t let anything slide.

ESPOSITO
Oh, is that what you did? Let things slide in exchange for a payday?

DAVE
Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. Doesn’t make me a killer. The point is that Alan refuses to play the game. And that pisses off a lot of people.

INT - 12th PRECINCT - CAPTAIN’S OFFICE


VIKRAM SINGH knocks on the doorjamb.

BECKETT
Hey.

VIKRAM
Did Lanie really declare a live guy dead?

BECKETT
No. Well, yeah, but do yourself a favor — don’t mention it to her. So, you got something?

VIKRAM
I might have broken open LokSat.

BECKETT
You found them?

VIKRAM
Unfortunately, no, but I did find someone else. Based on Castle’s discovery of the exact time and date LokSat flew into L.A., I’ve been scrubbing footage from all the Los Angeles area airports. Look who showed up.

He shows her an image on his tablet.

BECKETT
Caleb Brown?

VIKRAM
But he was traveling under an alias — Peter McCaffery.

BECKETT
So Caleb must have gone to L.A. to meet with LokSat. But who’s driving the SUV?

VIKRAM
I don’t know. I can only read part of the plate, but I’m generating a list of possible matches.

RYAN knocks on the doorjamb.

RYAN
Captain. Dave Barton alibied out, but we’re getting a list of all the companies that Alan has either fined or shut down for violations recently. Then we’re gonna run the list past Alan.

BECKETT
Whose would-be killer is still out there, so what precautions are you taking?

RYAN
Squad car just brought him home from the hospital. We got a uniform posted outside his door, which makes his only real concern your husband.

BECKETT
Yeah.

INT — ALAN MASTERS’ APARTMENT


CASTLE
So you have died and been reborn. What are you gonna do now?

ALAN
Going to bed. I have a full day of inspections tomorrow. I need to be focused.

He starts herding CASTLE to the door.

CASTLE
You can’t just go back to work like nothing happened. You had a near-death experience. That’s a wake-up call. Get out there. Live this life you’ve always dreamed about.

ALAN
Just because I have a few pictures on my wall doesn’t mean I’m not happy with my life.

CASTLE
Right. Your drab, solitary life.

ALAN
It’s not solitary.

CASTLE
So there’s a Ms. Safety Inspector?

ALAN
Not exactly. But there is a woman I have my eye on. She’s funny and smart.

CASTLE
Doesn’t know you exist?

ALAN
No.

OFFICER
All clear. I’ll be right outside if you need anything.

ALAN
Great, thanks.

CASTLE
You should really call this woman.

ALAN
Okay, I will.

CASTLE
And you honestly don’t remember anything about being dead?

ALAN
Really don’t.

He closes the door after CASTLE exits. ALAN goes over to his bed and kicks off his shoes, at which point we see copper wires wound around the bed frame.

EXT — ALAN’S APARTMENT, HALLWAY

CASTLE (to OFFICER on guard)
Who does that? Who gets a second chance like that and just goes to work the next morning?

OFFICER
I would. I like work.

The lights in the hallway flicker on and off, and we hear an electrical buzz and clattering from inside ALAN’s apartment. CASTLE and the OFFICER run inside and find the bed on fire. ALAN is slumped against a fallen coffee table across the room.

CASTLE
Whoa! Alan!

The OFFICER runs to get a fire extinguisher. CASTLE kneels beside ALAN and tries to find a pulse. The OFFICER puts out the fire and peers at the wires sticking out of the bedding.


OFFICER
Someone rigged the bed to electrocute him. Is he dead?

CASTLE nods sadly.

[LATER]


LANIE is taking off a pair of gloves; she’s been checking the body.


LANIE
Sorry, Castle, but this time, he really is dead.

CASTLE
What a waste.

LANIE
To be given a second chance and have it taken away like this.

CASTLE
He was just gonna go back to work like nothing happened.

LANIE (surprised)
What?

CASTLE
If I hadn’t been so focused on his rebirth, I might have noticed that wire. I could have saved him.

LANIE
You can’t beat yourself up, Castle. I was starting to think he was some kind of medical miracle. Turns out, he was just lucky. And in the end, his luck ran out.

ALAN regains consciousness suddenly, coughing. LANIE and CASTLE stare as ALAN sits on the couch, then they look at each other.

CASTLE
Forget lucky.

ALAN
Somebody cooking barbecue?

CASTLE (in awe)
He’s immortal.

INT — HOSPITAL, HALLWAY

LANIE
He was definitely dead.

DR. ELLINS
That’s what you said last time.

LANIE
He was dead the last time, too.

BECKETT arrives in a hurry.

BECKETT
Uh, sorry. Um, can we have a minute, please?

DR. ELLINS
Of course. (walks away)

BECKETT
Thanks.

LANIE
I’m sorry. I’m just rattled. You know, people can come back from being poisoned and from being electrocuted, but both in the same day?

BECKETT
So, is there an explanation?

LANIE
I can think of two. Either I’m really bad at my job, or Castle’s right and this guy’s immortal.

BECKETT
He is not immortal, and you are a genius at your job. We just got to keep looking for answers, starting with who wants to kill this guy so badly.

LANIE
Is there any forensics on the second attempt?

BECKETT
No. The bed must have been wired after the apartment was already released from being a crime scene, which means the killer had about a two-hour window before Alan and Castle got there.

They walk down the hall and encounter RYAN.

RYAN
Hey. So, the toxin that should have killed Alan, TTX, is a controlled substance, available through only a few pharma supply companies. CDC is sending us over a list right now.

LANIE
So, finding the buyer might lead to the killer.

RYAN
(nods) Any idea how our boy Alan is still with us?

LANIE rolls her eyes.

BECKETT
Uh, no. But Castle has a theory.

INT — HOSPITAL ROOM

CASTLE
You are a superhero.

ALAN
No, I’m really not. I’m just an ordinary guy.

CASTLE
You were an ordinary guy, Alan. That’s how most superheroes start out — mild-mannered weaklings, and that’s you!

ALAN
Wow, thanks.

CASTLE
Relax. It’s all to maximize your transformative arc.

ALAN
If I agree with you, will you leave me alone?

CASTLE
Don’t be silly. We’re just getting started! First we need to figure out what triggered your transformation, your origin story, if you will.

ALAN
Why?

CASTLE
Because the origin story is everything! What, there’s, what, nine Spider-Man movies about it?

Enter ESPOSITO.

ESPOSITO
Yo. We got a lead.

CASTLE (undaunted)
We need to come up with a superhero name for Alan.

ALAN
No. No, we really don’t.

ESPOSITO
How about…Safety Man?

CASTLE
No, that’s terrible.

ESPOSITO
Well, does he have any other powers?

CASTLE
I don’t know. We should really run some tests.

ALAN
Um, you said something about a lead…?

ESPOSITO
Right. Yeah, we’ve been checking into your inspection history to see if there’s somebody you might have pissed off. I think we have a winner — Zantium Labs. You just hit them with a six-figure fine.

ALAN
Yeah, they’re a biopharmaceutical company. I threatened to shut them down after they had a bad chemical spill two days ago.

CASTLE
Whoa. A chemical spill? Mystery solved. Exposure to dangerous materials is the most common superhero story there is.

ALAN
Sorry. The spill was L.A.H. It’s an inorganic compound used as a catalyst to make other chemicals, which — The point is, it can be explosive, but there’s nothing about it that would ever turn anyone into a, I don’t know — Captain Cool?

CASTLE shakes his head.

CASTLE
No. But keep trying.

ESPOSITO
Hey, who’s on the hook for that spill?

ALAN
The lab manager, Frank Patchett. He begged me not to fine him. He said the lab was hemorrhaging money.

ESPOSITO
That sounds like motive. Come on, Castle. Let’s go talk to this guy.

ALAN
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Maybe I should come with you.

CASTLE
Why?

ALAN
No reason.

CASTLE smiles.

CASTLE
The girl. The one who doesn’t know you exist. She works there, doesn’t she?

ALAN
No. (off CASTLE’s “oh, come on” look) Yes. Her name is Gwen. She’s in marketing.

ESPOSITO
Sorry, Alan. You’ve got to stay here. If there’s someone at Zantium Labs trying to kill you, I’d be the worst cop on the force if I took you there.

CASTLE
Don’t worry, Alan. I’ll put in a good word for you with Gwen!

ALAN (calls after them as they depart)
No, no! Please — Please don’t!

EXT — ZANTIUM LABS BUILDING, DAY

GWEN PARKER
I can’t believe someone would try and do that to poor Alan. He’s such a sweet man.

INT — ZANTIUM LABS, HALLWAY

CASTLE and ESPOSITO are following GWEN down a hallway.

CASTLE
So you do know him?

GWEN
Of course. People around here kind of hate him, but, I don’t know, I think he’s really funny.

CASTLE
Oh, I’ll tell him you said that.

GWEN
Oh, that’s Frank. Hey, Frank.

CASTLE
Thank you.

GWEN goes off in a different direction.

ESPOSITO
Mr. Patchett, I’m Detective Esposito. I need to ask you a few questions about Alan Masters.

FRANK PATCHETT
Is he doing okay? I heard someone tried to kill him.

CASTLE
Twice.

ESPOSITO
How’s the cleanup going?

FRANK
Oh, well, we’re almost done here. Accidents happen. Luckily, nobody was hurt.

CASTLE
Nobody except Alan.

FRANK
You think what happened to him is connected to the spill?

ESPOSITO
Maybe. So why don’t you get changed, and we can go talk about it.

FRANK
Okay. Locker room’s over there.

ESPOSITO
We’ll go with you.

CASTLE
Actually, I’m gonna go take a look around. (whispers to ESPOSITO) Origin story.

INT — ZANTIUM LABS — LAB

CASTLE walks through a large room full of lab stations. He picks up a vial of red liquid, then spots a white mouse on a wheel in a cage.

CASTLE
Oh, wow!

He leans over to look, and his hand lands on a pair of labels on the counter next to the cage, in front of two sets of test tubes. He accidentally knocks the labels onto the floor, picks them up and tries to put them back where they belong. One says CONTROL and the other says ACTIVE STRAIN. He hopes he got them right…

MAN
Excuse me.

CASTLE
Yes.

MAN
Can I help you with something?

CASTLE
Yes, as a matter of fact, you can, uh — (reading his lab coat) Mike. Um, if you had to pick something in this lab that would turn somebody into a superhero, what would it be?

MIKE
I’m — I’m sorry. What?

CASTLE
Radioactive spider, secret alien technology, super-soldier serum —

MIKE
Yeah, we don’t have anything like that here.

CASTLE (frustrated)
Then what is — What about this? (he gestures to a setup nearby) What are you working on right here?

MIKE
We’ve discovered an accelerated method for growing hair cells in the mice.

CASTLE
Accelerated cell regeneration? (MIKE nods.) That could be the key to immortality.

INT — ZANTIUM LABS — ANOTHER PART OF THE BUILDING


FRANK
I’ve been supervising this cleanup for the last 48 hours. Even if I wanted to kill Alan, I didn’t have the opportunity or the energy.

ESPOSITO
But you did have the motive. You begged him not to fine you, and he did anyway.

FRANK
Yeah. He’s a pain in the ass, but the damage was already done. Killing him would have accomplished nothing. (pause) You know, something odd did happen when I walked him out to the parking lot.

ESPOSITO
Odd how?

FRANK
There was someone hanging out at Alan’s car, but he took off when he saw us coming. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but…

ESPOSITO
Does your parking lot have security cameras?

FRANK
Yeah.

ESPOSITO
Let me see them.

INT - 12th PRECINCT, INTERROGATION

BECKETT
Mr. Hume, so you’re an operations manager at a plastics factory that Alan recently shut down. Is that correct?

GLEN HUME
I didn’t do anything to Alan. I’m innocent.

ESPOSITO
Innocent men don’t usually stalk their victims in parking lots.

HUME
I just wanted to talk to Alan. That’s all. I needed to find the right moment. We had to be alone.

BECKETT
Okay. What did you want to talk to him about? (HUME hesitates) Mr. Hume, if all you wanted to do was talk to him, then why did unis find you with two suitcases and a ticket to Mexico?

HUME
Because I don’t want to die. They came after Alan and I’m next.

ESPOSITO and BECKETT exchange a look.

ESPOSITO
Who’s “they”? (HUME hesitates again) If you know who went after Alan, you need to tell us.

BECKETT
Was it someone from your company?

ESPOSITO
Are you a whistle-blower, Glen? Is there something you’re trying to expose? Is that why you wanted to talk to Alan?

BECKETT
The NYPD can protect you, and if someone really is trying to kill you, you’re a lot safer in here with us than out there on your own.

HUME
Okay. But it’s not someone from my company. It’s the mob.

BECKETT
What would organized crime want with Alan? (a beat, then a guess) Waste management.

HUME
Yeah. They strong-armed me into giving them the contract for my factory’s hazardous waste disposal. They’ve been doing the same thing all over town. And they just dump the stuff into the landfill.

ESPOSITO
So why would they target Alan before you?

BECKETT
Because Alan fired Dave Barton, the only inspector that they could buy. So Alan was becoming a big problem, and their only solution was to kill him.

INT — HOSPITAL ROOM

ALAN
The mob is trying to kill me?

CASTLE
Trying and failing. But do you know why?

ALAN
Because I’m - I’m, what, Rogaine Man?

CASTLE
Yuck. Worst name yet. But it does explain why you keep coming back to life. Your cells regenerate at an amazing rate.

LANIE (enters)
Except they don’t.

CASTLE
What?

LANIE
Just got the test back. No sign of abnormal regenerative activity in blood or tissue cells. In fact, no sign of anything abnormal at all.

ALAN
Told you. I’m Boring Man. Except for the contract out on my life.

CASTLE
Just to be sure, maybe we should cut off one of his fingers, see if it grows back.

ALAN
What?!

CASTLE
Just the tip.

ALAN
Okay, I’m done.

He starts getting out of bed.

CASTLE
Whoa, whoa. Where you gonna go?

ALAN
Home. Or not home. Somewhere safe. Where is that?

CASTLE
My place. We have yet to unlock the secrets of your powers. Lanie’s a doctor. She can strip you down and check you out.

ALAN
No.

LANIE
Forget it! (leaves the room)

CASTLE
Come on, you owe him!

ALAN
No. No, she doesn't! Castle, it's been a long day. I am very overwhelmed. I just want to go back to my life.

CASTLE
That's too bad. You can't. Spidey couldn't go back after the bite. Hulk couldn't go back after the bomb. The Ant-Man couldn't go back after -- I can't remember. Point is, you have an obligation. With great power comes great responsibility. Let's go to my place and get some pizza on the way.

ALAN
There's no way I'm going back to your place to eat pizza and explore my superpowers.

CASTLE
(holds ALAN's clothes out to him)
I'll tell you what Gwen said about you.

ALAN
Okay.

INT - 12th PRECINCT, BULLPEN

BECKETT
Hey. Where are we on the waste management company?

ESPOSITO
It's a new entity called Bullseye. We're not sure who's running it, but rumor is it's a new player on the scene.

BECKETT
I don't know. Electrocution and poisoning doesn't sound like the mob.

ESPOSITO
No.

RYAN
Unless they're trying to keep a low profile. The best way to stay off our radar is to fly under it.

BECKETT
Yeah, true. Why don't you guys head down to the second floor, see if Organized Crime has any insight?

RYAN
Okay.

INT - CASTLE's LOFT

CASTLE is cutting up some cheese with a BIG knife.

CASTLE
We know you can survive poisoning and electrocution. Now it's time to see if you can survive penetrative wounds.

ALAN
How about we start with something smaller, like a paper cut?

CASTLE
Okay, this is all a little overwhelming. I understand. All right. Let's -- Let's test for some other powers first.

ALAN is shaking his head.

CASTLE
Telekinesis. Try to move the piano with your mind.

ALAN
Oh. If I try this, will you tell me about Gwen?

CASTLE
Deal.

ALAN turns his back on CASTLE to look at the piano. CASTLE grabs an apple and throws it at ALAN's head, scoring a hit.

ALAN
(spins around)
Ow! What the hell?

CASTLE
That was a trick. I was actually testing for Spidey-sense.

ALAN
I don't have it!

CASTLE
Clearly.

ALAN
Can we take a break, please?

CASTLE
Fine.

They go over to the table and sit. CASTLE puts down a bottle in front of ALAN.


ALAN
Ah, no. no. I don't drink.

CASTLE
All right. You want to know what Gwen said?

ALAN
Yes. Finally.

CASTLE
(leans in with a smile)
All right. I'll tell you.

Long pause, during which CASTLE stares deeply into ALAN's eyes.

ALAN
Well?

CASTLE
I'm telling you with my mind.

ALAN slumps in despair.

CASTLE
You're not getting it?

ALAN
No.

CASTLE
Okay. Well, bad news is no telepathy. Good news is I think Gwen is into you. She told me she thinks you're funny.

ALAN
Really? Funny ha-ha, not funny strange?

CASTLE
Yeah.

ALAN
Yeah what?

CASTLE
Exactly. So are you gonna use your double death as a wake-up call and finally ask her out?

ALAN
What if she says no?

CASTLE
What if she says yes?

ALAN
(determined)
Okay, I'll do it.

CASTLE
That is the spirit, Alan.

CASTLE picks up the phone, about to hand it to ALAN.

ALAN
Well, I didn't think you meant right now!

CASTLE
(dialing a number)
Alan, there is no time like the present.

ALAN is panicking. He grabs the bottle of beer and takes a swig. CASTLE hands him the phone.

ALAN
Mm! It's ringing. This is very exciting. Oh my God, I'm gonna be sick. I don't know what to say.

CASTLE
Just be yourself.

ALAN
Be myself. So, something like, "Hi, this is Alan Masters from the City Department of Safety Inspection, badge number 62475 -- "

CASTLE
New plan, new plan. Do not be yourself. Say this --

ALAN (into phone)
Hi, Gwen. Hello. This is Alan Masters of -- Yes, that's right. I'm much better, thanks. You? -- Oh, nothing. I was just calling to see if you wanted to have dinner with me. Oh. Okay. I'll see you there. Bye. (he ends the call) She said yes.

CASTLE
Well done, Alan! Now all we have to do is plan the perfect date. How much time do we have?

ALAN
Well, we're meeting at Botticelli's in 30 minutes.

CASTLE
Tonight?

ALAN
You said yourself it's time to start living.

CASTLE
Yes, I just thought it'd be after we apprehended your would-be murderer.

ALAN
I know. I will just embrace my powers. Maybe this is my origin story, and my dinner with Gwen will be the beginning of something really terrific!

CASTLE
That's the spirit, Alan. And I'm going with you.

ALAN
Please don't.

CASTLE
The first two attempts on your life were meant to be anonymous, quiet. It's very unlikely they'd try something in a public place.

He hands ALAN his coat.

ALAN
Exactly.

CASTLE
Well, they did fail twice. They may try to kick it up a notch.

ALAN
What are you saying?

CASTLE
Don't order an appetizer.

INT - 12th PRECINCT, BREAK ROOM

BECKETT is pouring herself some coffee when VIKRAM comes in and just stands there, looking at her.

BECKETT
You found something.

VIKRAM
Yeah. I ran the partial plate from that SUV Caleb Brown got into, generated a list of names. Guess who's on it.

He hands BECKETT a folder; she looks inside.

BECKETT
Brooks. Guy with the bag of spiders who tried to take down Castle and me.

VIKRAM
If Brooks picked up Caleb at the airport, then this ties Caleb directly to LokSat.

BECKETT
Well, look, it's a start, anyway.

VIKRAM
A start? It's photographic evidence.

BECKETT
Of what? That he got into a car with a bad guy? Caleb's a public defender. He represents bad guys.

VIKRAM
He was using an alias. We can use this to go at Caleb, get him to reveal LokSat's identity.

BECKETT
Until he alerts LokSat that we're onto him, and then we're all dead. No, we gotta wait until we have something more concrete.

VIKRAM (disappointed)
Fine. Caleb's alias, Peter McCaffery -- I'll look into it and see what other trips he's taken under that name, see if it leads somewhere more definitive.

BECKETT
Look, I know this is frustrating. But we're getting close. We just have to tread carefully.

EXT -- BOTTICELLI'S RESTAURANT

INT -- BOTTICELLI'S


GWEN is already sitting at a table for two. CASTLE and ALAN enter and see her from across the room.

CASTLE
There she is. She looks nice.

ALAN
This is a huge mistake. I'm a safety inspector. That's not even a little sexy. This is so much scarier than dying.

CASTLE
You are Alan Masters, superhero. Chicks dig superheroes.

ALAN
Should I tell her I'm a superhero?

CASTLE
I wouldn't open with that.

ALAN
Okay. I'm going in. Wish me luck.

CASTLE
Good luck.

He sits at the bar as ALAN strides away to where GWEN is sitting.


ALAN
Hi, Gwen.

GWEN
Hi.

ALAN
Wow, you --

GWEN
Good to see you. Oh --

GWEN half-stands, trying to hug him, but ALAN keeps holding a hand out for a handshake. Awkward.

ALAN
You look great. Thanks for having dinner with me. (sits)

GWEN
I was surprised that you called, after the day you've had.

ALAN
What a day, right? Crazy. Just nuts. I'm -- I -- I -- I'm a superhero.

GWEN
What?

ALAN
Nothing. I sneezed.

GWEN
You - You sneezed, "I'm a superhero"?

ALAN
Yeah. Allergies. (whips out his napkin and fake sneezes) Superhero! Excuse me.

He looks over and grins at CASTLE, who grins back and gives ALAN a thumbs-up. CASTLE's cell phone rings and he answers it.

CASTLE
Hey, Ryan.

INT - 12th PRECINCT, BULLPEN


RYAN
We ID'd the owner of Bullseye Waste Management. He's a guy named Horatio Spate.

CASTLE
That's a good super villain name.

RYAN
This is not a joke. Spate is suspected of executing over a dozen people. I texted you his picture just to put him on your radar. Whatever you do, don't leave the loft.

CASTLE
Don't leave the loft. Got it.

RYAN
(hears laughter over the phone from the bar)
Wait, what's that noise?

CASTLE
Uh --

He ends the call, looks down at the phone and pulls up the picture of HORATIO SPATE, just in time to spot SPATE entering the restaurant.

CASTLE (under his breath)
Crap.

INT - BOTTICELLI'S


SPATE comes over to GWEN and ALAN's table.

SPATE
Hello, Alan.

ALAN
Do I know you?

SPATE
Sorry to interrupt your romantic dinner.

CASTLE
(passing behind ALAN; whispers)
Careful, Alan. He's your arch-nemesis.

ALAN
Seriously? I have an arch-nemesis?

CASTLE takes a seat next to ALAN.


ALAN
Is that how they dress?

GWEN
Alan, you're cute, and I like you, but this is all a bit much. You say that you're a superhero, and he's a supervillain. So (turning to CASTLE) does that make you his sidekick?

CASTLE
Sidekick? Please. I'm the mentor.

GWEN
And I'm his date. Or at least I was. (to ALAN) I'm sorry. This is just weird.

GWEN takes her wine glass and leaves the table.


ALAN (to CASTLE)
And she thinks I'm crazy. Thank you so much. This is all your fault.

CASTLE
Actually, it's his. Alan, meet Horatio Spate. He's the new owner of Bullseye Waste Management.

ALAN
So, you're the one who's trying to kill me?

SPATE
Hardly. If I wanted you dead, you'd be dead already.

ALAN
Well, what do you want?

SPATE
An arrangement. One that would benefit both of us. Twice someone's tried to kill you, and you're still with us. How long before Lady Luck abandons you?

CASTLE
Oh, let me guess. A man like you can offer protection.

SPATE
More than offer. I can guarantee it. In return, all I ask is that you adopt a more laissez-faire interpretation of your inspection policies.

CASTLE
This is a moral test. Every superhero is presented with a moral dilemma trying to corrupt him.

ALAN (solemnly)
Horatio Spate, my answer is no.

SPATE reaches into his jacket.


CASTLE
Gun. Gun.

He and ALAN start to duck under the table.

SPATE
Relax, boys. It's gingko. Just started taking it.

He takes a couple of tablets out of a small tin.


SPATE
Here's what it does. It improves memory, it sharpens brain function, and it helps a person make really, really good decisions. Perhaps you should try one, and then you can rethink your answer.

He rises, preparing to leave.

SPATE
Careful. Dangerous out there.

INT - 12th PRECINCT, BULLPEN


CASTLE is speaking to RYAN and ESPOSITO.

CASTLE
It's as if he stepped off the pages of a graphic novel. You should have been there to see him in person.

BECKETT
Yes. They should have. Not you, and definitely not Alan. Now, tell me how dangerous it was for you to take him out in public, 'cause I know that you knew.

CASTLE
He's in love, Beckett. And I love love. -- And I'm sorry and I won't do it again.

BECKETT
No, you won't and you know why? Because I've had him sent to a real safe house until we track down Horatio.

RYAN
Boss, I know we were talking about flying under the radar, but that really doesn't seem to be Horatio's style. I mean, he solves problems with bullets, not poisons and elaborate electrocution traps.

ESPOSITO
So why would he guarantee protection?

CASTLE
Oh, maybe he knows the actual identity of our would-be killer.

BECKETT
And stopping the hit could benefit his waste disposal company by giving him leverage on Alan. (to the boys) Are any of Horatio's associates recent buyers of TTX? 'Cause that could help us narrow down who's trying to kill Alan.

RYAN
We've got the list right here.

He picks up the list and they all look at it.

CASTLE
Wait a minute. Lucky Dragon Herbologists? Horatio had a pillbox with a dragon logo on it.

ESPOSITO is at the computer; he comes up with an image of the shop and the logo.


CASTLE
That's it. That's the same logo.

ESPOSITO
It says here that it's a front for the White Lotus Chinese Triad.

RYAN
Okay, so how does an international gang get cleared to possess TTX?

BECKETT
Because Lucky Dragon is a legitimate business and there are small doses of TTX in Eastern medicine.

ESPOSITO
Hold up. This doesn't make sense. According to intel, the Triad sees Horatio as a threat to their territory. They're gearing up for war.

RYAN
So, no way is Horatio guaranteeing Alan's safety with the Triads.

CASTLE
Unless…Horatio said he just started taking ginkgo. What if the two empires are hammering out some kind of an alliance?

ESPOSITO
An alliance that Alan unknowingly stumbled onto and put him right in the cross-hairs of the Triad.

RYAN
But what could bring two warring gangs together to join forces?

BECKETT
Well, get a search warrant for Lucky Dragon Herbologists and find out.

RYAN and ESPOSITO walk away. CALEB BROWN is standing nearby.

CALEB
Hey.

BECKETT
Uh, Caleb. What're you doing here?

CALEB
I hate to bother you, but I could really use your help with a client. Can I borrow you for a quick minute?

BECKETT
Yeah, sure.

She looks back at CASTLE as she precedes CALEB to her office.


INT - 12th PRECINCT, CAPTAIN'S OFFICE

BECKETT
So, who is this client?

CALEB
I think you're familiar with him -- Peter McCaffery.

BECKETT
Uh, no, it -- it doesn't sound familiar.

CALEB
No? Let me fill you in. (in a casual tone) So, there's this overzealous cop. You know the type. She never knows when to give up. And she has her tech guy look into Peter McCaffery's recent travel.

BECKETT
Okay.

CALEB
Yeah, well, Mr. McCaffery's a very private person, so he set up some unexpected digital trip wires. That's bad news for the tech guy and his boss. (quietly ominous) And so this cop, she keeps marching toward this kill zone, and unless she makes an about-face, it is not going to end well.

BECKETT
I don't get it. You served a full term in the Pace Corps. You worked for the EPA. You brought legal action against corrupt corporations.

CALEB
What's your point, Kate?

BECKETT
What happened? You used to make a difference. Why did you sell out?

CALEB
Look. My client is forced to work for a man that he cannot fight. And take my word for it. Neither can you.

BECKETT
Let's help each other out here. We can bring down LokSat. I'm giving you a second chance to make a difference.

CALEB
Captain, just do yourself a favor, hmm? Heed my warning.

BECKETT
No, you heed mine. You have until 8:00 tomorrow night.

CALEB
Then what?

BECKETT
I'll expose you. And then we'll both be looking over our shoulders, waiting for LokSat to tie up loose ends. Because once they find out that your cover is blown and I'm onto you, then you're gonna be as dead as I am.

CALEB
Seven minutes, Kate. Seven minutes. That's how long the brain continues to function after the body dies, and as all of those synapses slowly stop firing off, that's when they say that our lives flash before our eyes. Now, when your seven minutes come, I sincerely hope that you do not flash to this moment, when you had a chance to live, and you chose not to.

INT - 12th PRECINCT, BREAK ROOM

CASTLE is trying to make a cappuccino, but his hands are shaking. BECKETT enters the break room and he startles.

BECKETT
Hey. You want me to handle that? You're on edge this morning.

CASTLE
On edge? Why would I be on edge? Because LokSat's henchman knows we're onto him and assassins could come through the door at any second. I mean, why aren't you on edge?

BECKETT
Well, Caleb is a lot of things, but he's not suicidal, and working with us is his only recourse.

CASTLE
He threatened your life.

BECKETT
Because he was scared. Trust me, Castle, I turned him. I'm positive he's gonna come in today.

CASTLE
Oh, yeah, I think he's coming in, too. Well, either him or LokSat's kill squads.

RYAN enters the room.

RYAN
Hey.

CASTLE (startles)
Hey! Geez!

RYAN
So, Judge Kober just denied our search warrant request for the Lucky Dragon.

BECKETT
A suspected Triad front. Does she know that we like them for two attempts on Alan's life?

RYAN
Says we still need probable cause.

BECKETT
Okay, we got to go at this a different way. You know, if Horatio and the Triads are working together, this is something big.

CASTLE
Guys. I know how to get in.

INT - LUCKY DRAGON HERBOLOGIST, DAY

Enter CASTLE and ALAN.

CASTLE
Stick to the plan.

ALAN
Relax. I totally got this.

They walk up to the counter where a man has his back to them, arranging jars.

SHOP MAN
Welcome to Lucky Dragon herbs and remedies. Can I help you?

ALAN
Surprise safety inspection. (shows ID badge)

The SHOP MAN turns and comes to the counter. He has sunglasses on and a cane.

CASTLE
FYI, sir, he's holding out a badge that says Department of Safety and Health and he's got a serious look on his face.

ALAN
Very serious look.

MAN
Okay. But why two inspectors?

ALAN
Uh, because he is my trainee…

CASTLE
Trainee.

ALAN
…and it helps to have a second set of eyes.

CASTLE cringes.

ALAN
Not that one set of eyes or no sets of eyes is a bad thing.

MAN
Bring all the eyes you would like. I'm sure you'll find my medicines violate none of your Western laws.

CASTLE has spotted a "DO NOT ENTER" sign over an inner doorway. He gestures to ALAN that he's going to investigate.

CASTLE
We'll be the judge of that.

ALAN coughs. CASTLE coughs and heads off in another direction, only to have the MAN slam his cane down across his path.

MAN
I ask we stay together so I may address your inspection concerns.

CASTLE
Of course. (to ALAN, whispers) I'll cause a distraction. You slip to the back room.

ALAN nods.

MAN
Here are some of my most precious herbs. Impossible to grow in this country.

CASTLE
Oh, you mean these herbs right here?

He lifts a jar up high and drops it. The MAN catches it. CASTLE picks up another jar and drops it. The MAN tosses the first jar to CASTLE, who catches it, and the MAN catches the second jar.

MAN
Your assistant's very clumsy.

ALAN
Yes, he is. Which is why the sooner we get out of your way, the better. Take us to your back room now, please.

MAN
But of course.

He turns to lead them away, then stops.

MAN
Wait. I sense something. Something powerful. An unnatural presence in the order of things.

CASTLE
What kind of presence?

MAN
What kind indeed? When is a man not a man? When his life-force cannot be extinguished, when he cannot die. Then he is a god.

CASTLE
I think he senses your powers.

ALAN
Yeah? You do?

CASTLE
Either that or he's buying time while his guys get the contraband out the back door.

EXT - ALLEY BEHIND LUCKY DRAGON

Two men come out the back door lugging cases. ESPOSITO is waiting for them, gun drawn.

ESPOSITO
You guys drop the cases.

RYAN
NYPD. On your knees, fellas.

RYAN covers them while ESPOSITO takes a case aside and opens it. There are dozens of vials inside, all full of a yellowish liquid.


ESPOSITO
What the hell is this?

INT - NYME MORGUE


LANIE
Heroin.

CASTLE
Since when does heroin look like that?

LANIE
Since it's synthetic heroin, an opioid manufactured to replicate a heroin high. In fact, this stuff actually improves on it because, according to the analysis I ran, it's laced with TTX.

ALAN
The same poison that almost killed me? What, heroin isn't dangerous enough?

LANIE
Because that poison works by blocking synapses. In small doses, it's a powerful analgesic specifically used for the pain of heroin withdrawal.

BECKETT
So it makes the drug more addictive by reducing the painful side effects. So, more addictive heroin that doesn't have to be smuggled into the country because --

CASTLE
Because it can be made right here in the good old U. S. of A.

BECKETT
That explains why the Triads and Horatio are willing to put their differences aside, because --

BECKETT and CASTLE
Synthetic heroin could be worth billions.

ALAN
What does this have to do with me? Why would anybody want me dead?

LANIE
Well, clearly this stuff is made in a lab somewhere, and your job is to inspects laboratories, so --

ALAN
You know, this shade of yellow looks very familiar. What is it that gives it this color?

LANIE
An inorganic catalyst commonly referred to as L.A.H.

ALAN
Lithium aluminum hydride? That is the same chemical that spilled when I was inspecting Zantium Labs.

LANIE
This is why they wanted you dead.

ALAN
When the synthetic heroin hits the streets, it'll come out that it was made with L.A.H.

LANIE
And since you knew the lab had purchased large amounts of L.A.H. --

ALAN
They couldn't take the risk that I might see something on the news, put the pieces together, and report it to the authorities.

LANIE
Which means…

ALAN
Someone at Zantium Labs is trying to kill me!

LANIE (simultaneously)
Someone at Zantium Labs is trying to kill you!

BECKETT
Oh, gosh, is that what we sound like?

CASTLE
Certainly hope not. I mean, it was cute but just overly cute.

BECKETT
Alan?

ALAN
Huh?

BECKETT
Do you know who ordered the L.A.H. for Zantium?

ALAN
I do. Mike Lin, the lead chemist. I remember seeing his name on the purchase order. He's probably the guy who's trying to kill me. He could be very dangerous. We need to get down there and figure something out before he hurts someone else.

BECKETT
No. We have to be very smart about this. There is no way that Mike, a chemist, would be working alone here, so we have to get a court order to impound the entire laboratory and make sure that nobody destroys any of the evidence.

ALAN
Well, how long will that take?

BECKETT
Don't worry. We'll get this guy.

INT - 12th PRECINCT, BULLPEN


RYAN
Oh, Castle. There you are. We got the warrant. Let's go.

ESPOSITO
Yeah. Where's Alan?

CASTLE
I thought he was with you guys.

They all look at each other, realizing.

CASTLE
Oh, no.

INT - ZANTIUM LABS, LAB ROOM

ALAN enters wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses. He spots MIKE and passes him by, going over to where GWEN is talking to another chemist.

ALAN
Gwen!

He takes her arm and pulls her along with him.

GWEN
Alan. What are you doing here?

ALAN
Come with me if you want to live.

He leads her into a back room that looks like an unused lab.

GWEN
Alan, what is going on?

ALAN
Mike Lin is secretly making synthetic heroin in the lab. He's the one who's trying to kill me.

GWEN
Oh, my God. Alan, are you sure?

ALAN
Yeah. But don't worry. The cops are on the way, and until then, I'll protect you.

He picks up a broom standing against the wall.

ALAN
This'll work. Yeah, if that old blind guy could use it, so could I.

GWEN has pulled something out of a drawer. It's a gun; she checks the chamber. ALAN puts down the broom.


ALAN
Or -- or, that's actually better. Wait. Why do you have a gun?

GWEN
I'm gonna kill Mike.

ALAN
No. No, no, no. The cops will arrest him.

GWEN
That's what I'm afraid of. Mike is the only person here who knows I'm running this drug operation.

ALAN (aghast)
What? (backs away) Wait, you're the one who poisoned me?

GWEN
And electrocuted you, yeah. I was trying to be discreet. I mean, my boyfriend Horatio said I should just shoot you in the head, but --

ALAN
Hold on! Stop everything! Wha -- Horatio is your boyfriend? (she nods) So I guess a second date is out of the question?

GWEN (sympathetically)
Aww. Alan. You seriously thought a guy like you had a shot with me?

ALAN
Ow. I thought dying twice was painful.

GWEN
Well, maybe it won't be so bad the third time.

She raises the gun and aims it at ALAN.


INT - ZANTIUM LABS, LAB ROOM


Police come pouring into the room, shouting.

POLICE
Police! Nobody move! NYPD! Put up your hands! Right now! Get 'em up!

RYAN
Get your hands where we can see 'em!

The workers all have their hands in the air as RYAN and the cops go quickly through the room.


CASTLE
Any sign of Alan?

RYAN
No, not yet.

CASTLE
I'm sure he came here. See if you can find Gwen's office.

CASTLE goes out through another door and sees the door to the other lab open. He moves in to take a look. Someone is lying on the floor; CASTLE can see his legs.

CASTLE
Alan!

It's ALAN, propped against some crates with what looks like a gunshot wound in his forehead and blood running down his face. CASTLE checks his neck for a pulse. RYAN comes running to the room.


RYAN
Oh, no.

CASTLE (horrified)
This is my fault. (turns away) I forced the superhero mantle onto him. I filled his head with crazy ideas of being invulnerable, and then, like some superhero Icarus, he flew too close to the sun. Alan, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I let you down!

Someone reaches over CASTLE's shoulder to hand him a handkerchief.

CASTLE
Thank you.

ALAN
Don't mention it.

CASTLE and RYAN spin around to see, yep, ALAN standing there like nothing is wrong.

CASTLE
Alan! You're alive?

ALAN
Shhh, not so loud. I've got a splitting headache.

RYAN
I'll, uh, call an ambulance?

ALAN
Relax, I'm fine. I just need a couple of Advil. (off CASTLE's look) What? What is it, Castle?

CASTLE
You -- (gestures at his head)

ALAN
Did I get shot in the head?

CASTLE
Right in the middle! I mean, how did you even -- Wait, that means you've seen your killer. Who - Who was it?

ALAN
You're never gonna guess.

Enter ESPOSITO, leading GWEN in handcuffs.


ESPOSITO
Yo. Took her down just before she put a bullet in Mike the chemist.

GWEN
Why the hell won't you die?

ESPOSITO leads her away. ALAN gives CASTLE an incredulous look.

CASTLE
I never thought she was right for you.

INT - HOSPITAL ROOM

CASTLE is taking a picture of ALAN's X-ray.

CASTLE
Coolest thing ever.

DR. ELLINS
As you can see, the slug pierced but didn't penetrate the vertical plate of Alan's skull.

LANIE
Really?

DR. ELLINS
Mm-hmm.

LANIE
I realize it was only a 22-caliber revolver, but it was fired at point-blank range.

ALAN
Hey, you sound a little upset that I'm still alive.

LANIE
No, it's just -- Oh, come on.

She pats him on the shoulder and he grins.

BECKETT
I don't suppose you have an explanation this time.

DR. ELLINS
Well, considering he's already died three times in 48 hours, does it even matter?

LANIE
Welcome to the club.

DR. ELLINS
Alan, it's my professional medical opinion that you're the luckiest man who's ever lived and kept living even after he died.

ALAN
Thanks, Doc.

DR. ELLINS exits.

CASTLE
How're you feeling?

ALAN
You know, I'm grateful. Especially for the new friend I made. I sure hope we could stay in touch.

He looks over at LANIE. CASTLE misses it.

CASTLE
Are you kidding? You and me? This is the start of a beautiful --

BECKETT
(leans in, quietly)
I don't think he's talking to you.

She goes out in the hall to answer her cell phone.

LANIE
(to ALAN)
Hey, maybe you have a few secret powers we haven't seen yet.

CASTLE
Which is what I've been saying all along.

LANIE (pointedly to CASTLE)
But perhaps discovery of those abilities is best left to a medical expert.

CASTLE opens his mouth to say something.

LANIE
Buh-bye, Castle. Get to stepping.

ALAN waves at CASTLE, mouthing "thank you".

INT - HOSPITAL, HALLWAY

BECKETT
Okay, yeah, thanks.

She ends her call as CASTLE comes up.

BECKETT
That was Vikram. The DEA just arrested Horatio and a few members of the Triad.

CASTLE
So what's wrong?

BECKETT
Caleb's deadline has come and gone and Vikram said that he's disappeared. He's gone off-grid.

CASTLE
He's running. Too scared to face LokSat, too scared to work with us.

BECKETT
Which means we just lost our only lead.

CASTLE
So what do we do?

BECKETT
I don't know. Maybe you're right.

They start walking down the hallway together.

Maybe it is time for a change. I hear Paris is nice this time of year.

She smiles at CASTLE, who smiles back.

CASTLE
So long as I'm with you, I'll go anywhere.

INT - CASTLE'S LOFT, NIGHT

CASTLE and BECKETT enter; the loft is dark and CASTLE goes to turn on a light. BECKETT senses something is off and draws her gun. CALEB rises from an armchair with a bottle in one hand and a tumbler in the other.

CALEB
Don't shoot me. I might spill my Scotch.

CASTLE
I think you mean my Scotch. And my most expensive Scotch.

CALEB
It's worth it.

He pours himself a glass and sets down the bottle.

BECKETT
You had a change of heart, Caleb?

CALEB
You know, every morning we wake up and we choose who we want to be. I wake up and I ask myself, "Why are you choosing this?" Because you're right, Kate. I was a good guy once.

BECKETT
And you still can be. Who is LokSat?

CALEB
I don't know.

CASTLE
Oh, come on. You work for him.

CALEB
Yes. But I started out working for his partner.

BECKETT
Senator William Bracken?

CALEB
Mm-hmm.

BECKETT
So, what, LokSat inherited you?

CALEB
It was more like drafted. After Bracken's murder, I received this on my doorstep with a note. (holds up a mobile device) And I quote, "Mr. Brown, you now work for me. This cellphone is enabled with GPS and will only function at the northernmost end of Astor Park. Be there every third Monday of the month at 8:00 a.m. To receive your orders." Kate, it's yours.

He holds the device out to KATE.

CALEB
And hopefully you can trace LokSat's next call.

BECKETT
Mnh-mnh. They're gonna know I'm not you.

CALEB
We don't have a conversation. The phone rings, I answer. An electronically modified voice gives me instructions. It lasts no more than 60 seconds, so have your best people ready.

BECKETT takes the device. CALEB starts to leave.

CASTLE
Where are you going?

CALEB
Um -- I'm gonna go to the same places that I always go -- work, home. I'm gonna act as if nothing has changed.

BECKETT
Yeah, but it has. And we can protect you.

CALEB
All I want from you is your promise that you will see this thing through. And remember who I chose to be today because nobody else will. That's a damn fine Scotch, Rick.

He hands CASTLE his empty glass and leaves, shutting the door behind him.

CASTLE
This is it. It's our one shot at LokSat.

BECKETT
Yeah. And when the time comes, we're gonna make it count.

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