8x20 Transcript

Transcribed by Pegship

"MUCH ADO ABOUT MURDER"

EPISODE 8x20


INT - THEATRE

ZANE CANNON stands alone on stage, rehearsing a soliloquy from Hamlet.

ZANE
To be, or not to be, that is the question. Whether it is nobler - (stops, sighs) Whether it - Whether it’s - What? (looking down at his script) Whether ’tis - Whether ’tis - ’tis - ’tis.

A gloved hand lifts a quill pen from its holder nearby.

ZANE
Connect to the words. Connect to me. Connect the words to me.

He drops the script on the stage and starts again.

ZANE
To be, or not to be, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer -

A door opens.

ZANE
Hello? (moving toward the sound) Who’s there?

He walks into the shadows and we hear a thud. He falls to the floor, staring at the blood on his hand from the quill now embedded in his neck.

INT - CASTLE LOFT

RICHARD CASTLE
Yes!

He’s gloating over something in a box he just opened.

KATE BECKETT
Wow, I haven’t seen you this excited since - uh, well, earlier this morning, so…

CASTLE
You know what this is, Beckett?

BECKETT
No, but I know that a very secure messenger just brought it in.

CASTLE (reverently)
Oh, my. It’s absolutely beautiful.

BECKETT
What is it?

CASTLE turns the box around to display the contents to BECKETT.

CASTLE
The YOLO card.

BECKETT
Like, “Dude, I just drove my mom’s car into the river, hashtag YOLO”?

CASTLE
No, no, no, this - work of art will forever release YOLO from internet jail. You see, each card was painstakingly handcrafted by an international team of artisans. Note the flecks of actual black diamond embedded in the card. The state-of-the-art radio frequency I.D. chip. The - the best part - Only 10,000 people in the world were chosen to have a YOLO card, and I’m one of them.

BECKETT
Castle, it’s just a credit card.

CASTLE
*Just* a credit card? I think not, my good woman. This is a YOLO, as in, “You only live once.” It is a way of life.

BECKETT
No, it’s a way to be obnoxious.

CASTLE
Oh, is it? You see, for every dollar I spend seizing my own day, YOLO matches it to help someone less fortunate seize their dreams.

BECKETT
Oh, okay. Well, that’s a little less obnoxious.

CASTLE
That’s what I thought. So, you want to try it out, take it for a spin? Might help you with tonight.

BECKETT
Hmm? What’s tonight?

CASTLE
Come on, don’t tell me you forgot. Our weekly date night. It’s new. It’s our thing. It’s - it’s your turn to arrange it, remember?

BECKETT
Yeah. Of cour - Of course I remember. (She doesn’t.) I don’t need a YOLO card to help me out with that. I’ve already got it planned.

CASTLE
Oh, do you? So tell me, how are you going to top my American Revolution evening I arranged with the carriage ride to see Hamilton on Broadway, the dinner served by waiters dressed as Founding Fathers?

BECKETT
Yes, that was fun. Except when Ben Franklin started hitting on me.

CASTLE
That’s nothing. George Washington slipped me his digits.

BECKETT
What?!

CASTLE
So, what are we doing tonight?

BECKETT
Uh, well, it’s a surprise, Castle.

CASTLE
Oh, I love surprises. At least tell me what to wear. On a wardrobe scale of 1 to 10 - 10 being James Bond, 1 being “Big Lebowski” - give me a number.

BECKETT’s phone rings and she looks at the screen.

BECKETT
For now, 5 — crime-scene casual. (answers the phone) Hey. Beckett. Uh, yeah.

INT - THEATRE

CSU are taking photos of the body.

JAVIER ESPOSITO
That’s great. Thanks.

CASTLE
Is that Zane Cannon?

ESPOSITO
Yep, star of the Apocalypse Runner movie franchise.

CASTLE
I love those movies.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, me too, even though - no disrespect to the dead - this guy couldn’t act to save his life.

CASTLE
Quite literally, by the looks of things.

ESPOSITO
Yeah.

CASTLE
Was Zane rehearsing Hamlet alone this morning?

ESPOSITO
Actually, it was last night. The M.E. places time of death between 8:00 and 11:00 p.m.

CASTLE
A quill pen. Odd choice for a murder weapon, unless, of course, the murderer was the ghost of William Shakespeare killing Zane for butchering his words. It’s all the talk on Broadway that Zane had no business performing the Bard’s most famous role.

Someone with an NYPD jacket is surreptitiously taking pictures of the crime scene with his phone.

ESPOSITO
Why cast him, then?

CASTLE
Because movie stars sell tickets. Just ask my mother. She can’t stop talking about the Hollywood-ization of Broadway.

ESPOSITO catches sight of the guy taking pictures.

ESPOSITO
(to CASTLE) Hold on. (walking toward the guy) Hey, what are you doing? Give me that.

JAKE
I was just - (as ESPOSITO looks through the pictures) Nice try. I already uploaded it to the cloud.

ESPOSITO
Hey Officer, escort this dirtbag out of here and confiscate that jacket.

JAKE
That - That - That’s my phone. You - you legally can’t have that phone. Hey, gimme my phone!

He’s escorted out none too gently by the officer. ESPO turns to CASTLE.

ESPOSITO
See that? Our victim’s fame is already turning this into a media circus.

RYAN enters with a woman in tow.

RYAN
Hey, fellas, may I introduce to you Erin Cherloff? She is the play’s director and a true artist. (to ERIN) Your production of Antigone was a revelation.

ERIN
Oh, well, thank you. (to ESPOSITO and CASTLE) I can’t believe this is happening. Zane and I finally get a chance to work together after all these years, and this happens.

CASTLE
The two of you were friends?

ERIN
Yeah, since theater school. Zane dropped out to go to Hollywood, but we stayed close.

ESPOSITO
Do you know what he was doing here in the theater by himself last night?

ERIN
He was terrified…of Hamlet. He really wanted to show his acting chops in this role. Sometimes he would come here after hours to work more.

RYAN
Was Zane having problems with anyone you know of?

ERIN
It’s no secret he had a reputation for sleeping with his leading ladies.

CASTLE
Are you saying Zane was sleeping with the actress playing Ophelia?

ERIN
Naomi Fox. Mm-hmm. They had a messy breakup recently. She sort of went all Fatal Attraction. So she took a baseball bat to his DB9. He had me take photos for his insurance. (shows them photos on her phone)

CASTLE
Oh. Did he report that to the police?

ERIN
No. Look, I’ve worked with Naomi before, and she’s crazy, but actor crazy, not murderer crazy. However , there is one teeny, tiny little thing you should know about. Naomi’s a method actor, meaning she doesn’t play the characters - she becomes them.

CASTLE
Do you know where we can find her?

INT - THEATRE, BACKSTAGE HALLWAY

RYAN
I just hope I wasn’t too obvious back there. I’m just such a big fan of Erin Cherloff.

ESPOSITO
Who, the director?

RYAN
Yeah, she’s amazing. I’m - Just speaking with her, I got this great idea for the play at Sarah Grace’s preschool where I’m a volunteer at.

ESPOSITO
Wait, preschools have plays now? My preschool was going to work with my mom every day.

CASTLE
Oh, same here. I grew up in hallways just like this. Spending time in my mother’s dressing room, experimenting with her costumes, her makeup.

ESPOSITO and RYAN stop and turn to smirk at CASTLE

CASTLE
Oh, get over it. Anyway, maybe our method actress has gone a little too method. In the play, Hamlet drives Ophelia mad. If this is life imitating art and she’s gone full Ophelia, we should be ready for anything.

INT - THEATRE, DRESSING ROOM

NAOMI FOX is gazing at herself in the mirror in her dressing room, humming. RYAN knocks on the door, then opens it.

RYAN
Ms. Fox?

She doesn’t respond.

ESPOSITO
Ms. Fox? NYPD. We need to ask you a few questions. (she doesn’t respond) Ms. Fox.

CASTLE
Um, may I? (to NAOMI) Ophelia?

NAOMI
Aye, my lord?

CASTLE
These fair gentlemen are constables and wish to speak with you in matters regarding the murder most foul and unnatural of Zane Cannon.

NAOMI
’Tis too much to bear to think on it.

RYAN
How now, fair Ophelia. We have queries and thou shall answer, or we shall force perforce be moved to make a star chamber -

ESPOSITO interrupts, switching on the full room lights.

ESPOSITO
Stop. We are SO not doing this. (to NAOMI) Look, Naomi, we know that you were having a show-mance with Zane. He dumped you, and then you busted up his car.

NAOMI
My lord, he speaks with a curious tongue. Car?

CASTLE
It’s what he’s gonna put you in the back of when he arrests you for murder.

ESPOSITO
So stop the Daniel Day-Lewis routine and start talking, or…

He holds up his handcuffs. NAOMI suddenly drops the Shakespearean persona.

NAOMI
Okay, look, I wasn’t in my right mind when I smashed up Zane’s car, but I didn’t kill him. You have to believe me. I was out late last night bar-hopping with some of the cast. You can check it out.

RYAN
Bar-hopping? So you’re not full Method.

CASTLE
Unless she was drinking mead and eating with her fingers.

NAOMI
Look, I really cared for Zane, but he was acting like he was cheating on me, showing up at my place at all hours of the night, lame excuses. So I confronted him, and he blew up, told me never to ask where he goes again.

RYAN
Any idea who this other woman might be?

NAOMI
No. But whoever she was, she brought out his dark side.

INT - 12th PRECINCT BULLPEN

A news presenter is talking on a TV screen.

WOMAN
We have breaking news on the shocking death of Hollywood megastar Zane Cannon, whose body was found this morning onstage at the off-Broadway Citizens Theater. (TV shows footage of ESPOSITO and CASTLE standing over the body at the scene, obviously from the intruder’s phone.)

As CASTLE and ESPOSITO enter, BECKETT, who’s been watching the news, turns to them.

BECKETT
So, why is there a video of Zane’s body on the news?

ESPOSITO
A stalker-azzi snuck onto the crime scene wearing an NYPD windbreaker.

NEWS PRESENTER
A source at the scene reveals that leading the investigation into the star’s murder is none other than acclaimed mystery writer Richard Castle with an assist from the NYPD’s 12th Precinct…

BECKETT turns off the TV. ESPOSITO and CASTLE look pleased.

BECKETT
1PP has been on my ass about keeping media under control, and now my husband is the face of the investigation.

CASTLE
It’s not all bad news, Beckett.

BECKETT
How?

CASTLE
That’s a great photo of me.

BECKETT
Do we have a suspect?

ESPOSITO
Not yet. Naomi’s alibi checked out. But we do have a lead on this mystery woman that Zane was seeing. His financials came in. (hands BECKETT some papers) They say that he rented a limo yesterday morning.

CASTLE
Which makes sense, since Naomi trashed his DB9.

BECKETT
And where was this limo going?

ESPOSITO
I don’t know yet. I’m still waiting for the driver to call me back, but hopefully he knows who this woman is.

RYAN enters.

RYAN
I have already found her. It turns out that Zane was renting a suite at the Black Door Hotel under a fake name.

CASTLE
Ah, the Black Door. Yes, very fancy.

ESPOSITO
Mm.

CASTLE
Known for being discreet… (off BECKETT’s and RYAN’s look) …from what I’ve heard from other people who were once single and now married.

RYAN
Well, they certainly seem to be living up to that reputation. Wouldn’t say a word until I accused them of obstruction. But Zane has had a suite there for the past two weeks, and he was with a woman there every night.

BECKETT
Okay, who is this woman?

RYAN
No idea. She’s not a registered guest, but get this, not only did she arrive after our time-of-death window, she’s still there.

INT - HOTEL HALLWAY

CASTLE
Privacy light is on.

ESPOSITO
She must still be here.

RYAN knocks on the door.

RYAN
NYPD. (no response; to the concierge) Could you open it, please?

CONCIERGE unlocks the door and stands back. RYAN and ESPOSITO open the double doors, onto a darkened room.

RYAN
Police.

ESPOSITO
NYPD.

CASTLE follows them in. There’s a bed, with filmy curtains and low red lighting and apparently someone in it. RYAN looks around the room with his gun at the ready; ESPOSITO moves closer to the bed and notices the head of hair protruding from under the blanket.

ESPOSITO
Psst. (whispering) There’s a ginger in the bed.

ESPOSITO switches on the lamp beside the bed and the person in it turns over and gasps.

CASTLE
Mother?!

Yes, it’s MARTHA.

MARTHA RODGERS
Richard?

INT - HOTEL ROOM

MARTHA is coming out of the bathroom, wiping her face with a towel.

MARTHA
I, um, I got tired, waiting for Zane last night, so I just, uh, crawled into bed. Never could I imagine what happened to him.

ESPOSITO sighs sympathetically.

CASTLE
Mother, why are you - why - Why - (ESPOSITO pokes him) Why were you in Zane’s bed?

MARTHA
Because he was late for our session.

RYAN
(skeptically) What kind of session?

ESPOSITO (aside, to CASTLE)
Is that what they call it?

CASTLE
That’s enough.

ESPOSITO
Okay.

CASTLE
Mother, are you saying you were sleeping with Zane Cannon?

MARTHA
Oh, drop the gavel, Richard! I was his acting coach, certainly not his mistress. The poor boy was out of his depth trying to play Hamlet, so he was referred to me. Zane needed me to be on call 24 hours a day, so he had this suite so that we could meet comfortably at any time. We turned this room into a temple to the Bard. It also became a temple to a new life.

ESPOSITO
What do you mean, new life?

MARTHA
Well, you know I’m a life coach. I helped Zane to just clear out the clutter of stardom so that he could focus on his craft.

RYAN
Did he ever mention having any enemies?

MARTHA
No, but he did have some demons, though. There was something in his past that was a real block for him.

CASTLE
Certainly he told you what the block was.

MARTHA
No, he was very secretive about it, frightened, even. Oh, of course, I encouraged him to engage with those demons, and… Wait a minute, the last time we spoke, he said that he had made arrangements to do just that. Oh, dear God. Don’t tell me that I might have pushed him into something that got him killed.

CASTLE
No. No. Nothing like that. No.

MARTHA
No? (she looks over at RYAN and ESPOSITO)

CASTLE
No. Come on. Let’s get you home. Come on.

EXT - NYC SKYLINE

INT - 12th PRECINCT, BULLPEN

BECKETT
Ryan, wait. Hey, listen. It’s my turn to plan date night, but I forgot, and Castle’s gonna lord it over me if I don’t outdo what he did last week. So I need a few ideas.

RYAN
Wait - for Castle?

BECKETT
Yeah.

RYAN
Wait, wait, wait, wait. The, uh - the guy who, uh, took you on an urban spelunking adventure through the city subway tunnels last Halloween, and then he hired actors to re-enact scenes from the movie C.H.U.D. Yeah, I can’t - I can’t come up with stuff like that.

ESPOSITO enters.

ESPOSITO
Yo. I just heard back from that limo driver that Zane hired the morning of his murder. You’ll never believe where he went — Sing Sing Penitentiary.

BECKETT
Why did he go there?

ESPOSITO
To pick up a newly released inmate — Johnny Toro, who also happens to be his estranged older stepbrother.

BECKETT
How did we not know that Zane had a stepbrother?

ESPOSITO
Different dads, different names, and according to Zane’s publicist, he kept it quiet. He didn’t want to be associated with this guy.

RYAN
Then why’d he show up at the prison?

ESPOSITO
I don’t know. According to the limo driver, though, it was far from a happy family reunion. The privacy screen was up, but he could tell that Toro was yelling at Zane.

BECKETT
He served 12 years for a B & E.

ESPOSITO
Where he stewed on how much he hated Zane. Check out the prison psychologist’s notes. Apparently there was a lot of built-up rage against Zane.

BECKETT
You know, evidence suggests that this break-in was a two-man job.

ESPOSITO
Cops suspected Zane but only had evidence against Toro.

BECKETT
And then Toro took the fall.

ESPOSITO
And Zane moves to Hollywood and becomes a movie star.

BECKETT
All right, get him in here.

INT - 12th PRECINCT INTERROGATION

TORO
This what it’s gonna be like now I’m on parole? Just can’t go a day without being harassed by the cops?

RYAN
Not when you set a record for fastest recidivism.

ESPOSITO
You were out all of 10 hours before you murdered Zane.

TORO
See? Soon as I saw the news, I knew y’all were gonna hang that on me.

RYAN
Really? That’s your response? Not, “Boo-hoo, my stepbrother’s dead.”

TORO
Screw you. I’m busted up over what happened to Z.

ESPOSITO
No, you’re pissed that he let you take the rap all those years ago.

TORO
I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, man. I was the big brother. I made Z keep his mouth shut on that B & E we pulled, man. Told him to make something of himself.

ESPOSITO
Come on, bro. Your prison shrink noted that you had a giant hate-on for Zane.

TORO
He abandoned me. And not one visit. No calls. Didn’t put any money on my books. Nothing. Just went off to become a star, and he left me to rot.

RYAN
Limo driver said things got pretty heated when he picked you up.

TORO
Yeah, but what the limo driver didn’t hear was us squashing our beef, ‘cause he apologized, said he would set me up for the rest of my life. Just had to get his financial problems figured out.

RYAN
What financial problems? Zane had $10 million in the bank.

TORO
He owed the IRS 15 mil in back taxes. He was gonna be broke in like two months.

RYAN
Then why’d he walk away from an $8 million payday in that Safe Word movie to go do Shakespeare?

TORO
He said he had a plan to get paid. Something big, man.


EXT - STREET

ESPOSITO
Sounds like whatever money-making scheme Zane was involved in is probably what got him killed. Only question is -

RYAN is making hand motions and hopping around as if trying to remember dance moves.

ESPOSITO
- what the hell are you doing, Kevin?

RYAN
Yeah, figured it out.

ESPOSITO
What he was involved in?

RYAN
No, no, no, no, no. The new choreography for Sarah Grace’s preschool play.

ESPOSITO
Oh, good. Why don’t you keep working on that while I solve our homicide? (to the hot dog vendor) Let me get a plain hot dog.

RYAN sees a reflection in the shiny napkin dispenser.

RYAN
Hey, Javi.

ESPOSITO
Yeah?

RYAN
We are being filmed.

ESPOSITO
That’s that stalker-azzi I chased off the crime scene.

RYAN
Hey, buddy, what’s your name? (flashes his badge)

STALKERAZZI
This is a public street. I have a right to film here.

RYAN
Oh, cool, cool, cool. We just want to know why you’re filming us.

STALKERAZZI
Well, I want the same thing you guys do — an ending to Zane Cannon’s story.

ESPOSITO
Wait a minute. You’ve been tracking our investigation by tracking us?

STALKERAZZI
I’ve been working on an expose on Zane ever since he dropped out of the movie Safe Word to play Hamlet. (chuckles) I knew that pretty boy was a train wreck waiting to happen.

RYAN
You’ve been following Zane?

STALKERAZZI
On and off, ever since he got to New York a month ago.

ESPOSITO
So did you see him on the night of his murder?

STALKERAZZI looks suspicious.

RYAN
Look, come on, you want an ending to your story? Why don’t you show us what you got?


STALKERAZZI
Yeah, I don’t work for favors. I want an interview with the killer.

RYAN
(laughs) Yeah, and I want a baby unicorn with a rainbow tail — (off ESPO’s look) for my daughter. We’re both gonna be disappointed, pal.

ESPOSITO
Come on, man, show us what you got. If it’s any good, when we make an arrest, we’ll let you film the perp walk. Deal?

STALKERAZZI considers, then nods.

RYAN
Let’s go for a walk.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, CONFERENCE ROOM

STALKERAZZI has his laptop open on the table.


STALKERAZZI
I filmed this yesterday at the theater around 4:00.

RYAN
That’s about six hours before Zane was killed.

MAN ON SCREEN
Oh, yeah, it’s right here.

MAN #2
You got what I need?

BECKETT
Who’s the guy with the tats?

STALKERAZZI
No idea.

MAN #2
Have him give me a call ASAP, all right?

Cool.

MAN #1
No guarantees, man. Here you go.

(He hands MAN #2 what looks like a cell phone.)

STALKERAZZI (behind the camera)
Who’s that, Zane?

ZANE
Yo!

STALKERAZZI
Why’d you pay him all that cash for the phone?

ZANE
Come on, come on! Give me that camera. You’re gonna get me killed.

STALKERAZZI
(chuckles) Hell, I thought Zane was just being dramatic. I guess I was dead wrong.

BECKETT
Okay, we’re gonna need you to leave the room, Jake.

RYAN
Heck, maybe get that facial recognition - we’ll print out something.

BECKETT
Yeah - no, no, no. Leave the laptop.

STALKERAZZI
No way, lady. This is my property.

BECKETT
Jake. Now.

STALKERAZZI
Geez. (exits)

RYAN
What the hell did Zane get himself mixed up with?

BECKETT
There’s only one way to know. We’ve got to find this mystery man.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, BULLPEN

ESPOSITO
Yo, L. T., you seen Ryan?

L.T.
I think he’s in the box.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, INTERROGATION

RYAN is having a videoconference with SARAH GRACE’s teacher.

RYAN
elodie, thank you very much for taking time to Skype with me. I just - I wanted to share with you my vision of the play.

ESPOSITO enters the observation room to listen in.

ELODIE
Your vision?

RYAN
Yeah, I see the kids as embodying the circle of life.

ELODIE
It’s just a flower dance.

RYAN
Let me just show you what I mean. Okay, so, the kids — They’re stacked up, and then — (he acts it out) flower, flower - They’re exploding, fanning out. Flower, flower, flower!

ESPOSITO is recording this on his cell phone from observation.

RYAN
Fun! (sings) Flower growing in the sun — And then, then they circle back. Kind of a, you know, Busby Berkeley thing.

ELODIE
Kevin. Kevin. The oldest kids are five. We’ll be lucky if they can just sing the song.

RYAN
I think we need to think outside the box here.

ELODIE
Think outside of the box next year, after my kid has graduated.

RYAN
Oh, well, hey, elodie, if you’re gonna be like that, maybe we need to look into your unpaid parking tickets, run them through the system…

ESPOSITO hits the speaker button.

ESPOSITO
Kevin.

RYAN
…see if there’s any lien…

He hears ESPO and looks up.

ESPOSITO
We’ve got that, uh, case that we’re working.

ELODIE
Yeah, okay, bye.

She signs off quickly and the screen goes blank.

ESPOSITO
Stop. Step away from the laptop.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT TECH ROOM

RYAN, BECKETT, and ESPOSITO are watching footage of two men meeting on a street.

BECKETT
Yeah, that’s the same guy that Zane bought the burner phone off of.

RYAN
This footage is dated four weeks ago, so obviously he and Zane had an ongoing arrangement.

ESPOSITO
Hold up. I recognize this guy. (looks again) Yeah, that’s Alejandro Guzman. He’s a big shot-caller for a gang called Los Maldives - The Damned. They operate out of Spanish Harlem.

BECKETT
That’s the same neighborhood that Zane grew up in. Maybe the two of them knew each other back in the day.

RYAN
Before Zane got famous doing all those Apocalypse Runner movies. We’ll go up to Spanish Harlem and see if we can track down this guy.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, INTERROGATION

GUZMAN
I know nothing about nothing.

ESPOSITO
Well, got video of you meeting with Zane on the day he was murdered.

GUZMAN
You got me on video killing him? (a beat) Yeah, that’s what I thought. May I go?

ESPOSITO
Not yet.

RYAN
No.

ESPOSITO
See, we did our homework.

RYAN
Yeah, we know that your little brother Antonio is doing a little stretch update at Fishkill.

ESPOSITO
That’s a long way for your mother to travel on visiting day. Especially with her bad knees.

GUZMAN
How you know about my mama?

ESPOSITO
Oh, I got an old Army buddy who works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He slipped me your file.

RYAN
Hey, Javi, I bet your old Army buddy could get his brother transferred closer to the city, make those visits a little easier on mama.

ESPOSITO
Yeah, but he’d have to be willing to talk.

RYAN
Oh.

GUZMAN
I don’t make deals with police.

ESPOSITO
Oh, that’s fine. (to RYAN) My buddy also tells me that there’s a bunch of openings at a federal penitentiary in Georgia.

RYAN
It would be, like, what, a 13-, 14-hour bus ride?

ESPOSITO
At least.

RYAN
Kind of rough on mama.

GUZMAN
All right. I’ll talk about Zane, but I’m not giving you names. I’m not ratting anyone out in my crew. I knew Zane back in the day. Just a neighborhood punk. A month ago, he shows up out of the blue asking to get in touch with my boss.

RYAN
Who’s your boss?

GUZMAN raises an eyebrow, waits for them to get it.

ESPOSITO
Hold up, are you talking about… the *boss* boss? El Oso?

GUZMAN
I said no names.

RYAN
Wait, El Oso? Head of the cartel? The Mexican government, the DEA, the FBI — They’re all looking for this guy. He escaped from prison in Mexico three months ago. Are you saying that you know where El Oso is hiding?

GUZMAN
Of course not.

ESPOSITO
Then why would Zane come to see you?

GUZMAN
Because I got a little bird, and I put out my little bird to the right people until the message gets to you know who.

RYAN
Clearly, you charge for this little-bird service.

GUZMAN
Ten grand gets you a burner. If the boss wants to talk, you get a phone call.

RYAN
And a month ago, Zane wanted to talk to your boss.

GUZMAN
Some kind of business proposition. Zane even got himself a face-to-face with the boss ‘cause he’s a movie star and all. Only, from what I hear, it didn’t go so good.

ESPOSITO
So why did Zane buy another burner from you on the day he was killed?

GUZMAN
I don’t know. But if he pissed off the boss a second time, it’s not on me he ended up dead.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, CAPTAIN’S OFFICE

ESPOSITO is showing a photo to RYAN, CASTLE, and BECKETT.

ESPOSITO
Jorge “El Oso” Zamacona. He’s part folk hero, part demon, the rest pure monster.

RYAN
The man kills anyone who crosses him — cops, journalists, politicians.

BECKETT
Zane must have been real desperate for money to want to do business with this guy.

CASTLE
Maybe he wanted to be El Oso’s new drug pipeline to Hollywood.

RYAN
Well, chances are we’ll never find out. I mean, if the DEA, FBI, and the Mexican government can’t find him, then what chances do we have?

BECKETT
I’ll reach out to my Fed contacts.

ESPOSITO
Well, we’ll drill down all of El Oso’s stateside connections.

BECKETT
Okay.

RYAN and ESPO exit.

CASTLE
Well, I suppose that puts the brakes on our date night.

BECKETT
Uh, yeah. Sorry, Castle.

CASTLE
Oh, no, I’m sorry for you. You’re the one who put all the planning into our special evening.

BECKETT
Yeah, I - I did. I - Yeah, I did.

CASTLE
You know what? I think I’ll take my mother out to dinner, maybe cheer her up after all this.

BECKETT
You’re such a good son.

CASTLE
And you’re such a good everything.

BECKETT chuckles, but after he leaves her face falls.

INT - PARKING GARAGE

A black Audi comes around a corner, music playing loudly, and pulls into a parking space. It’s CASTLE. He turns the car off and removes his seat belt, but before he can open the door a large black SUV parks close enough to block the door.

CASTLE
Uh…

He tries to open the door, but it only opens a couple of inches.

CASTLE
Uh… (rolls down his window) Hey buddy. Parked a little close. Hey. (honks the horn) You look… (no movement or sound from the SUV) Okay, don’t mind me. (rolls the window up) I’m just gonna go out the passenger side.

He twists and turns, grunting, to get over the center console.

CASTLE
Catch a — Oh. Didn’t mean to — (Horn sounds) Meant to do that.

He gets out the passenger side just as the SUV starts to back out of its space.

CASTLE
Oh, now you move? Thanks, you idiot.

A MAN gets out of the SUV and points a gun at CASTLE. He’s starting to raise his hands when another MAN comes from behind him and presses a handkerchief to CASTLE’s face.

CASTLE
Oh! (muffled shouting)

The handkerchief must be drugged; CASTLE goes limp and the two MEN shove him into the back of the SUV. They get in and the vehicle takes off.

INT - UNKNOWN LOCATION

There’s a bed and a fireplace with a fire burning in it. CASTLE is tied to a pillar with a bag over his head. A man comes in and pulls the bag off. There are two other men in the room and they’re all armed.

CASTLE
Who are you guys? What do you want? Where am I?

A door opens creakily and another man enters. He walks out of the shadows.

MAN
Buenas noches.

CASTLE
Hi.

MAN
Do you know who I am?

CASTLE
El Oso.

They stare at each other for a moment, then EL OSO approaches.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, CAPTAIN’S OFFICE

BECKETT (on the phone)
Listen, you get me a lead on Zamacona, and we will run it. Yeah. Okay, I got to go. Bye.

Enter MARTHA RODGERS, looking frustrated.

BECKETT
Hey.

MARTHA
Hi, darling, I know you’re busy, but is Richard here?

BECKETT
No. I thought he was at dinner with you.

MARTHA (chuckles)
Yeah, well, he didn’t show up, and his cell went right to voicemail, so I figured he must be here immersed in the case.

BECKETT
Well, he’s probably out playing with his fancy new credit card, but let me check in on him. Alexis put new tracking software on my laptop. I’ll just ping his cell. There we go. 7th and 53rd.

MARTHA
That’s the parking garage across from the restaurant where we were supposed to meet an hour ago.

BECKETT
Uh, you know what? Just give me a second. (picks up her phone) Hi, uh, this is Captain Beckett. I need a unit at 53rd and 7th.

INT - UNKNOWN LOCATION

ZAMACONA
I saw you on the news. You’re working with the Federales to investigate Zane Cannon’s death.

CASTLE
You mean his murder. Well, uh, I mean that we knew Zane was in contact with you about a business proposition and that you were in contact with him just hours before his - untimely demise.

ZAMACONA
You think I killed him.

CASTLE
You have been associated with a fair amount of violence in your past.

ZAMACONA (chuckles)
I believe the adjective you’re looking for is, uh, “epic”. (picks up a crowbar) An epic amount of violence. Some might even say biblical.

CASTLE
So you can see why your involvement with Zane would have the police curious.

ZAMACONA
If I wanted him dead, I would have cut him open when he was standing where you are now. I wouldn’t kill him with a pen. That’s cute. Do I look like a man who kills cute?

CASTLE
No. No, certainly not. You also don’t look like the sort of man who needs to resort to cheap scare tactics. I mean, why don’t you just untie me? We’ll sit down, and you tell me why you brought me here.

ZAMACONA snaps his fingers and a henchman flicks open a knife and moves toward CASTLE. CASTLE looks apprehensive, but all the guy does is cut him loose from the pillar.

CASTLE
Thank you.

ZAMACONA
You think Zane contacted me about drugs, no?

CASTLE
What else is there?

ZAMACONA
Yo. Yo miso. El Oso. The most infamous cartel boss in history.

CASTLE
Zane wanted the rights to your life story — the El Oso biopic.

ZAMACONA
He thought portraying me would win him an Oscar.

CASTLE
So what happened?

ZAMACONA
I said no. He may be big box office, but the man cannot act. He got upstaged by a CGI aardvark in that pelicula de fantasia. So I made him an ultimatum.

CASTLE
You’re the one who made him drop Safe Word and do Hamlet.

ZAMACONA
I needed to see that he was serious. That he really could act. So I told him if he got a good review in the Times, my life rights were his.

CASTLE
But he had contact with you before the show premiered.

ZAMACONA
He wanted to meet with me again.

CASTLE
Why?

ZAMACONA
I don’t know. He said it had to do with the movie, but I could smell his desperation through the phone, especially when I said no. And later that night he was dead. Pero mira. I didn’t bring you all the way out here to talk about los muertos.

CASTLE
You didn’t?

ZAMACONA
No, no, no, no.

He ushers CASTLE to a seat.

ZAMACONA
When I saw you on television, I knew fate had put you in my path, Richard Castle. I’m a man of the people. You are a popular writer. You write for the people. That’s why you must tell my story.

CASTLE
You want me to write the script for your movie?

ZAMACONA
Si! Si! It will be fun! I will tell you all about myself. And then you will just typey, typey, typey. It should only take six months, maybe a year. And you will stay here with me!

CASTLE was looking interested until that last sentence.

ZAMACONA
Or I will mail your body home… piece by piece.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT,

ESPOSITO
We got security footage from the garage, and it’s not good.

Video shows CASTLE being abducted from the parking garage.

MARTHA
(gasps) Oh, my — oh, my God.

RYAN
The Escalade is registered to a shell corp that’s a known front for El Oso.

MARTHA
You can track the SUV, can’t you?

BECKETT
We can, but they probably swapped cars at least once by now, and with a two-hour head start, we’re looking at a 100-mile search radius, and we still have no idea what we’re looking for.

MARTHA
There must be something that you can do. This is Richard’s life.

BECKETT has a sudden thought.

BECKETT
YOLO.

ESPOSITO
That’s cold, Beckett.

BECKETT
No - Castle’s new credit card. The kidnappers left his cell phone by the car, but he might still have his wallet with him. And the new YOLO card has an upgraded RFID chip in it.

RYAN
And if they passed within range of a tollbooth or a gas station…

BECKETT
Then it’ll pick up the chip, and we’ll be able to track his movement.

ESPOSITO
All right, I’ll call the credit card company, see if that card has pinged anywhere.

ESPO and RYAN exit.

MARTHA
Oh, poor Richard. I can’t even imagine how he must be suffering.

INT — UNKNOWN LOCATION

ZAMACONA and CASTLE are eating and drinking and laughing.

CASTLE
Your life is, without a doubt, a Shakespearean drama.

ZAMACONA
I’ve always felt a strong connection to Macbeth. Ambitious, but tortured by his conscience.

CASTLE
With your relationship to torture, I think you’re a little more Richard III, am I right? (chuckles)

ZAMACONA glares at CASTLE.

ZAMACONA
The hunchback?!

CASTLE
I was thinking, uh, more along the lines of Sir Laurence Olivier.

ZAMACONA
A man does not achieve what I have without great personal cost!

CASTLE
Jorge, I only meant you —

ZAMACONA tips over the entire table and everything crashes to the floor.

ZAMACONA
Do you think I cannot see that the stains on my soul appear upon my sleeve, as well? Are you the royal fool who dares believe he can mock the king he serves?!

CASTLE
No — I’m just the funny kind of court jester.

ZAMACONA pulls a gun and points it at CASTLE.

ZAMACONA
Then give me proof of your humility by giving me your life!

CASTLE shrinks back, expecting the worst. ZAMACONA holds for a beat, then starts to laugh.

ZAMACONA
Ah, Ricardo, I wish you could see your face! It’s priceless!

CASTLE
(forced laugh) Yes, good one.

ZAMACONA
Richard III had no sense of humor, but I do. These are the facets of my character that you must capture.

CASTLE
You know, you should really play yourself in this movie.

ZAMACONA
Ah, if only. But sadly, I’m a fugitive, persecuted and misunderstood. Until you tell my story, that is. Now, let’s talk money, huh?

He snaps his fingers and a henchman brings over a duffel bag. It’s full of $100 bills.

ZAMACONA
Will 5 million be enough?

Suddenly they hear helicopter blades whirring overhead. A bright light pierces the cracks in the wooden walls and a voice comes over a loudspeaker.

AGENT RICHMOND
Jorge Zamacona, this is the DEA. We have you surrounded.

The henchmen break out some windows and prepare to fire.

CASTLE
No, no, no — Jorge, wait, wait, wait! You remember how Richard III ended. You could write your own ending here.

ZAMACONA
An artist must be true to the material and himself.

He starts shooting up at the skylight, breaking the glass. CASTLE runs behind a pillar while the gun battles rages. One of the henchmen falls — then another, shot by an armored attacker as they burst in through the door.

ZAMACONA
Open the hatch!

The remaining henchman lifts a trapdoor in the floor, just as someone comes through the skylight on a rope. They continue shooting, killing the henchman, and CASTLE tries to duck down to avoid getting shot. Instead he inadvertently sticks his leg out and trips ZAMACONA, who falls backward into the space under the hatch.

MAN
Hey, over there!

MAN
He’s down, he’s down!

MAN
Three down. Castle’s here.

MAN
Are you hurt, Mr. Castle?

CASTLE
No, I’m fine. I’m fine. I —

He catches ZAMACONA’s eye as the latter is hauled away in handcuffs.

CASTLE
But I may not be for long.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, BULLPEN

CASTLE
It was just instinct. He was running by and I tripped him.

RYAN
You did good, Castle.

CASTLE
No, not good! Not good at all. I tripped a drug lord. It’s my fault he got caught.

BECKETT
The DEA had the building surrounded. El Oso wasn’t getting away, even if you didn’t trip him.

RYAN
Sadly, despite your abduction being a fantastic story, we’re still no closer to finding out who killed Zane.

ESPOSITO
I wouldn’t be so sure about that. The DEA confiscated a dozen burner phones from El Oso’s barn. One of those phones was the one he used to call Zane the day he was killed.

BECKETT
So they have Zane’s burner phone number, which means we can find out if he called anyone else.

ESPOSITO
We can, and he did. An international line in Mexico, and you won’t believe who it belongs to — El Oso’s younger brother, Hector Zamacona, a legit businessman who publicly condemns El Oso every chance he gets.

RYAN
If he’s in Mexico, how did Zane connect with him?

ESPOSITO
Both ends of that call from Zane’s phone pinged off towers here in the city. Baby bro’s in town.

BECKETT
Do we know where he is now?

ESPOSITO
Not yet.

BECKETT
Hector Zamacona might have been the last person to speak to Zane, which means he may know something.

The elevator dings and the doors open, revealing JENNY RYAN.

ESPOSITO
Hey, what’s your wife doing here?

RYAN
I don’t know. Excuse me.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, BREAK ROOM

RYAN closes the door behind him.

RYAN
So, what’s up?

JENNY
elodie from the preschool called about the play. It seems some of the parents have some…concerns.

RYAN
Ah, yeah. Um, they’re, uh, struggling with my vision. I’ll call elodie in the morning. I’ll walk her through it.

JENNY
Actually, they have decided to go a different direction.

RYAN
Wait, they’re firing me? The play’s tomorrow. It’s that elodie, isn’t it? PTA’s not enough for that mom-ster. She has to —

JENNY
Kevin, it’s all the parents.

RYAN
Oh.

JENNY
Everybody loves your enthusiasm. It’s just — they’re preschoolers. They’re not Broadway stars.

RYAN
So, no soft-shoe?

JENNY
No. No soft-shoe.

RYAN
Okay.

JENNY
Come here. (pulls him in for a hug) It happens.

RYAN
Yeah.

INT - CASTLE’s LOFT, BEDROOM

BECKETT is dabbing at CASTLE’s head wound with a cloth.

BECKETT
So, other than pissing off a homicidal drug lord, how did you enjoy our surprise date night?

CASTLE
Are you saying you planned my abduction by a fugitive cartel leader?

BECKETT
Yeah, complete with the daring rescue and everything. (trying to sell it) It was fun, huh?

CASTLE
I don’t think date night counts when it’s a candlelit dinner with the butcher of Guadalajara.

BECKETT
Well, I’ll — I’ll plan something else.

CASTLE
Something else? (he turns to look at her, realizing) You didn’t have a plan.

BECKETT
(tries to look offended, fails) Do you realize how pressure-filled this is, always trying to top each other?

CASTLE
That’s half the fun of it. Our rivalry is what fuels the passionate fire… (stops in his tracks) Rivalry.

BECKETT
What?

CASTLE
Rivalry. Between two brothers.

BECKETT
What? What rivalry?

She follows him into the study, where he sits down at his laptop.

CASTLE
The one between Jorge “El Oso” Zamacona and his brother, Hector.

BECKETT
A rivalry would explain why Zane was working with both brothers, but how do we prove it?

CASTLE
I just need to find one piece of evidence to see that I’m on the right track. And that could be it.

He turns the laptop around so BECKETT can see the screen.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, BULLPEN

CASTLE puts a tabloid cover up on the murder board.

CASTLE
All right, my Spanish is a little rusty, but my handy translator says… (pointing at ESPO)

ESPOSITO
Hector Zamacona’s been sleeping with his brother’s wife.

CASTLE
They have been shacking up ever since El Oso went on the run.

BECKETT
So Zane might have been caught in a rivalry between the brothers, and that’s what got him killed.

RYAN
Hector wants more than just El Oso’s wife. According to the DEA, all of his, uh, “legitimate” businesses — they’re suspected fronts for money laundering.

ESPOSITO
So with big brother on the run, Hector can make a play to rule the family in his place.

CASTLE
But Hector can never truly own the throne until his brother is dead. A powerful family, a cartel for a kingdom, two brothers locked in a battle for control. Guys, this is just like the play. Hamlet’s father is killed by his brother, who then takes the throne and marries the dead brother’s wife. There’s a reason they say Shakespeare endures. This is a real-life Hamlet.

BECKETT
Okay, so, thematic similarities aside, why would Hector need Zane to take down El Oso?

CASTLE
Because Hector didn’t know where to find his brother.

RYAN
And movie-star Zane had a face-to-face with El Oso.

CASTLE
Making Zane the perfect Trojan Horse to lead Hector to his brother.

ESPOSITO
Why would Zane agree to do that? He wanted to star in the El Oso movie.

BECKETT
Money. Hector’s worth hundreds of millions. Zane needed the money now, not in three years, when the movie could get off the ground.

ESPOSITO
So Hector offers to solve Zane’s money problems in exchange for Zane leading him to El Oso.

CASTLE
But El Oso refuses to meet with Zane.

BECKETT
Then, rather than wait to see if Zane’s Hamlet reviews are good enough to meet with El Oso, Hector decides to cut his losses.

CASTLE
Which, in this family, translates to murder.

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, INTERROGATION

HECTOR
My brother’s bloody hand has brought shame on our family. We’re better off with him back in a cage.

BECKETT
Well, yeah, I mean, you’re definitely better off. You didn’t even have to pay for Zane Cannon’s tax debts.

HECTOR
Why would I pay a movie star’s taxes?

CASTLE
To get him to lead you to your brother. That way you could kill El Oso and take over the family business, much in the same way you took over the family bed.

BECKETT
And when Zane couldn’t get a second meeting with El Oso, he was a loose end, so you killed him.

HECTOR
I did not kill Zane.

BECKETT
We know that Zane called you from a burner phone hours before he was killed. We also know that you put $15 million into a holding account.

CASTLE
The exact amount of his tax bill.

HECTOR
Let’s say I did have a deal with him. Why would I kill him a week before Hamlet previews? According to you, good reviews would have gotten him another meeting with my brother.

BECKETT
But that would have put Zane out in the cold for his Oscar-winning role. And even with a big payoff, it would have been tough to get him to walk away from that role.

CASTLE
Unless you promised him he could keep it anyway. With your brother dead, the life rights would revert to you.

HECTOR
I could care less about the El Oso biopic. I told him he could direct it for all I cared.

CASTLE
Wait — you told Zane he could star in and direct his dream project?

HECTOR
Only I guess Zane had already promised the job to someone else — someone who would not be happy to lose it.

CASTLE and BECKETT exchange a look.

INT - THEATRE

Ophelia is on stage, rehearsing.

OPHELIA
O, woe is me. T’have seen what I have seen —

ERIN
No. You - You’ve got to feel it more. This isn’t just some guy who broke up with you on Snapchat. Hamlet betrayed you. He never loved you. “Get thee to a nunnery,” right? Hamlet took everything from you.

CASTLE
That’s certainly a scene you can relate to, isn’t it, Ms. Cherloff?

ERIN
Uh, this is a private rehearsal. We have a break in 20. Can you let us finish?

RYAN
I think maybe you are finished.

CASTLE
All respect to the Bard, we’re here with a tale of our own — one with betrayal and jealousy, though sadly classic.

ESPOSITO
A truly gifted director watches as her former classmate’s star rises in Hollywood, while she fought like hell for every opportunity.

ERIN
I love what I do. So what if Zane made millions because he chose the gym over acting school? I make art.

CASTLE
But when Zane asked you to cast him as Hamlet, you told him no, didn’t you?

ERIN
Yes, until he convinced me he was right for the part.

RYAN
By offering you your big break directing the El Oso biopic?

CASTLE
But it was a Hollywood promise. Not worth a damn. Tell me, did he confess to you that he would be directing the picture on his own, or did he just tell you you lost the job?

ERIN
Neither. Because it didn’t happen. I don’t know anything about an El Oso project.

ESPOSITO
Then how do you explain the browser history on your laptop?

RYAN
Or the shoes in your closet with Zane’s blood on them?

ERIN looks around at OPHELIA, RYAN, CASTLE, at a loss.

ERIN
You have no idea what a risk it was putting Zane in this play. And the only thing that made it worthwhile was directing that movie. And then he tells me that he’s gonna do it — and I’m left with maybe the worst production of Hamlet in history. I mean, my career is as good as over. Do you have any idea how difficult it is as a woman to break into directing film? And he took away my shot like it was nothing. (a beat) I heard him that night, torturing maybe the most beautiful words ever written for the stage, and I just snapped.

RYAN fastens handcuffs on her.

RYAN
This way, Ms. Cherloff.

OPHELIA
Is that a wrap on rehearsal?

INT - TWELFTH PRECINCT, HALLWAY

ESPOSITO
You still mad about being fired off Sarah Grace’s preschool play?

RYAN
Ah, only at myself. I swore I’d never be that dad.

ESPOSITO
What, the kind that makes an ass of himself by dancing around like a flower for his daughter?

RYAN
No, the kind — (does a double take) — the kind who gets caught up in what he wants, not what his kid does.

The elevator dings and JENNY enters with a stroller and SARAH GRACE in her sunflower costume.

JENNY
Yeah, okay, let’s go.

SARAH GRACE
Daddy!

RYAN
Hey! Look at my little sunflower!

SARAH GRACE
Uncle Javi! (runs to ESPOSITO, who hugs her)

ESPOSITO
Ohh!

RYAN
(to JENNY) Hey baby.

JENNY
Hey.

RYAN
I was just leaving. Aren’t you guys already supposed to be there?

JENNY
Uh, she didn’t want to go. Wouldn’t say why. She just wants you.

RYAN turns to kneel in front of SARAH GRACE.

RYAN
Uh…hey, sweetie. Look, you don’t have to sing if you don’t want to. That’s the law.

SARAH GRACE
But you’ll be sad if I don’t.

RYAN
What? No.

JENNY
(whispering) I think it’s more she forgot the words.

RYAN
Oh, do — do you want me to help you remember the words? (SARAH GRACE nods) Okay, I’ll do it with you. Ready? Okay. Get your hands ready. (sings softly) Flower, flower, flower fun —

ESPOSITO is doing the hand motions behind her.

RYAN
(sings, as SARAH GRACE joins in) Flower growing in the sun — Raindrops fall from clouds up high — (spoken:) We spin around!

SARAH GRACE spins and they sing together again.

RYAN and SARAH GRACE
And all day long, the bees buzz by!

RYAN, JENNY, and ESPOSITO applaud.

RYAN
Yay!

ESPOSITO
Yay! Nice!

RYAN
I think you’re ready, S.G. All right? (they fist bump) So we’ll go to the play?

SARAH GRACE
Yeah.

RYAN
She’s ready.

JENNY
(laughs) Yeah.

SARAH GRACE
This time I want to…

INT — CASTLE’s LOFT, LIVING ROOM

CASTLE
Mmm!

BECKETT giggles. We find them sitting on the floor eating out of Chinese takeout containers with chopsticks.

CASTLE
This date night is everything I dreamed it would be.

BECKETT
Aww. Well, given all the recent excitement, I thought that a quiet night in would be nice for a change.

There’s a knock on the door.

CASTLE
Ohhh, you did plan something. What is it? Flash mob, treasure hunt, land shark?

BECKETT
No, no, I swear. I don’t know who’s at the door.

CASTLE opens the door and the delivery man hands him a box.

CASTLE
Oh. Thank you.

BECKETT
Oh, no. Castle, is that another credit card? Because I am YOLO’d out.

CASTLE
Not a credit card.

He sets the box on the table and lifts the lid.

CASTLE
Script notes, biographical materials. It’s from El Oso. Beckett, you know what this means?

BECKETT
He still wants you to write his script.

CASTLE
And he doesn’t want me dead.

BECKETT (teasing)
Until he reads the first draft.

CASTLE
Well, there’s that. (reading the enclosed note) “These materials only cover the first two acts of our movie. The third act is yet to come, and it starts with a bang.”

BECKETT answers her phone.

BECKETT
Hey, Espo. — Seriously? (turning to speak to CASTLE) El Oso just escaped federal detention.

CASTLE
What?! They should call this guy El Houdini.

BECKETT
No, wait, hey, Castle, where are you going? Date night’s not over yet.

CASTLE
It is for me. I gotta start writing this script. Typey, typey, typey!

More pages