Season 3, Episode 6 (40)
Original Air Date - October 25, 2010
When a beautiful woman is found dead in an alley, all clues point to her being a victim of the notorious Triple Killer. The Triple Killer, or 3XK, terrorized New York City four years ago, then mysteriously disappeared. Now he's back. In a deadly battle of wits, Castle and Beckett race against time to stop 3XK before he claims his next victims. Lee Tergesen of "Oz" (as Marcus Gates, a violent felon and prime suspect in the serial killer investigation) and Michael Mosley of "Scrubs" (Gates' former cellmate) guest star in "3XK," one of the most thrilling episodes of the series to date.
- Nathan Fillion - Richard Castle
- Stana Katic - Kate Beckett, Detective
- Molly C. Quinn - Alexis Castle (Castle’s Daughter)
- Susan Sullivan - Martha Rodgers (Castle’s Mother)
- Ruben Santiago-Hudson - Roy Montgomery, Captain
- Jon Huertas - Javier Esposito, Detective
- Seamus Dever - Kevin Ryan, Detective
- Tamala Jones - Lanie Parish, Medical Examiner
- Mark Berry – Warden John Peck
- Anne Marie Howard – Angela Russo
- Brian Klugman – Paul McCardle
- Michael Mosley – Jerry Tyson
- Joe O'Connor – Cal Townsend
- Lee Tergesen – Marcus Gates
- Ping Wu – Dr. Levin
Beckett: Castle, do you have a theory that you would like to share with the class?
Lanie: That was quick.
Castle (about Beckett): 9-1-1 has that effect on her.
Castle: I believe that was my idea.
Lanie: Yeah, but I only listen when it comes from her.
Montgomery: Feds say he’s a white male, 25-45 years old…
Castle: Could be me…
Montgomery: With a dysfunctional relationship with his mother…
Castle: Still me…
Montgomery: He has a menial, unimportant job.
Beckett: Definitely you.
Castle: Just for that I base my next book on Esposito.
Castle: These pillows have been arranged with barbarian-like gracelessness.
Castle (yelling): You heard the man! Put your hands in the air and get on your knees while you’re at it!
Castle: She did poison you. The Swiss chocolate she gave you was a laxative.
Martha: Added a certain urgency to my performance.
Castle: Now he’s gonna kill again all because I couldn’t stop him. And I feel so…
Beckett: (puts her hand on Castle's knee) I know the feeling.
Castle: (takes Beckett's hand) I know you do.
- This episode was filmed as #7 but rescheduled to air as the 6th episode.
- This is the first week that Castle officially beat out Hawaii 5-0 in the ratings, despite all the hype CBS had been giving Hawaii 5-0 throughout the season to this point.
- Beckett brings Castle coffee at the end of the episode, as opposed to him bringing her coffee in the past.
- Without You by Derek Evry - a young woman walks alone through a dark alley and a suspicious man follows her.
- A Million Ways by Uncle Lucius - song playing in the Hogshead Tavern when Beckett and the team arrive and catch their suspect.
- 47 is a reoccurring number on this show. In this episode, the number on the hotel door was 47. Other examples include:
- In Like Father, Like Daughter, the smoke alarm went off for 2 minutes and 47 seconds.
- 47 Seconds
- Still: The Bomb Disposal Unit discovered that there were 10 minutes and 47 seconds left
- Johanna Beckett was 47 when she died
- The Blue Butterfly took place in 1947
- The first time Castle & Beckett kissed was in Knockdown, the 47th episode
Full Episode Recap
Late one night, a young blonde woman walks through the dark streets of New York City. She turns into an alley where a man waits for her. We see his face, but do not know his name. He steps off the curb and follows the woman.
The next morning at the Castle loft, Alexis Castle wonders whether or not she should tell her boyfriend Ashley that she has a secret admirer. Her grandmother, Martha Rodgers, tells her not to over think things, advice which Richard Castle doubts because of his mother’s poor track record on relationships. Martha tells Castle about the secret admirer, and Alexis confesses she is intrigued by whoever it is. Martha insists that she has no reason to tell Ashley. Castle asks how Alexis became aware of her secret admirer, she tells him he left a note in her locker, then she reads the note. She tries to figure out who it could be, but Castle tells her to stop because it would take the fun out of trying to solve the mystery. He emphasizes his point by asking if Alexis skips to the last page of a mystery book to find out who the killer is, and is horrified when she admits that she does just that. He explains to her that the joy of solving the crime lies in the journey that must be taken to solve the mystery. Alexis relents as Castle’s cell phone rings.
Later on in an alley, Castle walks with Detective Kate Beckett towards where their murder victim, Linda Russo, lies. Castle teases that a customer at the cable company where she works must not have been happy with the service they received and Beckett sarcastically agrees. They approach the body and Castle immediately becomes serious and concerned. Beckett notices his look and asks him what he is thinking, but he brushes it off. She presses him and he admits that the crime scene and the victim remind him of the notorious Triple Killer, or 3XK. Beckett disputes his theory, but Castle insists that the killer was never caught and that crime scene reflects his MO: killing a young blonde woman by strangulation and posing her as if she was asleep. He says he researched the killer for his book When It Comes to Slaughter. Beckett protests that the Triple Killer also killed his victims in their apartments and posed them in a funereal pose with their hands crossed on their laps, whereas Russo was killed in an alley and her hands lie at her sides. Castle suggests that the killer is switching up his act and Beckett counters that it could have been a crime of opportunity.
Later at the precinct, Beckett interviews Linda Russo’s mother. She tells Beckett that her daughter had had been having problems with a co-worker who stared at her a lot like a pervert. Beckett ‘s cell phone beeps and she sees a message from Medical Examiner Lanie Parish reading “911”.
Beckett and Castle immediately go to the morgue to meet Medical Examiner Lanie Parish, who comments on Beckett’s speedy response. Lanie tells Beckett that she pulled the files on all of 3XK’s victims like she asked, and Castle interrupts, saying that the 3XK idea was his. Lanie says that she only follows orders when they come from Beckett and continues that, based on the fibers she found on the body, the type of rope that was used was green and white nylon cord. When Castle says he never knew that, Lanie tells him the detail was kept from the public and says that the fibers exactly match those found on 3XK’s other victims. Beckett concludes that the Triple Killer has returned.
Later on back at the precinct, Captain Roy Montgomery briefs his detectives about the Triple Killer, saying he was on the original task force that tried to solve the murders. He explains that the Triple Killer got his name by, four years ago, killing three women in one week, disappearing for a month, then killing three more in the same week before disappearing. He describes the FBI’s profile of the killer as being a white male, aged 25-45, with a dysfunctional relationship with his mother and a menial job. The first two details lead Castle to suspect that Montgomery is describing him, and the last convinces Beckett that Castle could be right. After hearing her tease, Castle retorts that he’ll now base his next book on Detective Javier Esposito. Montgomery goes on to explain that the killer would learn his victims’ habits, then pose as a security guard or repair man to gain access to the victims’ apartments where he would strangle them to death then arrange the body as if they were lying in a coffin. Beckett asks Castle why he would do that, and Castle suspects that the killer is reenacting some early childhood trauma. Montgomery concludes his briefing by saying that the Triple Killer is back and will most likely kill at any moment.
As the briefing breaks up, Detective Kevin Ryan enters and tells Beckett that Linda Russo’s co-workers identified the pervert Linda Russo’s mother mentioned as Paul McCardle, who used to water the plants in her office and who quit his job the day after Linda’s murder. Beckett notices that McCardle has numerous domestic complaints on his record and Ryan says that they all stem from his previous marriage, which broke up a month earlier after 4 years. Castle notes the timing of the marriage as equal to the amount of time that 3XK was out of sight, and Ryan adds that Linda’s neighbors recalled seeing a car lurking outside her building which matches the description of one owned by McCardle.
Later on, Castle and Beckett interview Paul McCardle in an interrogation room. Beckett asks for his alibi and he says that he was bowling with friends. Castle asks why he quit his job and he says he just wanted to move on. Beckett comments that he used the job to watch Linda and that once she was dead he had no reason to stay. McCardle denies that allegation and proclaims his innocence. Castle notes that McCardle’s profuse sweating must mean he is hiding something, to which McCardle answers that the sweating is due to an untreated medical condition. Beckett lists how his fixation with Linda Russo was well known at his job, how he has a history of violence towards women, and how his car was seen outside her apartment as evidence that he could have killed Linda. McCardle insists that he never touched her, admits that he liked her and would sit outside her building in his car, but says that he was threatened by a security guard three days ago and hadn’t been back to her building since.
Later, Esposito tells Beckett that McCardle’s alibi checked out and that Ryan found that no report about McCardle was ever made to the security company in charge of Linda’s building. Castle guesses that McCardle wasn’t lying and Beckett theorizes that the security guard could have been 3XK moving McCardle out of his way. Captain Montgomery interrupts them to say that a second victim has been found.
At the crime scene in the victim’s apartment, Lanie tells Beckett that the victim is Kim Foster, an interior designer, and that the MO is the same as 3XK’s. She also estimates the time of death as being early the previous evening. Esposito reports that a neighbor saw a gas repairman leaving the previous day at 7:45. Castle theorizes that since no doorman was on duty, the repairman could have gained access to her apartment by buzzing on the intercom and saying he needed to check for a gas leak. Esposito leaves to check the caller ID on the intercom. Beckett wonders why the killer returned to his old MO of killing in his victim’s apartment and Castle guesses that he was feeling nostalgic. Beckett continues to wonder why, if Linda Russo’s building had no doorman, the killer didn’t just kill her in her apartment. Castle supposes that Linda Russo was special somehow. Esposito says that Foster’s last incoming call was from about 7:30 from the front door and that when Foster admitted him, he must have overpowered her. Castle then notices that for an interior designer, Foster’s throw pillows on her couch are arranged messily. Beckett guesses that a struggle ensued and being male, the killer didn’t arrange the pillows the way he found them after the murder. Castle searches the couch cushions and very proudly finds a penny. Beckett searches too and finds a small blue nametag with the name Vince printed on it.
Back at the precinct, Ryan announces a visitor for Captain Montgomery named Cal Townsend. Montgomery tells him to show him in and greets him warmly. They exchange pleasantries and Townsend tells Montgomery that reporters have been bugging him about the Triple Killer, who killed his daughter Sarah, possibly being back at large. He asks Montgomery to be straight with him like he always was and tell him if the killer is back. Montgomery says that he is and promises that if they make an arrest, he’ll be the first to know. The two stand up and Townsend says that his daughter would have been 29 next week if she had lived. He then pleads with Montgomery to find the killer before abother family has to go through what his went through. Townsend then leaves, passing by Beckett as he goes. She notices him go, and Montgomery gives her a hard, serious look in return.
Later, Beckett reports to Castle that CSU came up negative on the name tag. Castle wonders why the killer didn’t use the gas man ruse on Linda Russo and Beckett hands him a transcript of a call made to the original 3XK tipline. She explains that the call was made a week after the sixth victim was killed, and that while the caller refused to give her name, she did say that she lived at the same corner as Linda Russo. The woman reported that she shared an elevator with a cable repairman who scared her so much that she got off a floor early to get away from him. When Castle disputes that creepiness can be a job requirement for some, Beckett says that the woman also noticed that the man wasn’t carrying the proper tools to be a cable repairman. Castle observes that she would know since she worked for a cable company and Beckett says she checked Linda Russo’s phone records, which confirm she made the call to the tipline. Beckett continues that the killer must have realized that Linda noticed him, so he dropped out of sight. Castle then realizes that the phone call explains why Linda was killed outside in alley instead of in her apartment – the killer knew she would never let him in and that she had to be killed outside and to protect his cover. Beckett then says the fact that the killer remembered Linda Russo after four years indicates that he is especially ruthless. Esposito arrives and says that CSU got a partial fingerprint match off the nametag.
Later on, Beckett briefs her fellow detectives that they are looking for a man named Marcus Gates, who prison officials report is a violent, highly intelligent sociopath. His last crime was nearly killing a man by breaking a bottle over his head, for which he served four years in Sing Sing prison. He just got out last month. His mother died when he was four, and afterward he was placed in a series of foster homes. We, the audience, can also see that Gates was the same man who was waiting for Linda Russo in the alley where she was killed. Captain Montgomery jumps in and asks the team to get the Triple Killer before he kills his third victim.
Castle returns to his loft that night and Alexis comments that his latest case must be keeping him busy since he is returning home so late. Castle points out a rose sitting in front of Alexis and asks if it is from her secret admirer. She answers yes and that he left her another note, in which he says that if she likes the rose, she should show him by wearing it to school tomorrow. This arouses Castle’s concern and he asks if Alexis has considered telling Ashley. Alexis figures out that he is concerned and he tells her that he just doesn’t think it’s a good idea for her to wear a rose to school when she doesn’t know who gave it to her and since he school isn’t terribly secure. Alexis gets up to go to bed and Castle calls for her to lock her windows before going to sleep.
The next morning at the precinct Castle greets Esposito and Ryan who are bickering with each other. Castle asks if there’s been any progress on finding Gates and they continue to bicker. He heads to Beckett’s desk and asks her about Gates, to which she answers that there’s been no progress. She tells him that his only family hasn’t seen him in twenty years and that she’s on hold for officials at Sing Sing to let her know about possible prison associates. A voice comes over the speaker on her phone, she answers and writes down the name Jerry Tyson. Castle misreads it off her pad as Jelly, but Beckett deflects his criticism of her penmanship saying that Gates gave all his belongings to Tyson when he was released, leading her to believe that he might know of his whereabouts. As Castle gets up to follow her to the car, he corrects her writing of Jerry’s name.
At Sing Sing prison, Jerry tells Beckett and Castle that he only wants to serve out the last three months of his term and get out to see his girlfriend, which will never happen if Gates finds out he talked to the police. Beckett promises that Gates won’t find out, but Jerry disagrees. Beckett presses him, saying that she is willing to sit and wait for him all day so that other prisoners will think he is spilling his guts to them, and Jerry relents. Beckett asks if he and Gates were friends and Tyson says he guesses so, since he would sneak him food from his job in the kitchen. In exchange, Gates would protect him from the other prisoners, and now that he’s out, Jerry is on his own. Beckett asks him about places Gates said he wanted to visit once he got out and Jerry says that he mentioned a bar in the Meat Packing district, the Hogsneck Tavern.
Outside the tavern, Esposito waits as Beckett, Castle, Ryan, and Montgomery, all wearing bulletproof vests and thigh holsters, and a group of heavily armed SWAT officers approach the bar. Esposito confirms to Montgomery that Gates is there. Montgomery tells everyone to take Gates down quickly so he doesn’t have the opportunity to take any hostages. Before they can all go in, Gates exits the bar and the group all draw their guns on him and demand that he reach. Even Castle, to Beckett and Ryan’s surprise, gets into things, yelling at Gates to raise his hands and get on his knees. Gates drops to his knees and, noticing Montgomery, quips that since the old guy joined them that means the police want him bad. As Esposito cuffs him, he reminds him to read him his rights since it’d be a shame if he were to be released on a technicality. Esposito leads him away and the others exhale.
In the observation room at the precinct, Castle dramatically describes the scene of Gates waiting for Beckett in the interrogation room as if he were writing it. Montgomery quiets him with a look. Beckett enters and says that Ryan got Gates’ address from the bartender and that he and a team are searching his apartment as she speaks. Montgomery cautions Beckett that the evidence they have on Gates connecting him to the murders is circumstantial, so she needs him to run his mouth to buy Ryan time to find something that would give them cause to hold him. Beckett leaves to begin her interrogation of Gates and Castle turns to follow her, only to have Montgomery call him back. He wants Beckett to go at Gates alone. Castle nods in agreement.
Beckett enters interrogation and Gates, smarmy and confident, tells her that she isn’t his type, but that he’d make an exception. He denies knowing Kim Foster and doesn’t remember if he was ever in her apartment. Beckett passes him a picture of Kim Foster’s building and Gates says he was never there. She them asks him why a nametag with his fingerprint on it was found in Kim Foster’s apartment next to Kim’s body. He explains that he works at a prop house stocking props just like the nametag. Montgomery tells Esposito, who joined him and Castle in the observation room, to check on Gates’ claim. Beckett says that no record of Gates’ job exists to which he says they pay him under the table. He then mocks her saying maybe she can get him for tax evasion. She asks if the prop house has uniforms; he says that have any kind you could possibly want. She asks if he ever took a uniform home, leading Gates to ask if the police are searching his apartment. Beckett answers yes and Gates refuses to answer any more questions until he sees the search warrant.
In the observation room, Beckett tells Castle and Montgomery that Gates wants the warrant to find out how much they know about his involvement with the murders. Castle says that would tip him off to the fact that they think he is the Triple Killer, and Beckett says that he already knows this. Esposito enters and confirms Gates’ story about working at the prop house. He also says that he clocked out the night of Kim Foster’s murder at 7p.m., giving him enough time to get to Foster’s apartment by 7:35 since the two are closely located. Montgomery tells Beckett to show Gates the warrant and guesses that he’ll lawyer up. He tells her to try to stop him from doing so and she leaves, looking concerned. Castle asks how she can stop him from refusing to answer more questions and Montgomery doubts that she can.
Back in interrogation, Gates reviews the warrant and observes how the names of seven other women are listed. Meanwhile, Montgomery calls Ryan, who reports that they haven’t found anything incriminating at Gates’ apartment. Gates acknowledges to Beckett that the nametag gave them probable cause to bring him in, but that he explained how his fingerprint got on it. Beckett tries to stall by saying that they are still verifying his story about the prop house and Gates tells her he knows that they can’t hold him. In the observation room, Castle is frustrated that Gates can just walk out, and Montgomery says that Beckett can’t hold him unless she catches him lying. Gates says he wants to leave and Beckett tells him he can go, but that as soon as he leaves he becomes the focus of the investigation into the Triple Killer murders. She goes on to say that if he alibis out for Kim Foster’s murder, then they’ll focus on someone else as being the killer. Gates says that he left work at 7, walked home, arrived at around 7:30, and stayed there the rest of the night.
Later, Beckett, Castle, Ryan and Esposito look at surveillance camera footage that shows the front door of Gates’ building. At 7:31, they see a man resembling Gates enter the front door. Beckett, in desperation, wants to enhance the video to be absolutely sure that it is Gates, but Montgomery refuses. Before he leaves, Gates taunts Beckett saying that he hopes they find the killer and that they all better keep their loved ones close with 3XK at large. Beckett tells Esposito to put a tail on him, not wanting him to get out of her sight.
The next morning, Castle finds Alexis eating breakfast and she tells him that she’s meeting her secret admirer that day. He describes what he imagines to be Alexis finding her admirer in the school cafeteria, only she says that he wants her to meet him in a park at 5:00p.m. Castle adamantly refuses to let her go, remembering Gates’ release. Alexis protests his decision and he continues to speculate that references in his first letter may indicate a connection to the Triple Killer. Alexis tells him he is overreacting and leaves for school. Martha comes over and agrees with Alexis, reminding Castle how she once thought that her understudy for a play was trying to poison her. Castle remembers paying for her daily blood tests, as well as the fact that her understudy did put a laxative in some chocolates she gave to Martha. Martha then says since she appreciated his indulging her paranoia then, that she will indulge his and surreptitiously follow Alexis that evening. Castle heaves a sigh of relief and thanks her. His cell phone rings and when he sees that it is Beckett calling, he begs her to tell him that she’s arrested Gates. She says she hasn’t, and laments that Gates has to be their killer and that he’ll most likely kill again. Castle then realizes since there are no developments in the case that Beckett must have called him for help. Beckett grimaces, confirms Castle’s suspicion, and asks if he has any ideas. Castle thinks, but comes up empty. Then he suggests that Jerry Tyson might know more than he originally let on. Beckett doubts that he’ll ever speak to the police since he got beaten up in the prison yard the day before and is convinced that Gates had something to do with it. Castle then guesses that Gates is afraid of what Jerry knows.
The two go back to Sing Sing to interview Jerry, who refuses to talk. Beckett assures him that the District Attorney has agreed to release him early and give him police protection if he cooperates. Jerry says that his girlfriend would still be in danger and Beckett promises to protect her too. Jerry takes the deal and tells them how Gates once told him about breaking into Sarah Townsend’s place, and how he was afraid that the cops were onto him, so he busted a guy over the head with a bottle to purposely get himself locked up. That night, Ryan escorts Jerry to a motel room and tells him not to leave or use the phone and that he needs to tell Ryan everything, no matter how inconsequential it might seem that he knows about Gates.
At the precinct, Montgomery tells Beckett that Jerry’s story matches up with the timeline of when Sarah Townsend was killed and when Gates was arrested for assaulting a man with the bottle. Esposito reports that Jerry’s girlfriend, Donna, is missing and that the surveillance team on Gates reports that he hasn’t left his apartment. Beckett tells him to find Donna since she promised Jerry that she’d protect her.
At the motel room, Jerry tells Ryan that sometimes Gates would use a partner to double as himself when committing a murder. Ryan reports this to Beckett and it hits Castle how Gates killed Kim Foster. Later, Castle, Esposito and Beckett look at the surveillance camera footage of the front of Gates’ building from the night Kim Foster was killed side-by-side with the night before and notice that the men in the video are different heights. Beckett realizes that Gates used a stand-in to double as himself while he killed Kim Foster. Castle adds that with his job, Gates has access to wigs and costumes to make a partner look like himself. Esposito then notices a reflection in the door to Gates’ building, which Castle recognizes as that of Paul McCardle, Gates’ double for the night. Montgomery comes over and tells the three that Gates has escaped from his apartment.
Castle guesses that Gates has gone after Donna, and Beckett says she is still missing, preventing them from locating Gates. Ryan arrives and says Paul McCardle has also disappeared, and that he was in a foster home with Gates when they were young, leading Beckett to think that they’ve met up. Beckett’s phone rings and Esposito tells her that Donna is house sitting for family and that Gates dressed as a messenger to get a neighbor to tell him the address. Esposito arrives at the address just in time to save Donna from being strangled by Gates.
Back in interrogation, Beckett tells Gates that she thinks he wanted to get caught since there’s nothing for him outside of prison. All he has to do is confess to the murders and he goes back to jail. Gates still refuses to talk. Beckett steps outside and tells Montgomery she needs leverage to crack him. Ryan tells her, Montgomery and Castle that McCardle has been found in a hospital. Beckett tells him to talk to him and find her something she can break Gates with. Castle asks to go and Beckett agrees.
At the hospital, Ryan interviews Gates’ doctor who tells them that McCardle had surgery for a heart defect that was the cause of his profuse sweating. He’d been in need of the surgery for some time, but didn’t have the money to pay for it. The doctor refuses to tell them who paid for the surgery and Ryan and Castle guess it wasn’t his ex-wife since she hated him and also didn’t know he was having the surgery. They then see a large bouquet of flowers from Gates. Castle calls Beckett and tells her that her leverage is the fact that Gates obviously cares for McCardle, otherwise he wouldn’t have sent him flowers. She tells him and Ryan not wait to speak to McCardle and to tell Jerry not to worry about Gates anymore.
Beckett enters interrogation and tells Gates that she found McCardle and plans to get him to testify against Gates. He laughs this off, and she changes her tack, saying that she’ll charge McCardle as an accessory and make sure he’s sent to Sing Sing, where she doubts he’ll survive for very long. Gates says that McCardle didn’t know anything that was going on and only did what he told him to do. Beckett presses Gates to confess everything and Gates agrees, but only if McCardle gets immunity. Later on, McCardle signs a confession as Montgomery and Cal Townsend watch in the observation room. Gates admits to killing Kim Foster and all the women, listing Linda Russo, Sarah Townsend and five others. Montgomery puts his hand on Mr. Townsend’s shoulder as he looks on.
As Ryan and Castle head to the motel room where Jerry is staying, Castle still wonders about the operation McCardle received and who paid for it. Ryan tries to reassure him that maybe Gates had money stashed away, but Castle wonders why he waited until a month after he gets out of prison to pay for the operation. Ryan speculates that Gates needed McCardle to stand in for him so he could kill Linda Russo and Kim Foster. They enter Jerry’s room and find him packing. Ryan tells him that Gates did try to go after Donna, but that she’s OK. Jerry asks about Gates and Ryan tells him he confessed to all the murders. Jerry expresses relief, only Castle is suspicious about why Jerry asked about Gates and not his girlfriend. Castle then figures out that Donna was supposed to die, that McCardle didn’t come up with the money for his surgery until after Jerry got out of prison, that Jerry paid for the surgery to keep McCardle quiet and that Jerry framed Gates as the killer because Jerry is 3XK. Ryan tries to pull his gun, only Jerry knocks him out. He takes Ryan’s gun, aims it at Castle, and admits to being 3XK.
At the precinct, Montgomery congratulates Beckett on solving the case and she tells him he should congratulate Castle too. She asks where he and Ryan are and Montgomery guesses that they both went out for a beer. He invites Beckett to join him for one, she agrees, and they head leave the precinct
At the motel, Jerry has Castle tied to a chair, with his hands behind his back. Castle figures out that it was Jerry, not Gates, who deliberately assaulted the man with the bottle so he could hide in jail because he was afraid he’d be caught after Linda Russo identified him. Jerry admits this and takes Ryan’s phone, noting that he called the precinct before getting to the motel, so nobody will miss him for a while. Castle tells him that he won’t get far since he knows his name and what he looks like. Jerry says that he’ll just change both like he’s done before. When Castle asks him about setting up Gates, Jerry says that McCardle was the only person Gates cared about and that once he figured that out, planning the rest was easy. He then takes Ryan’s badge as Castle tells him how he found out that Gates liked prison, that he taught him everything he needed to know to take the fall for Jerry’s crimes, then paid for McCardle’s surgery, so nobody would be left to pin everything on Jerry. Jerry then begins taunting Castle saying that it must eat him up knowing how close he was to catching the real 3XK. He then pulls Ryan’s gun and cocks it, intimating that he plans to shoot Castle. Castle tells him that shooting isn’t his style and when Jerry says that he doesn’t know him at all, Castle profiles him: he was raised by a single, blonde mother who never wanted him. She died suddenly when he was young, and he was placed in poor foster care homes. He acts out his anger towards his mother by killing blonde women about her age when she died, but then arranges their bodies peacefully because deep down he loved his mother as much as he hated her. The profile strikes a nerve with Jerry, who then begins profiling Castle, telling him that he is drawn to death because it thrills him and that his fascination stems from his own suppressed desires. With a maniacal look on his face, he asks Castle how close to death he wants to get. Castle’s cell phone rings, Jerry picks it up and sees that it is Martha. He aims his gun at Castle, warns him about saying too much, and answers the call.
As Martha tells Castle that Alexis’ secret admirer turned out to be her boyfriend Ashley, Castle obeys Jerry and says nothing that would arouse suspicion. Just before Jerry hangs up, Castle tells Martha that he loves her. Jerry then leaves the motel room and disappears into the night. Just seconds later, several police cars barrel their way into the motel parking lot. Beckett jumps out of her squad car, pulls her gun and bounds up the stairs to what was Jerry’s second floor motel room. Esposito follows her with his own gun drawn. Beckett kicks down the door to the motel room and worriedly calls Castle’s name once she sees him tied up. He assures her that the room is clear, Jerry is gone and that he is fine, but that Ryan needs an ambulance. Beckett tells him that she is glad he is OK and that she figured everything about Jerry out. When Castle asks her how she knew he would be at the motel, she says that Martha called her and said Castle told her he loved her, indicating that something must be wrong. Castle then reveals that Martha did exactly what he hoped she would.
Outside, while paramedics, Montgomery and Esposito tend to Ryan, Beckett finds Castle sitting by the motel pool and gives him a cup of coffee. She asks him why Jerry let him live and he says that it was to torture him for screwing up his plans. Castle goes on to say how horrible he feels that he wasn’t able to stop Jerry from getting away and killing again. Beckett puts a reassuring hand on his knee and tells him that she knows how he feels. Castle acknowledges that she knows how he feels and takes her hand in return. The two sit quietly, holding hands, lost in their own thoughts.
Who: Linda Russo, customer relations worker at a cable company
Found: Under some boxes on the street, two blocks from her home on 24th and 10th
Where Killed: on the street
How: Strangled with a three strand, twisted, quarter-inch, green and white nylon rope
Motive: Linda had identified 3XK 4 years earlier, so she was the first victim this time
Who: Kim Foster, age 28, interior designer
Found: in her apartment
Where Killed: in her apartment
How: Same as Linda Russo, strangled with a three strand, twisted, quarter-inch, green and white nylon rope
Motive: second of three victims
Attempted to Kill: Donna Gallagher, 3XK's girlfriend
Where: House sitting for a friend
How: With the rope
Motive: third of three victims
Killer: Marcus Gates - ACTING AS 3XK
Motive: "Controlled by" 3XK after 3XK learned that Gates only cared about his foster brother, Paul McCardle. 3XK gave Gates all the info he needed to become 3XK and set him up to get caught.
Serial Killer: 3XK, going by the name of Jerry Tyson ... this time
MO: Kills in "groups of three" in a weeks time, then drops out of sight for a while, repeat. Strangles pretty, young blonde women with a rope, poses the victims as if in a coffin.
FBI Profile: White, male, 25-45 years old, dysfunctional relationship with his mother, has a menial unimportant job. Learned about his victims, then disguised himself as a repairman or security guard to gain access into his victims homes.
Castle's Profile of 3XK: raised by a single mother, she was blonde, beautiful and never wanted her son. Guesses that she died when he was 12, probably from a drug overdose, then he went into a "bad" foster care, filled with hatred of his mother for abandoning him, that he kills these young women to get back at her. He leaves them looking peaceful because as much as he hates his mother, he loves his mother.
3XK's Profile of Castle: You are drawn toward death. You like being around it because it thrills you. Why? Your own suppressed impulses? How close to Death [does Castle] want to get?
Prior Victims of 3XK: 6 total
Sara Townsend was his "last" victim