Season 5, Episode 1 (82)
Original Air Date - September 24, 2012
Castle and Beckett are jolted out of the reverie of finally giving in to their feelings for each other when the elusive Mr. Smith, whom Castle was working with to protect Beckett from Maddox, is killed and the file Smith was using to blackmail those behind Beckett's shooting and her mother's murder nearly destroyed. With Beckett firmly in the cross hairs as the next target, the team, including the warring Ryan and Esposito, follows the evidence until it implicates a powerful U.S. Senator, setting up the confrontation Beckett has wanted for years.
- Nathan Fillion - Richard Castle
- Stana Katic - Kate Beckett, Detective
- Susan Sullivan - Martha Rodgers (Castle's mother)
- Molly C. Quinn - Alexis Castle (Castle's daughter)
- Jon Huertas - Javier Esposito, Detective
- Seamus Dever - Kevin Ryan, Detective
- Tamala Jones - Lanie Parish, Medical Examiner
- Penny Johnson Jerald - Victoria Gates, Captain
- Jack Coleman - Senator William H. Bracken
- Geoff Pierson - Mr. Smith
- Tahmoh Penikett - Cole Maddox
- Valerie Azlynn - Officer Hastings
- Nick Hoffa - Staff Sgt. Cass
- Maurice Warfield - Vice President Russell
- Amy Vorpahl - Paramedic
- Rico Devereaux - Uniformed Officer
- Michael Duisenberg - Bodyguard
- Dan Wells - Uniformed Cop
- Janet Song - Nurse
Castle: So it wasn’t a dream.
Beckett: No, you definitely…weren’t dreaming.
Castle: Well, you were right. I had no idea.
Beckett: So you liked it?
Beckett: Even the part where-
Castle: Especially that part. I loved that.
Beckett: Me too.
Martha: I wanted to talk to you about your daughter’s many fine qualities-
Castle: Do we have to do this now?
Martha: And to remind you that our Alexis is a paragon of grace and good sense and maturity, although where she got those qualities I do not know.
Castle: Right. I would just be so much more comfortable having this conversation with my clothes on.
Castle: Well, Alexis, as your father I have to say that I am deeply disappointed in you and yet oddly proud.
Beckett: So you here to apologize for hiding me in your closet?
Castle: Look, let me explain. When I heard her voice, I reacted by instinct.
Beckett: Yeah, like the instinct of a sophomore in high school.
Beckett: Wait a minute, you're embarrassed about being seen with me!
Castle: This is all just still very new to me and call me selfish, but I wanna keep what we have together to ourselves a bit longer.
Beckett: Still, it wasn’t your finest hour.
Castle: No, but maybe I could…make it up to you…somehow.
Beckett: I suppose since we know that your Mom is not gonna be barging in, we could go for round two.
Castle: Well, technically, it would be round four, but-(hears a knock on the door) She’s stalking us. She knows.
Beckett: Hide. Quick in the closet over there.
Castle: I’m not getting in there.
Beckett: Why? I hid in your closet, why can’t you hide in mine?
Castle: How’s he gonna know?
Beckett: You’re here. Just like I was there.
Castle: Yes, yes. The difference being I have my pants on.
Beckett: Just act normal. If that’s even possible for you.
Castle: It’s me.
Ryan: Look, I hope this isn’t because of Gates, or because of what I did.
Beckett: No! Look, I get it. You were just trying to keep us safe.
Ryan: I still am.
Beckett: This was supposed to be over. I can’t go back again. Not now.
Castle: Well, now we don’t have a choice. If Maddox gets to him before we do-
Beckett: I don’t know how to do this.
Beckett: Castle, there’s nothing left to find. 86 could mean anything. You’re just grasping at straws.
Castle: Yes, I’m grasping at straws because if that file is gone, that means they’re coming after you and there’s absolutely nothing I can do, so, yes, if there is a straw, I’m grasping.
Beckett: Hey. Thanks.
Castle: For what? We haven’t found it yet.
Beckett: It’s just…I know I never would have gotten this far if it wasn’t for you.
Castle: Hey, we’re gonna get this done. You and me.
Castle: If we get murdered right now, I’d feel so ripped off.
Beckett: Yeah, me too.
Castle: At least we had last night. We should have done that four years ago.
Esposito: Done what four years ago?
Beckett: (to Maddox) Don’t move. Don’t even breathe. Reach for it and I’ll blow your head off.
Castle: Captain Gates, I can personally vouch for-
Capt. Gates: I am not interested, Mr. Castle, as you specialize in fiction.
Capt. Gates: How do you explain that Maddox, the killer we’re searching for and the man who shot you last year, is the one lying there dead?
Castle: Bad karma.
Esposito: (upon seeing Ryan) Well, if it isn’t Judas.
Smith: You see, Roy Montgomery once did me a favor so I kept that file and I protected you at great personal cost because I owed Roy. But I don’t owe you.
Beckett: So you’re just gonna let him get away with murder?
Smith: You don’t understand, Detective. He protected, untouchable. You’re just gonna end up dead and so am I. Now as it is, my best bet is to just disappear. I suggest you do the same.
Beckett: I finally figured out who he is, the guy who killed my mom and there’s nothing I can do about it…Ok, so they’re coming for me.
Castle: Ryan’s got two teams stationed outside.
Beckett: And what about tomorrow and the day after that?
Castle: Let me take you someplace, Kate. Someplace you’ll be safe. (they hug)
Beckett: I’ll never be safe.
Beckett: This is Kate Beckett. I can see you know the name. That’s right. I’m watching.
Senator Bracken: I don’t know what this is about, but I am not interested in playing games.
Beckett: Well you better get interested.
Esposito: Put that phone away or I’m gonna break your friggin’ arm.
Senator Bracken: I’ve done great things, just as you’ve done great things.
Beckett: Who do you think you’re talking to? How can you justify yourself to me? My mother was stabbed in an alley because of you. She bled to death alone in a pile of garbage! So save me your campaign speeches about the great things!
Senator Bracken: See here’s what you don’t understand. It’s not who has the gun, it’s who has the power. Do you really think that’s you?
Beckett: I have the file. Smith had another copy…So here’s how it is: the deal that you had with Smith, that’s our deal now. And if anything happens to me or anyone that I care about that file goes public. Am I clear? That’s a yes or no question.
Senator Bracken: Yes.
Beckett: And one more thing. Whoever it is you think I am, whatever it is you think you know about me, you have no idea what I am capable of or how far I will go. I am done being afraid. It’s your turn now. (She hits him, cutting his cheek) That’s gonna leave a nasty scar. Every time you see it, think of me.
Beckett: We reached an understanding.
Esposito: What about your mom?
Beckett: I’ll get justice for her, just not today. Until then, I’ll get it for others.
Capt. Gates: You’re covering for someone and I know who it is. But I don’t intend to dig up the past and tarnish Roy Montgomery’s reputation. The fact is, I admire your loyalty. I hope you feel that for me someday.
Beckett: I’ll have to serve out my suspension, same as Esposito.
Castle: What are you gonna do in the mean time?
Beckett: Oh, I’m pretty sure I’ll think of something. (grabs Castle’s crotch)
Castle: You make that call, you're labeling her an assassin. That's a bell you can't unring.
- When Castle tells Beckett he "had no idea", he is referring to what she told him at the conclusion of their first case. She turned down his invitation to dinner and he says their partnering up "would have been great." She whispers in his ear "You've no idea."
- Officer Hastings grants Beckett her favor in return for Beckett's not reporting her for acting as a vigilante to avenge the murder of a family member in Heroes and Villians. Valerie Azlynn reprises her role in this episode.
- In an early interview with the cast, Stana Katic had said that she wanted Kate and Rick to get together, while Nathan Fillion said that he did not.
Full Episode Recap
Richard Castle wakes up the morning after Detective Kate Beckett surprised him at his loft by saying she wanted to be with him, and finds himself in bed alone. Then Beckett enters wearing only one of his button down shirts and carrying two mugs of coffee. She sits on the bed with him and he double checks that she’s genuinely interested in being together and not just in a life crisis. She confirms that she does want a relationship and flirtatiously tells him she has nothing to do that day as she unbuttons the shirt she is wearing. Castle says he also has no plans and slips the shirt off her shoulders. They lean in to kiss when Castle’s mother, Martha Rodgers, calls for him from outside. Surprised he thought she was in The Hamptons, he forces her, unwillingly into his closet as Martha enters. She begins to tell him about Alexis, his daughter, when he asks if he can get dressed first. She agrees and leaves, saying both she and Alexis will wait for him in the kitchen. Castle barely has to time to be surprised that Alexis is home too when Beckett tosses a pillow at him.
Dressed, he finds Alexis in the kitchen complaining of a severe hangover as Beckett gets dressed in his bedroom. Martha explains that Alexis’ graduation party got out of hand, Alexis called her, and she drove down to pick her up since Castle did not answer his phone. Martha goes to get Alexis some aspirin, but Castle stops her so she won’t see Beckett leaving his bedroom, having almost forgotten her brassiere. He stalls for her, by dramatically suggesting that she should savor the rite of passage of her first hangover. Beckett successfully slips out the door and Castle agrees to give Alexis something for her headache.
At the precinct, Captain Victoria Gates asks Detective Kevin Ryan for an update on the search for, Cole Maddox, the man who shot Beckett and killed a one-time thief, and he tells her they figured out that Maddox broke into Captain Roy Montgomery’s house and stole his wedding album because he was searching for a photo of someone. He shows her a missing photo and says Montgomery’s widow is bringing in the negatives so hopefully they can reprint the photo. He asks her for more help, but she refuses since she’s lost manpower due the visit of U.S. Vice President Russell.
Meanwhile, Maddox sits in the apartment of Mr. Smith, the mysterious man who had been helping Castle protect Beckett. Maddox demands to know the location of a file of information he was using to blackmail him into leaving Beckett alone, but a bloodied Smith refuses. Maddox continues torturing him.
Later, Castle arrives at Beckett’s apartment. She suspects he is embarrassed at being seen with her, which he firmly denies and says he merely wants to keep their relationship private for now. He offers to make it up to her and she moves into him, suggesting that they could make love again, but Ryan’s knock on her front door interrupts them. Beckett tells Castle to hide in her closet, but he refuses. She suggests that Ryan will suspect something and admits she isn’t ready for anyone to know about them either, but Castle doubts Ryan will suspect anything since he is fully clothed. Beckett reluctantly relents and lets Ryan in. He tells them he has to talk about the case, but Beckett insists she is done. He shows her the photo Maddox took from Montgomery’s wedding album and while Beckett doesn’t recognize the man in it, but Castle identifies him as Smith, explains their arrangement to Ryan, and realizes that if Smith turns over to Maddox the file of information he has that will ruin the conspirators, Beckett will be their next target. He then remembers Smith called him a few days ago and Ryan leaves to try to trace the number Smith called from. Beckett sinks into a chair and tells Castle she can’t and doesn’t want to revisit the case. He convinces her to try since they have no choice and so they can move on with their lives. He begins guessing about Smith’s background using the photo. He notices the watch he is wearing in the photo and identifies it as a high-end watch that began selling the same year Montgomery got married. He suggests they get records of all customers who bought the watch to try to find him.
In another part of town, Detective Javier Esposito meets up with a former military comrade who he asks for help in identifying Maddox’s real name using a Department of Defense database. The man refuses, saying he could lose everything he has if caught, but Esposito swears he won’t be. He gives him a laptop he bought with cash and promises to wipe the hard drive and dump the laptop once the search is done. The man agrees.
Back at Beckett’s apartment, Castle reports that the watch company told him that of the 38 watches sold in the first five months of 1981, 17 were sold in New York City, and 9 of those were bought as gifts for lawyers in a firm that won a high-profile tobacco case the same year. While Ryan has trouble tracing the call to Castle’s cell phone, Castle and Beckett find a photo of eight of the attorneys and Castle guesses that Smith is the attorney who is not pictured since he worked primarily behind the scenes, but Beckett wonders if he ever worked at the firm at all. Her phone rings and Ryan reports that the call Castle received came from an out-of-service burner phone. Castle reminds him they cannot wait and see if someone finds Maddox on the street and Ryan suggests a long-shot possibility would be to track the IP address of the voice over Internet connection the man used when he called Castle. He says the call was routed through a cellular network originating at a yacht club in Connecticut. Castle and Beckett find the club’s website and match the name of one of the board members with one of the attorney’s from the law firm, Michael Smith.
Later, Beckett and Castle bust into Smith’s apartment and find him unconscious and bloody. Beckett notices the remnants of a police file in the fireplace and worries that Maddox either has the file or has destroyed it. Castle tells her Smith is still alive and as the paramedics take him away, he mutters “86” to Castle. Beckett says Ryan will put an armed guard on him to protect him and laments that the file has been destroyed. Castle disagrees, saying Smith would be smart enough to keep a second copy and tells her Smith’s utterance, guessing it is a clue to where the copy of the file is hidden. They root through Smith’s records to find a location, but Beckett suggests they give up since they are just “grasping at straws.” Castle is unapologetic since he has no way to stop Maddox from coming after Beckett then finds a reference to an address of 86 Markwell Street, where a building Smith owns is located.
Castle and Beckett find the building under renovation and both suppose Smith would hide the file in a place where the demolition crew wouldn’t damage it. Beckett thanks Castle for helping her get so far in the investigation into her mom’s murder and he reinforces that they will catch the people responsible together. Beckett notices a wall mailbox lying on the floor and they discover that Smith also had an office located on the fifth floor. They hear a gun cock and Maddox takes aim at them. They stand and Maddox ties their hands behind their backs with plastic cuffs. He explains that Smith merely told him the file was in a floor safe and now he knows on which floor of the building it can be found. Beckett realizes he left Smith alive in case he could find the file and Maddox agrees, saying that once he finds the file, he will kill all of them. He locks them in a bathroom and leaves. Unable to wiggle their arms, Castle finds a dry wall nail and tries to saw through the cuffs with it. In the mean time, Maddox finds the floor safe. Castle has made no progress with the nail and Beckett knows their time is up, hearing footsteps approach. Castle admits he is glad they at least had last night together and says they should have done the same four years ago. The door opens and Esposito asks what it is they should have done.
As they heads for where Smith’s old office was, Esposito details that Maddox’s real name is Cedric Marks, who joined a black operations contracting company after leaving the military, and that he put out an APB on his car and a uniform spotted it front of the building. Esposito hands Beckett his backup hand gun and they confront Maddox just as he has succeeded in opening the safe. He surreptitiously takes a spare hand gun from inside his jacket while looking like he is reaching into the safe for the file. He angles the gun over his shoulder and lifts out the file. Esposito hears a bomb go armed and dashes out of the room with Castle pulling Beckett with him. Once the explosion clears they find Maddox dead and bits of the file floating through the air.
Later on, Captain Gates doubts Beckett’s, Castle’s, and Esposito’s explanation as to how they found Maddox: they were out for a walk, heard an explosion, and as concerned citizens checked on it. Further, they have no idea what Maddox was doing in the building. Gates asks Ryan for his take and he covers, saying the safe seemed to be rigged to blow when emptied and the file contained some kind of papers.
That night the three regroup at Beckett’s apartment. Esposito reassures Beckett that Maddox won’t be coming after her anymore, but she bets someone else will. Hearing a creak from the front door, Beckett and Esposito grab their guns, Esposito throws open the door, and finds Ryan there. They gripe at each other, Esposito still angry about Ryan’s reporting him and Beckett to Gates the day before, but back away at Beckett’s urging. Ryan gives her an evidence bag containing all the recoverable pieces of the file and they begin trying to assemble the pages. Hours later, they conclude the file contained copies of money orders deposited into a bank account and suppose the money orders were payoffs to whoever uncovered the kidnapping scheme being run by Montgomery, Raglan, and McAllister. Additionally, they realize the owner of the account will be the person behind the entire conspiracy that ordered Beckett’s mother’s murder. They trace the account to William H. Bracken, now U.S. Senator William Bracken. After Ryan finds that Bracken served as Assistant District Attorney at the time Montgomery, Raglan, and McAllister were kidnapping mobsters, they build the theory that he couldn’t bring a case against the mobsters or the cops, so he demanded a cut of the ransom money. But when his political career took off, he couldn’t risk the scandal becoming public so he began killing off anyone with knowledge of it. Ryan’s cell phone rings and he steps away to answer it. Castle tells them Bracken is being groomed for President so it makes sense he is trying to kill Beckett now. Ryan returns and says Smith is out of surgery and awake. Beckett tells them to look for a connection between Maddox and Bracken while she and Castle go talk to Smith.
At the hospital, Smith reveals that Bracken used his cut of the ransom money to fund his first campaign for Congress. When Beckett asks him to testify to what he knows, he refuses, saying he owed Montgomery a favor, and followed through, but he doesn’t owe her. He admits that he’s the next likely target and suggests Beckett disappear since she will be after him and since she has no chance of getting to Bracken. Beckett makes another plea for his help, but again he refuses and tells them to leave. They step outside the hospital where Ryan calls Castle to report that they found no connection between Bracken and Maddox, which doesn’t surprise Beckett. Castle recommends they push Smith a little harder and she agrees. As they head back into the hospital they see the uniformed officer assigned to guard his room leaving. He reports that dispatch called him and told him to stand down. Beckett and Castle dash to Smith’s room and find doctors pronouncing him dead from an apparent heart attack.
Back at Beckett’s apartment, she watches television coverage of Bracken introducing Vice President Russell and laments to Castle that even though she finally knows who is behind the conspiracy that killed her mom, she can do nothing to bring Bracken to justice. She asks Castle is Ryan checked into the security cameras outside Smith’s room and Castle says he found them disabled, meaning to Beckett that she is the next target. He asks her to let him take her someplace safe, even though Ryan has two teams of cops protecting her building, but she turns him down and leans into him for hug. As he holds her, she realizes she will never be safe.
The next morning, Beckett looks at a photo of her and her mom and picks up the chain on which her mother’s wedding ring hangs. She takes a last look at Castle, asleep in her bed, picks up her back up hand gun, and leaves her apartment.
Hours later, Castle awakens to find her missing. Ryan and Esposito come over and Castle realizes she could be going after Bracken. Ryan locates him as being at a fundraiser in a hotel and discovers that Beckett called an hour earlier with the same question.
Beckett arrives at the hotel and scans the security arrangements. She spots Officer Hastings guarding a rope and asks her if she can jump the line, not telling her she is suspended and letting her assume she is working security too. Hastings agrees and Beckett hurries through the hotel, looking for Bracken, memories of events related to the case flashing through her mind. As Ryan, Esposito, and Castle dash into the hotel, Beckett approaches the Senator and slips a cell phone in his suit pocket as he greets a crowd of supporters. When the phone rings, he steps away to answer it and is shocked when Beckett reveals her identity. She tells him she will ruin him if he doesn’t comply with her instructions.
A little later, Ryan, Castle, and Esposito are told by guards that Senator Bracken left to meet with a donor, but did not say who or where. Ryan pulls out his cell phone and Esposito threatens to break his arm if he called Captain Gates again, but Ryan doesn’t want to let Beckett ruin her life. Castle begs him to hold off since calling Gates will label Beckett an assassin, a charge she will never be able to shake off. He agrees and hands his phone to Esposito.
In the hotel’s kitchen, Beckett finally confronts Bracken, demanding that he admit to ordering the murders of her mother, Raglan, McAllister, and everyone else. He apologizes for her mother’s death and tells her the story of how he decided to get involved in politics. With all the smoothness of a career politician, he tells her how he is just a decent man looking out for the little guy. Beckett is incensed, reminds him how her mother bled to death in an alley like a piece of garbage and tells him to save his speeches. He tells her that even though she has a gun, he holds all the power and that he will not let anyone try to take it away from him. He moves to leave and Beckett lies that she has the file, revealing the account number as her proof. She threatens to release it and ruin him unless he grants her the same deal he had with Smith. He agrees and she goes on to tell him that he has no idea what she is capable of and how far she will go to bring him to justice. She pistol whips him across his cheek, leaving a deep cut and tells him to think of her every time he sees the scar. She steps outside just as Ryan, Castle, and Esposito find her. Just as Castle thinks she killed Bracken, he walks away, holding ice to his face and Beckett tells them they reached an agreement. She also says that she is at peace with the fact that justice for her mom will be delayed, and vows to find it for others in the mean time. Castle is smiles at her as she leaves.
At the precinct, Captain Gates accepts Beckett’s resignation, which she takes back since Maddox is dead. Gates asks why a guard was posted on Smith’s hospital room and isn’t fooled when Beckett feigns ignorance. She expresses her appreciation for her loyalty to Montgomery, hopes she will feel the same level towards her eventually, and declares her intention not to stain Montgomery’s reputation. Beckett asks if she can return to duty the next day, but Gates refuses, saying she will have serve out her suspension.
Castle is incredulous about the decision and, as he and Beckett board the precinct elevator, he asks her what she will do all summer. She says she will think of something then makes Castle gasp when she grabs his crotch.
- Cole Maddox
- Cause of Death: Killed in bomb explosion
- Perp: Michael Smith: he wired a bomb to a floor safe to kill Maddox to prevent a file from falling into his hands
- Michael Smith, a.k.a. Mr. Smith
- Cause of Death: Apparent heart attack following severe injuries inflicted by Cole Maddox