Season 4, Episode 13 (71)
Original Air Date - January 23, 2012
When a famous dog trainer is killed, Castle and Beckett take join custody of the only witness, a retriever named Royal, and the investigation keeps coming back to charismatic reality TV star Kay Cappuccio. Kay, a favorite of tabloids and gossip websites the world over, has achieved stardom without possessing any discernible skill or talent. But there seems to be more to her story than she is letting on -- does that include murder?
- 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
- Hilarie Burton - Kay Cappuccio
- Justin Hartley - Reggie Star
- Nana Visitor - Dr. Patty Barker
- Scott Lowell - David Hernand
- Jim Abele - Adam Green
- Tiffany Lowery - Phoebe
- Ed F. Martin - Francisco Pilar
- Dale Waddington - Kelly Gunther
- Robin Sachs - Announcer
- Charles Carpenter - Reporter
- Andre Ing - Photographer
- Diane Modafferi - Uniform Cop
Alexis: We were planning to visit a few campuses this weekend. Make a road trip out of it.
Castle: Whoa, ok. Where are you staying? Who’s driving? Who’s chaperoning?
Alexis: We were gonna take your Ferrari and hook up with some boys we met on Craigslist.
Castle: Not cool.
Castle: Your friend’s name is Buttons Dutton?
Martha: That is unfortunate.
Alexis: What’s so wrong with that?
Castle: Oh c’mon it’s like you calling me wrassel or tassel (Answers his ringing cell phone and finds Beckett on the line) or No Hassle Castle. Hey…No I was just making a point…Please don’t call me that!
Castle: So, Dog Whisperer, check. People Whisperer, not so much.
Castle: So the dog was at the crime scene at the time of the murder.
Beckett: What do you want us to do? Bring him in for questioning?
Castle: Oh, guys. Sorry. No time for photos. Ok, maybe just one.
Photographer: Hey, that’s not Jason Bateman!
Castle: (to himself) That’s getting old.
Reggie: Why don’t you just grab a squat over there?
Beckett: Excuse me?
Reggie: Phoebe will bring you a goji berry juice.
Beckett: You know what? I think I have a better idea. Everybody take five.
Reggie: Whoa, hold on a second. Kay Cappucio don’t have five to spare.
Castle: How about fifteen to twenty?
Ryan: The line in Vegas at yesterday’s Sunfair winner – 50 to 1. A real underdog!
Castle: We could keep him here at the precinct. I mean we could use a mascot.
Esposito: I thought that’s what you were.
Castle: (to dog) What’s that? What’s that buddy? Esposito’s sense of humor fell down a well and can’t get out?
Beckett: Well, there’s gotta be some food for him at Francisco’s place? Who wants to make a run for it?
Esposito: To go get dog food? (sees Beckett’s look) Castle.
Dr. Barker: He’s been my patient for years. I see him whenever his travel allows for it.
Beckett: Dr. Barker, what kind of issues was he dealing with? Did he ever exhibit signs of paranoia?
Dr. Barker: No. The occasional bout of depression, which then lead to low self-esteem, which lead to binge eating.
Castle: An eating problem? You wouldn’t know to look at him.
Dr. Barker: Oh, his diet was horrible. Oh, scraps from the garbage, dead birds, even his own feces.
Castle: We’re not talking about Francisco here are we?
Beckett: Looks like some sort of kennel.
Esposito: I see the cages, but where are the- (hears growling) Shepherds. Ok, listen. A friend of mine had one of these. They smell fear, so don’t flinch. Whatever you do, don’t- (dogs pounce) RUN!
Castle: Tell me, does the phrase corporate espionage mean anything to you?
Kay: No. No, seriously, I have no idea what it means.
Castle: You think she’s wearing a wire?
Esposito: Dude, look at that outfit. Where’s she gonna put a wire?
Castle: Well, if I had to be creative, I’d guess- (sees Beckett’s stare) that’s rhetorical.
Beckett: So we’re gonna have to find somebody to pull those photos.
Esposito: I’ll do it!
Castle: Got a little case of puppy love there Esposito?
Castle: You guys have fun. Don’t miss me too much. The dog, not you.
Kay: This is depressing.
Esposito: Don’t worry. We’re gonna catch the guy.
Kay: No, I mean my life. It’s…shopping, partying and more shopping. And it is bad enough that people fight to take pictures of me doing all this dumb stuff, but do you really think that Francisco was murdered because of it?
Esposito: Well, if he was, does it make it your fault?
Kay: Did he have a family?
Esposito: No. Just him and his dog.
Kay: I guess we weren’t so different then.
Esposito: What are you talking about? You have Reggie, Phoebe, all your friends. Look at all these pictures. You’re never alone.
Kay: Pictures can be really deceiving.
Castle: He was outside Kay’s place with the rest of the paparazzi.
Esposito: The guy’s a full-on stalker-azzi.
Castle: It made me think, all those times when you were little how you begged me for a dog and I refused because-
Alexis: You said you’d be the one who’d wind up having to feed it and it was hard enough remembering to feed me every day.
Castle: I don’t remember that last part.
Alexis: It was subtext. Barely.
- This is the second episode to poke fun at Nathan Fillion's resemblance to Jason Bateman, the other being Eye of the Beholder. The reference alludes to a story told by Nathan on several talk shows, where he says he was pulled over for speeding by a police officer. The officer asked him for his autograph and Nathan obliged, only to have the officer call his wife, telling her he's getting Jason Bateman's autograph.
- Regarding working with dogs, Jon Huertas said the following: "I think at one point we had 15 golden retrievers or yellow labs in one room...Stana [Katic] and I had a lot of fun in one scene." They also were quite a distraction for him while shooting: "Whenever we weren't filming, there were probably at least four or five times where I could hear the radios of all the PAs and ADs going off like, 'Where's Jon, Where's Jon?'"
- Lilly performed by Pink Martini: Judge Francisco Pilar judges Best in Show and reality TV star Kay Cappucio is interviewed
- Watch Me Move performed by Fefe Dobson: Castle and Beckett walk in on a photo shoot for Kay Cappucio
Full Episode Recap
Francisco Pilar judges Best in Show at the 169th Annual Sunfare Dog Show. As he examines the contestants, reality television star Kay Cappucio arrives with her Chihuahua and her boyfriend, Reggie Star. The press approaches her and she uses the attention to promote her new perfume which is on the verge of release. As she punctuates her advertisement by spraying the frangrance a couple times into the air, Pilar chooses the winner.
Meanwhile, at Richard Castle’s loft, he is in his kitchen preparing dinner with his mother, Martha Rodgers, and his daughter, Alexis, who is describing her weekend plans to tour several colleges with a new friend, nicknamed Buttons. After briefly poking fun at the name, Castle becomes concerned about who is chaperoning the trip. Alexis teases that the girls will meet up with some boys from Craigslist, leaving her father not amused. Martha jumps in and reassures him that Buttons’ mother will be going along and Alexis offers to have her, Mrs. Dutton, meet him when she comes to pick her up. Castle laughs again at the name Buttons Dutton and, when Alexis protests, he proposes embarrassing nicknames for himself. He answers his ringing cell phone, just as he decides upon No Hassle Castle. Detective Kate Beckett hears this and can’t resist her own teasing.
At the crime scene, Beckett and Castle are briefed by Detective Javier Esposito on Pilar as their victim, saying that his wallet, cell phone and a key card of some kind were all found on the body, ruling out robbery as the motive. Medical Examiner Lanie Parish confirms that Pilar was murdered by strangulation with a dog collar, but is interrupted by Esposito when Beckett asks about time of death. After Lanie chastises him for his rudeness, he explains that the last person to see Pilar alive left him in his dressing room at 5:15p.m. to get him dinner and the dog show organizer, Adam Green, found him dead twenty minutes later.
Beckett asks Green if Pilar had any family and he says that his dog, a golden retriever named Royal was it, since Pilar didn’t get on very well with people. He doubts that any of the dog show handlers or owners are responsible for his death and agrees to give Beckett a list of all the handlers and anyone else who access to Pilar’s dressing room.
They step outside and Castle finds Royal pawing incessantly at the floor, leading Green to suspect it is his way of grieving since he was doing the same thing when they found him next to Pilar’s body. Green leaves and as Beckett and Castle head out, Castle points out that Royal is their only witness to the murder. Beckett teases about bringing the dog into interrogation, but changes her tune when she realizes Castle means that Royal’s body should be searched for DNA or trace evidence. Detective Kevin Ryan joins them and says one of the losing contestants, David Hernan, just filed an appeal of Pilar’s decision and is apparently furious about the show’s result.
Hernan acknowledges being upset about Pilar’s choice for winner, but says he was at his grooming station at the time of the murder. He then accuses Pilar of accepting bribes from Las Vegas mobsters and cites a dog everyone expected to lose, but who Pilar selected as the winner as his proof.
Later, Castle tells Beckett that fixing dog shows isn’t such a bad idea since all of the focus on betting is on professional sports, leaving dog shows little noticed. Beckett agrees to check out Hernan’s allegation when Esposito interrupts them with a woman who says she was backstage after the show and recorded a video on her cell phone of Kay Cappucio sneaking out of Pilar’s dressing room around the time of death.
As Castle and Beckett approach Kay’s building and find it surrounded by paparazzi, Castle wonders why she’d want to kill Pilar and Beckett how she became so famous without having any kind of talent. They are interrupted when a photographer to Beckett’s amusement and Castle’s chagrin, mistakes Castle for Jason Bateman and snaps a few photos then walks away in frustration upon realizing his mistake.
In Kay’s apartment, Kay is in the middle of a photo shoot, which Beckett quickly breaks up after Reggie initially blows her off. Later, Kay explains that she hired Pilar to train her Chihuahua, Lolita, who nearly bites Castle, and who she says has been having some aggression issues, but Pilar brought her back after only a few days, saying he didn’t want to work with her. Kay tries to end the interview, but changes her mind when Beckett tells her someone saw her leaving Pilar’s room. Kay admits she went to Pilar’s room to find out why he didn’t want to work with her, but found him dead instead and took off to avoid the bad press of being caught with a body. Beckett is furious, but calms herself long enough to ask how Pilar was acting when he returned Lolita. Kay’s friend, Phoebe puts in that he did appear paranoid and demanded to know who Kay was working for.
At the precinct, Castle, Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito all regroup in front of the murder board. Ryan and Esposito say they found regular deposits in Pilar’s bank account of $10,000 each and that he had chosen as winners dogs that weren’t heavily favored by the bookees. Esposito guesses Pilar was killed because he wanted out of the scheme or more money and Ryan adds that POilar had a session with a therapists scheduled for the day he died. Beckett tells them to bring her in as Lanie arrives with Royal, saying she wasn’t able to find any trace evidence or DNA on him. Castle wonders what they should do about Royal since he is homeless then suggests they keep him at the precinct as a mascot. Beckett agrees to the idea, at least until they find him another home. Lanie them says they need to find him some food since he’s not eating what she gave him. Beckett suggests one of the guys go to Pilar’s place to pick up Royal’s food, but nobody is willing. They settle the matter by playing three games of Rock, Paper, Scissors, of which Ryan loses two.
Later, Beckett and Castle interview Pilar’s therapist, Dr. Barker, who describes how her patient suffered from self-esteem issues which lead to eating binges. When she begins to describe his diet, they realize she isn’t talking about Pilar, but Royal since she is a dog therapist. After Barker and Castle have a good laugh about the mistake, Barker says Pilar cancelled Royal’s last appointment, saying he had to be somewhere important. They end the interview and Barker volunteers to work with Royal to try to find out what he might know about the murder. Castle is game, but Beckett begs off when her cell phone rings. Ryan tells her they not only found Royal’s dog food, butalso a bug sweeper at Pilar’s residence. After Beckett updates Esposito on this development, he suggests they use the GPS on Pilar’s cell phone to track his movements in the hours before he died.
Meanwhile, Castle explains to Dr. Barker how Royal was pawing at the ground next to Pilar’s body. Dr. Barker does the same thing and almost immediately pronounces that Royal is trying to tell them something. Castle’s disbelief mounts when she adds that he is dealing with abandonment issues and that Pilar never actually observed a session.
Beckett and Esposito arrive at some kind of warehouse, the last place the GPS on his ell phone says he went before the dog show. He uses the key card found on Pilar’s body to get inside and they find large dog cages stored in the dark. Just as they begin to wonder where the dogs are, they hear growling see two menacing looking German Shepherds. Esposito says not to show fear, but when the dogs pounce, he and Beckett take off running. They stop when the dogs stop and sit down and a man confronts them. Beckett flashes her badge and the man identifies himself as Jack Patterson. He explains that Pilar was developing his own dog breed: the Pilar Retriever. He denies that Pilar had a gambling problem or was taking bribes and says the $10,000 deposits in his bank account were from people who wanted a puppy out of the first litter of his new retriever. He also confirms that he came by yesterday and swept the warehouse with a bug detector because he suspected Kay Cappucio was trying to get an inside track on his breeding operation.
Back at the precinct, Ryan tells Beckett, Esposito and Castle that Pilar’s bug sweeper picked up on a listening device right around the time he confronted Kay’s entourage about who she was working for. Beckett says she wants Kay brought in for further questioning and later in the day, she arrives in all her sexy glory, carrying Lolita, and with her entourage in tow. As she passes by Ryan’s desk, the bug sweeper beeps.
In interrogation, Kay denies any knowledge of Pilar’s breeding operation as Ryan interrupts them. In the observation room, he tells Beckett and Castle how the sweeper went off when Kay passed his desk, so he consulted tech, and was able to isolate the frequency. They turn on a television set and see video footage of Kay’s cleavage, meaning there is a camera hidden in Lolita’s dog collar and that Kay was under surveillance, not Pilar.
In the conference, Kay is shocked that someone has been watching her. Beckett suggests that while the paparazzi can be aggressive, she doubts they’d go to such trouble as to wire a dog collar, but Kay disagrees, explaining that TMZ has offered her $1 million for her first naked picture. Esposito flirts that such an amount is too low for him, but Ryan agrees that money would be a powerful motive. Kay says she bought the collar a few weeks ago and that Lolita is only out of her sight when she goes for a walk or to the groomers, so Beckett asks for the names of people who would have access to her under those circumstances as well as everyone on her house staff to run background checks on all of them. Castle suggests they keep the video feed active to avoid spooking their suspect and Beckett agrees and also catches Esposito smiling at Kay.
That night, Castle spins the theory that whoever planted the camera knows that Pilar discovered it and overheard Kay plan on confronting Pilar after the dog show, so they killed him to keep him quiet. Esposito agrees it is plausible and Castle suggests someone go through the recent published photos of Kay to pull out those that were taken when she didn’t have Lolita with her and use them find the photographer responsible for planting the camera. Esposito eagerly volunteers, but when Beckett reminds him of how Kay is dating Reggie, he laughs confidently then, realizing how transparent he has become, he heads back to his desk, leaving Beckett laughing. Castle then sees Royal penned up in the conference room and volunteers to take him home for the night to keep him company since Alexis is out of town. Beckett also offers to take Royal since she has been considering getting a dog herself. When Castle loses three games of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Beckett suggest they jointly take care of Royal.
Later on, Castle arrives at Beckett’s apartment with Royal to have her criticize him for his lateness and, after Castle says they watched a movie together, for letting Royal sit on his couch when she won’t let him on hers. Castle reassures her that he’ll be fine on the floor then shows her how Royal like his nose rubbed by taking one of her hands and gently circling his thumb over its back. The gesture takes Beckett by surprise and they exchange a meaningful look before she breaks things up. Castle then makes a hasty exit and Beckett slowly heads to her couch. When she sits and sees Royal watching her longingly, she gives in and invites him to join her. He sits next to her and licks her face enthusiastically.
The next morning in the precinct conference room, Kay tells Esposito how tired she finally has become of looking at pictures of herself. She is able to identify each picture Esposito shows based on what she was wearing the day it was taken, impressing Esposito. Eventually, Kay calls her life depressing and admits she feels bad that Pilar could have been killed because of her. Esposito says it doesn’t make his death her fault, but Kay realizes she and Pilar were alike in that the only family they had is their dogs. Esposito doubts this since Kay has Reggie and Phoebe and is never alone, but Kay says that doesn’t mean she never feels lonely. They come to a photo taken from a high angle and Kay says it must have been taken when Lolita got away from her and ran up a hill. Esposito now knows who to call to find out who took the photo.
Later, he slaps a photo of Marcus Hiatt on the murder board and says all the photos from the hidden camera can be traced back to him and Castle recognizes him as being one of the paparazzi he saw outside Kay’s building. Esposito adds that his record includes harassment, trespassing and breaking and entering, meaning he’ll go to great lengths to get the big payoff photos, and he was issued credentials for the dog show Pilar was judging. Outside Kay’s building, they find him monitoring the video feed from the collar camera and take him in.
Back at the precinct, Beckett and Esposito interview Hiatt while Castle watches from the observation room with Royal. Hiatt claims that he caught the video feed by accident and did not place the camera on the collar, but Beckett doesn’t buy it. Hiatt then explains that as he was monitoring the feed the day Pilar took Lolita for dog training, he overheard Pilar talking about shipments from Argentina and getting past customs.
The gang huddles later around Ryan’s desk where Ryan says Pilar’s travel to port cities around the country seems to corroborate Hiatt’s story that Pilar was a drug smuggler and Beckett says his work as a dog show judge is the perfect cover. Castle adds that it all explains why he was so paranoid and Beckett and Esposito doubt the warehouse was a breeding facility.
Later, Beckett and Castle have Jack Patterson in interrogation and he admits he lied to get them out of the warehouse. Beckett presses him saying they are on the verge of getting a warrant to search the warehouse to which Patterson comes clean, saying Pilar was training drug sniffing dogs and his name isn’t Jack Patterson, but U.S. Customs Agent Kenny Wiser.
In the break room, Wiser apologizes for leading them on and says Pilar was a great ally, since he personally took dogs wherever they suspected a shipment was going to arrive. He also admits to that he suspected the Argentinean heroin smuggling cartel run by the Vasquez family had bugged Kay’s dog, but he couldn’t look into it without giving away the operation, so he told Beckett as much as he knew and figured he’d let them do the rest. Wiser describes how the dogs were trained to paw at the ground when they smelled drugs and Castle makes the connection to Royal’s behavior, meaning the killer is connected to the cartel. Wiser isn’t surprised since Pilar’s dogs are responsible for seriously upsetting the cartel’s business. They spin the theory that Pilar caught on to being watched and tipped the cartel off, so they sent someone to kill him. Wiser also suspects that the killer is the same person who planted the camera on Lolita’s collar.
At the murder board, Castle says the killer has to have three things: access to Lolita, knowledge that Pilar was training her and a connection to the Vasquez cartel. Just then, Royal begins pawing at the floor and when Castle asks if Beckett is wearing perfume, she admits she put on a little of Kay’s new fragrance that she sent over in a gift basket. Beckett looks at the ingredients and sees it is predominantly made from the poppy, from which heroin is derived. Castle now guesses that at the crime scene, Royal was pawing at the scent, not at drugs, meaning their killer was wearing the perfume. Esposito observes that only Kay had access to it since it hasn’t been released for general sale yet, then denies that she could be killer. Castle reminds him that she has both access to Lolita and knew that Pilar was training her. Ryan then arrives to fill in their third item, saying that Kay shot a commercial in Argentina six months ago and stayed in the compound of one of the cartel’s lieutenants, Junior Vasquez.
In interrogation, Castle and Beckett play the video of Kay from the dog show where she sprayed some of her perfume into the air. They then confront her with their suspicions and Kay incriminates himself by saying she is the only one who had the perfume. As Esposito and Ryan watch from the observation room, Esposito admits she isn’t incredibly smart. A uniformed officer pokes her head in to say Agent Wiser is on the phone for Esposito and he explains that he asked him to call if he found a solid connection between Kay and the Vasquez family. He heads to desk to take the call and is stopped by Reggie who is wondering how much longer Kay will be. Esposito says he doesn’t know and Reggie steps away to wait, as Esposito picks up his phone.
Back in interrogation, Kay calls Junior a sweetheart, but says she has no idea that the family was heavy into heroin smuggling. Esposito then enters and pulls Beckett outside. Once she leaves, Kay wishes she’d never heard of Pilar and Castle asks her how she did meet him. She says Reggie recommended him then plays the video and notices some of the perfume Kay sprayed into the air also got onto Reggie’s clothes.
Outside, Esposito confirms Castle’s suspicions to Beckett, saying that Reggie went to school with one of the Vasquez kids. Reggie is helping himself to a cup of coffee in the break room, when he sees Esposito gesture in his direction to a uniformed officer. He takes off running and Esposito gives chase. Castle and Royal block his path, so he turns back, but not before Castle unleashes Royal to join the pursuit. Reggie bumps into Esposito and throws a punch, but Esposito easily blocks him, then flips him over his shoulder and pins him to the ground so he can cuff him.
Later, Beckett finds Castle petting Royal at her desk and says Reggie confessed to everything. The Vasquez family convinced him to spy on Pilar, so Reggie planted the camera on Lolita’s collar and steered Kay to Pilar for dog training. When Pilar found out about the camera and Reggie found out that Pilar knew, he killed him. Castle them suggests that they split care of Royal again, but Beckett thinks it will confuse him and suggests they let Royal choose by going to opposite ends of the precinct and to see who Royal runs to. Beckett agrees and they both do their best, but Royal heads for Kay and Lolita. Kay is agreeable, leaving Beckett and Castle disappointed then thanks Esposito for being so sweet. He offers to help her anytime she needs it and she agrees, kisses him on the cheek, then leaves.
That night at Castle’s loft, Alexis arrives home and Castle tells her how he spent the weekend with a dog and how it got him thinking of all the times she begged him for a dog, but he refused. Now he wants to make it up to her. While she is momentarily excited, Alexis wonders if this is a plot just to get her to stay closer to home for college, but when Castle denies this, she promises to come home to visit so often he’ll get tired of her, especially, she teases, since he needs to be fed regularly. Castle then realizes he is hungry and they begin discussing what to have for dinner.
- Victim: Francisco Pilar
- Cause of Death: Strangulation with a dog collar
- Perp: Reggie, boyfriend of TV star Kay Cappucio
- Motive: Fear: Reggie made a deal with a drug cartel to help stop Pilar's operation where he trained drug-sniffing dogs. Pilar caught onto the fact that someone was on to him and Reggie killed him to cover-up his actions.
- Castle: Jon Huertas on working (and playing) with puppies, by Jean Bentley, Zap2it.com, posted January 23, 2012