Season 4, Episode 10 (68)
Original Air Date - December 5, 2011
Castle and Beckett awaken in a dark basement handcuffed together with no memory of how they got there and struggle to control their bickering in order to uncover the reason for their predicament. Meanwhile, Ryan, Esposito, and Captain Gates investigate how their disappearance may be connected to the murder of a John Doe in a run-down hotel.
- 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
- Brad Carter - Bobby Spurlock
- Darin Heames - Agent Chuck Martinez
- Brian David Jones - State Trooper McNichols
- Deborah Van Valkenburgh - Ruth Spurlock
- Brett Wagner - Jack Spurlock
Castle: We’re in handcuffs. Kinky.
Beckett: Castle, it’s not funny.
Castle: I didn’t say funny, I said kinky…
Beckett: Do you recognize this place?
Castle: No, but if I were writing a book, this is where bad things would happen.
Beckett: Would you stop joking?
Castle: Hey, do I begrudge you your coping mechanisms?
Beckett: Lift my top.
Castle: I think you might still be under the influence, but ok.
Beckett: What’s the last thing that you remember from this morning?
Castle: I was with you. We were, uh, someplace seedy. A hotel that rents rooms by the hour.
Beckett: Would you just knock it off!
Castle: It’s where we were! You called me and you asked me to meet you there.
Beckett: Oh, I did.
Beckett: And then I took you up to the room and then we…
Castle: And then we…
Beckett: Dead body! We went to go and see a dead body.
Castle: You know what I love about working with you? You always take me to the most charming places.
Beckett: Well, I’m a simple girl, Castle. I go where the bodies are. Besides, for a mystery novelist, aren’t seedy motels kind of a standard?
Castle: Ah yes. As a matter of fact, they’re a veritable Advent calendar of salaciousness.
Castle: I saw a camera in the lobby.
Esposito: It’s a dummy.
Lanie: (under her breath) It’s not the only one.
Lanie: I told you, it’s none of your business.
Castle: Of course it’s none of my business. That’s why I want to know.
Beckett: Know what?
Castle: What she and Esposito were fighting about.
Beckett: It’s none of your business.
Castle: That’s the point!
Beckett: What was so special about our victim that our killer wanted to erase his identity? Don’t say spy. Or mob hit.
Castle: Mob hit of a spy?
Castle: Do you know what Lanie and Esposito were fighting about?
Beckett: Everything. They both want to be together, but neither of them wants to admit to it.
Castle: Why do people do that to themselves?
Beckett: Maybe they just don’t see it.
Castle: How could they not? It’s so obvious.
Beckett: Castle, would you just work with me?
Castle: How about you work with me? How come you always have to lead?
Beckett: How come you always have to step on my toes?!
Castle: Since when…ok, you know what? Tell me this. Why do you always have to be first? First out of the elevator, first through the door…
Beckett: Uh, I am a cop. I’m the one with a gun. Being first through the door is my job.
Castle: In the elevator? Look, how about this: would it kill ya to let someone open the door for you once in a while?
Beckett: You do realize that if somebody opens the door for me, then I will be going through it first anyway, right?
Castle: Oh yeah. That’s right. I forgot. You have to be the smartest too. Everything’s a competition with you.
Beckett: That is so not true. Are you always like this in the mornings?
Castle: You know, I’d argue with you, but then I’d have to let you win.
Beckett: Ok, fine. You lead.
Castle: Thank you. (thinks) Where did you want to go?
Beckett: Hold my hand. So the cuffs don’t cut into us!
(Castle stands directly behind Beckett so his front is pressed against her back)
Beckett: You better not be enjoying this.
Castle: I’ll let you know in a minute.
Castle: What if we emptied it?
Beckett: That’s a great idea Castle, except it’s locked and I’m fresh out of bolt cutters.
Castle: (to Beckett) You would make a terrible conjoined twin.
Castle: I don’t know whether to be smug or horrified.
Beckett: I vote for motivated.
Lanie: Javi, I can feel your impatience all over my backside and rushing me is never a good idea.
Esposito: You’re talking about that print, right?
Castle: Lift up my shirt, pull off my boots. Under normal circumstances, I would like where this was heading.
Castle: If we ever get out of here, we should seriously consider joining the circus.
Castle: (with Beckett standing on his shoulders) I’m getting a little tired of you walking all over me.
Beckett: Are you offering to cut off your own hand?
Castle: Whoa! Mine? No, I was thinking about yours.
Beckett: My hand? Why my hand?
Castle: It’s smaller.
Castle: They’re not gonna kill us, they’re gonna sell us...I’m a bestselling author! I wonder what I’d be worth.
Castle: How is getting out of one prison and into another gonna help any of us?
Beckett: Let me ask you this: if it was Alexis on the other side what would you do?
Castle: (to Beckett) I’ve always liked your legs, but now I respect them.
Castle: Remember what I said about joining the circus?
Castle: Changed my mind.
Beckett: I did not survive a bullet to the heart to die as tiger kibble.
Capt. Gates: Thanks to you two, I’m instituting a new policy in our department. No one goes anywhere without calling it in.
Ryan: Thanks guys. Really appreciate that.
Esposito: Well, at least we won’t have to look so hard next time we save your ass. I missed you, by the way.
'Beckett: Really? Prove it.
Ryan: How’s that tiger? Was it grrrrreat?
Beckett: That has gotta be the strangest brush with death I’ve ever had.
Castle: Me too. But I’ll tell ya, after that experience, if I ever have to be hitched to someone, it would be you.
Castle: Hitched? No, I didn’t say hitched. Said cuffed, handcuffed, not hitched. The colloquial or any other connotation or meaning.
Beckett: It’s ok, Castle, I understood what you meant. And for what it’s worth, if I ever have to spend another night handcuffed to someone again, I wouldn’t mind if it was you, either.
Beckett: But next time, let’s do it without the tiger.
Castle: Next time?
- To work out the physical aspects of Castle and Beckett being handcuffed together, Andrew Marlowe and his wife, Terri Miller handcuffed themselves together and moved around their house. "We got into a little bit of a back and forth that is kind of reflected in some of Castle and Beckett’s back-and-forth."
- Give a Little Love performed by Mostar Diving Club: Beckett flirts with Castle about the next time they're handcuffed together (end scene)
Full Episode Recap
Detective Kate Beckett awakens from sleep and finds herself nestled next to Richard Castle on a mattress and their left hands handcuffed together. She rouses Castle who can’t help but observe the kinkiness of the situation. They sit up and realize their watches and cell phones as well as Beckett’s badge and gun are missing and they are in what looks like a large, dark, dank room. They try to remember anything and come to the conclusion that they’ve been drugged. To Castle’s surprise, Beckett tells him to lift up her shirt since she feels pain in her back and he does, finding a bruise where she was injected with something. Castle thinks back to his last memory which is of himself meeting Beckett at a seedy motel. After a moment of worrying about what happened at the motel, Beckett remembers they got a call about a dead body.
That morning, Beckett and Castle entered the motel room where the body was found and see Detective Javier Esposito arguing with Medical Examiner Lanie Parish. Lanie told them their victim is a white male and she isn’t quite sure of the cause of death, but she saw signs of asphyxiation, which indicates strangulation, and an injection mark. Castle guessed their victim over-dosed, passed out face first and suffocated as a result, but Esposito disagreed since Lanie found that the victim’s fingerprints were burned off. Esposito added that the man’s wallet is missing, he paid for the room in cash, used the named Jack Sparrow, which they are running even though it is likely a fake, and appeared nervous to the clerk. Castle asked about a camera he’d seen in the lobby and Esposito said it is a dummy, which Lanie compares, under her breath, to Esposito. Beckett figured that a killer wouldn’t go to so much trouble to conceal the victim’s identity without a good reason and told Esposito to have Detective Kevin Ryan run the man’s photo through missing persons.
Back in their room, Beckett remembers that Ryan found no match in missing persons and Castle adds that Ryan had asked him how to split holidays between his family and his fiancee’s. Then he remembers they went to the morgue.
Castle insisted on finding out what Lanie was arguing about with Esposito, but she and Beckett both told him it’s none of his business. Lanie said their John Doe’s hands had callouses, so he most likely had a job involving physical labor and that she can’t get a fingerprint, but could try looking under the top layers of skin, which will take time. She also showed them the corner of an envelope that was tucked in the man’s pants pocket with an address and time noted on it.
Later, Ryan identified the address as that of a café so Beckett figured he was meeting someone. She told Ryan to take the man’s photo and see if he and Esposito can find someone at the café who can identify him. After he left, Beckett wondered aloud what made the killer burn off the victim’s fingerprints and cut off Castle before he can guess a mob hit or spy. Castle then noticed a postal bar code on the opposite side of the envelope corner, and suggested it could lead them to where he was when he wrote the note about his meet.
It lead them to a house in Queens which they found largely empty and abandoned at first glance. When the front door fell open, they searched. Castle found mail addressed to Bill and Nora Ranford and wondered if Bill is their victim. A noise startled them and Beckett pulled her gun. They followed a raspy voice and found a middle-aged woman in a large cage. She smiled at them just before their memories went blank.
At the precinct, Ryan explains his holiday predicament to Esposito and how he and Jenny plan on driving to Florida for Christmas to see her family and getting in some quality time on the way. Esposito calls the trip a relationship test, saying it enables Jenny to confront any lingering doubts she may have about the wedding while both are stuck in a car together. Captain Victoria Gates pokes her head outside her office and asks where Beckett is to which Esposito guesses she is following up on a lead. Gates cautions the boys that she knows how they cover for Beckett and asks for an update on their case. They explain that their John Doe did meet someone at the café and they are having a waitress work with a sketch artist so they have a drawing to use for a canvas. Gates tells them to keep her apprised and returns to her office. Ryan revisits his trip with Jenny, saying she would never test him, but Esposito doubts it, further cautioning him against going canoeing with her. He goes on to say that if the canoe goes straight, it means they can compromise and move forward together in a positive direction, but if it goes in circles, so will their relationship.
Meanwhile, Castle and Beckett walk in circles, confused about how to move around while handcuffed together. They begin to bicker, with Castle wondering why Beckett always has to be in charge and always has to be first everywhere, especially when going through doors to make an arrest. Beckett reminds him that, as a cop, it is her job to which Castle comments on how she always has to be the smartest and how everything is a competition to her. She disputes this and in a huff lets him decide what their next move is. Castle thinks for a moment then asks for her input. She says she noticed a light switch on a wall earlier, so they move over and flip it, illuminating their surroundings. The walls are cinder blocks and any doors are sealed. They also see a large box, leading Castle to wonder if the woman from earlier is inside. Beckett tells him to focus on finding a way out and guesses they were only out for a couple hours, meaning it is unlikely anyone is looking for them yet. Castle says his mother, Martha Rodgers, is driving his daughter, Alexis, to visit colleges so they won’t notice if he doesn’t come home. Esposito and Ryan will notice, but Beckett worries that they won’t find them. She then sees a trap door in the ceiling and guesses if they climb on top of the box they might be able to reach it.
Back at the precinct, Esposito ends a phone call from Lanie, who confirmed their John Doe was injected with high doses of a sedative then smothered. Ryan shows hi s partner the sketch developed by the waitress and says a canvas is underway. Esposito then wonders where Beckett is, saying her cell phone goes straight to voice mail and there were no new leads on the murder board when he got back. He suggests Ryan call dispatch to activate the transponder on her car to pinpoint its location.
Beckett grunts and groans heavily to move the box, but finds it impossible. Castle then gets behind her, leading her to tease him about enjoying himself since he could easily spoon her, and they both push, but can’t make the box budge. Castle suggests they open it, but Beckett reminds him it is locked with a combination lock. Castle then says for one of his books, he studied with a safe cracker and is confident he can open the lock, but wonders if they want to. Beckett tells him to go ahead.
Ryan and Esposito locate Beckett’s squad car under an overpass and believe it’s been dumped. Esposito then sees a surveillance camera nearby. At the precinct, he, Ryan, and Capt. Gates watch as, five hours earlier, a strange man drives Beckett’s car to where they found it, and gets in a black pickup truck which drives away. The camera was too far away to pull the truck’s license plate and they can’t get a signal on Castle's or Beckett's cell phone. Gates orders CSU to go over Beckett’s car for trace evidence and Ryan and Esposito to locate the man their John Doe met and find out what about. She wonders what Castle and Beckett could have gotten into and worries that they are running out of time.
By now, Beckett is impatient with Castle’s trying to open the lock and asks him to take a break since her hand is falling asleep. He agrees and in response to her question, cannot come up with a story with a good ending to explain everything that’s happened. Trying to lift her spirits, he guesses that Ryan and Esposito have to be looking for them by now. Feeling slightly better, Beckett tells him to get back to it.
Back at the morgue, Esposito practically begs Lanie for any more information on their John Doe which could lead to identifying him, but she has nothing. After a bit of arguing, Ryan gets Esposito to back off and asks Lanie if she can try the process she’d suggested to Beckett to get a fingerprint. She is reluctant since an attempt could damage the print beyond recognition, but agrees to try since they have no other options.
Castle at last succeeds in opening the lock to the box. He hesitates before lifting the lid and Beckett reminds him how they see dead bodies all the time. They open the lid and find the box full of chains and bloodied sharp instruments mounted under the lid. After observing that Castle’s theory about a crazed psychopath might not be far from the truth, they begin emptying the box.
At the morgue, Lanie shoos Esposito away from crowding her as she tries to separate layers of skin to extract a fingerprint under a microscope. The skin tears and she pronounces the sample unusable, but Ryan has an idea. In the conference room at the precinct, Ryan shows Capt. Gates how they were able to use pieces of the fingerprint to identify their victim as Hank Spooner, a Texas truck driver who got a contract last week to bring a load from Texas to Queens. His parents said they don’t know what the cargo was, just that a special client of his made the request and promised him big money to transport it and that it was unlike him to stay in a motel, since he thought it cheaper and safer to sleep in his truck. Capt. Gates orders an APB put out on Spooner’s truck just as a man with long hair joins them and introduces himself as DEA Special Agent Chuck Martinez.
In Gates’ office, Martinez explains that he caught on to how Spooner would take a contract six times a year to make a run from a little town in Texas on the US-Mexico border to New York, leading him to suspect he was running drugs. He didn’t arrest him because they only had evidence of suspicious activity and were more interested in who he was working for. His meet at the café resulted from a sting where another agent posed as someone looking to hire him for another run, but Spooner tagged him, so Martinez set up the meet where Spooner said he wanted out, but feared what his employers would do. He agreed to protect him if he told him everything knew and Martinez’s bosses agreed, but by that time Spooner was dead. Gates steps outside to get a message from a uniformed cop and returns saying state troopers found Spooner’s rig. At the scene, a trooper tells Gates that the rig has been sitting there for three days and the driver hasn’t been seen in two. Inside is nothing but a large wooden box full of what look like air holes and a large blood splatter.
Meanwhile, Beckett and Castle find the hatch in the ceiling to be too high even with one of them standing on the box. Beckett guesses she could reach if she stands on Castle’s shoulders, but he is doubtful since the last time they weren’t handcuffed. He also notices she is wearing boots, whereas the last time she stood on his shoulders, she was in sneakers. She turns around and tells him to pull them off as he teases her about how she runs in such high heels.
Back at Spooner’s truck, Martinez has no idea what Spooner could have been transporting. Ryan and Esposito join them with bills indicating that Spooner made a delivery to a furniture store in Manhattan. Gates tells them to check it out and tells Martinez to get all files on Spooner from his bosses.
Beckett makes an attempt at climbing on Castle’s shoulders, but they end up tangled, and he sets her down on her feet. She tries from behind and succeeds, leaving her able to barely reach the hatch. However, when one of their captors surprises her by opening it, she tumbles off Castle’s shoulders and both fall off the box to the mattress on the floor. They demand to know what he wants from them, but he only smiles and shuts the hatch.
Later at the precinct, Ryan and Esposito report to Gates that the furniture store owner confirmed that Spooner dropped off some coffee tables, but nothing else and they have no reason to suspect him of anything illegal. Esposito says he did report that as they were unloading the furniture, a box fell off a stack, hit him in the shoulder and bounced as if it was empty. When he asked Spooner about it, he shook it off, but the owner remembered hearing what he thought was breathing coming from behind the stack. Gates guesses that Spooner took a few legitimate jobs to cover his illegal shipment and used the empty crates to hide the cargo. When she wonders where Castle and Beckett went, Esposito shows her the envelope corner and Ryan immediately notices the postage markings.
Ryan and Esposito and a SWAT team burst into the house in Queens and search, but find nothing at first. A uniformed officer calls their attention to a hatch in the floor, which when opened, reveals a broken chair in some kind of concrete basement.
Meanwhile, Castle tries using one of the tools mounted on the lid of the box to cut their handcuffs, but fails. He then suggests Beckett cut off her hand, leaving her incredulous. They then hear voices, one speaking in English, another in what sounds like Arabic, talking about selling something. As they listen, Beckett suspects someone else is with them. When Beckett says the voice sounds like a girl instead of the old woman from earlier, Castle guesses their captors are engaged in human trafficking, which explains why the two of them are still alive: they plan on selling them.
Back at the house in Queens, Esposito says it looks like the hatch in the floor was recently installed. Ryan adds that according to neighbors, the house was foreclosed upon six months ago, but new neighbors, two men who own a black pickup truck, moved in a couple weeks ago. Esposito suspects these are the same guys who dumped Beckett’s car, meaning she and Castle were at the house. Ryan also says the neighbors saw Spooner’s rig pull up a few nights earlier. Esposito says they need to find out who bought the house.
Beckett pounds on the wall through which she thinks she heard the girl breathing. She then notices that the wall is stucco tile, meaning they could bust through it and help whoever is on the other side. Castle wonders what good it would do, but changes his mind when Beckett asks what he would do if he knew Alexis was on the other side. They both begin working on the wall using tools from the box.
At the precinct, CSU tells Esposito they found no fingerprints or trace evidence in the house. Ryan joins him and says the bank which foreclosed on the house owns it, meaning the two men were squatting. Esposito then recognizes the name of the bank as the same that owns another house in Brooklyn which Martinez tracked Spooner as making a delivery to, so DEA raided it, but only found a hatch cut into the floor. Ryan realizes the men must be targeting foreclosed properties and Esposito tells him to get a list of all foreclosed upon properties owned by the bank that have a basement.
Beckett and Castle finally succeed in kicking a hole in the wall, but cannot see or hear anyone on the other side. Castle puts his head through and to his utter shock, finds an angry adult tiger looking back at him. Beckett now understands the purpose of the chains, the bloody instruments, and the cage, figuring they walked in on an illegal animal smuggling operation. As they wonder what to do, the tiger works at breaking through the wall. Castle throws it some beef jerky he found in his pocket earlier, but it only makes the tiger hungrier. They desperately try to push the metal box in front of the hole before the tiger can break through eventually giving up when Castle says he has a plan.
Meanwhile, at the precinct, Ryan and Esposito brief Gates on how they’ve narrowed down the bank’s foreclosure properties to eleven that would meet the smugglers’ needs. Gates tells them to divide up the properties between uniformed officers to find Beckett and Castle. Ryan and Esposito draw an industrial building and begin searching around its perimeter. Eventually, the find the black pickup truck and Esposito tells Ryan to call for backup.
Beckett climbs on top of the metal box, which now sits on its end, and pulls Castle after her in hopes that will be high enough to be out of the tiger’s reach. It breaks through the wall, but they find it can still reach them. Beckett tries to push open the hatch in the ceiling. Failing to do so, they wonder what to do next, as the tiger tries to knock over the box. Castle suggests they yell for help.
As Ryan and Esposito head back to their car, they hear cries for help and with guns drawn, they make their way in the building and find Castle and Beckett and spy the tiger, but before they can get them out, a shot gun is cocked and the old woman from earlier aims at both of them. The hatch falls shut, leaving Castle and Beckett to continue to yell for help. The woman’s sons also take aim with guns and she tells them either they let them go and save their friends, or they die. As they standoff, Castle laments to Beckett that they’re out of options, but she refuses to give up. They yell as the tiger finally succeeds in knocking over the box. Esposito angrily lets the woman and her sons go and he and Ryan throw open the hatch. Initially, they think Castle and Beckett are dead then they appear having grabbed onto the floor framework. Outside, the woman and her sons are stopped by Captain Gates and a SWAT team as they try to drive off.
Later, Esposito removes the handcuffs as Ryan muses over how it is surprising that Castle and Beckett didn’t kill each other. Gates joins them with a small box contained their watches and cell phones, and Beckett’s badge and gun. She then says that thanks to them all officers under her command will be required to call in when they go into the field. She leaves and Ryan and Esposito derisively thank them.
Back at the precinct, Agent Martinez identifies the woman as Ruth Spurlock and says she and her sons are major suppliers of endangered tigers. They hire truckers to unknowingly drive them from the Mexican border to New York where they are smuggled through customs and sent to international destinations. When Spooner caught on to the plan, they killed him and when Castle and Beckett arrived at their house, Ruth played the victim to lure them in then injected them with animal tranquilizers. Agent Martinez goes to leave and Capt. Gates walks him out.
Back at her desk, Beckett says that was the weirdest near death experience she’s ever had. Castle helps her into her coat and says that if he had to spend hours “hitched” to someone, he’d prefer it was her. She teases him about his word choice, which he promptly takes back, and then says she also wouldn’t mind being handcuffed to him. She picks up her motorcycle helmet and adds that the next time they’ll have to do it without the tiger. She is halfway to the elevator before the meaning of what she says hits Castle and only casts a teasing look over her shoulder. Castle smiles and leaves.
- Victim: Hank Spooner
- Cause of Death: Smothering after injection with tranquilizer
- Cause of Death: Smothering after injection with tranquilizer
- Perps: Ruth Spurlock and sons
- Motive: Secrecy/revenge: Hank Spooner had been unwittingly transporting endangered tigers as part of the Spurlock's smuggling operation and was killed for agreeing to tell the DEA what he knows
- Motive: Secrecy/revenge: Hank Spooner had been unwittingly transporting endangered tigers as part of the Spurlock's smuggling operation and was killed for agreeing to tell the DEA what he knows
- Castle's Andrew Marlowe Previews "Cuffed": Expect Lots of Relationship Fun by Carita Rizzo, Wetpaint.com, posted December 2, 2011