Season 4, Episode 8 (66)
Original Air Date - November 7, 2011
The murder of a casino owner takes Castle, Ryan, and Esposito to Atlantic City, where they also hope to throw Ryan a bachelor party, while back in New York, Beckett is forced to work the case under the strict eye of Captain Gates. Meanwhile, a quiet gathering with some friends quickly morphs into an out-of-control party for Alexis.
- 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
- Richard Burgi - Charlie Turner
- Susie Castillo - Nadine Espinoza
- David Figlioli - Ralph Marino
- Eric Laden - Daniel Sullivan
- Laura Regan - Rebecca Siegal
- Jeffrey Vincent Parise - Tommy Moretti
- Jennifer Del Rosario - Juliette Chang
Castle: How about just a low-key evening with your girlfriends. You guys can have a John Hughes marathon and fill out a Cosmo quiz.
Alexis: Dad, the 80's just called. It wants its plan back.
Castle: You gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.
Esposito: Know when to walk away, know when to run.
Lanie: Detective Esposito, a little respect please. I mean there is a dead body here.
Esposito: (to Castle) What’d I do?
Castle: You broke up with her.
Esposito: We broke up with each other. That’s different.
Castle: Yeah, you think it would be different, but no.
Esposito: (to Beckett) You tell him.
Beckett: No, I told you. I’m staying out of this one.
Esposito: Women. You sure you want to spend the rest of your life with one?
Ryan: Uh, yeah. Mine likes me.
Esposito: Did you see that? He just side-stepped me. What’s that about?
Castle: It’s almost as though the thought of marriage fills him with an impending sense of doom. No, no, wait. That’s me!
Esposito: What are you doing?
Castle: What does it look like? Did you think I was gonna pass up a road trip to the Boardwalk Empire, the east coast epicenter of dancing, gambling, showgirls, and sin?
Ryan: You do realize we’re going there to investigate a murder, don’t you?
Castle: Gentlemen, if I have learned one thing it’s not to let a little thing like murder get in the way of having a good time. Oh, and also, shotgun.
Ryan: And for the record, the one guy in this car who is not a real cop is not allowed to call shotgun!
Castle: Well, boys, I’m sorry. I’m sorry it had to come this. I didn’t want it to, but it looks like we have no choice. There is no other way. IBPWOC: Impromptu Bachelor Party While On Case!
Capt. Gates: Look, Detective, I know you’re probably thinking that I have you here as some kind of punishment. You’re a good cop, but I think you can be better if you minimize the…distractions.
Castle: Do you keep former guests in the system?
Daniel Sullivan: Sure do. That’s how we flag gamblers with priors.
Castle: What about me?
Daniel Sullivan: Let’s see: Richard Castle; resident, New York City; disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, 2003 and…wow. Apparently, the last time you were at The Sapphire you accidentally set a mattress on fire and the drapes were covered in jam.
Castle: (laughs) That was a fun night. (low voice) Check.
Beckett: I think we’re missing something. There’s some piece of the puzzle that’ll make all of Sam’s seemingly random actions make sense. Actually, that’s something that Castle’s pretty good at. Taking a look at what we have and then helping to find that piece.
Capt. Gates: Mr. Castle likes to throw a whole lot of crazy theories against the wall. Real detectives don’t have that luxury. It’s our job to look at the facts.
Castle: Well with mobile devices being so small and slim perhaps he had it in his hand-
Amber: His hands were otherwise occupied.
Castle: Oh! Oh! That kind of massage!
Esposito: This is humiliating. We’re homicide detectives. We’re the NYPD.
Ryan: Unfortunately we’re in New Jersey. At least we’re not on a ticking clock because a woman’s been kidnapped. Oh, wait! We are!
Showgirl: Very nice.
Castle: (in Elvis voice) Thank you. Thank you very much.
Esposito: How do you know she wasn’t talking to me?
Castle: (gestures to his own outfit) Well…
Esposito: What, Elvis can’t be brown? I’m El-vez!
Alexis’ Friend: What about Brian?
Alexis: He has the IQ of a squirrel. (sees a vase break) Oh, God. My Dad’s gonna kill me.
Friend: Please, you have the coolest Dad ever. If he were to walk in right now I bet he wouldn’t care.
Alexis: Right, he probably wouldn’t care. Problem is I do. Everybody, listen up! The party is over. Thanks for coming. Thanks for spilling. Thanks for telling every teenager with a pulse.
Esposito: If it wasn’t illegal, I’d kick your ass!
(Beckett sees Ryan and Esposito in Elvis costumes)
Ryan: Um, funny story.
Esposito: We uh…This is…We can explain.
Beckett: No, I’m not even sure I want to know.
Ryan & Esposito: (simultaneously) It was Castle’s idea.
Beckett: Thank you for your help on this one.
Capt. Gates: I enjoy checking out the view from the trenches once in a while.
Beckett: Yeah, well, it helps to be surrounded by a good team.
Capt. Gates: You mean Castle.
Beckett: You said it, not me.
Capt. Gates: He’s not a cop.
Beckett: Yeah, but that’s what makes him so good.
- Richard Burgi, who played Charlie Turner, also appeared with Nathan Fillion in the final episode of Firefly, called The Message.
- The Gambler performed by Kenny Rogers: Castle and Esposito recite the lyrics at the crime scene
- In Modern World performed by Jesse Malin: Esposito, Ryan, and Castle arrive in Atlantic City
- Trial by Fire performed by Fred: Alexis has a gathering friends at the loft
- Super Bon Bon performed by Soul Coughing: Esposito, Ryan, and Castle don Elvis costumes to sneak into the hotel
- Coulda Shoulda Woulda (Party Ben Remix) performed by Lyrics Born, featuring Sam Sparro: Alexis' loft gathering becomes an out of control party
Full Episode Recap
Richard Castle enters the kitchen of his loft and finds his daughter Alexis in her pajamas. She tells him she is worried that she made the wrong decision in dumping her boyfriend Ashley. To make her feel better, he suggests they go to a movie, but she rejects the idea. He next suggests she get together with some of her girlfriends since her grandmother, Martha, is out of town and she likes that idea much better. His cell phone rings and Alexis hands it to him.
As Castle and Detective Kate Beckett approach their crime scene, Castle spies a Hummer splashed with ads about The Sapphire, an Atlantic City casino and becomes excited that their victim could be a showgirl. Beckett tells him it is Sam Siegel, the casino's co-owner. Medical Examiner Lanie Parish tells them Siegel died between 9p.m. and midnight of a small caliber gunshot wound to the chest and that gunshot residue on Siegel’s shirt indicates that the shooter was standing close. Lanie also notes that the killer gave Siegel a bloody lip. Castle wonders why Siegel didn’t have a driver just as Detectives Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan show them a fully loaded handgun they found in the Hummer’s glove compartment, meaning Siegel was expecting trouble so he came alone. Castle begins joking around and Esposito joins in, but is quickly silenced by Lanie. She steps away as Esposito wonders what he did wrong. Castle reminds him he broke up with her, but he insists it was a mutual decision. He asks Ryan if he still wants to get married and he teases that his woman likes him. Castle then suggests Atlantic City for a bachelor party, but Ryan says he was thinking of a camping trip. Esposito soundly refuses, saying the Best Man plans the party and that he needs to decide who the Best Man is so that person can get started planning. Ryan quickly sneaks away, leaving Esposito shocked that he side-stepped him.
Castle finds Beckett in the Hummer, checking on the destinations Siegel programmed into its GPS. They come across another address in town, indicating he made more than one stop before he was killed.
Later at the precinct, Esposito reviews Siegel’s background. He seems to be a stand up guy, even though Castle observes it is hard to break into the casino business without getting a little dirty. Beckett tells Esposito to find out when he left the casino and he complies. Ryan returns saying the address from the GPS is that of Siegel’s ex-wife who he divorced 6 months ago. Neighbors also reported a loud argument at the address and that Siegel left around 8:30, which dovetails with Lanie’s time of death.
In an interrogation room, Siegel’s ex-wife agrees that they argued, but says she did not kill him. She explains that Sam told her he was in trouble and that he wanted to buy out her share of an investment property in Queens that was in both their names, saying his life depended on her agreeing, but she refused, thinking he was just trying to milk her for more money even though he offered her more than her share of what the building was worth.
Later, at the murder board, Beckett says the building’s doorman confirms her alibi that she was home all night. Captain Victoria Gates joins them, saying the Mayor of Atlantic City is inquiring about suspects in Siegel’s death. Beckett updates her on the case, saying Siegel bought the building in Queens a year and a half ago. Ryan puts in that around 6:30 last night, a regular driver of Siegel’s, Ralph Marino, picked him up at the casino and drove him to New York. He hasn’t shown up for work and has a record that includes racketeering and assault. Gates tells them to put out an APB on Marino, instructs the guys to go to Atlantic City and talk to Siegel’s co-workers, and Beckett to find out why he was so desperate to get control of the building from his ex-wife. They all agree, but when Castle goes to leave with Ryan and Esposito, Beckett is surprised and even more so when Gates agrees to let him go, saying she wants to see how Beckett does on her own.
A grinning Castle jumps on the elevator with Ryan and Esposito expressing his excitement about joining them for the trip. Ryan reminds him that the trip is part of a murder investigation, but Castle tells them they shouldn’t let murder get in the way of a good time.
In the car, Castle leaves a message for Alexis about the trip. After hanging up, he suggests they sample various venues as potential bachelor party locations, but Ryan objects again. When Esposito questions him about his reluctance, Ryan finally spills that Jenny made him ask her half-brother to be Best Man, and makes it clear he had no choice. Castle then suggests they have an IBPWOC: Impromptu Bachelor Party While On Case anyway.
Once at the casino, the guys find Nadine, the concierge, who leads them to co-owner Charlie Turner’s table in the bar. She volunteers to help them with anything they need, so Castle asks about their headliner. She says they are hosting an Elvis impersonators weekend, leaving them to feature Carrot Top, further exciting Castle.
Back at the precinct, Beckett tells Gates she’s had no luck tracking down Marino at his place in Atlantic City and that there are no encumbrances on the Queens building Siegel wanted to buy. Seeing Beckett is upset at working the case alone, Gates tells her she is a good cop, but could possibly be better if distractions were kept at a minimum.
At the casino, the guys interview Turner who says it wasn’t like Siegel to go to New York. In the middle of their interview, Turner shouts to a man named Tommy that if he needs anything, he should let him know. Tommy says he needs his luck to change, and Turner agrees. Tommy leaves and Turner calls him a high roller. Turner doesn’t have much information on Marino, and hands over his personnel file. He adds that something went down between Marino and Siegel, but before he can elaborate, his security chief, Daniel Sullivan interrupts, saying facial recognition software has identified a card counter. Turner explains they use the same facial recognition program that the police does to catch criminals. He speaks into his suit cuff telling security to remove the man in question. Ryan asks again about Siegel and Marino, and Turner says they had a fight at the bar over a woman. He gets up to leave, the guys thank him, and he promises that Nadine can help them with whatever they need. Ryan then notices that Marino’s emergency contact is a cousin who lives in New York City eight blocks from the murder scene.
Beckett catches him and drags him into interrogation where he swears he didn’t kill Siegel since they had worked out their disagreement. He explains that after Siegel met with his ex-wife he told him to drive to an abandoned warehouse where he had to meet someone who pulled up in a black SUV. When they arrived, he gave him money and told him to find his own way home, so he crashed at his cousin’s.
In the observation room, Beckett tells Gates she thinks Marino is smarter than to kill Siegel, since it would come right back at him. They build the theory that whoever Siegel met wanted the building and killed him when he couldn’t deliver it since his ex-wife refused to sell. Beckett still wonders what is so special about the Queens property.
Back at the casino, Castle thanks two showgirls and tells Ryan and Esposito that he was able to get three front-row seats for a burlesque show at a nearby casino and a table at a gentlemen’s club for later. Esposito explains that staff told him Siegel followed his usual routine the day before: a massage, then a meeting with the casino manager, followed by a lunch where he arrived with a bloody lip. They all suspect his bloody lip is connected to the trip to New York and the murder, but wonder how they’ll find out who hit him. Castle says he knows how and looks up at the security cameras.
They find Sullivan, the security tech who does a search for Siegel on the facial recognition software. As it works, Castle asks if they keep former guests in the system. When Sullivan says yes, Castle tells him to search for himself. He does and finds Castle’s criminal record and that during his last stay at the casino, he set a mattress on fire and covered the drapes of his room with jam. Castle merely laughs at the fun memory, but is interrupted when the footage of Siegel being hit pops up.
At the precinct, Beckett tells Gates, who is running background on the tenants of Siegel’s Queens building, that Siegel wired $10 million out of the casino’s business account to an offshore account in the Cayman Islands.
At the casino, Esposito’s cell phone rings and seeing it is Beckett, he steps away to take the call. Ryan and Castle watch as Turner is the one who punches Siegel. Esposito comes back telling them what Beckett found about Siegel embezzling from the casino, which explains why Turner hit him.
They confront Turner about the fight and he admits he knew Siegel was embezzling, but says he didn’t kill him and that when he confronted Siegel about it, he pretended not to know about the $10 million transfer. He continues that later that day, Siegel told him he’d have the money back in the account, but then he turned up dead and the money is still missing.
Back at the precinct, Beckett briefs Gates on the guys’ findings. Gates suggests Turner could have hired a hitman to kill Siegel, but Beckett disagrees, saying it wouldn’t make sense if Turner needed Siegel to get the money back and that it also doesn’t makes sense why Siegel didn’t leave the country if he was stealing. Gates, in turn, wonders how it all connects to the building in Queens. Beckett suspects they are missing something and adds that Castle is very good at finding the missing piece of the puzzle in their cases. Gates disagrees and says they have to look at the facts, which Castle doesn’t do. Gates reviews the casino bank account and sees the transfer was made at 9:47 a.m. when Beckett says Siegel was supposed to be getting a massage.
At the casino, the guys interview the masseuse, who confirms Siegel was with her at the time the transfer was made. When Castle asks if he could have made it using his cell phone, she also disputes this saying his hands were busy. It takes a moment, but eventually the guys all get her meaning. This tells them someone made the transfer without Siegel knowing about it. The masseuse adds that Nadine confirmed the appointment whereas Siegel’s assistant had typically had done so in the past.
As the guys report back to Gates and Beckett, Gates recognizes Nadine’s parent’s names as living in the building on Queens and owning a business there. She tells them to pick her up, but Esposito says her supervisor told him she left early citing illness. They step outside just in time to see a black SUV pull up and kidnap Nadine. In the process, she drops a laptop bag.
Castle calls Alexis to tell her he will be in Atlantic City for the night and wishes her a good time with her friends. She ends the call as her friend Julie arrives, saying she brought post-break-up food and a DVD. Alexis says some other friends are coming as well. Julie says another friend’s boyfriend may come by and Alexis remembers the guy as being friends with another cute guy named Brian. Alexis suggests they invite him and his guy friends over as well, but Julie is surprised since Brian isn’t Alexis’ type. Alexis agrees and Julie texts her friend to invite the guys over.
At the casino, Esposito says the license plates on the SUV that took Nadine are stolen and Castle guesses it was the same vehicle the Marino saw approaching the warehouse where Siegel was killed. This means that Nadine is somehow involved in Siegel’s murder and Ryan agrees, saying that Nadine’s laptop indicates she made the $10 million wire transfer. Castle spins the theory that whoever took her wants the money and when they couldn’t get it from Siegel, they killed him, now they are going after Nadine. Castle also guesses Turner is their kidnapper and killer.
Turner denies kidnapping Nadine and having any knowledge of her stealing the $10 million, but the guys don’t buy it. When Esposito asks to inspect the casino’s fleet of SUV’s, Turner ends the interview and throws them all out of the casino, telling them not to return. They report back to Beckett who wonders why Turner didn’t just take her while she was on shirt instead of waiting until she was off. Castle agrees that he did look surprised that Nadine was their thief. Beckett them tells them that according to her phone records, Nadine called Sullivan immediately before and after making the transfer, explaining how Nadine got Turner’s passwords and how she pulled off the transfer in general. Beckett tells them to talk to him, but Esposito reminds her they can’t since they’ve been kicked out. Beckett then says she’s on her way, but before the guys can change her mind, she hangs up.
Back at the loft, Alexis feigns interest in Brian’s sports talk and asks him why he invited half the team over. He ignores her question and she notices someone making a mess of the kitchen so excuses herself. Before she can deal with it, Julie tells her another guy posted on facebook about the party when the door buzzer sounds and a stream of teenagers enters.
The guys all frustratedly wonder how they can get inside the casino, when Castle spies a rolling rack of Elvis impersonator costumes. Later on, the three, clad in Elvis costume, stroll calmly through the casino to Daniel Sullivan’s video room. He explains that they used the $10 million as leverage to get Siegel to hand over ownership of the building Nadine’s parents lived in since he was threatening to evict her parents if she didn’t sleep with him. She refused all of his advances because she and Sullivan are in love, but he refused to accept her rejection. The plan was to get him to sign over the deed then he would transfer the money back, but the money freaked Siegel out. He said that he and Nadine had stolen the wrong person’s money and that if the person found out, they’d all be dead. Security then arrives and lets Ryan and Esposito leave, since they’re cops, but they take hold of Castle and drag him to Turner’s office.
Meanwhile, Alexis party is officially out of control, since someone posted about it on twitter. Two people are chasing each other with drink dispensers, someone else breaks a valuable statue, others are dancing on a high-top table, and still another is playing with Castle’s model sailboat. Alexis tells Julie the party is a disaster, but she tells Alexis to relax since her Dad is so cool that he wouldn’t care. Alexis retorts that while he might not care, she does and stops the music and throws everyone out.
Back at the casino, security throws Ryan and Esposito out as they wonder where they took Castle. At the same time, Castle is dragged to Turner’s office where he demonstrates what will happen since he snuck in by destroying a lamp with a baseball bat. He demands that Castle tell him everything he knows about the missing money and Castle says it isn’t his. He figured out that if the money didn’t belong to someone else, he wouldn’t be so desperate to get it back and to keep the cops out. Turner finally says they couldn’t get a loan from the banks and needed revenue or else the casino would have to shut down, so he borrowed money from the mob. Castle promises to get his money back if he’d just tell him who lent it to him, but he refuses. Castle reminds him how Siegel is dead and that Nadine and himself are most likely next.
Outside, Beckett arrives and finds Ryan and Esposito in their Elvis costumes. Before they can explain, she says she doesn’t want to know, so they merely pin it on Castle. He joins them saying he knows who their killer is. Inside Daniel Sullivan’s office, Sullivan pulls up mobster Tommy Moretti’s profile, saying he loaned the casino money six months ago and the loan is due. Ryan recognizes him as the man who earlier told Turner his luck needed to change. Sullivan asks what to do if he kills Nadine, but Castle says he won’t if he wants his money and that they should stick to the plan. Turner called Moretti and told him to meet him at the casino tomorrow morning before the banks open. He agreed to turn over Nadine once he returns the $10 million. Beckett then says they’ll arrest him for Siegel’s murder.
The next morning, they all watch as Moretti approaches Sullivan at the bar. He asks to see Nadine and two goons bring her onto the floor. Sullivan then transfers the money and Moretti gets confirmation on his cell phone. Moretti releases Nadine and she and Sullivan hug. Beckett and Castle move in and stop Moretti from leaving. He admits that Siegel called him saying he was having trouble raising the money to pay back the loan, so he agreed to a meet. He didn’t kill him because he wouldn’t have gotten his money back. He goes on to say that Siegel told him about Nadine’s blackmail and that he would have his money because his ex-wife had agreed to sell her share of the building. He agreed to give Siegel an extra 24 hours since his ex-wife was going to drop off the money in the morning. When Castle tells him Siegel’s ex-wife lied, Moretti says Siegel showed him the deed she had signed.
Back at the precinct, Beckett interviews Siegel’s ex-wife who eventually admits that when Siegel came to her demanding she sign the deed and she refused, he put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her. She wanted out of the marriage, but realized with someone like Siegel, she’d never really be done with him. So when he told her someone wanted him dead, she saw her chance. She heard him agree to meet Moretti, so when he left, she followed him, and after Moretti left, she killed him and took the deed off his body.
At Beckett’s desk, Gates says she’s asked the DA to consider mitigating circumstances when they offer her a plea bargain. Beckett thanks for her help and she admits she enjoys returning to working cases every now and then. Beckett credits her team and Gates reminds her how Castle isn’t a cop, but Beckett says that’s what makes such a help to her, since he thinks differently. Gates asks where the guys are and Beckett says she gave them time off to have Ryan’s unofficial bachelor party.
Later on at the loft, Alexis frantically cleans up, anticipating her father’s return. When she has the loft returned to its former state and hears his key in the lock, she stashes a full garbage bag in a closet and greets Castle, who wears dark sunglasses, walks uneasily and has his shirt untucked. When she asks him what happened to him, he responds nothing and when he asks what happened at the loft, she also answers nothing. He takes off his sunglasses, squints at the sunlight then puts them back on as they both drop down on the couch next to each other. Castle’s head drops back and Alexis exhales a sigh of relief.
- Victim: Sam Siegel, casino owner
- Cause of Death: Gunshot wound to the chest
- Perp: Siegel's ex-wife
- Motive: Fear: She wanted out of her marriage to Siegel, but realized she'd never be truly free of him, because of his business. When she heard someone wanted him dead, she took the opportunity to kill him herself.