Season 3, Episode 10 (44)
Original Air Date - December 6, 2010
When the body of a dockworker turned bar owner is found floating in the East River, Castle and Beckett’s investigation takes them into the forgotten tunnels and passageways of turn-of-the-century New York, where they uncover a secret that’s been buried since the days of Prohibition. The story celebrates New York bar culture, setting Castle on a quest to preserve history by buying a bar of his very own.
- Nathan Fillion - Richard Castle
- Stana Katic - Kate Beckett, Detective
- Molly C. Quinn - Alexis Castle (Castle’s Daughter)
- Susan Sullivan - Martha Rodgers (Castle’s Mother)
- Ruben Santiago-Hudson - Roy Montgomery, Captain
- Jon Huertas - Javier Esposito, Detective
- Seamus Dever - Kevin Ryan, Detective
- Tamala Jones - Lanie Parish, Medical Examiner
- Guy Wilson - Jeffrey McGuigan
- Sam Page - Brian Elliot
- Chris Mulkey - Wilbur Pittorino
- Oliver Muirhead - Steven Heisler
- Nathaniel Marston - Grant Vyro
- Rand Holdren - Pete Mucha
- Alexandra Barreto - Annie Swift
- Jillian Clare - Gracie
- Ritu Lal - Jill
- Cat Doss - Filing Clerk
- Christopher Carrington - Man
- Michelle N Carter - Woman
Martha: (to Castle about an old classmate of Alexis’ who has turned Goth) Looks like someone’s not in Kansas anymore.
Castle: (to Beckett) You mean you weren’t born with that dazzling smile?
Ryan: (to suspect) Police! Don’t move!
(Suspect takes off running in another direction, only to be clotheslined by Esposito)
Esposito: The man said ‘Don’t move.’
Castle: The perfect place for a murder. No one can hear you scream.
Beckett: No one can help you carry the body up the stairs either.
Castle: Maybe somebody marched Donnie at gunpoint down to the river and killed him there.
Beckett: The killer had a gun. Why would he use a bottle?
Castle: Don’t ruin my story with your logic!
Castle: My way of giving back.
Beckett: Yeah. To your ego.
Martha: (to Alexis regarding her Goth friend) So where’s your dark shadow?
Alexis: I haven’t changed.
Martha: Oh, darling, please. Look at you! You are tall, beautiful, sophisticated. You have a glam Gram and (looks at Castle trying to unscrew the top of a cocktail shaker) … him.
Castle: Donnie pulled on this door and 'Blam said the lady.'
Beckett: I kinda figured you more for an alligator in the sewer type of guy.
Castle: There’s alligators down here?
Alexis: Gram’s waiting downstairs.
Castle: Thanks for the warning.
Capt. Montgomery: Just heard from the D. A., Castle. Apparently since all of these bottles used to belong to Beau James and he used to be our Mayor, it’s their opinion that they are owned by the City. But, she says if you’d be willing to make a generous donation to the NYPD Widows and Orphans Fund, you can have one of Beau James’ best for your very own. This is early Christmas present, baby.
Castle: (gets choked up) I was not expecting this.
Esposito: Are you crying?
Castle: Yes. I don’t know what to say.
Beckett: Try 'Let me get my checkbook.'
Castle: Yes, of course. But I will only accept this if you all share it with me.
Capt. Montgomery: (holds out a glass) Twist my arm.
- The murder weapon was a 1875 bottle of St. Miriam, Rock of Scotland, scotch. Castle says that it is "the holy grail of scotches".
- The episode ends with Castle, Captain Montgomery, Ryan, Esposito, and Beckett walking out of the precinct singing Billy Joel's song "Piano Man". Since Nathan, Ruben, Seamus, Jon, and Stana are practiced singers, none of their voices were dubbed.
- The old sewer map that Castle and Beckett study suggests that the Old Haunt is situated on the corner of East 21st Street and Park Avenue, in the Gramercy Park district
- This episode contained a Nathanism
- Sister Kate performed by The Ditty Bops - montage of Castle mixing drinks in his loft
Full Episode Recap
A man stands alone on a pier fishing in New York City’s East River. His wife joins him and pleads for him to give up. He does not answer her, but his fishing rod registers a catch. He reels in the line and finds, to both their horror, he has hooked a man’s dead body.
At the Castle loft, Richard Castle is busy writing in his office. His daughter Alexis joins him and models her old grade school t-shirt, proud of the fact that it still fits. Her grandmother, Martha Rodgers follows right behind her, pulls the shirt tail down over Alexis’ exposed stomach and comments that it doesn’t quite fit as well as the teenager would like. Alexis feels a little slighted when she does not get a more positive reaction from her father, and Martha tells her she should expect nothing less since he is writing. Alexis is not deterred, and says her old friend Gracie will love it. Castle finally looks up from his writing and guesses Gracie was Alexis’ playmate as a girl who moved to Kansas with her family. Alexis nods and explains that Gracie is coming to New York to check out the Fashion Institute of Technology and will be staying with them during her visit. Castle looks surprised and Alexis reminds him she asked for his permission. Castle figures out he wasn’t paying attention because he was writing at the time as the front door buzzer sounds. Alexis happily bounces off to answer.
Alexis opens the front door and finds Gracie has adopted the Goth look: black hair, black clothes, black makeup and a lip ring. The girls both greet each other with an awkward hug. Alexis reintroduces her to Castle and Martha, who look on bewildered at the new Gracie. When she asks if Alexis still has the same bedroom, Alexis suddenly becomes acutely aware of how many things in her life have not changed since grade school. She follows Gracie upstairs while flashing her Dad and grandmother a concerned look. Martha observes how “someone’s not in Kansas anymore” and Castle wonders where the little girl with the hairband and knee socks went. His cell phone rings and he answers it to find Detective Kate Beckett on the other end.
Later on, as Castle and Beckett cross the East River piers towards their crime scene, Castle laments what happened to make Gracie go from playing My Little Pony to piercing her eyebrow. Beckett tells him he is probably just romanticizing things, and reminds him that generally things aren’t the way they remember them to be when they were younger. Castle says the only things he remembers about that period in his life are sweaty palms and baking soda volcanoes. Beckett mentions that most of her memories are orthodontic, surprising Castle who compliments her on her smile.
They find Medical Examiner Lanie Parish and Beckett observes that the body is in pretty good shape for having been recovered from the river and assumes it hasn’t been in the river that long. Lanie agrees, estimating the man has been dead for a maximum of 12 hours. She adds that she found no ID, a U.S. Navy tattoo on his arm and a large wound in the top of his head as if he had been struck. Beckett asks if it’s possible that he fell overboard and Lanie says all indicators point to the cause of death being blunt force trauma, so she has ruled out a boating accident. Castle, slightly dramatically, tries to draw a parallel between their victim’s cause of death and the movie Jaws only the comparison goes over Beckett’s and Lanie’s heads, much to his frustration. Beckett rolls her eyes at Castle as Lanie hands Beckett a small evidence bag containing what looks to be a coin or medallion which she found on the victim. Beckett examines it closely and identifies it as a Gamblers Anonymous medallion signifying that their victim has gone 4 years without making a bet. Castle then theorizes that their victim relapsed on his gambling addiction, racked up a debt he couldn’t pay off and was killed and dumped in the river as a result. Beckett incredulously asks him how he can theorize that a mob hit killed the victim with only the medallion as evidence. Castle says the East River is famous for being a mob dumping ground and high-fives a uniformed officer as he walks off the pier, pronouncing the case as closed.
Back at the precinct, Detective Javier Esposito hands Beckett a file and tells her and Castle that the victim had no ties to organized crime. Castle protests loudly, and when Esposito flashes him a hard stare, he backs down. Esposito also identifies the victim as Donald Hayes, a dock worker since 1994. Detective Kevin Ryan arrives and says their victim, a Donnie Hayes, reported for work that very morning at 9 a.m. Castle jokes that their victim is a dedicated zombie and Beckett cuts him off, saying it’s more likely he is their killer.
Back at the dock, Beckett and Castle find Donnie Hayes and confront him. He takes off running, only to have Ryan draw his gun and block one route of escape. Hayes takes off in another direction and is clotheslined by Esposito. As Donnie lies on the ground, he realizes they are merely cops and Beckett teases that his attempt to run makes him merely guilty of murder.
At the precinct in an interrogation room, Beckett discovers Donnie’s real name is Grant Vyro. Vyro denies killing Hayes and says he ran because he thought they were from the union. Beckett accuses him of killing Hayes for his union card and Vyro says he bought it from Hayes, giving him no reason to kill him. Beckett is skeptical and Vyro explains he switched over to the east side dock so nobody from the west side where Hayes worked would catch on. He also says the card cost him $25,000. Beckett continues to disbelieve him, saying she can’t believe Hayes would sell the card for so little when he makes a six figure salary. Vyro says he needed a job and Hayes needed the money, but for what reason he doesn’t know nor did he care. Beckett’s cell phone rings and she answers.
In the morgue, Lanie confirms the cause of death as blunt force trauma. She also tells Castle and Beckett she found a small shard of dark red glass in the wound and adds that she determined the time of death to be between 4 and 6 a.m. that morning. Beckett notices wounds on Hayes’ left upper arm and Lanie pronounces them as untreated buckshot wounds. She says they had most likely been lodged in his arm for 2 to 3 weeks and guesses Hayes didn’t seek treatment because he was afraid of whoever shot him or because he was into something illegal. Beckett guess it was both.
Back at the precinct, Ryan tells Castle and Beckett that Vyro’s alibi held and that he confirmed Vyro’s story about buying the union card from Hayes by tracking down the check Vyro used to pay Hayes. Ryan also says that CSU is looking through Hayes’ place, but hasn’t found anything relevant to the case and that Hayes’ Gamblers Anonymous sponsor told him he hadn’t heard from Hayes in months. Beckett then concludes that Castle’s theory could be correct, to his glee. Esposito interjects and explains that about a month ago, Hayes had $150,000 in his bank account, including Vyro’s check, but that all of it except for $6 is gone. Apparently, it all went by check to Wilbur Pittorino, a former convict who served 10 years in federal prison for assault, racketeering, and running a bookmaking operation, and who now owns a waste management company. As Esposito reveals each detail about Pittorino’s background, Castle gets increasingly excited and asks Esposito to repeat himself to emphasize how it appears that his theory is correct. He now suspects that ex-gambler Hayes got in over his head with ex-bookmaker Pittorino and was killed as a result. Beckett rolls her eyes and agrees.
Later Beckett interrogates Wilbur Pittorino, also known as Billy Pitts, and accuses him of reverting back to his old bookmaking days and killing Hayes for taking too long to pay him. Pitts denies everything, saying he did his time in jail. Beckett tells him Hayes is dead then asks him what the money was for. He explains that Hayes bought the downtown bar he owned since he was practically raised there by its previous owner, Leo the Legend, the only real father Hayes had. Beckett asks where Leo is and Pitts answers that his ashes are kept in a silver shaker behind the bar since he was something of a bar historian. He eventually identifies the bar as The Old Haunt, which had fallen on tough times financially. He goes on to explain that he received an offer for the bar from a restaurant franchising business, which he derisively calls T.J. McChucklenuts, but the bartender, Brian, got together a group of investors and made an offer of his own. In the end, Hayes outbid him. Beckett asks how Brian took the news and Pitts says he wasn’t thrilled, but at least the bar would be kept in private ownership.
Meanwhile, Ryan, Esposito, Captain Roy Montgomery and Castle watch from the observation room. The reference to Leo the Legend immediately gets Castle’s attention. As Pitts talks about Leo the Legend and where his ashes are, Castle’s mind spins with memories. When Pitts names The Old Haunt, Castle is excited and can’t believe none of the guys have heard of the place since it is a classic bar frequented by some of the most famous writers ever. Ryan reminds him they are cops and only know cop boars
Back her desk later, Beckett hangs up from talking to Lanie who told her she found traces of alcohol on the shard of glass recovered from Hayes’ head wound. Castle connects the murder weapon containing alcohol with a jealous bartender and Beckett adds that The Old Haunt is relatively close to the river where Hayes’ body was found. She then, slightly flirtatiously, offers to buy Castle a drink, and he, with a slight glint in his eye, accepts.
As Castle and Beckett get out of her squad car parked near The Old Haunt, Castle explains to Beckett that he wrote his first book sitting in one of The Old Haunt’s booths. He enthusiastically tells Beckett about the rich history of the place, which became a speakeasy during Prohibition. As he talks about how the bar is the last bar of its kind, behind his back, Beckett refreshes her makeup and takes down her hair from the bun she has sported all day. She tells a curious Castle she doubts she’ll get much out of Brian the bartender looking like a cop. Castle agrees with her plan to go undercover and suggests she undo another button on her blouse to heighten the deception. She looks at him rather seductively and unbuttons her blouse until a hint of her underwear can be seen, then turns and heads into the bar. Castle is left speechless on the sidewalk, recovers himself and follows.
In the bar, they approach a man playing an old-time piano who recognizes Castle and briefly plays one of his favorite tunes. Castle tips him and thanks him for remembering. Castle then leads Beckett over to a wall covered in old portraits and points out a portrait of himself in his younger days which hangs over the booth where he wrote his first book, In a Hail of Bullets. Beckett smiles admiringly and says Castle looked very cute back then. Castle is insulted that she implied he is no longer handsome, and Beckett is so embarrassed at her verbal gaffe that she walks away towards the bar. They both take seats and Castle notices the bartender, Brian, drop some money in the cash register, then a lemon wedge into the sink along with several cherries and a few other wedges. Brian greets them and Beckett turns on the charm, asking for Hayes. Brian says he will be in later and casts a flirtatious eye at Beckett, who smiles broadly, introduces herself as an old friend of Hayes’, and finally introduces Castle. Brian continues flirting and Beckett amps things up, leaning on the bar, asking for a type of liqueur that comes in a dark red bottle, and very suggestively biting a cherry off its stem. Feeling left out, Castle leans in close to Beckett and makes up a story about them sharing the liqueur on a trip to Tierra del Fuego. Brian looks slightly deflated, but goes over to the stock of liquor to search. Castle eyes him suspiciously, upset that he didn’t notice they were together. Beckett flashes him a look and he amends his statement saying he meant to say they are undercover together. Beckett says she doesn’t think Brian knows Hayes is dead since he betrayed no emotion when she asked about him. Brian returns and says he has nothing in a red bottle. Beckett then tells him they aren’t there for a drink and shows him her badge.
In a quiet corner of the bar, Brian says he last saw Hayes around 4:30 when he locked up and Hayes went to do the books in the office as usual. He adds that Hayes was like a brother to him and Castle asks if the fact that Hayes outbid him for the bar’s ownership had any impact on their relationship. Brian says they had their disagreements, but always worked things out. Castle then accuses Brian of stealing from Hayes and explains how he pretends to ring up drinks for customers and puts fruit in the sink as a reminder of how much to take at the end of the night for his tips. He then guesses Hayes figured out what he was doing and a violent confrontation ensued. Brian says Hayes knew about his skimming and didn’t mind. Beckett asks to see Hayes’ office and Brian leads them over to a hidden entrance to the basement which fascinates Castle.
As Castle and Beckett check out the basement office they debate whether or not Hayes was killed there then dragged to the river. Castle eventually gets frustrated as Beckett is able to shoot down each of his theories. Beckett then notices that one wall smells like it has been freshly painted and Brian says Hayes had put a lot of money into renovations. She tilts a picture askew, finds a buckshot hole, and digs out a buckshot pellet with a pen. She next presses Brian saying CSU will comb the office so if he knows anything he better talk.
Later, Beckett and Castle speak to a waitress who tells them how a couple weeks ago she was closing and came upstairs from dropping the cash in the basement safe to find a man who she calls Pickup Pete banging on the door. She describes him as a first-class redneck who drives a pickup truck complete with a gun rack. She let him in since he claimed he left his wallet in a booth, only he pinned her up against the bar and kissed her. Suddenly, she tells, Hayes came up from the basement and not only threw Pete out of the bar, but knocked out a couple of his truck’s tail lights with a baseball bat and banished him from the bar. She says he surprised her since she didn’t see him when she was down in the office. She adds that only the day before Pete showed up again and Hayes threw him out again and threatened him, leading Castle and Beckett to suspect Pete killed Hayes.
The next morning, Beckett identifies Pickup Pete as Pete Mucha, owner of a Remington shotgun and previously arrested for domestic assault. Castle seems not to hear her, having scratched out something he wrote on a paper. He explains the case has reminded him of how important it is to preserve bar culture in the city, so he is considering buying a bar of his own and needs to come up with a name. She is shocked that instead of simply buying a drink, he wants to buy a whole bar. He retorts that it is his way of giving back and Beckett agrees, but says it gives back to his ego. Ryan and Esposito enter, one on each side of a very drunk Pete, who can barely stand up. Ryan confirms they found a loaded shotgun in his truck. Beckett suspects a murder charge will sober him up and the guys take Pete to an interrogation room.
In interrogation, Pete explains that he is a pipe setter during the day, but that he does his best work at night. Not amused, Esposito asks him about his shotgun, telling him they want to know about his argument with Hayes at The Old Haunt. Pete remembers that he was there the night before and how Hayes wouldn’t let him in. Ryan accuses him of killing Hayes because of their argument two weeks ago. Pete denies killing Hayes and explains Hayes paid for the damage he did to his truck in cash after Pete threatened to call the cops on him. Hearing this, Ryan hurries out of the interrogation room.
Later on, Ryan said Pete’s alibi checked out. Esposito observes that it doesn’t make sense that Hayes had only six dollars in the bank, but enough cash on hand to pay for the damage to Pete’s truck. Ryan also mentions how he had made a lot of repairs to the bar and Beckett guesses maybe Hayes was skimming off the top like Brian. Castle says if that were true, then there would be a vendor he failed to pay. Beckett tells Ryan and Esposito to go back to The Old Haunt and look at the books again. A uniformed officer hands Beckett a file and she reports that CSU didn’t find any broken red glass anywhere nor any blood in the bar or office except under the buckshot hole. Castle and Beckett then realize Hayes couldn’t have been murdered at the bar.
At The Old Haunt, Ryan goes through invoices of work Hayes had done and notes that all are marked paid in full in cash. Esposito flips through the bar’s ledger and notices The Old Haunt was barely breaking even. He then comes across an interesting piece of paper.
Back at the precinct, Beckett looks at the paper: a receipt for a consignment sale at Hagen and Graham’s auction house. Ryan and Esposito tell her how about the bar’s finances and how Hayes was on the verge of losing all he had. Esposito guesses Hayes found another way of making money that didn’t require his union card. Castle wonders how and Beckett, noticing that whatever Hayes sold, he sold for $10,000, theorizes maybe Hayes was selling something that wasn’t his.
At Hagen and Graham’s, Castle laments how so few places in the city really value history and how much has changed. Beckett teases him that he really means Alexis’ Goth friend, but he disagrees. Steven Heisler, the associate director of the firm, then greets Castle & Beckett and introduces himself. Beckett hands him a photo of Hayes and he immediately recognizes him. Beckett tells him he was murdered and asks what he put up for auction before his death. Heisler responds by asking if they had ever heard of Jimmy Walker. Castle tells the story of the former Mayor of New York City who went by the nickname Beau James and was famous for defying Prohibition. Heisler explains Hayes brought in what is thought to be the sole surviving bottle of the Mayor’s private brand of distilled whiskey, which was rumored to be among the best ever made and thought to be destroyed by federal agents. Castle explains that his liquor is considered the Holy Grail of scotches and that he would kill for just a taste. Beckett asks Heisler for a photo of the bottle. As he searches for one, Heisler explains that Hayes told him Leo left it to him and was given it as a gift when he returned from World War II. Beckett notes that the bottle is dark red in color and Heisler says an internet millionaire named Jeffrey McQuiggen bought it.
Later as Castle and Beckett climb off the elevator to find McQuiggen’s apartment, Castle wonders why someone who made his fortune in internet gaming would buy such an expensive bottle of scotch. Beckett admits she doesn’t know, but notes the apartment building is close to the East River. They find the apartment, and a young man answers the door identifying himself as McQuiggen to Castle and Beckett’s surprise. He also admits to buying numerous items from Hagen and Graham and calls the scotch tasty when Castle tells him they have come looking for it. Castle becomes angry at his lack of appreciation for the valuable drink and gets even more so when McQuiggen says he mixed it with root beer. Beckett asks to see the bottle and McQuiggen becomes concerned about why she is bossing him around. When Castle doesn’t find a dark red bottle in McQuiggen’s stash, he asks if he didn’t happen to break it over something. McQuiggen tries to deflect the accusation by saying he knows his rights, but backs down when Beckett tells him the bottle may have been used in a murder. To Castle’s further frustration, he pulls the bottle out of a recycling bin and hands it over. Castle gingerly takes hold of it using a cloth as Beckett notices it hasn’t been broken. McQuiggen denies hitting anyone with the bottle and Castle says that might change if he continues mixing fine scotch with root beer. Beckett, sensing Castle’s seething looks, thanks McQuiggen and leads Castle out of the apartment.
Back at the morgue, Lanie compares the bottle sold at auction to the shard found on Hayes and pronounces them to be the same type of glass, but not from the same bottle. Castle grows more excited as he realizes there must be more than one bottle still in existence and he still he has a chance at tasting the whiskey. As Beckett theorizes that Hayes found more than one bottle, Castle furiously swabs the empty bottle with a Q-tip to try to extract a drop. Beckett guesses Hayes got more than he bargained for when he went after the bottle after discovering its value. Beckett decides she needs to do some research on Mayor Walker and Leo the Legend to see what might shake out. Castle adds that he plans on doing some research of his own and continues smelling his Q-tip as Lanie casts him an odd look.
Later that night at his loft, Castle plays bartender for Martha, who suggests he name his bar Rick’s Café Americain, an idea Castle loves. Alexis joins them, asking for a drink herself and looking despondent. Castle gives her a serious look and she clarifies her request, asking for water. Martha asks where Gracie is and Alexis says she went out with a group of people she met at FIT and didn’t invite her. Alexis goes on to say that Gracie gets defensive when she brings up how she’s changed and makes fun of everything that is important to her. Martha reminds her that she isn’t the same person she once was either, but Alexis disagrees, feeling like she hasn’t changed at all. Martha overrules her, saying she has become a smart sophisticated young woman with a boyfriend and suggesting that maybe it’s all a little intimidating for a girl from Kansas. Castle suggests a virgin mojito for Alexis and asks her to get him more mint from the refrigerator. She gives a yelp as all of Castle’s liquor supplies spill out on top of her feet. Castle apologizes and admits he was just trying to protect his stash. Alexis asks him to help her reload things and a thought hits Castle. He pulls out his phone and dials Beckett as he yanks Alexis to him in an unexpected one-armed hug.
Back in the office at The Old Haunt, Castle describes for Beckett, despite her protesting the late hour, how bootleggers during Prohibition would go to extreme lengths to protect their stills. He reminds her how Hayes surprised the waitress when he saved her from Pete because she didn’t think he was in the office. Beckett says she was probably tired because of the late hour, but Castle persists. He points to the wall where Beckett found the buckshot, then to the opposite wall which is covered by large wooden bookshelves stocked with old bar memorabilia. Castle suspects that Leo, being a bar historian, told Hayes stories about The Old Haunt and that Hayes bought the place to keep anyone else from discovering whether or not Leo’s stories were true. As he and Beckett struggle to move the bookshelf, Castle continues that Hayes must have suspected, based on Leo’s stories, that Beau James’ secret stash of whiskey was hidden in the bar. They get the shelf moved to reveal a hole in the wall leading to a wooden door. Castle pushes the door open to reveal a buckshot gun designed to shoot anyone who opens it, which they conclude is where Hayes’ got the wound in his arm, and a passageway which Beckett suspects leads to the East River. Castle tries to improvise a torch out of a plunger, toilet paper, lighter fluid and a match, only to have Beckett burst his bubble with a flashlight and nearby battery powered lantern. As they walk through what looks to be an old sewer line, Castle marvels over how the passage was probably used to run alcohol during Prohibition. Beckett isn’t nearly as impressed, calling the tunnel dark, damp, cramped and most likely full of rat poop. Castle guesses Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers are more likely present, and Beckett jokes that she thought he was more likely to believe in alligators living in the sewers. She doesn’t answer when he nervously asks if that is true.
They round a corner and find a shovel next to a hole in one of the walls of the passageway. Beckett flips on a light switch to reveal Beau James secret stash of whiskey to Castle’s ultimate delight. Beckett observes that there must be 100 bottles in the stash. Castle goes to take one and Beckett stops him, saying it is evidence. Castle also notices that while the remaining bottles are covered in the dust the empty spaces are clean, meaning two bottles were only recently removed. Beckett sees a broken bottle on a table caked in what looks like blood and identifies it as the crime scene. She then guesses that someone caught on to the stash, followed Hayes, surprised him, fought with him, and killed him using the only weapon available: one of the bottles. Beckett then notices two trails in the dirt ground leading towards the entrance. She and Castle follow the trail out to a wire mesh trap door that she guesses is where the killer dumped Hayes’ body. Castle finds a glowing marker and supposes someone has been to the vault recently. Just then someone knocks over the shovel from near the entrance to the vault. Beckett identifies herself as the police and tells the person to freeze. They hurry after the sound of the footsteps through more tunnels, but end up at a dead end with no sight of whoever they were chasing.
The next day at the precinct, Castle hangs up a map of the sewer system as Beckett explains the events of the previous night to Captain Montgomery. Montgomery guesses the person snuck past them in the dark and exited through The Old Haunt, only Castle says Brian and a group of regulars were in the bar and didn’t see anyone leave before they did. Beckett says they think the Mayor built a secret entrance to the vault so he wouldn’t be seen going to and from his favorite bar to his stash. Esposito arrives and says Lanie told him she matched the blood on the broken bottle to Hayes’ and Ryan says they couldn’t pull any fingerprints off it. Beckett examines the map and doesn’t find any sewer lines running near where the vault is located. Castle then realizes they are looking at a map of modern sewer lines when there are miles of lines still underground and no longer in use. Captain Montgomery agrees and Beckett also guesses that once they find a connection on an old sewer map it will lead them to the present location and witnesses who would have seen the killer enter the passage.
At the city’s archives, Castle & Beckett find a map of the sewers from around the Prohibition Era. Beckett identifies where The Old Haunt would be located and sees a sewer line running right under it, meaning that would be the access point for the killer. Castle notices that the same sewer line runs into three other lines. Beckett says finding the end of those three lines will allow them to figure out where the killer first accessed the tunnels, and that they can use footage from traffic cameras to find him. As she talks, Castle notices the card in the book’s inside cover that lists everyone who checked the book out recently and shows it to Beckett. He says apparently someone looked up the map two weeks ago and was most likely trying to get back to the stash last night. Beckett grins as she recognizes the name.
At Hagen and Graham’s, Steven Heisler conducts an auction. As a new item comes up for bid, Heisler is visibly distracted when Castle raises his numbered panel as if to place a bid. He attempts to continue, only to have Beckett raise her badge from the audience, Ryan to flash his and Esposito to step a few paces closer to where Heisler stands behind the podium. He quickly finds himself unable to continue.
Back at the precinct, Castle and Beckett tell Montgomery how Hayes told Heisler about the stash and Heisler got greedy. He convinced Hayes that the whiskey would fetch a better price if he sold it a bottle at time, so Hayes left the stash alone, giving Heisler time to find where it was located. Hayes must have caught Heisler in the vault, causing him to panic and hit Hayes over the head with one of the bottles. Esposito enters and says they found out how Heisler disappeared on Beckett and Castle: he used a passageway that could only be accessed from the side opposite to where the vault was located. Ryan enters pushing a cart carrying three cases of the whiskey. Castle picks up one and, holding it lovingly, asks how he might buy a bottle. Beckett tells him they are evidence and he protests, only to have Montgomery overrule him. Montgomery’s cell phone rings, and he takes the bottle back from Castle and steps away to answer the call.
Gracie then enters with Alexis, who has a single braid in her hair and wears a dark, Gothic-looking shirt under her coat. Castle admits he is impressed with her new look and Alexis explains how Gracie took her shopping to store she didn’t even know existed that had great stuff. Alexis compliments Gracie by saying she has a good eye and Gracie returns the favor, saying Alexis looks good in everything. Castle says he is glad they reconnected and Alexis agrees, saying they had to get to know each other as adults, instead of as ten-year olds. Gracie thanks Castle for letting her stay at the loft and says it reminded her of the good old days. Alexis tells her father she is going to walk Gracie to her train, hugs him, and tells him Martha is waiting downstairs. He thanks her for the warning as watches as the girls leave.
Beckett joins him and says Gracie’s outfit reminds her of when she went through a similar phase in which she got a tattoo. Castle is immediately intrigued and momentarily stumbles over his words, but pulls himself together enough to ask where her tattoo is. Beckett only smiles before Captain Montgomery returns with bad news: the District Attorney’s office has advised him that since the liquor was the property of a former Mayor, it is the property of the city. Castle is disappointed, but Montgomery continues, saying that if he is willing to make a generous donation to the NYPD Widows and Orphans fund, he can have a bottle. Castle’s face brightens and he becomes emotional as he takes a bottle out of Montgomery’s hands. He goes on to say that he will only accept the gift if all of them can join him in sharing it at The Old Haunt. Ryan asks what will happen to the bar and Esposito says that T.J. McChucklenuts will get another crack at buying it since it will be turned over to the bank. Castle dismisses their concern, and Beckett’s face brightens as she asks if he bought it. Castle only smiles in reply and asks her if she will join them for their drink. She declines, saying she has paperwork to do, but Castle protests saying it is only 9 o’clock on a Saturday. He then sings a line from Billy Joel’s song Piano Man, and Ryan, Montgomery and Esposito smile and quickly join him. They finish a verse and Castle looks to Beckett, who initially is reluctant, but finally sings the second verse. The guys join her in singing the refrain and they link arms as they all head for the elevator.
Who: Donald Hayes, early 40's, tattoo on arm, Navy vet, Desert Storm
Found: In the East River by a fisherman. Caught him on the fishing line
Where Killed: Underground, in a secret room in the old sewers, then tossed into a sewer drain that emptied into the river
How: crush injury on the side of his head (near his temporal line). He was hit on the head with a bottle of whiskey from 1875. Lanie says that the wound looks like deliberate blunt force trauma. He also had several double-ought pellets in his arm / shoulder from 2 to 3 weeks ago.
Killer: Steven Heisler, associate director of Hagen & Graham auction house
Motive: Greed. He wanted the very valuable cache of whiskey for himself.