Season 3, Episode 19 (53)
Original Air Date - March 28, 2011
A juror drops dead during closing arguments of a high-profile murder trial, leading Castle and Beckett on a chase for what could be a double dose of justice. As the case unfolds, Captain Montgomery is confronted with the possibility that an old friend might be hiding a secret related to one of the murders. On a personal note, Castle becomes concerned when Alexis lies to him, but his effort at uncovering the truth only makes things worse.
- 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
- Bruce Davison - Lou Karnacki
- Lary Clark - Tony Mueller
- Kathleen M Darcy - Dawn Craig
- Jeremy Glazer - Nick Keller
- Jesse Hlubik - Joe McUsic
- Michael Maize - Hank Roszell
- Jim Meskimen - Randolph Atwater
- Judith Moreland - Sandy Jenkins
- Kwame Patterson - Wardell Williams
- Jay Paulson - Eddie McUsic
- Houston Rhines - Stephen Atwater
- Ray Stoney - Otis Williams
- Tom Virtue - Judge Fitz
Castle: (answers his cell phone in radio voice) For Richard Castle, press one.
Lanie: Test strip came back positive for cyanide.
Castle: Cyanide?! That is fantastic! (gets a look from Lanie) Unless, you’re the juror.
Beckett: That’s an odd way to kill.
Castle: Not for Nazis or evil dictators.
Castle: And who benefits from a dead juror?
Beckett: (obvious tone) The defendant.
Castle: Then we’re agreed.
Beckett: Alright. Keep an eye out for him on the video.
Esposito: Already got an APB out on him.
Beckett: Oh you do?
Castle: Looks like he makes a killer cup of joe. (gets a look from Beckett) Too soon?
Lanie: Joe’s cyanide-laced coffee cup: CSU found both Joe and Wardell’s prints on it, but there was something very important missing…cyanide.
Beckett & Castle: (simultaneously) Really?!
Beckett: Ah, but you are missing one very important detail, Castle.
Castle: Enlighten me.
Beckett: Our killer had access to Joe’s medications. Medications that he did not keep on him, so therefore our killer has access to-
Castle: His apartment.
Esposito: You know, the murder of Joe the Juror is a tragedy.
Ryan: Isn’t every murder a tragedy?
Ryan: “Cowards die many times before their death. The valiant never taste of death but once.”
Esposito: Bro, you’re not Castle.
Ryan: Yeah, I know I’m not Castle.
Esposito: Then stop trying to talk like him.
Ryan: What, I’m not allowed to reference The Bard? I’m a Renaissance Man.
Esposito: Memorizing one quote does not make you a Renaissance Man.
Ryan: What if I memorize two?
Esposito: Have you memorized two?
Ryan: No, but what if I did?
Esposito: Depends on the quote.
Sandra Jenkins: I did it. I did it. I did it.
Castle: You killed him?
Jenkins: Oh my god no, of course not! Why would you think that?
Castle: Because you just said ‘I did it.’
Sandra Jenkins: Please! Please, don’t send me to prison. All day long I see the women who get sent there and I can’t hack it. I’ll be some lifer’s bitch before breakfast.
Alexis: (angry) You know what? If you’re so interested in what I’m doing, why don’t you ask your phone. I’m sure there’s an app for that!
Castle: (about Alexis) I still don’t know why she went to Williamsburg.
Beckett: And I’m sure you never will…unless you plan on water boarding her.
Beckett: (about Alexis) You broke her trust.
Castle: Yeah, I know. So what do I do now?
Beckett: Win it back.
Castle: Maybe he wanted to create reasonable doubt in the deliberation room to get Otis off just like Henry Fonda in Twelve Angry Men.
Beckett: Or maybe he got onto the jury because he wanted to make sure that an innocent Otis got convicted of his crime.
Castle: No, I like my killer with a conscience theory better.
Beckett: Yeah, well like your theory all you want mine is less convoluted and contrived.
Capt. Montgomery: You called in the D.A.’s personal assistant without informing him?
Beckett: Sir, I’m sorry, I was-
Capt. Montgomery: Smart move.
Castle: That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Are you ready for The Titanic?
Castle: Seat back button. What a great detail for a murder mystery.
Beckett: Only if we get a print.
Castle: Yes. Otherwise we’ll just be looking for tall people.
Castle: Why are you even friends with these girls in the first place?
Alexis: It’s not that simple.
Castle: No you’re right. It never is, is it?
Lou Karnacki: First rule of being a lawyer is never ask a question you don’t want an answer to.
Capt. Montgomery: Guess it’s good I’m not a lawyer.
Capt. Montgomery: I mean Lou screwed up. He did, but that doesn’t take away from the good he‘s done.
Castle: It’s unfortunate that despite all that good he’s only going to be remembered for this one bad thing.
Beckett: I'm taking you. My treat.
Castle: Oh no. I have plans.
Beckett: Not anymore.
Castle: Alright, well, can I have candy and popcorn?
Beckett: Sure. Oh, Castle you’re gonna love this. This is Leslie Neilsen before he became a comic genius.
Castle: Can we stop at Remy’s for burgers after?
Beckett: Now you’re pushing it.
- Bruce Davison, who played Lou Karnacki, previously appeared with Stana Katic in The Librarian 3: The Curse of the Judas Chalice.
- I Hope This Gets to You performed by The Daylights - Castle and Beckett leave the precinct to see Forbidden Planet
Full Episode Recap
An attorney is giving closing arguments in the murder trial of Lila Addison, the daughter of a wealthy and politically connected couple, when one of the jurors stumbles out of the jury box and collapses on the floor of the courtroom.
At his loft, Richard Castle is disgusted by a vegetable smoothie his mother, Martha Rodgers, made. His daughter, Alexis, joins them and when her father asks her if she wants to see one of his favorite movies, Forbidden Planet, with him, she refuses saying she has plans in The Village. She takes a sip of Martha’s concoction, quickly kisses her Dad, bids him and Martha goodbye, and hurries off. Castle immediately knows she lied to him, but Martha tells him he is being sensitive. He asks if she wants to join him at the movies, but she says she has to meet with the contractor about her acting school. Castle resolves to go by himself when his cell phone rings.
Later at the morgue, Castle meets up with Detective Kate Beckett carrying their normal coffees. He asks why so many news vans were parked out front and Beckett tells him it is because the victim, Joe McUsic, was a juror on the Lila Addison murder case. She explains that Medical Examiner Lanie Parish thinks he was poisoned. Castle is so instantly intrigued by the case that he texts his famous poker buddies “calling dibs” on the story. Beckett rolls her eyes and heads into the lab.
Lanie tells the two she is positive McUsic was poisoned, the culprit being cyanide. She also found no puncture wounds on the body, indicating he ingested the poison, possibly in some coffee she found in his system. It would have taken 15 minutes at maximum to kill him, but according to the court clerk, he arrived at the courthouse 40 minutes before he died, meaning he was poisoned at the courthouse. Castle and Beckett both agree that the only person who stood to gain from a dead juror was the defendant, Otis Williams.
At the courthouse, Detectives Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan brief Castle and Beckett on Otis Williams who has a lengthy criminal record. He was found behind the wheel of Lila Addison’s car with her body in the trunk and his fingerprints all over the inside of the car. Castle calls the scenario a case of jury intimidation, since it means an automatic mistrial and potential jurors unwilling to serve at the risk of being murdered. Ryan, however, says Williams couldn’t have poisoned McUsic since he was incarcerated the whole time, but Beckett disagrees, saying he could have used an accomplice. Ryan volunteers to get security to pull surveillance video while Esposito says he’ll talk to the other jurors. Beckett suggests they talk to Williams himself, but his attorney says his client knows nothing about McUsic’s death and refuses to let him speak to her. Inside the courtroom, the judge declares a mistrial infuriating Lila Addison’s family.
Back at the precinct, Ryan says it will take a couple hours to go through all the courthouse surveillance footage. Esposito arrives and says one of the other jurors, Tony Muller, has gone missing. She suggests putting out an all points bulletin, but Esposito says he beat her to the punch on that. Captain Roy Montgomery then tells Beckett the victim’s brother has come to see her.
In the break room, Eddie McUsic explains that Joe ran a half-way house and believed in giving people a second chance, but not a third or fourth chance. He wasn’t aware of any issues he had at work either.
Ryan confirms Eddie’s story from the halfway house staff who do not remember any issues, but promised to send over a list of residents just in case. Esposito reports that state troopers found Tony Muller on his way out of town.
In an interrogation room, Muller is visibly nervous and scared, believing he is next in line to be killed. He explains how yesterday a “big, scary black guy” followed him into the men’s room at the courthouse and began talking about how the system is trying to railroad Williams. Then the day McUsic died, he sees the same guy sitting in the front row right behind the defense table giving him dirty looks and remembers seeing him talking to McUsic that morning. As they escort Tony to the elevator, he is unable to give a more specific description of the man until he sees Otis Williams’ cousin, Wardell, on a television giving a news interview and identifies him as the man who followed him into the bathroom. Ryan overhears this exchange and shows Beckett surveillance footage he just found of Wardell giving Joe McUsic a cup of coffee out of a vending machine the morning McUsic died.
In an interrogation room, Beckett and Castle show the video to Wardell, who smugly denies doing anything wrong. Beckett accuses him of jury tampering which he also denies. Beckett continues, saying CSU found McUsic’s coffee cup and are testing it for poison. Wardell is furious and shoots out of his seat vehemently denying any wrongdoing, prompting a stern warning from Beckett. He then calls Otis’ arrest nothing but a conspiracy, citing the fact that the city District Attorney is arguing the case because he plans on running for Mayor and wants to impress Lila Addison’s wealthy family. Wardell says he merely handed McUsic the cup of coffee.
Outside, Beckett asks Esposito to get a search warrant for Wardell’s place and to look specifically for any cyanide. As they approach Beckett’s desk, Castle examines his phone and notices Alexis is not in The Village like she said she would be, but rather in Williamsburg. When Castle says he downloaded an app for his phone that allows him to GPS track Alexis’ phone, Beckett is shocked and says Alexis would be justified in killing him if she finds out. Castle says he is entitled since he is her father and says at least the app is must less intrusive then rooting through Alexis’ things. Before Beckett can say more, her phone rings.
In the morgue, Lanie says the coffee cup McUsic drank from tested negative for cyanide, but she did find traces of cyanide laced on a time-release capsule McUsic took for lupus, indicating that the killer switched the normal capsule for one with the cyanide. The problem is since the capsule is time release, or designed to dissolve in the intestine, not in the stomach, he could have poisoned himself an hour before dying and its possible his death wasn’t related to the trial at all. Furthermore, nobody at the courthouse could have done it, but rather someone who knew McUsic’s habits. Castle suspects the killer is a woman since most poisonings are the work of women according to statistics, but Beckett disagrees saying the killer could have been anyone with access to McUsic’s apartment.
That night, Ryan and Esposito visit McUsic’s apartment. As they search for anything suspicious, Esposito laments the particular tragedy of McUsic’s death since he reformed himself then dedicated himself to giving ex-convicts a second chance. Ryan quotes Shakespeare in response, but Esposito is not impressed. They then notice a set of closet doors swing shut and pull their guns as they debate whether or not Ryan’s quoting Shakespeare makes him a Renaissance Man. Esposito yanks open the closet door and a man comes rushing out towards Ryan, who flips him over his head.
At the precinct, in interrogation, Ryan and Esposito interview Hank Roszell who they suspect killed McUsic because he threw him out of his half way house then stuck around to dispose of the remaining poisoned pills. Roszell denies hurting McUsic, saying he was letting him stay at his apartment and hid because he heard cops arrive. When Hank is reluctant to say much more, Ryan threatens to send him back to Sing Sing and Roszell admits to running errands for McUsic, one of which involved his taking an envelope with money in it to a lady. He didn’t know why.
Castle and Beckett return to the courthouse to interview Sandy Jenkins, a court clerk. Before Beckett can ask any questions, she confesses to accepting McUsic’s money in exchange for putting him on the jury. Later in an interrogation room, Jenkins admits she needed the extra cash for rent and didn’t see the harm in taking his money so he could serve on the jury. She says McUsic didn’t say why he wanted on the jury, but was insistent he get in the jury pool, so she made sure of that. He got himself on his own.
Later, Beckett and Castle brief Captain Roy Montgomery who guesses Otis Williams knew McUsic or had some kind of connection since they both did time in juvenile detention. Montgomery promises to have Lila Addison’s case file sent over and suggests Beckett contact her family to check on any additional connections. Beckett agrees to do so then bids Castle good night.
At his loft, Alexis returns home where Castle is busy writing and he confronts her about spending the day in Williamsburg and lying to him. When Alexis asks how he knew she lied, he lies back to her, saying a friend of his told him. Alexis sees through his story and eventually figures out that he tracked her phone, making her even more furious. They argue and she eventually retreats her bedroom in anger.
The next morning at the precinct, Beckett tells Castle he had it coming for treating Alexis like a criminal. He says he doesn’t know that she’s not a criminal since he never figured out why she lied and Beckett says he probably never will since he breached her trust. She tells him the only solution is to win her trust back.
They interview Lila Addison’s parents and son, who are accompanied by District Attorney Lou Karnacki, in the precinct break room. The Addisons say they’ve never met McUsic and are sure their daughter never met him either. Their son agrees. Outside, Karnacki warns Montgomery about the impact McUsic’s death could have on the judicial system in the city. He asks Montgomery to keep him in the loop then leaves. Montgomery then tells Beckett and Castle that in all the years he has been in charge of the 12th precinct, this is the only time the D.A. paid him a personal visit, meaning they need to solve the case.
In the conference room, Castle, Beckett, Ryan and Esposito pore over records looking for a connection between Lila Addison and Joe McUsic. Castle rubs his eyes, saying it doesn’t seem like they were connected at all, and Beckett agrees. Esposito adds that McUsic and Otis Williams don’t seem to be connected either. Ryan then notices that McUsic anonymously bought a pay-as-you-go phone not too long ago. Beckett orders him to go back to McUsic’s apartment to see what they can find. Meanwhile, Castle has been studying a photo of Lila Addison’s crime scene. When Beckett tells him to focus, he tells her he used a magnification app on his phone to blow up his view of the photo. She takes a look and sees Joe McUsic in the photo at the scene, meaning either he was just in the area at the time or he is Lila Addison’s killer.
In front of the murder board, Castle and Beckett toss around theories for why McUsic wanted to get on the jury for Lila Addison’s case. Beckett wonders why he would take such a risk to get on the jury if he already got away with the murder and Castle surmises it is out of guilt at seeing an innocent man accused. Beckett guesses he wanted to be sure that Otis was put away, but Castle prefers his theory. Esposito joins them and says they’re both wrong since McUsic was at a fundraiser until midnight the night of Lila’s death. Castle begins spinning an idea that McUsic had some kind of an agenda, but was struck down by powerful forces before he could accomplish what he wanted. Beckett strongly suspects they are missing something when Ryan enters with the burner phone from McUsic’s apartment. He says Joe made 14 calls on it, all to District Attorney Lou Karnacki’s office.
In the precinct break room, Castle and Beckett speak to Dawn Craig, Lou Karnacki’s administrative assistant, who remembers an anonymous caller contacting the office insisting that Otis Williams was innocent, but she wrote the caller off as being crazy. She adds that he said he had evidence that would exonerate Williams that he planned to mail to the office, but to her knowledge it was never received. Beckett points out that all of the calls are less than two minutes long, except for one that ran past 10 minutes. Dawn denies taking the call and Castle asks how late the D.A. works, but before he gets an answer, Karnacki himself bursts into the room, followed by Montgomery, and puts an immediate end to the interview.
In Montgomery’s office, Montgomery says his people were just following the evidence, but Karnacki remains skeptical. Beckett tells him about the phone calls McUsic placed to his office and asks if he ever spoke to McUsic. He denies doing so, as well as ever receiving a package from McUsic. He next threatens to ban Castle from the precinct and to bump Beckett to the harbor patrol. Montgomery defends them, but Karnacki accuses him of sneaking around behind his back. He demands that he tell him if he ever wants to interview one of his staff then leaves. Beckett begins to apologize, but Montgomery interrupts her and says the only reason Karnacki himself would come down to stop the interview would be because he is hiding something.
Later, Castle brings Beckett coffee at the murder board and they agree that a conspiracy is at work. Castle goes on to say that Karnacki’s largest campaign contributor was Lila Addison’s parents. They build the theory that the Addisons ask Karnacki to try the case, he agrees thinking it will be an easy conviction and will get him even more in donations, but Joe McUsic ruins his plans when he starts calling claiming to have evidence that will get Otis Williams off. Beckett says all that still doesn’t explain why McUsic bought his way onto the jury or where the evidence he claimed to have is and since they’ve spoken to everyone, they’re at a dead end. Castle says they haven’t spoken to everyone.
In an interrogation room, Castle and Beckett interview Otis Williams, who is accompanied by his attorney. They explain what they’ve found to Otis, who recounts the events of the night Lila was killed. He says he was walking home and spied her car with the keys in its ignition, so he decided to steal it, hopping in and moving the seat forward since it was all the way back. Beckett seizes on this and wonders if they can get the fingerprint of whoever moved it back out of the car since Lila was barely five feet tall and wouldn’t have pushed the seat back.
Later, Beckett waits on her phone while Castle muses over such a mundane detail as the seat adjustment button. While they wait, Alexis greets her Dad and the two head off to a bench to talk. They both apologize to each other, but Castle adds to his apology by deleting the app off his phone. Alexis forgives him then asks for his forgiveness. She explains that a couple days ago she and some friends went to a boutique in Williamsburg where they shoplifted a few things. She felt so guilty that she went back to the store yesterday and left cash on the counter with a note in payment for what her friends took. Castle asks who her friends were, but she refuses to say. He asks why she felt so responsible and Alexis says she just thought it was the right thing to do. His last question is why she is still friends with the girls, and when Alexis groans back, Castle realizes his error and agrees to let the issue be. Beckett finds them and apologizes for interrupting, but Alexis says she is leaving anyway. She promises her Dad nothing akin to what happened will happen again and leaves. Beckett shows Castle the report on the fingerprints and he is incredulous as to the results.
In interrogation, Beckett and Castle confront Eddie McUsic with the fingerprint match and say they know he is a bartender at a bar where Lila is an investor. Castle and Beckett build the theory for him that he killed Lila then out of guilt told his brother who paid to be on the jury when the D.A. wouldn’t listen to him so he could clear Otis Williams, only he couldn’t have Joe exposing what he did so he poisoned his medicine. Eddie denies killing Lila or Joe and explains that Lila made him drive her and her brother on a run to get some cocaine. While driving, Stephen Addison was waving a gun around, which went off when they hit a pothole killing Lila. During the drive they talked about Joe’s lupus so Stephen knew about his meds and must have poisoned him when he saw he was on the jury to keep him quiet. He adds that Stephen threatened to pin the shooting on him if he told the truth, so they tossed her body in the trunk and left the car in a bad neighborhood so the cops would think it was just a carjacking. They threw their bloody clothes in a dumpster, only he told Joe what happened. By the time he got to the scene, the cops had already arrested Otis, so he retrieved Stephen’s bloody clothes and sent them to the D.A. as proof of Otis’ innocence.
At the murder board, Beckett tells Captain Montgomery that without solid evidence they can’t arrest Stephen Addison. She asks Montgomery what to do next and he says there is nothing they can do. Castle asks if they are just going to let Stephen get away with the crime to which Montgomery answers no. He then heads towards the elevator, saying he is going to see a friend.
At the courthouse, Montgomery pays Lou Karnacki a visit and demands to see the package Joe McUsic sent him. Karnacki tells him to let it go, but Montgomery persists and tells him everything Castle and Beckett found about Stephen killing Lila. The two argue briefly and Karnacki implies that Otis Williams is getting what he deserves “for the greater good.” Montgomery asks if he is referring to his run for Mayor, and Karnacki confirms such, saying it takes money to run a campaign and he is getting plenty from the Addisons. When Montgomery turns his tie around to reveal that he is wearing a wire, Karnacki offers to make him Police Commissioner if he keeps what he knows about the case quiet. Montgomery again asks for McUsic’s package and promises to do what he can for him.
That night, Ryan and Esposito lead Stephen Addison away in handcuffs while Beckett and Castle tell Montgomery how preliminary tests on his clothes matched Lila Addison’s blood, confirming Eddie McUsic’s story. Stephen is being put away for two counts of murder, while Eddie will be charged as an accessory, but Montgomery will press for probation from the new D.A. Beckett apologizes for Karnacki’s being brought down, since he was a good friend of Montgomery’s. He says while Karnacki was wrong, he has done a lot of good for the city. Castle laments how, despite all that, he’ll only be remembered for this one misdeed. Montgomery nods sadly then leaves.
As Beckett approaches her desk, Castle asks her if she has plans with her boyfriend Josh. She says he is on shift so she was planning on seeing Forbidden Planet at the same theater where Castle was planning to see the same movie a couple days earlier. He feigns ignorance about the film, causing Beckett to get excited and to offer to treat him if he joins her. He claims to have plans, but she insists, so he follows her to the elevator with a sly smirk on his face. He asks if they can go to Remy’s afterward for a burger and she tells him he is pushing it. As they board the elevator, she so enthusiastically explains the film that she misses the smirk that has returned to Castle's face.
Who: Joe McUsic, Juror #7 in the Lyla Addison trial, ran a halfway house
Found: on the floor of a courtroom during the trial of Otis Williams, accused murder of Lyla Addison
Where Killed: at home
How: poisoned by cyanide in time release capsule form
Who: Lyla Addison (was murdered prior to this episode)
Found: in the trunk of her car in "the ghetto"
Where Killed: in the car in another part of town
How: Gun shot
Killer: Stephen Addison (Lyla's brother)
- Joe: fear. Stephen Addison threatened to accuse him of the murder if he told the truth
- Lyla: accidentally shot and killed his sister while riding in a car
Conspirator: District Attorney Lou Karnacki
Motive: Greed and hunger for power. He knew if Otis Williams was proven innocent, the Addison family would not donate money to his campaign for Mayor of New York City