Season 3, Episode 8 (42)
Original Air Date - November 8, 2010
While investigating the murder of a NYC subway worker found shot to death in Central Park, Castle and Beckett unexpectedly uncover the shocking and violent abduction of a young boy. Working against the clock, the team must unravel the motives behind the high stakes kidnapping, not just to bring a murderer to justice, but to save the innocent lives that hang in the balance.
- 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
- Carmen Argenziano – Mario Rivera
- Ken Baumann – Ashley
- David Dean Bottrell – Byron H. Singer
- J. Marvin Campbell – Man #2
- Ever Carradine – Mirielle Lefcourt
- Claudia Choi – CSU Photo Tech
- Danny Downey – BMX Rider #1
- Presciliana Esparolini – Teresa De La Torre
- Eddie Fiola – BMX Rider #2
- Gattlin Griffith – Tyler Donegal
- Rick Hearst – Dr. Elliot Lefcourt
- Paul Jerome – Robert Kincaid
- Christopher May – Arthur Sansone
- Al Pugliese – Pretzel Vendor
- John Pyper-Ferguson – Dean Donegal
- Steve Rizzo – Thomas Mestrick
Castle: Strangest pet you’ve ever had?
Castle: That’s what I love about the subway. Down here, everyone’s got a story.
Beckett: See, that’s the difference between you and me, Castle. You see the subway as a way to pick up dialogue for your novels.
Castle: Or the occasional investment banker on her way to the gym.
Castle: (about a dead subway worker): Apparently, he was an underground renaissance man.
Beckett: The thing about murderers, Mario, is they tend to not have solid alibis.
Castle: Generally because they’re murdering somebody.
Beckett: Looks like we’ve explained everything.
Castle: Yes, except why he was killed.
Castle: When Alexis was 4, we went Christmas shopping at some mall in White Plains. I was trying on some charcoal fedora. I turn around, she is gone, vanished. I looked everywhere, so did Mall security, so did the police. We searched for an hour. Don’t have to be a novelist to think of all the worst scenarios.
Beckett: Where’d you find her?
Castle: Behind a rack of winter coats. She got bored. She crawled underneath there and went to sleep. To this day, I still dream about that.
- Regarding Ashley's pet rat which Alexis had to fret over, Molly Quinn said: "That was the hardest episode. 'Really? I have to cry over a rat?' I couldn't do it."
- Al Pugliese, who plays the Pretzel Vendor in this episode, also appeared in the final episode of Firefly called The Message.
- Infiltraitor performed by Cliff Lin - opening scene
- Salt and spoon performed by Pajaro Sunrise - closing scene
Full Episode Recap
Two BMX bikers ride through a park late one night popping tricks on a bike path. Suddenly one’s bike gets hung up on something and its rider tumbles to the ground. The rider rolls over and sees that what tripped his bike up is the dead body of a man.
The next morning at the Castle loft, Richard Castle finds his daughter Alexis chopping vegetables, and his mother Martha Rodgers reading a newspaper, all around the cage of a rat. Alexis tells her father that the rat is named Theodore and is her boyfriend Ashley’s beloved pet who he left in her care for a few days. Castle points out how Ashley’s trusting Alexis with his pet is a big step in their relationship and Alexis agrees. Martha looks down on Theodore, calling him a “plague pusher,” and disliking his “beady little eyes.” Castle tells her to relax and reaches for some beans in a bowl on the counter. Alexis tries to stop him telling him that they are for Theodore, but Castle tells her he is sure Theodore won’t mind. He then leaves, going to the park to meet a dead body.
At the park, Castle tells Detective Kate Beckett how he is amazed at the bizarre types of pets people keep. Beckett is not surprised, saying she has heard of kids in the city who have cockroaches for pets. Castle then asks her to name the strangest pet she ever had and she answers “you.” As they approach the body and Medical Examiner Lanie Parish, Castle sees tire tracks running on the body and jokingly asks if the cause of death was a hit and run. Lanie explains that two BMX bikers accidentally rode over the man before finding him and that the cause of death was gunshot wounds, one in the victim’s chest and two in his back. Beckett is curious as to how he was shot from two different sides and Castle guesses that their victim got caught in the crossfire between two different shooters. Beckett asks for the victim’s identity and Lanie says he is Leonard Levitt from Queens. His wallet, credit cards, cash, and keys are all intact, leading Beckett to exclude robbery as a motive. Castle then notices a large feather in the breast pocket of Levitt’s jacket. He examines it closely, even touching it with his tongue to Beckett’s and Lanie’s disgust, and pronounces that it is from a large bird of prey. Beckett sarcastically asks if Castle is implying that a bird shot Levitt, and he fantastically replies that the feather must be the calling card of a murderer known as “The Falcon Killer.” Beckett speculates that Levitt simply picked up the feather before he was shot and Castle responds that she will never be a best-selling novelist because she lacks any sense of drama. Beckett returns that the dead bodies she deals with are usually enough.
Back at the precinct, Detectives Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan tell Beckett and Castle that Levitt was a maintenance worker for the city subway system out of the 116th street station. Beckett notes that his address and the station where he worked are both located far from the park where he was killed and Esposito adds that he and Ryan thought he might have been looking to buy drugs or find a prostitute, only he has no criminal history of either. Beckett asks about family and Ryan says that his parents are deceased, he has no siblings and never married or had kids, leading Castle to conclude he is the perfect victim. He then spins off on his earlier theory about a killer with the speed and cunning of a bird of prey. Beckett tells the guys not to ask and to go to Levitt’s apartment to see what they can find.
Later in the morgue, Lanie puts the time of death between and 5 and 7 p.m. the previous night and notes that Levitt had a broken wrist, possibly from the BMX bikers running over him. Beckett asks about the gunshot wounds and Lanie explains that all three came from the same weapon, a .45, meaning there was only one shooter. She goes on to say that this didn’t make sense to her, so she measured the depth of the wounds and found the one in Levitt’s chest is very shallow, indicating that it came from a distance she estimates at about 150 feet. Castle observes that such a shot would have to be pretty accurate if it was made by a handgun, and Lanie agrees, saying that the killer most likely has shooting experience. She then says that the wounds in Levitt’s back are much deeper, suggesting that they were fired at a much closer range. Beckett and Castle then begin building theory that Levitt was shot from a distance in the chest, tried to run away, but was caught and shot twice more in the back. Beckett observes that Levitt wasn’t just killed, but hunted down.
At Levitt’s apartment, Ryan and Esposito find subway system schematics, electronic equipment, wiring, and a counter reading over 1.2 million. Ryan then notices top quality night vision equipment and a parabolic microphone. Esposito sees a map of the park where Levitt was killed that has little colored flags all over it, including one at the approximate spot where he was killed labeled “BHS 5:26.” Ryan says that matches up with the time of death and Esposito guesses that Levitt was tracking something.
Later on, Castle and Beckett walk through the subway station where Levitt worked. As they pass by people waiting for a train, Castle says that any one of the riders could be an accomplice or suspect in the murder. He adds that one reason he loves the subway is because all the riders have a story as to why they are there. Beckett points out that this is one difference between them since she sees the subway merely as a mode of transportation. Castle adds that he also likes the subway because in addition to stories, it provides him with a way to pick up women, eliciting a glare from Beckett. They meet up with Levitt’s supervisor, Mario Rivera, who explains that Levitt’s job was merely to change light bulbs in the subway and that he didn’t know much about him since they only had one substantive conversation in the 12 years since he had been his supervisor. He suggests they speak to another co-worker of Levitt’s who also changes light bulbs, Arthur Sansone. Sansone gets emotional when he hears of Levitt’s death and explains how he was very dedicated to protecting people and would frequently stay after his shift to change a blown bulb. He even responded to the electrocution death of a fellow subway worker by inventing a circuit interrupter switch that shuts off the electricity to a tunnel so electrical maintenance can be performed safely. Besides inventing it, Levitt insisted that one be installed in every station in the city. Beckett asks if Levitt had any enemies and Sansone tells them that Levitt got the subway system to switch to compact fluorescent bulbs, leaving all the old incandescent bulbs worthless, which was sure to have angered someone in the light bulb business. Sansone guesses that a light bulb corporation had Levitt killed.
Back at the precinct, Castle fills Esposito in on what he and Beckett found, describing Levitt as an underground renaissance man. Behind Castle’s back, Beckett throws him a glare for his play on his words and he continues that the counter in Levitt’s apartment indicated how many bulbs he has changed in his career. Esposito is incredulous and Castle presses on, calling Levitt an unsung hero who was cut down by a big light bulb corporation. Beckett puts in that Sansone is delusional in thinking that anyone would kill Levitt over light bulbs, only Ryan arrives and disagrees. He explains that Levitt called a local government fraud hotline to rat out one of his co-workers. Castle takes offense to Ryan’s negative use of the word “rat,” but Beckett cuts him off. Ryan continues that Levitt claimed to have evidence that Mario Rivera was stealing the old bulbs and selling them on the black market and that if the charge was true, Rivera stood to lose his job and his pension. Finally, he adds that while in the Marines, Rivera once won a medal for sharpshooting.
In an interrogation room, Rivera claims he was working between 5 and 7p.m. on the day Levitt was killed. Castle and Beckett confront him with the fact that he clocked out at 4:30, then hopped a train to the vicinity of where Levitt’s body was found, giving him the opportunity to kill him. They also tell him they know he had been in contact with a wholesaler in Costa Rica to sell the bulbs for 20 cents each, and Rivera claims he was merely planning a vacation there. Castle adds that when Rivera realized Levitt had discovered his plan and had reported him to the transit authority, it gave him no choice but to kill him to keep his secret from getting out and to keep him from losing his job and his pension. Rivera denies having killed anyone and Beckett again demands his alibi. Rivera cracks saying the light bulbs were just going to be destroyed and he figured it wouldn’t do anyone any harm if he sold them and made some money. He finally admits to packing up light bulbs to be shipped to Costa Rica at the time Levitt was killed.
Outside, Esposito reports that he confirmed Rivera’s story with the transit authority police who had been tailing Rivera as a result of Levitt’s tip. Beckett says it can’t be a coincidence that Levitt was killed at around the same time as indicated by one of his flags on the park map while Castle begins spit-balling ideas for what BHS might stand for. Ryan enters, explaining that he tracked down the manufacturer of the hi-tech listening equipment found in Levitt’s apartment. As Ryan talks, Castle tries on the head phones which are still connected to the parabolic microphone taken from Levitt’s apartment. When Ryan reveals that the equipment was purchased by a Byron H. Singer, Beckett exclaims right into the microphone, scaring Castle nearly out of his chair, that Singer is BHS. She apologizes sheepishly.
In interrogation, Byron Singer gets agitated at the mention of Levitt’s name. Beckett and Castle listen quietly as he intensely describes how he saw two of them together after following them and locating their secret spot, how he wanted to tell Levitt before someone else did, but that Levitt got jealous and accused him of making it all up. He goes on to say that he gave Levitt his listening equipment and told him the exact time to go to the park so he could find out for himself that he wasn’t lying. Castle and Beckett assume that Singer is talking about a love interest of Levitt’s who was cheating on him, and suppose that when Levitt confronted the two, one of them killed him. They become confused when Singer reveals his own confusion at their theory and says he is talking about how he saw two rare red-tailed hawks nesting in the park, only Levitt didn’t believe him and refused to record the sighting in an official log book he oversaw. After getting his alibi that he was working in his office when Levitt died, Beckett becomes exasperated when Singer insists that he was the first to see the hawks together in the park. Afterward Beckett ticks through all how they’ve explained away all the evidence they’ve found so far, and Castle reminds her that none of it has lead them to why Levitt was killed.
The next morning, Castle enters his living room and kitchen to find Martha standing on their coffee table while reading the newspaper and Alexis crawling on the kitchen floor. When he asks what both women are doing, Alexis tells him Theodore has disappeared and guesses she didn’t shut the cage door all the way when she fed him last. She also worries that Ashley will hate her for losing his pet. Castle disagrees, saying they still have time to find him before Ashley gets back. Martha announces that if Theodore got into her room, then she’ll need a new bed and wardrobe. Castle rolls his eyes and suggests that he and Alexis think like a rodent in an effort to find him. Alexis guesses he’d want to go someplace warm and out of the way where he won’t be stepped on and goes to check their coat closet. She finds nothing, but Castle spies a camera on a tripod in the closet’s corner. Alexis notices his face light up with a thought and, despite Castle’s offer to stay and help her look, tells him to go, since Theodore is her responsibility. On his way out the door, Martha tells him she is checking into The Plaza hotel and charging the bill to Castle.
In the park, an exhausted Beckett arrives and gulps a large coffee given to her by Castle, who recalls a Sherlock Holmes story where a killer was caught because of something that everyone expected to happen, but didn’t. Castle explains that if Levitt was going to the park to record proof of the hawks’ nest, then he should have had a camera with him, which they didn’t find. Also, if they can find the camera, it might lead them to the killer. Castle and Beckett reach the crime scene and Castle guesses that Levitt’s broken wrist wasn’t from the BMX bikers, but a result of a fall from a nearby tree. They find a fresh divot in the ground at the tree’s base and look up to find Levitt’s camera hanging from a tree branch.
Back at the precinct, Castle and Beckett review the pictures Levitt took and find a shot of a man holding a young boy at gunpoint, leading Beckett to conclude that Levitt witnessed a kidnapping. Another picture shows the kidnapper firing his handgun directly at the camera.
Later on Beckett briefs her colleagues on what they know about the boy. She also says that the gun the kidnapper used matched the size of the bullets that killed Levitt and that the kidnapping took place at about 5:12 p.m. the day of Levitt’s murder. Captain Roy Montgomery adds that after 48 hours the chances of finding a child kidnapping victim alive go way down and implores the team to do all they can to find the boy. Castle listens, looking very concerned. The briefing breaks up and Castle wonders aloud why the boy’s parents haven’t reported his disappearance. Beckett speculates that the parents may not know the boy was taken or that they are under duress and can’t report anything. Castle notes the boy is wearing shorts in the photograph, which suggests that he knew he was going to the park. Beckett says if he wasn’t lured there, he must have known the kidnapper, but Castle disagrees, saying a gun wouldn’t have been necessary in that case. Ryan reports that he sent the pictures to the New York State Police in hopes of getting a hit on other kidnappers with the same MO and that Esposito is canvassing that area of the park for possible witnesses. Castle suggests they try to find where the boy goes to school to get more information on him and asks about the make and model of the car. Beckett says they’re looking into it and Ryan adds that they’re also looking over footage from traffic cameras in the area of the park’s entrances in hopes of catching the car’ s license plate. Castle next suggests an enlargement of the window next to the kidnapper’s face to see if they can identify him in the reflection of the car’s rear view mirror. Beckett says it is worth a shot and calls for a CSU photo tech.
Out at the park, Esposito speaks to a pretzel vendor who remembers having had to park his stand in a location other than his usual spot because of a blue Saturn sedan being in the way.
Back at the precinct, Beckett tells Castle about how the vendor identified the car as a blue Saturn sedan from any model year between 1997 and 2002, which leaves 6000 possibilities. Beckett asks Ryan about video from the traffic cameras and he says the make and model of the car will help, but that there’s still a lot of footage to go through. He adds that the school system has no central database of student absences, they can’t sort by grade or gender and that a cold is making the rounds, putting more kids out of school than usual. Lastly, Ryan says that nothing about the kidnapper’s MO got anyone’s attention with the State Police. The CSU photo tech arrives, only the enhanced photos of the car’s rearview mirror reveal nothing. A very frustrated Castle slumps back in his chair and Beckett asks if he is OK. He responds that the boy is only a few years younger than Alexis, then notices that the boy is wearing long white socks with dirt marks on them, similar to the cleat marks Alexis used to come home with when she played soccer. Beckett then guesses that the boy was probably part of an organized league that played in the park and Castle supposes that the boy’s team has a website they could to identify him. A little later, Ryan explains that only one team practiced in the park on the day of Levitt’s murder, and as Beckett & Castle look on, he scrolls through pictures of the players on the team’s website until they find one that matches the kidnapped boy, Tyler Donegal.
Later, Beckett briefs Captain Montgomery on how Tyler’s parents divorced recently, and Ryan adds that Tyler’s mother, who was given custody, got remarried to a doctor a month ago and had no idea Tyler was missing, since she left him with her ex- husband in the city for a couple days. Montgomery asks why the father didn’t report Tyler missing and Ryan says they don’t know yet. He says that Tyler’s father is a maintenance supervisor in a high-rise office building and lives not far from the park. Esposito jumps in saying that Tyler’s father called in sick at work for the last two days, leading Montgomery to guess that Tyler’s father abducted him to keep him from his ex-wife. Esposito tracks down a picture of Tyler’s dad, Dean Donegal, whose physical description matches that of the kidnapper in Levitt’s photos. Castle wonders why would Dean use a gun to kidnap his own son, but before anyone can answer, Ryan reports that Tyler’s mother Mirielle Lefcourt, has arrived. Beckett tells Ryan to visit Donegal’s workplace and Esposito his apartment to see what they can find.
Beckett meets with Tyler’s mother Mirielle and her new husband. Mirielle says Dean hardly ever missed work and that their divorce left him angry and bitter. She confirms that he owns a handgun and becomes worried when Beckett presses her as to the make. Beckett reassures her that nobody was shot and shows her the photographs Levitt took of the kidnapping. Mirielle doesn’t recognize the kidnapper and her husband says Dean doesn’t own a car, but rents one as he needs to. Mirielle then remembers that Dean’s gun is a Glock. Beckett asks if there were any special places where Dean used to take Tyler and she answers that Dean’s family owns a cabin the Poconos.
Later on back at Beckett’s desk, Beckett tells Castle that Pennsylvania state police are on their way to Dean’s cabin, where hopefully, they’ll find Tyler. Beckett again asks a noticeably worried Castle if he is OK, and he tells a story about how when Alexis was 4 he lost her in a mall while Christmas shopping. He, security, and the police searched all over for an hour and eventually found her asleep underneath a rack of coats. Even though it is years later, the incident still haunts his dreams. Captain Montgomery comes over and says New York State Police found nothing at Dean’s apartment to indicate that he planned to leave town. Beckett says she’ll put a flag on his credit cards in case he does to try to take off.
At Dean’s workplace, Ryan speaks to one of his co-workers who admits to covering for Dean when he didn’t show up for work for the last two days. She figured that after the divorce and with his mounting legal bills he just wanted a couple days with Tyler. Ryan searches Dean’s computer and finds a recent internet search for airplane flights to Indianapolis.
Back at the precinct, Castle supposes Dean has family in Indianapolis, only Beckett points out that while Dean never actually bought plane tickets there. Esposito reports that Pennsylvania State Police found no evidence at Dean’s cabin that anybody had been there in months. Captain Montgomery interjects that Dean’s credit card activity shows he recently booked a hotel room in Queens not far from the airport. He pleads with all of them to bring Dean in before he hurts someone else.
Later on, Esposito, Ryan, Beckett and Castle all burst in on Dean’s hotel room and don’t find Tyler. Dean claims that he doesn’t know where Tyler is and says that whoever took him told him to check into the hotel. He adds that they said if he goes to the police they’ll kill Tyler.
In interrogation, Beckett presses Dean hard about where Tyler is, but he sticks to his story about someone taking him, telling him to go to the hotel and not going to the police. When Castle asks about the internet searches for Indianapolis, Dean says he was researching a trip for the holidays. He explains that he went to pick up Tyler from soccer practice, only he wasn’t in their usual spot, so he thought he had walked home. When he got to his apartment, he found a strange cell phone with a text on it waiting for him. Beckett pulls out the phone and reads the text messages which confirm Dean’s story.
In the observation room, Ryan tells Captain Montgomery that Dean’s gun is a 9 millimeter, meaning it wasn’t used in Tyler’s abduction or in Levitt’s murder. He also says that the text messages are coming from a text messaging service in the Ukraine with no traceable IP address. Montgomery tells him to find out who bought the phone and where.
Back in the interrogation room, Castle asks if the kidnappers could be after ransom and Dean doubts it, saying he is $40,000 in debt after the divorce. Beckett asks about his ex-wife’s new husband who has money, and Dean disagrees, saying the kidnappers must be contacting him for a reason. Beckett presses him again to let the police help him and Dean leaves the interrogation room, saying he needs air.
Outside, Beckett tells him she knows it is hard on him, but that he has to trust her to bring back Tyler. Dean thinks for a moment then agrees to let her help him. Mirielle and her husband see Dean and a loud argument ensues between them, which Montgomery breaks up by saying that they all need to calm down and cooperate. He goes on to say that the abduction was clearly planned, so they all need to think if anything unusual happened recently. The cell phone the kidnappers gave Dean chirps and Beckett says that a video is attached to the message. She plays the video and they all see Tyler in a dark room. He says he is OK and that if Dean does what the kidnappers say and doesn’t go to the police, then everything will work out. He closes by asking his father not to forget to feed Ace. Beckett notices the time stamp reads 1:31 a.m., meaning 8 minutes passed between when the message was created and sent. Dean asks Beckett to replay the video again and asks Mirielle who Ace is. She and her husband say they don’t have any pets and Castle guesses Tyler is sending them some sort of message or clue. Another message pops up on the phone with the address of where Dean works telling him to be there in thirty minutes. Castle asks what is in the building and Dean says it is just an office building. When Beckett asks why they might need him, he realizes that he has elevator access to all floors in the building, including the secure ones, making him, as Castle puts it, a human key.
Later in Montgomery’s office, he lays out a plan to Beckett and Castle whereby he will go with a SWAT Team, Ryan, Esposito, and Dean to the building in accordance with the kidnapper’s demands. Beckett disagrees with the idea of taking Dean, citing how dangerous it will be, and finds herself in the minority when Castle agrees with Montgomery. Montgomery tells Beckett to look more closely at the video to see if it holds any clues as to Tyler’s whereabouts. Though not pleased, she agrees.
Esposito, Ryan, Montgomery and Dean arrive at the building in an NYPD surveillance van. Ryan puts a wire on him so they’ll be able to see and hear everything he does and says they have a clone of his phone, so they’ll be able to get the same text messages he does in real time. Captain Montgomery tells him to stick to the kidnappers’ instructions and not to try any hero stuff.
Back at the precinct, Beckett is frustrated that the video of Tyler yields no clues as to where he is being held, and begins to wonder if they’ll find him in time. Castle brings up what Beckett mentioned earlier about the video being created 8 minutes before it was sent. Beckett guesses that the message simply took 8 minutes to go through, but Castle urges her to think about why someone would create a video then wait to send it. Beckett theorizes that the sender had to search for a signal before sending the message. Castle then realizes that the kidnappers could be underground in the subway system making it hard to get a signal. He then makes the connection to Tyler’s comment about Ace, which refers to the A, C, and E subway lines which dead end right underneath the building where Dean works. Castle concludes that Tyler has been held right under their noses the whole time and the two depart for the subway station.
Castle and Beckett hurry into the station with several uniformed officers, who Beckett sends to check the east end of the station. Beckett sees Castle studying a blueprint of the station and asks him what he’s thinking. He says if it were him, he’d keep Tyler somewhere close enough to enable him to hook up with his accomplices, but far enough away to be off the beaten track. Beckett then concludes that they must be holding Tyler on the west end of the tunnel and Castle finds a mechanical room on the blueprint and bets that that is where Tyler is. Beckett takes off, telling Castle to stay back. He refuses and follows her.
In the van, Dean’s cell phone gets another text message from the kidnappers ordering him to the 37th floor of the building. He asks Captain Montgomery why they want him now since it hasn’t been thirty minutes since their last order. Montgomery says they are changing the timetable in case Dean is working with the police, and asks Dean what is on that floor. Dean says it is vacant and not secure. Montgomery tells Esposito to call Beckett.
Meanwhile, Beckett and Castle walk along the subway tracks towards the mechanical room, Beckett holding a flashlight and her gun at the ready. They find the mechanical room, Beckett kicks the door open and finds no one there.
Esposito reports that Beckett’s cell phone is going straight to voice mail, meaning she is already in the subway. Dean protests that he has to go and Montgomery reassures him that if anything goes wrong, a hundred cops will have his back within a minute. Dean hops out of the van, escorted by Esposito who checks his cover. Dean enters the office building and calmly tells the night guard at the front desk that he drew the graveyard shift for the night. Esposito, watching from the van with Ryan and Montgomery, is impressed, and Ryan reports that Dean’s camera and microphone are all working well. They watch as Dean calls the elevator to the lobby and boards when it arrives. He pushes the button for the 37th floor and waits. Suddenly, the doors on the opposite side from Dean open to reveal two men, both carrying handguns, who order Dean to push the button for the 39th floor. Dean demands to see Tyler first and one of the men tells him to follow instructions. Dean presses his fingers to a fingerprint reader on the elevator, which confirms his access to the 39th floor, then pushes the button to take them there. Ryn says that a financial services firm is located on the 39th floor, leading Esposito to conclude that the 37th floor was merely a staging area. Montgomery predicts that since Dean saw their faces they’ll most likely kill him once they get what they want. Ryan tries Beckett and Castle again on their cell phones to no avail. Esposito asks Montgomery what he wants to do and he answers that if they go in before finding Tyler, both he and Dean could be killed.
Still in the subway, Castle sees a shadow briefly pass underneath a door across the tracks from the mechanical room. He listens at the door, but hears no noises coming from the other side. He bends down and takes a picture underneath the door which confirms his suspicions: Tyler is being held on the other side of the door by one of the kidnappers. Beckett says that if she goes in, he’ll most likely kill Tyler before she can kill the kidnapper. Castle notices that the kidnapper is holding a flashlight as well as a gun and suggests they kill the ambient light outside to give Beckett a better view when she goes in. Then they both notice one of the circuit interrupter switches Levitt invented nearby. She pulls her gun and tells Castle to switch off the power on her count. She counts backwards from three and when she reaches one, Castle flips off the power, she kicks in the door and goes in shooting. Castle peers around the door as three gun shots ring out.
Above ground in the office building, the kidnappers push Dean back into the elevator, having gotten what they wanted. One of them tells him to push the button for the level that leads to the subway station and Dean complies. As the elevator drops, he tells the kidnappers that he wants to see Tyler, having done what he was told to do. One of the kidnappers merely says he’ll see him in a minute. The elevator stops in the lobby, confusing the kidnappers. The doors opens to reveal Montgomery, Ryan, Esposito and a SWAT Team all with guns drawn on the kidnappers. Montgomery orders them to drop their weapons and Dean steps forward asking about Tyler.
As the sun comes up, Dean sits in the precinct waiting area, nervously awaiting word of his son’s fate. Finally, Beckett emerges, with Castle following behind, leading an unhurt Tyler by the hand to his father. She and Castle grin widely as father and son are reunited. Later on, Beckett explains to the guys that the ring leader, Robert Kincaid, was a former bond trader who recruited former Wall Street financiers to help him with his plan to kidnap Tyler and use him as leverage to get Dean to give them access to the financial firm’s offices. Esposito asks why they only took files, and Castle tells him that the files were full of unpublished earnings reports which a savvy investor could use to make millions. Ryan then marvels that the whole scheme would have worked had Leonard Levitt not taken the pictures that ended up catching his own killer and foiling the kidnapping plot. Montgomery joins the group and tells Beckett that the guy she shot in the subway was hired by Kincaid to kidnap Tyler, and that he confessed to the kidnapping, to murdering Levitt, and he ratted out Kincaid in no time flat. The rat reference jogs Castle’s memory and he hurries out the door to the confusion of Beckett and her colleagues.
Back at his loft, Alexis has strewn bits of cheese and Theodore’s toys all over the loft in an unsuccessful effort to find him and catch him. She lays on the couch despondent and calls herself the worst person in the world. Castle tries to comfort her only she ignores him, further calling herself a rat killer. Castle again tries to comfort her, but fails when he calls her a rat loser. He then recovers and says that if Ashley really cares about her, he’ll understand how she made a mistake and tried her best to fix it. Alexis remains doubtful, saying that when he sees her in the halls at school, he’ll only think of her as the horrible person who lost his prized pet. The front door buzzer rings and Alexis lets Ashley in. He notices that Alexis is upset and asks what is wrong. Alexis confesses that Theodore is gone and that he must have gotten out of his cage when she fed him and failed to lock the cage door properly. She adds that she and Castle looked all over the loft for him, but couldn’t find him. Finally, she apologizes, expecting him to hate her. Ashley surprises her when he admits to being upset, but says he doesn’t hate her since he can see just how hard she worked to find Theodore. Castle grins slightly to himself as Alexis reminds Ashley of how much he cared for Theodore. Ashley then says he cares about Alexis more and the two lean in for a kiss. Their moment is interrupted by Martha’s shrieking from upstairs. Castle raises his hand and proclaims that he has found the rat.
Who: Leonard "Lightbulb Len" Levitt of Ozone Park, Queens, murdered. Changes lights in the subway system.
Found: Bethesda Terrace area of Central Park
Where Killed: where found
How: Single Gunshot Wound to the chest, two gunshot wounds to the back, all by a Glock .45. Ran over by a couple of BMX bikers post mortem. Also suffered a broken wrist (probably when he fell out of the tree).
Who: Tyler Donegal, kidnap victim, age between 10 & 12
Found: In a room off of a subway track on Canal Street, under the building where his dad works
Who: Dean Donegal, the father of Tyler.
- Leonard Levitt: Murdered because he witnessed the child abduction of Tyler Donegal
- Tyler Donegal: Kidnapped to "leverage" his father to cooperate with the bad guys
- Dean Donegal: Coerced to work for the kidnappers (gain access to secured floors of his building)
- Robert Kincaid: the mastermind of the operation, former bond trader
- Unnamed1: the Kidnapper of Tyler Donegal and the shooter of Leonard Levitt
- Unnamed2: in the elevator with Robert Kincaid with a gun
- Comic-Con 2011: Castle interviews with Nathan Fillion, Seamus Dever, Jon Huertas, Molly Quinn, and Executive Producer Laurie Zaks by Dave Trumbore, Collider.com, posted July 27, 2011