This page is for the episode titled "Nikki Heat". Click here for the character page for Nikki Heat.
Season 3, Episode 11 (45)
Original Air Date - January 3, 2011
Castle’s novel Heat Wave is being turned into a movie, and the Hollywood hottie cast as the movie’s lead shows up at Beckett’s invitation to better understand the character she’s going to play. Laura Prepon (“October Road,” “That ’70s Show”) guest stars as actress Natalie Rhodes. As our threesome investigates the murder of a high-class matchmaker, Natalie goes to extremes in the name of “character research,” transforming herself into the spitting image of Beckett — much to Castle’s delight and Beckett’s dismay. Also in the episode, Melody Thomas Scott (“Young & the Restless”) and Thomas Calabro (“Melrose Place”) guest star.
- 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
- Laura Prepon - Natalie Rhodes
- Juliana Dever - Jenny Duffy-O'Malley
- Thomas Calabro - Scott Donner
- Melody Thomas Scott - Tonya Wellington
- Rene Ashton - Amelia Weiss
- Randall Batinkoff - Brad Williams
- Jon Briddell - Rick Weiss
- Tymberlee Hill - Julie Taylor
- Stephen Macht - Bill Wellington
- Adam O'Byrne - Mr. Rubens
- David Parker - Duke Jones
- Kelly Thiebaud - Chloe Graves
- Shalima - Vicky Rubens
- Juan Alfonso - Delivery Man
- Lenny Citrano - Lead Lawyer
- John L Curtis - Desk Clerk
- Schae Harrison - Uniform Police Officer
- James Andrew Walsh - Desperate Man
Castle: I was just hoping to elevate their stature without casting the chainsaw-wielding hooker from Hell School.
Alexis: Hey, I like that movie.
(Castle gives her a curious look)
Alexis: If I’d seen it, which I haven’t.
Alexis: (Castle’s cell phone rings) Pick it up, Dad. A murder will make you feel better.
Castle: (looking at the engagement ring Ryan plans to give to Jenny) Ryan! I don’t know what to say. I mean, I’m flattered, but…
Ryan: Oh c’mon.
Castle: No, no. You can’t just ask. You gotta make a statement. It’s gotta be big. Helicopter ride…
Beckett: Actually, most girls prefer something a little more intimate.
Castle: So he’s just supposed to be boring and ask ‘Will you marry me?’ (Castle & Beckett exchange odd looks) And helicopter rides are intimate.
Beckett: Yeah, sure. If you wanna spend the most romantic moment of your life with Reggie The Chopper Pilot.
Beckett: According to her business card she’s a high end matchmaker.
Castle: Like millionaire matchmaker.
Ryan: Without the reality show.
Castle: Or pulse.
Ryan: That too.
Beckett: Observe and note away. I’m already used to it.
Castle: Hello. I’m your creator.
Beckett: It’s not every day we get someone famous in here.
Castle: She’s a civilian. Aren’t you afraid she’s gonna get in the way and mess up the case?
Beckett: You’re kidding, right?
Beckett: It’s a numbers game. You talk to enough people usually something shakes out.
Natalie: That is going in the movie.
Castle: Yeah, being a cop, it’s kinda like being a prospector – you sift through a lot of rock before you finally hit gold.
Natalie: Nah. Her line was better.
Natalie: The heels give you stature. When guys have to literally look up to you, it gives you a psychological edge.
Beckett: Well, you’re right about the heels and the stature, but it’s not because I need it. I just like it.
Natalie: (to Castle) What about you? Do you do anything to hide your fame?
Beckett: Doesn’t really come up that much.
Beckett: What kind of an idiot would pay six grand for this kind of bag?
Natalie: I have a full set.
Castle: (to Natalie who just imitated Beckett) That was a great Beckett.
Ryan: (star struck) Creepy great. Not that you’re creepy, just…great.
Castle: So where are we?
Natalie: Ryan and Esposito are digging into Tonya Wellington.
Castle: What about Duke Jones? His neighbor confirm his romantic evening?
Natalie: So did a couple other neighbors who complained about the noise, so it looks like Duke Jones alibis out.
Beckett: What she said.
Castle: That’s what makes Beckett such a great detective. She invests in the victim.
Castle: (looking at Natalie wearing a brown wig and a Beckett-style outfit) Just like I dreamed it. Did I just say that out loud?
Uniformed cop: (to Natalie) Here you go, Beckett.
Natalie: Thanks Johnson. It is Johnson, right?
Beckett: It’s Velasquez! And you are not me.
Natalie: (to Castle, seductively) No, but I’m getting warmer.
Castle: You certainly are.
Beckett: You cannot tell me that that is normal!
Castle: She’s just committed to the role. You should be flattered.
Beckett: Yeah. Sure. ‘Til she steals my boyfriend and kills me in my sleep.
Natalie: Is Castle gay?
Beckett: (after spit take) I’m sorry, what? No. No.
Natalie: Then you two are an item, but you’re sworn to secrecy, right?
Beckett: No, we are not an item. Why?
Natalie: Last night I invited him back to my place and he said something to me I have never heard from a man before.
Natalie: I don’t get it. He’s into you but you’re determined not to give in to these feelings that you clearly have for him so he fantasizes about you through his writing. It’s literally verbal masturbation.
Beckett: So what does this all have to do with me?
Natalie: I am not wearing this get up for my health. You’re Nikki Heat. He’s Jameson Rook and I need to sleep with him in the name of character research. Can you talk to him?
Beckett: And say what?
Natalie: I don’t know…give him permission or something.
Beckett: I need to go…over there.
Beckett: (watching Natalie practice being her at the murder board) Do I really do that?
Castle: Yes. And it’s adorable.
Beckett: If it’s so adorable, why didn’t you sleep with me? Her me, not me me.
Ryan: We should have a code word so we all know which Beckett to kill when her clone army attacks.
Esposito: What are you guys doing?
Ryan: Hiding from Creepy Beckett.
Natalie: (dramatically) Let’s take that cheating dirtbag down. (in regular voice) Too much?
Beckett: I just usually say ‘Let’s go.’
Esposito: Natalie Rhodes. And I thought it was cool working with you Castle.
Jenny: You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, Kevin. And I want you to know that I trust you and I love you. I’m sorry.
Ryan: No…I’m the one who’s sorry because I lied to you. But I’m gonna set the record straight right now because you deserve the truth, so wait here just one second. (gets something out of his desk)
Castle: What is he doing?
Ryan: I didn’t play darts with Javier last night. I went to go see your parents because I had a question for them. (drops down on one knee) Jennifer Scout Duffy-O’Malley, will you make me the happiest guy in the world and marry me? (pulls ring box from behind his back and opens it)
Jenny: Oh my God! Yes. Yes. Yes!
Laura Prepon, in a story posted on TV Squad.com on January 3, 2011, said that just before filming the scene where she has to kiss Nathan, she had eaten a bunch of peanut butter pretzels not realizing they were going to do the kiss in the rehearsal. Even though she apologized to Nathan, the next day he brought her a large box of peanut butter pretzels, saying it was for the next guy with whom she has to do a kissing scene so he will know what he went through.. In an interview almost a year later, Laura said she felt "a lot of pressure" playing the role: "People love that show, and before I was even going to play it, everyone had an opinion of who should play Nikki Heat. People took it very seriously, and luckily, it turned out well." 
- Flower performed by Amos Lee - closing scene in the precinct with Ryan and Jenny
Full Episode Recap
Richard Castle sits in his office in his loft watching the audition tape of actress Natalie Rhodes for the part of Nikki Heat in the upcoming movie adaptation of Heat Wave. In the middle of the scene, he pauses the video, unable to watch anymore. As his daughter Alexis and mother Martha Rodgers listen, he expresses his frustration that the studio would cast an actress best known for playing twenty-somethings in B-movie horror films. Martha reminds him that one of the movies Natalie appeared in made a lot of money largely due to her performance, but Castle insists that casting Natalie, who once played a chainsaw-wielding prostitute, will not elevate his books’ stature. Alexis interjects that she liked Natalie in the movie where she played the prostitute, then covers herself by making like she really hadn’t seen the movie when her father throws her a curious look. Martha asks him to give Natalie a chance and Alexis adds that she read for one of her movies, Natalie lived in her house’s crawl space for a week to get into the part. Martha points out that such an act shows dedication, but Castle is undeterred, adding the dialogue written for the film is unrealistic. Castle’s cell phone rings and when he sees it is Detective Kate Beckett calling, he says she will hate that Natalie was cast to play a character based on her. Alexis encourages him to pick up, saying a murder might make him feel better.
At the crime scene in an alley, Castle greets Detective Kevin Ryan and a few uniformed cops. Ryan follows after him with a goofy grin on his face and when Castle asks him what’s up, he pulls out an engagement ring. Castle pokes fun at him by saying he is flattered and doesn’t know what to say. He then asks how Ryan plans on popping the question. Ryan says he planned on keeping it simple, but Castle chides him that he has to make a statement with his proposal and do something big. Beckett joins them and disagrees, saying most girls prefer something intimate. Castle is incredulous that she would prefer something so simple and boring, and, to make his point, takes the ring from Ryan and acts like he is proposing to Beckett. She flashes him a curious look and Castle momentarily loses his train of thought as the impact of what he just did hits him. Ryan takes the rings back as Castle insists that big gestures, like a helicopter ride, can be intimate. Beckett, however, remains unmoved.
They approach the scene where the body of a woman lies impaled on a low, wrought iron fence. Beckett explains that their victim is Stacey Collins, a high-end matchmaker. Defensive wounds were found on the body, as were her purse and wallet, but her keys are missing. Detective Javier Esposito joins them, saying he found that Collins was at a party the night before thrown by all the happy couples she had matched up and left just before ten o’clock. Beckett remembers the medical examiner estimated the time of death as being between 10 and 11, and Castle guesses one of the party attendees followed her and killed her. Ryan wonders how someone could kill the person who gave the couples so much happiness, but changes his tune when Beckett and Castle flash him knowing looks. He walks away promising to bring in the party attendees for questioning.
The group sees a limousine pull up to the scene and all turn to see who the passenger is. To Castle’s shock, Natalie Rhodes emerges from the limousine and begins heading their way. A surprised Esposito identifies her and Beckett tells him how she has been cast to play Nikki Heat. Esposito is thrilled, while Castle remains unimpressed and asks why she is at their murder scene. Beckett explains how Natalie contacted her to ask if she could shadow her for research into the part since Beckett is the inspiration for Nikki Heat. Castle is incredulous that Beckett agreed to such an arrangement, but goes along with it.
Natalie greets Beckett, saying she looks exactly like what she envisioned Nikki would look like. Beckett grins widely and introduces her to Castle and Esposito. Natalie then describes how she is a method actress and wants to observe Beckett as much as possible, to which Beckett agrees, saying she is used to being observed. Castle chuckles then reintroduces himself to Natalie, expecting her to have heard of him as the author of Heat Wave, then is aggravated when Natalie only vaguely recognizes him. Ryan joins the group and is so star-struck when Beckett introduces him to Natalie that he loses all train of thought. Beckett brings him back down to earth and Ryan explains that Collins’ office has been trashed which explains why her keys were missing. Beckett tells Ryan and Esposito to go to the office while she and Castle will interview party guests. Ryan gives a little wave before leaving and as Beckett and Natalie head in the other direction, Castle follows, muttering to himself how he created the character Natalie is supposed to play.
Back at the precinct, Beckett explains how it’s her job to figure out who would want to kill a matchmaker and that the first 48 hours after a murder is the most critical time to the investigation. As the three approach Beckett’s desk, her co-workers stop in their tracks to stare at Natalie, who is unfazed by the attention. Beckett apologizes to Natalie, saying they don’t often get famous people in the precinct, a statement which gets Castle’s goat. Beckett announces to everyone that Natalie will be shadowing her and invites everyone to gawk now so they all can get back to work. Natalie drops her coat and purse into Castle’s unsuspecting arms and enthusiastically makes herself available for pictures and autographs. Castle tells Beckett he is upset that she didn’t ask his opinion about Natalie shadowing them, and Beckett corrects him, saying she is not shadowing both of them, just her. Castle then realizes Beckett must be a fan of Natalie’s, a fact Beckett confirms by saying she thought it was cool how Natalie beheaded some zombies with a sword in one of her movies. Castle gripes that that still doesn’t make her qualified to play Nikki Heat, who is classy and a thinking man’s cop. Listening to Castle describe the character she inspired amuses Beckett and she tells Castle not to judge Natalie without getting to know her. Castle says he is perfectly entitled to judge Natalie since he created the character and asks Beckett if she had considered how Natalie might get in the way of the investigation. Beckett is completely incredulous at Castle’s question, then notices a uniformed cop bringing in two couples for questioning, tosses her coat on top of Natalie’s in Castle’s arms and asks Natalie if she wants to join in the interrogation. She agrees while Castle is left behind resembling a coat rack.
At Collins’ office, Ryan laments how he embarrassed himself when Beckett introduced him to Natalie. He explains that Natalie is in his “Freebie 5 list”, a list of 5 celebrities that you’d like to sleep with without consequence even if you’re in a relationship. Esposito tells him not worry about it just as a woman arrives and is shocked to find the police combing the ransacked office. She identifies herself as Julie Taylor, Stacey Collins’ assistant and Esposito tells her he has bad news. She eventually tells Esposito and Ryan that business had been off since Stacey had begun turning down clients two months ago. She adds that the party the night before was thrown in Stacey’s honor by 60 of her successful matches to show how many lives she had touched. She doubts that any of the guests would want to kill her, but does say that if anyone would want to hurt Stacey, she’d guess her ex-boyfriend Brad Williams, with whom Stacey had broken up the day before.
Meanwhile at the precinct, another couple leaves after being interviewed by Beckett and Castle. Natalie asks if most suspects Beckett interviews are as unhelpful as the couples they’ve interviewed so far, and Beckett coolly tells her that the more people you talk to, the more likely something will shake out. Natalie loves the line and promises to work it into the movie. Castle tries to focus the attention on himself by coming up with a line of his own, only to have Natalie prefer Beckett’s, causing Castle to bite his tongue and Beckett to smirk. A little later they interview another couple who say they didn’t notice anyone acting strangely at the party. Both are momentarily distracted by Natalie’s typing Beckett’s words into her phone and flash her cautionary looks until she stops. Castle asks if the couple saw anyone suspicious lurking around after the party and they answer that someone driving a silver-colored Boxter picked up Stacey when she left.
At Stacey’s office, Julie guesses that if anyone would want to hurt Stacey, it would have been her ex-boyfriend Brad Williams, with whom Stacey had broken up the day before. She explains how she had witnessed the two fighting one morning when she arrived for work. Esposito’s cell phone rings and he excuses himself. Ryan asks if Brad knew about the party and Julie says he planned on coming, but that Stacey uninvited him after they broke up. Esposito returns and asks if she knows of anyone who drives a silver-colored Boxter. She answers that Brad does.
Later in the interrogation room at the precinct, Beckett interviews Brad who confirms he argued with Stacey often. Beckett guesses he couldn’t handle Stacey’s rejecting him so he killed her, which Brad denies. He also denies trashing her office, saying they broke up because Stacey cheated on him. He explains how two months ago Stacey became distant and was getting phone calls at odd hours, so he followed her one day last week and saw her meet some crooked looking guy. Beckett asks him about the party and he says he went to pick up Stacey so they could talk, but the same guy he caught her meeting with called and interrupted them. He got upset at her, but she ignored him and left, so he spent the rest of the night at diner.
Meanwhile, in the observation room, Natalie marvels at Beckett’s eye contact with Brad. Castle asks her what she thought of Heat Wave, and Natalie answers that she loved the script. When Castle asks if she read the book, to his shock, she answers she hasn’t since the writer of the script made a lot of changes and she didn’t want to confuse the character. Now even more upset, Castle asks Natalie what was changed.
Later, Esposito confirms Brad’s alibi. Beckett tells him to check into Stacey’s phone records to see if he can identify the guy Stacey cheated with. Her cell phone beeps with a message and that CSU found a key hidden under a ceiling tile in the office that Julie doesn’t recognize. Natalie guesses it is what the killer was looking for and Castle comes up with another line about the key being crucial to unlocking the mystery of who killed Stacey. Beckett grins at his feeble attempt at cleverness while Natalie ignores him. Beckett declares that she needs a cup of coffee and Natalie smiles, saying she was thinking the same thing. Castle goes to follow them to the break room, but is waylaid by Ryan, who tells him he took his advice and plans to propose to Jenny while the two take a helicopter ride over the bar where they met. He adds that told her he is playing darts with Esposito tomorrow night, when in reality he plans to visit her parents to ask them for her hand. Castle tries to get away to join Beckett & Natalie, but Ryan stops him again asking if he has a recommendation for a restaurant near the heliport. Castle is flustered, but suggests an Italian place.
In the break room, Natalie continues to compliment Beckett and even says she has picked up on a couple of her mannerism. Beckett is flattered initially then brushes her hair behind her ear and asks what Natalie is talking about. Natalie points out the gesture and explains how Beckett uses it to distract the person she is talking to in an effort to give herself a couple extra seconds to formulate a response. Beckett admits she didn’t even realize what she was doing and Natalie continues, drawing attention to Beckett’s high-heeled shoes. She says they give her stature in such a male-dominated field and a psychological edge because they force the men she works with literally to look up to her. Beckett agrees, but says, ultimately, she just likes wearing them. Esposito enters saying he found something and Natalie stands up, eclipsing him in height because of her own heels. He turns and walks out, slightly rattled.
Back at Esposito’s desk, he shows Beckett and Castle a photo of Duke Jones, the man who had been calling Stacey, who also has a rap sheet indicative of a small time crook. He also shows Beckett Stacey’s bank records which indicate she was making regular payments of $5000 to him for the last two months before she died. Castle notices how Stacey had been doing a lot of things differently for the last two months. Beckett says they’ll have to ask him directly and asks if Natalie is ready to pound the pavement. She agrees and tells Castle she has to put on her “famous person disguise” which includes large, dark sunglasses and a hat. He asks if such a thing really works and she agrees. She then asks him if he does anything to hide his fame, but before he can answer, Beckett interrupts, saying it doesn’t come up that often. The two leave Castle at Beckett’s desk, smarting again from her teasing.
At Duke Jones’ office, the three are greeted by a young woman named Chloe. Duke emerges from the bathroom zipping up his fly and tells Chloe to step outside for a bit. Beckett tells Duke how Stacey was murdered and asks how he knew her. He says he is a private investigator who she hired to run background checks on potential clients. Castle is surprised that she would spend so much money then turn clients away and Duke brags that the cost of his services is due to his not being afraid to really dig into someone’s background. He also says Stacey got burned by a client recently and wanted to be more thorough in vetting potential clients. Beckett asks why he called Stacey twenty minutes before she was killed and he says he wanted to give her some information on one of her clients. Beckett asks for his alibi and he answers that he was sleeping with a neighbor.
Outside the office, Natalie asks if Beckett thinks Duke had something to do with the murder. Beckett says recent conflict in a victim’s life is definitely a red flag you have to look into, then steps away and calls Esposito, asking him to look into a couple of Stacey’s clients. Meanwhile, Natalie gushes about how smart, sexy and commanding Beckett is and worries that she won’t be able to portray her accurately. She then adds that Nikki Heat is such a juicy, complex character and that she really wants to get her right. Castle asks her if she really lived in her house’s crawl space for a week for one of her movie roles, and Natalie corrects him that it was a month, but she told the tabloids a week to keep them from thinking she was obsessive. Castle smiles as Beckett rejoins them, saying CSU identified the key found in Stacey’s office. A little later, Beckett uses the key to open the backside of the jukebox from Stacey’s office. Inside, she finds a piece of luggage containing what Castle estimates to be a couple hundred thousand dollars.
Back at the precinct, Beckett tells Castle and Natalie that Julie does not recognize the bag as belonging to Stacey and doubts it is money paid by clients since the business was barely showing a profit. Natalie guesses the money belongs to whoever owns the bag, only Beckett says it’s not likely they’ll ever figure out who that is since fingerprints cannot be obtained off the bag. Natalie says they could check the registry since all bags made by the same manufacturer are numbered and registered in case they are stolen or lost. Beckett asks what crazy person would buy such an expensive bag and Natalie, to Beckett’s embarrassment, says she owns a full set.
A little later, Ryan gives Beckett a fax from the bag’s manufacturer which identifies its owner as Tonya Wellington. Natalie becomes excited when Beckett tells her how she may have cracked the case wide open and agrees with Castle when he tells her how the rush from getting closer to solving a case can be addictive. He then presses her to read Heat Wave and she promises to do so. Esposito arrives and says Tonya Wellington and her husband Bill were invited to Stacy’s party the night she died, but declined the invitation. Beckett stands up from sitting on the edge of her desk, puts her hands on her hips, and says she wants to bring the two in for questioning. Natalie rises off the desk too and imitates Beckett’s stance to perfection, creeping out Ryan, who calls it uncanny, Esposito, who calls it spooky, and Castle, who calls it sexy. Beckett finally notices and Natalie says she has noticed how Beckett’s posture changes based on whether or not she has a suspect. This surprises Beckett and Natalie confidently promises to act like Beckett better than Beckett herself by the time her shadowing is done. The guys all grin as she walks off, but Beckett isn’t amused. She orders Ryan and Esposito to bring in Tonya Wellington and they leave. Beckett goes to sit back on her desk, but, to Castle’s delight, is so self-conscious she takes several seconds to find a comfortable position.
Later in interrogation, Tonya Wellington sits flanked by several attorneys. She looks at one before admitting to Beckett that she was a client of Stacey’s and that Stacey introduced her to her husband. Meanwhile, in the observation room, Castle, Ryan and Natalie watch the interview. Natalie continues to impress Castle with her spot-on imitation of Beckett, and Ryan continues to be star struck. Beckett asks Tonya about the money she found in the bag from the jukebox and Tonya’s attorney declines to answer for her. She presses her about the cash, but she refuses to answer, getting Beckett increasingly frustrated and causing her attorney to invoke Tonya’s right not to answer. Beckett emphatically states that she believes the bag and the money are at the heart of the case only to have the attorney caution her that Tonya’s husband is a powerful man. Beckett tries one more time, asking what happened two months ago and Tonya’s attorney ends the meeting. They all stand and leave, as Beckett fumes.
That night at Castle’s loft, Castle again watches Natalie’s audition tape in his office. Alexis enters, asking him if he is torturing himself and he says he now thinks there is more to Natalie that he originally thought. Alexis agrees, saying she had a great emotional scene in one of her horror movies. Again, Castle looks at her funny, and again Alexis backtracks, saying she really hasn’t seen the movie then slinks away quickly.
The next morning, Natalie is writing on the murder board as Beckett eyes her cautiously. Castle enters with his and Beckett’s usual coffee, only to Beckett’s astonishment, Natalie intercepts him, taking Beckett’s coffee for herself. Castle doesn’t correct her, but tries to change the subject by asking for an update on the case. Before Beckett can answer, Natalie jumps in saying Ryan and Esposito are looking into Tonya Wellington. Castle asks about Duke Jones and Natalie interrupts Beckett again, saying his alibi checked out. Now completely unnerved, Beckett asks Castle if they can talk privately. He agrees and she drags him by the arm into a conference room where she unloads on Natalie for taking her coffee and for getting inside her head by constantly copying her. Castle reassures her that she is just trying to do a good job when Ryan enters saying he identified found the wayward client Duke Jones mentioned as Tonya’s husband Bill Wellington. He describes how Bill has a history of marrying women then leaving them penniless by divorcing them just before their prenuptial agreements expire and was on the verge of doing the same to Tonya, having filed for divorce two months ago. This tells Beckett why Stacey became more selective with her clients. Ryan continues that the Wellingtons’ prenuptial agreement has an infidelity clause whereby if Bill is caught cheating on Tonya, which he did, he must pay her $100 million. He then hands over photographs that were taken of Bill sleeping with a woman Castle identifies as Duke Jones’ assistant Chloe. Castle and Beckett then realize that the money from the bag was a payment from Tonya to Stacey so Stacey could hire Duke to catch Bill in the act of cheating on her and break their prenuptial agreement. All in all, Stacey honey-trapped Bill. Castle says that if he were Bill, he’d be quite upset at Stacey. Beckett takes the photos and heads back to her desk saying she wants Bill Wellington brought in. Castle then asks Ryan if he has copies of the photos and he says he answers that he keeps copies of everything.
A little later on, Bill Wellington sits in interrogation while Beckett, Castle and Natalie watch him. Beckett says Stacey must have felt guilty in putting the two together, so she decided to exact some justice of her own. She then leaves to begin Bill’s interrogation. Natalie asks Castle if Stacey’s actions will legally impact the case and Castle says no, since Beckett focuses on the victim, which is what makes her such a good cop.
Beckett shows the crime scene photos to Bill, who denies killing Stacey. Beckett reminds him he had motive to kill, since Stacey was the cause of his marriage ending and Bill says Stacey didn’t force him to marry Tonya. Beckett tells him she knows he cheated on Tonya and shows him Duke Jones’ photos. After he laments how a guy used to be able to cheat on his wife without worrying about someone spying on him, Beckett tells him how she also knows that the affair cost him $100 million. She goes on to guess how he must have been very upset when he found out how Stacey baited him into breaking his prenuptial agreement and Bill is shocked, unaware that Stacey had trapped him. He again denies killing Stacey, saying that if he had known she and Chloe set him up he would have killed both of them.
Later at Beckett’s desk, Beckett tells Castle and Natalie that Bill’s alibi checked out. Ryan and Esposito return from visiting Duke Jones’ office and residence to report that both are cleaned out and there is no sign of Duke or Chloe. Ryan adds that Stacey’s assistant Julie had never heard of Duke, Chloe, or any honey trapping plans. Beckett guesses that whoever murdered Stacey spooked Chloe and Duke causing them to take off, only to have Natalie interrupt her, suggesting that they both killed Stacey and took off. Beckett ignores Natalie looking very proud of herself and tells Ryan and Esposito to check out the Beaumont hotel where Chloe supposedly had a suite while they will dig further into Duke Jones’ background. As Ryan and Esposito leave, a delivery man arrives with a large box for Natalie, which she says will help her with her research into Nikki Heat.
At the Beaumont Hotel, Ryan and Esposito interview a bellhop who recognizes Chloe, only he identifies her as Greta Morgan. He also recognizes a photo of Duke Jones as a man who met Greta in the hotel lobby a few times. He guesses that she must be in serious trouble and tells the guys that another cop came around recently asking all the same questions.
Later that night, Castle sits in the conference room at the precinct when Beckett shows him Greta’s rap sheet which indicates previous arrests for prostitution. Castle guesses money is the motive in the murder since Tonya paid Stacey a lot of money and Stacey paid Duke far less. Beckett supposes that could be true, but is hopeful an APB on Greta or her contacts she made with other precincts might turn up something. Just then, Natalie enters wearing a brunette wig with Beckett’s hairstyle, a business suit, heels, and a button down blouse just like Beckett. Castle drops his pencil in shock, while Beckett drops her jaw, feeling more creeped out than ever. A uniformed cop hands a file to Natalie, calling her Beckett, and Natalie thanks her, but calls her by the wrong name. Beckett angrily corrects her and snatches the file. Natalie senses she is getting closer to accurately portraying Beckett, and gives Castle a seductive look. He agrees and Beckett jumps in, telling both they need to knock off for the night. Natalie and Castle protest, but Beckett insists, covering herself by saying she doesn’t want them getting burned out. As soon as Natalie leaves the conference room to reluctantly pack up her things, Beckett flips out on Castle, insisting Natalie’s behavior is not normal. Castle disagrees saying she is just committed to the role and that Beckett should be flattered. He follows in Natalie’s wake, leaving Beckett to predict that next Natalie will steal her boyfriend and kill her in her sleep.
As Natalie and Castle head for the elevator, Castle offers to carry the large box for Natalie and she accepts while saying she was hoping to do more research. Castle remains awestruck by Natalie’s resemblance to Beckett and can only grunt in agreement. Natalie then says she read the book Heat Wave the night before and now realizes how Castle based Jameson Rook on himself. Castle supposes he did draw on his experiences working with Beckett, and Natalie asks if he did the same with the sex scenes. Castle says that was just fantasy, to which Natalie guesses he is fantasizing about her now since she looks like Beckett. They step on the elevator and Natalie corners Castle, saying she needs to feel the passion between herself and Rook if she is to play the character of Nikki right. She then kisses Castle passionately, causing him to drop the box he was carrying at the same time Beckett arrives back at her desk. She hears the box drop and is stunned to see the elevator doors close on Castle and Natalie’s intimate moment.
The next morning, Castle cheerily greets Beckett with their usual coffees, only she doesn’t accept hers, suspecting Castle treated Natalie to coffee after their night together. Before he can dispute her story, Ryan’s girlfriend Jenny runs past them crying with Ryan hot on her tail, pleading for her to let him explain. She arrives at the elevator, just as the doors open and Natalie exits. Jenny gasps at seeing Natalie, and shoves Ryan off the elevator saying she hates him. Beckett asks what happened and Ryan explains how when Jenny brought him his cell phone after he left it at home, Esposito blew his cover story for when he went to see her parents the night before. He admits he also forgot to tell Jenny he was working with Natalie, causing her to suspect Ryan is cheating on her. To his further humiliation, he has to explain to Natalie about how she is on his Freebie 5 list. He finally slinks off to call Jenny as Natalie playfully wonders where she ranks on Ryan’s list. The remark does not impress Beckett.
As Beckett, Castle, and Natalie head towards Beckett’s desk, Beckett informs them the search for Greta has so far been unsuccessful. Castle asks if there’s been any sign of Duke, and as Beckett tells him they are monitoring his phone and credit card activity, Natalie stands right behind her, continuing to imitate her. Esposito arrives and says he found that Greta put holds on rooms in two other pricey hotels in the last week and paid using Stacey’s credit card. Castle is confused since they already had the evidence they needed on Bill Wellington. Beckett then realizes Stacey and Chloe must have planned to trap other men. Castle and Beckett then build the theory that one of the other men followed Greta from the Beaumont Hotel and confronted Stacey who was killed in the ensuing argument. Natalie adds that the killer took Stacey’s keys to search her office for any evidence of their affair. Beckett is irked by Natalie’s interruption, but tells Esposito to check out the other two hotels for a sign of Greta. Castle then leaves Beckett and Natalie to check on Ryan.
Beckett sits at her desk and has no sooner taken a large gulp of her coffee than she spits it out in shock when Natalie asks her if Castle is gay. Beckett denies this and Natalie then asks if she and Castle are secretly dating. Beckett again answers no and asks why Natalie is so curious. She explains how last night she invited Castle back to her place, only to have him turn her down, something that has never happened to her. Beckett is surprised, but Natalie continues, saying Castle clearly likes Beckett and Beckett clearly has feelings for Castle which she is determined not to reveal, so Castle fantasizes about Beckett through his writing. Natalie next tells her she has to sleep with Castle as part of her research into Nikki Heat and asks if Beckett can give Castle her permission. Beckett is speechless and awkwardly excuses herself into the break room.
A little later on, Beckett stands in the break room watching Natalie imitate her standing at the murder board. Castle approaches her and confirms that she really does the mannerisms Natalie is enacting, calling the little quirks adorable. He goes on to say that he didn’t sleep with Natalie because it just would have been too weird. Ryan joins them, suggesting they come up with a plan for when all the Beckett clones attack and Beckett suggests a simple preemptive strike. Ryan then explains how he found three of Stacey’s couples have filed for divorce in the last month and then gets lost in the idea of marrying someone only to find out they are cheating on you. Beckett refocuses his attention and he tells her how two of the guys’ alibis checked out and the third divorce was not because of cheating. Next, a curious Esposito enters and Ryan says they are hiding from Beckett’s creepy doppelganger, which Beckett tries to deny. Esposito then says he found Greta as they all see uniformed cops lead her towards an interrogation room.
In interrogation, Beckett tells Greta they already can charge her with prostitution and extortion, but promises to recommend a suspended sentence if she cooperates with their murder investigation. Chloe agrees and explains that Stacey hated how she had set women up in bad marriages, so she came up with a plan to give them all easy, dignified exits by honey trapping their husbands. She says they planned on trapping two other men, but refuses to give up their names. Natalie suddenly surprises everyone by slamming her hand on the table and demanding the names. Greta complies, naming Rich Weiss and Scott Donner. Outside at Beckett’s desk, Esposito says both men fit the description of the man the bellhop at the Beaumont Hotel said was snooping around. Natalie is surprised, saying they interviewed both men and wonders how they can figure out which of the two committed the murder. Castle says they’ll have to find out which guy left the party with his wife and which stayed behind to kill Stacey.
Esposito and Ryan work the phones to get alibis for Rich Weiss and Scott Donner, while Natalie tells Castle how the simplicity of the case should be reflected in the movie. Castle reminds her that audiences sometimes like twists and turns, but Natalie disagrees saying less is more. Esposito gets off his phone and says Rich Weiss’s wife confirms that the both of them went straight home after Stacey’s party. Ryan, in turn, hangs up and says Scott Donner’s wife told him they also went home right after the party but that Donner went out later for a drink with his cousin, which his cousin doesn’t remember, and that Scott and his wife left the party an hour before Stacey, giving Scott plenty of time to commit murder and return home without arousing his wife’s suspicions. Beckett invites Natalie to join her and Castle for her first arrest, and Natalie toughly and dramatically proclaims how she wants to take Scott down. Both look at her oddly and she asks if she overdid things. Beckett agrees, saying she usually just says “Let’s go,” and Natalie answers that she just proved her earlier point about less being more.
They arrive at Scott Donner’s office and he maintains that he already told them everything he knows. All three tell him say they know he didn’t go home with his wife, nor did he have a drink with his cousin. Beckett pushes him, accusing him of confronting then killing Stacey when she refused to hand over the photos of him cheating. Beckett begins to put him under arrest, when Scott freaks, pulls a gun out of his desk, and points it at his own head. Beckett draws her own gun and Scott refuses to give up his. He tells them how Stacey’s murder was an accident in that she tried to break away from his grip on her and that he didn’t see the low fence on which she fell and impaled herself. Beckett tries to calm him down, saying she understands he didn’t mean to kill Stacey and that he will get a fair trial, but he has to put his gun down. Scott asks if Beckett thinks he is serious and to Castle and Beckett’s surprise, Natalie jumps in and uses the lines from her audition tape to try to quiet him. Her efforts work and finally Scott breaks down in tears dropping the gun on his desk. Beckett cuffs him as Castle reconsiders his earlier appraisal of the Heat Wave script.
Back at the precinct that night, Natalie is dismayed at how Stacey’s attempts to help her clients resulted in her death, but Beckett reassures her, saying thanks to her they only had one murder to solve. Natalie is relieved that everything worked out, but critiques her performance at Scott’s office saying she should have said her lines slightly differently. Castle sees her point, and Beckett doesn’t, but nonetheless agrees that she sounds like her. Natalie thanks Beckett and they hug. As Natalie heads for the elevator, she invites Castle to visit her on the set of the movie. He agrees and Beckett throws him a knowing look over her shoulder which he answers with a shrug.
Jenny then arrives and sheepishly greets everyone. Castle and Beckett return her greeting, but quickly become scarce. Ryan hugs Jenny, who apologizes to everyone for making a scene earlier. She goes on to tell Ryan she is sorry, that she trusts him, and how he is the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Before answering, Ryan shoos a nosy Esposito away, and admits he lied to Jenny, but promises to make things right. He hurries over to his desk, and retrieves something as Castle, Beckett and Esposito look on intently. Ryan confesses that he didn’t play darts with Esposito the night before, but rather went to see her parents to ask them a question. He then drops to one knee and proposes, pulling the ring out from behind his back, and saying Jenny will make him the happiest guy in the world if she marries him. Jenny accepts, Ryan slips the ring on her finger, and the precinct erupts in applause. Esposito wipes a tear from one eye as Castle calls the proposal big and Beckett agrees, adding it was also intimate. The three converge on Jenny and Ryan to congratulate them, along with the rest of their colleagues.
Who: Stacey Collins, age 45, high end matchmaker
Found: on "back porch" of an apartment seven blocks from 85th Street and 3rd Avenue
Where Killed: where found
How: Face up, impaled upon the wrought iron fence of the "porch". Several posts sticking all the way through the body
Killer: Scott Donner, one of the matched husbands that was "honey trapped"
Motive: Money, he stood to loose $30 to $40 million because of the pending divorce because of his infidelity. It wanted revenge on Stacey since she set him for the divorce
Prostitute: Greta Morgan a.k.a. Chloe. She worked with Duke to "honey trap" husbands that Stacey had matched up to help the wives out of their marriages
- Laura Prepon Talks Peanut Butter Pretzels, Kissing Nathan Fillion and Her Guest Spot on Tonight's Castle, by Jean Bentley, AOLTV.com, posted January 3, 2011
- Castle: Laura Prepon felt 'a lot of pressure' as Nikki Heat, written by Jay Bobbin, TVOvermind.com, posted September 26, 2011