Season 4 Episode 415 (73)
Original Air Date - February 13, 2012
Castle is doubly surprised when he finds out Alexis is interning with Lanie, and when his and Beckett's latest murder case, much to Beckett's chagrin, reunites him with CIA Agent and former muse, Sophia Turner. When the bodies keep piling up and the prime suspect becomes a dangerous rogue CIA agent who Sophia believes is plotting a catastrophic event, she enlists Castle's and Beckett's help. However, their decision to get involved may prove fatal for them both.
- Nathan Fillion - Richard Castle
- Stana Katic - Kate Beckett, Detective
- Susan Sullivan - Martha Rodgers (Castle's mother)
- Molly C. Quinn - Alexis Castle (Castle's daughter)
- Jon Huertas - Javier Esposito, Detective
- Seamus Dever - Kevin Ryan, Detective
- Tamala Jones - Lanie Parish, Medical Examiner
- Penny Johnson Jerald - Victoria Gates, Captain
- Jennifer Beals - Sophia Turner, CIA Operative
- Josh Stamberg - Martin Danberg, CIA Operative
- David Chisum - Thomas Gage
- Russell Edge - Agent Jones
- Burnadean Jones - Tech #2
Martha: All right, but let me say this: this internship has my personal seal of approval.
Castle: That doesn’t make me feel any better.
Beckett: Yeah, well, you never know, Castle. This might be the one that brings the two of you closer together somehow.
Castle: I doubt it. Best thing I can hope for now is that she learns to become more of an underachiever.
Beckett: Yeah, well, I’m sure you’ll be able to give her some tips.
Lanie: No ID, but lots of causes of death.
Castle: You mean other than gravity?
Lanie: Oh yeah. See that bullet wound?
Beckett: So he was shot before he fell?
Lanie: And stabbed.
Beckett: Shot and stabbed?
Lanie: And choked and has a pencil jammed into the side of his neck.
Castle: Gives new meaning to the term overkill.
Alexis: It’s equal parts gross and cool.
Lanie: I heard that and I couldn’t agree with you more.
Beckett: I really think that you’re overreacting.
Castle: But what if I’m not? What if this upsets the delicate synergy of our partnership? What if it undermines our unit cohesion?
Ryan: Hey, pretty cool about Alexis’ internship. (sees Castle’s angry look) Or not.
Alexis: He escaped?
Castle: Uh-huh. But only after orchestrating the theft of John Doe’s body from the morgue. How awesome is that?
Alexis: Not so awesome if you’re the person who let it happen.
Alexis: I’m not letting this victim out of my sight.
Alexis: What is?
Lanie: The fact that Richard Castle, a man unburdened by regret and guilt, has a child who carries the weight of the world. It is not on you that a dead man came up missing.
Alexis: Well, how often does something like that happen anyway?
Lanie: It never happens, honey, so relax. It was just a freak thing. Bodies just don’t disappear.
Sophia Turner: I wouldn’t say that I am Clara Strike, but I’d like to think I inspired Rick in some small way.
Beckett: Well, that is just fascinating.
Sophia: (to Castle) You look good.
Castle: You too.
Beckett: Ok, so, I hate to interrupt this little reunion, but we’re being illegally detained. At least, I am.
(Beckett’s cell phone rings)
Sophia: You can go ahead and answer that.
Beckett: Yeah, I was planning on it.
Castle: I’ve gotta see those direct dial icons they put on our phones. Hey! Why is mine a panic button?
Beckett: I guess she really does know you well.
Castle: You’re sure this isn’t about Sophia?
Beckett: No. Why would it be?
Castle: Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because I based a character on her.
Beckett: Don’t flatter yourself, Castle. It’s not that big an honor.
Castle: Good. Because Sophia is on our side. We’re on the same team.
'Beckett: And that doesn’t concern you? You don’t think that that will undermine our unit cohesion?
Castle: Hey, I’m willing to let that slide in the interest of national security.
Beckett: I guess I am too. It’s just I might have been a little bit taken aback to find out that you had…researched with someone else.
Castle: Look, it was never the way it is with you and me. I just hung out with her for a while to lend some authenticity to Clara Strike. It was a brief moment a long time ago. And besides Nikki Heat is a far more complex and nuanced character. She is! And I’m a far more experienced writer…
Beckett: So how long did the two of you hang out?
Beckett: A year? That’s your idea of a brief moment?
Castle: I was young and she had a lot to teach me.
Beckett: Yeah, I’ll bet.
Castle: About the shadowy world of espionage.
Beckett: Let me ask you this: how many other women have you semi-stalked in the name of research?
Castle: Is this a trick question?
Beckett: You know what? I don’t even want to know.
Castle: (about Gates’ being furious at them for not telling her about their involvement with the CIA) Did you see how mad she was? God, that was so good!
Castle: No. Hey, sorry boys. Classified. Top secret. Our eyes only. DEFCON 1. And if I did tell you, well then I’d have to kill you.
Esposito: Yeah? Good luck with that.
Castle: Yeah, realistically that’s a no.
Esposito: I’m gonna go on record and say that this sucks.
Beckett: And noted. Now let’s move on to Tracy McGrath.
Beckett: Four hundred cubic inches with a Rochester 4 barrel and 360 horsepower.
Castle: You know muscle cars?
Beckett: Oh yeah. We should go to the track sometime, Castle. See who laps who.
Beckett: Castle, what are you doing?
Castle: Bracing myself to shield you from a hail of bullets.
Beckett: Well, that’s very gallant of you, but you can stop bracing. I think he left.
Beckett: What do you know about trunk latches?
Castle: Um…well, the bad news is this one was not designed to open from the inside.
Beckett: And the good news?
Castle: This time we’re not handcuffed together.
Beckett: Who do you think is gonna find us?
Castle: I just feel in situations like this it’s important to have faith.
Beckett: You pressed the panic button didn’t you?
Castle: Well, if there was ever a time to panic, I think this is it. You should be thanking me!
Beckett: No, I am not gonna be rescued by your girlfriend!
Sophia: Finding the car was great work. I think it might just be the break we need.
Castle: Well, I can’t take all the credit.
Beckett: Yeah, especially since it was Detective Ryan who found it.
Castle: We’re all on the same team here.
Beckett: No, you’re on her team. Because the way you look at her, you’re sure as hell not on mine.
Beckett: I’m sorry. I can’t tell you.
Esposito: You know, a man can only take so much.
Beckett: Hey. What are you doing here?
Castle: I found something. It’s about Blakely.
Beckett: Well, shouldn’t you tell Sophia about it?
Castle: She isn’t my partner. You are.
Castle: Look, if you want I will answer any question you have about her. Anything at all.
Beckett: No, thanks.
Castle: Are you sure?
Beckett: Yeah. I mean it’s really none of my business.
Castle: Ok. Then we’re done with it then.
Beckett: Fine. (thinks for a minute) So…how close were the two of you, exactly?
- Regarding why she took the part of Sophia, Jennifer Beals said: "One of the things that led me to do the show was the charm, and so much of that charm is based on the chemistry between Stana [Katic] and Nathan [Fillion]. It's fun to watch those characters together, because they're such different people and yet together they have a really interesting chemistry. A compelling chemistry -- it's not just interesting, it's compelling."
Full Episode Recap
The sounds of a vicious fight ring out through the night, ending when a man is thrown through a window and falls four stories to land on the top of a car, dead. The winner of the fight, Thomas Gage, looks down on the body then disappears.
Meanwhile, in Richard Castle's loft, Castle’s mother, Martha Rodgers, greets him as he is preparing her favorite meal, pasta carbonara. He explains that he plans on reconnecting with his busy daughter Alexis, only to have Martha burst his bubble with news that she has a new internship. Castle notes the late hour and wonders what she could be doing, but Martha says she was sworn to secrecy and nevertheless approved the internship. As his cell phone rings, Castle isn’t reassured.
At the crime scene, Detective Kate Beckett tries to reassure Castle that perhaps Alexis’ new job will bring them closer, but Castle is doubtful. Detective Javier Esposito reports that neighbors heard a fight then saw their victim fall, that nobody in the building recognizes him, so it’s probably not his residence, and he has no identification on him. Medical Examiner Lanie Parish points out a bullet wound and a pencil in the victim’s neck, and adds that he was also stabbed and choked. Beckett and Castle step away to find more information, but Castle stops when he sees Alexis, wearing a Medical Examiner’s jacket. He confronts her and she says she is shadowing Lanie since she thought the experience would be beneficial if she went to medical school. She adds that she didn’t tell him out of a fear that he’d think it would infringe on his territory with Beckett. Castle lies and disagrees, then feigns excitement for her.
As Beckett searches for evidence, she tells Castle he is overreacting and he counters that working murder cases is his and Beckett’s thing and having Alexis around may upset their partnership. Beckett finds a blood trail and remembers that a witness saw a man with a limp leaving the scene. They follow the trail to a corner where they suspect the killer caught a cab and where they find a traffic camera.
At the precinct, Beckett, Castle, and Detective Kevin Ryan watch the surveillance footage. They see a woman hail a cab then a man come up behind her and push his way into the cab with her. Beckett tells Ryan to track the taxi using its medallion number to find out where it went.
Later on, Beckett, Esposito, and a squad of SWAT cops burst into the apartment of Tina Massey, where a wounded Gage sits eating a sandwich. As they demand he put his hands in the air, he casually continues to eat then complies so Esposito can cuff him.
In the precinct interrogation room, Gage is abnormally relaxed when confronted with the evidence against him. He merely says whatever they have on him is going away then refuses to talk further. In the observation room, Beckett tells Ryan that Gage should be sweating bullets and Ryan says Gage’s driver’s license is fake and his fingerprints aren’t in the system. They watch as a uniformed officer escorts him to a holding cell.
In the break room, Tina Massey explains to Beckett and Castle that once they got back to her apartment, Gage told her to bind up his leg wound then admitted that he had been slashed with a knife while killing someone who he said doesn’t exist.
In the morgue, Lanie verifies that she can’t find their John Doe in any records, but adds that she found too many old injuries on his body than she could count, meaning he should have a record. They head into the examining room, but find their body gone.
Back at the precinct, Beckett and Castle still can’t believe their body disappeared and Castle suspects Gage had something to do with it. Beckett, Castle, and Esposito head to holding to question him, but find the cell and a pair of handcuffs empty, leading Beckett to order a lock down of the precinct.
The following morning, Alexis finds Castle in his loft office, typing up notes on the case, which has him fascinated. Alexis says she feels guilty since their missing body disappeared under her watch, but Castle tells her she should feel fortunate, since whoever is behind the murder, is dangerous and could have hurt her had she intervened. Alexis’ guilt isn’t assuaged, so Castle suggests she give it up if it isn’t what she’d hoped for, but Alexis resolves to see it through.
At the precinct, Ryan and Esposito explain to Captain Gates that Gage stole a uniform and snuck out of the precinct by impersonating an officer. Gates becomes furious and orders them to track every step every step Gage made.
Later, Beckett and Castle wonder why Gage would take the risk of stealing a uniform, when Ryan and Esposito explain that Gage used the department’s database to look up the address of Tracy McGrath, leading Castle to wonder if that was Gage’s plan all along. Beckett tells Ryan and Esposito to pull everything they can on Tracy while she and Castle go to her residence.
They arrive at Tracy’s house to find her dead. Beckett calls in the murder to Esposito who relays it to Gates. Ryan also tells her that she has no family and is a scientist at a research foundation. Gates tells them to interview her co-workers to find out why Gage made her a target. Meanwhile, Beckett leaves Castle alone to search the house. When she enters the kitchen, she finds a steaming cup of coffee on the counter and pulls out her gun. She circles back to the foyer and finds Castle, with his hands bound and a black hood over his head. Someone points a gun at her temple, takes hers out of her hand and slips a hood over her head.
Lanie and Alexis arrive at Tracy’s house and Alexis promises not to let their latest victim out of her sight. Lanie reassures her that bodies never just disappear and she shouldn’t be too upset with herself. They enter the house and find nothing but a blood stain on the carpet.
When the hoods come off, Castle and Beckett find themselves in an elevator descending deep underground and a serious-looking man in a suit wearing an earpiece watching them. The doors open and the man pushes forward into an underground office facility. As the man unshackles their hands, a woman, who Castle recognizes as Sophia Turner, approaches them and welcomes them to the CIA.
At the precinct, Ryan and Esposito interview Tracy’s former boss, who notes she was a classic car enthusiast and had been developing statistical models that would predict the effects of climate change on society. He also remembers that yesterday she left the office suddenly for two hours, which was out of character for her. She didn’t volunteer any information, but he offers to access the foundation’s server for them so they can find her calendar.
At the CIA facility, Beckett asks Castle about Sophia, but when he balks, Sophia herself fills in the blanks, saying eleven and a half years ago, Castle shadowed her for research on his first Derrick Storm book. Beckett figures out Sophia was his inspiration for a character named Clara Strike, which Sophia confirms then she and Castle exchange mild flirtations. Beckett reminds them they are being held illegally, but Sophia corrects her, saying they are being debriefed. Sophia also says that the NYPD Chief of Detectives assured her of their cooperation then asks to for everything they know about Gage. Beckett refuses, wanting to know what is going on, and Sophia responds that it’s classified and if she or Castle were to reveal anything, they could be executive for treason. They agree.
Later, Sophia’s colleague, Martin Danberg, briefs them on Gage, saying he was one of their most valuable assets until he went rogue recently. Sophia adds that they believe he is trying to initiate some kind of catastrophic event which poses a serious threat to the U.S. The man Gage killed was Agent Gary Harper, who they’d sent to bring in Gage, only to fail, explaining why his body disappeared. By the time they found about Tracy, she was already dead. Beckett’s cell phone rings and Sophia tells her to put it on speaker phone. Esposito reports that during the time Tracy was missing from work, she has a notation on her calendar for Pandora. Seeing Sophia and Danberg exchange worried looks, Beckett ends the call. They explain that Pandora is the code name for Gage’s mission, meaning Tracy was involved. Sophia asks them to take the lead in finding Gage and promises to share any information as long as Beckett does the same. She also says they must report directly to her and CIA techs have installed icons on both their phones that will connect them with her direct phone line. She asks for their cooperation and before Beckett can refuse, Castle agrees.
During the car ride back to the precinct, Castle finds that the icon on his phone is a panic button, leading Beckett to realize Sophia knows him pretty well. Picking up on Beckett’s snark, Castle asks her what is wrong, and she refuses to spill, but eventually says she isn’t comfortable reporting only to Sophia. After some prodding, he also gets her to admit that she is concerned about how Sophia’s presence will impact their partnership. She also says she didn’t realize he had shadowed someone else before her, but Castle claims it was a casual arrangement nothing at all like his work with Beckett and her squad. When Beckett asks how long he shadowed Sophia, Castle is reluctant to answer.
As they get off the precinct elevator, Beckett rails on Castle that a year cannot have been a casual arrangement and asks him how many other women he has shadowed in the name of research. When he again balks at answering, she gives up, only to be approached by Gates who demands to know what special assignment they are on. Beckett refuses to answer, citing that it’s classified, and Castle enjoys agreeing with her. Gates leaves in a huff to verify things with the Chief of Detectives, knocking into Esposito on her way to her office. The guys also ask Beckett and Castle what is going on, and again they refuse to say. Esposito officially comments on how the arrangement sucks, but Beckett moves back to the case. Ryan says according to Tracy’s EZ-Pass, she took the New Jersey Turnpike to an exit near the Newark Airport, but they haven’t found where she went after that.
At Tracy’s house, Beckett notes that there are no signs of a struggle as if she knew her attacker. Castle finds a set of car keys to a classic Pontiac GTO sitting on top of yesterday’s mail, indicating the car was driven before Tracy died. Later on, Ryan calls in saying he found Tracy made regular payments on a parking space at a lot near Newark Airport.
They find the car and Beckett impresses Castle by rattling off its specs from memory. Beckett notices the layer of dust covering the car, meaning it hasn’t been driven anywhere in some time. They see fingerprints on the trunk, pop it open, and find a small case with a high-tech cell phone and scrambler inside. Beckett picks it up to find the last number Tracy dialed, but is interrupted by Gage who orders them to put the phone down, raise their hands and turn around. They comply and he tells them to hand over their phones and Beckett to give him her gun. When she sees he is unarmed, she refuses, pulls her gun, and aims it at him, only to have him take it from her just as quickly. Castle hands over his cell phone and Gage smashes it then says they won’t like what he plans to do to them.
Beckett elbows Castle to open his eyes and he finds them both lying widthwise in the trunk of the Pontiac. Beckett tells him Gage is gone and Castle observes that the trunk doesn’t look like it will unlatch from the inside. He wonders if someone will find them, but Beckett is doubtful since the car is in long-term parking. When he expresses an unusual amount of optimism, she guesses he pressed panic button on his phone and becomes aggravated that he called upon Sophia to save them. She reaches under him and finds a metal bar which she uses to unlatch the trunk. They sit up and see the same agent from the CIA elevator, Agent Jones, holding two black hoods.
At the CIA facility, Sophia returns Beckett’s gun and congratulates Castle for finding the car. When he refuses to take all the credit, Beckett reminds him it was Ryan’s doing. Sophia and Castle spin the theory in front of Beckett that Tracy called someone connected to Pandora and Gage found out, so he killed her and took the phone to tie off the loose ends. Beckett tells them they still don’t know where Gage is or who Tracy called. Sophia, betting the call will reveal Gage’s whereabouts, works with a tech to use the CIA’s sophisticated computer system to identify the number Tracy called based on the call’s triangulation off cell phone towers and the time of the call. They isolate it as being made to a pay phone in Brooklyn and pull up surveillance on the phone for the time the call connected. They see a man approach the phone with a scrambler and Sophia gasps that the man should be dead.
Later, Danberg tells them the man is Nelson Blakely, a mathematics professor who consulted with the CIA until 2002, when they thought he died. When Castle observes how the case gets cooler, Sophia disagrees, and she and Danberg explain that Blakely would use linchpin theory to help the CIA solve problems: he would indentify a small event that would lead to a chain reaction of events, all with increasing geopolitical severity. As Sophia contemplates the ramifications of Blakely’s involvement with Pandora, a tech tells her she was able to identify what Blakely said on his phone call from Tracy: he tells her meet him tomorrow at 5p.m. then identifies three chess moves, reflective of his being a world-class chess player. Danberg tells the tech to run the code through their database and Sophia tells Castle and Beckett they need to leave, but not before giving Castle as flirtatious goodbye. Beckett asks about Gage, but Sophia says they’ll let him go to use their resources to prevent Pandora from being enacted.
On the elevator ride upwards, Castle expresses his desire to crack Blakely’s code and find him, but Beckett says she plans on finding Gage since she still has murders to solve. Castle reminds her that while Sophia may not be interested in solving the murders, she’s still on the same team as they, but Beckett disagrees, adding that the way he looks at Sophia means he isn’t on the NYPD’s team. Agent Jones hands them each a hood and after a short protest, they both put them on.
The next day, Martha finds Castle studying a chessboard with three pieces, two bishops and a pawn, laid out according to the code Blakely used on his phone call. She tells him she is glad he is supportive of Alexis’ internship with the medical examiner, but he snaps that he had no choice, leading her to believe he is just upset over his disagreement with Beckett. Castle is further angered that Beckett told Lanie who told Alexis who told her and that she knows vaguely about the case. He pouts and goes back to the chessboard, saying he looked up the pattern in books and found no mention of it. Martha wonders if its significance has nothing to do with chess and that maybe the pieces and their locations represent something else.
At the precinct, Beckett is studying the murder board when Esposito shows her the death report on Blakely, saying he drowned while on a university kayaking trip with some students, including Tracy, meaning Tracy helped him. Forgetting herself, Beckett thinks out loud about Blakely faking his death, but clams up when Esposito asks what she means. He walks away frustrated as Castle approaches her, saying he found something on Blakely. Beckett suggests he tell Sophia, but Castle says she is his partner, not Sophia then sits to explain his theory: the chess pieces, two bishops and a pawn, stand for a location with the initials BPP, Brooklyn Bridge Park. He reminds her how the meet will happen in thirty minutes and if they find Blakely, they’ll most likely find Gage.
As they wait at the park, sitting at chess table, Beckett says Blakely is late and asks if Castle wants to tell Sophia about his possibly cracking the code. He refuses out of possible embarrassment if he is wrong and Beckett says she is surprised he never mentioned her before. When she doubts his reasoning is because he was sworn to protect her identity, he promises to answer any question she has about her. When she refuses, saying it’s none of her business, Castle agrees to conclude the matter. But Beckett can’t resist and finally asks how close they were. Before Castle can answer, he spies Blakely in the park. They approach him, Beckett flashes her badge, and tells him Tracy is dead. He replies that he is most likely next and that they need to leave.
In Beckett’s squad car, he orders her to take him to a pier before he explains anything. He does admit that he faked his own death and Tracy fed him consulting work to help him financially. He asks who killed her and when Beckett answers the same person who is trying to enact Pandora, he says things are worse than he thought.
At the pier, he explains that he was hired by a think tank to search the United States government for potential security weaknesses and found one tied to the U.S. economy, a linchpin, that if exploited would start dominoes falling in an endless chain reaction that would end in worldwide devastation. Tracy searched for the organization and found it doesn’t exist, meaning he gave away the blueprint to bringing down the country. Before he can identify the linchpin, he sees a flock of pigeons take off and panics that they were spooked. He suspects their killer has found him, climbs out of the car, and is shot dead after taking only a couple steps. Then a large, black SUV roars up behind Beckett’s car and rams it, pushing it towards the end of the pier. She shoves the car into reverse and stomps on the gas, but the SUV is too powerful and pushes the squad car nose first into the water.
- Victim: Gary Harper, CIA Agent
- Cause of Death: Fall from fourth story window, stabbed, choked, and shot
- Killer: Thomas Gage, CIA Agent
- Suspected Motive: Self-defense: Gage killed Harper because Harper was sent to arrest him for being a rogue agent
- Victim: Tracey McGrath, climate change researcher
- Cause of Death: Gun shot wound to the head
- Suspected Motive: Secrecy: Killed because of her involvement in an operation to bring about the collapse of the U.S. government and World War III.
- Victim: Nelson Blakely, professor and former CIA advisor
- Cause of Death: Gun shot wound
- Suspected Motive: Killed because of his knowledge of an operation to bring about the collapse of the U.S. government and World War III.
- Castle: Jennifer Beals previews Pandora and Castle and Beckett's "compelling chemistry" written by Jean Bentley, Zap2It.com, posted February 13, 2012