Season 5, Episode 15 (96)
Original Air Date - February 18, 2013
In the first half of a two-part story arc, Castle and Beckett find themselves in a race against time when they unearth a plot to kidnap the daughter of a powerful foreign dignitary, but the stakes are raised when they find that Alexis was kidnapped too.
- 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
- Dylan Walsh - FBI Agent Harris
- Karen David - Sara El-Masri
- Bernard White - Anwar El-Masri
- Katherine Kamhi - Lina El-Masri
- Skyler Stone - Douglas Stevens
- Eric Jungmann - Bram Stoker
- Morgan Peter Brown - Ted Archer
- Amy K. Harmon - Darlene Stevens
- Brandon Dunaway - FBI Tech
- Serdar Kalsin - Man
- Mehdi Merali - Hasim Farouk
Castle: You’re cooking. This could be a dream or a nightmare.
Martha: I choose to take the high ground and ignore that.
Martha: She was the center of our lives for so long and she’s just-gone.
Castle: Right now is just Alexis’ time to make her own way in the world. She’ll be back. Like Simba in The Lion King, the circle of life.
Castle: I realized I’ve been a little overprotective of Alexis at times. Ok, constantly, but since she’s left for Columbia, I’ve learned to let go. I stopped checking her video blog. I don’t ask to meet her boyfriend anymore. I’ve come to realize that, like a bird, Alexis needed to leave the nest, so I let her fly. I turned around and I strode away. That’s acceptance.
Beckett: Wait, wouldn’t acceptance be letting her go, seeing where she flies, and then being ok with it?
Castle: Yeah, but I wouldn’t be ok with it. I don’t wanna see where she goes, what other birds of prey are out there and what other nests.
Beckett: So is that acceptance or denial?
Castle: Well, it was acceptance until you started applying your fiendish logic.
Castle: More importantly, what is Columbia doing admitting gun-toting lunatics and are there anymore of them? For the record, I’m not calling to check on Alexis, I’m just checking my email. Acceptance.<br.
Beckett: So then why would he shoot up a van?
Castle: Maybe Jack Bauer was driving.
Beckett: Who hires an ex-commando to babysit their daughter?
Castle: I’ve considered it.
Esposito: I’ve found three science-related events in Lower Manhattan last night. First, a sci-fi movie marathon at an art house theater 8 blocks from where Hasim got clocked.
Castle: Though, by definition, science fiction is not science.
Esposito: It has the word in it.
Castle: Yes, that’s an excellent point.
FBI Agent: Mr. Castle, we will do everything in our power to get your daughter back.
Castle: I don’t want to be handled. Just let me know where things stand.
(Beckett hugs Castle)
Castle: Kate, they’ll see.
Beckett: I don’t care.
Castle: I can’t believe this is happening.
Beckett: We’re gonna find her, Castle. We will.
Capt. Gates: (to Beckett) You do whatever you need to do to get him back his little girl, anything you need, Detective.
Beckett: Thank you, Sir.
Esposito: How’s he doing?
Ryan: It’s Alexis. He’s gotta be wrecked. Hell, I’m wrecked.
Beckett: Yeah, well, we gotta put all of that aside and help him find her.
Martha: She’s going to be alright. I feel it in my heart and my heart is never wrong.
Castle: What about your first marriage?
Castle: And your second?
Martha: Ok, fine, fine. Occasionally my heart is wrong, but it is not in this case.
Castle: What if she doesn’t have time?
Beckett: Castle, listen to me-
Castle: Don’t. Don’t promise me you’ll find her unless you can do it, because I would never forgive you anymore than I’d ever forgive myself.
Castle: Please know I will do whatever it takes to get her back. The police outside are my friends, my daughter’s friends too. So it’s just you and me.
Douglas Stevens: If you touch me, I’ll press charges.
Castle: I don’t care.
Beckett: Do you want coffee?
Castle: No, thanks. My adrenaline will suffice.
Beckett: The minute she knows, you’ll know.
Castle: I wish that minute was now. It’s all happening to slow and too fast at the same time.
Beckett: Tell me what happened with Douglas Stevens.
Castle: I appealed to his humanity.
Beckett: I didn’t think you had that side to you.
Castle: When it comes to the people I love, I do.
Castle: You know, I still remember, when Alexis was born they handed me this tiny person all bundled up. She just stared up at me and when I looked down at her, this feeling hit me, like I’d been struck by lightning. It was love, that instant, inexplicable love you can only feel for your child. In that moment, I knew, I knew my life had changed forever. Now it’s about to change again.
Beckett: There are hopeful signs here, Castle. They’ve gone out of their way not to harm the girls. They want them alive. That’ll give us time to track down whoever is behind this.
Castle: How? Our main suspect is dead. The only thing Stevens knew is where the farmhouse is and we have no idea who we’re looking for.
Beckett: The FBI is searching the farm for evidence. They’re canvassing the area for witnesses that might have seen whoever was on the property.
Castle: All of which is just another way of saying we’re back to square one.
Beckett: Won’t be the first time. We’re gonna solve this, Castle. We will find a way. ‘We’ve done it before with less to go on.’ You know who told me that?
Castle: I did…in a fit of irrational optimism.
Alexis: My Dad taught me how to do this when he was researching for one of his books. He actually bought a door for us to practice on.
Sara: This was recently?
Alexis: I was ten.
Sara: Oh, God.
Full Episode Recap
A young Middle Eastern man runs through back alleys, eventually facing down a speeding mini-van coming right at him. He pulls a gun and fires at the van, but it doesn’t stop and runs him over.
At Richard Castle’s loft, he finds his mother, Martha Rodgers, cooking smiley-face pancakes for breakfast. He takes a bite and pronounces her effort at cooking a failure. She explains that she misses her granddaughter, Alexis, and Castle reminds her that Columbia University is a short distance away and that it is Alexis’ time to find her place in the world.
As he and Detective Kate Beckett approach their latest crime scene, Beckett observes that Castle has really accepted Alexis’ being away at college. He admits that he has been overprotective of Alexis and that he’s finally accepted that he has to let her go. Beckett asks if he’s really ok with not knowing where she goes while away and Castle confesses that he isn’t entirely. They find Medical Examiner Lanie Parish and Detective Javier Esposito standing over their body, Hasim Farouk. They explain that he died around 1a.m. that morning when a mini-van ran him over and that a homeless man saw Hasim empty his gun at the van before it him. Esposito explains that the gun he used was a high-tech weapon, meaning Hasim was a serious shooter. When his partner, Detective Kevin Ryan, explains that Hasim was a student at Columbia University, Castle becomes concerned for Alexis, but remembers his vow to let her be, and when he gets a curious stare from Beckett, says he is merely checking his emails. Ryan adds that a Bram Stoker filed assault charges against Hasim a few days earlier.
They find Bram Stoker to be a Columbia University teacher’s assistant. He explains that his run in with Hasim happened after Hasim threatened him for hitting on some female students, so he filed assault charges to protect himself. Beckett asks him for a list of the girls he flirted with.
As they walk to Hasim’s apartment, Esposito guesses to Ryan that Hasim is a terrorist. When they enter his apartment, both believe he may be right since they find an arsenal of guns, a full gym, and state-of-the-art surveillance and wiretapping equipment.
At the precinct, Beckett doubts Hasim is a terrorist and Castle suspects he’s a spy, noting Hasim’s Saudi Special Forces experience. Beckett notes that whatever he was, he was well-funded since his financial records show monthly deposits of $25,000 from a Swiss bank account. Esposito joins them at the murder board and says that Tech discovered that Hasim was using the surveillance equipment to monitor the apartment of Sara El-Masri, one of the girls Bram flirted with. Ryan calls to them that he has something. In the conference room, Ryan shows them traffic camera footage of Sara running away from and being dragged back into a white van with damage done to its front and bullet holes in the wind shield. They now know Sara has been kidnapped and Hasim was killed trying to save her.
Later, Castle, Beckett, and Ryan look at a picture of one of the kidnappers taken from the video footage. Ryan explains that the FBI has been informed and will send an agent to work with them. He says that Sara’s roommate is coming in to hopefully provide more information and that it looks like Hasim was stalking Sara since they didn’t exchange phone calls and he was taking two classes that she was in. Castle wonders if Hasim caught onto the kidnapping plot and tried to stop it, but Beckett reminds him that such a scenario doesn’t explain all the guns in his apartment. Ryan guesses Hasim was in on the kidnapping and either got cold feet or the plot went bad. Beckett tells him to dig into Hasim’s emails to find out who he might have been working with. Esposito fills them in on Sara El-Msasri: born in Cairo, she’s a sophomore marine biology major and the daughter of wealthy parents.
In the conference room, Beckett shows Sara’s parents the photo of one of the kidnappers, but they do not recognize him. Mr. El-Masri explains that he hired Hasim to protect Sara since she had refused having a full-time bodyguard. Mr. El-Masri admits that he has enemies in Egypt, but none in America and vows to pay anything to get his only child back. Captain Victoria Gates interrupts them and Beckett and Castle step outside. Captain Gates introduces them to FBI Agent Harris, who says it’s good that the El-Masris are scared since they will be more cooperative and provide more accurate information. He promises to keep them in the loop and enters the conference room to speak to the couple.
Later, Beckett joins Castle in the break room and says she has Ryan and Esposito retracing Sara’s movement the night she was kidnapped in hopes that it will lead them to the kidnappers. Seeing Castle’s distant look, she asks if he is ok and he answers that he can’t imagine what the El-Masris are going through. Beckett wonders if the kidnapping is really about money since Mr. El-Masri didn’t want his wife speculating on the topic, but Castle says he merely doesn’t want to believe the worst. Ryan enters and tells them that Sara’s roommate remembered Sara going to a science event the night she was kidnapped.
At Beckett’s desk, Esposito runs down the science-related events in the area of Hasim’s death and they focus on a climate change speaker, Dr. Hayden Posner, at the Beaumont Hotel. At the hotel, the concierge remembers checking in Sara and that she was with a young woman who matches Alexis’ description. Castle checks the sign-in sheet and, finding Alexis listed, he calls her cell phone. He becomes confused when he hears it ringing at a distance and the concierge pulls it out of lost and found, saying it was found outside on the street. Castle now knows that Alexis was kidnapped too.
Back at the precinct in the conference room, Castle brushes off Agent Harris’s promise to do whatever is necessary to get Alexis back and asks for an update on the case. Agent Harris guesses Sara was the target and Alexis was taken because she was with Sara and that the man in the video is Roger Henson, a mid-level narcotics smuggler and career felon who was likely hired by someone to perform the kidnapping. He also suspects that Sara was taken out of revenge for Mr. El-Masri’s ties to the previous governing regime in Egypt, leading Castle to worry that Alexis would be hurt for being in the way, but Agent Harris reassures him that she has value. The next steps are to find roger Henson and set up a trace on Castle’s phone lines at home in case the kidnappers make contact. Agent Harris steps outside and Beckett hugs Castle, not caring who might see. She promises to that they will find Alexis and he nods and grimly heads for the elevator. Captain Gates promises to get Beckett anything she needs to help Castle get Alexis back.
Beckett approaches Esposito and Ryan, who admits to being torn up, then says they’ve made progress in tracking the van. Beckett tells them to bring in more help since when they find the van, they’likely find the girls.
At Castle’s loft, Castle apologizes to Martha, who tells him sternly not to blame himself, but to blame the kidnappers. She firmly believes that Alexis will be alright since she feels it in her heart and her heart is never wrong. Castle reminds her that it was incorrect about her last two marriages and Martha agrees, but promises it isn’t wrong in this case. Castle wonders how the kidnappers knew Sara and Alexis would be at the Beaumont Hotel and Martha cautions him to let Beckett do her job. Castle agrees.
Meanwhile at the precinct, Ryan and Esposito report to the Beckett that the van exited the Queens to Midtown tunnel and was seen on traffic camera footage entering a certain neighborhood, but wasn’t seen exiting, meaning the girls and Roger Henson are there. Beckett orders a street-by-street search of the area using plain-clothes cops and unmarked cars.
That evening, Castle flips through pictures on Alexis video blog and plays the most recent entry where she gushes about how fortunate she is to have the opportunity to attend Columbia. She then talks about how excited she is to see Dr. Posner speak that night with Sara, answering Castle’s question about how the kidnappers knew their plans. He calls Beckett who plays the video for herself at the precinct and contacts Tech to get them to trace the ISPs that looked at Alexis’ blog after it was posted. Beckett tells him it might take time and Castle reminds her that his daughter may not have a lot of time. He then demands that she not promise to save Alexis unless she knows she can do so because he will never forgive her any more than he will forgive himself. Ryan calls for Beckett and she hangs up on Castle.
Hours later, Castle gets off the phone and tells Martha that a uniformed officer told him that Beckett found the van an hour ago and begins to worry that she hasn’t called him because it’s bad news. Martha tries to reassure him, but quickly gives up and tells him to go to the scene.
He jumps out of a cab and tearfully forces his way towards the van where Lanie is working. Beckett tries to hold him back, but he gets a look at a pool of blood inside the van and frantically demands to know if it is Alexis’. Lanie asks for Alexis’ blood type, runs a test, and reports that it doesn’t match Alexis’ or Sara’s meaning it belongs to one of the kidnappers. Beckett also says that they found short blood trail indicating that the kidnappers switched vehicles and that the van was stolen. Lanie calls Beckett away and Castle heads over to the El-Masris who hug when Agent Harris tells them that the blood isn’t Sara’s. They apologize that Alexis was dragged into things, but admit they don’t know what exactly is going on.
Meanwhile, Alexis and Sara wake up in a concrete, dimly-lit, sound-proof room. They remember leaving the hotel and being taken by a man and conclude that they were drugged. Alexis finds a door at one end of the room and yanks on it, but finds it locked. Sara recalls her parents warning her about being kidnapped and making her sit through a lecture on the subject from her father’s head of security. Sara is hopeful that her father will pay the ransom and Alexis knows her father is working with the police to find them. Alexis sees another door and both girls look inside and find a bathroom with clean towels. Alexis is again hopeful that this means they won’t be hurt, but both girls remain spooked. They hear a noise from the other end of the room and see a tray being slid under a door in the bottom of the other door.
The following morning at the precinct, Beckett tells Castle that witness remembers seeing a black Yukon leaving the neighborhood where the white van was found, confirming that the kidnappers switched vehicles. She also says that blood spatter patterns indicate that the blood was the driver’s who Hasim must have shot and that the only fingerprints found in the van were Roger Henson’s. Esposito comes up and says CSU noticed that the van had been upgraded to a getaway car by a professional. Beckett tells him to look for a car thief with blood matching the type found at the scene with enough expertise to upgrade the vehicles he steals.
Sara begins to panic and worry that nobody has noticed they are gone, but Alexis calms her, saying they should focus on the questions they can answer, but Sara is not mollified. Alexis begins to guess at their location using what they can deduce from their surroundings: there is pace under the floor so they’re not in a basement, the floor is older due to wear, and they don’t hear any sounds so either the room is sound-proofed or they’re not in New York.
Esposito posts a picture on the murder board of Douglas Stevens, whose blood type matches what was found in the van and who did time for being the getaway driver in a bank robbery at the same time Roger Henson was in jail. Beckett begins to put out an APB and says she’ll alert all hospitals since Stevens was shot, but Ryan stops her, reporting that Stevens’ sister is a nurse who called in sick to work.
Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito force their way past Ms. Stevens into her apartment and find Douglas, his chest heavily bandaged, hiding in a bedroom. Beckett questions Stevens, and tells him he’s facing at least 100 years in prison, but he smugly refuses to answer. Castle asks to be left alone with him and Beckett agrees. When Castle tells him who he is, Stevens gets nervous and threatens to press charges if Castle hurts him, gut he says he doesn’t care and vows to do whatever is necessary to get Alexis back. He asks Stevens where he took the girls, but he still won’t answer. Outside, Beckett hears Stevens yelling in pain for Castle to stop.
At the precinct, Beckett, Castle, and Captain Gates exit the elevator as Captain Gates tells them the address Stevens provided is to a farm and that Agent Harris and a tactical team are already heading there. She promises to tell Castle the minute she hears from him and heads for her office. Esposito says that the farm has been abandoned and in foreclosure since 2009. Seeing Castle’s worried look, Beckett reassures him that Agent Harris’ team is trained in hostage negotiation, so Alexis and Sara are in good hands. Ryan reports that according to the State police dispatch, the team is on the scene.
At the property, Agent Harris spies the black Yukon outside the farmhouse and tells the team to move in.
Alexis asks Sara what she learned from the security briefing she received and Sara says that they shouldn’t make eye contact, be vulnerable to get the kidnappers to see them as human, and try to build trust with them.
As they wait for a report at Beckett’s desk, Castle says the whole thing is moving too fast and too slow at the same time. Beckett asks what happened with Stevens and Castle merely says he appealed to his humanity. Beckett observes that she didn’t think he had such a dark side to him and he answers that he does when it comes to those he loves.
As the team moves closer to the farmhouse, an eye-level slot in the door to their room opens and Sara and Alexis can see their captor. He asks them to slide the tray under the door and they try to engage him, but he asks again for the tray. They agree and Alexis asks for a blanket since it’s cold in the room. They then hear a radio transmission and another man speaking Arabic. The first man shuts the slot and Sara translates the Arabic into someone reporting that they have visitors.
Upon reaching the porch of the farmhouse Agent Harris sees video cameras observing them and orders the team into the house quickly. They break down the front door and flood inside.
Beckett holds Castle’s hand as he recounts when Alexis was born. How he felt so much love for her, and how he knew his life had changed forever. Captain Gates’s phone rings and she answers. After a brief conversation, she hangs up and reports that the farmhouse was empty.
That night, Agent Harris tells Castle they search the property from top to bottom and didn’t find the girls. Agent Harris shows him and Beckett two coats and Castle identifies one as Alexis’s, which indicates that they were there, but were taken elsewhere. Agent Harris also suspects the kidnappers are professionals since the cameras were webcams which broadcast their approach to the same IP address that accessed Alexis’ video blog. He also shows them the body of Roger Henson, whose fingernails were pulled out before he was shot in the head, meaning he was tortured.
Sara comes out of the bathroom and admits she’d been crying. She acknowledges that her father is a hated man in Egypt and points out that their only way of escaping is through a locked door. Alexis notices bobby pins in Sara’s hair and asks for one.
Castle sits staring at the murder board in the darkened, quiet precinct. Beckett comes up behind him telling him there are hopeful signs and that the FBI and NYPD are canvassing the area around the farmhouse and the kidnappers have gone out of their way not to harm the girls. Castle remains despondent that all their leads have dried up, but Beckett reminds him of his own words to her about how they’ve solved cases with less evidence. Castle tells her he was just being overly optimistic. Beckett tells him to go home to Martha and when he refuses, she hands him a cup of decaffeinated coffee in a to-go cup. He thanks her, accepts it, and leaves.
Meanwhile, Alexis succeeds in unlocking the door to their room. She tells Sara that if they reach a fork they need to separate so that at least one of them stands a chance of getting out. They see a hallway that looks like an office building or apartment building. They reach a second hallway and Sara takes one route with Alexis going the other. Alexis finds an open door, goes inside, and finds a cell phone on a table. She tries calling 911, but the call won’t go through, so she Skypes her father.
At his loft, Castle answers the call and the FBI begins its trace. Castle is relieved to see Alexis’ face pop up on screen. She says the phone is about to die and that she doesn’t know where she is since the windows in the room are covered. She then hears men’s voices and Castle tells her to run. She drops the phone without hanging up and runs into the hallway. Seeing an exit sign, she follows it and bursts onto the building’s roof. She is stunned to see the Eiffel Tower dominating the Paris skyline. Castle and the FBI are equally surprised when they trace the call as coming from Paris. Alexis yells to the street below for help, but is grabbed from behind by one of her captors and dragged away.
- Victim: Hasim Farouk
- Cause of Death: Run down by a mini-van while trying to save Sara and Alexis. Found in lower Manhattan
- Cause of Death: Run down by a mini-van while trying to save Sara and Alexis. Found in lower Manhattan
- Victim: Sara El-Masri
- Crime: Kidnapped
- Crime: Kidnapped
- Victim: Alexis Castle
- Crime: Kidnapped
- Crime: Kidnapped
- Perp: Douglas Stevens
- Motive: Hired to kidnap Sara and Alexis with Roger Henson
- Motive: Hired to kidnap Sara and Alexis with Roger Henson
- Victim/Perp: Roger Henson
- Motive/Cause of Death: Hired to kidnap Sara and Alexis with Douglas Stevens, but tortured and killed afterward