Season 4, Episode 22 (80)
Original Air Date - April 30, 2012
While Alexis continues to struggle with where to attend college, Castle decides to make the investigation into the death of a Wall Street trader his last with Beckett and her team, but changes his mind when evidence leads them into the city's zombie subculture and stokes his imagination and the playfulness he missed. Beckett also hints at the fact that her therapy has brought her to terms with her shooting, and possibly prepared her to move her relationship with Castle forward.
- 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
- Arye Gross - M.E. Sidney Perlmutter
- Josh Braaten - Kyle Jennings
- Ryan Doom - Tom Williams
- Tiffany Dupont - Greta Mastroianni
Castle: What about Columbia, NYU, Vassar?
Alexis: They’re all too close. I’d come home all the time. I want to challenge myself and I’d get sucked into things like this. (holds up laser tag gun)
Castle: But then who’s gonna play with me?
Alexis: I think it’s time to holster the laser guns and be adults.
Castle: We laser-tagged our way through her pre-teen years and now suddenly she’s too old to play.
Martha: She’s growing up.
Castle: She doesn’t have to. Look at me.
Martha: Cavorting with some awful gang detective, showing up at crime scene with a stewardess? If you want to punish Beckett, at least let her know why.
Castle: I’m not punishing her. Am I?
Perlmutter: Ah, our intrepid heroes have arrived. And Castle.
Perlmutter: The killer latched on and shook like a pit bull trying to tear off the flesh!
Beckett: Thanks. We got it.
Castle: I was writing a book, a comedy about the Civil War. Turns out, not so funny.
Perlmutter: You don’t say.
Castle: His voice does have that ring of pants-wetting terror.
Castle: I have one word for you, Mother: zombie.
Martha: Too much makeup?
Castle: You look lovely.
Castle: Security camera caught him in all his putrifying glory.
Martha: I don’t suppose you downloaded this video, by chance?
Castle: Absolutely not. That video is police property. It’d be very, very wrong of me to get a screen grab of it and email it to myself!
Martha: You want to see some real zombies, check out the red carpet at the Tony Awards.
Castle: (to Alexis) You will pay dearly for your treachery. (to Martha) Et tu, Mother?
Ryan: I mean, he does look like a real zombie.
Esposito: A real zombie? I’m embarrassed for you, bro.
Beckett: Ok then, explain this. Why would a zombie go after a currency trader at 4 a.m. in a garage?
Castle: This one’s easy: the more intelligent the victim, the more delicious the brains.
Beckett: So, returning to the land of facts…
Esposito: Only in New York could some guy dress up like a frickin’ zombie and walk down the street unnoticed.
Castle: All I know is that normal people don’t come to places like this at 2 a.m. in the morning. In fact, I think I’ve seen enough. Haven’t you?
Beckett: Wait, do you hear that?
Castle: I’m not falling for that.
Castle: (about the zombie-walking horde) How did I not know about this?!
Ryan: Alright, ladies. Thanks for your help.
Esposito: (to female zombie) Don’t know about those shoes with that top. Just sayin’. I’da went open-toed.
Perlmutter: I’ll have answers after I cut him open.
Perlmutter: We’re all meat, Castle. Get over it.
Castle: Is there a police code for zombie on the loose?
Ryan: I’m telling you, that guy was dead!
Esposito: Remind never to choke on a chicken bone in front of you.
Beckett: He’s a human killer with a human motive.
Castle: Or he’s a zombie killer with a zombie motive.
Ryan: Castle, do you really believe in all this zombie stuff, because I would swear on my Nana’s grave that Kyle Jennings was dead.
Castle: No. You know what I do believe in? Driving Beckett crazy.
Ryan: Yeah, I have to say it’s good to see you guys hitting it off again.
Castle: When a life-altering moment occurs, people remember.
Beckett: Well, maybe it’s too big to deal with. Maybe he can’t face it just yet.
Castle: You think he ever will be?
Beckett: Hopefully. If he feels safe.
Perlmutter: I came to tend to one of my patients, Kyle Jennings.
Castle: Do you think that’s such a good idea?
Perlmutter: I’ll have you know, I’m perfectly capable of treating living patients, I simply prefer not to.
Beckett: I think I’m almost where I wanna be right now.
Castle: And where is that?
Beckett: In a place where I can finally accept everything that happened that day. Everything.
Castle: I think I understand.
Beckett: And, um, that wall that I was telling you about I think it’s coming down.
Castle: Well, I’d like to be there when it does.
Beckett: Yeah, I’d like you to be there too.
Castle: Only without the zombie makeup.
Beckett: I don’t know. I kinda think that the zombie makeup suits you, Castle.
Castle: Yeah, I make it work.
Castle: Follow your heart and you can’t go wrong.
Alexis: If I do this, you have to promise not to drop in on me. If I do this, you have to give me my space. Do you think you can do that?
Castle: I think I can give a sincere and solemn oath to try.
Alexis: Then... (shoots Castle with laser tag gun) best two out of three!
Castle: This isn’t over!
Full Episode Recap
A shadowy figure sneaks into Richard Castle’s loft one night and upon his daughter Alexis. He reveals himself as Richard Castle when he fires a laser gun into a target nearby and challenges her to a game. She declines, saying she still hasn’t made a decision about where to go to college, having narrowed it down to either Oxford University or Stanford University. When Castle asks about colleges located closer, she says they would provide too great a temptation for her to return home and become distracted with plans unrelated to school. She adds that she thinks it’s time for both of them to hang up the laser guns and act like adults. She kisses her disappointed father and leaves the room as he mournfully ends the game by shooting her target.
The next morning, Castle recalls what happened to his mother, Martha Rodgers, as he packs the laser tag gear into a box. He describes how they were close to ending their decades-long game, where the first person to score one thousand points wins and Martha reminds him how Alexis has to grow up at some point. His cell phone rings with a call from Detective Kate Beckett and he surprises Martha by ignoring the call. He explains how he and Beckett have been out of synch lately and Martha suggests he tell Beckett he upset at her for lying to him and because their relationship cannot continue as it is. Castle agrees and announces that this case will be his last with Beckett.
Later, Castle catches up with Beckett and Detective Javier Esposito, who briefs them that their victim is David Lock, as they enter the crime scene, an underground parking garage. They find crusty Medical Examiner Perlmutter, who greets the Detectives and insults Castle, prompting Castle to joke that he will always treasure the experience of working with him. This gets Beckett’s attention, but she quickly turns to the body. Perlmutter reports that the estimated time of death is around 4 a.m. and the cause of death is head trauma from striking the concrete after falling. Esposito notes that David’s wallet and cash weren’t taken, so robbery isn’t a motive. Beckett notices a bite mark on David’s arm and Perlmutter adds that it looks like the killer clamped down to tear away his flesh. Esposito also shows Beckett a lace cuff which was found in David’s hand, indicating that he tore the killer’s shirt in a struggle. Castle examines it and pronounces it to be from a shirt from the 1870s.
Next, Castle and Beckett interview Mike Matthews, David’s boss, who explains that while he was generally liked, David suspected that a colleague, Charlie Coleman, who had not taken it well when he recently lost a promotion to David, keyed his car last week. Mike then sees Charlie’s car parked nearby David’s and becomes suspicious since both men would typically arrive at work at the same time, but that Charlie never came into the office.
As Castle and Beckett exit the elevator in Charlie’s apartment building, Castle is disappointed that the case is so cut and dry since he had hoped it would be special. Beckett announces herself at Charlie’s door and is told to leave for her own safety. She pulls her gun and forces her way into Charlie’s apartment, finding him handcuffed to a radiator and begging for her to shoot him, but no other threat. Eventually, Charlie calms down and explains that just as he greeted David that morning, both were attacked David first then Charlie, by an unidentified assailant. Charlie recounts how he called 911, but they didn’t believe him and makes Beckett promise to shoot him when he begins changing. He finally identifies the attacker as a zombie.
At the precinct, Castle and Beckett listen to Charlie’s frantic 911 call and Beckett suspects Charlie had a psychotic episode after killing David, but Castle believes his story. Esposito says that CSU determined that the same person bit both Charlie and David and that the bite marks don’t match Charlie’s teeth, so he isn’t their killer. Castle gloats about his theory being correct so far, until Beckett tells him to stop, refusing to believe that zombies aren’t real, and Detective Kevin Ryan summons them all to the conference room. He shows them security camera footage from 4:06 a.m. that morning of a street nearby the parking garage in which a person wearing 1870s eras clothing, less one shirt cuff, shuffles across a street oblivious to their surroundings. He shows them another angle were the person’s rotting face can be seen and Castle is thrilled that the footage confirms his theory.
The next morning, Castle enters his kitchen in an excited mood and gleefully tells Martha about how their killer is a zombie. When Martha asks to see the screen capture Castle illicitly took of the video footage, she jokes that her curiosity stems from having seen lots of zombies at the Tony Awards. As Castle brings up his table computer to find the picture, he notices a laser tag sensor nearby and becomes suspicious when Martha backs away from him with a gleam in her eye. As soon as he begins searching for Alexis, the teenager drops from the ceiling, hits him with a direct shot from her own laser gun, and says her previous words were just part of a trap. Castle expresses his pride in her plan and she asks about the case.
At the precinct, Ryan shows Charlie a still from the camera footage and he positively identifies it his and David’s attacker. Ryan tells him he is free to go since the zombie is their suspect, but Charlie refuses to leave as long as the zombie hasn’t been caught.
At the murder board, Beckett is incredulous that Charlie insists on believing in a zombie killer, but Castle reminds her how he hasn’t been wrong so far, so it could be true. Beckett remains unmoved, saying their suspect merely dressed up in costume and, after Ryan begins to agree with Castle, much to Esposito’s chagrin, she challenges Castle to explain why the zombie attacked David when and where it did. Castle confidently answers that zombies are attracted to intelligent people because their brains are tastier to which Beckett rolls her eyes and asks Esposito about the canvas of the crime scene. He reports that it turned up no witnesses and Ryan adds that the doorman in David’s building remembered him leaving around 2:00 a.m. the morning he was killed. David’s credit card records show he filled his car with gas around 2:30, leaving ninety minutes unaccounted for. Esposito joins them and says David’s cell phone records indicate that he was with a woman, Greta Mastrioanni, during that time.
In the break room, Greta tells Ryan and Esposito that she’d cheated on her fiancé, Tom Williams, with David three months ago, but broke things off when Tom discovered emails they’d exchanged and decided she wanted Tom. They ask her for Tom’s alibi for the morning of the murder and she admits she doesn’t know where he was and denies that he is capable of murder. He becomes their primes suspect when Greta tells them that David would email her from his work email, meaning Tom knew the location of his office.
In an interrogation room, Tom denies any involvement in David’s murder and admits it has been hard for him and Greta to move on, but they are working at it. When Beckett shows him a still of the killer from the video footage, Tom denies that it is him and says he was at a law library studying between 2:30 and 4:00 a.m. the morning of the murder.
Later on, Beckett confirms that Tom was at the library between 3:00 and 6:00a.m. Castle gets her to agree that their killer at least looks and acts like a zombie, meaning they can’t assume he has a typical motive to kill, but rather kills randomly. Ryan shows them a report from CSU where they identified a chemical found on the bottom of David’s shoes that is used at only three factories in New York and New Jersey, one of which is nearby the gas station where David filled his car.
That night, Castle and Beckett find the factory to be abandoned and, as they walk through a dark, dank alley behind it, wonder why David would visit such a place. Beckett hears shuffling footsteps just as two people sprint around a corner, each telling them to run for their lives. She pulls her gun and turns the corner to find a zombie horde approaching them. They are quickly surrounded and as a last resort, Beckett identifies herself as NYPD and orders everyone to stop. They comply and one young man claims they are all simply zombie walking in an effort to chase normal people and make them into zombies when caught. As Castle is thrilled by the idea, Beckett announces that everyone is coming with her.
Back at the precinct, Castle can’t figure out the allure of posing as a zombie, as opposed to acting like a vampire, which is more dignified and romantic. Beckett tells him that none of the horde matches the still of their killer and Castle guesses he changed his look. He then asks Beckett what supernatural creature she would want to be and she definitively answers Van Helsing, the monster slayer. They approach Ryan and Esposito who also have had no luck in identifying their killer or finding anyone who knew David.
In the conference room later, Beckett and Castle interview two more zombies, neither of whom recognizes David. Beckett notices that one of the two, Paul, seems to be high, but he denies it. She shows both the still of their killer and the other identifies him at Kyle Jennings.
Later on, Ryan and Esposito burst into Kyle’s apartment, where they find him in his zombie costume and dead on the floor. In the morgue, Perlmutter tells Castle and Beckett that his teeth match the bite marks on David and Charlie Coleman and that the blood on his clothing matches David’s, making him their killer. He sticks the body with a needle and all are shocked when Kyle sits up, frantically climbs off the gurney, and stumbles out of the lab. Beckett gives chase with her gun, shouting for Castle to call backup. He picks up a phone and asks Perlmutter if there is a police code for “zombie on the loose.”
The next morning, Beckett tells the guys that Kyle is at the hospital and stable, but under sedation. Ryan insists that he found no pulse on Kyle and becomes frustrated when Esposito teases him. Beckett calms everyone and guesses there is a medical explanation for what happened, but Castle insists Kyle rose from the dead. Beckett counters that he was never dead to begin with and Esposito backs her up, saying Kyle is nothing more than a murderer. Castle then questions them as to his motive, since he didn’t know David and wasn’t in business with him, but Beckett is sure one is present. Her phone rings and while she answers, Ryan quietly asks Castle if he really believes in zombies. He says no and admits that he’s just teasing Beckett, prompting Ryan to observe how good it is to see him and Beckett back to their old ways. Beckett ends her call and says Kyle is awake.
That night at the hospital, they visit Kyle who doesn’t recognize Kyle and claims not to remember any of the zombie walk on the night David was murdered. Despite having bruised and cut hands, he denies hurting anyone and identifies the still from the security camera footage as himself. Beckett tells him to get a lawyer and they leave.
As they head for the exit, Castle says Kyle never was truly a zombie since he reverted back to being a human after being a zombie and refuses to believe that he doesn’t remember the murder. He emphasizes his point, by looking at Beckett pointedly and saying that people remember life-altering moments. Recognizing what he’s driving at, Beckett supposes Kyle can’t face what happened, but that he will be ready to do so once he feels safe. She sees Perlmutter enter and he tells them he came to see Kyle since his blood work showed present a high level of scopolamine, which in large doses can render a person highly susceptible to suggestions, and would leave the person with no memory of once the drug wears off. He guesses the real killer drugged Kyle with scopolamine between 2:45 and 3:45 the morning of David’s murder, meaning someone from the zombie walk is framing Kyle.
At the precinct, Castle and Beckett consider the murder board and conclude that the murder was premeditated by someone with a strong motive. Ryan joins them and goes through scopolamine’s side effects, adding that it is known on the street as the “zombie” drug, giving Castle an idea.
Later, he and Beckett interrogate Paul, the guy from the zombie walk who Beckett suspected was high at the precinct. He admits to buying scopolamine to heighten the experience of zombie walking and identifies Tom Williams as the dealer.
In the break room that night, they confront Tom with evidence that Kyle saw him at the zombie walk the night of David’s murder and that other zombies recognize him as a dealer of scopolamine, which explains how he is able to pay for law school and a nice apartment. He claims he merely took out student loans, has no time for any kind of leisure activities, and denies dealing drugs. Castle and Beckett next spin the theory that when Greta turned down David’s offer that night, he followed Tom to the zombie walk and refused to back off on his pursuit of Greta, so Tom used Kyle to kill David, fearing that Greta would dump him if David told her he was a drug dealer. Tom arrogantly denies everything and says they don’t have probable cause to arrest him. Beckett retorts that they do have enough to hold him for twenty-four hours and orders uniforms to take him to a holding cell. As he is escorted out, a cocky Tom doubts they will ever come up with enough evidence to charge him.
Hours later, Beckett concedes that Tom is right and guesses she finally came upon the perfect crime, every homicide cop’s worst nightmare. When she says they came at Tom head on, but he refuses to flinch, Castle suggests they go at him sideways and offers a plan.
In the break room, Beckett presents Greta with their evidence, but she refuses to accept that he could be either a killer or a drug dealer. Beckett appeals to her conscience, saying that an innocent man could go to jail for life for a crime he didn’t commit unless she helps her. Greta thinks, but refuses one last time and leaves.
In holding, Tom taunts Beckett by asking for her proof that he is a killer and when she says nothing, asking if there is a survey he can fill out detailing the service he has received. Beckett coldly opens the cell door and tells him he has been released. Castle tells him to enjoy his freedom while he still can and Beckett wonders what he’ll do when Greta figures out who he truly he is. Esposito joins them and says Kyle made bail two hours ago, unnerving Tom, since he believes that Kyle will come after him. Tom asks for police protection and when denied, he says he will sue the department if Kyle hurts him. Beckett orders Esposito to take Tom to his apartment, ensure it is safe then leave him on his own.
Esposito pulls his squad car into the parking garage of Tom’s building and refuses Tom demand for a patrol car to be stationed outside. Before both can get out of the car, a growling zombie shatters the windshield with a baseball bat and yells at Tom. Esposito gets out and pulls his gun on the assailant who quickly drops him. As he moans on the ground, Tom tries to escape, but the zombie cuts him off and pins him against the car. In fear for his life and believing the zombie to be Kyle, Tom apologizes for using him to kill David and admits that he had to do something to keep David from taking Greta from him. Hearing this, Esposito gets up and bows theatrically, revealing the whole situation to be a ruse. Beckett joins them and places tom under arrest as Castle peels off the wig and part of the mask from Kyle’s zombie costume. As Esposito snaps the cuffs on Tom, he admits that Castle played his part so well that he almost made him believe in zombies. To tease him, Castle leans in closer and growls causing a momentarily frightened Esposito to yell at him to stop. Castle agrees, but continues to growling quietly, much to Beckett’s amusement.
At the precinct, Castle credits Kyle’s costume with selling their act and Beckett tells him the charges against him have been dropped since Tom confessed. Kyle thanks them for their help and Castle merely asks to keep the costume for another day. Kyle tells him to keep it since he is giving up zombie walking in an effort to put the whole experience behind him. As he heads for the elevator, Castle guesses he will need lots of therapy to get past the case and Beckett agrees it will help then says at first it will be a challenge for him to just get through the day, like it was for her. Castle says he didn’t know she had been seeing a therapist and Beckett explains that she just wanted to do the work and didn’t want sympathy. She adds that she’s just about to the point where she can accept everything that happened the day she was shot. Recognizing her emphasis on accepting everything, Castle understands what she is telling him. Beckett continues, saying that the wall she once told him about when she returned from her shooting is coming down. Castle offers to be around when it does and she expresses the hope that he will be. After commenting that the zombie makeup works for him, she offers to see him tomorrow, and Castle, ignoring his decision to make this case his last, agrees.
That night at his loft, Alexis, wearing her laser tag gear, sneaks up on her father, not realizing he is wearing a zombie costume. When he gets the drop on her, she screams in fear and Castle seizes the opportunity to shoot one of her targets, scoring the thousandth point and ending their game. Once her fear subsides, Alexis is crestfallen that their game is over and realizes she cannot give up the opportunity of playing with him by going so far away to college. She then admits that every time she is ready to accept admission to Stanford or Oxford, she loses her nerve. Castle counsels her to follow her heart and she says her heart is leading her to Columbia, but only if he will promise not to drop in on her and to give her space. Castle agrees to try and Alexis seizes her own opportunity, shooting him to begin a new game and see who wins two out of three. She runs out of the room to hide as Castle, in his best zombie voice, vows that the game isn’t over.
- Victim: David Lock
- Cause of Death: Blunt force trauma to the head after general attack
- Perp: Kyle Jennings
- Motive: None: Tom Williams injected him with a drug that made him kill David without knowing what he was doing
- Perp: Tom Williams
- Motive: Revenge: Tom discovered that David had an affair with his fiancee, so he injected Kyle with a drug that made him kill David without knowing what he was doing