Season 5, Episode 11 (92)
Original Air Date - January 14, 2013
Esposito takes a fourteen-year old boy under his wing to get to the bottom of the death of a successful disk jockey.
- 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
- Michael Irby - Shane Winters
- Nadji Anthony Jeter - Joey Malone
- Taylor Cole - Regina Cane
- James Black - Darius Carson/MC Thug
- Ursula Burton - Ms. Cooper
- Geno Monteiro - Tyrese Wilton
- Travis Wester - Paul Travers
- Katrina Norman - Josie Lang
- Briana Barran - Holly Rhodes/DJ Beat
- Erica Shaffer - Extra Reporter
- Kat Feller - Barmaid
- Esteban C. Cueto - Thug
- Ingrid Walters - Publicist
Ryan: Her booking agent says that she was DJing an album launch party in SoHo last night for pop star Regina Cane.
Esposito: What?! Ah, dude, you remember that music video were she was dressed up as a sexy little Girl Scout? I don’t care what those cookies cost, I would sell my left- (Gets a death glare from Lanie)
Beckett: Excuse me, NYPD. Where’s the host?
Castle: Forget the host. Where’s your pants? (Chuckles) Am I right? Nah, I’ve been there. Check by the pool.
Regina Cane: If you see her, tell her I want my money back.
Castle: That might be a little tough, seeing as she’s dead.
Esposito: Yo. Did you just do the hair thing?
Ryan: What hair thing?
Esposito: Every time we’re about to meet a celebrity or pretty girl you run your hand through your hair.
Ryan: TMZ said Tyrese was at the party with Josie Lang. He’s producing her new album.
Esposito: Yeah, well, she’s no Regina.
Ryan: I understand that the image of her as a Girl Scout is seared into your memory, but Josie is a real vocalist.
Esposito: Whose fan base consists of twelve year old girls and you.
Beckett: Darius Carson-
MC Thug: Nobody calls me Darius unless you’re my Mama. And by the looks of that body, you ain’t.
Beckett: Yeah, well, I’m sure your Mama is so proud.
MC Thug: I’m a fan of her music. That a crime?
Castle: No, but murder is.
MC Thug: I know you ain’t a cop with that fancy shirt and poufy hair.
Beckett: He might not be, but I am.
Castle: Ooh, grunt work. I’ll come back later.
Beckett: So long as you leave the coffee.
Castle: Monster. Now that sounds like the kind of ganged up thug that would shoot you dead and leave you in a dumpster someplace. Probably half-man, half-mountain, full of prison tats, or is he quietly dangerous like Javier Bardem in any movie where he’s got weird hair.
Esposito: Just take a look for yourself. Behold Monster.
Castle: More like Cookie Monster.
Castle: He’s fourteen. It’s hard to believe he’s capable of something like this.
Esposito: Not in his world, it isn’t.
Beckett: Hi Joey. I’m Detective Kate Beckett.
Joey: Major hottie is what you are.
Beckett: Ok, now that we got that cleared up...
Ryan: Sometimes savvy criminals use minors to do their dirty work.
Castle: Of course. A Fagan to Joey’s Oliver Twist.
Ryan: And if Holly’s involved that makes her The Artful Dodger, or the Artful DJ.
Castle: Ooh, nicely played.
Joey: Where’s the super-hot Detective.
Esposito: You’re looking at him. Don’t laugh. I was featured in the NYPD calendar.
Joey: I’ll bet that was a big seller.
Esposito: Take a look at this. (Shows Joey crime scene photos of the victim) This is how Holly ended up: shot, tossed in the garbage. You think she deserved that? What, no smart-ass comeback now, huh? You worked with this woman. You knew her. The same guy who has you stealing jewelry did this to Holly. He uses kids like you and then he gets to walk away while you have to sit in here and answer all my questions. You know what you are to him right now? You’re a loose end, so take a hard look, ‘cause this is your future. This is you.
Ryan: Care to explain.
Esposito: What? The handcuffs?
Ryan: No, no, the stylish shoes you’re wearing. Yes, the handcuffs.
Esposito: Kid’s wily, but I’m wilier.
Ryan: Wow. Just like The French Connection.
Esposito: That would have the carpet fibers we found on the tarp.
Castle: And a roomy trunk for all your body moving needs.
Beckett: Any luck?
Esposito: I just wanna ring this little bastard’s neck right now.
Castle: I’m gonna call that a no.
Esposito: Freakin’ kids, man. I don’t know how you do it, bro.
Castle: No, no. I lucked out with Alexis. At a certain point you realize you’re just dealing someone who hasn’t been around as long as we have. They have to find their way.
Esposito: The only problem is he’s already found his way. He just doesn’t see where it’s gonna put him.
Bartender: Hey, sugar. What’s your poison?
(Esposito sees Shane in a booth, but a bodyguard blocks his access to him)
Bartender: Hello? What are you drinking?
Bodyguard: Mr. Winters isn’t taking any meetings today.
Esposito: (to bartender) Can I just get a bag of ice, please?
Bartender: What the hell do you want with a bag of ice?
(Esposito knees the bodyguard in the groin and he falls to the floor writhing in pain)
Esposito: It’s for him.
Joey: You were a mess.
Esposito: It was all I knew. My Dad was gone. Mom was working two jobs. In my neighborhood you had to do what you had to do to survive. Not everybody made it.
Joey: Is this where you tell me I need to man up and get my act together like you did?
Esposito: No. Doesn’t work like that. I needed help. For me, it was one of my teachers. Saw a future in me that I didn’t even see myself, but it was up to me to make a choice, to pick which road to go down.
Esposito: If you need anything, day or night, call me at that number.
Joey: Ok. You’re alright, for a cop.
Esposito: I know. Now get outta my car.
Esposito's story about a teacher influencing his life mirrors that of Jon Huertas, who in high school had a nun encourage him to act in the school's play.
Full Episode Recap
Music star Regina Cane enters a release party and is mobbed by reporters asking about her upcoming album. The reporters quickly move on however, when another star, Josie Lang also enters the party. Regina, angry at being upstaged, asks one of her handlers why Josie is there and she answers that Josie also has an album coming out next week and that both stars at the same party gets more press. Regina is not satisfied, but puts on a happy face when Josie greets her, thanking her for the invitation, but also insulting her by calling her old. As the party gets going, the DJ sees someone wearing a grey hoodie in the crowd, programs a playlist, and leaves.
The next morning, as Richard Castle and Detective Kate Beckett arrive at the crime scene, Beckett disputes that she loses a turn for choosing a poor movie for a date, but Castle gets Detective Javier Esposito to agree with him. Beckett smacks Esposito in the head as they find Medical Examiner Lanie Parish at work on the body. Lanie reports that the cause of death was a single gunshot wound and judging by the lack of blood spatter and blood seepage at the scene, she was killed elsewhere and dumper. Detective Kevin Ryan joins them and identifies the woman as Holly Rhodes, also known as the DJ Beat, who was supposed to be working an album release party for Regina Cane until 1a.m. Esposito gets excited at the mention of the name and stops talking about how attractive Regina is when he gets a hard stare from Lanie. Lanie also estimates the time of death as between 11p.m. and midnight, meaning something happened at the party. Beckett notices a number written on Holly’s hand and Esposito says it’s an unlisted phone number, but he’s checking with the phone company. Beckett tells Ryan and Esposito to get a canvas of the area going while she and Castle head to where the party was.
At the venue, Castle and Beckett find miscellaneous pieces of clothing around the entryway and a hungover man wearing no pants greets them. They find Regina in bed, also hungover, and she accuses Holly of nearly ruining the party by putting in a playlist and leaving around 11.p.m. She complains that she wants her money back, but changes her mind when Castle tells her Holly is dead. She says she didn’t notices her having any issues with any of the other guests, but Beckett still asks for a list of guests and staff working the party. Regina agrees and flops back in bed.
At the precinct, Ryan joins Beckett and Castle at the murder saying several guests corroborate Regina’s story that Holly left suddenly. He also tells them that Holly had no family and worked her way through the foster care system when she was younger. She got into robberies and grand theft, but seemingly cleaned up her act seven years ago. He adds that the canvas on Holly’s apartment building revealed a neighbor who remembers hearing a man pounding on her door and threatening Holly a few days ago. He’s got the neighbor working with a sketch artist. Esposito comes up and says the phone number on Holly’s hand traced to a record producer named Tyrese Wilton, who attended the party. Beckett’s phone beeps with a message and she tells Ryan and Esposito to talk to Tyrese while they pay Lanie a visit.
In the morgue, Lanie says the lab found peanut oil with a high concentration of MSG on Holly’s clothes, only she didn’t eat any Chinese food before she died, none was served at the party, and CSU didn’t find any at the scene, but did find it all over the tarp in which Holly’s body was wrapped. This tells Beckett she was killed near a Chinese restaurant, which Castle points out, leaves tons of possible locations. Regarding the gun that killed Holly, Lanie says it was a .380, but no hits on ballistics. She adds that CSU also found synthetic fibers on Holly which didn’t come from the tarp.
Outside Tyrese’s address, Esposito calls Ryan out for fixing his hair in the event that he meets a celebrity at Tyrese’s studio. As they ring the buzzer, they debate which is the better singer, Josie or Regina. Inside, Josie is recording an album and Ryan enthusiastically volunteers to take her statement while Esposito talks to Tyrese. As Ryan fusses over Josie, Tyrese admits that he used to produce Regina and that Holly had his number written on her hand so they could set up a meeting since he was impressed with her DJing. He does recall a rapper going by the name, MC Thug, arguing with Holly, but he took off when Tyrese came close and seemed to have left the party after Holly did. Meanwhile, Ryan gets an autograph to himself and Jenny from Josie when Esposito drags him away.
At the precinct, Esposito briefs Beckett on MC Thug, real name Darius Carson, who has a violent record. Ryan shows them the sketch from the neighbor, which matches Darius’ picture.
In an interrogation room, Darius flirts with Beckett, but she shuts him down. She notes that he was originally invited to the party, but a last minute phone call got him in. When Castle tries to question him, he picks on Castle’s expensive shirt and hair, causing him to check it in the mirror. Beckett carries on, telling Darius they know about his threatening Holly and arguing with her at the party, but Darius claims only to want his girlfriend’s diamond bracelet back. He says he threw a party at his house which Holly DJed and that she stole the bracelet, since she and her assistant were the only two who weren’t vouched for. He says he gave Holly a day to get it back to him and gives his alibi as being with a woman. When Beckett says she has to hold him, he is pleased since it will help his reputation.
Later on, Esposito confirms MC Thug’s alibi and Ryan shows a police report he filed about the bracelet. He also says he found that of the 50 parties Holly recently worked, seven of them had reported thefts of high-end jewelry afterward. He also confirmed that Holly worked with a guy named Paul Travers, meaning to Beckett that she fell into her old thieving ways only she added an accomplice. Castle asks why the assistant hasn’t come forward yet and Beckett guesses he was involved in the murder.
In an interrogation, Travers denies any stealing, claiming that music saved Holly so she would never fall back into her life of crime. However, Beckett says he was responsible for setting up and taking down her equipment, yet he didn’t do so last night. He claims he didn’t work the party last night and that sometimes Holly would call him at the last minute before a job and say she was using someone else, but she would still pay him. He gives an alibi for last night and Castle asks him to identify the parties where Holly used someone else. He points out the exact same parties after which thefts were reported.
Outside at the murder board, Ryan tells Castle and Beckett that a caterer didn’t get a good look at Holly’s assistant, since he was wearing a hoodie and nothing has been reported stolen. Esposito joins them, saying none of the stolen jewelry was found in Holly’s apartment and no deposits were made into her bank accounts, so she doesn’t seem to be profiting from the thefts. Castle guesses the assistant is the brains behind the thefts and Esposito goes along, saying that when MC Thug threatened her, she got scared and threatened to expose the assistant. Castle suggests they try to pull the assistant’s fingerprints off the equipment to identify him and Beckett agrees.
The next morning, Castle brings Beckett her usual coffee and she tells him Holly received calls from a Washington Heights pay phone on the same days where she worked parties where there were thefts. Esposito comes over, saying the fingerprints on the equipment matched Joey “Monster” Malone, a young man with a long rap sheet.
In the observation room, Esposito says that Joey is an orphan, and his guardian, his uncle, is missing. Beckett heads inside alone to question him and Castle muses over how he can’t believe Joey, at 14, could be capable of murder. Esposito disputes this, saying in Joey’s world, it’s not hard to believe.
Joey flirts with Beckett and then tries to stop her from questioning him by saying they need his uncle’s permission, but Beckett says NYPD policy allows her to question him while they look for his uncle. He denies killing Holly and says he was at TV King when she was killed, otherwise Beckett gets nowhere with him.
Back at the murder board, Beckett notes that Joey expected to be asked about the thefts, but obviously didn’t expect being questioned about murder. Ryan joins them and says Joey’s alibi checked out, leading Esposito to suggest that someone put Joey up to the thefts. Everyone agrees the theory works, and that the mastermind is who has the jewelry and who would have motive to kill Holly if she ever squealed. Thinking Joey knows who is behind the thefts and Holly’s murder, Esposito volunteers to question him.
In the break room, Esposito offers to forget about the thefts if Joey gives up the person behind them, but he refuses and then smugly guesses at what more Esposito will say to convince him, also predicting that he’ll never keep his promise to help him. Esposito shows him a picture of Holly’s dead body at the crime scene and while it rattles Joey, he claims the man will never hurt him and refuses to name him.
In the conference room, Joey’s caseworker says she has no idea who he might be helping, but it doesn’t surprise her that someone has a hold over him. She says his uncle likes to play cards in Atlantic City and admits he isn’t the best guardian, but he’s better than nothing. When Beckett says they don’t want to charge Joey with theft, the caseworker says she’ll have to either put him in juvenile hall in protective custody or in temporary foster care, neither option works for Esposito. He surprises Beckett by volunteering to take Joey in for the night and the caseworker agrees.
At Esposito’s apartment, Joey complains that his uncle only cares about gambling, so Esposito tells him that his own parents divorced when he was 5 and he never heard from his Dad much, so he knows what it feels like to miss a parent. Joey opens up, saying his Mom tried to take care of him after his Dad died, but one day she decided she couldn’t do it anymore and killed herself leaving him to take care of himself. Esposito goes to get Joey a blanket and a pillow and challenges him to a video game, but comes back to find Joey gone and one of his windows open.
The next morning, Ryan is surprised to see Esposito enter handcuffed to Joey and then to see him handcuff Joey to his desk. He explains how Joey tried to escape last night, but he caught him. Ryan updates him that the fibers CSU found on Holly’s tarp were from the upholstery used in the trunk of a high-end European car manufacturer, made between 2010 and 2012, telling them how Holly’s body got to where it was found. Ryan promises to canvas around the site where Holly’s body was found in case anyone saw a car matching that description in the area at the time of the murder. Castle and Beckett arrive with Joey’s juvenile records, thinking that whoever he’s involved with will be named in it somewhere.
In the conference room, Esposito notices that a Shane Winters bailed Joey out when he was caught for shoplifting. Beckett remembers that the same person bailed Holly out after she was busted for grand theft. Later on, Esposito tells Beckett and Castle that Shane has been involved in lots of different types of crime. They all guess that Holly worked for Shane at one time, just as Joey does, got out, but when Shane found out she was working parties for the wealthy, he pulled her back in. Ryan says that Shane drives a car that matches the type that used the same fibers found on the tarp Holly was wrapped in. He also says that uniforms went to pick him up at his last known address, but he wasn’t there. Esposito confronts Joey in the break room about Shane’s location, but he still refuses to say anything.
In the break room, Esposito tells Castle he doesn’t know how he put up with raising a kid, but Castle says at some point, you have just accept that they need to find their way on their own. Ryan pokes his head in and says a Detective in Robbery gave him a tip on Shane’s location.
Esposito enters the bar where he immediately spies Shane and Shane makes him as a cop. Shane’s bodyguard stops him to from confronting Shane, but Esposito quickly drops him with a kick to the groin. He steps over the bodyguard and Shane tells Esposito Joey tipped him off. Esposito tosses his hand cuffs on the table and implies that he’d love for Shane to resist arrest, but he snaps the cuffs on.
In the interrogation room, Shane says that Ryan and Esposito can’t prove their theory that he killed Holly after she wanted out of stealing for him. When they tell him that the fibers found on Holly’s tarp match those in his car, he calls their bluff and smugly says that he dropped a cigarette in his car and it caught on fire, so on match should be possible. He lawyers up, but Esposito asks for a minute alone with him. Ryan leaves and Esposito drops the shades.
Later on, he finds Joey in the break room and tells him what they found out from Shane. He also shows him video of his interrogation where Shane pins the thefts on Joey. Joey finally admits to working with Holly for Shane to steal the jewelry, but says Holly’s last party was different. His mark was Tyrese, the producer, and he was supposed to take his cell phone. He succeeded, Holly found out, and got angry with him, but he had already given Shane the phone, so he took off, not knowing that Holly would end up dead.
Outside, Beckett says Shane has an alibi and Ryan adds that affidavits came in from bar patrons attesting to Shane’s being at the bar at the time of Holly’s murder. They add that CSU couldn’t pull fibers off Shane’s burned out car and that the gun that killed Holly matched what she carried herself, so whoever killed her, probably used her own gun. Castle wonders why the target was Tyrese’s phone when so many other valuables were available for stealing and Ryan figures out that Tyrese didn’t tell them that his phone was missing after he was initially interviewed.
As they buzz his studio, Ryan and Esposito notice a Chinese cook taking out the garbage nearby. They search near some dumpsters and find blood spatter on a wall, pointing to Tyrese as their prime suspect.
They confront Tyrese, who says he was at the party the whole night and he didn’t report his phone missing because it was only missing for an hour or so. Tyrese says the only valuable thing about the phone is that it’s a key to his studio. It’s why Holly had his number written on her hand because Tyrese couldn’t text it to her since his phone was missing. Esposito and Ryan now guess Holly was killed at the studio because she knew the phone would unlock it and went there to stop Shane from ripping it off. Tyrese says nothing was stolen, but then realizes someone could have gotten into the unreleased recordings he had saved. He gets into his computer and finds that the master recordings for Josie’s album were downloaded at 11:45 the night of the party. Leaking them onto the Internet would cause sales of her album to drop severely.
Back at the precinct, Beckett swears Shane has a solid alibi and admits that he might have moved her body, but evidence shows he didn’t kill her. Castle supposes that someone from the party who had something to gain from Josie’s album sales tanking got the phone from Shane, went to the studio, downloaded the songs, then returned to the party to drop Tyrese’s phone.
Castle and Beckett interrupt Regina’s choreography session and confront her with their evidence: the fact that on the night of the party at 11 she insisted upon having an hour of time for a costume change before a performance, giving her time to get to Tyrese’s studio. Her album sales have been dropping and it’s no secret that Josie is more popular, so she derived a plan to steal the tracks and leak them to the internet so her album sales would top Josie’s. She hired Shane to steal Tyrese’s phone, which he did, but when she got to the studio, Holly tried to stop her, they fought, and Regina killed Josie with her own gun. Shew called Shane, since he grew up with her bodyguard and they disposed on Holly's body. Shane also made sure Holly was hired as the DJ for the party, so Joey would be the one to steal Tyrese's phone. Lastly, they say they found an email Regina sent to a hacker who would leak Josie’s songs online. Faced with all the evidence, Regina lawyers up.
Esposito finds Shane at his usual bar and threatens that if he ever goes near Joey or any other kid again, he will kill him and make it look like he was merely defending himself. Shane agrees, rather than risk an on-the-spot gunfight with Esposito.
That night, Esposito hands his own juvenile file over to Joey and says he understands how he feels, since his own mother was working two jobs to support him and he had to take care of himself. He also says it was a teacher who got him on the right path, but he had to choose which road to take. He promises to talk regularly to Joey’s school counselor to make sure he stays in school and to call him weekly to check in. Joey agrees to go to school, but only if Esposito gets new furniture for his apartment. Esposito hands over his business card and tells Joey to call if he ever needs anything. Joey agrees, tells him he’s an alright guy for a cop, then heads into his uncle’s apartment as Esposito watches.
- Victim: Holly Rhodes, a.k.a. DJ Beat
- Cause of Death: Single gunshot wound
- Perp: Regina Cane
- Motive: Greed: Regina wanted a rival pop music star's album to tank, so she went to break into the studio to steal the tracks, but Holly interfered and was killed in the struggle.
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