You know you’re watching Castle when Lanie says the victim was “stabbed in the back of the neck with an ice pick and then stuffed into the sofa.” Why did this happen to psychic Vivien Marchand? And how did the team figure out that Paula Casillas, wife of the lying, cheating, vitamin-making, and ultimately poisoned Emilio Casillas, was the one who did it? Here’s the breakdown.
Throw In a Mobster Early On for Good Measure: Oh, Albert Moreno. Don’t the detectives realize mobsters always throw bodies in the East River? Vivien had given Albert investment advice she said would bring him true happiness. He went bankrupt, which brought him true anger. On the day of the murder, Moreno did swing by to see her before going to his broker, but didn’t kill her. The broker’s partner ends up being Moreno’s high school sweetheart Loreen, who happily dives back into a relationship with a criminal suffering from financial woes whom she hasn’t seen since 1982. Look for these two to be central figures on a future episode. On this one, they are completely inconsequential.
Most Helpful Clues: 1. An ankle tracking device. Because of this sporty anklet for criminals, the team nabs Steve Adams, who’s connected to television producer Cody Donnelley, whose testimony leads the team to Toni Johnston, who was sleeping with her husband’s boss Emilio Casillas, which casts suspicion on Nick Johnston, who once worked with Kevin Bacon. Not really. But he didn’t do it.
2. A dream. Vivien’s daughter Penny barely has time to mourn the loss of her mother, because that crazy lady keeps showing up in her dreams with clues. Vivian tells Penny to ask the masons. Obviously, this means Mason’s the restaurant, where Paula Casillas and her daughter Marina dined the night of the murder. Having killed Emilio over the affair, Paula decided that a medium capable of talking to her dead husband would probably compromise her . Paula found out this restaurant was BYOB, thought “Aha!” while snapping her fingers in the air, bought a bottle of wine and an ice pick earlier in the day, and then pretended to be going to the liquor store during dinner when really, she was figuring out how to close the sofa bed. Thank goodness Penny remembers her dreams.
3. A letter. Actually, the letter (supposedly) from Vivien was both fun and helpful. The letter described a man dressed in black (Albert Moreno), the numbers 7518 (part of her daughter’s phone number which were found typed into Vivien’s phone), and loud pounding (Nick Johnston banging on the door).
Hey, She’s Consistent: Paula (during her initial questioning): “Even at our first session, Vivien already knew so much about my Emilio.”
Paula (during her confession): “When you wanted to go see Vivien, I went along to humor you, but she knew things that she shouldn’t have known.” Except When It Comes to Killing: Paula was a cold-blooded murderer, but clearly didn’t have a signature style. She slowly poisoned her husband with selenium in his coffee every day, making it look like a heart attack. For her next act, she bought an ice pick.
Questions We’re Not Supposed to Ask: 1. How did Paula manage to stab Vivien, lift her comparably-sized body onto the couch, and return to the restaurant without any blood on her? 2. When Castle asks about the letter at episode’s end, Beckett says, “Guess it’ll have to remain a mystery.” The lynchpin of the entire case can remain a mystery? Oh, OK.