Castle Recap of Season 4, Episode 18: “A Dance With Death”
Welcome to A Night of Dance! Your host this evening is Brad Melville, and first up are competitors Santino and Odette, who will be performing a Latin duet.
Five, six, seven — well, let's just say Odette never made it to the count of eight.
Back at Chez Castle, Martha tells Rick she wants Oona Marconi, a theater critic who gave her a crappy review back in the day, to drop her new acting school a line in an upcoming article, but Castle doesn't think it's such a good idea.
Will Martha be able to rise above her old grudge? (And why do we feel like this is foreshadowing something? Right, because it's Castle.)
Back to our deceased dancer: Odette was found in her dressing room with a single GSW to the heart at 3:04 p.m. According to Esposito, she was last seen by her makeup up artist at 2:45, which means the killer had exactly 19 minutes to get the job done. Could it have been an inside job, or did Odette's killer get lucky and find the exit door unlocked? Lanie, who we learn had big dreams of becoming a dancer herself, is convinced it was the work of a rival dancer.
From Odette's brother, Paul, we learn that Odette had a sordid past of drugs and alcohol, fueled by her grandfather's death three years prior. After walking away from a deadly train accident last year, she turned her life around and decided to get clean. Six months later she had found her true calling: ballroom dance.
Eddie, her former rival who was eliminated from the competition a week earlier, says he had witnessed Odette meeting with a man in an alley and frequenting the ladies' room more than normal. Unfortunately, Eddie's alibi checks out, which means he's not our guy.
Castle and Beckett stumble upon a new lead when checking Odette's credit card statements. Mr. Lynchberg, Odette's business manager and executor to her grandfather's estate, tells them Odette dropped $100,000 at Saks 5th Avenue, but who was she buying all those faux-rabbit purses for?
Enter stage right: Jasmine, the receptionist at A Night of Dance. But she didn't do it, either. Odette offered Jasmine the PETA-friendly furs to keep her from tattling to Max, the executive producer, about Odette's secret fight with show host Brad Melville. We agree, not a bad deal.
So, Brad and Odette were hooking up? Um, not so much. Brad tells C&B that he walked in on Odette shooting up a couple of months ago, but promised not to tell Max as long as she promised to quit using. When he caught her shooting up again, he said he had no choice. Odette then threatened to tell Max that Brad had turned a blind eye, getting them both kicked off the show for good.
Turns out, Ryan Seacrest — er, we mean Brad Melville — was telling the truth. Except it wasn't speed that our poor little rich girl was injecting into her veins …
Cut to the most dramatic dinner party we've ever seen: Martha's attempt to wine and dine Oona fails miserably when Oona takes a few obvious jabs at Martha's talent (or lack thereof). The retired actress rescinds her request, and Oona storms off in a huff. Some people just can't let go of the past, can they?
A Dead Ringer
Back at the precinct, Castle and Beckett learn that Odette had coffee with an old friend, Suzanne Steiner, at 11 a.m. on the day she was killed. They also learn that the liquid in the needles was not speed, but insulin, and the prints all over Odette's apartment belonged to Barbara Landow, a woman from the wrong side of the tracks.
But what's weird about Barbara is that she died over a year ago … in the very same train collision that Odette survived. But wait, what if Odette didn't really survive and Barbara assumed her identity when she walked away from the accident unscathed? Holy switched at birth, they are identical twins!
But let's not jump the gun here. After all, this is Castle, not Ringer. Before the evil twin theory can be substantiated, Ryan and Esposito must first head over to Barbara's place of employment. It's too bad Ryan has the "stink of honeymoon phase" all over him, but who needs a stripper when you've got your own Gyrating Jenny?
At the strip club, a "dancer" named Chantel reveals that Barbie has a rebel boyfriend named Jason, and that she got a complete makeover a few years back, including a nose job. Wait a minute, didn't My. Lynchberg say that Odette paid for a friend's plastic surgery a few years ago?
He sure did!
Here's what it means: Barbara and Odette were not twin sisters, they just happened to bear a striking resemblance, one that Odette used to her advantage. In the words of Rick Castle himself, our party girl did the crime, but she didn't want to do the time, so she paid Barbara to impersonate her at business meetings and community service, while she was off gallivanting. (Lindsay Lohan, are you taking notes?)
When Odette died in the train accident, Barbara seized the moment and stole her doppelganger's identity, transforming herself from understudy to leading lady.
Barbie's Got a Secret
But we still don't know why someone would want Barbara dead, unless they discovered her true identity and wanted to cash in on her new fortune … someone, like, say, rebel boyfriend Jason?
Jason tells Detective Beckett that Barbara wanted to get back together after she discovered some troubling information about Odette's past. She said she could work it to her advantage, but she needed more time. Unfortunately, Barbara's time ended before the curtain even went up.
But what was she up to just five hours earlier when she dipped out of rehearsal? Barbara was seeing childhood friend Suzanne Steiner and reminiscing about old times. Suzanna said that Barbara was especially concerned with her grandfather, Gram Morton, who passed away three years ago. Suzanne said she would put her in touch with her father, Charles Carlson, the Morton's old family butler.
When Beckett remembers seeing Charles's name on the Night of Dance guest list the day Odette — er, Faux-dette — was murdered, she has Lanie pull Gram's autopsy report to rule out foul play.
But how can we focus on the ample murder evidence when Alexis looks so darn cute in her mini medical examiner scrubs?
Luckily, Castle and Beckett still have their heads in the game. They come to the conclusion that Charles offed Barbara because was she close to finding out the truth, and head off to make an arrest for double murder.
Quick cut to Castle's loft. Martha laments how things went down with Oona, and Castle tells her to make Oona an offer she can't refuse. We can't wait to see this plan backfire!
Back in interrogation, Charles tells Beckett he had no idea the dancer wasn't Odette when she invited him to see her show, but Beckett's not buying it … until he says that Barbara might have been right, that it's possible Gram Morton was smothered to death.
The smoking gun in this case is the single pillow found on Mr. Morton's bed the day he died. But the most troubling part is that Odette had caused a commotion with a kitchen fire downstairs, leaving plenty of time for her boyfriend, whom Gram openly disapproved of, to sneak into Mr. Morton's room and suffocate him to death.
Mr. Lynchberg can dance around the truth as long as he wants, but the evidence speaks for itself — a gun matching the one that killed Barbara was found in the dumpster behind his office. Mr. Lynchberg says that Barbara promised to keep quiet about Gram's murder … for a hefty price.
But instead of taking the deal, Mr. Lynchberg snapped. After all, why should a dirty stripper be able to live out someone else's dream?
That's the funny thing about dreams. Sometimes life has different plans for us, but when one door closes, another one opens. Kate Beckett didn't become the first female Supreme Court Chief Justice, but she's one heck of a good detective, and her profession ultimately led her to Castle.
And what little girl doesn't dream of finding the perfect partner in crime?
As for Oona's lifelong dream of becoming a novelist? Let's just say that one comes at a hefty price!