Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC Photo: Castle & Beckett Wander Around Los Angeles in Episode 3.22, "To Love and Die in L.A."

So, remember Mike Royce, everybody? He was Beckett's training officer who turned out to be a supersketch ruby thief and cemetery-showdown ninja in "Under the Gun." He's back, but only for the first 20 seconds or so when he crawls out of a building with a bullet in his leg and then gets a bullet in his head.

We see his killer's face, so that means the plot is going to be filled with a myriad of other complicated details. Anyway...

Beckett's Real Sad About It: The detective gets to the crime scene in a low, messy ponytail, which is the international hair symbol for depression. There's a note in Royce's pocket for Beckett, which is basically an apology letter. The murder weapon -- an empty, cheap street gun -- has an expensive silencer on it. Royce just flew in from L.A., where he was trying to make a fresh start, and Beckett speculates that someone followed him and snuck the silencer on the plane.

Ryan goes through the flight passenger list and finds a dude named Neel McCauley (Robert DeNiro's character in Heat), who bought a ticket an hour before the flight, made up a new identity and has a fake license. "Neel" also flew back to L.A. two hours after the murder. Natch, Beckett wants to go to L.A., an idea Montgomery flat-out rejects. In the least convincing cover we've ever seen on television or film, Beckett says, "I have some vacation days. Think I'll take those." The obvious happens and...

The Detective Gets An Upgrade: Oh, Castle, you know your girl so well. Of course, he's on the flight to L.A., too, and drinking champagne to boot. In the second least-convincing cover we've ever seen, he tells Beckett the film studio has been bugging him to visit the Heat Wave set, so he might as well help her while he's there. They "argue," and is Beckett really still playing the "I'm not going to get rid of you, am I" game? Really? Castle insists Beckett stay in his two-bedroom hotel suite, which is decorated in the Avant-Garde Obnoxious style. Then....

Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC Photo: Guest Star Gene Simmons in Episode 3.22, "To Love and Die in L.A."

It's Time for Gene Simmons of KISS to Wear a Gold Jacket: This appearance is everything we imagined it to be, meaning his performance is inspired by himself. Royce was staying in Gene Simmons of KISS' guest house after helping the singer out with something. A young actress named Violet Young recently stopped by Gene Simmons of KISS' house to see Royce, and so C&B decide to break into her house when she doesn't show up for work on a commercial (that's being shot at the same studio as Heat Wave).

As they're breaking and entering, they get word from Lanie (who has a cute make-out sesh with Esposito) that the bullets pulled from Royce's body, um, dissolved. Huh. Violet's house is empty, because it appears she was on the same flight to NYC as Royce. There are weird surveillance photos in her apartment, as well as articles about surfing and wine tasting, and also a voice recording that says, "The power of sound compels you." Was Royce protecting her from something? Before C&B can piece these awful clues together...

The West Coast Stops the East Coast Dead In Their Tracks: Kyle Seeger of the LAPD puts Monty on speaker phone, and he's uuuupseeeettttt. The captain demands C&B come home, but first, Beckett calls adorable Ryan to have him investigate Violet Young's whereabouts in the city. Using blurry footage from a security camera near the crime scene, Esposito was able get screen grab of Neel McCauley's face from TSA footage at the airport. So, they have that, which is helpful. Meanwhile....

Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC Photo: Check Out Castle's Ferrari in Episode 3.22, "To Love and Die in L.A."

There's That Other Mystery Man to Contend With: The dude in those surveillance photos in Violet's house is Charles Kelvin, the CEO of a research and development company, who loves wine and surfing. Charles tells C&B that he went on a date with Violet, but she disappeared in the middle of it in a very cliche way. They play that weird recording for Charles and he flips out because it's the voice code for his vault, which contains, or used to contain, dissolving bullets!

Violet must have pieced the code together from the words Charles said during their date. Whoa. Meanwhile, Ryan and Esposito figure out that Violet stopped at her ex's NYC apartment, and Neel McCauley's driver went there looking for her. It seems like Violet went to Royce for help when she unwittingly got in too deep with this bullet thing, and now they're after her.

C&B discuss this and have "A Moment." No, “A Major Moment.” Nothing comes of it, and the mind reels. Deep breath in, and...

 

Here's What's Going On with the Bullets: So, in order for anyone to have taken 800 pounds of ammo from this building, they would've had to have gotten past Reggie Walsh, a security guard at the loading dock. Det. Seeger shows up asking C&B about the robbery, but instead of working with him, Beckett illegally apprehends Reggie, puts him in a police car with the two actors playing the Heat Wave characters based on Ryan and Esposito, and brings him to an interrogation room that's part of the film set. Yup.

Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC Photo: Castle and Beckett Interrogate Guest Star Derek Phillips in Episode 3.22: "To Love and Die in L.A."

 

From this, they find out “Neel McCauley” is actually Russell Ganz and his driver is Donald Mannis. Ganz has a taste for the high life, and is staying at the same hotel as C&B, looking for a buyer for those bullets. Using the slow-exit-from-a-pool-in-a-sexy-bathing-suit method, Beckett flirts with Ganz and pretends to be interested in buying the bullets. He's like, "Uh, you're a cop." While this is happening, Castle sneaks into Ganz's pool cabana and takes a pic of the recent call list on his phone. Det. Seeger traces one of the calls to Mannis and Beckett decides to call him and stir the pot to get some info. Meanwhile...

Ryan and Esposito Find the Elusive Violet in Manhattan: And just as they're about to take her to the precinct, Mannis shows up and opens fire. Esposito shoots him, and then answers Mannis' phone. It's Beckett! Esposito gets Mannis to confess that the bullet sale is happening at 6 p.m. at Santa Monica pier, and that Ganz shot Royce. They find the bullets, and Beckett chases Ganz down the pier. She shoots him in the leg and thinks about shooting him in the head, but does the right thing and arrests him. Now...

It's Time to Get on the Plane and Think About Things: C&B head back to the Big Apple, and while Castle sleeps, Beckett reads the rest of Royce's letter to her. He wrote that she and Castle have something real, she's resisting it, and she should knock it off. We're glad a training officer turned bounty hunter turned Gene Simmons' house guest is the one who finally had to spell it out for her.

Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC Photo: Castle & Beckett Wander Around Los Angeles in Episode 3.22, "To Love and Die in L.A."

 

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