Finally, finally, finally! After what seems like months (but was actually only weeks), Castle is back from its brutal winter hiatus.
Why Don't You Step Back From That Ledge, My Friend?
“Till Death Do Us Part” starts with a dead body falling from an apartment window, immediately followed by a cut to the precinct and a nauseatingly cute exchange between the bride and groom to-be, Ryan and Jenny. Shortly after, Ryan drops a huge bomb on Esposito: Lanie’s bringing a plus-one to the wedding. Oh boy.
At the crime scene, the crew discovers that the fallen victim, Michael Bailey, “did the deed before taking the dive” — thanks to some super fresh fingernail marks. (Almost as fresh as the produce the dead dude landed in. Eww.) That said, the crew is pretty sure this wasn’t a suicide. However, it could have been a...
Black Widow Murder
Castle thinks the victim could’ve been killed by a “black widow” — a.k.a. a woman who uses a dude for sex before doing him in. However, the red-headed Ms. Franklin, whose fingerprints turn up in the hotel, claims the victim has a different name — and that she had nothing to do with his death. Actually, she claims he fell out the window accidentally. Lanie, however, knows the dude didn’t fall by accident: She figures out he was poisoned via a chocolate protein shake, which caused him to die then fall. He also had sex with not one woman, but two, within hours of his death. But when they try to find the scorned “other woman,” a whole host of women line up in the 12th precinct. What can we say? Guy had game!
With the exception of Ms. Franklin, Michael Bailey had introduced himself to all these women using his real name, but he lied to them about something else: He told them he was going to be leaving the city for a month, when in reality he stuck around. He was on a leave of absence from his job as a mid-level analyst, he’d vacated his apartment, and he had a fake, government-issued ID and about $60,000 in cash. But why?
Castle’s working theory is that the guy was a real-life Jason Bourne.
While the boys are digging up clues about one of the victim’s more suspicious ladyfriends, Colette Roth, Ryan also finds out the name of Lanie’s plus-one: Toby Lang, a doctor, cancer researcher, and overall lovely lookin’ piece of man candy. On that note, Esposito tells Ryan to mark him down for a plus-one, too... even though he doesn’t have one. Yet.
When brought into the office, Colette tells the team that Michael Bailey was abducted by men in ski masks right in front of her on the street, but Beckett doesn’t believe it — until the whole crew watches the entire thing go down on camera.
Castle thinks Bailey is in covert ops, but neither the CIA, FBI, or DEA have heard of the guy. “Do you really think they’d tell you if they did?” Castle quips. Man has a point. Ryan comes back with the licence on the car that abducted Bailey, and the team heads to the apartment… only to find a guy named Pablo, a man with a broken nose, and two half-naked women. As it turns out, the abduction was staged to scare off Colette, who was stalking Bailey. All three men are pick-up artists, which explains all the women! Esposito is totally taking mental notes while questioning the guy with the broken nose. Will he pull a “butter job” by episode’s end?
Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?
Despite his ability to nab anything that walks, Bailey was after only one woman before his death: someone named Lisa. Fortunately for the crew, Bailey kept a very detailed log of all his conquests. But unfortunately for Ryan, Castle finds something else while perusing it for info: Jenny slept with the guy one month after she and Ryan started dating. ZOMG! Do they tell him?
Ryan and Espo discover Lisa is a publishing heiress — and a married one at that. Caskett figures out Bailey only used the fake names with Lisa Hill and Ms. Franklin, who were both wealthy, leading them to posit that he tries to extort rich women by putting them in compromising positions. That would explain the wads of cash.
The team tracks down Lisa, who admits to having had an affair with Michael Bailey/Jake. It quickly comes out that Bailey targeted Lisa because she’s married to Ron Hill, an investment banker negotiating a deal with the company Michael worked for. While Michael was at her place, he logged on to her computer and emailed himself some of Mr. Hill’s corporate documents. “Sexpionage,” Castle muses.
Later, over Chinese food, which the “cleansing” Ryan happily digs into, he tells the team he knows about Jenny hooking up with Bailey. “It’s not like we were exclusive,” he says. Guess these two are really are meant to be!
Ryan and Esposito then head over to the corporate housing where Bailey/Jake had been shacking up in for the past month, only to discover a pack of chocolate protein shakes in the fridge. Hmm, the same kind of protein shake that delivered the deadly dose of poison to the womanizing vic?
This leads them straight to the lady who committed the crime: Amy Camp, the COO of the company Michael Bailey worked for. She fell for his game, but in the end killing him was “just business.”
Til Death Do They Part?
In the final moments we catch a glimpse of Ryan and Jenny’s wedding, not to mention Lanie and Esposito’s wedding dates. Espo shows up with his gorgeous date Jody, who also happens to be his cousin. And as for Lanie’s Dr. Toby? Well, he plays for the other team. We totally smell an Esplanie reconciliation on the horizon.
And romance is in the air for more than just Lanie and Esposito. Both dateless, Castle and Beckett decide to be each other’s plus-ones. And after seeing Ryan giddy with glee, Castle says he’s actually kind of jealous of his co-worker. “Maybe third times a charm,” Beckett smiles, referring to the fact that Castle’s next marriage would be his, well, third.
And it better be with her.