Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Beckett, Castle, and Esposito in Season 4, Episode 12: “Dial M for Mayor”

Dial-A-Murder?

It all begins with some mood music and what looks like a saucy sex scene in the back of a car, but ends up with a dead, lifeless body in the back of the car instead. Say it with us: Ewwww.

At the scene, Lanie informs Castle and Beckett that the victim was choked by someone — presumably, a male. Ryan says the vehicle the body was found in belongs to — dum, dum, dum — Mayor Weldon, aka the only reason Castle’s allowed in the precinct. Uh-oh!

Cut to Castle and Beckett at the local law offices. “We’re sorry one of our vehicles got messed up in this,” says the mayor. Yeah, we have a feeling you’re not the only one. Luckily, Mr. Mayor has a nice alibi.

Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Mayor Weldon, Beckett, and Castle in Season 4, Episode 12: “Dial M for Mayor”

Later, Gates asks Beckett what she found out at City Hall, and tells Beckett to watch herself since Castle has a bias. Espo finds out the car was stolen off the street, so the Mayor connection could just be pure coincidence. As for the vic? Laura Cambridge was a professor at Hudson University, but cancelled her phone and credit cards six months prior, not to mention cut off her colleagues.

Caskett check out Laura Cambridge’s apartment and discover the landlord saw a dark-haired man leaving the place during their murder window the night before. When Caskett question the vic’s sister, she says three days before her murder she called her and told her she was in some kind of mess at work, but it was too dangerous to give details. When the duo go to check out Laura’s last place of employment, they discover the former professor left her tenured gig to become a sex phone operator at DAG Corporation, short for Dial-A-Goddess!

The dispatcher at the line tells Beckett it’s her fault Laura’s dead, claiming that Laura came to her about a week before asking for a client’s personal info and the dispatcher gave it to her against policy. “She said it was a matter of life and death,” the dispatcher sobs. OK, but at this point we’re really confused as to how any of this could possibly lead back to the mayor. Not for long, though!

The client, Edgar, tells Beckett Laura came to him because she needed files from DAG as evidence. Allegedly, she overheard something that she shouldn’t have. When Castle and Beckett return to DAG to check on the files, the entire hard drive — which includes the last two months call recordings — is missing, and the “Chief Sexecutive Officer” tells them a dark-haired male came in there claiming a gas leak. Same guy that was at Laura’s apartment the night before! But what could be on those recordings?

Blast From the Past

Then, out of nowhere, Castle receives a phone call from the same eery old man who called him before about keeping Beckett safe. “It seems we need to talk,” he says. OMG. Is Johanna Beckett’s murder somehow linked to the death of the professor-turned-sex-phone-operator? Castle sure seems to think so.

“Do you plan to tell Beckett?” Martha asks him. “Tell her what? Hey kid, I’ve been taking calls from a shadowy figure who wants to keep you off your mother’s murder case so they don’t kill you too?” Touche.

Later, Beckett finds out the killer was wearing cashmere. “So we can narrow our suspects down to rich men with impeccable taste?” Rick asks. “Are you saying you’re a suspect?” Beckett responds. Oh my! Was that flirting we detect?

Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Detective Esposito in Season 4, Episode 12: “Dial M for Mayor”

Back to the case: Espso discovers Laura made only two calls on a pay-to-go phone. One to Edgar, and one to her book agent. Turns out, Laura was writing a book about how the “other half” lives, but in doing her research, discovered a much hotter story about a prominent New Yorker.

Although her agent doesn’t know who, they later find out Laura had asked someone to secretly film Mayor Weldon. And to make matters worse, in one piece of footage Laura is in the corner of the screen and the mayor, next to her, is sporting brown cashmere. But could it be? Really?

A Partnership Torn Apart

Castle defends his pal adamantly, but Beckett is trying as hard as she can to stay unbiased. Things really start to heat up — in the bad way — between the two. Beckett clearly thinks the mayor could be the killer, while Castle says the Mayor is a good man who would never do such a thing — and whose career will be over as soon as Beckett makes a move.

To make matters worse, Ryan discovers Laura worked on the mayor’s Reading Train Foundation. And then, Beckett does the unthinkable: She tells Castle she’s going to have to pursue the case on her own.

Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Detective Beckett in Season 4, Episode 12: “Dial M for Mayor”

Turns out, Laura was fired from the foundation for copying confidential files related to an internal investigation about a missing $2.3 million — with Weldon as the primary suspect. It all seems to add up: One of Laura’s clients told her about the investigation, she decided to pursue it for a book, the Mayor found out and had her offed. Unfortunately, “telling on” the Mayor means getting him fired. And with the mayor gone? Everybody knows the first thing Captain Gates will do is kick Castle out of the precinct.

Confused, Beckett turns to Gates for help. She knows as soon as she puts out a warrant for the coat, it will become public record and everybody will know the mayor is a person of interest. Wrong or right, Gates tells Beckett they have to protect the people, which sometimes comes with a price.

She also fills Beckett in on some interesting background info. “I know they call me Captain Iron Gates,” she says. However, she says she loves cops — her family were all cops — but says a Sergeant assaulted her patrol partner … and somebody has to hold those people accountable.

“You do your job whatever the cost,” she says.

Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Jordan Norris and Brian Shay in Season 4, Episode 12: “Dial M for Mayor”

“Sometimes, a well-placed pawn is more powerful than a King...”

Castle comes back to Beckett saying he wants to know whether the Mayor did it. They head to the Mayor’s office — again — and he declines to hand over his cashmere coat for testing. He thinks he’s been framed. Castle thinks it’s shady, too, and decides to phone the “shadowy figure” who had told him to contact him when he felt the time was right. He tells Castle to “listen to the evidence” if he wants to help Weldon.

Come to find out, Mr. Norris, the chief of staff’s assistant, called Laura on the regular, and sold out his boss to make it look like he embezzled money. And one night, after too many shots, he spilled the beans to her. With that, Laura went on her own investigation to uncover the men who were framing the mayor.  Sadly, when Norris is about to give the name of the people he had follow and presumably killed Laura Cambridge, his newly-appointed lawyer walks in and tells him not to speak anymore. Ugh! So, so close.

At the very end, Castle meets with the shadowy figure again, who tells him he did all of this because if the Mayor were guilty, and Castle were gone, who would be there to protect Beckett?

As he so eloquently says, “Sometimes a well placed pawn is more powerful than a King …"


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