Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Serena, Castle, and Beckett in Season 4, Episode 5: “Eye of the Beholder”

Who knew a swanky art gala could be filled with so many shady characters? In Season 4, Episode “Eye of the Beholder,” Mr. Hayes, an art gallery owner, is found dead — driven through a spiked sculpture, actually.

But it’s gonna take a lot to find out who wanted the guy dead ... and why.

Where Art Thou?

Mr. Hayes lifeless body in the first few minutes makes a nice segue into the next scene, which shows Castle writing the words “bloody corpse.” Um, yeah.

An uber-excited Martha comes home mid-sentence: She wants to fix Castle up with some PYT in her acting group! Not shockingly, Castle doesn’t seem too keen on the idea and moments later, he conveniently gets a phone call from Beckett.

At the art gallery, we find out the real reason someone was murdered — a $50 million piece of art called "The Fist of Capitalism" is missing.

It seems that Mr. Hayes, cautious art gallery owner that he was, was very worried about the security of "The Fist," which was on loan to him, and was axed (er, spiked?) when he came to check on it.

Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Serena in Blue in Season 4, Episode 5: “Eye of the Beholder”

As Beckett and Castle are stringing together their theory in that cute ping-pong-y way they always do, they’re interrupted by a hot blonde, Serena Kaye, an art insurance investigator.

Miss Kaye suggests checking the air ducts for remnants or DNA. Castle’s impressed with her insight; Beckett not so much.

Regardless, Miss Kaye offers her consulting services to the duo for a small fee, but Beckett will have none of, which is unfortunate for Castle, who thinks Serena has some, um, “valuable assets.” (And no, not those kind. Entirely.)

Blonde Ambition

Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Beckett and Castle in Season 4, Episode 5: “Eye of the Beholder”

But it seems like the crew might need some outside help. Security videos from the crime scene don’t show anything, but there is some hair gel found in the air duct, which is exactly what Serena said, as Castle coyly points out.

Moments later, Captain Gates calls Beckett into her office and — shocker! — there’s Serena! Just hanging out in the precinct!

Castle notices the sex kitten through the blinds and spits coffee all over himself. We mean, girl is cute, but come on, she isn’t that cute, Rick.

Beckett makes it uber-clear she wants nothing to do with the saucy insurance smarty-pants. Unfortch, Gates is Team Serena 100 percent, and so are Castle and Ryan (who can’t stop staring at her, um, “assets”).

Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Beckett at the Crime Scene in Season 4, Episode 5: “Eye of the Beholder”

Well, we have a feeling this is not going to be fun. Not for Beckett, anyway.

We gotta hand it to Serena, though, she knows her stuff. She recognizes the device the thief used as a conductive signal interrupter, which was designed by a top art thief in Europe named Falco.

When Beckett (who’s clearly not charmed) questions how Serena knows all this mumbo-jumbo, she responds with some pretentious answer about an art report she read from Brussells. Right.

To add insult to injury, Serena says she’s going to go dig up some leads, but says Beckett can’t come because "her people" won’t talk to cops. Unfortunately for Beckett, Castle is also not a cop, and goes with her. Darn.

Two to Tango

Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Castle and Serena at Dinner in Season 4, Episode 5: “Eye of the Beholder”

Castle and Serena saddle up at a bar and the flirtation is on overdrive! Er, it is until a shady (but rather attractive) rough guy walks up to Serena.

Apparently, Serena works her charm on a variety of men, since the modern-day greaser seems pretty into her, too (and jealous of Castle).

Meanwhile, Esposito’s checked into this Falco character. While his file is unbelievably thick, it doesn’t include any murders. Actually, Falco’s more of an “art hit man,” if you will, who jacks expensive pieces for other people. Genius!

At the very moment Beckett and Esposito realize they have a second avenue to find their killer, Mrs. McHugh, who owns "The Fist of Capitalism," shows up.

Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Esposito and Beckett in Season 4, Episode 5: “Eye of the Beholder”

Actually, technically she only owes half of it — the other half belongs to her estranged husband, who she thinks hired Falco to nab the sculpture to screw her over. We mean, it’s not such a bad idea ...

During questioning, Mr. McHugh is adamant that it’s a mix-up. He claims not to know Falco, and admits he only wanted his estranged wife — who he has lovingly dubbed the “bag of Botox” — to think he wanted "The Fist" so she would give him their Napa Valley vineyard.

And he just might be in the clear when Castle and Serena show up together (much to our dismay) with word that Falco was working with the museum’s director, Mr. Hayes, the victim — not Mr. McHugh.

Was Hayes really in on the robbery? We don’t know, but you betta believe we’re about to find out!

The New Girl

Everybody rushes off to do their thing. While this is usually the time when Castle would follow Beckett around like a puppy dog, spouting off ludicrous theories, this time he tries to weasel his way into Serena’s plans.

Unfortch, she says she’ll be doing “boring stuff like phone calls” and denies him. We think it’s probably just gonna make him want her more.

And can we just talk about that disgusted look on Beckett’s face when Serena coyly says she’ll see Castle around? Priceless! Finally thinking twice about denying that L-bomb, Kate?

Castle likes Serena so much that he even tells Martha about her! And it’s not just Castle gabbing about the new girl. Serena’s inside Beckett’s head, too, as evidenced by the scene in which she tells her therapist about the “cocky” biatch who’s raining on her Castle parade.

Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Serena in Season 4, Episode 5: “Eye of the Beholder”

When he asks her why it bothers her, Beckett still won’t admit her true feelings. But neither can Castle, who tells Martha he can’t ask out the sexy, smart, “Intriguing” Serena because it’s “complicated.” Oh, you two!

Later, the duo bump into each other and it totes feels like something’s changed. There’s an air of softness between them. Beckett tells Castle she’s surprised he’s not with his new lady love, and Castle asks if Beckett thinks he should pursue this whole Serena thing.

She responds with “suit yourself,” but we think they both know what they really means. (Read: You better not even think about getting close to that blonde skank if you ever wanna tap this!)

Beckett’s jelly with a capital J!

Lady in Red

We’re finding it hard to concentrate on the case with the Caskett tension burning up our small screens, but there’s still a "Fist of Capitalism" to be found!

Thanks to one observant restaurant hostess, the detectives realize the person they've been looking for has been under their nose the whole time.

Yup, Serena Kaye is an art thief! No wonder she knew all that stuff. Art report in Brussells ... yeahhh right.

So, Castle’s little flirtation with Serena — as annoying as it’s been to watch — turns out to work to the precinct’s advantage. While Castle’s wining and dining the shady art lady, Beckett and the crew ransack her hotel room.

However, Serena is either innocent or very good at hiding stuff, because her hotel room is clean as a whistle. Beckett becomes increasingly frustrated, and  Esposito calls her out on being jealous. We mean, it is pretty obvious.

Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Castle and Serena Kiss in Season 4, Episode 5: “Eye of the Beholder”

Meanwhile, Serena admits to Castle that she used to be a thief. Um, what? Actually, she calls herself an “art retriever,” because the pieces she stole were already taken from their rightful owners. A bit of a modern-day Robin Hood type, we guess.

But Serena might not be as innocent as we think. Just as Castle and Serena are about to walk into her hotel, Beckett finds an e-mail that pegs Serena as the thief, and Esposito discovers the “tools of the trade” In a suitcase.

But OH MY GOD! In an attempt to distract Serena from seeing Beckett and Esposito leaving her room, he plants a fat, juicy smooch right on her … at the very same second Beckett opens the hotel door.

“HEY!’ she yells. What was that? Beckett showing emotion?

But for real Castle, slipping Serena the tongue was totes not necessary. Ew.

To Catch a Thief

Back at the precinct, Beckett is still heated, especially when Castle tries to convince her Serena isn’t in on the crime. Can’t you see you’re being played, Castle? We can smell this girl’s guilt from a mile away. But we love how this little scene is totally like a lovers' quarrel.

Beckett won’t let Castle in the interrogation room while she’s hammering Serena, which is probably for the best. Even without Castle distracting the girls, Beckett can’t find anything solid on Serena.

Finally, it’s Serena who calls Beckett out on her “personal agenda.” Her alibi checks out, and she promises not to keep anymore secrets from the cops. Except that she does have just one more: She knows who Falco is.

... And so does Esposito. That hair gel in the vents at the gallery? It’s a special blend, made exclusively for the Wessex hotel, and there’s only one in the city. Buh-bam! Now that’s some sharp detective work.

Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Castle in Season 4, Episode 5: “Eye of the Beholder”

But William Holt, the man they think is Falco, doesn’t wanna open up to Caskett. Serena has an idea: She wants to sit down with him, a little tit-for-tat from one thief to another.

Luckily, Serena does get "Falco" to talk and he admits he disabled the museum’s alarms, but swears up and down he didn’t kill the guy.

But thanks to the info, Castle, Beckett and Serena come up with a theory that actually sticks. These three actually work surprisingly well together...

Finally, after the trio find "The Fist" in a sculpture inside the gallery, they discover it was Mrs. McHugh, who not only hired Holt to steal the art, but also pushed Mr. Hayes into the spike sculpture that took his life.

Case solved!

But it’s what happens in the final moments of the episode that really matters. Beckett seems to have come to terms with Castle and Serena’s little fling, and even talks him up to her, telling her how he believed in her innocence the entire time.

After Castle shows up with coffee for his two leading ladies, Beckett walks away, leaving Serena and Castle alone, but Serena doesn’t invite him back to her room.

As she says, she “doesn’t take things that belong to someone else.” Cue the collective sigh.

 

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