Credit: Karen Neal/ABC Photo: Beckett and Castle in Episode 3.19, "Law & Murder"

The show opens with a murder trial. Career criminal Otis Williams hasn’t been convicted of killing heiress Lyla Addison just yet, but considering he was found in Addison’s car with her blood on his clothes, it seems like he might be, let’s say, the opposite of innocent. While the D.A. is making his remarks, Joe McUsic (Juror #7) starts seizing and drops dead. The judge declares a mistrial and Lanie determines...

It Was the Old Cyanide in the Coffee Routine: Joe died 15 minutes after he ingested the poison, which might have been put in a cup of coffee he drank at the courthouse. The team tries to figure out if Williams had an accomplice who poisoned the drink, but of course, a few other people are thrown in the mix first. Joe’s brother, Eddie,  says that Joe was a troubled youth, but had been running a halfway house at the time of his death. An obnoxious juror named Tony Muller is also brought in for questioning. Tony disappeared after Joe’s murder, but explains he feared for his life after being confronted in the courthouse bathroom by a “big, scary black guy” who turns out to be Wardell Williams, Otis Williams’ cousin. Ryan spots Wardell with Joe at the coffee machine on courthouse surveillance footage. Wardell has a few questions for Castle and Beckett during his own interrogation. Don’t they think it’s strange that D.A. Lou Karnacki, who’s running for mayor, is handling the Addison case? And that maybe he and his cousin Otis are being framed so Karnacki can show off for voters? Wardell might be onto something, because Joe’s coffee cup test results reveal that...

It Wasn’t the Old Cyanide in the Coffee Routine: Joe was poisoned with a time release capsule. He was on lupus medication, so the killer probably switched out the contents of the pill. This development screws up the murder timeline entirely, and it looks like Joe was poisoned before he even got to the courthouse. Oops. While Ryan and Esposito are poking around Joe’s apartment for evidence, Hank Roszell jumps out of the closet like a ninja. He used to be a resident of Joe’s halfway house, but was recently living in Joe’s regular house and running a few suspicious errands for him, including dropping off $2,000 to the court clerk, who says...  

Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC Photo: The Juror Victim Struggles to Live in Episode 3.19, "Law & Murder"

“I Did It, I Did It, I Did It!”: Joe paid the court clerk to put him in the jury pool for Otis Williams’ trial. She needed rent money, so no big deal, right? The clerk hilariously begs not to be sent to prison, as she will end up “some lifer’s bitch before breakfast.” Anyway, why did Joe want to be on the jury so badly? Lyla Addison’s parents and her brother Stephen are brought into the station — Lou Karnacki in tow — and none of them claim to have any connection to Joe outside the courtroom. Karnacki demands that this murder be solved, and thank goodness he said something, because otherwise everyone would’ve just gone home. Montgomery mentions that this is the first time the D.A.’s ever stopped by the 12th Precinct. Fishy, much? As they’re trying to figure out Joe’s connection to this case, Ryan discovers that the victim recently purchased a burner phone. Odd. Then, using a magnifying app, Castle spots Joe in a photo from Lyla’s crime scene. Is he both the victim and the killer? Uh...

Nope, Something More Nefarious Is Going On: Joe was at a fundraiser the night Lyla died. Okay, then. But Joe was using that burner phone to call the D.A.’s office. Beckett and Castle interview Karnacki’s administrative assistant, who says she took several anonymous phone calls about the Otis Williams trial, but never put them through to the Karnacki. The guy on the line (Joe) claimed he had evidence that would exonerate Williams and was planning to mail it to the office. Beckett points out that one late night call to the office lasted ten minutes, but the assistant says she normally clocks out by 7. Karnacki storms in at this point and demands that they never interview one of his people again without his permission. He denies ever speaking to Joe and throws around his power in front of Montgomery before he storms (yes, more storming) out. On the outside chance we don’t get it, Castle says, “He’s hiding something.” And what he’s hiding is...

Mostly Political Nonsense: So, Castle speculates (correctly) that Lyla’s parents, Karnacki’s biggest campaign contributors, asked the D.A. to personally handle the case and put the murderer away quickly. He agreed since Otis Williams seemed like a lock. But when Joe started calling about exonerating evidence, he got nervous. This still doesn’t explain (sigh) why Joe paid to be on the jury. Castle and Beckett decide to bring in...

Credit: Tv Fanatic Photo: Montgomery Law and Murder Still

Otis Williams and His Good Memory: Beckett tells Otis that Joe was trying to get him acquitted in the Addison case, and  she might be able to prove his innocence if he can remember any small details from the night of the murder. Otis says that when he got in Lyla’s abandoned car, he had to bring the seat forward, indicating someone much taller than Lyla had been driving.  Also indicating Otis needs a lawyer who would have thought of this in the first place. So, whose fingerprints could possibly be on the seat control buttons? You’ve got to be kidding...

It’s Joe’s Brother Eddie. Sort Of: Lyla Addison was a silent partner at the bar where Eddie worked. She and her brother Stephen made Eddie come with them on a drug run, which is why he was in the driver’s seat and why his fingerprints were on the controls. Stephen was playing around with a gun, because that’s what rich people do sometimes, and he accidentally shot his sister. Eddie helped hide the evidence after Stephen threatened him. Eddie guesses (correctly) that Stephen also killed Joe, because Eddie spilled everything to his brother that same night. In addition to getting on the jury, Joe retrieved Stephen’s bloody clothes from the dumpster to send to...

The Drunken D.A.: Montgomery goes to visit his old chum who’s hitting the bottle pretty hard. The Captain asks him to hand over the incriminating evidence, and Karnacki begs him to just forget about the whole thing so he can become mayor and make Monty the police commissioner! Monty refuses, of course, and he also taped the whole convo, so yeah. Anyway...

The Alexis and Beckett Angle: At the beginning of the ep, Castle asked Alexis to go see Forbidden Planet with him, but she was too busy paying for things her friends shoplifted in Brooklyn. Really. They fight about it and everything. At the end of the ep, Beckett mentions that she’s running off to see Forbidden Planet herself, and Castle pretends to never have seen it to score an invite, which works. What’s up now, Josh?

 

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Credit: Hulu Photo: Castle Season 3, Episode 19: "Law & Murder" Full Episode