THIS EPISODE IN CASTLE HISTORY: HABEAS CORPSE – MARCH 30

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Castle starts with a guy running and being chased by a car. He hits a fence and the car stops just short of running him down. He asks the guy to stop. Alexis studies with Kate for her final then runs out for her test. She says Alexis has an amazing brain and could be an incredible lawyer. Castle says he loses enough arguments to his daughter. Castle says Kate would have made a good lawyer too. They get a murder call and have to stop their kissy face games.

Castle is grilling Ryan and Espo on their number for the policeman’s event. Castle says he and Kate could kill the but he’s not allowed to participate. Ryan says it’s a John Doe with blunt force trauma and Lanie says it’s about 1ish for death. Kate says he’s the personal injury attorney with the late night ads. Richie the pitbull Falco. Castle asks why anyone would want to kill the pitbull. Kate and Castle head to his office. His ad says he’ll make the law your bitch.

They find a lobby full of likely customers. Pitbull’s assistant Annie comes out and they pull her aside. She says he’s been acting anxious and paranoid checking windows then called out yesterday. They ask about problems with anyone. She says he had no girlfriend but she kept hoping he’d like her. She says Richie really cared about the law and his clients loved him. She says he won some big settlements but nothing that would have someone wanting to kill him.

They ask her why he would have been in Hamilton Heights and she says St Simons Hospital was up there and he would do rounds of the ER looking for clients. Lanie says pitbull had been in the country and it’s a specific pollen not found in the city. She also shows them some taser marks on him and they go tell Kate he was tortured an hour before his death. They wonder if it’s a case or personal. Kate says nothing jumped out at her. They wonder where he went.

Gates calls Castle over and says the talent competition is Friday and says their celebrity for this year was Kimmel but he had to drop out. She asks him and he says it would get them some goodwill and Castle says he wants to compete for the trophy with Kate. Gates agrees and Javi says he has no shot at winning. Kate is in a panic. Javi says he and Ryan have been rehearsing for months. Kate pulls him away to talk and says he should have asked her first.

He says they’ll just do their shower routine. She says that’s two naked people in the water. Ryan says the pitbull was not alone at the hospital last night. He shows security footage of a car pulling up to talk to him. The driver gets out and shoves him in the car then drives off. Derek Bolt was the driver – he’s an ex-NFL MVP. They find Bolt and asks for a word. He runs like the expert that he is but Javi takes him down and says he just got benched.

Kate comes in and Bolt asks why he’s there. Ryan asks why he ran and he says he didn’t know they were cops and says he thought they were collection agents. They ask him about the lawsuit from last year and he asks why they’re asking about pitbull. She says the large judgment sent him into bankruptcy and then he was being shoved into the Bolt-mobile. Bolt says he went to hire him. Kate asks why he wasn’t on the client list.

He says it’s a paternity thing he was doing off the books. He says they were supposed to meet up with his baby mama then Richie didn’t show so they talked and pitbull said he had urgent business about settling a debt. He says he gave him a ride to a diner because pitbull said someone’s life depended on it. Kate wonders why he missed work. Espo comes in with a sprained ankle from the tackle and Castle says he thinks he’ll be out of the talen competition but Javi says it’s still on.

He asks Castle to wager on it. He says he will dedicate his next book to them saying they’re better than him in every way if they win. Javi says if he and Kate win, they’ll call him King Castle for a month. Ryan and Kate don’t want to bet. Javi calls her a chicken and makes a chicken noise. Castle says he will also accept Your Royal Highess and calls Javi “gimpy.” Javy says pitbull called his ex-wife Elise Resner. She says she hadn’t heard from him in years.

She says they met working corporate law and says he went to Harvard but then couldn’t take the stress and started drinking and doing drugs then got fired. Javi comes to get Kate and they go to pitbull’s office. Annie says Richie’s computer and case files are gone. They wonder if it’s a client or witness and Javi says maybe he was hiding it from Annie too. Kate takes a call from Ryan who says he went to the diner and the waitress says he was shouting with another guy.

Ryan send her photo of Archie Bronstein – the Savannah Hammer. Annie says they were always stealing clients from each other. She says Archie threatened him over it. They find the hammer in an ER. He says he did meet with pitbull and says he just ran into him there. He says pitbull was alone and they got into it over client poaching. Kate asks why he wanted the client and Archie says it’s an easy win and takes them to the patient who got scrap metal in her heart from a car accident.

He says he didn’t kill him or steal his files but could have to do with pitbull’s extracurricular activities. He says Richie liked to look innocent but was into bad things and word on the street was he would do anything for a price. Hammer has a solid alibi. Ryan wonders why they turned the office upside down if they were just looking for files. The CSU shows them a false panel they found and what looks like a kidnap kit complete with chloroform. They also found activated glow sticks showing it was recently used.

They wonder who pitbull knocked out. They also found wiring schematics and wire cutters. They agree to dig into B&Es. They find a list of cities and dates all over the country, all within the last five years. Kate says to get Tori to run the list through a database. Ryan finds a label on the night vision goggles that says Sampson Investigations. They go see Sampson and says he does PI work for pitbull and says he borrowed the goggles. He says he also asked him about alarm schematics.

He’s shocked to hear they found chloroform. He says pitbull asked the best way to get rid of a body and he thought he was joking. They wonder who he might have killed. They wonder where Ryan and Espo are and Gates says investigation. There’s a guard outside and says he can’t let them in. They see that Ryan and Espo are rehearsing. They turn on the speakers and listen. Castle says Espo was sandbagging and she says he suckered him into a bet.

Castle says now they have to win and she asks with what – their shower number. Tori comes to get them and says pitbull was an hour north of the city when he called his ex. She says she found him in Montrose State Forest at a trailhead. They head up there to look for a body. Kate says this is a long shot like them winning the competition. He says it’s no big deal and will be fun but she says those knuckleheads were good. She says she needs to be taken seriously.

Castle says they can do something elegant. Castle spots the yellow pollen flower Lanie mentioned then sees fresh dirt. They dig. Castle says she doesn’t need to be worried. She says it will be a disaster no matter what and says it will turn into a viral video and ruin her career. She says that’s why Gates doesn’t get up there and have fun. She hits something solid and they uncover a body bag. They wrestle it out and unroll it. Then there’s someone there with a gun who tells them to step away from the body. Castle says they may have just dug their own grave.

Kate and Castle are tied up in the woods. They wonder what the guy with the gun is doing but Kate says he’s gone. They get up and see that the guy stole the body. They wonder if he’s partners with Richie. The guy took their keys and phone. They try to break their zip ties. He finally snaps his and she gets hers too. They report back and Kate says to send CSUs up to the park. Ryan says they haven’t found a link to any break ins or missing persons to pitbull.

Espo is still limping and Castle says he saw them rehearsing. Kate says this is about a good cause but the guys all make it clear it’s about winning. She and Castle work on a dance number. Martha coaches and applauds them. Castle gets excited and goes to raise the stakes on the bet. Kate tells Martha that she has horrible stage fright. She says she gets heart palpitations. Martha asks why Rick would sign her up and she says he doesn’t know. She doesn’t want to let him down.

Espo comes up on them and asks to up the bet again. Gates comes in and says all bets are off because Kimmel is back in. Kate is relieved but Castle says they rehearsed and everything. Ryan says they found motion sensor wildlife cameras and found Mike Sampson was there. The PI took the body. They roll up and scoop him up. Kate asks where the body is and he plays dumb. They check his car and find the body bag. Kate asks who’s in it. He says nothing. Castle checks and sees it’s a crash dummy.

Kate says Sampson won’t talk about any of it. Castle asks why one would bury it and the other would steal it. Ryan says they also found the missing files in Sampson’s apartment shredded. They ask Lanie to look at the dummy and tell them what’s special. Lanie says it’s been murdered. She says there were made small metal projectiles. She says a lot of places use these. Castle says it’s the lady from the hospital – Hammer’s client. They go see her.

Jody, the patient, says it was a salvage truck and says the paramedics told her she almost died. She says pitbull kept asking her a ton of questions. Castle asks what car she was driving. She says pitbull and Hammer both asked that and so did a woman who said she was from her insurance company. They found out she was driving a Modesto Sedan. Javi says the dates had Modesto accidents with metal shards in the chest but they were attributed to other causes.

Kate says it must be defects in the air bag and the auto maker was covering it up. Javi says pitbull handled Modesto at the big law firm. Javi says pitbull’s conscience was troubling him and he wanted to make it right and expose the company. The crash test dummy was what he stole from Modesto. Kate says Modesto would be liable for hundreds of millions in damages. Ryan says they got the sketch back – the ex wife was the one who was at the hospital and is representing Modesto now.

They bring Elise back in and she plays dumb. They tell her they know about the defect and think Richie tried to warn her. She says she didn’t kill her ex husband and says there is no defect or or cover up. They tell her that Richie broke into a Modesto facility and stole the crash test dummy. She plays dumb and they show her the dummy. She says if the dummy was illegally obtained, they want it back. Then Kate says they know she hired Sampson and will connect him to Modesto.

She says they have in-house investigators and wouldn’t trust a sensitive task to an outsider. She says she saw Sampson talking to someone outside St Simons – it was the Hammer. Castle and Kate show up at Hammer’s commercial shoot and he tells them to wait outside. Kate says Sampson gave him up and he plays dumb too. He says it’s crazy and he didn’t pay Sampson to steal the dummy. Kate says the alibi recanted when she found out it was about murder.

They also found forensics in his trunk. Kate says it’s over and they slap cuffs on him. Hammer says that dummy was a gold mine but pitbull just wanted justice. Catsle says it’s slammer time. Kate and Castle show up and Javi and Ryan says they missed the competition. He asks if they won. They show off their trophy and they all applaud. Javi and Ryan ask about the book dedication bet. Castle says they never got to square off. Castle says they would have kicked their asses.

They agree to go head to head and let the precinct decide. They call Castle a chicken but he walks away. Kate asks if he knows and says that’s why they got pulled. She says he must have called Kimmel to get him to come and get them out of it. She asks why he would do that and he says she should have just told him. She asks if he’s disappointed and he says she’s the only audience he cares about. Later, Kate and Castle sing in the shower.

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