Castle 4-17: Once Upon a Crime

While Castle seems to have more serious episodes than it used to these days, you can pretty much count on them having lighter episodes on either side of the more dramatic ones. That was certainly the case last night.

It also felt like they were trying make up for the fact that Once Upon a Time wasn’t on Sunday night in favor of the Oscars since the murders had a fairy tale theme.

It all starts with a woman in a red cape running through the woods. When she trips, she throws her hands up to protect herself from an attacker of some kind.

When she is found the next morning, her face has scratches on it, and Castle immediately makes the connection to Red Riding Hood. He’s not the only one as Ryan and Esposito both go there as well. But Beckett is not convinced and wants to look for a human killer. They start by interviewing the victim’s sister and brother-in-law who say she was very driven in her job as a lawyer and they talked to her every day until last Friday.

That’s when Castle actually comes up with a serious theory. Maybe she is part of the underground movement where people get together to reenact fairy tales and someone from that world took things too far. That’s when we got the exchange of the night:

Beckett: That is a surprisingly reasonable and grounded theory.
Castle: Yeah. Frankly, I’m a little bit disappointed in myself.

Before they can pursue that angle, victim number 2 is found. This one is posed like Snow White complete with a bright red apple in her hand and part of the famous description written on her body. Naturally, they start trying to make connections between the two victims, but none of their family seems to think they know each other.

But they are able to track the costumes to a mail order company. Three were ordered, so the killer is planning on one more victim – Sleeping Beauty. They rush to the apartment where the costumes were delivered and break down the door only to find a place filled with dolls and an elderly woman living there who couldn’t get to the door in time. They interview her, but find that she has no idea what the costumes might be for. After all, she wouldn’t waste her money like that.

Both of the victims have withdrawn $50,605 from their bank accounts before they died. Castle and Beckett do a search for that amount and find the third victim. They rush to her apartment and find her lying on her bed. But she’s still alive, so they rush her to the hospital.

While searching the third victim’s apartment, they find a photo of the three victims together with a fourth person – a guy. On the back of the photo is a verse that implies the trio of ladies is guilty of something. Through some digging and Sleeping Beauty’s confession, they learn that the three victims used to be friends until 05/06/05 when they went to a rave with the guy in the picture. As they started to leave, he started to freak out because of the drugs he’d taken, so they left him on the side of the road. The next morning, they learned he was the victim of a hit and run. They vowed to keep quiet, but someone obviously found out about their silence.

Now here’s a coincidence. The brother-in-law of the first victim also happened to be the brother of the guy who died in the car crash 7 years ago. Cue the final commercial break.

See, there’s just one problem with this discovery, however. They have time for another twist, so you know the brother is not the killer. And sure enough, he confesses to the blackmail, but he denies killing either of the women and trying to kill the third.

No one is buying it until Castle realizes that the bow on Sleeping Beauty’s dress was wrong. Almost like someone else tied it. Or maybe the person who put it on tied it behind her back while she tied the other ones on someone else.

Yep, the killer is the third member of the trio and the person who appeared to be the third victim. She was driving the car when they let the guy off seven years ago and she actually was the one who ran over him and killed him. She was afraid that with all this coming up again, one of the others would spill the beans, so she killed them to keep them quiet. Or at least that’s the assumption. She won’t admit to that, but her bravado crumbles when Beckett makes the connection between where she works and the woman whose address was used as the delivery point for the costumes.

I’ve got to say this was actually a pretty well done mystery. The trail was very logical, and I didn’t feel like the killer was completely out of left field like it is sometimes. Of course, the part where these friends stopped seeing each other seven years ago and no one questioned why didn’t quite ring true to me. And I get why Snow White’s husband didn’t know about these friends, but it seems like if they’d asked Red Riding Hood’s family about any connection with Snow White, someone would have known who she was. Maybe they weren’t really that close before the accident? Anyway, that was a minor plot hole for me.

In sub-plot news, it was mentioned that Alexis is still interning with Lanie, although we didn’t see her there this week. And Castle freaked out when Martha started working on a one woman show about her life – the highly fictional version of her life since it seems like none of it was true. Frankly, I don’t blame him considering some of the things she was claiming.

All told, it was a fun episode. Several laughs and a decently plotted mystery. What did you think?

Now we have to wait several weeks for the next new episode. Best I can tell, it will be back March 19th, but I’m not completely sure about that. Their normal pattern is to have a new episode the night Dancing with the Stars premiers, so that certainly makes sense.

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