Tonight’s mystery begins with the death of internet celebrity Abby Smith who is found with multiple circular stab wounds. As if that weren’t creepy enough they discover the killer sent a picture to her phone shortly before her death proving he was watching her. Shortly afterward, pictures of Abby’s corpse are posted on a social media website called Snappamatic (which seems to be a vague combination of Blogspot and Instagram) by a user named Netslayer.
When Castle and Beckett visit the headquarters of Snappamatic in the hopes of tracing Netslayer’s account, they generally prove to be pretty unhelpful. They tell Beckett that part of their website’s promotion is privacy and because of that they only require a working e-mail address to start an account and Netslayer’s e-mail has already been shut down. They offer to terminate Netslayer’s page but Castle and Beckett tell them not to since the killer’s Snappamatic page is the only real lead they have on him. Before they leave however, Snappamatic’s tech support is able to get coordinates from where one of Abby’s photos was posted from.
The coordinates are traced back to an address owned by ex-cop Bill Garrett who had worked in the Cyber Division until he had a nervous breakdown a few years back. They quickly arrest Garrett and all the evidence seems to point to him being the killer especially after he admits to having no alibi at the time of Abby’s murder. However, while Garrett is in custody Netslayer has posted a picture of Garrett being led away in handcuffs and Netslayer brags that they arrested the wrong guy. To further taunt the police, he posts three pictures as clues to who he will attack next.
Killer’s Next Target
Thanks to tech and Castle’s seemingly unlimited knowledge of the tabloids, they deduce that the next target is a socialite named Tatiana Fisher who has made has made herself famous by posting pictures on Snappamatic bragging about how rich she is. When they try to warn Tatiana about being targeted by Netslayer she quite stupidly ignores them saying she has a party to get to instead. She isn’t worried about possibly being targeted by a serial killer thanks to her oh so irrefutable logic of and I’m quoting here “That’s insane, he wouldn’t dare.” Despite that airtight argument, she’s quickly proven wrong when five seconds later she finds her boyfriend Cam Magani dead in his car (How did no one notice that? There was a squad car literally ten feet away).
To make things worse for the cops, Netslayer has posted a picture of Castle and Beckett sharing a coffee before the entering Abby’s crime scene indicating a lackadaisical attitude with the investigation. This causes enough damage that even the higher ups are questioning Beckett’s dedication to the case. This gives Castle idea that maybe Netslayer was a victim of social media and that the killer might be someone from one of Garrett’s old cases.
Meanwhile, Ryan discovers that Netslayer was able to make copies of his victim’s keys with a 3D printer and with that information are finally able to get a picture of the killer’s face. They show the picture to Garrett and he identifies the killer as Adam Lane. Garrett says that Lane had been victim of cyber-bullying six years ago and because of the weak laws surrounding cyber-bullying at the time, no one was ever charged. They are able to find Lane at his mother’s old apartment and quickly arrest him. Unfortunately, Lane isn’t done yet and it’s been revealed that he kidnapped the two guys running Snappamatic (Oren and Kent Nelson) and tied them both to electrical chairs in an unknown location. He has apparently rigged a live feed to Snappamatic and whichever person gets less likes from their followers will die though Beckett figures he’s going kill them both regardless of the outcome.
With no way to trace the location of Oren and Kent the only hope is for Beckett to get the location out of Lane. For the first few minutes she tries reasoning with him but Lane is unfazed because he’s already got what he wants which is notoriety.
Beckett tries a different tactic and tells Lane that this whole rampage basically proves that his classmates were right to think he was a psychotic loser and that no matter what happens people will always see him as a joke. This angers Lane enough that he lets slip where he hid his victims and Ryan and Esposito are able to save them at literally the last second (quote Galaxy Quest “It always stops at one second on the show”).
Castle Goes Viral
In keeping with the social media theme for this episode, Castle has been shooting a commercial for his new book, except Castle is quick to correct that it’s actually a web-mercial. Castle shows the video to Beckett, Martha and Alexis expecting a conventional commercial not unlike the ones made by James Patterson. Instead we are treated to an auto-tuned video made from the Castle’s numerous outtakes. The women get a good laugh out of this but frankly I’ve got to say that it’s not nearly as funny as they think it is. Regardless, Beckett immediately watches it again.
I’ve got to say I was worried this was going to be another 3XK case. On the surface there appeared to be a lot of elements of his usual MO (gruesome crimes scenes, targeting cops, framing others for the crime, etc.). Thankfully, I was proven wrong though I’m still sure he’s going to make at least one appearance this season and I’m truly dreading having to sit through that episode. Even so, this is still the best episode they’ve done this season. That may not be saying much but there are still some good moments here with my personal favorite being Beckett’s final interrogation.
Castle will be a taking a short break but when we return on November 10th, Castle and Beckett will finally tie the knot. See you in two weeks.