The victim this week is named Lance DeLorca, who had been a famous action movie star in 80s and a boyhood idol of Castle. Lance was found outside a movie theater screening of one of his old movies strangled to death with a thin wire. Castle is surprised that someone was able to kill Lance this way since before becoming a movie star, he was allegedly a Spanish Intelligence operative. Castle also tells the detectives that after Lance’s glory days had ended, he experienced some drug problems and recently recovered from Leukemia. Beckett talks to Lance’s next-of-kin, his estranged wife Kat Kingsley, who also has a background in 80s action movies. She tells Beckett that Lance had been in town shooting a movie called The Indestructibles with his friend Brock Harmon (played by Stan Gable himself Ted McGinley).
At the movie set of The Indestructibles, Beckett and a star-struck Castle ask Brock and his wife Naomi if they knew whether or not Lance might have been in some trouble. Brock tells them that he was just as surprised as everyone else, saying that Lance had been clean and sober since beating his cancer. He was even more surprised to find out that Lance was still in New York since he had finished shooting his part in the movie a week ago. When Beckett tells Brock about how Lance died, he says that during Lance’s days as a Spanish Intelligence assassin, his M.O. was to strangle people with a wire. This of course leads a downright giddy Castle to believe that Lance’s spy past came back to haunt him. Captain Gates lends some slight credibility to Castle’s theory by informing Beckett that Lance’s phone records show that he had called an Interpol agent named Enrique Gomez the day he died.
Ryan and Esposito find out that Lance had been staying in a cheap motel room and when they look through the contents of the room, they find some building schematics, some tools that indicate he had been building some kind of listening device and the phone number for Brock’s son Trey. When Ryan asks Trey why Lance had called him, he says that Lance had asked him about the New York club scene due to his job as a club promoter. He claims that he didn’t tell him much however, since he didn’t want to risk causing Lance relapsing into his drug habit. Back at the precinct, security camera footage shows that Lance had been followed by a woman wearing a disguise.
When Castle and Beckett are finally able to interview Enrique Gomez, he says that he and Lance were childhood friends and that Lance had asked him to help find a bodyguard but he couldn’t find one for Lance on such short notice. He then tells Beckett and a heartbroken Castle that Lance had never served in Spanish Intelligence and merely used Gomez’s backstory to make him sound more interesting. Meanwhile, tech is able to identify the mystery woman in the camera footage as Lance’s soon-to-be-ex-wife Kat Kingsley.
When Beckett confronts Kat with the video evidence and her contentious divorce with Lance, Kat claims that Lance had asked her to meet with him. She said that Lance needed $200,000 in cash and in exchange he signed over his half of their $8 million house. Beckett is skeptical, but the evidence, including a promissory note, checks out. The next day, Esposito shows the detectives some additional security camera footage of Lance being cornered by several thugs. To everyone’s surprise (including Castle), Lance beats them all singlehandedly and walks away (lucky for Lance the thugs all attacked one at a time).
Esposito checks with nearby hospitals to see if any of the thugs from Lance’s video turned up and finds one guy who had been admitted with a possible broken jaw and when he shows a picture, Ryan recognizes him as an Indestructibles extra. When Ryan and Esposito question the extra, he says that Lance hired him to be a bodyguard. He tells them that Lance had a briefcase with him for a meeting at a nightclub and he wanted some backup. He doesn’t know what the meeting was about but says that it ended quickly. Shortly after the meeting had begun, a bunch of security guys (presumably the ones in the video) accuse Lance of wearing a wire and took them both outside for a beat down. Back at the station, Beckett finds out from Narcotics that the nightclub is a major hub for drug trafficking and that the club is owned by a co-star from one of Lance’s movies, Henry Allen Boothe. According to Castle, Boothe had been best known for playing drug dealers (including his movie with Lance) before he quit acting and become a drug kingpin.
When Castle and Beckett question Boothe at his club, he unsurprisingly denies everything and tells them to leave. However, during the interview, Beckett notices a collection of slot cars in Boothe’s office and in particular a blue Shelby Cobra. She figures out that Lance built a replica, put a listening device inside it and switched it out with the real one so he could bug Boothe’s office.
We Swear This Isn’t The Expendables
After Castle and Beckett tell Brock about the bug in Boothe’s office (why did they tell him this exactly?), he asks Castle if he would like to go out for some drinks with him and his Indestructibles co-stars which has Castle so excited he becomes catatonic for about ten seconds. In reality however, Brock and his co-stars want to sneak into the club to swipe Lance’s bug and need Castle to navigate the club. Castle is reluctant but eventually agrees. Despite the entire operation being ridiculously conspicuous, Brock’s plan actually works and Castle turns the bug over to Beckett.
After listening to the bug, they find out that Brock’s son, Trey, has been involved with Boothe’s drug trafficking. Trey says that he didn’t find out about the drugs until it was too late and the only way Boothe would let him go was if he payed him $200,000. As it turns out, Lance tried to use the $200,000 he got from his wife to buy Trey’s freedom despite Trey’s strenuous objections. They also confront Trey with some audio of Boothe calling Trey and ordering him to “take care” of Lance. Trey denies killing him and says that he called his mom to tell her what happened. He says that she told him to lay low and she would call a lawyer. When Castle asks Trey why Lance would go through all this trouble to bail him out, Trey says that he doesn’t know but that Lance said he wanted to tell him a few things after it was all over.
After some extra digging from the detectives, they find out that Lance was Trey’s biological father and that Naomi killed Lance to prevent Brock from finding out. Shortly after Naomi is arrested, Captain Gates informs Castle and Beckett that Trey came forward to testify against Boothe after finding out about Lance.
Throughout the episode, Beckett has been taking one last step to settle into her new married life with Castle; moving out of her old apartment. Castle takes a couple of jabs about the place and admits he never really liked it much which slightly upsets Beckett. She admits to Lanie that she has more sentimental feelings for it than she realized. After the case is over, Beckett returns to her now empty apartment to take one last look at the place
I said a couple of weeks ago during the show’s Old West episode that the show had been missing some of the fun it has become known for. Another thing we haven’t seen lately is Castle’s inner child which this outing thankfully brought back with a vengeance. This episode was by no means perfect, with the whole heist angle from the action stars being particularly ridiculous and some of thinly veiled parodies are a little too on the nose. Nonetheless, this was the most fun I had watching Castle this season. Tune in next week for Castle’s Christmas episode Bad Santa.