Castle recap: Donna Kauffman gets Carrie’d away

Castle was a delinquent in prep school? Come on, Beckett, you can't be THAT surprised.

We open with two Heathers in the back of a taxi, talking to the third member of their little Mean Girl Triumvirate via cell phone, when Heather No. 3 is startled by a trophy falling off the wall behind her, then gets up to check out a strange noise. The taxi Heathers then watch as their bestie is suddenly sucked straight up to the ceiling, then body slammed straight back to the floor like a special effect out of an Iron Man movie and … End of call.

Um. OK.

Cut to the Castle boudoir (and me smiling) as he puts on a little night music. Not to seduce Beckett, as she assumes, but so they can listen to a stack of demo CDs and figure out which of his five wedding band finalists will get their gig. Only Beckett is completely over having a cheesy wedding band. She wants a DJ who’ll play the actual Sinatra version of Witchcraft, and not some hopeless cover. Castle is all, “Um, why would we be dancing our first dance to Witchcraft?” And Beckett is all, “Because it’s our song. Has been since we sang it at karaoke the weekend in the Hamptons.” You know the weekend. When they went from working partners to partners partners. The problem is, Castle thinks their song is the Boss’ Dancing in the Dark, from the night he had Bruce pull her onstage Courteney Cox-style. Which has them both looking at each other in “do we not have a song?” Panic. The phone rings, prompting Beckett to say, “Yes, and they’re playing it now.” Truer words! Only not much of a beat and it’s hard to dance to, so I give it a 55. (Seriously, don’t even think about writing me and asking what that means. Google Dick Clark. And American Bandstand. Then thank me later. You can look up the ’80s cult classic Heathers while you’re at it, but you probably won’t thank me for that.).

Cut to the crime scene in Heather No. 3’s bedroom, where Castle discovers that Dead Heather and he went to the same prep school. Given the way she is positioned, they assume there was a struggle, despite there being nothing missing or otherwise damaged. Then Castle notices the blood splattered on the cross beam on the ceiling. Laney (yay!) Confirms that it is Dead Heather’s blood, which means that someone threw her against the ceiling? But that can’t be, Castle says, and Beckett sighs. “Let’s hear it, what is your outlandish theory?” He gives her the isn’t-it-obvious? Look. “Madison made the Hulk angry.” Which, to be honest, is kind of what it looked like.

Ryan clues us in that it was the cabbie who contacted the police, but is unclear on how he knew about the crime and the location. While they track down the cabbie, we cut to Espo, who is doing the obligatory talk-with-parents scene, and Mama Heather points the finger at Dead Daughter Heather’s ex-boyfriend, who didn’t take the ex part very well. He also happens to be 6-2 and 210 pounds. Hulk-ish, at any rate. Of course, we at home know what we saw and there didn’t appear to be anyone actually in the room with her. It was like she was sucked up by some external force. But because Castle and Beckett don’t know that, we go talk to the ex-boy toy anyway.

Turns out the ex wasn’t the ex, Heather was. He ended it because she was going out at all hours and he assumed she was seeing someone behind his back. His new gf is his alibi, so Beckett gets Ryan and Espo to dig into Dead Heather’s phone records to see what’s been going on with her. The cabbie has been found and reveals it was Heather One and Heather Two who got him to call 911 after witnessing the murder on their FaceTime chat.

In their interview at the school, the girls reveal they had the cabbie call because they were afraid whoever turned Heather Three into Dead Heather might be after them next. They didn’t see who killed her, but start to reveal something that happened at the school cafeteria the week before, only Heather One stops and says Castle and Beckett will need to ask the school principal as they were asked not to speak of it.

So, we all troop to the principal’s office, which was a familiar stomping ground for Castle when he attended the academy. As it happens, he was expelled his senior year by the very same principal (it involved a cow, a lot of flights of steps, and a crane … Long story) and time has not softened up the old guy where his recalcitrant former student is concerned. With a barely repressed smile from Beckett, they all head into his office. We find out that Richard Castle was Richard Rogers back in those days, and the principal isn’t the least bit impressed by what he’s made of himself. He shows them the video, filmed on the phone of one of the students, of the event in question.

It shows the Heatherettes bullying a girl in the lunchroom, and when they pass her by, she holds out her hands, and suddenly tables are shoving toward the girls, chairs and trays are flying, then cue back to the bullied girl who stares at her hands in shock.

Oooh! This is getting good! Castle sums up the situation with, “This is a real-life Carrie.” True! And ack! That was the first scary movie I ever went to. I’m still scarred. Cue the music! Plunging pen! Me having terrifying Carrie flashbacks!

Castle thinks it’s telekinesis and Beckett is convinced it’s some kind of hoax and asks to speak to Carrie — er, Jordan, the bullied girl, directly. While they wait Castle, is all, “I can’t wait to tell Stephen.” Beckett goes, “Stephen?” And Castle replies. “King. He won’t believe this. A real-live Carrie.” Heh. Turns out, Jordan’s not in school. She left after hearing the cops were at the school.

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Cut to the precinct where Espo is talking to Jordan’s aunt, who took Jordan in after her parents died in a car wreck. She claims not to know anything about the bullying that was going on, and reveals Jordan was out the previous night until past 11, but given she works two jobs, she doesn’t know where Jordan went. Time-of-death window was between eight and 10, so Jordan is a suspect. Auntie reveals that Jordan worked hard to get a scholarship to the prep school without any help and wouldn’t throw it away committing a murder.

Espo finds stacks of comic books in Jordan’s room and shrugs it off as just being into X-Men, to which Ryan replies, “Yeah … Because she’s one of them.” Badda bing! Add to that a stack of books on telekinesis and a copy of Carrie (seriously, I will never sleep tonight) along with a photo of Dead Heather with her eyes scratched out.

Auntie says her niece’s fascination started just a few weeks prior, that she didn’t have a lot of friends (shock!) And spent most of her time on her computer, which is where Ryan and Espo go next. (I’m surprised it took that long.) In the meantime, Castle and Beckett track down the only kid Auntie knew who was connected to her niece. They find him making signs for the school prom. We learn that Castle was expelled just before his prom and that Beckett never went to hers either. (Foreshadowing??) From Cute Poster Painting Boy we learn nothing new except he is no fan of the Heathers and that he went after Jordan when she left the campus and saw her entering the subway.

Back at the precinct, our resident techno geek is going over the lunchroom video, trying to determine what really happened, only she’s got nada. The phone chat wasn’t recorded, so they can’t view that. All they have is the connection of Jordan’s sudden interest in telekinesis, which began the same day of the lunchroom event.

Espo pops in with the phone records. Jordan’s phone is off, but her last call, made as she ditched school, was to a Henderson Diagnostics in Brooklyn, only no answer there and no info on what they do or who they are. Cut to Brooklyn, where Beckett is rocking her natty tailored coat over skin-tight pants and boot heels so high she’s almost en pointe. Love the look, but isn’t that a bit much on a workday? She always looks good, but normally she’s dressed at least in the realm of something more fathomably appropriate.

The door is opened by a young man who, upon seeing their badges, immediately assumes they are there to see “the doctor.” They’re informed he’s in session, but are ushered inside. The warehouse-like building is full of all kinds of techno equipment with brain scans on screens and the like. They come upon a man, apparently the doctor in question, standing on what appears to be a stage or pedestal in the middle of a group of young people, only as Beckett raises her badge, the group parts to reveal the doctor isn’t on a stage or a pedestal. He’s hovering a few feet off the ground.

Whooowheeeooooo! Beckett stalls to a stutter and Castle is all smiles. “I think we’re in the right place.” I love it when we get an episode that is hard to figure out! Their conversation with the good doctor reveals he teaches biophysics at MIT and studies things like telekinesis in his private lab, while Castle tries not to break the very expensive equipment he can’t help but play with. Doc explains that he teaches students how to unlock their telekinetic potential. Beckett is convinced it’s some kind of Vegas magic act, but the doctor insists the capability is quite real. He reveals that Jordan came in the week before to be tested and after initially lying about having heard from her recently, he admits she was there earlier but is now gone. Beckett knows he’s lying, but when she starts to push him, Jordan shows herself and goes in for questioning.

Cue the interrogation room where the whole gang observes a very Carrie-looking Jordan through the two-way mirror. Beckett is still skeptical, but Castle is in his happy place, his curiosity beyond piqued. He warns Beckett to be careful not to anger her during questioning. “We’re not sure what she’s capable of,” he says with solemn gravitas. “You’re right,” Beckett deadpans. “You should probably come with me. For protection.”.

In interrogation, Jordan tells them that Dead Heather had only started harassing her that semester, after they had a run-in in the Russian lit section of the library. Jordan had no idea why that had made DH so angry, but she just wanted the harassment to stop. Beckett wants to know if that was why she pulled the lunchroom stunt, then killed DH. She cries, “I guess so,” and the table starts shaking. A quick look reveals it’s just her knee banging up against the table. “Nervous habit,” she says, still upset. Beckett tries to get her to be more specific and Jordan can only say that she got so angry in the cafeteria, then things started flying around, then she wished Heather Three dead and the next day she was … So she could only assume it was her fault. We’re not even halfway through the ep, and clearly it’s not Jordan. We prove that when she alibi’s that she was studying in a café in Astoria when the murders happened, which Ryan confirms.

So, right about now I’m thinking it has to somehow be Cute Prom Poster Painter Boy, as he is the only person who is supportive of Jordan that we’ve met, only I can’t figure out how he’d rig it up.

Back to Ryan and Espo, who have been tracking Dead Heather’s activities leading up to the murder, and Ryan comes in waving DH’s financials. Turns out she had about a dozen credit cards, all of which she was using, spending tens of thousands of dollars on all the latest in fashion and handbags, and paying them off every month. Only not with Mummy and Daddy’s moneybags, but via her own secret bank account. On top of that, the records show she was spending money on taxis and convenience-store trips at all hours of the night. Then Castle notes that the night before her run-in with Jordan in the library, she’d actually been out till morning and had gone straight to school … And straight to the library. Why?

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A check of library records showed she used the library each time the morning after an all-nighter and was never in the library for more than five minutes. So, guessing she was stashing something there, they find a copy of War and Peace in the Russian lit section, written in the original Russian, only it’s been cut out inside and is instead full of more than $2 million of German bearer bonds. What is a prep school Heather doing with German bearer bonds? How does she even know about them?

Her parents know nothing about the cards or her late-night activities, and when Ryan shows them the bearer bonds, suddenly Dead Heather’s papa is all, “Sorry, we can’t help you, we need to leave now.” Because that’s not suspicious behavior. Ryan and Espo head off to track the bonds, and we cut to the Castle abode, where it’s dinner time. Beckett still thinks there’s a rational non-kinetic answer to the lunchroom event, but is more curious about how Dead Heather got her hands on a few mil in bearer bonds and what in the world she was into. Castle would rather they look over his printed list of Billboard’s 100 most-romantic songs so they can choose their wedding song, then segues into a cute montage of ’80s tune titles before querying Beckett on why she missed her prom. She was too rebel cool for silly proms back then and went to a poetry slam instead in the East Village. They toast over milestones missed … And not missed.

Then we cut to the next day, with Espo telling Beckett and Castle an antique ring was found where the book was shelved in the library. Turns out it was connected to a robbery committed in one of the homes owned by parents of a prep school student, and that there had been a string of such robberies, all dealing in watches and jewelry, over the previous three months, all in homes of prep school kids. The dates of the crimes coincide with Dead Heather’s heretofore unexplained all-nighters and if she was fencing the property, that explained how she paid off her credit cards. Ryan finds out that the bearer bonds were stolen in an armed bank robbery, so it appears that Dead Heather stole them from the bank robber. The robber was caught but got off on a technicality. His lawyer? Dead Heather’s daddy. Ruh roh.

The team goes looking for the robber, who also happens to be a highly placed, very dangerous member of an Asian triad, but turns out he sold his place and moved out the day before. His Realtor claims to know nothing, but does reveal he took a huge loss on the place so he could close out and get the cash, which she deposited via routing number into a Chinese bank account. She leans in and confides she looked a little deeper into why he wanted to bail out so quickly and found out that he and his associates were spooked out of the house by some force that had the patio furniture flying around. So, we’re back to connecting the burglaries to the telekinetic stuff. Our robber won’t be any help in demystifying things, though, as he headed back to Shanghai. Which means he’s also not our killer, as he was on a plane at the time.

Castle and Beckett theorize that it was Dead Heather who set up the supernatural event at the robber’s house to scare them out so she could get in and steal the bonds, and that the lunchroom event must have been a dry run. But how to explain her death via another staged supernatural event? Beckett knows that Dead Heather couldn’t have staged those events alone, so clearly her partner in supernatural crime killed her, possibly when she wouldn’t split the loot evenly. Find the partner, find the killer.

Espo comes in with the news that Dead Heather’s fingerprints were found all over the robber’s house, along with footprints laced with blue spray paint. AHA! Our Cute Poster Boy is involved! A look at the lunchroom footage shows our Cute Poster Painting Boy was there, too. He IS our culprit! If everyone assumed Jordan had some wacky telekinetic powers, then double bonus in that he could frame her for all of it after the partnership went south and he killed Heather. But how did he stage the flying furniture and the flying Heather?

Castle is still not entirely sure that it’s not Cute Poster Boy with the kinetic abilities, but Beckett is convinced it’s all some elaborately staged hoax, though she does stumble to a stop outside of Poster Boy’s place when they can see furniture flying around the living room through the curtains. Beckett is finally going to get to the bottom of it, only when they go in, it’s Jordan in the middle of the room, flying lamps and such twirling around her. When Beckett raises her gun, Cute Poster Boy comes out, hands up, and says it was all his fault. Jordan stops concentrating and all the living room flotsam and jetsam crash to the floor. Look, Ma, no strings!

We come back from commercial with Poster Boy in interrogation and Beckett wanting to know how he pulled off the supernatural hoaxes. He talks about being misunderstood, and Castle assumes it’s because he’s telekinetic. He laughs and says, “No, smart.” He goes on to say how kids don’t understand his kind of genius, so he hid it. The stunts were movie special effects, which were a hobby of his, using wires and super magnets and the like. He didn’t like how the mean Heathers were bullying Jordan, so figured if they were afraid of her, they’d stop, hence the lunchroom event. Only Dead Heather figured it out and blackmailed him with losing his scholarship if he didn’t help her, so he helped stage the event at the robber’s house. He had no idea what she stole and left after his part was done, and claims he had nothing to do with killing her. In fact, the whole video thing that Heather One and Heather Two saw in the taxi was a film she forced him to make with her for the sole purpose of freaking her friends out. He shows them the film, proving the stunt did not kill her, as she gets up laughing, gleeful over the chance to terrify her friends with it. What a peach, this Heather.

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The video was made a week before her death, and the only person who knew about it was Dead Heather, him, and the victims of her prank. Oooh, Plot Twist! Heather One and Heather Two are the real culprits! Beckett and Castle infiltrate prom night at the academy and Heathers One and Two are brought to the principal’s office. Turns out, their lockers were stuffed full of all the other stolen loot from the previous burglaries. Heather Two tries to deny, but then counsels Heather One to remain silent, that her dad the lawyer will get them off. “Of a murder charge?” Castle wants to know. Heather Two is clearly stunned by that accusation, and more so when Beckett shows them the outtakes of the FaceTime video, proving it was staged. All eyes go to Heather One … Or should I say, Killer Heather, who wanted out of their little Bling Ring, and went all homicidal when Dead Heather said no.

Cut to the team leaving the school with the Heathers in Handcuffs, and Castle wondering what happens now to Cute Poster Boy. Beckett says she thinks he’ll get out of any charges, and the principal confirms that he’ll let him stay, with his scholarship intact, though he will be on probation. The principal then pauses to ask Castle where he got that cow, all those years ago. Castle says, “Well, let’s just say, that if you ever need a cow … I know a guy.” Sly smile from the principal as he exits.

They hear music playing from the school gym, Castle holds out his hand and invites Beckett to go to the prom with him. She accepts. As they dance, she asks if he has regrets over the prank that caused him to miss his prom and get kicked out before graduation. He says no, that all the choices he made, good bad and otherwise, led him to that moment, dancing … With her. Awww. Cue Beckett smiling … Then, at the same time, they both say how much the love the song that’s playing (In My Veins by Andrew Belle). And, badda bing, they have their first dance wedding song! Cue the credits? Not yet! Beckett spies Jordan coming into the dance and Cute Poster Boy up by the stage. Jordan goes up and hugs him, and they begin to dance. “Talk about magnetism,” Castle says. Then Beckett perks up and is all, “Oh, I forgot to tell you. When they swept Poster Boy’s house, they didn’t find any wires, magnets, nothing to explain how any of the stunts were done.” Castle brightens at this. “You don’t think …” “No,” Beckett says, but she’s smiling. Is she pulling his leg? Telling the truth? All she says is, “Shut up and kiss me.” And, being a smart man … He does.

Now the credits roll … And we’re all smiling.

Good hour! Let’s extend the feel-good times, shall we? We had a Great Giveaway going on after the last Castle ep. Up for grabs, an advance copy of my April 29 release, Half Moon Harbor, book two of the Bachelors of Blueberry Cove series. And the winning recap reader is … Come on down, Barbara Ward! Congratulations! E-mail me your address to [email protected] and your prize will be winging its way to you. No wires or magnets necessary!

But why stop there? With the release of Half Moon Harbor just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to do something BIG to get the buzz started. So, naturally, I involved the fabulous and ridiculously talented Joyce Taber of The Cotton Thistle — you remember Joyce, she’s the one who designed the awesome lighthouse bookmark charm for book one of the series, Pelican Point, which she managed to do while also designing jewelry in conjunction with each of Nora Roberts’ new releases. Well, let me tell you, she went full-out this time with a gorgeous lighthouse and sea pearl charm necklace celebrating Pelican Point. I loved it so much I commissioned one for myself! (OK, so I figured I had to because otherwise it might have raised a few eyebrows when I won my own contest …).

So, here’s the deal: For this week’s giveaway, one lucky winner will receive Joyce’s gorgeous necklace along with a signed copy of Pelican Point … AND … AND! … A signed advance copy of book two, Half Moon Harbor!

The winner of the Blueberry Cove Bundle Giveaway will be announced in next week’s Castle recap, so don’t miss out! It could be you! But, for it to be you, you have to enter. Here’s how: Drop me an e-mail to [email protected] with “Bundle me some Blueberry Cove Goodies!” In the subject line. That’s it. It’s that easy. So enter, then hop on over to The Cotton Thistle to browse, then meet me back here next week. Same blog time, same blog station!

For more information about Donna and her Bachelors of Blueberry Cove series and Cupcake Club series, drop by her website at www.Donnakauffman.Com. You can also connect with her on her Facebook Fan Page.

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