After several light and fluffy episodes, this week’s “Castle” episode, “Probable Cause,” gets serious. Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett’s (Stana Katic) relationship is put to the test when one of the show’s most memorable villains returns. The episode, written by showrunner Andrew Marlowe, showed that the Caskett romance works just as well when the couple’s lives are on the line as it does when the duo is romping through the Hamptons.
The victim of the week is a woman, Tessa, whose body is found tied to the ceiling of her apartment. A symbol is carved in her forehead. Caskett goes to the crime scene where Lanie (Tamala Jones) tells them she thinks the victim was strangled. Tessa’s roommate says Tessa had just started seeing a new guy who bought her jewelery and took her to fancy dinners. She said he was every woman’s fairytale: rich, handsome and jealous. Lanie discovers that Tessa was chloroformed before she was strangled. The killer wore gloves. Further investigation reveals that the mysterious boyfriend used a burner phone and that Tessa’s computer’s hard drive was wiped.
Then the big twist: Castle’s fingerprints were found in the victim’s apartment. Beckett says Castle must have contaminated the crime scene. A neighbor saw Tessa’s boss, who seems like he could be the mystery boyfriend, at her apartment on the night that she died. It turns out that he was summoned to the building by a bogus text message. He was not in a relationship with Tessa.
An expensive earring turns up at the crime scene. Their is surveillance footage of Castle buying it. Beckett insists that no one at the precinct should tell Castle he is a suspect. Esposito has to tell Ryan about Caskett.
Castle gets served with a search warrant. The police find a duffel bag with the cable used to bind Tessa and a bloody shirt. Esposito has to arrest him. No one really believes Castle is guilty. Even Gates (Penny Jerrald) has trouble believing Castle could do this. She agrees they need to follow the evidence before rushing to judgment.
Gates interrogates Castle. He insists he did not know the victim. He has no alibi. He was at home writing. He sensibly lawyers up. Beckett visits Castle in lock up and vows to find who framed him. Parts of Castle’s computer has been wiped. The police recover a story about a man who commits a murder identical to the Tessa’s as well as emails between Castle and Tessa indicating that they had an affair.
The bizarre frame job starts to make sense when the triple killer AKA 3XK AKA Tyson shows up in lock up dressed like a cop. He says that he gave up four years of his life so he could start killing again. Castle ruined his plan. Tyson creepily talks about stalking Castle and watching Caskett make love. He warns that he has people waiting for Castle in Central Booking. Beckett will be haunted for the rest of her life by Castle’s death.
There is no evidence that Tyson was there, but Beckett believes Castle. He is touched that she has so much faith in him, but really, how could anyone who knows him think he’s a killer? Ryan points out that Tyson used a double in past cases. Beckett asks Gates for more time to investigate. The D.A. doesn’t want to give Castle preferential treatment. Ryan realizes the victim could have been dating Tyson.
The cops arrive to take Castle to central booking. He and Beckett have a sweet scene about past times he has been handcuffed with her, with him pointedly mention the N.Y. Public Library. Then the real cops arrive a minute later. Castle is missing. The D.A. thinks Castle set up a prison break. Beckett finds Castle at the library. Castle has found a casting notice for lookalikes of famous authors including him. They track down the Castle lookalike who thought he was working for a reality show about buying jewelry.
They track Tyson to an empty building. They find a bunch of photos of Castle. Gates gets the charges against him dropped. Castle thinks it was too easy to find Tyson’s stuff. He thanks Beckett for believing in him. The sweet scene is interrupted by someone ramming their car then starting to fire. Beckett pulls out her gun and seemingly shoots Tyson. But when she approaches his car, he grabs Beckett and knocks her gun out of her hands. As Tyson gets closer to the car he sees that Castle isn’t there Castle has gotten the gun. He shoots him a bunch of times. Watch Castle’s surprisingly good shooting skills above.
He falls into the water. But they can’t find the body. This is the exact same scenario as what happened to Jason Morgan on “General Hospital.” Castle is sure he is still alive and orchestrated this entire scenario get himself declared dead so he could start killing again. We’ll find out when Tyson inevitably pops up next season.