This week’s episode of “Castle,” “Disciple,” delivered what was by far the most interesting crime story of the season. After several weeks of convoluted mysteries, it was refreshing to see a story that was easy to follow, involved the entire precinct and drew on the show’s history. As an added bonus, it was truly creepy.
Lanie Sees Double
A watchman found a woman hanging from a metal hook near the docks. When the team arrived at the crime scene, they discovered to their shock that the victim, Pam Hodges, was Lanie’s (Tamala Jones) doppelganger. Pam had gotten cheek implants to make the resemblance stronger. She even had the same tattoo as Lanie, which she had only had for three months. Though Pam was a former hooker, she had an apartment full of expensive goods and had recently gotten a great new job that she would not discuss with her family. It initially looked like she had a sugardaddy who had a thing for Lanie.
Lanie told Esposito (Jon Huertas) that he was the only person who ever saw her tattoo, and that she had not been with another guy for six months, so if you were wondering, they are definitely a couple even if neither will admit it. Lanie recalled a night two months ago when she did not remember how she got home after going to a club with coroner co-workers. She theorized that someone could have roofied her.
Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) traced the cheek implants serial number to a doctor named Kelly Nieman (Annie Wersching of “24”). She claimed Pam brought in photos of her “friend” Lanie for her to use when sculpting her face. She paid with a corporate check from “Greg’s Baker.” Kelly also deemed Beckett’s face amazing, while Castle merely had “amazing potential.”
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They traced Pam’s whereabouts on the night that she died to a boat owned by a man named Rudy who lived in Florida. Inside was another murder victim who looked exactly like Esposito. Captain Gates stated the obvious: Someone is obviously targeting people who look like them. Victim number two’s name was Daniel Santos. He had no signs of plastic surgery, so Esposito just had a doppelganger roaming around New York. If this were “The Vampire Diaries,” it would mean that centuries ago Esposito dumped his crazy witch girlfriend at his wedding. In this non-supernatural universe, there really is no explanation. Daniel was a stripper who quit his job because he got a “big time gig.” He was working with a speech therapist to lose his Southern accent. He brought in an audio file of Esposito to tell the therapist what he wanted to sound like. Esposito and Lanie bonded over the unique experience of having their lookalikes killed, with each expressing concern for the other. But they are still not exclusive or in a relationship or anything. Nope.
They discovered that on the night that he died, Daniel got into a limo that was ordered by creepy Dr. Kelly. Beckett interrogated the doctor, who claimed that she had a purely physical relationship with Daniel. He referred Pam to her, which is why she was connected to both victims. She calmly suggested she was being set up, aware that there was only circumstantial evidence against her. She gave Beckett her card before leaving.
Kelly had iron-clad alibis for both murders, but there was surveillance footage of him getting into a car after he left Kelly’s. The car belonged to the security guard who found Pam’s body. Though he looked guilty, it didn’t seem plausible that a security guard would have the money for Pam’s plastic surgery, nor did he have any motive for fixating on Lanie and Esposito. Castle theorized he had a partner – their old nemesis the presumed dead Triple Killer AKA 3XK AKA Jerry Beckett.
The Return of the Triple Killer
Beckett argued that they saw him jump off a bridge. He could not survive. Castle was clinging to this theory because he felt guilty that 3XK got away. Castle, having learned from the episode where they investigated a murder on a soap opera, knew that his death was not final until they saw the body. Sure enough, all of the triple killer’s case files were missing. “Castle” is the one who signed them out. “Lanie” checked out all data from coroner’s office. The lookalikes were hired to steal files. Doesn’t the NYPD back anything up to the cloud? They realize the 3XK has a clean slate now. Beckett suggested contacting the prison, since some of his files from there might have survived.
They traced the security guard, Carl Matthews (William Mapother), to the Queens Motel where Jerry Tyson stayed. Castle tackled him and demanded to know where the 3XK killer was.
Castle and Beckett interrogated Carl, telling him they had evidence linking them to both murders in NYC and some in Florida. In exchange for taking the death penalty off the table, he admitted to killing “north of four.” He talked about killing Pam in graphic detail, but he denied working for Jerry Tyson. Beckett tricked him into admitting that he didn’t know where the Greg Banker’s accounts were housed. He smirked that they didn’t have this case figured out.
The prison files revealed that Jerry was beaten before he left prison. Kelly was volunteering as a prison doctor while he was there. They realized she was his girlfriend. In Kelly’s now empty office, they found a note saying “better luck next time.” The files for 26 other murders were also missing, presumably because Kelly was involved. Castle found a flash drive inside the pen next to the note. It was an audio recording of the song, “We’ll meet again.” When they do, will he have Castle’s face?
There was not much room for shipper moments in this packed episode, but Castle and Beckett discussed their honeymoon. Castle wanted a Hobbit-themed trip to New Zealand, which Beckett unjustifiably nixed. Has she ever seen photos of how beautiful it is? Every place she suggested was someplace he had taken another woman. Have they looked into commercial space flights? That would be unique.
“Castle” airs Mondays at 10/9c on ABC.