Castle: (S08E20) “Much Ado About Murder”


A guy is reciting the to be or not to be speech from Hamlet on a stage at a theater. He is alone. Or so it seems until we see someone at the table behind him take a quill pen. The speaker moves off stage as he hears something and asks who is there. He slowly walks back on stage and has a huge spear through his neck.

Beckett and Castle are talking and Castle has a YOLO credit card. He is so proud of it. He says there are only 10,000 cards in existence. He says 1% of purchases go to charity. Then they talk about their date night that Beckett was supposed to plan but it seems that she has forgot. She covers and says it’s a surprise. Castle says great, I love surprises. Beckett gets a phone call about the dead guy at the theater. His name is Zane.

At the theater, Ryan introduces Erin to the group. Erin is the director of the production. Erin says she and Zane were friends for years and this is their first chance to act together and then this happens. Naomi Fox is the female lead and Zane was having an affair with her and he broke it off and she took a baseball bat to his car. Erin says Naomi is a method actor which means she becomes the character, rather than just play the character.

Nathan reminisces about his days back stage with his mom. They enter Naomi’s dressing room and talk to her in Shakespearean English until Esposito puts a stop to this. Naomi says she did smash Zane’s car but she did not kill him. He kept showing up at her place at odd times to try to cover he was cheating. She doesn’t know who he was cheating on her with.

Paparazzi had snuck into the building and took a picture of the body and put it on the news. Castle’s name is on the news story as the lead investigator on the case. Ryan finds out that Zane was renting a room at the hotel at the Black Door Hotel. Castle says that hotel is very discreet. Zane has been there for two weeks with some woman but no one knows her name as she is not on the reservation. They go to the hotel room and this woman is in the bed sleeping. It turns out to be Castle’s mom Martha. Oh my goodness. What is happening?

Martha says she was tired last night and just crawled into bed. Castle asks if Martha was sleeping with Zane. Martha says of course not. She was his acting coach and they rented this suite so they could meet anytime. Martha said she is a life coach and she helped him get rid of the junk so he could focus on the role. Martha said there is one demon he wouldn’t face but then he finally said he would face it. They tell her Zane has been killed. Martha is worried that she caused Zane’s death. Castle says no you didn’t.

Beckett is asking Ryan for advice on date night with Castle. Esposito comes up and says Zane had a step brother named Toro in prison and he went to visit him yesterday. His step brother hated him. Toro was released from prison since yesterday. They bring Toro in for questioning. Toro says he took the rap for Zane for a breaking and entry. Zane apologized yesterday and said he would make it up to him. Zane had $10 million in the bank but Toro said he owed the IRS $15 million. However Zane told his step brother that he had something big in the works.

Ryan and Esposito are on the street talking and the same paparazzi that snuck in to video Zane’s body is taping them. His name is Jake. He wants the story. Jake wants an interview with the killer. Ryan and Esposito say yeah right. Jake says he has been following Zane for a month. Jake has filmed Zane arguing with somebody. Ryan and Esposito are going to try to find this person after Jake lets them view the video.

Ryan is talking via live video call to his daughter’s teacher and Ryan is sharing his vision of the play his five year old daughter will be in. He has quite the elaborate plan. His teacher says the kids are only five. Ryan says maybe we need to look into your unpaid parking tickets. Esposito reminds Ryan they have a real case to work on and closes Ryan’s laptop.

They figure out who the guy is that Zane was talking to on Jake’s video and find him. Zane had bought a cell phone from him. Zane and this guy are connected with a boss of a Mexican cartel and Zane actually set up a face to face with the cartel leader and entered into a business deal with him.

Beckett gets out of date night because of the case. Castle says he will take his mom out to dinner. Castle is in the parking ramp and a big truck pulls in next to him and Castle can’t get out. He crawls out the other side of his car. Two guys come out of the pickup truck, chloroform Castle, put him into the truck, and speed off. OMG. What just happened?

The bad guys have Castle standing up, tied to a pole with a bag on his head. They take the bag off his head. He asks what they want and where they are. A guy comes in to talk to him and his name is El Oso, the head of the cartel.

Martha comes to speak to Beckett at the precinct. Martha says Castle stood her up for dinner and he isn’t answering his phone. Beckett tracks Castle to the parking ramp through a tracking device on his vehicle. Martha says that is across the street from the restaurant where we were supposed to meet. Beckett calls for the cops to go to the ramp.

Castle and El Oso are talking about whether he killed Zane or not. El Oso says he didn’t kill Zane. Castle says untie me and we can sit down and talk about this. They cut Castle loose. El Oso says Zane didn’t want to talk to him about drugs. He wanted to make a story about El Oso to make money. El Oso knows Zane is a bad actor. That part is funny. El Oso says he brought Castle out to meet with him because Castle is world famous and he wants Castle to write his story. He wants Castle to stay with him for about six months to get his life story. If not, El Oso will send his body home piece by piece to his family. The vanity El Oso displays is funny.

Beckett, Martha, Ryan, & Esposito are looking at footage from the parking ramp and see Castle being kidnapped. They talk about his YOLO card and it has a special chip in it that they might be able to track.

Castle and El Oso are sharing a fancy meal with wine but Castle messes up and says something that offends El Oso. He pulls a gun on Castle. It turns out El Oso was pretending. He fancies himself a great actor. He starts laughing. El Oso says he is persecuted and misunderstood and that is why he needs Castle to tell his story. He asks Castle if $5 million is enough. Police helicopters circle above. El Oso and his men are shooting at everything. Some of his men are killed. Swat team guys come in and rescue Castle and capture El Oso.

Castle says he tripped the drug lord and that is how he got caught. Ryan, Esposito, & Beckett say there was a whole swat team there. Castle did not cause the capture of El Oso. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Ryan’s wife shows up to talk to Ryan about the show. She has to break it to him that he is off the show. He was pushing too hard. Who knew Ryan was such a stage parent?

Beckett and Castle are talking about date night. Beckett says she planned the kidnapping. Funny. Then Castle says you didn’t have anything planned. Beckett tries to deny it but then he has an idea. El Oso has a brother Hector and Zane was caught in the middle of the two brothers trying to do a deal with each of them. The brothers were fighting for control of the cartel. Hector pays Zane to take him to El Oso. However Zane’s performance isn’t good enough for El Oso. I am confused as to how or why this gets Zane killed though.

Castle and Beckett are talking to Hector and believe Hector killed Zane because he wasn’t able to lead him to El Oso and also Hector paid Zane $15 million. Hector claims he didn’t care about the El Oso biopic. He said Zane could star in and direct the biopic. Zane said he had someone else in mind.

Esposito and Castle go to arrest Erin for killing Zane. Erin claims not to know anything about an El Oso project. Esposito and Castle have figured it out that Zane promised Erin the chance to direct this movie and then she casts him in Hamlet but then he decided to direct the film himself. Erin couldn’t stand it. She admits to snapping and killing Zane.

Ryan’s wife and children come to visit him at the precinct. His wife says his daughter wanted to talk to him about the play. Ryan goes through the routine with her and she does a great job. Ryan tells her she is ready. It is a cute scene.

Castle and Beckett are eating Chinese in his apartment. Castle says this date night is everything he dreamed it would be. Then someone knocks at the door. Castle thought Beckett might have ordered something else but she didn’t. It is a package from El Oso with the script and a note. El Oso still wants Castle to write his story. Beckett gets a phone call saying that El Oso escaped federal custody. Castle says date night is over and that he has to start writing the screen play.

It was kind of a confusing episode with a lot of red herrings. Maybe that’s how real police investigations go. Only two episodes left this season.