Scott Everett White/ABC


S8 E10
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February 15, 2016 at 06:12 AM EST

When you’re a murder mystery writer, crime has a way of following you around. Especially when your name is Richard Castle. He can be minding his own business, chatting folks up at a party, when BAM! Dead body. With a suspect hovering above. Weapon in hand. His next book is basically writing itself. 

For the first time in his career, Castle is testifying in a murder trial. He saw cater waiter Nina O’Keefe holding a fire poker protruding from former Iraqi news correspondent Sadie Beakman torso with his own two eyes. Beckett assures Castle that even though he needs to reel in the charm, the defense lawyer is a total hack job. This should be a slam dunk case. What she didn’t expect was Caleb Brown to come walking in as the public defender. 

You remember Caleb, right? He’s the attorney who somehow has ties to LokSat, the group Beckett is investigating secretly with Vikram. He’s the opposite of pushover. Within seconds of Castle being on the stand, Caleb has the judge, the jury, and even Castle questioning if he actually did see Nina kill Sadie. He did see her with the body and the weapon, but did he see the actual murder? Plus, Castle has a history of memory loss, correct? (I don’t really blame Castle. I know I want to forget last season’s “Where in the world is Richard Castle?” fiasco.)

Caleb rests his case and the judge calls for a recess until the morning. Castle just gave the jury reasonable doubt and now has less than 16 hours to find new evidence. Bring in the calvary! Beckett, Esposito, and Ryan decide the best place to look for a clue is to find out who Nina talked to after the murder. Hours later, cellmate Bridget rolls in, claiming that Nina never confessed to a murder, but she did worry that someone would find out about her secret. Her secret relationship, that is.

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Ryan pours over her financials and notices a charge to a bar the night before the murder. The team scours surveillance tape outside the establishment. Who shows up in a lover’s quarrel with Nina just outside? None other than Sadie Beakman. The victim and the killer were having an affair. Hello, motive!

Beckett gives Castle’s lawyer the tape, and everyone assumes that Nina is going down. Castle and Ryan go back to the scene of the crime — the home of Sadie’s cameraman Roger — to tell them the good news. That’s when Richard notices that the basketball hoop, Nina’s means of escape from the second floor, is no longer by the balcony. This bothers Castle. Roger says that the basketball hoop is where it’s always been. If Nina did indeed kill Sadie in a spontaneous crime of passion, why would she move the hoop?

There’s only one way to find out. Castle needs to get arrested so he can question Nina in jail. As a good mother would, Martha delays the trial by calling the judge to tell her that her house has been burglarized, just as Castle makes fun of her law degree. Let’s hear it for contempt of court! 

NEXT: He’s in the jailhouse now

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