It was the cater waiter, in the study, with the fire poker

By Lincee Ray
February 15, 2016 at 06:12 AM EST
Scott Everett White/ABC
S8 E10
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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

Castle convinces Nina that he believes her, but he needs help filling in the blanks. Nina swears she found Sadie on the ground and she was trying to pull the poker out of her body when Castle showed up. She fled because any normal person would assume that Nina had killed her. Panicked people run. It’s a fact. 

Nina did mention that Sadie asked her to swipe Roger’s empty champagne glass. She had no idea why she wanted it, but Nina did retrieve the glass and hand it off to Sadie. Twenty minutes later, she was dead. Esposito and Ryan waltz in to break Castle out of jail. He promises Nina that he will figure out what is going on. 

Obviously Beckett isn’t happy that Castle tricked a judge and illegally questioned a witness, but she does agree that Sadie must have been after Roger’s DNA. He was her cameraman for 20 years. Maybe they had an affair and Sadie’s daughter is Roger’s kid? There’s no time to deliberate because Caleb is storming the precinct, and he is one mad lawyer. He accuses Beckett of sneaking Castle into the jail. Beckett announces that she and Castle are separated and he can do whatever he wants. P.S. WHEN WILL THIS FAKE BREAK-UP END? IT’S SO ANNOYING!

Caleb gets a call from the judge. Her house wasn’t burglarized, and the trial is in 30 minutes. Beckett casually mentions to Caleb that she has people looking into the trial because things are not adding up. Caleb reminds her that someone better do something fast because time is ticking. 

Meanwhile, Castle and the boys go over to Roger’s house, again, to accuse him of having a baby with Sadie. His wife scoffs, knowing that they were probably knocking boots…but Roger is infertile. There’s no way he could be the father of her child. It’s Ryan who suggests that maybe Sadie was after a fingerprint. The wife marches up to the study and unveils a hidden safe. The only way to open it is with Roger’s fingerprint. Inside is a cassette that shows Sadie and Roger discovering a huge bag of money in Iraq. Roger wanted to keep it. Sadie didn’t. However, she went back for it later. Roger used the tape to blackmail her to get his share. In only five years, he burned through his portion and was blackmailing Sadie again. But he didn’t kill her. He was smoking a doobie downstairs with his bros. 

Castle returns to the courthouse just as the trial is about to begin. They are back at square one. He runs inside and Beckett tells the judge that Caleb is going to call Castle back up onto the stand. Through subtle body language, it’s clear that he knows that Castle knows nothing. It’s time to razzle dazzle the judge with a bunch of double talk and quite a bit of monologuing ​on both sides.

Suddenly, Castle’s face changes when Caleb mentions the phrase “bad timing.” The reason Castle went upstairs to begin with was because the downstairs bathroom was occupied. He puts two and two together, slowly realizing that the killer was in that bathroom cleaning the mud from the backyard off his shoes. The murderer? Sadie’s HUSBAND. The man who had 30 seconds of air time in the very beginning of the show. Who would have guessed? 

He thought Sadie was having an affair with Roger. He saw her go upstairs with his glass. He went outside, moved the hoop over so he could spy into the study. She saw him, and the lovers’ quarrel got out of hand. Especially when Sadie laughed at him for assuming it was Roger when it was really a woman. He goes to jail. Nina is free. Case dismissed. 

Back at the precinct, everyone applauds Caleb for being a cool guy. Vikram and Beckett think differently. With that said, she did discover Caleb’s one weakness — he’s a monster who is desperate to do good. And Beckett’s going to use that weakness to settle her own personal vendetta. 

Episode Recaps

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