I suspected it was something like this when I heard the premise of the episode. I mean, really, how else could we have multiple confessions to a murder. But the way it played out was still great.
It starts simply enough with two maids finding a body in a hotel room. The victim is an actor, and he’s found with a bottle of water next to him and a chair tipped over like he pulled it over as he fell. Where it gets weird is that the actor had specifically requested room 147 and they found video of him texting from a flip phone when the phone they found was a smart phone that hadn’t been used for a few hours.
The usual investigation of his life turns up a woman that he had fought with outside a coffee shop. Thanks to a loyalty program, they got her name and brought her in, and she confesses to the entire thing. She even has the room number and the bottle of water and the chair on the ground. There’s just one problem though, she was across town for the entire murder window. Her alibi is iron clad.
While Castle and Beckett are trying to puzzle that one out, a man comes in and confesses to the murder. He tells the exact same story she did. Even Castle has no theories on this one. While the woman is an alcoholic, the man is in anger management.
Then a third man walks in to confess. He suffers from lack of assertiveness.
Beckett is furious at this point thinking someone is out to destroy her case.
However, investigating the confessors, they begin to piece things together. All three of them have felt disoriented and confused about the last two weeks. Then there is a man in a red van who has followed all of them. The pieces lead to EMI.
EMI is a company that uses experimental techniques to help treat people’s problems. A few years back, three of their members died in a session. But the owner denies having anything to do with the actor who died.
Meanwhile, Castle and Beckett ask the three confessors to share every detail of what they can remember. The woman says the victim flirted with her while the two men say he didn’t. And then they start arguing about the number of bottles in the mini-fridge when he goes to get the water bottle. That triggers something for Castle, and he takes Beckett back to the murder scene. The door on the fridge opens the opposite way, so there is no way anyone who had just walked into the door could see how many bottles are in there.
They follow up on a clue that all the hotels in the chain where the actor was shot look alike and discover that EMI had rented out an entire floor, including room 147, at a different hotel three weeks ago. The actor was there, as was the owner of the company. That’s enough for a warrant, and when our team returns, they find the owner shredding documents.
Finally, they learn what’s happening. EMI had shot a video of the actor opening a door, offering a bottle of water, and being shot in room 147 at the other hotel three weeks ago. There were two versions shot, one for men and one for women (explaining the differences in the stories when the confessors were side by side). All of the confessors had seen it. The idea was to transfer and then get rid of rage, but it didn’t work out like planned. EMI was trying to erase all records of it, hence the drugged and confused confessors. It also explains their rage toward the victim even though they’d never met him.
However, it doesn’t explain who killed him. It was someone from the victim’s acting troop. Her brother was one of those who died in the EMI program a couple years back, and she staged this to expose the company. The actor was just as guilty since he played a part for the company at all.
The ending was a cheat even for the show. It was related but such a random person to be the killer it’s a little hard to feel satisfied.
And yet, the episode was pure fun. Lots of laughs at the situation and the frustration it brought out, especially for Beckett. I laughed several times as the episode progressed.
And we finally saw Alexis again. She is still living in the apartment she and Pi had leased even though they broke up. She’s working long hours as a tutor to pay the bill. Beckett is concerned Alexis isn’t moving back home because of Beckett, so she sets up a meeting. When Beckett learns it is because Alexis feels she must deal with the consequences of her actions, she tells Alexis that if someone offers to help you out (and Castle has several times), you can take them up on it without being less of a person.
The final scene of the episode finds Alexis showing up at the loft and asking if she can move back home. Castle answers with a hug, and a relieved Alexis mouths “Thanks” to Beckett.
It’s funny. In the episode previews I write for another site, I kept predicting that we’d see Alexis and find out about the break up, and it never happened. I finally gave up predicting that, and we finally get a resolution to that plot line. I loved her scene with Beckett and the scene at the end. Yes, this is still a murder show, but the character moments, usually coming from the sub-plots, are the strongest they’ve ever been this season.
And it seems like the writers are finally getting how to write around Nathan Fillion filming fewer days. His absences has not been as noticeable the last couple of episodes. Of course, it helps that he’s not involved in a sub-plot away from the investigation.
Except for the killer, I did enjoy this episode. Did you feel the killer was a big a cheat as I did this week, or were you satisfied with the outcome? Anything else you want to comment on? Feel free to hit the comments and let me know.