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Ep109 Little Girl Lost

05/04/09 Season 1 TV-PG D,L
We see Castle and Becket enter an apartment building where uniforms and techs are taking crime scene photos in a child’s room. Captain Montgomery breaks the situation down—two-year-old Angela Candela was abducted from the apartment that morning. The Feds tell Beckett that William Sorenson, the special agent in charge of the investigation, requested that she take part in the task force.

Next we see Sorenson enter the room, and Beckett immediately reacts. Castle can tell there’s history between them. Sorenson promises Beckett that this case will “end better.”

At the precinct, Beckett admits to Castle that she and Sorenson dated for six months. We knew it! They met during a kidnapping case, but we can tell there’s more to the story.

Ryan fills them in on the parents. Married ten years, Theresa is a fund manager and Alfred is a struggling artist. Angela is their only child, and was adopted. Alfred says he and Angela had the same morning routine every day. Beckett feels this must mean the abductor knew their routine.

[break] Next thing we know, the Candelas receive a ransom call demanding $750,000 within 24 hours. It’s the Candelas’ entire savings, down to the dollar! Theresa’s sister, Nina, is a CPA and helps get the family’s finances together.

Sorenson asks Theresa if she can think of anyone who might be holding a grudge against the family. Alfred suggests Doug Ellers, a former co-worker fired by Theresa. He blamed her for his ensuing divorce, which resulted in Ellers’ wife taking both his kids.

We see Beckett and Sorenson interrogate Doug Ellers. Sorenson plays a threatening voicemail Ellers left for Theresa, but Ellers swears he would never kidnap or hurt a child. While Castle thinks he’s innocent, we can tell Sorenson feels otherwise. After all, taking Theresa’s child away from her the way she took his kids away would be and eye for an eye.

Castle arrives home and mentions the kidnapping to Martha. He admits he’s feeling a need to give Alexis a hug. Perfectly understandable, retorts Martha, because parents and their children are like peas in a pod. This gives our favorite scribe an idea.

[break] Beckett notifies Sorenson that Ellers’ alibi pans out. Then, we’re surprised to see them share a moment of intimacy that culminates in a passionate kiss! When they part, they discover Castle standing there. “Justice never sleeps,” he quips. Castle offers his new theory—Angela may have been kidnapped by her birth mother. As they look into it, Ryan tells them that the birth mother, Lucia Gomez, recently went to the adoption agency requesting to contact her daughter’s adoptive parents.

Beckett and Sorenson question Lucia Gomez. She says she doesn’t regret giving up her baby. They show her the petition she filed with the adoption agency and she says it’s a forgery. Another dead end, we find.

Frustrated, Beckett walks off, declaring that she’s not going to lose this one. Castle discovers from Sorenson that she’s referring to the previous missing-child case. Even though they caught the kidnapper, we find out that the kid was already dead. Just then, they get word that there’s been another ransom call.

[break] At the Candela apartment, we watch as the family prepares the money for drop-off—75 packs of hundred dollar bills placed inside a green backpack. The phone rings and the kidnapper demands that a civilian, not a cop, make the drop, or they kill the girl.

Castle volunteers to make the drop. Over Sorenson’s objections, we hear Beckett give the go-ahead. As much as she hates to admit it, Castle is their best shot. And we agree!

While in radio contact with Beckett and Sorenson, Castle carries the green backpack to a crowded lobby. As instructed, he leaves the backpack next to a shoeshine stand and walks away. Ryan and Esposito scope the crowd. Suddenly, Ryan spies an Asian male carrying the green backpack. We observe Esposito close in and tackle the guy. But he opens the backpack to find—only newspaper. And then, we see several other people, all carrying identical green backpacks.

[break] At the apartment, they explain to the Candelas that the kidnappers posted an ad on Craigslist seeking participants with green backpacks for a “performance piece.”However, Castle was able to slip the mailbox cell phone into the backpack with the ransom. So far, they’ve traced it to a 20-block radius on the Lower East Side. Soon after, however, Sorenson receives word that they lost the signal. We surmise that the kidnappers must have found the cell phone and taken the batteries out.

At home, Castle scrolls through photos he took of the Candelas’ apartment, looking for a clue that they might have missed. Alexis notices several photos of Angela with a stuffed bunny, and reminisces about her attachment to her stuffed animals. Castle looks at the photo, and we can practically see his gears turning.

Castle searches Angela’s bedroom and finds that her bunny is missing. He figures that the person who took Angela must have known her well enough to take the bunny, too.Beckett notes that they lost the cell phone’s signal right after telling the Candelas that they were tracking it. Ah-ha!

[break] Beckett discretely asks Sorenson for Theresa’s sister Nina’s address. They find Angela in a playground nearby, clutching her stuffed bunny as Nina watches over her.

When they return Angela home, we see an ecstatic Alfred run and hug his daughter. Stone-faced, Theresa admits that she had Nina take Angela because was planning to divorce Alfred, but didn’t want to pay alimony or let Alfred have custody of Angela.

[break] At the precinct, Sorenson asks Beckett if she’s willing to give their relationship another shot. But Beckett can’t commit. We have a feeling we know why!

Sorenson asks her to think about it and walks away. Castle confides to Beckett that he sees why it didn’t work out—Sorenson and Beckett are too much like each other.

Or maybe, we’re thinking, her heart belongs to someone else?
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