When Castle casually brings up the time his partner in crime-solving was shot, Beckett sticks to her claim that the entire day is a blank. We know that’s not true. Now we’re starting to believe that perhaps Castle may be thinking that, too. But there’s no time for further speculation, as a pesky murder mystery has just popped up.
College student Jane Herzfeld was shot to death and buried in concrete. A crucifix is found clutched in her fist. It’s as if she was praying, as she knew she was going to die. Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Finn McQueen, did time for drug possession. This may explain traces of cocaine residue found on the victim’s body. The guy also works in construction. Sounds like a concrete lead! Too bad Finn alibis out.
Beckett is beyond frustrated when ballistics reveals that the bullets used to kill Jane came from a gun that’s in their system. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the weapon belongs to one of the cops investigating the murder: Detective Kevin Ryan.
The gun in question was taken by Jerry Tyson; better known a serial murderer dubbed the Triple Killer in “3XK.” Castle tries to tell Ryan isn’t responsible for Jane’s death just because it was his gun. The detective doesn’t buy it. Ryan’s anguish has Castle believing that he’s been “play-acting” as Beckett’s partner. In truth, he doesn’t really know what it’s like to be a cop.
Jane made frequent calls to a man named Seth, who is actually an undercover narcotics cop. Detective Seth Carver was using Jane to get close to a Chinese mob family. She was tutoring Ben Lee, the son of mafia man Clifford Lee. Ryan doesn’t buy Carver’s story. He thinks this narcotics cop planted drugs in Jane’s car so she would become an informant for him. That’s why Ryan slams this jerk against the wall.
Castle offers to go through four years of prison records to make a connection between the Triple Killer and the Lee family. Meanwhile, Beckett and Ryan question Clifford Lee and his sons. Ben’s brother, Philip, isn’t happy about this little interrogation. Later, the team learns Jane was looking to get out of town with a mystery man she’d been dating. Her ex, Finn McQueen, was trying to talk her out of splitting, so he’s not the mystery man.
Castle discovers that the 3XK killer, Jerry Tyson, was in prison with Philip Lee. There’s the connection. Tyson is the one who gave Philip a cop’s gun. But why kill Jane? The answer has a bit of a Romeo and Juliet feel. Jane was skipping town with Philip’s brother, Ben. Sadly, you can’t ever walk away from Asian gang life.
Ryan discovers Finn McQueen had been working for the Lee family. He recommended Jane as a tutor. When he realized she was leaving with Ben, Finn called Philip. Ryan vows that he will not rest until he takes Philip Lee down. Captain Gates orders the team to stay away from the Lee family. Think that’ll happen?
Ryan and Esposito dress like college students to question Ben Lee at his school’s library. Their outfits are a far cry from their typical detective attire. Whatever works, right? Ryan wants Ben to step up to help get justice for Jane even though it’ll mean going against his family. Believe it or not, the kid finds the courage to do just that.
Ben Lee wears a wire trying to get a confession out of his brother. Philip suspects something is up. He is holding Ben at gunpoint when the team storms in to take him down. Then Ben pulls out a gun. The police have no choice but to shoot him. Ryan’s attempts to revive him appear to be unsuccessful. The gun Philip had on him is the distraught detective’s missing firearm. Case closed.
Philip offers to give the police info on the Triple Killer to avoid a life sentence. Castle believes anything Jerry Tyson would have told Philip would be a lie. There should be no deals. Castle says they’ll get 3XK and they’ll do it right. Beckett says, “Damn, Castle, look at you…thinking like a real cop.” Nice.
Ryan is pleased to see that Ben Lee back on his feet after the act they set up to make it look like he’d been killed. Ben is headed for Witness Protection. Ryan makes a nice toast to this murder victim’s bravery. It comes on the heels of an equally poignant toast the team gives in tribute to one of their own: Detective Kevin Ryan.