The episode begins with a woman entering a house calling out to Tess. She picks up her mail from the floor and places it on the table. She notices blood on the rug. Tess still is responding. Just then a drop of blood drips on to her face from the ceiling. She looks up and screams; a girl is fixed on to the ceiling with barbed wire. Next, Alexis is at home to get some clothes. She then tells him that she is meeting some friends for a study session and leaves. Next, Kate and Castle arrive at the crime scene. The victim’s name is Tessa Horton and her roommate was out of town. COD appears to be strangulation and there is a symbol drawn on her forehead with a razor.
There are prints in the hallway but otherwise the apartment seems to be wiped clean. So the killer knew that the roommate was out of town. Appears like the victim knew her killer! They talk to the roommate. The roommate tells them that Tess was an insurance broker. She was shy and a workaholic. She also says that Tess had stated seeing someone around six weeks ago. She kept it a secret and used to say that the guy was every woman’s fairy tale; rich handsome and gentle. Lanie tells them that the body was hung post mortem and that there is no sign of any sexual activity. There are also no signs that the victim fought back. The victim was drugged and the killer was wearing gloves. The killer knew what he was doing and took pleasure in it; signs of a serial killer.
The symbol seems to be some alchemy sign but this one isn’t seen before. The call records show calls from a burner phone with a stolen SIM and the computer has been surgically wiped clean. Kate tells Ryan to check the jewelry that was gifted to Tess; maybe they could find prints on that. Esposito arrives and tells Kate that he needs to talk to her. He tells her that according to the CSU the prints found on the door knob belongs to Richard Castle and theses prints were collected before either of them arrived at the scene. Esposito asks Castle to watch his hands the next time. Ryan calls and tells Kate that there is no jewelry found but the neighbors saw a man entering the apartment and so they are getting a sketch made.
One of the cops finds an earring in the apartment. The sketch is ready and is identifies as Kurtzman, the CEO of the insurance company Tess worked for. Kurtzman has no major priors. But he has a juvi file and he is married. Kate and Castle talk to Kurtzman and he tells them that he had no affair with Tess and he can’t imagine that she has been murdered. Kate asks him where he was Friday night and Kurtzman asks for his lawyer. Esposito talked to Kurtzman’s wife and according to her, Kurtzman didn’t come home that night. Kate wonders that the killer appears to be very meticulous and if Kurtzman is the killer then why didn’t he have an alibi prepared and why did he get flustered?
Probably, he didn’t think that he would get caught. There are no mysterious deletions from Kurtzman’s hard drive. Ryan arrives with the earring from the couch and points out that it is custom made. The store has confirmed that it is one of theirs. The name and the address of the person they sold it to are fake and it was paid by a cashier’s check. But there is a surveillance tape. And when they check the tape, Kate is horror stricken to see Castle in it, at the same time the sale of the earring was made. Kate asks Ryan and Esposito to check Castle’s financials without him knowing. Ryan tells Esposito that Kate is seeing Castle and that they were at the Hamptons that weekend. Esposito is surprised.
Ryan checks Castle’s financials and there is a 12k withdrawal from his pocket account in cashier’s check. They arrive at Castle’s house and they find something. Before they tell Castle what it is, they place him under arrest. At the office, Gates sees the bag they found at Castle’s place which has the same barbed wire and other equipments similar to what was used in the murder. Gates asks them to go through Castle’s phone records and computer. Ryan and Esposito tell Kate that they know about their relationship. Kate tells them that she wasn’t with him that night as Castle had told her that he needed time to write. Now Kate seems to be in some doubt. Gates interrogates Castle.
She tells him that Kurtzman alibied out as he was with a paid companion and he didn’t want his wife to know. Castle says that the bag is his but the stuff inside isn’t. Castle lawyers up. Kate talks to Castle’s family but they haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary. Ryan and Esposito tell Kate that tech found out that Castle’s hard drive has been wiped just like Tess’s. A file was recovered which has the story concept of how to commit a perfect murder. Looks like a dry run on paper, down to the weird symbol they found on the victim’s forehead! And there are dozens of emails between Castle and the victim; they have been having an affair.
It seems from the mails that they started seeing each other after one of his book signings and he wanted it to be a secret as he is seeing someone. But a week ago when Castle tried to break it off, she threatened to go to his girlfriend. He offered to come over to her apartment to talk things through. But Castle says that the mails and the story were fake and that he is being set up. At the station, Jerry Tyson shows up and he is back to take his revenge on Castle. He admits to doing this and setting him up. He says that it took him four years to manage the perfect vanishing act so that he could start killing again. He blames Castle for ruining his life.
He tells him that when the DA files charges against him, and he will be taken to the central booking where his people will be waiting for Castle and he will be dead. This is going to be Kate’s punishment for not believing in him years ago. Castle tells Kate what happened but there is no proof. Kate tells this to Gates and says that they need more time. The MO is very much like Tyson’s and in one of the earlier cases he had used a body double. Next, two cops arrive to take Castle to the central booking. Castle leaves with them. just after he’s left, two officers meet Kate and tell her that they are here to pick up Castle. So they were Tyson’s men. The DA is calling this a prisoner escape and they have ordered a man hunt.
Gates tells Kate that they find this plausible as Castle has his resources. Just then something strikes Kate and she goes to a library where she meets Castle. Castle tells her that he kept thinking as to how did Tyson get a look alike and he shows her an ad for Broadway Casting where there is an ad placed for someone who could act as Richard Castle. They go to the ad agency. They find the look alike and he tells them that he was sent into the jewelry store as a part of the reality show. They show him Tyson’s picture and he says that he looks somewhat like the producer of the show. The check that was given to him was from a dead corporate account and there was a check written to Kurtzman Insurance, Tess’s company, from same account.
Ryan goes through Tess’s diary and finds an address and they go to that site. They enter the building and find a collage of pictures which prove that Castle was framed. They inform Gates. Gates tells him that the charges on him will be dropped and the one for escaping; well that can be negotiated. Castle and Kate are on their way back home when a vehicle runs into theirs from behind. It is Tyson. He tries to kill Kate and Castle shoots him and Tyson’s body falls off the bridge. The next day, the search team is unable to find Tyson’s body in the river. Castle knows that the body won’t be found as Tyson isn’t dead.
Castle tells Kate that the set up, them finding the building, them being on the bridge, all of it was a set up so that they could help Tyson do what he was unable to do it himself; they helped him escape and now Tyson can continue with his killings! Kate says that it sounds crazy. She says that Castle shot him and it is over. Well, for now! The episode ends.