We start out with a darkened apartment and a guy realizing that a knife is missing out of his knife block. He goes toward a closed door with a baseball bat and throws open the door, but the killer is behind him and he gets stabbed. A lot. (Lesson learned: turn on some lights! Don't turn your back on open doorways when you're trying to find a killer in your apartment!)
Cut to Ryan and Espo in counseling and it's not going well. The therapist says they need a buffer and when Castle shows up to the murder scene to ask them to distract Beckett so he can prepare an anniversary surprise, they take him on as their buffer. Which also means he goes to the murder scene with them and helps to solve the murder. (And once again makes the "time out" with Beckett nonsensical.) But, anyway, they get a hit on some fingerprints at the crime scene and bring the guy in. He tells them that he was friends with the murder victim, Scott, and they ran a scam to get women. One would get aggressive, the other would "save" the lady. He was Scott's wingman. Vikram finds out that Scott was getting $5000 each time he seduced someone and they find blackmail photos at Scott's secret apartment. One of the photos shows a tattoo on a woman's lower back and the team thinks they can find her. (They also have sketches of the possible women from Scott's wingman.) At a spa. Hailey and Beckett go into the steam room with four of the prime suspects and the women recognize Beckett so they won't show their tattoos, but a woman gets scared and runs away so a chase ensues. Of course she's the woman in the blackmail picture and is caught and questioned. She tells them she was with Scott, but she didn't kill him and in fact, he was apologetic to her and seemed to be having a crisis of conscience. Her alibi is confirmed and the team is back to square one.
They do find a common connection, though, in that the same divorce lawyer, Lindsey Trent, seems to be the one setting up Scott's liaisons. The boys ask Castle to go in undercover to get a look at the lawyer log so they can see what Scott's last job was, which he reluctantly does, while they watch live stream. Beckett catches them, though, and takes it to her office to watch. The divorce lawyer asks Castle if there's any hope for his marriage and he hesitates (I would, too!) and Beckett seems oddly surprised. (What did she expect? She's shutting him out with no explanation and no reason. But I digress. ) The lawyer does catch Castle before he can look at her lawyer log and he's escorted out by security, only Alexis gets in the office and takes pics of the lawyer log. They get a name and bring in a billionaire playboy for questioning. His lawyer, Lindsey, saves him, and he's let go. (But he's so slimy!) The team is going to investigate him further, though, because it's obvious he's hiding something.
Castle has been trying to set up a dinner for his first anniversary with Beckett. He has a surprise for her in her office that is adorable (confetti and everything) and she agrees to go out with him on a time out from their time out. He's so earnest and I hate that he's trying so hard and she's not really that sad about it from all appearances. Before they can go out, though, the boys start fighting again and they separate to go and help them---Beckett to Espo and Castle to Ryan. Their sacrifice doesn't seem to do much good, though, since they both ask for new partners. Sad!
In a weird twist, the team finds out that Scott was hired to seduce the billionaire's mom to destroy her reputation because he wanted to take over the company and outsource its employees and the mom wanted to keep it in the country and employ people who were like family. Ryan and Espo go to Lindsey's office to bring her in for questioning, but she pulls a gun. Just as she's about to shoot Espo, Ryan lunges and takes the bullet for him. His notepad saves his life, though, but not before Espo is terrified that Ryan has been seriously wounded. It's a really good scene and definitely the highlight of the show. They catch Lindsey and then hug out their issues. *sniff* So so sweet.
Beckett goes over to Castle's house and they're intimate. It feels shallow, though, since it doesn't solve anything and Beckett is pretty much just leaving right after. She does get a text from Vikram saying he's found something and to contact him ASAP and Castle reads it. It makes Castle wonder, but when he asks Beckett if everything is okay, she says yep and leaves it at that. Secrets are never good and their relationship falls further and further down this really bizarre rabbit hole.
So, lots of mixed feelings on this episode. Ryan and Espo made me laugh and played the emotions so well through the entire episode of therapy, anger, and then concern and love. If I'm going to end on a positive note, I'll end with that!
Did you watch? What did you think?