Is Castle capable of a horrible murder?

The fact that we can even ask this question just goes to show what excellent characters they have on Castle. After all, psycho murder isn’t a normal trait we expect from a TV hero. From Richard Castle, it almost makes sense. That may be why, in “Probable Cause,” everyone suspects — at least for a little while — that Castle is the killer.

What really happened? Check out this recap to find out.

The Murder

Did you ever feel sad that Castle was getting too tame with its murders? I mean, the whole point of the show is that Castle and Beckett were particularly good at solving the super-weird crimes. But it’s hard to keep that up.

Maybe they should have used heavy-duty wire?

This week’s murder did use wire — and it was super-weird. A young woman comes home, calling for her roommate. But there is no roommate. Instead, there is an odd blood stain on the floor. And when the roommate goes to investigate… Blood drips onto her face.

At this point, Castle takes a moment to channel the series premiere of Supernatural — the dead roommate hangs from wires stuck into the ceiling. An odd symbol has been cut into her forehead.

This is a weird one.

The Suspect

Castle and Beckett interview the roommate to find out that the dead girl, Tessa, had recently started a secret relationship. The roommate only knows that the man is rich, handsome and wary about being public because he has another relationship going on.

Initial evidence points to Tessa’s boss, a man named Kurtzman. But he’s too jittery to have planned out and staged such an elaborate murder. Plus, he turns out to have been with a prostitute at the time of Tessa’s death. So Kurtzman is a bit of a scumbag, but he’s not a ritualistic murderer.

So who is?

Oddly, the evidence quickly begins to pinpoint one suspect in particular: Richard Castle.

The Evidence

Wait, what?

Castle’s fingerprints are at the murder scene. There is video footage of a man who resembles Castle buying jewelry for Tessa. Bank records show that Castle withdrew the money for that purchase.

It gets worse.

When the cops get a warrant to search Castle’s loft, they find wire. And a bloody shirt belonging to the victim. Castle protests that he is being framed, but the evidence is pretty conclusive. He is further damned by partially deleted computer files showing e-mail correspondence between Castle and the victim. And he apparently wrote a little story about how to commit the perfect murder.

Castle’s perfect murder is eerily similar to the death of Tessa.

The Twist

Of course, no one wants to believe that Richard Castle is a brutal, twisted, cheating killer.

Beckett is especially broken up — although her fears that Castle might have cheated seem greater than her fears that he’s a psychopath. Honestly, I kind of think that Beckett would be more OK with a serial killer than with a cheater.

Beckett doesn’t hold on to her suspicions though. By the time she goes to visit Castle in the precinct’s holding cell, she truly believes that he is innocent on all charges. Castle is rather touched by this confidence. They have a moment.

But if Castle is innocent, what’s going on? To answer that question, we have to go back a couple of seasons. Back to when there was that one serial killer who got away… 3XK. When we last saw the man known as both 3XK or Jerry Tyson, he left Castle and Ryan tied up at a hotel.

It didn’t end there for 3XK. Back in that original episode, Jerry was trying to destroy his murderous past and make the police think 3XK was dead and gone. That way, he could go kill even more people! Castle and Beckett ruined that plan, putting the killer back on police radar.

This whole murder set-up is 3XK’s revenge on Castle. He has been stalking and framing Castle for months now, and Jerry shows up in the police station to let the writer know.

Unfortunately for Castle, Jerry Tyson has disabled all of the cameras so that there would be no evidence that 3XK had ever been there.

The Escape

Jerry Tyson also mentions that nothing but bloody, violent death awaits Castle once he is charged and sent to central holding. The full revenge will be Castle’s death and Beckett’s subsequent guilt.

Beckett believes the whole story. Gates even wants to investigate it more. But none of this matters to the hardcore DA who insists that Castle be transferred. Beckett, Ryan and Esposito all scheme of ways to find 3XK or break out Castle, but there’s nothing. Castle has to go.

Beckett is allowed to cuff Castle, who brings up memories of past cuffing moments (most notably in the library ages ago). And then Castle walks slowly to the elevator with a pair of transfer cops. When the doors close, we truly believe this might be the last we will see of him.

Only seconds later the real cops show up to transfer Castle to central holding. Has Jerry Tyson already struck? Is Castle dead?

Nope. Beckett quickly realizes that something is wrong with all of the theories and heads straight for the library. As he obliquely hinted before, Castle is there waiting. And he has a theory — 3XK hired an actor to play Castle for that surveillance video.

Castle and Beckett quickly follow the clues, which lead them to an abandoned warehouse.

The Happy Ending… Or Is It?

With the help of Ryan and Esposito, Castle and Beckett go to the warehouse at night. It’s supposed to be abandoned, but there is a light and a shadow in one window. Is it 3XK?

It’s not. It is, however, a nicely laid-out table full of every bit of evidence Jerry Tyson used to frame Castle. Yay! Castle has been cleared.

That was way too easy, of course. Beckett and Castle find this out when waiting for a bridge to close — Jerry Tyson rams their car from behind. Jerry then grabs Beckett, holding her at gunpoint and taunting Castle about watching her death.

But even with all of his stalking, 3XK never figured out that Castle is a really, really good shot. Jerry finds out now. Thoroughly. Castle pops up from behind the car and shoots Jerry Tyson multiple times. As Beckett falls to the ground, Jerry Tyson stumbles off and splashes into the water.

It’s the end of 3XK! Except it’s not, really. As Castle — along everyone who has ever watched a TV show or movie — knows, the big villains never dies that easily. Rather, this was 3XK’s plan. Now that he is dead, he can go back to killing.

This is only a happy ending for now.


Ryan, Esposito and Lanie all know about — and approve of — the Castle/Beckett relationship now. How long until Gates finds out?

Did you think Castle could be the killer? Were you expecting 3XK to return? Will the killer be back? Leave your comments and theories below!

(Images courtesy of ABC)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.