A priest’s death, a witness being hunted by the mob, and dinner with the parents…what could possibly go wrong?
Dinner with Martha and Jim (Kate’s father) turns into a nightmare when the pair exchange inadvertent insults. Jim’s love of baseball is boring, and Martha isn’t serious enough. As disaster looms, Castle and Beckett get called to a crime scene. The body belongs to Father McMurtry. His childhood friend? Mobster Mickey Dolan.
Castle and Beckett track the crime’s sole witness to an apartment in the wrong side of town. Castle’s too busy bickering with Beckett over their parents to notice the armed mobster coming up behind him. Leo, the witness, suddenly opens the door, distracting the mobsters and giving Castle and Beckett the chance to escape. They flee into the safety of Leo’s apartment, but the mobsters try to bang down the door. Before long, the trio hurry out the window, only to find the car they came in stolen. The nearest pay phone is dead, so Castle harasses the neighbors by hitting their buzzers. It gets one man’s attention, but he refuses to call the police and instead threatens to come down and beat them up.
Back at the station, Captain Gates receives a pair of surprise visitors: Martha and Jim. Esposito, having found the witness’ apartment in a state of disarray, called them, and they’re frantic with worry.
Kate smashes a car window to retrieve a cell phone, but it’s password protected. With the mobsters hot on their tail, they seek refuge in an abandoned playground. Castle tries to guess the password, but is interrupted by an incoming call. The victim of their robbery wants her phone back, but when she overhears the word killer, she thinks they’re threatening her and hangs up. All is not lost, however; in letting slip the name of her cat, the woman has given them the password. Unfortunately, just as Castle prepares to dial, she remotely disables her phone.
They catch sight of a slow moving cab, but their quest to hitch a ride hits a snag when Leo trips and hurts his ankle. Kate catches up to the taxi, but the driver is off duty and uninterested in a nonpaying fare. As he drives off, the mobsters pop into view and the group scrambles to find safe haven, Leo hopping the whole way. Beckett spots a storm shelter and they disappear inside, undetected. Castle finds a broken down two-way radio, which he hopes to piece back together with tips from MacGyver. Irritated by his fantastical plan, Kate peruses a Chinese takeout menu for a possible getaway.
Gates interrogates Colin Clark, a foot soldier for the O’Reilly mob, who’s preparing to flee the country. He lets on that Dolan was doing something on the side, sending Ryan and Esposito back to rewatch the tape of McMurtry and Dolan’s argument. They spot McMurtry talking to a federal agent, leading them to believe that his work as an informant got him killed.
Martha brings Jim coffee, and they bury the hatchet. Martha reveals her fear of losing Castle, and Jim admits that he hasn’t stopped worrying about Kate since the day she received her shield. Wherever their children are, they agree, at least they have each other. Unfortunately, Castle and Beckett are still bickering about dinner. Leo, the recipient of hundreds of hours of therapy, suggests that their issues might not be about their parents, but rather about each other. Though they scoff at the notion, Kate later admits that Castle’s comment about their parents living in separate worlds has her worried. After all, he’s a world famous novelist and she’s merely a detective. Castle gets the radio working but can only send static. He agrees to make a dash for the Chinese restaurant, promising Kate he’ll bring her back a doggie bag.
As Kate frets over Castle, Leo reminds her how important it is to live in the moment. Castle, meanwhile, tries to remain inconspicuous as he wanders down the street. Just as the restaurant comes into view, Mickey’s men grab him and force him into their black van. Dolan asks Castle where Beckett and Leo are hiding, taking guesses until Castle’s usually impeccable poker face betrays him.
When the FBI comes calling, they reveal that it was not McMurtry who was their informant, but Dolan himself. He was in federal custody at the time of the priest’s murder, but skipped out upon hearing of his friend’s demise. In fact, Dolan isn’t looking to kill the witness, but to gather information on McMurtry’s killer. One of Dolan’s men breaks into the storm shelter and, in a scuffle with Kate, loses his gun. Leo retrieves it, pointing it directly at Beckett. He killed McMurtry to bring Dolan out from the cold.
Leo forces Kate to call Dolan, who asks to make an exchange. Kate insists on talking to Castle, telling him that she’d like to reschedule their family get together to a baseball game. Castle gets the hint, and Dolan and Beckett agree to a trade. Upon their arrival, Leo shoots up Dolan’s car, only to find it empty. With a henchman and Castle in tow, Dolan trains his gun on Leo. It is only at Castle’s insistence that he not let his deceased friend down that Dolan relents. The police arrive and take them all into custody, and Castle and Beckett hitch a ride back to the station in the cab that abandoned them to certain death.
Upon arriving at the precinct, Castle and Beckett brace themselves for an awkward encounter with their parents. Just as they decide that it doesn’t matter if their families get along, Martha and Jim emerge from the break room with newfound affection.
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