Castle and Beckett’s relationship is put to the test when his ex-wife comes to stay.
Felled by mono, Alexis is unable to go on a planned trip to Paris with her mother, Meredith. Kate is staying with Castle while her apartment is being fumigated. But when Meredith comes to take care of Alexis, Castle agrees to let her stay with them, much to Beckett’s fury. They argue on the way to a crime scene, where celebrity divorce attorney Michelle Twohey has been stabbed with an ice pick.
Castle and Beckett interview her boyfriend Corey, but he is of little use. Meanwhile, Esposito and Ryan pay a visit to the address found on the body. There, a beautiful woman named Jane Garrison answers the door, and Esposito is crushed to discover that she’s married. Her husband, Robert, had just been asked to do consulting work for Michelle, although they had yet to meet in person.
Castle agrees to take care of the Meredith situation, but when Beckett tells Lanie, the medical examiner will have none of it. After all, Castle has habitually slept with Meredith when she’s come to town. Worse, Lanie argues, Meredith “is marking her territory.” Eventually, they get to the body, where Lanie has found someone else’s blood.
The suspect list is huge; Michelle made a lot of enemies representing female divorcees. None of their ex-husbands, however, look like the sketch drawn from an eyewitness account of a man fleeing the scene. They track down the man in the sketch – Herman, a man previously convicted of assault and attempted murder. It turns out that Herman was actually in Michelle’s employ; she had hired him as a photographer. He went to meet her on the night of her death, but she was already dead. Not wanting to get mixed up in the case, he ran. The detectives watch a video message sent by Michelle to Herman, and discovered that she believed the photo she needed taken was a matter of life and death.
Castle goes home to talk to Meredith about leaving, but Meredith goes on and on about how grateful she is that Castle is letting her stay. After all, she hasn’t always been the best mother… and this is her chance to make up for. Knowing he’s fighting a losing battle, Castle makes reservations for himself and Kate to stay in a hotel. When she finds out that she’s being kicked out instead of his ex-wife, Kate is furious.
The blood on Michelle’s jacket belongs to one of her clients: Samantha Voss. Samantha lost her case and had a very public argument with Michelle about it. As Castle and Beckett talked to her, she proceeds to destroy numerous belongings lost in the divorce. When her husband Walter comes home, he joins in, destroying Samantha’s possessions as well. Eventually the pair are taken into custody. Unfortunately, it turns out to be another dead end.
The detectives discover that Michelle’s boyfriend, Corey, has disappeared. Even worse? His entire identity was a fake. They track him down through his class ring, scouring yearbook photos for his face. Eventually, they discover that he’s actually a former intelligence officer named Noah Kesswood. They learn that he was receiving wire transfers from another attorney. This attorney represented Billy Piper in a murder case that Michelle was looking into. His wife Leann (a former client of Michelle’s) had disappeared from a boat years prior. Billy claims that he killed neither, but that the accusations against him destroyed his life.
Meredith calls the station and invites Beckett for dinner, much to Castle’s dismay. Esposito and Ryan scare him further, putting thoughts into his head about what the pair may discuss. Dinner goes well, and Meredith and Kate mischievously tease Castle, claiming that Kate has now learned something so terrible that she can no longer be with him. They don’t keep up the ruse for very long, however, and Kate tells Castle she understands why Meredith is so hard to say no to. Still, she doesn’t want Meredith to stay with them in the future.
Noah’s alibi checks out, and Kate is set on Walter Voss’ trail. His boat was at the same location as the boat from which Leann Piper disappeared. They realize that Leann was not murdered at all; rather, Walter helped her escape and frame her husband for her death as revenge. She’s had some surgery done, but they still recognize her: she’s now living as Jane Garrison. Michelle was on to her deception, and Jane killed her.
Meredith admits to Kate that she did have an ulterior motive for coming to stay; she wanted to see how Beckett and Castle mesh of the couple. She thinks they look good together, but Kate can’t help but ask why Meredith and Castle split up. Meredith tells her that she felt like she never got to really know her husband, and she couldn’t live with how closed off he was. Though Meredith is sure that Castle’s changed, it’s clear that Beckett isn’t.
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