Celebrities other than Castle are at the forefront in Castle‘s “A Murder Is Forever,” when the victim of the week is Alice Clark, gorilla advocate turned self-help author of Mating Rituals and unlicensed relationship coach to the rich and famous. Alice is found shot, with her car and office torn apart by a professional clearly looking for something they didn’t find, a mysterious “MF1945” alert on her phone, a boyfriend with an alibi – and a mystery man on her building’s security tapes. The boyfriend, Matt, says she was rattled by a call from an angry client, but otherwise has no specific ideas. Luckily, some old-fashioned police work comes through (and I love how often that happens on this show) and the boys trace the “MF1945” message to a chartered private jet Alice had on standby, and the mystery man’s van to famous fixer Barrett Hawke, who unconvincingly claims complete ignorance of the case.
Alice’s assistant tells Castle and Beckett that the only thing missing from the office was the client file for hotel tycoon Andrew Spencer and his wife. They’re going through a divorce, and since Alice wasn’t a licensed therapist, her files weren’t privileged and could be subpoenaed. Both Spencers had secrets in those files they didn’t want to come out, so they traded Alice the file for a room off the books at one of Spencer’s hotels. And in a safe in the room, they find a ridiculously large, perfect diamond, the kind that would be famous – but no expert they contact has ever seen or heard of it before. As Ryan and Esposito are returning to the precinct with the diamond, masked guys with guns crash into their car, so clearly someone is trying to get the thing.
They trace the diamond to Alice’s client tech entrepreneur Steve Warner, whose wife Janet was clearly wearing it in photos from a recent gala, but the Warners swear the piece she was wearing was just costume jewelry and quickly become uncooperative, which makes the cops suspect the diamond has a nefarious origin. That impression is only heightened when Hawke confesses that the Warners were mugged and then hired him to get the diamond back, because they didn’t want to go to the police. Luckily, they can trace the mugger through a 911 call in the area from a woman who hit a masked man with her car – and the man just ran off. Prints on the car lead to South African criminal Leo Wyngaard – who is actually Alice’s boyfriend, “Matt.”
Meanwhile, an expert tells the cops that the diamond is actually manmade, but that makes it worth even more – it’s bigger and better-quality than any manmade diamond ever seen before, which means it was made with technology that could put the traditional cartels and their harmful practices out of business. And Wyngaard claims that’s exactly what he and Alice were trying to do. Through her work with the Warners, she discovered that they were the source of this mysterious technology, and they planned to steal the diamond, take it to a lab, and reverse engineer it. But it turns out that Warner had sold the (then-inferior) diamond-making tech to a cartel years before, so when he fired it back up to make one last present for Janet and happened to have a breakthrough that made this perfect diamond, he was doing so illegally and the cartel was not happy. And it was actually Janet Warner who ordered the hit on Alice, to protect herself and her husband.
Castle and Beckett are having some mild relationship issues of their own this episode, as Beckett is freaked out by a (rather terrifying) lion print Castle has hanging in his bedroom, but since he bought it with his first royalty check, he’s pretty attached. Castle starts reading Alice’s book, first to get ammunition for his argument, but eventually manages to arrive a real solution. (Go Alice!) He realizes the importance of compromising and making the space feel like theirs rather than his, so he replaces the lion print with framed seashells that he and Beckett collected during their first walk on the beach in the Hamptons. It’s all terribly, terribly sweet, at least until he interrupts the moment by scaring Beckett with a lion sound on his phone. And really? That’s the blend of sweet and goofy that Beckett – and all of us – love about him.
(Image courtesy of ABC.)