Castle headed back to high school in “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” for a fun episode that combined Carrie, The Bling Ring, and Mean Girls and wound up with murder.
Our victim of the week, Madison Beaumont, is a popular senior at Fairmont – one of the private schools Castle was kicked out of once upon a time. (More on that later.) Madison’s murder was supposedly “witnessed” by her friends Hillary and Kris as they video chatted, and what they saw was Madison being thrown around the room by a mysterious force – and the blood found up on the rafters in Madison’s room supports this. When Castle and Beckett talk to Madison’s ex-boyfriend Riley, they find that he is tall and strong enough to show her, but he has an alibi, and he also tells them that he broke up with Madison because she had been going out at all times of the night and wouldn’t tell him why.
While at the school, Castle and Beckett find out about a mysterious incident that happened a few weeks prior: Madison and her friends were bullying a girl named Jordan in the cafeteria, and then tables started sliding around the room seemingly on their own. In Jordan’s bedroom, they find comic books, telekinesis books, and even a copy of Carrie, along with a picture of Madison with her eyes scratched out. (Castle is, of course, much more gung-ho about this whole telekinesis theory than Beckett is.) They eventually track Jordan to the lab of a biophysics professor who is studying telekinesis, but it turns out that while Jordan wished for Madison to be dead, she didn’t actually hurt the other girl. And the supposed telekinetic events in the cafeteria and in Madison’s bedroom were staged by Jordan’s friend Lucas. The supposed murder video was actually a pre-recorded video Madison blackmailed Lucas into helping her make to scare her friends.
So the actual murderer? One of those friends, who clearly did not “witness” the murder from the cab after all. Madison was stealing from her classmates’ houses and hiding her loot in the library – Jordan seeing her there is why Madison started bullying the other girl in the first place, though Jordan didn’t actually know what was going on. (And Madison escalated to stealing German bearer bonds from a client of her lawyer father, which added a whole additional layer of red herrings to the case.) Kris and Hillary were in on the thieving ring, and Kris killed Madison to finally get free of it.
It turns out that Fairmont’s Principal Duncan is the same principal who expelled Castle, so we get a fun little look at Castle’s past. Duncan treats Castle hilariously, insisting on calling him “Mr. Rodgers” (which was, of course, his name when he was in school) and stating “You’ve become a writer. Of sorts.” Beckett and the audience also find out that scholarship kid Castle was expelled from the school because of a prank – but his rich friends who were in on it were allowed to stay. Aww.
Meanwhile, wedding planning continues: Castle wants a band, but Beckett wants a DJ, and I’m just thanking my lucky stars that we’ve gotten to the point at which we can watch them make these mundane decisions and it works. They realize both that they don’t really have a “song” and that neither of them went to their high school proms: “Rebel Bex was a little too cool to go to a silly dance.” Hee. So when they wind up solving the case at Fairmont during a school dance, they take a turn on the dance floor. Castle: “Everything I’ve ever done, every choice I’ve ever made, every terrible wonderful thing that’s ever happened to me, it’s all led me to right here, this moment, with you.” Awww. And they find their song: “In My Veins,” which, of course, we used in the season four finale, “Always.” Perfect.
(Image courtesy of ABC.)