Strangely, not one of these people confessing actually committed murder. How does that work?
What’s the cost of a water bottle in room 147?
A man, Justin Marquette, is found dead in room 147 of a Best Traveler hotel. He was shot once in the chest while holding a water bottle from the mini-fridge. When Justin fell, he knocked over a chair.
That’s straightforward enough, but it doesn’t explain why Justin, a local actor struggling to start a career, was in the hotel (and that specific room). It definitely doesn’t explain why three people all confess to the murder.
Starting with Anita Miller (a recovering alcoholic), then moving to Sam Carson (a man with anger issues) and finally coming to Dwight Caruthers (an unassertive accountant), these pseudo-murderers all tell the same tale — almost to the word. They know details about the crime scene too.
It’s therefore unfortunate that they all also have alibis.
When in doubt, go with the creepy cult
Initially, there are only two connections between the non-suspects: They’ve all been drawing a trillium-shaped doodle and all saw a red van near where they lived. The police trace that van to find its owner is Miles Madsen.
Who is Madsen? He turns out to be a consultant for a creepy, cult-like mental-health organization called the Eternal Horizons Institute. EHI — which has a logo the same shape as the confessors’ doodles — is run by the uncooperative Dr. Gustav Bauer. He is so uncooperative, in fact, that he only answers questions via video conference from Sweden.
But EHI is very much involved with the case. Obviously. No place that creepy could ever be entirely innocent. Castle and Beckett soon learn that EHI had rented out a floor of a nearly identical Best Traveler hotel a couple of weeks earlier. Security footage from the event even captured Bauer and the murder victim talking to each other.
It seems that EHI was trying to solve psychological issues by showing drugged patients a video in which they shot Jonathan in a hotel room (room 147, of course). This was supposed to be a proxy for the real cause of the mental trauma. Unfortunately, many patients got too into it and actually thought they had killed a man.
In order to cover up all of this, EHI drugged them again and tried to erase any connection between the patients and the organization.
There are easier ways to get revenge …
Drugs, unethical experiments and serious cover-ups are actually all that the EHI people had to do with any of this though. As Dr. Bauer himself points out, why would they ever want to kill Jonathan and bring down all of this attention?
This leads the detectives to the idea that someone could have killed Jonathan in order to destroy EHI. That someone turns out to be the director of Jonathan’s former theater company, Pam. She was angry at EHI because her brother had been killed in a sweat-lodge incident a couple of years earlier. When EHI was not held liable for this, she hatched a revenge scheme.
Pam is obviously not a fan of “simple” when it comes to revenge. Her Byzantine plan also didn’t work out so well for poor, dead Jonathan.
Back on the home front
After Alexis terrifies Castle and Beckett by showing up at the loft unannounced at the crack of dawn, Castle tries to get his daughter to move back home. It seems that Pi is no more, and Alexis is stuck in her awful apartment alone. Even though Castle wants to help her get out of her lease, Alexis is hesitant.
Beckett thinks this might be because of her constant presence, but it’s actually because Alexis feels guilty for messing up with Pi. She doesn’t want Dad to have to pay for it. But this is why it’s nice to have a wealthy parent and a perceptive almost-step-parent — Beckett tells Alexis not to punish herself so much. Then Alexis moves back home.
It’s about to get crowded chez Castle again!
Only semi-related query
When Castle says “You know how I like the weird stuff” in this episode, did anyone else get flashbacks to “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”? Anyone? The relevant line in the song comes at the one-minute mark.