Following the premiere of “Dancing with the Stars,” “Castle” yet again pays tribute to its lead-in as Castle and Beckett solve the murder of a contestant on a DWTS-like show. While “Castle” previously gave a shout-out to the show in 2010 by casting Tom Bergeron as a murder victim, this episode uses the dance show as the setting for a murder filled with twists and turns.
Odette, a dancer on “A Night of Dance,” is discovered shot to death in her dressing room during a taping of the show. Odette’s brother explains that while his sister had a troubled past, she cleaned up her life to achieve her dream of becoming a dancer. The team checks most obvious suspect first — a booted-off contestant that had a beef with her, but his alibi checks out.
Odette’s credit card statements show a hefty amount of recent charges, but all of them were used on clothes that were not in Odette’s size. She bought them for a woman working on the show who was blackmailing her. The woman overheard Odette fighting with the show’s host. The host claims he caught Odette using drugs, but upon finding the syringes in Odette’s dressing room, the team discovers them filled with insulin, not heroin. However, Odette wasn’t diabetic.
Meanwhile, attempting to gain some publicity for her acting school, Martha invites a theater critic who previously wrote a scathing review of her over to dinner. This goes as expected, and the critic storms out before Alexis can even serve the pie.
Esposito finds that the only fingerprints in Odette’s apartment aren’t hers. They belong to a woman named Barbara who supposedly died in the same train crash that made Odette change her life. The two women are nearly identical, and the team realizes that Odette was the one who really died in that crash. Barbara assumed her identity.
Ryan and Esposito check out Barbara’s previous place of work, a strip club. Ryan feels that his wedding band is preventing girls from checking him out, so he forces Esposito to wear it as an experiment. They find out the name of Barbara’s ex-boyfriend, and that not even a ring can stop Esposito’s charm.
Castle discovers the relationship between Barbara and Odette. Odette was paying Barbara to be her body double — Barbara would do community service while Odette hung with friends. But after assuming Odette’s identity, Barbara began to want her own life back.
Barbara was investigating the death of Odette’s grandfather. While he was thought to have died in his sleep, Barbara began to realize, as our detectives do, that he was murdered. Odette was dating her financial adviser, a relationship her grandfather didn’t approve of. Odette created a fire in the kitchen as a distraction while the adviser smothered the grandfather with a pillow. When the adviser realized that Barbara wasn’t Odette, he murdered her, stopping them from blackmailing each other.
Castle discusses the episode’s them, the importance of dreams. Barbara was so close to achieving her dream of becoming a dancer when she was murdered, and Beckett reveals she once wanted to be the chief justice of the United States. Martha’s dreams, however, may come true after all — she and the critic make up, and she agrees to promote Martha’s school.
This was an average murder-of-the-week episode, but moments like Martha’s subplot, Alexis’ return to the morgue and Esposito’s struggle to remove Ryan’s ring from his hand gave this episode a little more charm. Next week marks a return to drama between Castle and Beckett, and personally, I can’t wait.