'Castle': How Beckett got her job back in 'Number One Fan'

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They're no stranger to hostage situations and weird fans on "Castle." Both of those plots have, in fact, already occurred in earlier episodes of the series. But a crazy fan who takes hostages and will only speak to Richard Castle?

That's a new one.

Sugar daddies and Pi

Beckett is unemployed and feeling awfully bad about it. Castle isn't much help -- he offers to keep Beckett in the manner to which she could become accustomed. This isn't to say that Beckett is interested. All she wants is a job, which is complicated during an NYPD hiring freeze and after being fired by the Feds.

None of this is improved by the arrival of Pi. Followed by Martha. Followed by Alexis.

A call from Captain Gates (for Castle?) is very welcome after this.

Better than getting hobbled?

As usual, the call is about a murder. But this one is a little different than most. The suspect is a woman named Emma Riggs, a waitress who is accused of stabbing her boyfriend, Angelo Vazquez, to death. While on the run from the cops, Emma took shelter in a dentist's office with a handful of hostages.

Not wanting to talk to the police, Emma insisted on help from her favorite author, Richard Castle. All it takes is some Castle trivia and a hostage trade, and the writer is inside, chatting with his number-one fan.

She is definitely unhinged, but she might just be innocent. Is there evidence of this?

Nope

Over at the suspect's apartment, it really looks like Emma did it. Angelo was killed with her kitchen knife. She drunk-texted him to come over. Emma is taking anti-psychotic medications. Oh, and she was suspecting her beloved boyfriend of cheating on her with someone from Scarsdale.

It doesn't look good.

Never text while drunk, kids

Despite all the damning evidence to the contrary, Emma insists that she isn't a killer. She has no memory of drinking all of the scotch, and she definitely doesn't remember sending a text to Angelo.

It's fortunate for Emma that Castle is a writer. He thinks that someone else sent the text, based on the message's voice and because it says "love you" instead of "<3 U." This excites Emma greatly and she practically pushes her idol out the door so the phone can be dusted for prints.

Criminals get killed and stuff

Obviously, that doesn't work out for her. This is far too good a setup for prints, after all. At least Gates lets Castle and Beckett hang out at Sully's incredibly messy desk in order to work the crime. They start out by looking into Angelo and his trips to Scarsdale.

Once, Angelo was seen drinking coffee in his car for two hours. There was also a trunk full of burglary equipment. Was the out-of-work victim committing crimes to make ends meet?

Emma doesn't seem to know anything about any of this. She doesn't deny that criminal activity is a possibility though.

"Murderer isn't an adjective."

Castle, being Castle, goes back in to the hostage situation. This time he brings donuts. Alas, even the possibility of tasty pastries isn't enough to lure Emma out to face the police.

There may be a good reason for that. Back when she was a child, Emma -- who then used a different name -- got drunk and lured her foster brother into the basement. And stabbed him. It's awfully familiar to the detectives on this case.

When Castle gets this news, it doesn't make Emma very happy.

In her standard, threatening way, Emma insists she is innocent while pointing a gun in Castle's face. She tearfully tells her tale -- the teenage murder was an accident, but the victim's brother said she did it on purpose.

The "SH" connection

After her conviction for murder, Emma was taken in by an orphanage called Saint Helena's. That would be the SH found in the evidence. It seems that Angelo broke into the facility's records room and stole Emma's sealed foster-care record.

But this was actually a nice thing to do. Angelo wanted the records so Emma could find out who her real parents were.

"Oh my God! I just killed Richard Castle!"

You know that bulletproof vest that says "Writer" on it? Thanks to an edgy hostage trying to wrestle away Emma's gun, that vest now has a dotted "i." At least he knows it works?

Despite being shot, Castle now thinks that Emma is very innocent. It's the adoption records that are the key -- what if one of Emma's birth parents didn't want to be found? On Beckett's (ineffective, since she doesn't work there) orders, Esposito goes to look for said records.

How did that parent know what to copy? Did someone else have access to Emma's criminal record?

Files, files, files

A semi-corrupt file clerk gave Emma's records to a lawyer called Vance. Not that Vance is willing to talk and violate attorney-client privilege.

It's fortunate that Angelo thought to wrap the files up in a nice package -- whoever framed Emma didn't look there. Among the files are the names of Emma's parents, and her birth father is a rich and prominent man named Aaron Stokes.

The advantages of being unemployed

Aaron Stokes is such a big fish that no one wants to question the guy. This is where Beckett really comes in handy. Since she doesn't have a job to lose, engaging in a little bit of career-ending interrogation really isn't much of a problem for her.

Interestingly, Vance doesn't spend a lot of time denying that Emma was the daughter he gave up for adoption in order to avoid exposing an affair. He never contacted her (but kind of wanted to) and is more than a little shocked that the woman is being framed for murder. As it turns out, Stokes even has an alibi. And he certainly never authorized a lawyer to dig up Emma's file.

Ah, greed!

Why did Vance request the documents then? That would be because Vance is both a lawyer and a son-in-law to the Stokes family. He was the one who met Angelo and realized that Emma could theoretically inherit some of the money otherwise going to his wife.

With the file discovered, all Vance had to do was kill the guy who knew the details, frame Emma for the murder and destroy all of the documents. It would be a clever plan if it were not all so stupid.

Happy endings

Emma gets cleared for the murder. Stokes finally meets the daughter he gave up for adoption (and he even says "Happy Birthday" to her). And Beckett gets her job back after Stokes has a chat with his buddy, the police commissioner.

Castle and Beckett even get to openly date this time. No wonder everyone gets to drink for free!

Photo/Video credit: ABC
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