While Castle (Nathan Fillion) puts off writing a recommendation letter for Alexis‘ (Molly C. Quinn) boyfriend Pi (Myko Olivier), and Beckett (Stana Katic) pretends not to be bothered by baseless paparazzi rumors that Castle is getting back together with his ex-wife (Monet Mazur), the pair begin investigating the murder of a former teen star’s (Alexandra Chando) paid decoy (Deanna Moore) who was killed while standing-in for the celebrity.
Catching up to the Mandy’s stalker (Peter Holden) gives Castle and Beckett a lead that points to the young woman’s dirtbag ex-boyfriend (Bug Hall). While bonding a little with the celebrity, Alexis finds herself dragged along on an ill-advised trip that not only lets the world know that the real Mandy Sutton is alive, something the police were trying to keep quiet, but also exactly where the her ex-boyfriend can find her.
Providing an unexpected late twist: the ex turns out not to be the killer nor was Mandy the real target. The motive for murder was keeping the truth hidden about the staged public make-out between the stand-in and ex-boyfriend and its fallout which succeeding in breaking-up Mandy with her current boyfriend (Brad Benedict). Once the truth about the picture and reason for the murder is revealed it leads Beckett and Castle right to the woman (Lola Glaudini) behind the entire scheme who was determined to keep the gravy train rolling along.
It’s nice to see Chando (who I enjoyed as the dual-lead in The Lying Game before the show’s cancellation). The Alexis/Mandy team-up feels a bit forced but the episode does find a way to work Alexis successfully back into the A-story of an episode (something the show has struggled with this season). The late twist is a nice touch as the episode keeps the real motive for murder under wraps until the final few minutes. The subplot of Beckett’s consternation at the paparazzi’s insinuations is fun and allows Ryan (Seamus Dever) and Esposito (Jon Huertas) to have some fun at her expense as well.