'Castle' recap: Murder, Thanksgiving and a baby

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Babies complicate everything. This is especially true in the "Castle" episode, "." Every theory about how a limo driver could be killed is messed up by a tiny bundle of joy called Cosmo/Benny.

Don't drive for criminals. And leave the baby at home.

A professional driver named Cameron Ducane begins the episode by staggering into a church and dying. But before he does, the man hands a baby to the priest.

The baby -- promptly named Cosmo by Castle, the "baby whisperer" -- doesn't belong to Ducane and doesn't seem to fit with any possible motives for the gunshot man's death. It turns out that Ducane was once the getaway driver for a bank heist gone wrong, but the robber had an alibi.

By checking the routes that Ducane took during his middle-of-the-night lunch breaks, the detectives eventually figure out that there was some sort of heist at an office building. Security cameras show shadowy men coming and going, but no one has reported a crime.

For that matter, no one has reported a missing baby either.

Further investigations yield an empty apartment (with one dirty diaper), burn residue and blood that belongs to someone related to the baby. Still, nothing makes sense.

The bad guys win the lottery! Or not.

The key to the mystery lies in the lottery. A television station broadcasts from the heist building, and Ducane died with a lotto ticket in his pocket. How could someone rig the lottery? And how does a baby fit in?

Everything comes together when Castle and Beckett realize that the lottery balls have been tampered with so that the bad guys' ticket will be called. It turns out that the station's winning-numbers announcer, Miranda Vail, is also the mother of a three-month-old baby.

Both Miranda's son, Benny, and her husband, Paul, were kidnapped by men who told her to pick a certain set of balls before the lottery draw occurred. Once she did that, special argon-filled ping-pong balls made sure that only the right numbers would come up. If Miranda followed all instructions, her baby and husband would be returned.

Note: This is a wonderful crime, by the way, tampering with the lotto balls like that. Obviously, it wouldn't work in real life, but it's an excellent TV plot.

Unfortunately, the head of security at the building is in on the heist and has alerted the others that the police know about the lottery scheme. This is bad news for Paul Vail. It's only through phone records that show calls to Ducane's former employer at the limo company that the cops find the criminals.

Paul is saved, and the family is reunited.

Beckett sees her future, and it has costumes and babies in it.

It's going to take a lot to derail the future of Castle and Beckett at this point. Beckett manages to get through serious concerns about both babies and Thanksgiving costumes in this episode, and the relationship only emerges stronger.

This is good.

Those costumes, however, are not. Castle may have been joking when he told Beckett that everyone in the family did Thanksgiving dressed as pilgrims and Indians (although why it would be John Rolfe and Pocahontas -- who lived in Virginia a decade or so earlier and had nothing to do with Thanksgiving -- is unclear). But Beckett got him back good by showing up in a costume with a spare for her fiance.

The baby issue could have been more of a deal-breaker. While Castle obviously adores wee things and is ready to have a whole mess of new ones, Beckett is more hesitant. This is because she is a sensible woman who doesn't think babies are adorable and therefore desirable.

It's not until Beckett successfully survives a night on baby duty that she realizes having her own might not be a bad idea someday.

She and Castle just have to work their timing so that Alexis isn't popping out Castle grandkids at the same time.


Alas, this is it for new "Castle" episodes for the year. The show will return with new episodes in 2014.

Photo/Video credit: ABC