It's a case with many twists and twirls when Odette Morton, a contestant on the hit competition TV show A Night of Dance is found shot to death in her dressing room. One of the early details we learn during the investigation is that Lanie once dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina. Things changed when she felt the world wasn't ready for such a top-heavy dancer. Castle and Ryan disagree.
The victim was killed moments before the dance show started. While questioning some of the other contestants, Ryan wonders why a pretty female participant doesn't seem to notice him. Esposito says it's the curse of the wedding band. His partner better get used to looking invisible to single women. More on that later.
The two men and one woman who serve as the opinionated judges of A Night of Dance (sound familiar?) say Odette had trouble with another contestant, Eddie Gordon. The guy had motive to kill since he can now return to the show to fill the open slot. Eddie alibis out, but provides the team with a sketch of a man Odette met in an alley. There's a theory that the victim may have been falling back into old bad habits.
Odette's brother talks about how his sis started hanging with a bad crowd after their grandfather died. She turned her life around after a near-death experience during a train derailment. Odette's business manager, Samuel Lynchberg, says that her reckless spending binges stopped after the train accident until recently. A worker at the show was being paid to keep her mouth shut about a possible relationship with the show's host, Brad Melville, who was keeping the secret that he saw Odette shooting up in her dressing room.
Odette wasn't injecting herself with illegal narcotics. She was using insulin even though there's no indication that she was diabetic. That's because she wasn't, but Barbra Landau was. Barbra is a woman who supposedly died in the same train derailment that Odette survived. The two ladies looked identical. That's why it was easy for Barbra Landau to assume the identity of Odette Morton.
Ryan and Esposito check out the strip club where Barbra worked. Castle gets left behind. Why? Well, Ryan wants his partner to wear his wedding ring to see if women still avoid flirting with him. The grand experiment fails miserably. Ryan simply gives off the vibe of a happily married guy. This is the case with or without his ring, which is now stuck on Esposito's finger. Not good.
Castle realizes that Odette paid Barbra to be her double. This allowed her to continue her party ways while someone else dealt with the repercussions. When the train crash happened, Barbra went from understudy to leading lady. Her ex-boyfriend reveals that she found out some secrets from Odette's past but needed more information.
Barbra was interested in the death of Odette's grandfather. A friend's father, Charles Carson, used to be grandpa's butler. The guy happened to be on the guest list to see the TV show. After checking out the autopsy report, Alexis determines that the old man may have been smothered to death with a pillow. Castle is so proud of his little girl. Charles Carson suspected foul play, too. But the only people in the house when grandpa died were he and Odette. Or so he thought.
Odette caused a distraction to allow her boyfriend to smother her disapproving grandfather with a pillow. This way she could get her inheritance without issue. Barbra Landau was killed because she figured out that Odette's boyfriend was her co-conspirator. So, who is this mystery murderer? It's Odette's business manager: Samuel Lynchberg. Case closed.
Martha is desperate to have top theatre critic Oona Marconi mention her acting school in one of her columns. She must swallow her pride since this woman once gave her a scathing review. Yeah, that doesn't happen. Martha and Oona get into a big fight over dinner. Things look grim until Castle suggests that his mom make Oona an offer she can't reuse. Martha does just that. Oona will give the acting school a shout-out as soon as Castle reads the caustic critic's manuscript. What a son won't do for his mother, right?