A van races down alley. A man springs in front of it with his gun drawn. BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! The man unloads his clip, but the van never slows. BAM! The van plows into the shooter literally knocking him out of his shoes. Castle is more than ready to sink his teeth into a murder mystery if only to get a bad taste out of his mouth. Martha tried her hand at making his patented funny face pancakes-the ones he always makes for his daughter. They are both missing Alexis now that she's moved away to college though Castle seems to be getting better at letting go. Not great, but better.
The murder victim's name was Hasim Farouk. Ryan and Esposito find an arsenal of high-end weapons in the guy's apartment along with surveillance equipment. Hasim had assault charges filed against him not too long ago. The complaining party was Bram Stoker, a TA at Columbia. He also happens to be a distant relative of the famed Dracula author. Hasim got ticked at Bram because of his flirting with female students. One of the girls was Sara El-Masri, who was seen trying to escape from the van that ran down the victim. Hasim died trying to stop her from being abducted.
Agent Harris (guest star Dylan Walsh) is brought in to run point on the kidnapping. Sara's dad, Anwar, is a wealthy Egyptian businessman who made many enemies in his homeland. He tells Beckett that he hired Hasim Farouk to discreetly protect his daughter. As a fellow overprotective dad, Castle can relate. He and Beckett head off to meet an author Sara went to see the night she was abducted. She attended the lecture event with a friend. Castle realizes it was Alexis. A call to her cell leads to a ringing from a lost and found box. Not only was Alexis at the event with her friend, she was abducted, too.
Agent Harris says surveillance video helped them ID one of the abductors. His name is Roger Henson, a midlevel narcotics smuggler who is likely just a hired gun for the real shot-callers. Castle fears the worst. If Sara was the target, then Alexis was just in the way. Beckett holds him close, not caring who sees them. Castle silently walks out of the precinct. Captain Gates tells Beckett to do whatever she needs to do to get him back his little girl. Martha comforts Castle by letting him know that Alexis is her father's daughter. She's strong and she will get through this.
A devastated Castle watches videos Alexis put on her blog page. One posting revealed that she and Sara were attending the lecture. The van that was used for the kidnapping is found with blood inside. Castle is coming unhinged as he waits for Lanie to determine if it's a match for Alexis. Thankfully, it's not. The blood didn't come from Sara either. Both girls are alive and being held in a nondescript room. There's a bathroom and a change of clothes. A tray of food is slip through an opening in the door. Whoever took them appears to be taking care of them. Alexis assures her friend that her dad is out there looking for them.
Douglas Stevens is identified as the van driver. The team tracks him down at his sister's place where he's recovering from a gunshot wound. The guy won't answer Beckett's questions, so Castle asks for some alone time. He explains that he's not a cop. He's a father who will do whatever it takes to find his daughter. Screams are heard from Douglas Stevens. A short time later, the team has info as to where the girls were taken. It's an isolated farm 60 miles away.
Agent Harris and his team storm the place when they see surveillance cameras outside. Alexis and Sara are nowhere to be found. One of the abductors, Roger Hanson, is found dead inside the farmhouse. He'd been tortured. The fact that the kidnappers killed one of their hired guns makes this case a lot more complicated. Castle knows they are back to square one. Beckett reminds him that they've solved tough cases before with less to go on than they have now. It's something her partner once told her.
Alexis manages to pick the lock on the door of the room where she's being held. She and Sara split up to double their chances of escape. Alexis finds a phone in another room. Her 911 call doesn't go through. She has one more option. Alexis uses her Skype account to call Castle. She has no idea where she is. Castle orders her to get out of the room when the kidnappers are heard in the distance. The agents who have set up shop in Castle's loft trace the call. They're confused to learn that it originated from a cell tower in France. A perplexed Alexis bursts outside to see that she's in Paris. This is moments before the kidnappers recapture her.