Season 3 Episode 18

One Life to Lose

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Mar 21, 2011 on ABC

Episode Recap

Popular soap opera Temptation Lane just lost its head writer. Sara Cutler's body is found on set, with an axe protruding from her back. Actors Lance Hastings and Mandy Bronson are shocked by Sara's murder, and they both have alibis. Director Vince Powers was married to Sara, but as Beckett is questioning him, Sara's mother, Gloria Chambers, shows up. She insists on the police doing everything they can to help find her daughter's murderer. Or else, she's going to sue the city. Vince says that Sara had an obsessed fan escorted off the set recently, but the fan also has an alibi. As the investigation continues, Castle starts to suspect that Beckett is a fan of Temptation Lane. Meanwhile, the team works with Reese, Sara's assistant and an aspiring writer herself, and Esposito discovers that Sara set down mysterious appointments in her planner. Vince and Sara were separated, which means that he had motive to kill her, but Vince has an alibi: Mandy. They were spending the night in a hotel room, and Mandy left after she received an email from Sara. The email contained attachments of a script which had scenes of Mandy's character being killed off. Mandy says that she confronted Sara about the scenes, but she didn't kill her. Peter Connelly, another writer for the show, would never allow Mandy's character death to happen, and the network trusts Peter more than Sara. Peter confirms that Mandy was with him during the time of the murder. Since he's short one writer now, he appoints Reese to the staff. Peter also asks Castle to write some scenes for the show if he wants. Sara was meeting someone at a coffee shop. The waitress at the diner is shocked when she hears about Sara's death, as Sara was trying to help her by agreeing to read her screenplay. Castle says that he would read the waitress's screenplay if she gives them information on who Sara met at the diner. It turns out to be a private investigator who uncovered that Gloria Chambers was not Sara's real mother. Gloria refuses to admit that she had a role in the murder, and suggests that Lance isn't entirely innocent. She witnessed him giving a pair of expensive earrings to Sara. Lance admits that he wanted out of his contract with the show to do a movie, so he gave Sara the earrings as a gift/bribe. As Castle peruses the waitress's screenplay, he figures out who killed Sara. Castle thinks that if they get the cast and crew to film a scene he wrote for the show, then they could coax a confession from the killer. The scene consists of a coffee barista who wrote something which someone else stole and claimed as their own. Reese is fingered as the culprit. Later Beckett tells Castle why she likes Temptation Lane so much. When she was a girl, she and her mother would watch the show together and it remains one of her fondest memories.