A Death in the Family
Season 1, Episode 10
Castle A Death in the Family
Air date May 11, 2009
Written by Andrew W. Marlowe & Barry Schindel
Directed by Bryan Spicer
Episode guide
Little Girl Lost
Deep in Death
Castle s1 cast
Season 1
March 9, 2009 -May 11, 2009
Season 1 is now available on DVD  

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6   •   7   •   8   •   9   •   10

This is the first season Season 2

A Death in the Family is the tenth episode and season finale of the first season of Castle.


The gruesome murder of a plastic surgeon sends Castle and Beckett into a confusing world of cosmetic surgery, unstable patients, and the witness protection program. But when Castle discovers additional information about Beckett's past, it could end up fracturing the partnership.


A man is found suffocated in a car with a plastic bag. The victim is Dr. Joshua Leeds, a plastic surgeon. Leeds’ fiancée, Courtney Morantz, identifies the body. She’s devastated, as they were getting married in a month. She swears Josh was never in contact with any criminal elements.

At Leeds' office, the staff reveals the name of an unsatisfied customer Jacey Goldberg who had sued him, but her alibi checks out.

While Detectives Esposito and Ryan search Leeds' office for clues, a file is found containing records of an operation with the patient information redacted. It is found that Leeds had operated on a patient for the U.S. Attorney office, doing reconstructive face surgery for the Witness Protection Program.

At the consulate, Candance 'Hard Candy' Robinson refuses to tell Beckett anything about the witness. But Castle, using his sources in the mob, learns that Jimmy 'The Rat' Moran was about to testify against a mafia family, the Spolanos.

Beckett meets up with Agent Will Sorenson and asks him to arrange a meeting with Moran. But the talks are a failure, as the death and nature of death of the doctor scares Moran, who identifies his own killing style being used. After they leave, Beckett is informed that the car containing Moran was shot at and both Sorenson and Moran were hit.

Beckett is devastated and blames herself for the attack, but Castle tells her not to give up. Next morning, Beckett tries to find a hole in the staff profiles. They find that Mario, one of the staff members, had just been hired last month. But at the office, it is found that the Maggie Dowd that works in Dr. Leeds’ office doesn’t match the picture faxed over from her nursing school. They think she may have gone to finish off Moran.

Back at the hospital, Maggie is trying to administer poison to Moran, but gets caught and it is revealed that the line had been cut so that the poison wouldn’t enter Moran’s body. She is revealed to be Clara 'Cold blood', a hit woman for the Spolanos. She also decides to testify.

There a two subplots to this episode. One concerns Alexis Castle, who is getting ready to go to the junior-senior prom with her friend Owen and Castle's realization that his daughter is growing into a woman.

The other concerns Castle's search for Johanna Beckett's killer, which puts a strain on his relationship with Beckett, ultimately leading Beckett to cut her links with him when he reveals her mother and three other murders at the same time were connected.


Castle 1x10 A Death in the Family Promo

Castle 1x10 A Death in the Family Promo

Image Gallery


Main Cast

Guest Stars


Beckett: I'm not running a background check on your daughter's date.
Castle: Oh, come on! She says he's quiet, he keeps to himself, and he lives with his parents. Tell me that doesn't sound like a serial killer to you!
Beckett: Ahem. What's the deal with men and boobs, anyway?
Castle: Biological. We can't help it.
Beckett: But doesn't it bother you that they're so obviously not real?
Castle: Santa's not real. We still love opening his presents.
Esposito: Wow, look at her. How can anyone do that to themselves?
Castle: Right? It's like she escaped from the Island of Dr. Moreau.[1]
Beckett: Come on guys, she's not an animal. She's a human being.
Castle: Yeah, I know but...wait, are you being sincere, or quoting the Elephant Man?[2]
Martha: What men don't understand is, the right clothes, the right shoes, the right make-up... just, it hides the flaws we think we have. They make us look beautiful, to ourselves. That's what makes us look beautiful to others.
Beckett: You want to ask the mob who the witness is?
Castle: Clearly they already know who he is if they're trying to kill him. Like you said, he's gotta be a significant witness in a pretty big case.
Beckett: So what do we do? Hop in the car and drive down to the Bada Bing?[3]
Castle: My little girl! She's all grown up.
Martha: Yeah. Well, at least one of you is.

Featured Music

  • "Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag" - Minnutes
  • "More to Luv" - Minnutes
  • "I Know You Are But What Am I?" - Mogwai
  • "Comes and Goes (In Waves)" - Greg Laswell



  • The restaurant in which Castle and Tenor meet is actually Coles, a restaurant in Los Angeles, CA.


  • Beckett threatens to end the relationship if Castle touches her mother's case, but doesn't realize that he's been doing just that since A Chill Goes Through Her Veins.
  • Beckett tells Castle that it took her a year of therapy to realize if she didn't let go of her mother's case, it would destroy her so she lets it go.
  • Castle's mobster source is named Sal Tenor, possible a reference to Tony Soprano, the main character of the HBO show The Sopranos, which was about an organized crime family.
  • When Beckett goes back to the Dr.'s office to speak with Nurse Mario again, she finds out that he is innocent. Castle tells Mario not to leave town. This is a reference to Beckett's comment to a former suspect in Flowers For Your Grave, in which Beckett says that it is ok to make that statement as long as the suspect doesn't know the rules.


  • After Castle suggests they should check out the billing department of the hospital, we see him coming back to the office with 2 cups of coffee. He gets near Beckett and after she gives Esposito a paper with an account number, the camera angle cuts back to Castle and he's now holding only one cup of coffee with both hands.
  • After Castle mentions that he's looking forward to terrorising Alexis' date before prom, he asks Beckett whether her father did a similar thing to her date. Beckett states that she doesn't know because she was in her room, but when she came out, her date looked terrified. However, in the Season 6 episode Smells Like Teen Spirit, Beckett reveals that she never went to prom.


  1. The Island of Dr. Moreau is a 1977 film, which is based on the 1896 book of the same name by H.G. Wells, starring Burt Lancaster and Michael York about an island inhabited by a scientist, Dr. Moreau, who in an experiment has turned beasts into human beings. The film was remade in 1996 and starred Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando.
  2. The Elephant Man was a 1980 film starring Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt about a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak.
  3. The Bada Bing! is a fictional go-go bar from the HBO drama television series, The Sopranos.

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