One Life to Lose
Season 3, Episode 18
One Life To Lose
Air date March 21, 2011
Written by Elizabeth Davis
Directed by David Barrett
Episode guide
Law & Murder
Castle season 3 cast
Season 3
Season 3 is available on DVD.   

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Season 2   Season 4
One Life to Lose is the eighteenth episode of the third season of Castle.


A murder has been committed on the set of “Temptation Lane,” one of New York’s longest-running soap operas. Sarah Cutler, the head writer on the soap, has been killed with a fire axe. Castle and Beckett quickly discover that the behind the scenes drama at “Temptation Lane” is just as scandalous as the fictitious storylines, and just about everyone would kill to get ahead. Ultimately, Castle’s unique skill set as a writer leads to a discovery about the killer and the secret he or she would do anything to protect.



Castle PROMO 3x18 - One Life to Lose Airs March 21st

Castle PROMO 3x18 - One Life to Lose Airs March 21st


Main Cast

Guest Cast


Castle: Why would anyone want to kill a writer?
Beckett: Oh, so many reasons.
Castle: Fox-can? Joseph Fox and Angela Cannon…how did you know their names?
Beckett: Uh, one of the uniforms briefed me.
Castle: Oh. And shippers? Relationship fans?
Beckett: Castle, I do read, you know?
Castle: Oh.
Beckett: I mean, you saw how obsessive she was. She invests in these fictional relationships. She cares if Angela's gonna get back with Alfonzo, if Marguerite's going to survive her cancer scare--
Castle: Oh, my God.
Beckett: What?
Castle: You watch "Temptation Lane".
Beckett: What? No.
Castle: No one said anything... about Marguerite's cancer scare. You know a lot about shippers, you know about FoxCans. You are a fan. A big, fat "Temptation Lane" fan.
Beckett: Ok, maybe I watched it like once or twice.
Castle: It's just so delightfully not you.
Beckett: So says the guy who rattles off plot points from "General Hospital".
Castle: Oh, that is completely different. That is for research.
Esposito: What was for research?
Castle and Beckett: Nothing.
Castle: Esplanie.
Beckett: What?
Castle: Lanie and Esposito, like Fox-Can. We can call them Esplanie, which is perfect because they are always explaining things!
Beckett: Well, someone out there doesn't, and we're gonna find them.
Castle: Uh, maybe we should sleep on it. Separately. Katherine Beckett, I never.
Esposito: Killing Sarah to keep a lid on her plagiarism? That's cold.
Beckett: And pretty ordinary as far as motives go.
Ryan: She didn't want to put in the work, so she took a short cut.
Castle: There are no shortcuts in writing.
Ryan: No. But there is to our favorite bar. I found a new route that'll get us to The Old Haunt in eight minutes. You up for a beer? Come on, I know the owner.
Castle: You know, when you say soapy, I conjured up images--
Beckett: Castle, focus.
Castle: I am.
Beckett: On our suspect.
Castle: How about the woman who made my mom look like a saint?
Castle: Everybody has a abiliby.
Beckett: What's the matter, homicidal fan not soapy enough for you?

Featured Music

  • "Takin' Care Of Business" - Bachman Turner Overdrive
  • "Got To Be" - Latch Key Kid


  • Lanie and Beckett are both fans of Temptation Lane.
  • Martha played a character on the soap opera about thirty years ago. She was married to Joseph Fox (played by Lance Hastings). During the course of her part on the series, she was kidnapped, buried alive, trapped in a cave with bears, kidnapped again, and held hostage in the sewers of Paris, all within a span of three weeks.
  • Martha's relationship (briefly rekindled) with Lance Hastings extended to an off-screen romance as well. Based on the timing, it is possible but very unlikely that Hastings is Castle's real father.
  • Castle jokingly speculates that Sarah's "mother" is a "gold digging opportunist". In fact, this turns out to be exactly the case.
    • Castle also predicts that everyone involved in the show will be hiding something. This was also true. In addition to Sarah's phony mother, her husband was separated from her and having an affair with Mandy Bronson. Mandy, who was secretly being written off the show, slept with Peter Connelly to bribe him into letting her stay. Lance Hastings was also leaving the show, but it was at his request-- for a movie role he'd secured.
  • If you look at the background closely at the 8:25 to 8:30 mark you will see that this part of this episode was filmed on the set of House.
  • Ryan mention at the end of the episode that The Old Haunt have become their favorite hangout, and that he has discovered a route that gets them from the precinct to the bar in eight minutes.
  • The Shakespearean link arguably extends beyond Castle's Hamlet quote to Beckett's indelibility of blood speech, which mirrors the message of the 'out, damned spot' and 'all great Neptune's ocean' sections of Macbeth.
  • The episode title may be a reference to the long-running soap opera "One Life to Live", in which Nathan Fillion played the character Joey Buchanan from 1994-1997 and in a brief appearance in 2007.
  • This is the first we hear a couple nickname.
  • Watch for: Beckett smile when Castle suggest they should sleep on it.
  • Watch for: Castle when he saw Beckett smile after he said they should sleep on it when he meant separately and walk off, disgusted at her smile.
  • Gaffe: When looking at Sarah's e-mail to Mandy, we see an attachment named "readme.txt" which should be a plain, unformatted text file. However, when the attachment is opened, the file contains formatted text and appears to open in WordPad, meaning it should actually be called "readme.rtf".
  • Castle watches General Hospital for plot points.


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