Castle faces the power of the internet in the fifth episode of the seventh season “Meme is Murder.”
The latest episode of "Castle" is all about cybercrime and the “warm embrace of technology.” When web-celeb Abby Smith is murdered in her apartment, Castle and Beckett find themselves thrust into a world of memes, followers, insta-fame and murder.
After Abby’s brutal death, gruesome photos of the crime scene -- that only the killer could’ve taken -- appear on a photo-sharing site known as Snappamatic. A user named Net Slayer is responsible for the posts.
With some help from the developers at Snappamatic, the detectives are able to track down Bill Garrett, a vintage furniture store owner and former cop who worked in the cyber division. This first suspect seems promising until they quickly realize he’s being framed, after Net Slayer posts an image of Garrett’s arrest with the caption “Wrong suspect NYPD. I’m still here. What will I do next?”
Things just get creepier from here.
The killer starts taunting the NYPD by posting clues to his next victim. Images of bratwurst, spoiled milk and body parts have the police confused for a while until Castle, with help from Tory and Ryan, makes the connection to Spoiled Brats of Snappamatic (Rich Kids of Instagram anyone?). The next victim seems to be rich girl Tatiana Fisher, but the police soon find the body of her boyfriend, Cam Magani, with his throat slit in his car.
Net Slayer posts photos of the victim on Snappamatic as soon as the detectives find him. Meanwhile, the killer's online popularity continues to grow, gaining followers by the second. Beckett soon feels the pressure of One Police Plaza when the killer posts a photo of her and Castle apparently belittling the investigation, even though the image was taken out of context, it was before the investigation began. Gates tells Beckett she better find the killer… fast.
In true Caskett style, the duo go over the facts of the case and conclude that Net Slayer must’ve been a victim of online bullying himself.
The team discovers the killer used a 3D printer to make keys to his victim’s homes and cars using just images. (Andrew Marlow then tweeted that this was actually possible, creeped out yet?) After learning that Abby rented out her apartment to strangers, the detectives are able to get an image of the killer from security footage across from her home.
Castle and Beckett are proven right when they track down Adam Lane, a victim of very heavy cyber-bullying by some jocks at his high school over six years ago. Garrett had been on his case but was unable to do much for Lane since cyber-bullying laws at the time were weak and pretty useless to victims.
The NYPD tracks Lane down to his mother’s basement but he seems to be expecting them for one last laugh. Apparently he has kidnapped the owners of Snappamatic, Kent and Oren, and has created a deathly popularity contest online. Users have an hour to like one of the two, whoever has less likes when the clock runs out, dies.
Luckily Beckett’s badass interrogation skills get Lane to give them just enough clues for Espo and Ryan to track down the entrepreneurs and save their lives.
-The wedding is in two weeks! Watch the sneak peek here.
-Castle gets auto-tuned and it's perfection. Sorry Rick, we can't help but re-watch this amazing accomplishment.
-Castle and Beckett definitely seem to have dropped the investigation into his disappearance... for now.
-This is probably one of Beckett's best interrogation scenes ever, we definitely never want to be sitting across from her in that interrogation room!
Quote of the week:
Kate on the power of the internet: "You know the problem with anonymity? There is no accountability. It empowers cowards to become bullies."
"Castle" airs on Mondays at 10:00 p.m. EDT on ABC.