|A Deadly Game|
|Season 2, Episode 24|
|Air date||May 17, 2010|
|Written by||Andrew W. Marlowe|
|Directed by||Rob Bowman|
The death of a man who was involved in a simulated spy game leads Castle and Beckett to wonder where exactly the game ends and reality begins. Against this backdrop, Castle and Beckett struggle inwardly with their feelings for one another, even though Beckett is officially dating Demming and Castle is severely behind in his writing for the second Nikki Heat book. After receiving advice from family and friends, both come to separate decisions that could make or break their relationship in the future.
- Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle
- Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett
- Jon Huertas as Detective Javier Esposito
- Seamus Dever as Detective Kevin Ryan
- Tamala R. Jones as Dr. Lanie Parish
- Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Captain Roy Montgomery
- Molly C. Quinn as Alexis Castle
- Susan Sullivan as Martha Rodgers
- David Kelsey as Ken Fisher
- Michael Trucco as Detective Tom Demming
- Mitch Pileggi as Hans Brauer
- Monet Mazur as Gina Cowell
- Rick Worthy as Jason Penn
- Melissa De Sousa as Liz Penn
- Ian Reed Kesler as Hugo Morrison
- Allison McAtee as Andrea Fisher
- David Starzyk as Lee Copley
- Lucia Sullivan as Melinda Farraday
- Dean Cates as Roger Farraday
- James Patterson as Himself
- Michael Connelly as Himself
- Stephen J. Cannell as Himself
- Vinson Corbo as Carter
- Cristina Ainoa as Operator
- Beckett: Oh yeah, and your ex-wife called. She said that you’ve been avoiding her because you’re late delivering your manuscript of – Naked Heat. That’s a catchy title. When were you gonna tell me?
- Castle: Well I was waiting for the perfect time. It just never happened.
- Beckett: She’s naked on the cover again isn’t she?
- Castle: Kinda, yeah.
- Beckett: That’s great. No one’s gonna make fun of me.
- Lanie: Don’t get into a drinking contest with her. She can take you.
- Castle: Thank you.
- Beckett: Oh, I don’t need to drink to take him.
- "Into the Blue" - Sara Jackson Holman
- Stephen J. Cannell explains during the poker game that while mystery authors work hard to make murders more complicated and interesting, there are ultimately only three reasons for a murder: "love, money and to cover up a crime". By the end of this case, each potential motive has been explored: the actual killer killed for love; Lee Copley was a suspect because he stood to inherit money from the victim, and the Ukrainian students were suspected of killing the victim to cover up the forged IDs they'd bought. And yet, in the following season's episode Punked, Castle says revenge is the oldest motive there is.
- Castle's decision to leave for the summer with Gina is the end of a series of defeats for Castle in trying to get together with Beckett.
- Two episodes before, in Food to Die For, Beckett had told Castle (speaking about the love triangle in the case) that given the choice of a man she felt real passion for, but suspected would be unreliable, she would pick the safer man who wouldn't break her heart, an answer Castle took as a reference to Demming.
- In the previous episode Overkill, Castle tried to compete with Demming in crime-fighting. During the B-plot to this episode, Martha (talking about herself) tells Castle that sometimes he has to be able to know when he's been beaten. Castle clearly sees that this might apply to himself. While neither man wins, the episode ends when Castle catches sight of Demming and Beckett making out in the hallway. This also foreshadows the end of this episode, where Castle believes Demming has won, but neither man ends up with Beckett.
- In this episode, Castle invites Beckett to the Hamptons. Beckett refuses, claiming that she's out of vacation days and will be working. Later, Castle discovers that she lied to him. She instead intends to spend the weekend on the Jersey Shore with Demming. (Watch for: Castle invites Beckett to the Hamptons exactly as actor Michael Trucco's credit appears.)
- Castle's job is on the rocks as well. He has missed the deadline for his manuscript, is procrastinating on his writing, and is avoiding his publisher. His writer friends are telling him that his relationship with Beckett is a dead end that is harming his career.
- Watch for: On the morning after Castle's poker game, Castle comes into the office. But for the first time, he does not bring coffee for Beckett, a fact that Beckett clearly notices.
- Beckett was going to tell Castle her feelings towards her, but stopped when Gina came into the 12th. Castle doesn't find out that Beckett has broken off her relationship with Demming until the premier of Season Three (several months later), and never appears to discover that she'd dumped Demming before Castle left.
- Listen for: As Montgomery talks to Beckett and she decides to dump Demming for Castle, Castle can be heard in the background arranging his date with Gina.
- Actor Nathan Fillion had said in an interview with GMMR's Marisa Roffman at the 2010 Comic Con regarding the final scene of Season 2, "Beckett blew it. You know, Castle's here trying to do what was right. He's trying to be the better man and a bigger man and let Beckett's heart make her decisions." Based on what Castle knew at the time, it appears that Beckett has chosen Demming and Castle should step aside. Beckett's abrupt change of heart came too late, and Castle never found out.
- Castle and Gina start dating in this episode, but while their relationship is frequently mentioned in the third season, Gina only appears on-screen one more time before their break up.
- This is the last episode in which Tom Demming appeared. He will be referenced as Beckett's possible "mystery boyfriend" in Murder, He Wrote.