We open on a close-up of a reclining woman's throat in a dark room, with a drop of blood rolling down it. The camera pans down, and we see red flower petals being dropped on her torso. What is this, American Beauty: The Series? We see the young, blonde woman's face as gloved hands place sunflowers over her eyes, and a woman's voiceover intones. "Murder. Mystery. The macabre." We cut to her, a different pretty blonde at a podium, announcing the launch of Storm Fall, "the stunning conclusion to [the] best-selling Derek Storm mystery series." Her voice slows as she sees Nathan Fillion signing a young woman's chest, and we overhear him telling her to call him when she's ready to wash it. Recovering and wrapping up, the blonde introduces Rick Castle, the master of the macabre, and there is massive applause. He steps up to the podium, but we don't get a speech before we launch into a montage of a sunglasses-wearing Castle mingling, dancing, and signing copies of his book. Decadence! Good times!
MURDER! We cut to Detective Beckett (Stana Katic) arriving at the crime scene. The petal-covered body is on a table, and we find out she's an NYU grad student in the social worker program. The apartment is nice, her daddy is rich. The Medical Examiner quips about the flowers, saying romance isn't dead. In return, Beckett quips about a lonely Saturday night, and her Medical Examiner suggests she wear a little lipstick. Poor, gorgeous Stana Katic. So lonely! The detectives don't like the "freaky" cases, preferring "normal" murders, and imply that Beckett digs this stuff. Beckett recognizes the scene, and seems disappointed that the other officers don't as well. "Don't you guys read?" she asks, as if there aren't millions of books published every year.
The blonde poses with Castle and asks what kind of idiot kills off his main character, and we find out she's his publisher and his ex-wife. They smile for the cameras and snipe at each other, then walk away as Castle cockily says he wrote bestsellers before Derek Storm and will again. His ex tells him his new book is overdue, lets drop that she knows he's not writing, and threatens to take back the advance, which he has apparently already spent divorcing her. That must have been a fun marriage. He obviously married her for her skin-tight gold dresses.
Castle finds his mother Martha (Susan Sullivan) and daughter Alexis (Molly Quinn) at the bar, and asks his mom if she told his ex he wasn't writing. After asking him not to call her "mom" and ruin her game, Martha says that she may have mentioned that he spent all day in his underwear, waiting for the post time at Belmont. Talking to his ex-wife violates the deal they agreed on when she moved in with them, but then her graydar goes off, and she goes off to seduce a ringless senior citizen. Castle tries to give 15-year-old Alexis champagne as she sits at the bar and studies for a test, calling her an old soul. She declines, and he starts to tell a story about what he did when he was 15, but decides it's "highly inappropriate." But he asks her if she ever wants to try something new, do something crazy. He gripes about how his last book was predictable, and so is this party, although he doesn't mind signing chests. He wants someone to come up and say something new to him, which is the cue for Beckett to walk up and ask him to come down to the station to talk about a murder. Alexis: "That's new."