While creating delightful snow angels, a family watches as a Santa falls out of the sky.
Back at the Castle household, Martha and Alexis upset Castle with their news of new Christmas Eve plans. Castle turns to Beckett to accompany him for Christmas Eve, and she hesitantly agrees.
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The dead Santa carried ID: he’s Kris Kringle. And he’s covered in candy cane wrappers. Everything screams Real Santa Claus except for Santa’s boots.
Ryan finds no record of flying reindeer or any other flying apparatus around the time of the unknown Santa’s death.
Ryan is changing his Christmas Eve tradition too; he won’t be sharing beers with Esposito. Poor guy.
Esposito identifies Santa as Edmund Smith from the Bronx and tries to convince Lanie to be his last-minute date for Christmas Eve. She turns him down for the evening but leaves it open for future prospects.
Castle and Beckett are let into Edmund’s apartment by his neighbors, the Cabots. They speak highly of Ed; he volunteered at the shelter and was trying to help them with their lawsuit. Tim Cabot identifies a picture of a man that he says last argued with Ed. The man, David Dunne, has a record.
They visit David at work; he’s a teacher – a teacher of all things Santa Claus. He admits to being upset at Ed for stealing gigs after he had trained him so well but has an alibi for the time of Ed’s death.
The night he was murdered, Ed wasn’t booked for any gigs, even though he was dressed in his Santa suit.
Looking into life before Santa, Esposito found that five years prior, Ed was James Edmund Smith, a successful businessman making close to half a million dollars a year.
The night of his death, Ed withdrew two thousand dollars from the ATM and made a phone call to his ex-wife, Gwen Harwin. Hosting a benefit at the time of his death, Gwen says that Ed stopped by to apologize for walking out on her five years ago. She spotted a man on a motorcycle following him once he left.
The lawyer Ed spoke with prior to his death says that Ed begged her not to drop the lawsuit against Suncove.
Beckett cancels Christmas with Castle, blaming it on Gates signing her up for a shift.
Esposito found security footage from the ATM; Ed was alone when he withdrew the cash, then got in a cab, went to an airfield in New Jersey, and then Long Island City.
Esposito and Beckett head to the airfield and find a cherry red helicopter, matching the paint found on Ed. Inside the cockpit, Beckett finds fresh blood. According to Mr. Mudge, Chuck Ames is the owner of the helicopter, though the airfield isn’t under much security, meaning that anyone who knew how to fly the ‘copter could have. Ryan determines that the helicopter flew approximately 45 miles, matching up with Ed’s trek into LIC.
Alexis explains to dear, old dad that she has a new man in her life, Max, with whom she’d like to spend Christmas Eve.
Castle tries to bribe Captain Gates into letting Beckett have Christmas Eve off, but then he finds out that Beckett volunteered to work that night.
The red helicopter more than likely landed at Case Commerce in Queens, and as Beckett and Castle arrive to see what prompted Ed’s visit, they walk in on security speaking with the staff; there was a heist the night before. And one of the staff fingers a photo of Ed as their Santa.
Michael Case, the president of Commerce Case, says that the only item missing from the offices is a Thomas Tilledge clock worth $30,000.
As the couple sets up possible scenarios to explain Ed’s behavior, Castle confronts Beckett about her voluntary move to work Christmas Eve. Just like it’s his tradition to have the family together, it’s hers to work ever since her mom died all those years ago.
Ryan found a custodian from the office party that found trash on the roof that night – a soda can and a tobacco pipe. And they know of one pipe smoking Santa: David Dunne.
At first, David is protected by his fellow Santas as he tries to evade arrest but is eventually taken to the precinct, where he denies killing Ed. He admits to borrowing the helicopter after Ed paid him two grand to fly there and wait. He says that Ed was shot at before rushing back into the helicopter and fell out while he was in the air.
After looking at security cameras from the elevator of the Commerce building, a familiar face shows up during the party – Tim Cabot, and he has a motorcycle helmet. Five years ago, Tim’s dad died in a crash. He fell asleep at the wheel as he was working three jobs trying to keep up with their impossible mortgage. And the signatory on those bogus mortgage papers – James Edmund Smith. The detectives conclude that Tim found out about Ed’s past life and avenged his father’s death.
When they confront Tim, he says that he knew about Ed but only because Ed confessed and begged forgiveness. Ed wanted Tim’s help in retrieving the files from Case Commerce that would help them win the lawsuit.
Michael Case from Case Commerce was Ed’s business associate at the time and stood to lose a lot if those files turned up. He denies any involvement, but that clock that he owned used to belong to the Cabots and was handed over as collateral when they could no longer make payments.
But someone else stood to lose a lot more if the Cabots won the lawsuit – Ed’s ex-wife Gwen. Ed came to warn her before the party that he was going to hand over the files to help the families, and she would have to give up her lifestyle, paid for with Suncove profits. She followed him to the party and shot him as he ran to the plane.
His death was not in vain, as now 43 families have a very good chance of getting their homes back.
The case is over, and Ryan is stuck at his desk, afraid to go home and start a family with Jenny. He gets some loving advice from Esposito, of all people!
After Martha and Alexis cancel their Christmas Eve plans, Castle decides that he’s going to spend his holiday with his woman! But he doesn’t have to go far because she’s on his doorstep! Aww!
Esposito puts the Tilledge clock in the hands of its rightful owners, the Cabots, and is invited to spend Christmas Eve with them.
A very sweet episode and also fun on the crime-of-the-week side because I couldn’t figure out who killed the poor man!
I know everyone loves Caskett, but I hope there’s more Lanie/Esposito (Lesposito?) in the new year. They are an adorable couple!