It's no secret that Detective Kate Beckett pulls no punches when it comes to catching killers. She's just as aggressive while pummeling a punching bag in the precinct gym. That's obvious to the handsome stranger who offers to be her spotter. This guy seems to have caught Kate's eye. But her phone rings before we can get the full scoop on this mystery man. Murder can be so inconvenient.
Paul Finch, a retired thief, was electrocuted with his own car battery. Beckett finds an odd metal symbol on the floor of the car. Detective Tom Demming (guest star Michael Trucco) from the robbery division is brought in on the case. He's an old friend of Esposito's from the 54th Precinct. Oh, and he's also the guy Beckett met during her earlier sweat-soaked workout.
Demming informs our team about a recent bank robbery: a professional two-man job that targeted only one safe deposit box. Beckett and Demming interview the box's owner, Fred Cana. Esposito barges in. He tells them that Cana is the bagman for Victor Racine, a known Mafia boss who killed Ike Thornton, Esposito's old partner at the 54th. Whatever Cana has in that deposit box, it must have been something he was holding for Racine.
A fingerprint on the victim's eyelid belongs to Ike Thornton. He's alive and may be the killer. Internal Affairs officer Lt. Stan Holliwell shows up musing about the prospect of Esposito helping Thornton fake his death. The odd symbol from the crime scene is a broken piece of a "54th" key fob that everyone ever associated with the precinct carried. Whoever killed Finch must've also worked at the 54th.
Thornton's wife, Carol, denies any knowledge that her husband could be alive, but Esposito knows she's protecting him. Finch's wife, Monica, reveals the contents of the safe deposit box: a ledger with all of Victor Racine's illegitimate businesses. It could have been worth a lot in blackmail money, but the box was empty. Esposito realizes that if Racine is looking for Thornton he'd go after his wife and kid. When Esposito gets to the house, Ike Thornton is waiting for him.
Esposito realizes his old partner didn't kill Finch. His old 54th key fob is completely intact. This means it was someone involved in the case. All signs point to Tom Demming. Beckett volunteers to distract Demming as Esposito, Ryan and Castle look for evidence against him. How exactly does Beckett keep Demming busy? Let's just say they get extremely hot and sweaty. That's what happens when you're kickboxing.
Beckett's new flirty fighting friend isn't the bad guy. As it turns out, he was coaching at an underprivileged youth basketball team at the time of the crime. Okay, so Demming's not a murder. But the fact that he's such a good guy is clearly killing Castle.
Ike Thornton faked his death because one of Holliwell's IA informants smeared him saying he was dirty. But there was no informant, which means Holliwell is the dirty cop who once served at the 54th Precinct. As Thornton and Esposito break into Racine's safe and take the ledger, Holliwell shows up, holding them at gunpoint. Esposito swiftly pulls Thornton's pistol out of his back waistband. BANG! Someone's been shot!
Holliwell escapes with the ledger to the building lobby, where Beckett, Castle, Ryan and Demming are waiting to arrest him. Castle and Ryan rush to Racine's office to find Esposito pressing a towel over Thornton's gunshot wound. He'll be okay. Esposito says, "Ike, This is my partner Ryan. And this is my other partner Castle."
With the incriminating ledger, the team now has enough evidence to arrest Racine. Applause fills the precinct as the vicious crime lord is perp-walked down the corridor. It's a chill-inducing moment as Ike Thornton realizes that his name has been cleared and all those years of living as a ghost were not done in vain.
As for Detective Tom Demming, it looks like he may be sticking around the precinct for awhile. Beckett doesn't seem to mind one bit. But it sure seems like Castle does.