It's beginning to look a lot like a Castle Christmas as Santa Claus falls from the sky creating the most disturbingly dead snow angel ever. Kris Kringle's corpse is found with lots of candy cane wrappers in his red suit. The family who witnessed Santa's swan dive didn't hear any aircraft overhead. Castle points out that sleighs flying in stealth mode don't make a lot of noise. Gunshots, however, do. Lanie determines that Santa died of the bullet she found lodged in his body. A cherry red paint chip also got caught on his suit. Cherry Red, of course, is popular color for reindeer-powered sleighs.
Dead Santa's real name is Edmund Smith. His neighbors in the Bronx, Beth Cabot and her teenage son, Tim, say the victim truly embraced the giving spirit of his job. He even helped them with their lawsuit against the unscrupulous company that took away their house. They say Ed had an argument with a Santa school teacher named David Dunne, who also happens to be a jolly old pilot. He also happens to alibi out.
Edmund became a Santa after his days as a private equity manager at a firm where he used to make big money. He called his ex-wife, Gwenn, to apologize for how he walked out on their life together five years ago. In other news, Edmund was trying to come up with $25,000 to pay the lawyer who was handling the class action suit his neighbors had against a predatory lender known as Suncove Funding. Millions of dollars are at stake.
Edmund was shot in a small helicopter. The candy cane wrappers found on him indicate that he choppered over to the Case Commerce building before he was killed. The head of the investment services company, Michael Case, says a clock valued at $30,000 was stolen by Santa, aka Edmund, during their Christmas party. His getaway chopper driver was David Dunne, who tries to beat off Esposito with a giant candy cane. This leads to a serious smackdown with a room full of Santas that eventually ends with an arrest.
Dunne admits he flew Edmund to building, but didn't know the value of the clock. This was just a taxi job for him. He was shocked when someone fired gunshots at them during the getaway. Edmund fell from the chopper as they flew off. The team learns that Edmund's young neighbor, Tim Cabot, crashed the Christmas party. The kid says Ed needed his help to steal some files that would prove his family was bilked out of their house. That's because his guilt-ridden neighbor is the one who manufactured the shady deal for Suncove in his pre-Santa days.
Michael Case becomes the prime suspect, as the stolen clock that was in his office belonged to the Cabot family. They used it as collateral against a loan they couldn't pay. Case isn't the killer, but he knows who is. Edmund's ex-wife, Gwenn, was at the party. She shot her former hubby because he was going to come clean about his past dealings which would obliterate the lavish lifestyle she's always enjoyed. Case closed.
Captain Gates is dealing with her overbearing mother-in-law this holiday season. Lanie is spending Christmastime with friends, but encourages Esposito to give her a call after the holiday hoopla dies down. Ryan is planning to have Jenny test drive some sexy holiday lingerie. He's hesitant to head home though, as his wife thinks it's time they start trying to have a baby. His partner assures him that he's ready for this. Esposito then returns that valuable clock to Beth Cabot, who invites him in for a warm holiday meal.
Castle's apartment looks like a winter wonderland with all its Christmas décor. It's part of a holiday tradition that may be coming to an end. Both Martha and Alexis have plans Christmas Eve, so the opening of the presents will have to wait till Christmas Day this year. He's also bummed to learn that Beckett has to work the holiday shift. Actually, she volunteered to work it. Christmastime still has bad memories for her after the murder of her mom.
Castle can't even give Beckett a Christmas Eve kiss as he says goodbye to her under the mistletoe at the precinct. On the bright side, Alexis and Martha cancel their Christmas Eve plans to stay home with him. Beckett also changes her plans to show up at his front door. The fact that they aren't standing under mistletoe doesn't stop them from sharing a kiss smack-dab in the middle of Castle's Christmas castle. It's nice being home for the holidays with the one you love even if you did neglect to get her a gift.