When a man dressed in a Santa suit drops from the sky and land in Central Park Beckett (Stana Katic) and Castle (Nathan Fillion) work to uncover the identity of Santa Claus and the reasons behind his murder. After identifying the victim as a promising businessman turned professional Santa Claus, Castle and Beckett discover the victim walked away from both a lucrative business and loving wife (Leslie Hope) five years ago to put on a Santa suit, offering no explanation for his sudden behavior.
Suspects in the murder include a another Santa (Dakin Matthews) with a grudge who publicly threatened the victim, a motorcyclist following him on the night of his death, a shady company the Santa was helping his neighbors (Titus Makin Jr., Tembi Locke) fight in a class action lawsuit (for very personal reasons), Santa’s former business partner (Steven Eckholdt), an entire room of party guests, and Santa’s mysterious partner and helicopter pilot in a bizarre theft of a $30,000 clock from a company Christmas party the night of his death. After discovering what their Santa was really after the night he died, and why he stole the clock, Beckett and Castle are able to finally uncover the real reason for the murder and catch the killer, even if it’s not who the initially expect.
As Beckett and Castle prepare for their first Christmas together as a couple, Castle struggles with both Alexis (Molly C. Quinn) and Martha (Susan Sullivan) making other plans for Christmas Eve and Beckett backing out of Christmas Eve dinner by lying to him about having to work. Esposito (Jon Huertas) sees the end of own his regular tradition when Ryan (Seamus Dever) breaks the news that he will be spending the evening with Jenny (Juliana Dever) for the first time as a married couple. The murder is fun, although not as clever as the Santa Claus murder Bones did a couple of years back, but despite teasing us with many of our characters spending the night alone each finds the right place to be on Christmas Eve.