Secret Santa
Season 5, Episode 9
Air date December 3, 2012
Written by Christine Roum
Directed by Paul Holahan
Episode guide
"After Hours"
"Significant Others"
Castle Season 5 cast
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Secret Santa is the ninth episode of the fifth season of Castle. This was the season's midseason finale.


When a bearded man in a Santa suit is found dead in the middle of Central Park, Castle and Beckett realize that they might just be investigating the murder of Santa Claus. But in the course of their snooping, they learn that this particular St. Nick may have been more naughty than nice.



Castle 5x09 Promo "Secret Santa" (HD)

Castle 5x09 Promo "Secret Santa" (HD)



Main Cast

Guest Cast


Castle: There are certain aspects to this that are time-honored, the beating heart behind the Christmas holidays. And now Santa is dead?! When will it end?
Beckett: I hate to break it to you, Castle, but there is no Santa.
Castle: Not anymore.
Gates: My mother-in-law is a licensed pilot, as she keeps reminding me. Part of a larger effort to make me feel inferior. I’m sorry. Did I just say that out loud?
Ryan: Sounds like she’s staying with you, Captain?
Gates: One day soon, your in-laws will visit too, and when they do, think hotel. Lord, I hate the holidays.
Castle: Yet another quality she has in common with The Grinch.
Esposito: Oh. That's cool. Maybe afterwards, you and I can--
Lanie: Javi, let's not be one of those sad, desperate holiday hookups. But when all this dies down, if you still want to get together, just give me a call.
Beckett: Alright, take a look at the ATM footage, and see if anyone was with him. He might have been robbed.
Castle: Uh, robbed and then launched into space?
Beckett: And how is that less plausible than your sleigh?
Castle: I think you mean less Claus-ible.
Esposito: Early Christmas present from Jenny?
Ryan: Something like that. Would you mind...not touching it?
Esposito: Ooh. Well, well, well. Now I see what you and Jenny got planned for Christmas Eve. Ya'll gon' be getting busy. Mm. Ho! Ho! Ho!
Gates: Uh... I take it this is your idea of working the Santa case? Detective Esposito, you’re supposed to be digging up that ATM footage. And you are?
Ryan: Chasing down that lawyer that our victim had been calling, Sir.
Gates: Ok, then. Let’s finish up this hoochie-coochie thing and get on with it.
Esposito: Yes sir.
Ryan: So busted.
Esposito: Bow-chicha-bow-bow.
Esposito: Yo. What you still doing here? Shouldn't you be at home stuffing your wife's stocking?
Ryan: I don't think I'm ready, Javi.
Esposito: For what, sex?
Ryan: No, for what sex leads to. We were putting up the tree the other day, Jenny says to me, "It just doesn't feel like Christmas without kids." She wants to try. But I come to work, I watched the news everyday... it seems like the world's falling apart. How am I supposed to bring a kid into that?
Esposito: The world's always falling apart, bro, since the beginning of time. But having kids, making a family, that's what keeps it together. So go home, make a baby. You're ready.
Ryan: Yeah. Thanks bro. Merry Christmas.
Esposito: Yeah. Merry Christmas.
Ryan: Merry Christmas to all.
Esposito: And to all a good night.
Castle: There was one time, I took a loop around the statue of liberty with this latin...publisher.
Gates: No, he's right. There's a manhattan flight corridor that doesn't required you to radio inwith 1300 feet.
Lanie: Mmm. Javi, since when do you start wearing cologne to work.
Esposito: Oh, you know, well, it's the holidays, and I've got places to be, people to see. How about you?
Lanie: Okay. I see where this is going. i'm gonna stop you right there. I already have plans for Christmas eve. i'm hanging out with my girlfriends.

Featured Music

  • "Let It Snow" - Ben Rector
  • "Run Rudolph Run" - The Reverend Horton Heat


  • This is the first episode in the series centered around Christmas, and the first one to have elements of winter present.
  • This is the third-holiday episode. The first was Vampire Weekend
  • Alexis tells her Dad that she has a new boyfriend named Max, whom she met at the Annual Bad Poetry Contest before Thanksgiving. This is her first one since her breakup with Ashley in episode 7 of the fourth season.
  • Gates reveals that she has mother-in-law, who happens to be a licensed pilot. It is safe to assume that Gates has a husband, and possibly children.
  • For the last eighteen years, the Castle family Christmas Eve tradition has included eating dinner and opening gifts. The stockings are left for Christmas morning. This is a decidedly Swedish way of spending Christmas as in Sweden everyone celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve. Glögg - which they are making (based on a lot of spices and red wine among other things) is also a Swedish Christmas tradition.
  • Beckett has worked the Christmas shift every year since she became a rookie with the NYPD while her dad, Jim, would head out to his cabin. After her mother was killed, she made it her Christmas tradition to keep watch over families celebrating the holiday.
  • In this episode, Castle speaks of money being tight when he was young, which would be reasonable for a single mother/struggling actress. However, in other episodes, he refers to going to upper-class schools and having nannies, which would imply a well-to-do upbringing.
  • Plans everyone has for Christmas Eve:
    • Lanie's hanging out with friends
    • Ryan's spending time with Jenny
    • Esposito's giving the clock to the Cabot family
    • Gates has her in-laws over for Christmas
    • Beckett was planning to take over the shift since her mom died, but decided to spend time with Castle
    • Castle's spending time with Beckett, Martha, who was gonna make Glögg for her class, and Alexis, who was gonna spend time with her new boyfriend, Max