"The Santa in the Slush" is episode nine of season three of Bones, the forensic drama television series loosely based on the novels and life of anthropologist Kathy Reichs. In this episode, Santa Claus is found murdered by a couple of elves just before Christmas. Many, many Santas are encountered during the investigation.
Something Stinks in a Grate
It's three days before Christmas and two elves are leaving the back of a mall, having had enough with dealing with kids, parents - and Santa. One of them smells something and they go over to investigate. They see something through a grate that causes them to run off.
Brennan is Seeing Her Father in Jail
Brennan is visiting her father, Max, in jail. He's going to be Marley's Ghost in A Christmas Carol. Brennan is planning to go to Peru for Christmas. Max wants to have a family Christmas - Brennan points out that he's in prison, as is Russ after the events of the previous episode, "The Knight on the Grid", and her mother is dead. So it's going to be a bit difficult.
Booth is Feeling Depressed
Then Brennan gets a call from Booth. He's feeling depressed because his son is going skiing with his mother and her boyfriend, so he won't be able to see him at Christmas. Booth does think that Brennan will be able to spend time with Russ and her father though - if she pulls some strings. Russ is less than happy with the idea. There are ways and means though. Caroline's help is needed, but she has an unusual quid pro quo. This all becomes quite complicated and results in Brennan asking questions about lying at Christmas.
An Unusual Quid Pro Quo
Santa in the Sewer
The grate from earlier leads into a sewer, and there is a dead body in there - Santa. He's been murdered. Then fed on by rats. The suit is apparently handmade (therefore expensive). Zack does not get Santa, and thinks that children must be stupid to believe in him.
Kicked by a Reindeer
The victim was kicked by a reindeer. He was an old, fat man with a genuine white beard, a custom made suit and who smoked a clay pipe. Just like Santa. He sounds like a very accurate portrayal. His name is Kris Kringle - legally changed to that presumably. Kringle worked for the school board as a Santa and lived in a room above a toy store. With many, man presents, Christmas decorations and a fridge filled with milk and cookies. And all his clothing appears to be Santa suits and Christmas clothing. And a secret drawer full of money. He apparently gave his previous address as the North Pole. Brennan claims that this proves that Kringle is the real Santa. The toy store owner who rented Kringle his flat made a lot of money from a toy that Kringle suggested to him, which put a crimp in their relationship.
A Popular Santa
Kringle was apparently a very popular Santa and got all the best gigs from the temping agency for which he worked as a result. All the other Santas seemed to like him, and he was also the only full time Santa employed by the agency. The only night he wouldn't work was Christmas Eve. Which is the day when a real Santa would actually be working.
Surprise! He's Not the Real Santa
Despite the evidence, the dead guy is not the real Santa Claus (I seem to recall an episode of Castle that was similar). He seemed to be really devoted to his craft, but was he also a criminal? So perhaps one of his victims decided to take revenge. Or was it a case of mistaken identity? Was the wrong Santa killed? They do all look pretty similar.
Bones Season 3 Trailer