Two women are walking down the street chatting as they come out of a yoga session and all of the sudden there is large bang and vibrant red blood splatter and a very terrified scream. The woman who was shot was Sara Vasquez, a kindergarten teacher on her way to work.

This murder brings back memories and feelings to Beckett of her own shooting which leaves her jumpy and tensed which doesn’t go unnoticed by her friends. Beckett and Castle end talking to her fiancé who says that Sara mentioned of a man that seemed to follow her, but nothing indicating that he would harm her.

 Laine and Esposito confirm that it was sniper who shot Sara, but there seems to be no reason at all why some would kill her and the only conclusion that Castle can draw is what if it wasn’t hit, but more similar to the DC shooting, that it is all just random?

The team gets call about another shooting this time the victim was shot in the head instead of the heart. The bullet is the same caliber used to shoot the first victim and it looks like the sniper scouted the area before hand to find the best vantage point to shoot from. There seems to be no connection between the two victims other than the sniper. The team deduces that this sniper must have some military background to be able fire a weapon such as a sniper rifle with this precision.

Beckett seems to be having flashbacks of her shooting and goes to see her therapist.

Her therapist suggests it because she is not ready to hand this type of case because she has not dealt with her own shooting. Beckett balks at the idea and walks out of the room, saying that she is fine and more than capable of handling this particular case.

Back at the station, the guys are going through video footage, where they may have caught the sniper on camera.

The team gets a phone call letting them know that police found the building the sniper used in the second shooting. .Esposito using his military background is able to recreate the sniper movements and is able to find a shell casing that may link them to the sniper. Castle finds a paper doll at the scene leaving the team to decipher its message and meaning.

Beckett is on her way back to the prescient and is literally shaking from her nerves steaming from her fears about her own case. When she finally arrives she is so overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the department that she looks like she is at her wits end. 

The team gets a matched to a fingerprint on the shell casing to a Marcus Ford. When police bring him in, Beckett loses it in the interrogation and when ballistics come back with a not a match Marcus’s guns.

Beckett just keeps reliving her shooting over and over to the point she is drinking at her apartment and going through hallucinations and even at one point grabbing her gun and preparing to shoot at no one.

Castle on the other is trying to find out the meaning by the paper dolls and it is his daughter Alexis who solves this mystery. The paper dolls are cut out of a painting coffee table book and each paper doll refers to the next the shooting location, except Castle reveals this information too late as another shooting has taken place this time at a conference.  

No one was killed, but one was injured and looks like the intended victim of the shooting. The bullet that was meant to shatter the conference window got lodged into the glass leaving the team to believe that this sniper isn’t as experienced as they thought he was. Beckett ends up completely breaking down at the scene in a very gut-wrenching moment. Castle sensing her discomfort and her total lack coping ask Esposito to help her and come to terms with what is going on.

Esposito is able to get through to her by showing the gun they retrieved from her own shooting. He explains this is just a tool, made of metal nothing more and that the person using it has no power of her. Truly a moving moment between Esposito and Beckett.

The team is able to find footage of the sniper following around the third victim and went to the same coffee shop as she did. Ryan, Esposito, and Castle head down to the shop where Castle figures out the coffee place isn’t the connection, but more like a scouting place for the sniper. The sniper went after anyone who was successful or had good fortune in their life such as Sara who was getting engaged, the second victim was just recently promoted and so on.

All the while Beckett is back at the crime scene and is trying to figure out why the sniper chose that particular vantage point, as it wasn’t the best. She figures out that the sniper probably had a disability making it difficult for the sniper to climb to the roof of any building for a clearer view. The team relays this info to one of the shop clerks who is able to give a description of a homeless man who started showing up a month previously and has a prostect limb. The team cross references the sketch to their pool of suspects and come up with a Lee Travis. He was an accident that cost him his leg and at it turns out was security guard at the conference building he shot at.

Beckett and Castle end up finding the building Lee used for his vantage point and end find a series of linked paper dolls, leading the police to believe Lee has multiple targets. Castle is able to figure the painting used for this particular doll which is named the Lion in the Meadows, which refers to Central Park. Beckett heads to the park, while Castle stays behind to see if there is any information he can find. Ryan, Castle, and the Captain end up finding out the victims of the sniper is a high school track team celebration because the team is nicknamed the Lions.

Police end up searching nearby buildings to find Lee, but Beckett finds him first. Lee gets the jump on Beckett and ends up disarming her leaving him with a gun pointed at Kate. She tries to plead with him, but ultimately refuses to listen

and when he is about to shoot Kate, he is shot dead by Esposito who was perched on top on the building across the street.

In the end Kate thanks Castle for his support and goes back to see her therapists.

She comes to the realization that she has never comes to terms with her mother’s shooting all these years and has let define who she is. She wants to change, but doesn’t want to disappoint her mother. The therapist asks one simple question if she is ready to move on? Kate simply responds, “I think I finally am.”