The sniper is identified as Lee Travis, an ex-Marine who was discharged after losing his leg. The guy went into a deep depression that turned into rage. He worked as a security guard at a museum which explains the arty paper dolls. Castle finds the paper cutout that predicts the location of the next shooting. Make that “shootings,” as there are many dolls latched together. Travis intends to take out a high school track team in Central Park.
Dozens of police officers search nearby buildings for the next shooting location. Beckett radios that she’s investigating an open door in an abandoned suite. She peers through an opening to see a rifle pointed out the window. Beckett storms in, but Travis is ready for her.
The disturbed ex-Marine kicks Beckett’s gun away as he takes aim. Travis believes he has a job to do. Beckett does her best to make the guy see that she understands what he’s feeling. She even shows him the scar from where she got shot. But Travis is too far gone. BANG! A window shatters as Travis goes down. Beckett looks outside to see Esposito standing on a nearby roof holding the rifle he used to save her life.
Back at the station, Beckett thanks Castle for giving her the space she needed to get through this difficult case. Later, she tells her therapist that she’s ready to be more than the person she became after her mom was killed. It sounds like Beckett is finally ready to let go.