We open with a beautiful downtown Christmas scene. Inside a bank, a man dressed as Santa approaches a teller with a note. It's a holiday robbery! Turns out the not-so-jolly fat man has a bomb strapped to his chest. Booth is quickly called to the scene. He arrives to find Santa feeling the bank. Our favorite FBI agent takes aim -- but there's no need to shoot. A few sparks and BOOM! -- Santa's chest EXPLODES. Oops.
Back at the Jeffersonian, Bones (Emily Deschanel
) slowly removes Booth's shirt (because it is evidence, but the scene is still a little bit sexy). Bones takes the opportunity to invite Booth (David Boreanaz
) for Christmas dinner with her dad -- before she starts removing his belt and pants. Just as Booth is down to his skivvies, Camille (Tamara Taylor
) enters. "I'm recovering evidence," Bones explains. B&B then question a witness named Georgia, covered in Santa parts. A cab driver got it equally as bad or maybe worse. Both seem utterly disgusted. Hodgins (T.J. Thyne
) then enters with news: the bomb was triggered via two-way radio. In other words, Santa might have had a partner. Using a computer chip found in the Santa carnage, Booth discovers a radio broadcast of a man railing against banks, lobbyists, etc. "Sounds like this creep was planning on blowing up Santa right from the start," Booth says. B&B quickly track the signal to a nearby suburban home. Booth quickly pulls down the antennae, breaking off the signal. An angry man barges outside only to be tackled by our hero. "You're a flunky of a corrupt machine!" radio man screams.
Later, the man is in the hot seat. He admits to being trained in explosives in the military. "You got the wrong guy," radio guy says. "Some nut listens to me, goes crazy, I'm not responsible." Booth explains the radio frequency set off the bomb. Suddenly, radio guy looks a little bit sorry -- even if it was unintentional. In the meantime, Bones' dad introduces his daughter to a long lost second cousin, Margaret (Zooey Deschanel
), who likes to quote Benjamin Franklin. The two girls take an immediate dislike to each other. Back at the Jeffersonian, Daisy (Carla Gallo
) has reassembled Santa's skull. One montage of Angela (Michaela Conlin
) recreating the facial structure later, the team has a mug to give to the press. Just then, Camille's step daughter, Michelle, enters with a request: she wants to go to Hawaii with a friend for the holidays. "If I stay, it's just the two of us and that's depressing," the teenager says. Camille is obviously disappointed, but agrees to send Michelle off. Bones, meanwhile, complains to Booth about Margaret. Booth gets a call: someone has identified the bomber from the TV news. Turns out Santa was a local exterminator.
The next day, the bomber's mother comes in for an interview. "Just let me talk to him," mom says. Booth breaks the horrible news -- and mom is CRUSHED. It's a sad moment. Meanwhile, Daisy and Hodgins examine a previously missing piece of bone. "The bomb maker used the base of a small light bulb," Hodgins theorizes. Cut to Bones' apartment, where Margaret has come to visit. Booth enters and comments that the two could be sisters. Margaret, however, manages to freak everyone out by once again quoting Franklin. It's just weird. Back at the Jeffersonian, pirate radio guy storms Booth's office, demanding to talk to the victim's mother. Turns out he does feel quite guilty, after all. After tossing the man out, Booth gets a call from Camille and Hodgins. The light-bulb bomb matches the construction of similar devices made by a convict named Malaki Wallace. "He's been dormant since he got out of prison," Camille says. "Looks like he came back with a bang." Zing!
Moments later, Malaki is in the interrogation room. "We have a device with your name all over it," Booth says. The former bomb maker denies any knowledge of the Santa-killing bomb, but suggests looking for people who visit his Web site. "What can I say?" Malaki smirks. "I got fans." Hodgins enters with news: the wire in Santa's rib indicates a bike lock. "Someone locked him into the vest, dressed him like Santa and then forced him to rob the bank," Bones explains. Booth recalls the victim said, "I just answered the call!" He theorizes the exterminator meant that literally. The mastermind could be a customer -- or someone claiming to be one. "What if they try again?" Booth asks. Camille and Hodgins, meanwhile, discover a stain on the inside of a collected fingernail of Georgia. It matches a substance used in the creation of a detonator. Before you can say "Gotcha!" the woman is in custody. She had no good reason for being near the bank that day. "You got nothing," she sneers. "I didn't blow him up. I swear I didn't blow him up." So who did?
Angela examines the shrapnel wounds on the cab driver. Turns out he would had to have had super human speed to get his arms up in time before explosion. The only explanation: he knew the man was about to blow up and shielded himself. The radio signal is also quite similar to one used in the cab itself. Looks like Georgia and the cab driver were in on it together! Angela quickly checks the cab driver's name against visitors to Malaki's Web site. It's a match. Later, Booth explains to Bones that Georgia and the cab driver flipped on each other almost immediately. The two met at a debt seminar and decided to pull the con together. Poor Santa just answered the wrong phone call. Bones, thinking of the victim's mother, begins to cry. "You know, Bones, sometimes I think your heart muscle is bigger than people give you credit for," Booth says. Cut to Camille, who is driving Michelle to the airport. She stops the car and announces her step daughter is NOT going to Hawaii. "I cannot have you go flying it off and not have it completely ruin my Christmas," Camille says. Michelle is angry at first, then touched. She hugs her stepmom.
The episode ends with the entire team at Bones' apartment for Xmas. Bones urges her second cousin to stop quoting a founding father. "I'd rather hear what you have to say than Benjamin Franklin," she says. Margaret appears touched. Maybe the two can get along like sisters, after all. Everyone toasts to "family" -- of a sort.