This week’s episode of Castle was cute and very tongue-in-cheek. Sly nods to Firefly, the Joss Whedon space cowboy show that Nathan Fillion starred in, were referenced throughout this episode, when a fan is murdered with a phaser (?!) at SuperNovaCon, a Comic-Con like convention.
First, some background for those of you who never saw Firefly. My advice is get this on DVD or blu-ray or rent it from Netflix or borrow it from your library. It’s a smartly-written, fresh show that was totally underrated. It barely lasted a season (the show ran from 2002-2003) but still lives in the hearts of its fans — enough to spawn a major motion picture, Serenity, through fan support.
In Firefly, Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Fillion) leads a ragtag group of adventurers on his firefly-class spaceship called Serenity. On it, there is the hooker with a heart of gold (but now they are called “companions”) who rents a shuttle pod from Mal to run her business. In the show, we are introduced to Reavers, a mutated cannibalistic human race.
Ok, now that you have that information, let’s get back to the Castle recap. Beckett and Castle find themselves investigating a murder at a sci-fi convention. The victim ran a fan group for a TV series called Nebula-9 that got cancelled over a decade ago but still has a rabid fan base. The villains on the show are called Creavers, a mutated race of cannibals (or so it seems). See the similarities?
Trying to boldly go where only a few have gone before, there’s even a couple of nods to science fiction in their casting and directing. Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation) directed, while Ed Quinn (Eureka) plays actor Gabriel Winters, the dashing leader of the space crew of Nebula-9. Armin Shimerman (Deep Space Nine) guests as inventor and master of sci-fi hardware Benjamin Donnelly. Keep an eye out for a cameo from Frakes at the beginning of the episode.
As they investigate, Castle stumbles upon a couple of things. First, he finds out Beckett is a closet sci-fi geek as she was an uber fan of Nebula-9, even rocking Lieutenant Chloe’s perpetually micro-mini outfit all sci-fi females don. Second, he literally stumbles across his daughter, Alexis, at the convention. Alexis is with some girlfriends, and they’re scantily dressed as a tribe of female assassins (aren’t all female assassins scantily-clad?). If you still picture Alexis as this ginger-haired youngster when she first appeared several years ago, well you’re in for a big surprised – so was Castle.
Can I just say that Ed Quinn has a great head of hair! I almost didn’t recognize him from Eureka as the bearded and buzz-cut Nathan Stark.
This was just a fun episode and one of the many reasons I like Castle so much. They can poke fun at themselves and have a good laugh while doing it. It would have been great if some of the cast of Firefly could have made some cameos, but perhaps that is better saved for another episode! I would love to see Morena Baccarin, who played Inara the Companion on Firefly (and now stars as Brody’s wife on Homeland), guest star as an old flame of Castle’s.
Did I just reveal my Sci-Fi Geek Quotient? Want to see how well you fare in sci-fi trivia? Castle has created a quiz for you. Check it out here.
The Science Channel will be airing a 10th anniversary special on November 11th which includes a roundtable discussion with the cast. See a teaser for it here.