Castle: The Final Frontier

1023castlerecap Separator

by Stephen Janes (@stephenkjanes)

This may contain spoilers. You have been warned.

I’m not entirely sure if ruggedly handsome Nathan Fillion has an input when it comes to Firefly references in Castle or if it’s the writers having fun. Either way, this last episode “The Final Frontier” was a gigantic nod to all fans of Fillion back in his days as Malcolm Reynolds. There was even a scene in which Richard Castle mentions, “I’m a fan of good sci-fi: Star Trek, Battlestar, that Joss Whedon show…”

Getting into the actual episode, the murder victim for this episode was killed in a sci-fi convention, known as Supernova Con. The big attraction at Supernova Con was the Nebula 9 fan experience, where fans of the fictional show Nebula 9 were able to interact with the actors from the show and create their own adventure. The real world equivalent would be Comic-Con.

What made this episode fun to watch was the admittance that Kate Beckett was actually a huge fan of the show Nebula 9 and even revealing she was a contributor to the fan site that was run by the victim. Watching Castle attempt to ridicule her on a consistent basis provided most of the entertainment and was really well done, with several references to Firefly and even other sci-fi shows. Beckett revealed that the premise behind Nebula 9 actually was very personal and touching to her, making subtle hints at how Beckett had to find herself after her mother was murdered and the turmoil it left her in.

The drama in this episode was a bit ridiculous, but it fit. The acting that was portrayed by two key-characters was almost too over the top and seemed more like a soap opera, but then again they were supposed to portray this. I was a bit disappointed when the ending carried the same level of drama, complete with cheesy lines and over-acting. Again, I’m sure it was directed this way for a reason but it really took me out of the experience.

The romance of ‘Caskett’ really wasn’t explored too much this episode, despite last week’s episode really putting their relationship to the test. I truly did want some type of follow-up to what Castle and Beckett went through with the 3XK and his plot for revenge, but nothing was ever mentioned as Castle and Beckett were moving on as if nothing happened. Most episodic television shows follow this same format, as each episode doesn’t necessarily portray the next day of these characters lives, but I’m not counting this as a negative point towards the episode.

I feel like this was one of the more tame episodes of Castle but definitely one of the more humorous ones. My only disappointment was that Castle did not try on his space pirate costume (the outfit Nathan Fillion wore for Malcolm Reynolds) and join the cosplayers, but we did get to see Beckett wear her Nebula 9 outfit, which I’m sure, satisfied a lot of Stana Katic fans.

I do have to say, if you have no idea where Nathan Fillion came from then there were a lot of jokes that you probably didn’t get. With the several references to Firefly and other shows that we nerds enjoy, it’s easy to see how some might not have enjoyed this episode or had a difficult time following the jokes, or why people dress up as fictional characters on a day not called Halloween. I still thought the story and the non-nerd jokes were good enough to carry the episode, however. I still feel like this was another good episode and definitely deserving of your time if you squeal at any Firefly reference, like we all do.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


    8 Comments

  1. AmyNovember 6th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I loved all the Firefly/Sci-Fi jokes- I laughed so hard that I cried. This may not have been the best episode as far as character or relationship development but it was definitely one of the funniest. The geek in me was very happy with this episode.

    It made me kind of sad that we got a glimpse of a Kate that would do things like dress up for a show- the change her mother’s murder brought into her life became very obvious at that moment. I do love that she’s getting some of that happiness back in her relationship with Castle. The fact that she was willing to put the outfit on for him says a lot about how she’s changed. The Kate we met in the first season would not have done that.

  2. Stephen JanesNovember 6th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    The dynamic between them is much different than it was in season one, almost like they are becoming more adventurous and comfortable with each other since they are a couple now. I also loved all of the not-so-subtle hints at Firefly.

  3. NatalieNovember 6th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Castle is downright brilliant, as is of course our beloved Nathan Fillion! We are die hard fans of his, of Firefly, and have watched Castle since its first episode. Over the years we’ve caught more than one reference to Firefly, but last night’s episode was purely fantastic! Like our other all-time fave Chuck, Firefly was taken off the air way before its prime, so we relish any mention of it. LOVED it when Castle’s response to Beckett about the murder was “shiny”… Just wish the Castle episode that featured Adam Baldwin had paid more homage to Firefly, too…

  4. SerenityNovember 6th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I have to agree that this episode was lacking in plot connected to the overall story-arch for the season/series. That being said, as with many series, the ‘Halloween Episode’ tends to be a bit more playful and independent of that arch and although Halloween was last week I feel this fits more with the holiday.

    This episode has surpassed the Halloween episode from 2009, “Vampire Weekend” as my all-time favorite even though it was that episode we got to see Nathan dressed as a ‘space cowboy’ in the opening sequence. I laughed all the way through the episode from the moment they showed the ‘Nebula 9’ fan experience (which oddly reminded me of Galaxy Quest for some reason – anyone else?) to the end when Beckett chased Castle out of the room with that Creaver (Reaver?) mask on. This is one not to be missed by any scifi fan, even if it’s only for the shameless references to other shows we love.

  5. Stephen JanesNovember 7th, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Serenity, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one thinking of Galaxy Quest; it was the outfits, I swear, or maybe it was the catchphrase. I totally forgot to mention the Creaver/Reaver similarities as well, good pull.

    I loved how everytime I laughed at something this episode related to Firefly, I had to spend ten minutes explaining it to my mother-in-law. My fiancee actually caught a few that I didn’t get at first.

  6. stylo mont blancNovember 9th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Very good.Thanks

  7. BrowncoatNovember 12th, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I also don’t think it was a coincidence that Captain Max Rennard has the same initials as Malcolm Reynolds (not to mention the same number of syllables when you shorten it to Mal Reynolds).

  8. Chuck and Firefly FanJanuary 10th, 2013 at 2:58 am

    My favorite episode of Castle purely for the firefly references. Shiny

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