This week, ABC’s Castle served up a crime as well as a bit of a love letter to sci-fi fans, with an episode set in and around a Comic-Con-like fan convention.
The murder vic: Annabelle, a fan of the mythical Nebula-9 series who ran a lucrative “fan experience” event at SuperNovaCon. The murder weapon: a working “Thorian blaster.”
The suspects: Gabe Winters (Eureka‘s Ed Quinn), the former lead of Nebula-9 who stood to lose his only income if Annabelle kicked his drunken, carousing ass out of the Fan Experience; Audrey, Annabelle’s bestie who sold the rights to Nebula-9 for $2.5 million after the murder; David, Audrey’s beau who made an unsuccessful pass at Annabelle the night she died; Simon, Annabelle’s “same time, next year” hook-up from the Con; and Stephanie, another Nebula-9 alum who was seen with the vic before she died.
The outcome: Though David, and then Audrey, were looking good for the murder to the very end, a superficial hand burn left by the Thorian blaster prop outed Stephanie as the killer. The motive: If Annabelle sold the Nebula-9 rights, a TV reboot or movie would dredge up that cheesy role from the now “serious” actress’ past. But just as Steph pulled a blaster on Gabe, the erstwhile captain flipped her and disarmed her. With Castle, he recited the show’s motto — “May fortune guide your journey” — as the pretty perp was led away.
But really, “The Final Frontier” was more about the sci-fi nods (including but not limited to Beckett’s secret fandom for Nebula-9, though over the course of the hour she developed a distaste for some of its stars). Among the winks, and feel free to add your own observations:
* Castle director/Star Trek TNG alum Jonathan Frakes, as a Richard Castle superfan, collecting the author’s autograph — and Rick sighing, “How the mighty have fallen” as he walked away.
* Castle meeting the news of a murder at the ‘Con with “shiny”
* Castle declaring himself a fan of “good sci-fi” such as “Star Trek, Battlestar… that Joss Whedon show…”
* Apparently Castle has a life-size Boba Fett in his bathroom?
* Castle mimicking two Enterprise captains, Kirk and Picard.
* Alexis touring the ‘Con in an elaborate costume — much as her portrayer, Molly Quinn does, in real life.
* Deep Space 9‘s Armin Shimmerman as the designer of sci-fi replicas.
* Esposito responding to a Beckett request with “As you wish” (since The Princess Bride falls within the sci-fi/fantasy realm).
The hour closed with Beckett not disillusioned by Stephanie’s arrest, saying, “She was never my idol; Lieutenant Chloe was,” as a woman who taught co-ed Kate that she “could be anything.” (Plus, she notes, “It doesn’t hurt that my legs looked great in that outfit.”) Then, with the promise that Rick would sit through a Nebula-9 marathon with her, Kate fulfilled his request for a bit of sexy cosplay fun… though Beckett capped the knockout Chloe outfit with an alien creature mask, unsettling Castle.
“Are we going to make out…?” she fretted, as William Shatner’s “Ideal Woman” played over the closing credits.
What was your favorite part of “the Final Frontier”?