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Recap / Castle S 5 E 6 The Final Frontier

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"May Fortune guide your journey."
Castle and Beckett investigate a murder at a sci-fi convention.

The episode revolves around a fan event organized by two cast members of Nebula 9, a Space Opera TV series cancelled after twelve episodes. One of them was murdered with a Frickin' Laser Beam.

The episode was directed by Jonathan Frakes, who also cameos in The Teaser.


  • Broken Pedestal: Zig-Zagged. Upon first interviewing Stephanie Frye, the actor who played Lieutenant Chloe on Nebula 9, Beckett is obviously a little hurt when Frye refers to the show as an Old Shame. However, after Frye turns out to be the killer Beckett explains she idolized the character, not the actress.
  • The Cameo: Armin Shimerman (Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) plays the garage inventor who supplied the working laser pistol used in the murder.
  • Cosplay: It being a con, naturally there's a hell of a lot of extras in cosplay, and Castle briefly takes umbrage when Alexis and some girlfriends turn up cosplaying as some sort of Fur Bikini-clad Amazon Brigade. Oh, and Beckett used to cosplay as Lieutenant Chloe from Nebula 9 when she was at Stanford.
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  • Creator Cameo: Jonathan Frakes turns up in The Teaser getting a copy of the Derrick Storm comic book Storm Season autographed by Castle.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: In-Universe, the Nebula 9 continuation webisodes made by Annabelle (the Oracle on the original show) and two of her friends are regarded as a desecration of the property by a Vocal Minority in the fanbase. They even sent death threats, which Beckett's team briefly investigated before pronouncing them Red Herrings.
  • Fan Disservice: Castle spends most of the episode trying to get Beckett to dress up for him in her old Lieutenant Chloe cosplay outfit. She finally gives in at the denouement (first extracting from him a promise to watch a Nebula 9 marathon with her), only to turn up wearing the costume topped with a freaking Kreiver mask, at which point Castle runs and hides.
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  • Fanservice: 18-year-old Alexis in a midriff-baring Fur Bikini cosplay (though it's Fan Disservice for Castle).
  • Homage: The entire episode is a mad, passionate love-letter to Speculative Fiction fandom.
  • I Am Not Spock: An In-Universe example. Stephanie Frye hates Nebula 9, viewing it as an Old Shame despite it being her Star-Making Role. So much so that she murdered her former co-star Annabelle to keep the show's expected revival from ruining her non-Nebula 9 acting career.
  • Large Ham: Stephanie Frye badly overacts when Castle has her and him act out the murder at the climax. Gabriel Winters even calls her on it, saying she was always "useless without a script".
  • Last of Their Kind: The premise of Nebula 9 is that the ship's crew are the last survivors of humanity, Military Academy cadets who were offworld on a training cruise when Earth was destroyed.
  • Nerds Speak Klingon: One alien cosplay (a big, white, furry Humanoid Alien of some sort) whom Ryan tries to interview refuses to break character, a character that apparently doesn't speak English. Ryan gives up and moves on to the next witness.
  • Old Shame/Star-Making Role: In-Universe, Nebula 9 was, by Stephanie Frye's own admission, her breakout role, but she hated the show. So much so that she killed Annabelle in hopes of killing the Nebula 9 IP for good.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Benjamin Donnelly (Armin Shimerman's character) is a tinkerer who creates and sells replicas of sci-fi weaponry, including, somehow, a working laser pistol. DARPA would pay ridiculous amounts of money for that.
  • Reference Overdosed: Dear God in heaven. You'd expect it from an episode taking place at a con, but still.
    • When Beckett tells him there's been a murder at the con, Castle queries her on who got killed and how.
      Castle: So, who is our victim? Did Doc Ock finally catch up with Spider-Man?
      Beckett: Think more TV starship.
      Castle: Oh! Um, Borg attack.
      Becket: Mm-mm.
      Castle: Cylon skin job? Please say Number Six.
    • Moments later Castle rattles off that he's a fan of Star Trek, Star Wars (he apparently has a life-size Boba Fett in his bathroom), and "that Joss Whedon show", though he apparently considers Nebula 9 too cheesy. For his part, Esposito favors Blade Runner, while Ryan is more of a The Lord of the Rings kind of guy.
    • The uniforms worn by Nebula 9 female crewmembers bear a striking resemblance to women's uniforms in Star Trek: The Original Series.
    • The Castle writers love to make Firefly references in general, but this episode in particular has a lot of them.
      • Castle drops a "Shiny" upon being informed of the murder.
      • The "Kreivers" are described as being vicious creatures that eat your face while you're still alive, rather like the Reavers.
      • Much like Firefly, Nebula 9 ran for only 12 episodes about ten years before the present day. And much like fan efforts resurrected Firefly into Serenity, licensed comics, and eventually Firefly Online after Fox killed it prematurely, The Nebula 9 Fan Experience done by Winters and Annabelle made the IP valuable again. Which turned out to be a plot point: a studio was trying to buy the rights from the Body of the Week.
    • Gabriel Winters hasn't gotten a serious gig apart from The Nebula 9 Fan Experience since Nebula 9 was cancelled and has become a drunken partier, rather like Jason Nesmith in Galaxy Quest.
  • STD Immunity: Averted. Gabriel Winters' alibi for the murder is that he was at the doctor's office getting treated for one.
  • Three-Way Sex: Gabriel Winters is reported to have had a threesome with two Lieutenant Chloe cosplayers.


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