Castle, S5 Ep6 – The Final Frontier

This?  This was pretty much the greatest episode of Castle ever.

Okay, there are probably those who thought it was over the top, but I adored each and every single in-joke in this celebration of geekdom, sci-fi, and Comic-Con.  From the gloriously cheesy opening sequence of the “Nebula-9 Fan Experience”, to Jonathan Frakes’ hilarious cameo, to Castle’s name-dropping of “that Joss Whedon show,” to the cosplaying SupernovaCon attendee who refused to speak English to Ryan, to Armin Shimerman pretty much reprising his role as Quark – I loved it.

Quark's shop

Armin Shimerman, basically playing Quark for our time.

The guy they got to play the actor playing Captain Max Renard (I’m sure that was not an accident, naming the character after an *ahem* FOX, as well as making it sound like ‘Reynolds’) was an excellent amalgam of various famous sci-fi captains/commanders: from Trek, B5, and even Tim Allen’s Peter Quincy Taggart from Galaxy Quest.  And it made me happy that although ‘Max’ was more than slightly sleazy, he was heroic at the end.

Jonathan Frakes getting Nathan Fillio– I mean Richard Castle’s autograph was amazing.  I love them both . “How far they fall,” indeed.  Frakes’ direction was excellent, which is to say I didn’t notice it at all.  I admit I usually only notice directing choices when they’re distracting to me, or unless someone points something out ahead of time.

Also, Beckett as an unashamed fan made me happy – especially when she proclaimed her reasons for loving the show.  Sing it, sister: no young woman should be ashamed of finding role models in strong, intelligent sci-fi/fantasy characters like Lt. Chloe… or Dana Scully, or Susan Ivanova or Delenn, or Uhura, or Buffy Summers, or Olivia Dunham.  I’d like to think that Beckett and I could have a good conversation about our heroines if we ever met up in real life.  I hope she called up her old cos-playing friend after the case ended, too, even if she’s keeping that fantastic photo.

Beckett as Lt. Chloe

You’re a geek, Beckett. Embrace it.

Along similar lines, I’m pleased that macho Esposito is not ashamed of his sci-fi love, either.  Loving science fiction doesn’t make you weak and nerdy – okay, maybe nerdy, but evidently Esposito doesn’t think that’s a bad thing.  Too bad Ryan didn’t dress up as an Elf, though!

And then there were all the Firefly references!  They’re practically breaking the fourth wall now, what with Castle turning and saying, “Shiny!” after he hears about the murder at the con.  Of course the race of evil aliens on Nebula-9 are called the Creavers, who eat people.  And of course, every fan of Mal Reynolds would agree with Castle as he stared scornfully at ‘Max’ in the interrogation room that some people just aren’t worthy of being a spaceship captain.  I have to wonder if non-Firefly fans who watch this show just get tired of things like this, or are mostly highly confused.

Lastly, as a giant geek myself, the choice of a ray gun laser weapon as the murder weapon made me nearly as happy as it made Castle.  Perfectly fitting.  And Beckett teasing Castle throughout the whole episode with the promise of modeling her Lt. Chloe costume for him bore highly amusing fruit at the end.  It reminds me of the delightful Halloween episode from several seasons back where she totally fakes him out with her practical joke costume.

What did you think?  Were the in-jokes amusing or tiresome?  What was your favorite moment?