Castle takes murder to a sci-fi convention in “The Final Frontier.” When fans, celebrities and a slew of costumed visitors are suspects, how will they solve their case? Maybe focusing on laser gun owners will help.

The Players:

  • Director: Jonathan Frakes
  • Writer: Kate Sargeant
  • CastStana KaticNathan Fillion, Jon Huertas, Seamus Dever, Molly C. Quinn, Arye Gross, Armin Shimerman

Episode Title: “The Final Frontier”

Castle’s signing books at a sci-fi convention until Beckett shows up to investigate a murder. The team soon learns that Beckett is a fan of Nebula 9. Castle is surprised when he runs into Alexis. Ryan interviews costumed convention-goers about what they may have seen. The rest of the team tracks down the unusual murder weapon.

The Good:

  • The Actors: We’re not talking about the regular Castle crew. We’re talking about Nebula 9. Beckett’s excited to meet the actors behind her favorite show until they aren’t as she imagined. We don’t blame her for being disappointed in Gabriel Ventura, who plays Captain Max, with his “show must go on” attitude at the crime scene. We get her annoyance in Stephanie Fay’s hatred for her old role as Lieutenant Chloe. We love how Beckett doesn’t let this ruin her love for the character that inspires her to be bold, multi-dimensional and confident.
  • Timing is Everything: Alibis, delivery of one-liners, timing is important for everything. Oh, and might we mention that the Castle Convention is next weekend? Therefore, this episode couldn’t have aired at a better time. It falls midway between Halloween and CastleCon.
  • Cosplay: Speaking of the costume department, we get references to Firefly (starring none other than Fillion), Star Trek, and a framework around the fictional Nebula 9 (Maybe selling merchandise for it on Cafepress is going too far?). That aside, we get another glimpse at Castle’s graphic novel series, which seemed appropriate for the setting. Plus, Beckett in her Lieutenant Chloe outfit at the end? Great fun.

The So-So:

  • Sci-Fi Cause of Death:  Death by Uthorian Blaster? Very interesting. We like how it suits the convention theme. But maybe Castle shouldn’t gloat over it so much? Someone did die here. We’re glad Beckett calls him out on his over-enthusiasm every now and then.
  • Father Daughter Convention Chaos: When Alexis and Castle bump into each other, he freaks out and alleges that her outfit is too revealing. Beckett makes the comment that he’s upset about the same type of costume he wants her to wear, which is slightly odd. Even more odd is the way he doesn’t want to talk about it with Alexis when she comes to his apartment. He could’ve at least commented that she’s growing up too fast, like he usually does!

The Quotes:

  • Fan: “I’m your number one fan.” Castle: “How far they fall.”
  • Castle (signing books): “Alright, where do you want it?” Beckett: “Just on my chest. Wow, that actually got your attention.”
  • Castle: Okay, this is a cool ship. Show’s still lame, but this is a cool ship.”
  • Henry: Beckett! K-Becks, I knew it was you!
  • Henry: “It’s us from back in the day.” Castle: “Yeah?” Henry: “It”s frakkin’ awesome.” Beckett: “it’s frakkin’ something.”
  • Castle: “I feel tingly.”
  • Castle: “I can’t un-see that!”
  • Ryan: “Swords and sorcery. That’s more of my thing. Like Lord of the Rings.” Esposito: “Yeah, I could see you as an elf. Or a hobbit.”
  • Castle: “Look at my life. My dreams do come true.”
  • Beckett: “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had dreams of being on this very ship.” Castle: “Want to make your fantasies come true?” Beckett: “Castle, this is still a crime scene.” Castle: “Oh yeah. Ew.”
  • Castle: “So, if I wake up bald tomorrow, you will still be attracted to me?” Beckett: “Uhh…” Castle: “No, you wouldn’t!” Esposito: “With that pumpkin head? Come on.”
  • Beckett: “Castle. Castle, are we going to make out?” Castle: “Maybe… we should start with the Nebula 9 marathon.”

Overall:

“The Final Frontier” is a really fun episode, directed at Castle mega-fans. Packed with references to real sci-fi shows and jokes, the murder mystery solving is  more futuristic than normal. We love how the episode embraces convention culture and challenges our idea of real versus fictional, with great humor and intelligence.

Rating: 9/10

Castle airs Monday nights at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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