Castle: The Final Frontier
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