OH MY GOODNESS! I had so much fun watching this episode of Castle! I think this may be my favorite episode since the first season Halloween episode when Castle dressed up as a space cowboy!
I did mention before that I am a fan of science fiction, right? I actually started watching this show because of Nathan Fillion, who I loved in “Firefly” and “Serenity”.
But I digress (and I will again before this is done -you have been warned!) This episode is aptly named “The Final Frontier” and opens at a sci-fi convention with a great scene on the bridge of a fictional star ship where fans have the opportunity to act out a scene from the show “Nebula-9” with the “real” Captain of the ship, Gabriel Winters (played by Ed Quinn). This ship’s computer has a human element, an oracle. But it turns out our oracle is a real person, a real dead person.
Enter Castle and Beckett. Castle is already at the convention autographing copies of his latest book when Beckett shows up in line and tells him to “cap his pen, there’s been a murder here”, to which he responds “shiny” (from Firefly, in case you didn’t know…digressing-sorry).
As they make their way through the crowd to the crime scene they have this great exchange concerning the merits of Nebula-9 which surprisingly Castle is not a fan of (“I am a fan of good sci-fi”). As they progress into the crime scene it becomes apparent to us that Beckett, however, is a huge fan and is even a bit star-struck when she meets Gabriel Winters. That doesn’t last long as he is very shallow and egoistical. He knows our victim though; Annabelle Collins is the owner of the rights to the show and has been running the Nebula-9 fan experience and the official fan club with her 2 friends, Audrey and Davis. They tell our team that Annabelle had been upset the previous morning because “someone had betrayed her”, but they didn’t know who. They also mentioned that Annabelle had received death threats from fans of the show.
As Kate and Castle are leaving the convention to go to the coroner’s office, they run into an old college friend of Kate’s, and the cat is out of the bag! This old friend just happens to have a photo of Kate in full costume as Lieutenant Chloe! (“isn’t that frackin’ awesome?!?”) Castle is having a great time at Beckett’s expense as they enter the morgue, but offers to let up if she will model her Nebula-9 outfit for him. She responds “in your dreams” to which the only reply can be (in true Castle form) “look at my life, my dreams come true”.
Perlmutter (the assistant coroner) has a cause of death, and a mystery. Annabelle’s wound is rather strange. It appears to have been caused by “high levels of infrared radiation”. (“A real sci-fi murder at a sci-fi convention!!!”) Can anyone say “phaser”??
Meanwhile, back at the convention, Ryan and Esposito are interviewing potential witnesses and they find one who saw the victim entering the Nebula-9 ship with Stephanie Frye (played by Christina Moore) who played Lieutenant Chloe in the original series. Apparently Annabelle asked Stephanie to be part of the Nebula-9 fan experience, but Stephanie wasn’t interested; she was worried it might damage her career. According to her Annabelle was having “problems” with Gabriel (“a complicated guy”) and was going to have to shut down the fan experience. Ryan fills in the blanks with the information that the Captain was late for most appearances and showing up drunk. Annabelle had threatened to fire him, and that is a motive for murder!
As Beckett and Castle stand outside the Nebula-9 ship, Castle sees something that really gets his attention. It’s Alexis, in costume with her friends as a band of female assassins who, in Castle’s words “don’t wear clothes”. Let’s just say her outfit is stunning and not something Castle wants to see on his daughter. As Beckett drags him away he says “how am I gonna un-see that?!? “”
Next our intrepid duo interrupts the fan experience to question our Captain. Castle is a bit stressed and isn’t interested in small talk. He grabs the captain’s phaser off his hip and fires it into the wall and is shocked when it actually fires into the wall! Needless to say, the captain is leaving the bridge. Turns out he does have an alibi, he was at the doctor, being treated for a “personal issue” (yuck!). But he does let the team in on a secret, Annabelle had a boyfriend.
Ryan and Esposito go to convention center bar to try to i.d. the boyfriend, while Beckett and Castle go to see a man (guest star Armin Shimerman) about a phaser. Long story short, Annabelle had an annual convention hook-up with a man named Simon (Chris McKenna) who purchased the phaser for her. He also tells them that Annabelle was upset after a confrontation with Davis, her friend, and Audrey’s boyfriend. Turns out Davis has feelings for Annabelle but she was not interested. Davis tells the team that Audrey inherits the rights to Nebula-9 now that Annabelle is dead. And it just so happens that she just sold them for a boatload of cash, but denies killing her friend.
Altogether by accident, Castle breaks the case when he notices his hand glowing, the same hand he used to fire the phaser. Beckett has all our prime suspects come together on the bridge and eliminates them one by one by checking their hands. Gabriel looks guilty for a moment, until he admits that he bought another working phaser from the same man Simon purchased the first one from. That leaves Stephanie, who killed Annabelle to try to stop Nebula-9 from making a comeback. She tries to escape the bridge by taking Gabriel hostage, but he over powers her and saves the day!
Our final scene has Castle waiting impatiently for Kate to model her Lieutenant Chloe costume for him. But he gets a bit more than he bargained for when she steps into the doorway wearing the mask of a Creaver, the hideously ugly villain of Nebula-9. The final scenes closes to William Shatner’s “Ideal Woman”.