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The Final Frontier is the sixth episode of the fifth season of Castle. It features numerous references to science fiction, fantasy, and their fandom.

References in Dialog

  • Castle mentions to Kate that one of the (male) potential suspects spent the rest of the night with a "paid companion." A possible reference to "Firefly" and Inara Serra, a character in "Firefly" who was a Companion.
  • In the initial scene on the spaceship, the ship is escaping from the planet Ariel. This was a hostile planet on Firefly and title of one of the episodes.
  • Castle speculates about which show might be involved in the murder. The Borg are a villainous cybernetic race from the Star Trek franchise. Cylon "Skinjobs" are biological robots from the re-imagined Battlestar: Galactica; the "Number Six" model was a notorious seductress. The term "skinjob" itself first appears in modern SF films in Ridley Scott's 1982 Blade Runner, where it is likewise the term for 'almost entirely realistic' androids.
  • "That Joss Whedon show" is, of course, the beloved (but short-lived) Firefly.
  • Castle refers to the idea of a murder at a con as "shiny". This is the lingo used on Firefly.
  • Later, both Beckett and her college friend use the word "fracking" as an expletive. This was used by both the original and the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica.
  • Alexis and Castle used to dress as Princess Leia and Darth Vader, characters from Star Wars.
  • The vicious, evil aliens are called Creavers, a reference to the insane and horrifically violent raiders known as Reavers on Firefly.
  • Esposito says, "As you wish." This is a quote from The Princess Bride.
  • During the replica manufacture throwing out names as to who bought the thorian blaster, which later proven true, who was named Simon; a reference to the character Simon Tam, a character on Firefly.
  • Beckett suggests that Castle cosplay as Dr. Manhattan. This is the full frontally nude blue superbeing from Watchmen.
  • Castle keeps a full size model of Boba Fett in his bathroom.
  • In an earlier scene discussing the manner of the killing, Castle imitates William Shatner in his exposition and particularly pronouncing the phrase, "laser blaster." (This scene is referred to in interviews, by director Jonathan Frakes.)
  • Ryan's preference is for swords and sorcery, such as Lord of the Rings.
  • Castle's captain's chair impression is of Sir Patrick Stewart's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, from the episode "Yesterday's Enterprise".
  • In Frakes's cameo, he refers to himself as Castle's "Number One Fan". "Number One" was how Captain Picard referred to Frake's character in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • In the climactic scene, Stephanie Frye rants about the movies, the product lines, Lieutenant Chloe bobble heads. On Firefly, in the episode "Trash", Inara reminded Mal that their last cargo was geisha bobblehead dolls.
  • Beckett describes the character Lieutenant Chloe from Nebula 9 in terms that makes her similar to Jadzia Dax from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
  • In the last scene, the song playing as Beckett enters in her Nebula 9 costume is "Ideal Woman" by William Shatner.

References in the Plot/Story

  • Captain "Max Reynard" is a satirical reference to Nathan Fillion's role as Captain Mal Reynolds on Firefly.
  • Nebula 9's fate, to be cancelled after less than a full season yet survive with a fanatical cult following, mirrors that of Firefly.
  • The two actors from Nebula 9 exhibit two stereotypes of actors from science fiction shows: the actor who drops all ties to the show and fans that gave them their big break, and the actor who surfs from con to con, basking in the love of their fans but whose careers have screeched to a halt.
  • The episode is premised on a group of fans buying the rights to Nebula 9 and airing controversial "webisodes" of their own. There was a stir among Browncoats (fans of Firefly) when Nathan Fillion voiced his fantasy about buying the rights to Firefly from Fox himself. Fans were already organizing fundraising drives to raise the money to purchase the rights when Fillion (and other Firefly veterans) explained the reasons that this would be impractical. Fans of Firefly have created numerous independent videos based in the Firefly universe, most notably Browncoats: Redemption.
  • The Thorian Blaster used in the killing is a reference to the Thorians of the video game Mass Effect. It is also followed closely by the word 'creaver'. Thorian Creepers were the transformed humans the Thorian used to attach Commander Shepard during the game.
  • Stephanie Frye's last name is a reference to Jewel Staite's character Kaywinnet Lee "Kaylee" Frye on Firefly.

References in Production

  • The episode title comes from the opening narration to various shows in the Star Trek franchise.
  • Director Jonathan Frakes played William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Castle Executive Producer Rob Bowman's first directing credit is for Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Although main cast member Penny Johnson Jerald had a recurring role in Deep Space 9, she does not appear in this episode.
  • Armin Shimerman has numerous science fiction credits, most notably Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
  • Ed Quinn, who plays Gabriel Winters (who in turn plays Captain Renard), is from the science fiction show Eureka.

Visual References

  • Benjamin Donnelly wore a t-shirt labelled "Han Shot First", a reference to George Lucas's controversial edit of Star Wars: A New Hope.
  • At the crime scene Beckett and the coroner are both wearing blue latex gloves, a Firefly reference to the agents who wore them and traveled in pairs. This reprises a previous visual reference by Nathan Fillion in "Fool Me Once..."
  • At the convention a banner hangs overhead showing the word STARK. Ed Quinn portrayed Dr. Nathan Stark on Eureka.
  • In Benjamin Donnelly's workshop a "silk trigger active return bolt laser pistol" as seen in Joss Whedon's Firefly episode "Heart of Gold" sits on one of his workbenches