Season 5, Episode 6 (87)
Original Air Date - November 5, 2012
Castle is delighted to investigate a murder at a science fiction fan convention, but Beckett much less so when the suspect pool includes the spoiled, selfish stars of a television show she loved in college.
- Nathan Fillion - Richard Castle
- Stana Katic - Kate Beckett, Detective
- Susan Sullivan - Martha Rodgers (Castle's mother)
- Molly C. Quinn - Alexis Castle (Castle's daughter)
- Jon Huertas - Javier Esposito, Detective
- Seamus Dever - Kevin Ryan, Detective
- Tamala Jones - Lanie Parish, Medical Examiner
- Penny Johnson Jerald - Victoria Gates, Captain
- Ed Quinn – Gabriel Winters (aka Captain Max Richards)
- Christina Moore – Stephanie Frye (aka Lt Chloe)
- Armin Shimerman – Benjamin Donnelly
- Arye Gross – Medical Examiner Perlmutter
- Erin Way – Audrey O'Neill
- John Bobek - Davis Hawthorne
- Chris L. McKenna - Simon Westport
- Juan Monsalvez - Commander Walsh
- Melinda Cohen - Lt. Chloe Preston
- P.J. Ochlan - Lt. Shane
- Jeff Galfer - Henry Barnett
- Anna Bowen - Officer Tate
- John Gloria - Bartender
- Kari Ann Klinkenborg - Pretty Woman
- Brian Treitler - Friend
- Channing Nichols - Teenage Girl
- Jonathan Frakes - Richard Castle fan
Beckett: (seductively, to Castle) Would you sign my chest? Wow, that actually caught your attention.
Beckett: Cap your pen, Castle. There’s been a murder here.
Castle: Here at Supernova Con? Shiny.
Castle: I’m a fan of good sci-fi: Star Trek, Battlestar, that Joss Whedon show…
Castle: Perlmutter, good to see you.
Perlmutter: Ah, if only the feeling were mutual.
Ryan: I tried to talk to him, but he said he needed a minute to muse upon the fragile nature of human life.
Beckett: Well, his minute is up. Hi, um, Mr. Winters, I’m Detective Kate Beckett and-
Winters: (dramatically) I’m devastated, ravaged by sorrow. Reminds me of that moment when First Officer Tate was sucked into that wormhole in episode six.
Castle: Except, in this case, someone actually died.
Henry: Isn’t it frackin’ awesome?!
Beckett: It’s frackin’ something…
Beckett: Ok, yes, I was a sci-fi loving, costume-wearing geek, and you know what? Not ashamed of it or of Nebula-9. Despite what you think it was an awesome show.
Castle: Hm, I’ll tell you what, I’ll forgive you your terrible taste, if you try on that Nebula-9 costume for me.
Beckett: In your dreams.
Castle: Look at my life. My dreams come true.
Perlmutter: Detective Beckett.
Perlmutter: And non-Detective Castle.
Castle: Let’s go back to the emails of the crazed Nebula-9 fans, and when I say crazed fans, I’m not referring to you. You are a mega-fan.
Beckett: Nice one coming from the guy with a life-sized Boba Fett in his bathroom.
Castle: Point taken.
Ryan: Did you see her or not?
Costumed Man: He only speaks Mersatonian.
Ryan: Maybe you can translate for him.
Costumed Man: I’m not really that fluent.
Esposito: Did you see her here last night between 10 and 11?
Attractive Woman: No.
Attractive Woman: (removes a leaf from her costume, exposing her breast) But, if there’s anything else I can do for you, here’s my number. Call me.
Esposito: (breathless) You took my pen.
Ryan: He was actually a no-show to Nebula-9 yesterday and Anabelle had to rouse him from his hotel room where he was passed out naked with two Lieutenant Chloes.
Castle: I’d say fortune was definitely guiding his journey.
Alexis: You’re overreacting and you’re embarrassing me.
Castle: Oh, I’m embarrassing you? I’m the one who’s dressed.
Castle: (about Alexis’ skimpy costume) Did you see what she’s wearing?!
Beckett: Yeah, it’s not that bad.
Castle: Not that bad? How am I gonna unsee that?
Castle: Zap said the lady! You are so busted.
Castle: Some guys have no business commanding a spaceship.
Beckett: Just goes to show you sometimes people aren’t what they appear to be.
Castle: For Alexis’ sake you’re right, given what she was wearing.
Beckett: Castle she is a full grown woman.
Castle: Who, as we speak, is being ogled by thousands of sweaty, lecherous fan boys. It’s just so wrong.
Beckett: Can I just point out the fact that the costume she was wearing is not so different from the one you were asking me to wear.
Castle: Don’t say that! That’s…confusing and disturbing.
Winters: I played a lawyer on a well-regarded film that didn’t come out. I know about the legal system. That would have just made me look guilty.
Castle: As opposed to how you look now?
Winters: I’m the reason all those lunatics line up for days outside the convention.
Castle: Yes, well perhaps now they’ll line up outside Sing Sing.
Castle: We already know about the threesome with the Lieutenant Chloes. How bad can it be?
Winters: Well, let’s just say my, um, weakness for fleeting romance left me with a burning desire to see my doctor last night.
Castle: And it just got worse.
Ryan: Feels like the Halloween from hell.
Esposito: This is probably too low brow for you, huh? You’re probably into that boring-ass intellectual sci-fi, like Gattaca or 2001. The Monolith? The hell is that?
Ryan: Don’t ask me. No, swords and sorcery that’s more my thing, like Lord of the Rings.
Esposito: Yeah, I could probably see you as an elf or a hobbit.
Esposito: A Creaver?
Ryan: A who?
Esposito: The evil alien race from Nebula-9. Nasty creatures. They’ll eat your face off while you’re still alive and then serve your organs to their young.
Ryan: Good to know.
Castle: Something’s wrong. I’m beginning to mutate like The Hulk or The Thing, or worse, The Leader. What would happen to my hair?
Beckett: I prefer Dr. Manhattan. The blue skin brings out your blue eyes.
Castle: This isn’t funny.
Castle: Ok, so if I wake up bald tomorrow you’ll still be attracted to me? (Beckett doesn’t answer) Oh my God, you wouldn’t!
Beckett: I didn’t say that.
Castle: No, but you were thinking it. I can see it in your-
Esposito: With that pumpkin head? Dude.
Beckett: I can’t tell you how many times I have had dreams about being in this very ship.
Castle: Sexy dreams? (imitating Star Trek’s Captain Picard) You know, it’s never too late to live out your fantasy.
Beckett: You do realize that this is still a crime scene?
Castle: Oh, right. Eww.
Beckett: You’re right, ok? It was a stupid show. It was cheesy and melodramatic. I mean a handful of academy cadets on a training mission and suddenly the Earth is destroyed and they’re all that’s left of humanity? I completely understand why you hated it. But, Castle, I also understand why people loved it, why Anabelle loved it. It was about leaving home for the first time, about searching for your identity and making a difference. I loved dressing up like Lieutenant Chloe. She didn’t care what anybody thought of her and I kinda did, at that time. I mean she was a scientist and a warrior and that was all in spite of the way she looked. It was like I could be anything and I didn’t have to choose. So don’t make fun, Ok?
Beckett: Besides, it didn’t hurt that my legs looked great in her outfit.
Beckett: (about her Nebula-9 costume and ugly Creaver mask) Do you like it?
Castle: (horrified) That’s not what you…that’s not-
Beckett: You wanna make out, Castle? Raaaarrrr!
Castle: No, I-
Beckett: C’mon just a quick snog right here on the lips. Isn’t this what your dreams are made of? RAAARRRR!!!!! (knocks on closet door to where he retreated) Castle, are we gonna make out?
Castle: Maybe we should start with the Nebula-9 marathon.
- Was filmed as episode 7
- Chris McKenna once played Joey Buchanan on the soap opera One Life to Live from 1990-1993, just as Nathan Fillion did from 1994-1997.
- This episode contained several Easter eggs and a variation of a Nathanism.
- Tesla Girls performed by Orchestral Manoeuvres in The Dark
- So Sexy performed by Radio Free America
- Ideal Woman performed by William Shatner (end scene in Castle's loft)
Full Episode Recap
At the end of a simulation of the cancelled science-fiction television show Nebula-9 at the fan convention Supernova Con, a couple of fans marvel at the realism of the woman whose face and voice represent the ship’s Oracle Pod computer. They press a button to open the chamber where the woman lays and notice she is dead.
In the convention hall, Richard Castle is signing copies of his latest graphic novel Storm Season when Detective Kate Beckett interrupts him, telling him there’s been a murder. As they walk through the crowd to the scene, Castle recounts to Beckett how such a place is the perfect location to commit murder since the killer can melt into the crowd afterwards and how he used to bring Alexis to conventions where she was dressed as Princess Leia and he as Darth Vader. When they arrive at the entrance to the Nebula-9 Fan Experience, Castle laments how such a short-lived terribly-written show gets featured at the convention. Beckett is surprised, since she assumed he’d be a fan, but he says he prefers “good sci-fi.”
Once inside the Fan Experience, a mock-up of the interior of the space ship from the show, Beckett is star struck and even Castle admits it is a cool set. Detective Javier Esposito joins them and reports that their victim is Anabelle Collins, who was found in the pod on the set and who helped put together the Fan Experience. Esposito agrees with Castle that her efforts were misguided, but clams up when Beckett, all business, asks if he has contacted next-of-kin. He leaves to do so and Beckett and Castle greet Medical Examiner Perlmutter who guesses the time of death was between 10 and 11p.m. the night before. He is further puzzled by the cause of death, which appears to be a puncture wound to her heart which is surrounded by some kind of burn and which he has never seen before.
Detective Kevin Ryan arrives and says he finished taking statements from the fans who were around when the body was found and nobody knew Anabelle or were around at the time of her death. He is further amused when Beckett suggests he put word out on the Nebula-9 fan website asking for help. She begins explaining how she knows about the site when the star of the show, Gabriel Winters, who played Captain Max Rennard, enters. Ryan says he hasn’t interviewed him yet since he said he needed time to think on the fragility of life, so Beckett enthusiastically introduces herself. Before she can introduce Castle, he interrupts her, dramatically stating how devastated he is by Anabelle’s death. He explains that when the show was cancelled, she kept it going online and through the Fan Experience. He goes on to say that the last time he saw her was the night before when the Fan Experience ended at 9p.m. and afterward, he went back to his hotel for the night. He quotes himself from the show, then perks up and asks when they can restart the Fan Experience. Momentarily surprised at his insensitivity, Castle and Beckett ask if he knows any of Anabelle’s family and he says her friends Audrey and Davis run the fan booth on the convention floor. He then dismisses them, further creeping them out.
Audrey and Davis explain that they met and began dating all because they wanted to help Anabelle promote the show. Audrey further reports that yesterday Anabelle was upset over a friend’s betrayal and that she had no boyfriend. When Beckett asks about potential enemies, Audrey and Davis tell her about how Anabelle bought the rights to the show so she could keep it going through webisodes, but some fans hated her work, even sending death threats.
Castle reads some of the emails as he and Beckett walk back through the crowd, but Beckett doubts that their killer could be a crazed fan. She protests when he says any fan of the show is crazy because it’s cheesy, has lousy story-telling and doesn’t obey the laws of physics. Beckett’s cell phone beeps and she sees a message from Perlmutter summoning them to the morgue. As they turn to leave, a voice calls for Beckett then hugs her. She recognizes him as Henry Barnett, a friend of from Stanford and is terribly embarrassed when he comments on how she was a mega-fan of Nebula-9 then when he shows Castle a picture of her dressed as Lieutenant Chloe in a short miniskirt. Beckett demands he hand over the photo, stating it is important police business and he complies. She turns and leaves while Castle thanks Henry for the nugget of information.
At the morgue, Beckett admits to being a costume-wearing, sci-fi geek and announces that she isn’t ashamed of herself or the show. Castle offers her a deal: he’ll forgive her poor taste if she wears the costume for him. She scoffs at him and they head into the lab.
Perlmutter proclaims the cause of death to be a burn created by high levels of infrared radiation which tore through skin, muscle, and bone, cauterized blood vessels, and left the circular wound. He adds, to Castle’s glee and Beckett’s shock, that a high-intensity laser beam killed Anabelle.
At the precinct, Castle and Beckett stand in front of the murder board debating whether or not real laser guns exist, with Castle suspecting one of the crazed fans who threatened Anabelle actually built their own laser gun and killed her because of the webisodes she made. Beckett agrees his theory is interesting, but says that all the fans who wrote to Anbabelle have alibis. She agrees to consult with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms about whether or not they’ve come across a real laser blaster.
Meanwhile, Ryan and Esposito interview convention attendees who responded to their appeal for help on the Nebula-9 fan site. Ryan seems to have all the fans of different shows who refuse to speak English while Esposito talks to an attractive flirtatious woman wearing nothing but leaves over her private parts. He gets her phone number, but strikes out when it comes to a lead on Anabelle’s killer. One fan does tell Ryan that she saw Anabelle enter the Fan Experience set with Stephanie Frye, former Nebula-9 cast member.
Castle tacks Stephanie’s photo to the murder board and points out that she played Beckett’s idol, Lieutenant Chloe to which Beckett says the witness saw them walk onto the set at 9:45p.m. and didn’t see them leave. Castle wonders what Stephanie’s motive could be since she isn’t involved with the show anymore, but Beckett says she has no choice but to question her.
At the convention hall, Stephanie admits that she and Anabelle talked, but said it was brief since she had to be at a premiere at 10. Anabelle had asked her to be a part of the Fan Experience, which confuses Beckett, who further exposes her love of the show by saying she had distanced herself from it. Stephanie says that while it did give her the big break she wanted, it wouldn’t let her be taken seriously as an actress, a comment that aggravates Beckett. Castle asks her why she even offered if she knew she didn’t want to be associated with the show and Stephanie says Anabelle had been having issues with Gabriel and if she couldn’t hold on to an original cast member, she’d have to shut down.
Via cell phone, Ryan briefs Castle and Beckett that Gabriel had been showing up to the Fan Experience drunk and that yesterday when he didn’t arrive at all, she found him in his hotel room naked with two woman dressed as Lieutenant Chloe. Esposito adds that Anabelle had called Gabriel’s agent threatening to fire him and that the Fan Experience was the only work he could get, providing him with a motive to kill. Castle begins to wonder if Gabriel was who had betrayed Anabelle then flips out when he sees his daughter, Alexis, pass by with two friends, all wearing revealing costumes. Beckett drags him away, telling him what she was wearing wasn’t too terrible, but Castle remains horrified.
Castle and Beckett interrupt the Fan Experience and tells everyone except Gabriel to leave. He is insulted at their interruption and at the insinuation that he had something to do with Anabelle’s murder. When he refuses to hand over his laser blaster, Castle takes it from him and fires it, surprising everyone when he creates a hole in the wall.
At the precinct, Castle and Beckett have Gabriel in an interrogation room and watch him make faces into the glass. Esposito enters and says Tech and Perlmutter confirmed it is the murder weapon, so she tells him to find out where it came from. Castle continues to complain about Alexis’ costume, saying he can’t bear the thought of it gaining the attention of thousands of fan boys. When Beckett reminds him that it isn’t that much more risqué than the costume he wants her to wear he groans.
Gabriel maintains that he has no idea where the laser gun came from and that he wouldn’t be such an idiot to keep the murder weapon on his person. Beckett asks him about the problems he was having with Anabelle and he arrogantly says that his experience playing a lawyer in an unreleased movie told him it would only make him look guilty. Beckett spins the theory that he killed Anabelle when she threatened to fire him from his only job for all his carousing, but he denies this, saying she’d never go through with firing him because he is the face of the show and because they would still help each other out. He adds that he got her and her boyfriend into the convention’s opening night party, but Beckett disputes that she was dating anyone and reminds him that his hotel told her that he left around 9:45 and returned at 11, giving him time to kill Anabelle. When he tries to keep his whereabouts private, Castle coaxes out of him the fact that he went to his doctor to get antibiotics for a sexually transmitted disease.
At the murder board, Ryan confirms Gabriel’s alibi and Beckett states how she has found no evidence that Anabelle was seeing anyone. Ryan suggests that the boyfriend is who betrayed her, making Beckett more suspicious of why he didn’t come forward when she was killed. Esposito joins them, reporting that Tech traced one of the laser gun’s components to a manufacturer that says it shipped the part to a Bronx address. She says she and Castle will check it out while they should go to the convention bar to look into who Anabelle attended the party with.
At the bar, Esposito teases Ryan about his taste in sci-fi then they find the bartender, who says initially Anabelle and her date were pretty cozy then later on he noticed her alone a the bar hysterical. He identifies a Creaver costume as what the date was wearing and Esposito explains to the Ryan how Creavers are a cannibalistic alien race on Nebula-9. The bartender adds that the guy also had a rare purple VIP pass around his neck.
In the Bronx, Beckett and Castle find the address fronted by a slightly open garage door with a “danger” warning on it. Beckett draws her gun and they slip under the door, but freeze when the door shuts, a menacing voice tells them they will be killed, and multiple laser beams aim at their foreheads. Beckett announces herself and the lights come on. An older little man comes out and introduces himself as Benjamin Donnelly, a manufacturer or science fiction gadgets. When Beckett asks about a laser blaster, he produces a replica of the murder weapon and says that his products are for entertainment only and that he cannot be held responsible for the actions of others. Castle then admits he fired one and becomes instantly concerned when Donnelly alludes to the need for protection when doing so. Donnelly goes on to say that he sold one blaster the previous Wednesday night but got no name and that the man was dressed as a Creaver and driving a white SUV with North Carolina license plates.
That night at the precinctas Beckett packs up, she tells Castle that Ryan and Esposito are running down everyone who was issued a purple pass to the convention and observes that Castle was right when he said their killer could have committed the crime then disappeared amongst the fans. Noticing Castle’s gingerly touching his face, Beckett asks him if he is ok and he states that he feels tingly and is worried that he will mutate. Beckett teases him as she heads for elevator and Castle wonders if the laser blast made him infertile since he wants at least the option of having more kids. They board the elevator and Castle says he plans on decontaminating that night.
At his loft, he finds Alexis waiting for him. She worriedly asks him if he wants to talk about her costume and he says no. She agrees and after an awkward moment she leaves and Castle heads for his room.
The next morning at the precinct, Esposito briefs Beckett that Anabelle’s date was Simon Westport and that state troopers are bringing him in. In the conference room, Simon recognizes the murder weapon as a Nebula-9 blaster and they confront him with their evidence. He explains that he bought the gun as a gift and that they weren’t dating, but would simply hook up each year at the convention. He tells them how at the party he stepped away from Anabelle to take a phone call and came back to find Davis all over her. She got rid of him, but was so upset that she left the party and the next day she told him she was done with SupernovaCon and him, so he checked out of his hotel.
On their way to the elevator, Esposito and Beckett agree that Davis hid his issues with Anabelle most likely because he killed her. Castle exits the elevator worried that his hair is falling out and asks Beckett if she would still be attracted to him if he was bald. When she doesn’t answer, he gets even more upset, but Esposito holds him off so she can escape.
In an interrogation room, Davis admits that while he is together with Audrey, he always had feelings for Anabelle and that when he saw her with Simon, he was determined to tell her. He did so, but she hated for it. He sought her out the next day, telling her that they should forget about it, but she was still angry. She then said she was tired of living a lie and that this would be their last convention since she planned on selling the rights to Nebula-9, perhaps to a movie studio. When asked who gets the rights to Nebula-9 now that Anabelle is dead, he says Audrey does.
Beckett reports that Davis’ alibi of being at a masquerade ball seems to check out, but she can’t be sure since he was in costume which would allow him to leave unnoticed. Esposito and Ryan join them saying that for months Anabelle had been refusing to sell the right, but on the days she died, she agreed to a deal with a movie studio for $2.5 million which now goes to Audrey.
At the convention, Audrey says there is no point in continuing without Anabelle and confirms that she sold the rights. She denies killing Anabelle, but refuses to give an alibi or to answer any more questions.
On the Nebula-9 Fan Experience set, Castle does his William Shatner impression while Beckett hears from Ryan who says that Audrey’s hotel key card was used at 9:48 on the night of the murder and again the next morning. Castle wonders if she just left her door ajar so she could disguise her sneaking out, but Beckett says even if that were true, she needs more concrete evidence. She takes in the set and muses to Castle about how many dreams she had of being there. He flirts with her, but backs off when she reminds him the set is still a crime scene. After a moment in thought, she agrees that the show was cheesy and melodramatic, but also says she loved it because it was about leaving home for the first time and finding your way. Lieutenant Chloe inspired her to become whatever she wanted because she didn’t care what people thought of her and she made a difference to others. Castle agrees to stop poking fun at the show and when he goes to lean on the Oracle computer pod, he hears a buzzing sound and sees that the ultraviolet light shows superficial burns on his hands. While Castle worries, Beckett tells him he just solved the case.
Later on, Beckett and Castle enter the Fan Experience set where Gabriel, Audrey, Davis, Simon, and Stephanie are waiting for them. Castle enlists Stephanie’s help in demonstrating what he and Beckett believe happened the night Anabelle was killed: her killer confronts Anabelle, she reaches for her laser gun, but her killer takes it from her and shoots her. Beckett continues, saying that the killer didn’t know that the energy emission from firing the gun would leave a superficial burn on their hands visible under ultraviolet light, so they need each person to put their hands under the light from the Oracle pod. Davis, Audrey, and Simon all do so with no results, but Gabriel’s hands show the same burn as on Castle’s. He explains that he bought one of the real laser blasters for himself and fired it just this morning in his hotel room. Seeing Stephanie try to slink out and burns on her hands, Beckett calls to her and she tries to get away, but Ryan and Esposito step through the doors to stop her. She goes to Gabriel, takes his blaster from its holster and aims it at his head. Then she confesses to killing Anabelle, saying she had worked for years to distance herself from Nebula-9 and if a move had been, all her work would have been for naught and her career would be damaged. Gabriel remains calm the whole time he is under threat, but when he gets the opportunity, he elbows Stephanie in the stomach and flips her onto her back. Ryan and Esposito cuff her while Gabriel tells Beckett he had the gun on stun.
At the precinct as Beckett dismantles the murder board, Castle tells her the doctor said his hnd should stop glowing in a few days and he is relieved that his hear will be alright. She tells Castle she is ok, since she idolized Lieutenant Chloe and not Stephanie and that if a Nebula-9 movie does come out, she wants to be first in line. As they walk to the elevator, Castle tries to strike a deal to get her to wear her costume for him. Before boarding, Beckett makes him promise to watch a Nebula-9 marathon with her and without making fun of the show. He debates, but finally agrees and they shake on it. Beckett then pulls him in close and whispers in his ear to meet her at his loft. Beckett leaves and Castle rushes onto the elevator.
Later on, Castle lies on his bed in his bedroom impatiently awaiting Beckett. She finally comes out, legs first, and Castle is mesmerized. However, his attitude changes when Beckett jumps into the room wearing her sexy costume and a Creaver mask. Castle recoils, falls off his bed, and stumbles into his closet while Beckett continually teases him, asking if he wants to make out with her. She knocks on the closet door and asks again, but he merely suggests they start the marathon.
- Victim: Annabelle Collins
- Cause of Death: Laser blast to her chest
- Perp: Stephanie Frye
- Motive: Revenge: Stephanie moved on from Nebula-9 to become a major movie star, but resented the fact that her name would always be attached to the TV show. When she discovered Annabelle was about to sell the rights to the show to developers who were planning on reviving it, she killed her to stop the sale.