…And may fortune guide your journey.
So says the crew of Kate Beckett’s super-secret favorite show, Nebula-9!
In a spoof on sci-fi conventions, sci-fi shows, and sci-fi fans alike, Castle and Beckett visit SuperNova Con. Castle’s there to sign his new Derek Storm Comic Book, Alexis is there with some friends (and, much to Castle’s horror, dressed in revealing fangirl regalia), and Beckett is there to solve a murder.
The body of Annabelle Collins, Nebula-9 fangirl extraordinaire (she even bought the dirt cheap rights to this defunct show so that she and her friends could make their own webisode series!), is found on the bridge of the Nebula-9 Fan Experience ship. The murder weapon? A high-intensity laser beam.
Castle mocks the show as bad sci fi, expressing his love for Star Trek, Battlestar, Star Wars, and “that Joss Whedon show” (Also note the Firefly reference in Castle’s “Shiny!” exclamation). We soon learn that Beckett is a closet Nebula-9 fan…and that she used to cosplay as Lt. Chloe! Castle now has even more mocking material…though it doesn’t stop him from asking her to put her uniform on for him in a private cosplay session.
The suspects accumulate.
Gabriel Winters: the actor who played Captain Max Renard, and, with a defunct career, makes his money by playing himself in Annabelle’s Fan Experience. Motive for murder? He was constantly drunk and on the verge of being fired.
Stephanie Frye: the actress who played Lt. Chloe and has struggled for years to put that debacle of a sci-fi show behind her, and the last person to see Annabelle alive…on the space ship.
Davis and Audrey: Annabelle’s best friends and Nebula-9 webisode partners. Davis was secretly in love with Annabelle, who rejected him on the night of her murder. Audrey was poised to gain millions from selling the rights to Nebula-9…which she inherited from Anabelle upon her death.
Simon Westport: Annabelle’s convention sex-buddy whom she dumped the night before…right after he bought her the replica laser gun used to kill her.
After discovering that firing the laser gun leaves mild burns only visible under UV light (Castle himself fired the murder weapon), Castle and Beckett gather all the suspects onto the bridge in a classic sci-fi game of Whodunnit. Stephanie helps Castle demonstrate the struggle between Annabelle and her killer and, one by one, the suspects hold their hands under the UV light.
Simon, Davis, and Audrey pass the test, but, when Gabriel reluctantly steps up to the light, he fails. Sheepishly, he admits that he bought the other gun (the manufacturer–played by Deep Space Nine’s own Armin Shimerman!–made two) and fired a hole in the wall of his hotel room that morning. Stephanie tries to sneak out, but another light catches her hand, which lights up green. She grabs the laser gun and holds Gabriel hostage in a replicated moment from their long-defunct show, but he takes her down. Stephanie’s motive for murder? Had the sale of the Nebula-9 rights gone through, the show she had tried so hard to escape would have come back to haunt her.
Beckett and Castle make a deal; she’ll wear one of her Nebula-9 costumes if he marathons the show with her…and promises not to make fun of it in the process. He reluctantly agrees, but when she emerges in the bedroom wearing her Lt. Chloe uniform with a horrifying Creever mask and begging him to make out with her, Castle begs her to start the marathon instead.
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