CASTLE: Vampire Weekend - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CASTLE: Vampire Weekend

October 27, 2009 by  

No words can describe the 58 minutes of happiness that played onscreen. There were mentions of vampire and supernatural lore like the WB’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and numerous references to the space Western “Firefly” that came to such an early demise. In addition to those mentions that worked up a storm on the Internet (at one point during the night, “Castle” was the ninth most popular trending topic on Twitter), we were treated to one of the funniest and wittiest “Castle” episode to date. I wouldn’t be shocked if this ended up attracting higher viewership numbers.

Let’s talk about the opening scene. We’re kidding ourselves if the first few minutes did not make you look or think twice about what you were seeing. It’s been roughly five years since “Firefly” prematurely went off the air, and well, it took another project on another network for it to reappear — even if it was for a small portion of the episode. Castle … er, Nathan Fillion … is strapping on a space cowboy costume (a la Captain Mal; doesn’t this make you want to rewatch some classic “Firefly” and “Serenity” right about now?). His daughter Alexis asks, “What exactly are you supposed to be?” Cue in the “Firefly”-esque music, the finishing touch to an already perfect scene. Castle reponds, “Space cowboy.” His daughter replies, “A) There are no cows in space and B) didn’t you wear that like five years ago so don’t you think you should move on?” Semi-hurt and seeing sadness cloud his eyes, Castle quipped right back, “Uh, I like it!”

And Castle, you are not alone. It doesn’t matter if the lines were blurred here — well, only to those of us who have tracked Filion’s career since the space Western graced our television sets or DVD players — it was Captain Mal on television again and if it takes a Halloween episode for that to happen next year, I ain’t complainin’. Paying homage to a brilliant television show is always a good thing in my book.

There is far too much to cover or to recap from this episode, including the twisted vampire/werewolf murder that actually ended up being an interesting case. The nuts and bolts of that will be covered at the very end since it wasn’t necessarily the most significant part of the episode. Instead, the dialogue was five levels above what it was last week. In the scene (still in the opening sequence) with Castle and Alexis on the couch, he finds out that his daughter and her friend Paige have to care for this fake egg baby for science class. He asks, “So have you figured out a name for your egg baby project? Zac Eggfron? Egg Begley, Jr.?” Alexis rolls her eyes and replies, “We’re calling it Feggan, get it? Fake egg?” Thinking about it for a moment, Castle responds, “Wouldn’t it be Fakegg?” It’s the kind of exchange that we all wish we shared with our cool, hip parents, but unfortunately never did. It’s always a pleasure to see Castle out of the precinct and in his own element at home with his fantastic diva of a mother and his always lovely teenage daughter, and this conversation pretty much represents who they are and why their relationship is so great.

If the heavy “Firefly” references in the beginning of the episode were still on your mind, you probably missed the geeky comic book reference later on while Beckett and Castle were in the victim’s apartment. Just a little big of background: The vic, Crow (aka Matthew Freeman), was brutally murdered at a graveyard with a stake driven straight through his heart. He was working on a graphic novel, which they learned scouring his place. While the partners are looking at the drawings on the walls, Castle says, “Reminds me of Frank Miller.” Showing us another side to her that we never knew existed, Beckett shows off her comic book prowess, “Which Frank? Epic Comic or Dark Horse years?” Now, Dark Horse is very much part of the “Firefly”/”Serenity” (I have a set of “Serenity” comic books from Comic-Con) and “Buffy” verses.

If that wasn’t enough, medical examiner Lanie Parish (Tamala Jones) spoke words that were once said on “Firefly,” “I gotta go see a man about a corpse.” Sound familiar? It felt like it to me while I was watching, but waxing nostalgic wasn’t the sole purpose of the Halloween-themed episode. Was there something else I missed? Wait, what did he just say? I found myself rewinding and fastforwarding through far too often, hoping to catch any phrase, word or even hand signals that could be read as something meaningful. (In a previous episode, Fillion made a reference to two unnamed men from “Firefly”/”Serenity” known as The Blue Gloves/The Blue Hands by wearing light blue gloves and miming the number two with both hands. The phrase he was siliently referring to was, “Two by two. Hands of blue.,” originally said by River Tam (Summer Glau).)

Aside from the “Buffy,” Dark Horse and “Firefly”/”Serenity” references, the episode was ripe with murder, suspects and definite personalities. Even as Castle recounted a fake story about how he became so enthralled by murder as a young boy to Beckett, the wheels continued to turn. Castle and Beckett often act like a married couple, even if their egos are too big for them to want to see it. Thankfully, Ryan and Esposito, who are becoming two of my favorite sidekicks on television, are noticing.

But Castle’s true Halloween costume? Not “Firefly” related in the least, but instead he attends his own soiree as poet Edgar Allan Poe.

Let’s get down to the murder mystery: With the dead male, Crow (aka Matthew Freeman) found in the graveyard who recently had fangs implanted, the team find another male body a day or so later with a gunshot to the heart. Oh, but he’s not really a man .. he’s a werewolf. While Beckett, Castle and the team were investigating Crow’s apartment for clues, they came across drawings of a woman. One in particular was of a baren tree with a woman in front with blood around her chest. Turns out, Crow/Matthew’s family the Freemans weren’t exactly telling the entire truth, more specifically his father. The team finds out that the woman in his drawings was a real woman who was murdered 18 years ago. Her name was Elizabeth Dryden (Castle and Beckett passed by her grave when they went to look at the staked body) and Matthew’s father was married to her … meaning Crow/Matthew, who was two years old at the time of her death, witnessed her mother’s gruesome killing. Quickly after his wife vanished 18 years ago, Matthew’s father married the nanny, who had been caring for Matthew. To make a long story short, the nanny killed Elizabeth because she wanted her husband all to herself. She killed Crow/Matthew and his werewolf friend Damon (aka Jonas Westfall) so that no one would ever find out what she had done 18 years before. Jealousy never felt so ugly.

Memorable Quotes

At Crow/Matthew Freeman’s murder site with a stake driven through his heart:
▪ Castle: “Looks like Buffy visited the Big Apple.”

At a vampire shop inquiring about Crow/Matthew Freeman’s fang implants:
▪ Castle asks slyly: “Do you want to get something pierced?”

▪ Beckett: “No. Do you?”

While carving pumpkins with his daughter Alexis:
▪ Castle: “If those senior boys bother you, father won’t be quite himself. ” (turns on the carver and laughs evilly)

At the precinct after Alexis tells Castle he has to watch Feggan:
▪ Beckett: “Are you going to eat that?”

▪ Castle: “Eat my own grandchild? What am I, a monster?”

What were your thoughts on the Halloween episode? Did you like Castle’s final costume or should he have donned the browncoat one more time?


13 Responses to “CASTLE: Vampire Weekend”

  1. excentric on October 27th, 2009 10:23 am

    I was practically jumping up and down when Nathan appeared in his Firefly outfit. Fangirl here. This really was the best episode of an already delightful show. I love the family interactions. I agree that the sidekicks are the best ever. The references….cracking up at every one. Great episode. Great show.

  2. Kim on October 27th, 2009 10:29 am

    NF wasn’t the only one reliving old characters. Ryan played a doctor in Army Wives and General Hospital, Esposito played a Sgt. in Generation Kill

  3. Kimber on October 27th, 2009 10:30 am

    Oh, how I LOVED this episode! From the opening, with Castle jumping out in his Captain Tightpants outfit, gun, and that look … to the murder, the Buffy references, the corpse comment … it was all good. Castle really never disappoints me, though I’ll admit often the murder plots are highly guessable. But this one was fab … I followed it all the way through, guessing, and guessing, yet never quite spot on with the conclusion. Oh, and the “father won’t be quite himself” moment? That had me in fits of giggles for a good, long while!

  4. Michele on October 27th, 2009 11:44 am

    I have loved this show from minute one, and I was laughing so hard at the Firefly shout out that I had to rewind. As you said the episode was chock full of goodness. My husband has been on the fence about watching this show – I am going to force him to sit down and watch this one. LOVED it!!

  5. John on October 27th, 2009 12:49 pm

    I never saw Firefly and even I immediately recognized Castle’s first costume.

    I didn’t start watching “Castle” until the summer reruns. I wasn’t interested in another show where the amateur detective smirks his way through while the police are idiots. I was very wrong.

    What redeems the show for me is that Castle doesn’t take himself too seriously and while he is very helpful and sometimes solves the cases, the cops actually know what they are doing (unlike on Mentalist where they couldn’t solve a crime if they saw it happen).

    The clever dialog and the actual chemistry between Castle and Beckett help a lot also.

  6. Jenn on October 27th, 2009 12:59 pm

    Seeing Captain Tightpants again made my whole day yesterday. I was as giddy as a fangirl can be.

  7. Shannon on October 27th, 2009 1:08 pm

    Ditto to all the love for this episode, the characters and the series as a whole!!!! It`s one of the most enjoyable hours of television for me – a witty, sweet escape into tv land.

  8. Claire on October 27th, 2009 1:25 pm

    “I wouldn’t be shocked if this ended up attracting higher viewership numbers.”

    I had never seen an episode of Castle before and decided to watch it last night because I had nothing else to do and it kind of reminded me of Bones, which I love. Now, I’m spending my day at work catching up on old episodes. Vampire Weekend was fantastic and I’m completely hooked!

  9. Patty on October 27th, 2009 2:14 pm

    Kimber! I loved this case too! It was one I never could figure out! I must have missed any initial nanny reference or maybe I might have figured it out but I enjoyed the case immensely!

    Castle and Beckett were both great and I loved Beckett’s costume. And wasn’t the whole carving pumpkins a little Dr Horrible? While I haven’t watched it a million times (like some people I know) it reminded me of The Hammer a little.

    As I told Angie earlier, I think I might be watching S1 again this weekend.

  10. Kimber on October 27th, 2009 3:08 pm

    Patty! You totally reminded me of something I forgot to mention … the Dr. Horrible/Captain Hammer reference! When he did his voice, and the laugh I totally saw/heard Hammer, and Dr. Horrible, and the whole shebang! And I am totally one of those people who has seen it a million times, owns the DVD, and loves the show!

  11. Philiana on October 27th, 2009 5:22 pm

    Kim — You are so correct. Ryan was a doc on “Army Wives.” How did I miss that?! Thanks for the catch! 🙂

    Kimber & Patty — I thought that voice sounded familiar! Well, you guys are probably right. It definitely was very Hammer-esque, which I will gladly embrace!

    Claire — The fact that this episode was probably the one that caused the most Internet buzz (esp. on Twitter), it’s no surprise that 11.1 million viewers (3.7 in 18-49 demo) watched last night. More than 1 million viewers on a normal Monday night. I think “Castle” needs to put in more references in each episode …

    John — You are completely right. The joy of watching the show is seeing a full-grown man act like a complete idiot/five-year-old boy without any reservations. Sometimes I wish I could have the confidence to do that.

  12. Faith on October 29th, 2009 9:27 am

    I LOVED this episode. That Mal costume made my whole week. And there was another reference you didn’t mention! The catalyzer from the “Out Of Gas” episode of “Firefly” is on the bookshelf behind him when he first busts out of the door in costume. (It’s a nothin’ part, till you need one.) (=

  13. Zumbiee on February 10th, 2010 12:57 am

    A homage to Firefly is like an early christmas to me anytime.

    Anyway, I think you guys missed that Stana Katic played Morgernsten in Frank Miller’s The Spirit.

    Too late??? 🙂