Firefly references in Castle

Here is a list of the Firefly references that have come up in episodes of Castle. Click through or scroll down for details, explanations and clips.

Background
Hands of Blue - Castle 2x04 "Fool Me Once"
Hallowe'en Costume - Castle 2x06 "Vampire Weekend"
"I was aiming for his head" - Castle 2x18 "Boom!"
Speaking Chinese - Castle 3x09 "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind"
"I like to feel shiny" - Castle 3x14 "Lucky Stiff"
Serenity - Castle 3x16 "Setup"
The whole episode - Castle 5x6 "The Final Frontier"


Background

Before he became the goofy and glamorous Richard Castle, Nathan Fillion was the captain of a spaceship on a show called Firefly.

Firefly was a little science fiction show about cowboys in space. A space western, if you will. It lasted 14 episodes before Fox cancelled it, and it is utterly and completely beloved by almost everyone who's ever seen it. Myself included.

Nathan Fillion also adored the show, and I have to assume the writers and producers on Castle did as well. They have been popping the occasional reference to our dear, departed Firefly into episodes of Castle.

They make me absurdly happy when they turn up, and I thought I'd start to keep a list, with details included for the casual viewer who, perhaps, cannot recite entire sections of dialogue. (I really loved that show.)

Please feel free to goose me on any that I've missed.

And so, off we go. By episode...


Season 2, Episode 4 - Fool Me Once

There is a clip for this one, but the reference is very quick and it's visual. Watch Castle’s hands closely.



Did you notice the brief moment when he had the first two fingers on each hand sticking up, kinda like he was making two peace signs? That was the reference.

One of the phrases most Firefly fans will recognise is “two by two, hands of blue”. That’s essentially what Nathan Fillion was creating with his hands: blue hands, two twos.

The explanation for this one is a little bit complicated.

One of the ongoing storylines in Firefly was the question of what happened to River. River is a teenaged girl, sister to Simon, the doctor to our band of space cowboys. She is also a genius, and three years before the point where the series picks up, she went away to a special school for gifted children.

The school turned out to be a very bad place. River is essentially psychotic because of what they did to her there. Simon spent his fortune and sacrificed everything to break her out. And now they’re both on the run.

Not only is the law after them, but the people from the ‘school’ want her back.

River is terrified of them, and as they get closer, she ends up curled in a corner chanting “two by two, hands of blue” over and over again. Everyone thinks it’s another sign of her psychosis, a nonsense rhyme, until two men show up looking for her, both of them wearing blue latex gloves. And they are two very scary customers.

River’s story was an ongoing mystery through the 14 episodes of the series, and was mostly resolved in the Firefly movie, Serenity (often referred to as the Big Damn Movie).


Season 2, Episode 6 - Vampire Weekend

This one is so wonderful, the clip mostly speaks for itself.


The hallowe'en costume that Castle puts on? That was what Nathan Fillion's character, Captain Mal Reynolds, wore on Firefly. Mal was the head of our scrappy band of space cowboys.

And the little exchange:
Alexis: "B, didn't you wear that, like, five years ago?"

Castle: "So?"

Alexis: "So, don't you think you should move on?"

is a good-natured dig at Nathan Fillion and the fans. Firefly, the series (there was also a movie), lived and died in the 2002/2003 television season, putting it a little more than 5 years prior to the Castle episode's original airdate in 2009. And yet, none of us are quite willing to let it go.


Season 2, Episode 18 - Boom!

In Firefly, in the episode called “Train Job” (which will be #2 on the DVD box set, but was actually aired as the pilot - it’s a long story), the great big strapping (male, despite his name) mercenary, Jayne, decides that he doesn’t want to wait for the Captain (played by Nathan Fillion, aka Castle) and first mate Zoe to get themselves out of the pickle they’re in, he wants to take off right away.

Simon, the doctor, doesn’t think this is a great idea and mixes a sedative in with the painkillers (Jayne having earlier been shot). Jayne eventually passes out, and they try to drag him back to the infirmary, but he’s too heavy, and they end up leaving him where he falls in the middle of the stairs in the cargo bay.

Later, the crew gets into a firefight in that same cargo bay with the bad guys of the week, and Jayne, still semi-conscious in the stairwell, manages to save the Captain's life by shooting the bad guy’s leg out from under him.

When the Captain turns to Jayne and says, "Nice shot", Jayne's response is a slurred “I was aiming for his head.”

Now, over to Castle.

In the episode “Boom!”, just towards the end of the episode, Beckett is being held at gunpoint by the crazy serial killer. She had given Castle a gun on the way in, just in case, because he was her only backup – the rest of the team being across the street in a building rigged by the killer to blow up.

When Castle sees Beckett in trouble, he shoots the gun out of the killer’s hand (without harming him at all), which eventually allows for the killer’s arrest. Later, Beckett compliments Castle, saying "Hell of a shot, Castle."

Castle’s reply: “I was aiming for his head.”


Season 3, Episode 9 - Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind

Another clip!


The "TV show I used to love" is, of course, Firefly.

Firefly was a science fiction show, set far in the future. And one of the founding concepts of the show is that America and China are the two great superpowers on Earth when humans have to leave the polluted planet behind and move to a new solar system.

This is reflected in the language and culture of their new future society. Everyone we encounter on the show is, at the very least, biligual, speaking both English and Chinese. While most of the dialogue was in English, many of the incidental phrases ("come in", "thank you", and so on) were in Chinese, as was pretty much all the cussing.

So having Nathan Fillion spew a long string of chinese words was a call-back to the fact that his character on Firefly, Mal Reynolds, was fluent in Chinese.


Season 3, Episode 14 - Lucky Stiff

In "Lucky Stiff", Castle and Beckett go undercover in a night club, posing as a rich couple and trying to find a drug dealer. Beckett spots him and sidles over to flirt some drugs out of him. (She's surprisingly good at it.)



When the drug dealer asks her what kind of party she's looking for, she says: "I like to feel shiny." The word 'shiny' is the Firefly reference.

Over on Firefly, 'shiny' was one of the commonly used slang terms 'invented' by Joss Whedon, the show's creator. (He also created Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, which was renowned for its inventive teen-speak.) 'Shiny' essentially means 'good,' with variations based on context. Kaylee, the mechanic, uses it a lot. "Everything's shiny, Cap'n, not to fret." And Nathan Fillion's character, Mal, occasionally used it as a one-word response to being given positive information.


Season 3, Episode 16 - Setup

In this episode, the B-plot involves Martha trying to take Alexis away with her to a spiritual retreat.


The Firefly reference here is the name "Serenity." Serenity is practically synonymous with Firefly. Serenity was the name of the ship of which Nathan Fillion's character, Mal Reynolds, was the captain. (Serenity was a firefly-class spaceship, which is where that name comes in.) Serenity was also the name of the pilot episode of the television series and the name of the (big damn) movie.

And the root of all of those names goes back to the Battle of Serenity Valley. Now, hang in there with me on this one. There's a lot of backstory here.

Six years before the series began, there was the Unification War. According to the history of the series, once Earth was no longer inhabitable, humanity hopped into some long-haul space ships and moved to another solar system. The new solar system was colonised from the central planets outwards, so the central planets are the most 'civilised' and the outer planets are kind of like the wild west. (Hence, the cowboys in space.) The Unification War began when the central planets decided that they wanted to be in control of the whole solar system, and the outer planets wanted to maintain their independence.

Mal Reynolds grew up on a ranch on one of the outer planets. When the war began he volunteered to fight for the Independents (called Browncoats because of their brown coats, which, you'll notice in the clip from Castle season 2, episode 6 "Vampire Weekend", Mal still wears).

It all came to a bitter end at the Battle of Serenity Valley. The valley was a key position in the war and the Independents held it against impossible odds for almost two months. It was a brutal and bloody battle (nearly half a million people died, two-thirds of whom were Independents), and it was the ground on which the Independents were finally and decisively defeated.

Mal took the defeat hard. He lost everything he believed in. Zoe, first mate of Serenity (the ship), fought with Mal during the war and is the only other member of their platoon to have survived Serenity Valley. She says, at one point, "Once you've been in Serenity, you never leave. You just learn to live there." That pretty much describes Mal. A part of him died in Serenity Valley and a part of him will never leave. Which is why he named his ship after it. Part acknowledgement, part defiance. He has made Serenity his home.

In short, it's a key name in the series.

So, in Castle, if it had simply been a matter of the resort being called Oasis of Serenity, that would have been one thing. A very quick passing reference that could almost have been an accident.

But, when Martha turns to Castle and asks:
"You haven't heard of the Serenity?"
The answer is yes. Yes, he has. Over and over and over.


Season 5, Episode 6 - The Final Frontier


Oh… where to begin! This episode takes place at a science fiction convention, and part of me suspects it was written specifically to jam as many sci-fi references in there as possible. I’ll cover the Firefly ones. For the Star Trek-, Star Wars- and Battlestar Galactica-related ones (of which there are MANY), you’re on your own.

We’ll go in roughly chronological order within the episode.

Beckett: Cap your pen, Castle. There’s been a murder here.
Castle: Here at Supernovacon? Shiny!

‘Shiny’ is the Firefly reference, explained above when it was previously used in Season 3, Episode 14 “Lucky Stiff. In short, it's a slang term meaning, essentially, ‘good’ in the Firefly universe.


Castle: “They were cancelled over a decade ago. After 12 episodes.”


This is a bit of a jab at the television series itself. Firefly ran (and was tragically cancelled) in the 2002/2003 television season. Just about a decade ago now. They made 14 episodes, but only 11 actually aired. The last three were released on the DVD box set. I do NOT include Castle’s comment that it was “12 episodes too many” as part of the reference, for obvious reasons.


Beckett: I thought you would be a fan.
Castle: I’m a fan of GOOD sci-fi. Star Trek. Battlestar. That Joss Whedon show.
Joss Whedon was the creator of Firefly. (Also Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse and the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D.) So Castle is saying he’s a fan of Firefly, which, in fact, we already knew from several of the references in previous episodes (Season 2, Episode 6 “Vampire Weekend” and Season 3, Episode 9 “Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind”.)


Beckett: I understand they have a very loyal fan base.
This is something Beckett says about Nebula 9. It could easily be a reference to Firefly, whose fans are still incredibly loyal, even ten years after the show was cancelled. (For more on why the Firefly fans call themselves Browncoats, see the explanation of the reference in Season 3, Episode 16 “Setup” above.)  I hesitate to declare this an actual reference, though, because that comment could be true of almost every science fiction show that has ever aired.


Ryan: Gabriel Winters. A.k.a. the real Captain Max Reynard. He knew the victim.
The name ‘Captain Max Reynard’ is the reference. It’s only a few letters off the name of Nathan Fillion’s character in Firefly: Captain Mal Reynolds. While we’re on names, there is at least one other reference. The name of the woman who played Lieutenant Chloe was Stephanie Frye (we see the precise spelling on the murder board). The name of the young mechanic who travelled with Captain Mal Reynolds on his ship Serenity was Kaylee Frye. There was also a character on Nebula 9 called Commander Walsh. The pilot on Firefly was called Wash (his full name was Hoban Washburne). They tweaked Mal Reynold’s name, they could also have tweaked Wash’s.

[edit] A couple of commenters have pointed out names that I can't believe I missed. Nebula 9's Lieutenant Chloe is taken from Zoe, Captain Mal Reynold's first mate. And, as with Chloe, she only had the one name. It wasn't until the (big damn) movie that we learned her last name. (It was Alleyne, if you're curious.)

[edit]Also, the bad guys in Nebula 9 were called the Creavers. Esposito explains: "The evil alien race from Nebula-9. Nasty creatures. They’ll eat your face off when you’re still alive and then serve your organs to their young." Creavers look like this:

 On Firefly, there was a group called Reavers. They were human, but just barely, gone feral out on the edge of space. Many in the Firefly universe thought they were made up boogeymen, but they existed, and their backstory was a vital part of the movie, Serenity. In one episode when the crew of Serenity were being pursued by Reavers, Zoe explained: "If they take the ship, they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their clothing – and if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order."
Reavers look like this:
Definitely an homage.

If we want to stretch it a little further, one of the suspects, the one who bought the laser gun for Annabelle and drove the white SUV, was called Simon, as was the doctor on Firefly.
Also, that same Simon on Firefly had a father whose name was Gabriel. And Captain Max’s real name in the episode of Castle was Gabriel. I’m pretty sure we’re pushing it at this point, though.


At about 9 minutes into the episode, on the extreme left of the screen as Henry Barnett shouts “Kate Beckett” before running over to give her a hug, there is a man in the background dressed all in brown. He is wearing what Nathan Fillion’s character Mal Reynolds used to wear in Firefly. If you want to see Castle himself wearing it, check out the clip from Season 2, Episode 6 “Vampire Weekend” above.

The one thing I can’t believe I DIDN’T see in the background at Supernovacon was a Jayne hat. Jayne was the big, burly mercenary who was the muscle on board Serenity. In an episode called “The Message” Jayne gets a package from his mother which includes a hat she knitted for him. It has yellow and orange stripes, ear flaps, and a pom-pom on top, and he wears it with enormous pride.
A large number of fans have since knitted their own. Don't believe me? Google images of Jayne hat.



And in case you were wondering, the ‘phaser’, or laser gun, is NOT a Firefly reference. It being a Western in space, Firefly had mostly projectile weapons. In terms of the concern that projectiles might pierce the hull of the ship, the mercenary, Jayne, explained for us in one episode: “bullets is soft lead, Mal. Even Vera could barely breach hull and she’s the best I got!” (Jayne names his guns, and Vera was the biggest and baddest of them all. Practically a character in her own right. She even saved the day once.) There were, I think, only two laser weapons in all 14 episodes of Firefly. One was an antique that didn’t work, and the other was mocked for being overly complicated to use.

Similarly, Nathan Fillion sitting in a captain’s chair isn’t a Firefly reference either. There was no captain’s chair on his ship, Serenity, only a pilot’s chair and a co-pilot’s chair. If Nathan Fillion’s character, Captain Mal Reynolds, was on the bridge, he was usually standing over the pilot’s shoulder.


Castle: Some guys have no business commanding a space ship.
The reference here is the disgust in Castle’s tone. Clearly he believes his alter ego Captain Mal Reynolds was better at it.

84 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Also there is the episode in season 4 with Steven Balwin (Jayne) plays Detective Slaughter.

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    2. It's not nice to insult Adam Baldwin like that.

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  2. Also in Lucky Stiff, Castle has bought property on the Moon in preparation for a day when the Earth is uninhabitable.
    He also says that what being rich allows him is "freedom."

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  3. You've opened a whole new world of understanding--and things to look out for--on Castle. Thanks a lot, Kithica. Really appreciate this.

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  4. scheater5, you're so right. I noticed those as well. The freedom one in particular sounded so much like Mal. Since it was a truly valid character point for Castle, though, I wasn't sure whether it was exactly a reference to Firefly. Maybe an homage? What do you think?

    And property on the moon... well, he's getting closer to Serenity all the time!

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  5. Hey Carol Anne, thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you found the information helpful!

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  6. Also, according to Nathan's Twitter feed, the Firefly reference he was happiest about in "Season 2, Episode 6 - Vampire Weekend" wasn't the costume. If you look to the left (Castle's right) you can see the catalyzer from "Out of Gas" on the book shelf.

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  7. I just found out about the catalyzer a week or so ago. That one was so well hidden, people have been calling it an easter egg. I was waiting until I had some time to look whether there was any more like that. I'm still debating whether to include it here or start a new page specifically for easter eggs. Thanks for mentioning it, though. I will definitely look into it.

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  8. You're missing the one where he talks about a special hell as in "our misses reynolds" - I think it's in the last half of season one of castle.

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    1. It's in episode 6 "Always Buy Retail" when he's lamenting his first ex-wife plans to return to NYC. The quote is not an exact referenc as he says "a special brand of Hell".

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    2. Bit of a late mention, but IIRC, the special hell he mentions is because of people who are talking in the theater.

      Which IS the second group of people on Shepherd's list of who goes to the special hell.

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    3. Question in Season 3, Episode 16 - Setup, one thing I noticed was that Castle never bites into the apple (unless I just missed him doing so), in Firefly he never bites into an apple either which is explained in Episode 10: Kaylee asks why Zoe and Mal always cut up their apples, and Zoe (and Mal, who joins them) tell a war story about "griswalds", tiny pressure-sensitive explosive grenades that were embedded in apples by Alliance troops, can that be why he doesn't bite into it?

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  9. What a wonderful page you've created here and your explanations are perfect, giving just the right amount of info. Castle fans can learn a lot here and hopefully decide to dip their toe into the 'verse.
    I'm not certain if it's intentional or not, but in "Home is Where the Heart Stops", the mayor uses the word, "Shindig", and the scene of Rick and Kate coming into the ballroom looks a lot like Mal and Kaylee at their own ball. Too bad they didn't make a reference to tight pants, then we could be sure, right?

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  10. Hey Curie24,
    Thanks so much for the kind words! I can only hope I inspire a few more potential Firefly fans.

    And I will definitely take a look at "Home is Where the Heart Stops" when I get a chance. It is hard to tell sometimes whether it's deliberate or not. Thanks for the heads up!

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  11. Glad to see other people are noticing all of these Firefly references. At first I thought I was crazy! But then when he was actually dressed as Mal I knew I was not. I started to watch Castle because I love Nathan.. now I watch Castle because I want to see the firefly digs!!!!

    Is one of the writers for Castle also a writer for Firefly or something??

    either way i want MORE!!!! :)

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    1. Jose Molina was a staff writer on Firefly and is the co-executive producer of Castle.

      - Beck (who is only anonymous for lame-arse technical reasons.)

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  12. I think there are a couple of subtle references in the first season as well.

    In episode 6, "Always Buy Retail", Castle mentions something along the lines of "It would be a special level of hell" if his ex-wife came back to live in New York.

    Then in the next episode, "Home is Where the Heart Stops", somebody uses the word "shindig" just after Castle and Beckett turn up at the fancy charity party!

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  13. thanks for this wonderful list. it's so much fun hearing/seeing all these castle links to firefly (one of the shiniest shows ever!) :D

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  14. In last week's episode "To love and die in LA" Esposito asked Beckett "How's the weather in your World?".This is the same question Mal asked Inara when she sent him a wave during Serenity.

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  15. I had never heard of Firefly until just recently and have started watching the show. I'm a fan of Nathan and I guess I've done a reverse of the Firefly fans - got into Firefly because of him. Because of this, I tend to hear Castle references on Firefly. This one stuck in my mind immediately. In 'Serenity' during the first few minutes and while Mal and Zoe are fighting in the valley, Mal says to Zoe, "Ready?" and she answers "Always!"

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    1. It's not a reference if it predates the supposed source material.

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  16. Ever since that Halloween costume appearance (which totally rocked) I've been on the lookout for references.. Missed the Two by Two, and thought the "I was aiming for his head" was familiar.. but this is a lovely collection.

    Thanks for creating it, else I might have had to :)

    Off to rewatch all of Firefly :)

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  17. In Season 2, Episode 9 "Love Me Dead" There is an entire scene where Castle is wearing a jacket that suspiciously looks like the jacket Mal wears in Firefly...

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  18. There is also a reference in Naked Heat. There is a hotel named "The Dragonfly House". One of the victims worked there. Heat has two detectives from Vice (because everyone was being pulled onto the main case of the story) to check it out. Their names are Malcolm and Reynolds.

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  19. In season 2 episode "Fool me once" Beckett says to Castle, "you really are an easy mark" which is the same thing Saffron (or Yo-Saf-Bridge) says to Mal after conning him in the Firefly episode "Trash"! I just about went crazy when I heard it

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  20. Moments after the Firefly costume reference, Castle and Alexis are discussing names for her egg. Castle suggests "Zac Eggfrom".

    Zac played a young Simon Tam in an episode of Firefly. Natch.

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  21. I agree completely with what everyone has said - what an amazing collection of references! This had to take a lot of time & effort, and I hope you know that your hard work is not going unnoticed!! I'm sure it is appreciated by many more who don't take the time to leave a comment telling you how wonderful it is! So first of all, thank you so much, Kithica!

    Secondly, I can relate with what one Anonymous visitor said... "I had never heard of Firefly until just recently and have started watching the show. I'm a fan of Nathan and I guess I've done a reverse of the Firefly fans - got into Firefly because of him."

    We started watching Castle and LOVED it, then I found out about Firefly and LOVED it too!! I couldn't believe that I didn't know about it before! Oh how I wish I could go back and experience it first hand with everyone else!! But the more I talk about it the more I find that it's popularity has grown incredibly over the years. (Which is awesome) I only wish (along with everyone else) that they could've made more episodes. It's sad when you know something you love can never be continued. But now, through this blog, we can find more and more ways to appreciate Firefly AND Castle. Two GREAT shows to say the least.

    Well, that's enough talk. Thank you again, Kithica. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts.

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  22. Also in Heat Rises(the 3rd book in the Nikki Heat series)

    This:
    Podemski
    "Sure,guess I could give you a bullwhip and a fedora.We'd market you as Indiana Bones. Or maybe go sci fi.YOU SORTA LOOK LIKE THAT GUY WHO ROAMED OUTER SPACE everybody's so crazy about."
    Rook's response "Malcolm Reynolds?"

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  23. And then there was tonight's episode.

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  24. Adam Baldwin (who played Jayne in Firefly) had a guest appearance in Castle today. I didn't notice any references, but I probably just missed them.

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    1. I read interviews that said any references would be subtle, as the big thing is having Nathan & Adam in rather reversed roles... that said, I'm fairly sure there were some there. The opening scene with Castle and his "toys" seemed a throwback to Wash. And there were lines I'm sure I've heard before... I found this site when looking to see if anyone else had seen or pulled out any lines or other references.

      And I agree with what others have said before me - this is a great collection here - thanks for your work Kithica!

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  25. I don't know if this was mentioned or not, but I THINK the picture hanging in Castle's office is a firefly...

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    1. I think so too. Very subtle.

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  26. Thanks to e everyone for all of the additional information! I think this is going to be a communal effort from now on. Things ad crazy at work, so I haven't seen e episode with Adam Baldwin yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

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  27. In Headhunters the character played by the guy who played Jayne only let Castle hang around him because Castle gave him his 'nice brown coat.'

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  28. The browncoat reference and the "we're gonna have words" reference at the end were the two Firefly easter eggs that stood out to me. I'm sure there were others as well.

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  29. Just wait until episode 7 of this season. You'll have a whole new page of references.

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  30. And now S05E06...
    Beckett: There's been a murder.
    Castle: Here at SupanovaCon? Shiny.

    and

    Castle: "I'm sorry how is Nebula 9 really worthy of all this? It was cancelled over a decade ago after 12 episodes, which was 12 episodes too many."
    Beckett: I though you would be a fan.
    Castle: I'm a fan of good sci-fi. Star Trtek. Battlestar. That Joss Whedon show.

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  31. How about new Firefly references in new S05E06 episode?
    "I like good sci-fi: Star Trek, Battlestar Galaktica, that Joss Whedon series..."
    and I think I saw a man in brown coat.

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  32. The bad guys from Nebula 9.....Creevers (sp?) and how they dispatched their victims!!

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  33. re: final frontier...as long as we're examining names of characters, it's noteworthy that super-woman lt. chloe rhymes with first-mate zoe

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  34. Love the blog. I'm surprised you missed one obvious reference in the names of the characters in "The Final Frontier", Max Reynard's second in command was Chloe. Mal's second in command on Firefly was Zoe. Chloe, Zoe. Other than that, keep up the good work!

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  35. I knew one of my fellow Browncoats had done the hard work. Well done Kithica!

    I missed the two by two way back in the day, but I did scream like a fangirl on the Halloween episode. Ever since I watched every other Castle episode very carefully. By the time I watched the the Sci Con episode I knew there was a list out there somewhere :)

    Shiny!

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  36. I think you missed one more. In Season One, Episode 6, Castle refers to his ex wife Meredith moving back to NY as "a very special kind of Hell". This could be a referance to Shepard Book warning Mal that having "relations" with his young bride would send him to a "very special kind of Hell".

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  37. Even the Castle intro music seems like a nod to firefly, with its spanish guitar

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  38. I would add that the music when Alexis looks up at Castle is a nod to Firefly using the same "strum" music/sound effect, often for humorous twists, such as after the opening credit sequence of "Our Mrs. Reynolds" when Mal has just discovered he has a wife.

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  39. This one might be a bit of a stretch, as its a line that would have worked in the scene just fine without being a reference...in Castle 2.15 "Suicide Silence," when Esposito is making verious humorous inquiries about Castle's father and Castle says "You really need to stop talking now," is very close to a line Zoe says in Serenity (film) when Jayne's getting in Mal's face about how many people died under his leadership at the Battle of Serenity Valley and she says "You wanna leave this room."

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  40. In the Castle episode "Den of Thieves" (S2, e21), Castle and Alexis play poker for chores, like the crew of Serenity in the Firefly episode "Shindig"

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  41. Don't you love that Max Reynard is Mal Reynolds except for 3 letters an those letters are "lol"

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    1. Now that is Hi-larious...

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  42. Great site and insights...I saw the episode ,"Headhunters" with Adam Baldwin and being a casual fan of both shows at this point, (but getting into them more and more), I was wondering if the license plate on a car was a Firefly reference. As Castle and Slaughter are walking across the street towards a meet with an informant, they walk past a car with plate reading ...try- 26g3... Might be nothing but thought I would ask anyway.

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  43. Did anyone else see this? In "Close Encounters of a Murderous Kind", when they see the picture of the supposed spaceship on the cd...it looks like a firefly class ship. Quite a bit, actually, although it is quite fuzzy.

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  44. Kithica, You have made my day! I have loved the Firefly references in Castle, but never thought they might be "all" listed together somewhere. As I started reading your list, I was both laughing and crying hard enough that my wife asked me if I was ok!

    I don't think I will need to laugh or smile for a month!

    Seriously, THANK YOU!

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  45. In episode 2 x 9 Close Encounters of the Murderous kind when they are at the crime scene in the beginning of the episode Castle comments that the victim could have been thrown out of an airlock -- possibly a nod to when Mal threatens to throw Jayne out of the airlock for calling the Alliance on Simon and River?

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  46. The castle episode "punked" in season 3 shows antique guns that look suspiciously like Mal's gun on firefly. Anybody else see this?

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  47. S03E01 - B grabs his ear, same one that was sliced off in ff

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  48. In the convention episode there was a wash look a like (the guy who was a suspect) and a inara look a ( the lady in the leaf bikini)

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  49. In the "Punked episode when they pulled up the antique gun website the gun that the smiling guy was holding up to the viewer looked a lot like Mal's gun - not identical but it might have been the original gun they took the design for Mal's gun from.

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  50. Love it! Got a few I missed. What about Season 4 Episode 5? Is that Mr. Universe's art installation?

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  51. whenever they run in to a dead end on cases Becket uses the phrase "we'll be dead in the water" same phrase used in forst episode of firefly

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  52. In Season 5, episode 6 - The Final Frontier...

    When they first speak to Audrey & Davis.... Doesn't Davis remind you of Wash?

    Not sure if I'm imagining it.

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  53. Hi Kithica,

    I have one more from S05E06 (The Final Frontier).
    You say that the Thorian Laser Blaster is NOT a reference to Firefly, with which I completely agree. HOWEVER, when they go to see Benjamin Donnelly about it, there's a replica of Rance Burgess' laser weapon standing on the table (from Episode 13, Heart of Gold).

    Screenshots:
    http://i39.tinypic.com/attatw.jpg

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  54. I wanted to bring up the episode Headhunters that has Nathan Fillion playing with a Godzilla and Barbie doll making them talk. His mother sees him hide the college acceptance letters for his daughter and says, "Richard Castle, what on earth are you playing at?"

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  55. Late to the party. Kithica this was absolutely really Shiny! The many Firefly/Joss references have been so obvious that I had hoped someone had tracked them & posted them. THANK YOU! I thought there were a lot but you and the folks commenting found many I'd missed. This post is like finding a treasure trove.

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  56. In the episode "setup" the location of the oasis of serenity could also be a reference to inara since the companions sanctuary was in the a secluded mountain range

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  57. Does anyone know what Castle episode this is from. On the bookcase Cpt Mal's gun profile is seen. Nathan Fillion mentioned this in an interview.

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  58. I'm a fan of Firefly and Nathan Fillion, which led me to start watching castle. I am happy to say that I picked up on all of the Firefly references except the similar names of the Nebula 9 crew in season 5 episode 6. That makes me feel all shiny ;p

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  59. I just watched Firefly/Serenity for the first time, in intended order. I actually heard about it looking up Adam Baldwin (Chuck) and Jewel Staite (Higher Ground).
    I then caught up with all 5 seasons of Castle this year. Looking up Nathan Fillion lead me back to Firefly. So I finally watch it. It’s sad that it never got a fair shot.

    Castle S3E16 – Setup: Castle is holding a green apple while the Serenity discussion is going on. On the gag reel from Firefly [that was for Christmas but ended up being the wrap party] at time 12:49 Nathan Fillion asks "How you like a bite of this green apple America" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mve-E23trk
    -SJ

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  60. just a point, you say at the end of this entry that the laser gun is not a reference to firefly... but Christina Hendrick's (MadMen) character Saffron? and Mal Reynolds steal a laser gun that is an artifact from the earth that was in "Trash". Great collation - thanks :-)

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  61. Gregg Henry as Winston Wellesley in S02 E08 "Kill the Messenger". Gregg Henry played Sheriff Bourne in Firefly's "The Train Job".

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  62. Shiny! I love all these references. Just waiting for Castle to talk about hitting a guy with a closed fist sometimes being hilarious! Thanks for all your work, Kithica!

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  63. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a bunch for sharing this.

    Online abba tribute & tribute bands london

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  64. I don't know why this puts a giant smile on my face. I'm not a fanboy or anything like that. But something about firefly just stuck and everytime I see Nathan or a Firefly reference in Castle, I just end up cheering. That show was something special...

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  65. Hey, the Series 5 (ep14) episode Reality Star Struck has Gina Torres (Zoe) in it. Anyone catch any Firefly references there?

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  66. I know this is a late posting and might be a stretch, but could the name Gabriel Winters be played off of the name Summer Glau? I mean Summer and Winter and both have a G as their initial, despite Gabriel Winters being a guy and Summer being a girl. Just speculating though....

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  67. love firefly, only recently got into castle. the head hunters episode with Adam Baldwin references firefly a few times- not just because the character is so similar to Jayne. The brown coat he gets from castle towards the start of the episode is probably the most obvious

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  68. i liked castle,..it introduced me to firefly!! =)

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  69. Thanks for this list! Bookmarked to check for updates. I came to watch Firefly through all the references made by Sheldon in Big Bang Theory, I thought it must be worth checking out. That was about a year ago, and my 7 year old son and I have watched the entire Firefly series probably 10 times now in that year. I came to watch Castle just two weeks ago (late to the party) but I had just heard Nathan Fillion had another series and we love him!

    On a side note, Castle is an OK show, but it is a true shame there has been 5 complete seasons of that and we were only blessed with one incomplete season of Firefly. Damn you Rupert Murdoch and FOX!!!

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  70. Is that Zoe in Season 5 episode 14? Wives of Wall Street?

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  71. Remember Firefly's ep 10 or 11 (a bit of a guess), when Saffron returns and says something about there only being 2 laser weapons? Doesn't the same happen in "The final frontier"?

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  72. Even in Vampire Weekend... as soon as he enters the room dressed as Cap. Mal, the music is totally Firefly...

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  73. In response to another anon yes Gina Torres (Zoe) was in Season 5 episode 14 "Reality Star Struck" so that was great! People have speculated it's possible other Firefly alums could appear as guests in Castle and Beckett's wedding! We can dream hahah!

    I was also wondering whether season 6 episode 20 "That 70's Show" had a reference to Firefly in it. In the episode, Castle and Beckett attempt to interrogate Harold (who's mind is stuck in the 70's) and he insists on referring to Nathan Fillion as 'Captain Castle'. Captain has to be a reference, right? :D

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