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  • Actor Allusion:
    • The writers of Castle are not shy about appealing to fans of Firefly. On top of the fact that Castle wears brown coats frequently, more direct references include:
      • In the Halloween episode "Vampire Weekend," Castle dresses as a "space cowboy" (together with musical signature and guns).

 Alexis: "Didn't you wear that, like, five years ago?"

Castle:"So?"

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

Castle: "I like it."

Towards the end of the episode, Ryan compliments him on throwing such a good "shindig," which is also the name of a Firefly episode.:
      • In "Boom!," Castle shoots the baddie's hand to get him to drop his weapon, and Beckett gives him a "Hell of a shot, Castle," Castle replies, "I was aiming for his head."
      • In "Close Encounters of the Murderous Kind", he speaks Mandarin to a couple of Chinese workers. Beckett asks him "Summer abroad?" and he replied, "Nah. Show I loved."
      • Castle describes his first ex-wife as a "special brand of Hell." Note that the Firefly episode this quote is referencing also has a manipulative, sexy redheaded temptress.
      • Likely unintentional, but the scene in "Punked" where Castle meets Alexis's boyfriend, Ashley, ends with him offhandedly toying with the old-timey gun in his hand, no doubt something he picked up from some other show he did. Shortly thereafter, another slight Firefly reference surfaces when Castle tells Beckett about Ashley, "who has a girl's name, by the way,"
      • "Setup": Talking to him about the "Oasis of Serenity" spa, Martha asks, "You've never heard of the Serenity?" It is followed by a close up on Castle casting an Aside Glance which turns out to be him looking at Alexis.
      • When posing as a drug buyer, Beckett says she wants to feel "shiny."
      • In "The Blue Butterfly", a 1940's gun moll is named Vera.
      • "Headhunters," which reunites Nathan Fillion and Adam Baldwin, surprisingly has no direct references to Firefly. However, fans' ears will perk up when they see a scene revolving around a brown coat and Baldwin talking about watching your partner's back. Also, Castle's first scene has him playing with toy dolls à la Wash's introductory scene.
    • Speaking of "Vampire Weekend," the episode alone is comprised of lots of Actor Allusions:
      • Beckett indicate that she's a fan of the works of Frank Miller (Stana Katic had a role in Frank Miller's adaptation of The Spirit).
      • Castle name-checks Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where Fillion guested as the last Dragon.
      • The costume party gets actors to dress up in former roles. In particular, Esposito dresses as a US Marine (referencing Jon Huertas as Sgt. Espera in Generation Kill[1], while Ryan dresses up as a doctor (referencing Seamus Dever's role in General Hospital).
    • In "When the Bough Breaks," Castle gets a chance to write about a certain British spy. Stana Katic was in Quantum of Solace, playing the Canadian woman in the scene in Russia at the end.
    • In "Deep In Death", Beckett mimics a Russian accent to get past a couple of guards to save Castle. Stana Katic actually speaks four separate Slavic languages fluently, making this a Katic reference as well.
    • In "Tick, Tick, Tick..." Martha is watching an old episode of The Incredible Hulk. Specifically, she's watching the pilot episode, which features Susan Sullivan...who plays Martha on Castle. Since Martha's an actress, it's explained as her watching her own old stuff.
    • Castle jokes about his sexless relationship with his last wife to Jordan Shaw. Nathan Fillion and Dana Delaney once played husband and wife on Desperate Housewives.
    • In "Wrapped Up in Death", Erick Avari plays a superstitious museum curator involved with a Mummy. In the same episode, Castle’s pants end up getting ripped, which may be a reference to Captain Mal's nickname "Captain Tightpants."
    • In "Food to Die For", Castle gets some liquid nitrogen and suggests he build a weapon... to change the weather. The scene is very reminicent of another thing Nathan Fillion has been in.
      • In the same scene, he also flubs an evil laugh.
    • Mark Fallon's suit, hair, and American flag lapel pin make him pretty much indistinguishable from Nathan Petrelli.
      • To be fair, politicians and federal agents have more or less the exact same dress code. And hair cut. And flag pin. And chiseled jaw line (they wish).
    • In "One Life To Lose," there are several mentions of General Hospital, which Seamus Dever used to be on.
    • In "Eye of the Beholder" an informant calls Castle "Jason Bateman", and Castle says that the resemblance got him out of a traffic ticket one time -- which is a story that Fillion has told several times. This also occurs in Best in Show with the paparazzi believing it.
    • The killer in "Demons" is a demon indeed.
    • Tom Dempsey (and his grandson) is The fallen angel, but he also moonlights as a mysterious island guardian.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!/Role Association: Overlaps frequently with Narrowed It Down To The Guy I Recognize. If you don't see a person here, chances are they're there, as one of the suspects of the week.
    • Malcolm Reynolds is a writer.
    • Hana Gitelman is Beckett
    • And Samuel Anders is a Romantic False Lead.
    • Season 2's "The Fifth Bullet" has Shawn as one of the suspects being questioned by Esposito.
    • Riley featured in a surprising twist and a relationship with Cut Throat Bitch.
    • Myka is also a writer in a Season 1 episode.
    • Soap fans already had Joey Buchanan and Ian Devlin in the main cast; they threw in Carly/Claudia as Castle's date and even Winnifred for a scene in "The Third Man".
    • Looks like The Doctor finally settled on his name: Dr. Death!
    • Looks like Vladimir Bierko gave up on the terrorist gig and became a fashion designer, of all things.
    • Whedon fans have run into several other familiar faces: Principal Wood as a Corrupt Corporate Executive, Riley Finn as an amnesiac witness, Dominic, Forrest, and Principal Flutie as the precinct's lawyer in the second episode.
      • And now a second Firefly alum makes an appearance--apparently, someone thought it would be a good idea to give Jayne a badge. It's not. It's really not.
    • Dana Delaney, who guest-stars in the two-parter "Tick...Tick...Tick...Boom!" is a multiple Emmy winner who was once a fixture on lists of the most beautiful people in Hollywood. Most tropers watching this show will probably recognize her as Lois Lane (leading to the always weird effect of Lois-sounding dialogue coming from the un-Lois-looking Delaney's mouth), or Katherine Mayfair, where Nathan Fillion played her husband.
      • Which gives a new layer of meaning to Nathan's line "Except for my second wife, this is the most sexless relationship I've been in."
    • One recurring HITG is Phil Lamarr, also known as Marvin, the guy who got shot in the face. Others might recognize his work on Mad TV or his voicework as Green Lantern or Samurai Jack.
    • Dan D'OH! Castellaneta has a recurring role as a judge.
    • Erick Avari would like to warn you about Mayan Curses. A fantastic Casting Gag, especially if you recall how he kicked it in the movie.
    • Theresa from The OC has apparently got a degree in Archeology and is working with mummies.
    • "Den of Thieves" has Max Medina and Francie.
    • Sam Fisher aka Darkseid went into organized crime after he retired from Third Echelon, evidently.
    • Assistant Director Walter Skinner (or Colonel Caldwell) shows up in "A Deadly Game" as a hardened spy-stroke-assassin who ends up turning out to be some hapless schmuck on a spy vacation.
    • "A Deadly Affair" has Wendy the waitress show up as the wife of one of the murder victims.
    • "Little Girl Lost" has Carla as the mother of the lost girl.
    • "3XK" has Drew from the last series of Scrubs as a suspect's terrified ex prison roommate who is in actuality the serial killer who masterminded the episode's killing in order to escape prison, as well as Marshall Darling as the father of a serial killer's cold-case victim.
    • "Always Buy Retail" has Hardison as a Nigerian immigrant.
    • "One Life To Lose" has Henry Spencer as a soap opera actor.
    • "Under the Gun" has Leo Wyatt as a priest who was also a suspect, Raina also known as Nikki as the victim's wife and Jason Beghe as Beckett's mentor.
    • "The Mistress Always Spanks Twice" has young Mary Winchester and Allison Kerry.
    • "He's Dead, She's Dead" features Beth Mason as the daughter and Patty Chase as the widow of the victim.
    • Two Reaper alumni, Ray Wise and Rick Gonzalez, have appeared on the show as a baseball player's agent and a squatter, respectively.
    • Vice Admiral Hackett is an abduction therapist in "Strange Encounters of the Murderous Kind"
    • "Nikki Heat" has Donna Pinciotti as the actress (in-universe) who plays Nikki Heat on screen.
    • In "Poof! You're Dead", Joanne helps with the magician's investigation. Martel is the real murderer, it turns out.
    • Dr. Goodman's five-season mystery sabbatical is finally explained--he becomes a drug lord who can very easily get under the skin of Castle and especially Beckett.
    • As of 'Set Up', Nathan Petrelli works for the actual Department of Homeland Security in this universe. Trying to prevent a nuclear bomb from going off in New York City. Sure it's not Peter?
    • Mimi is an interior designer.
    • Lt. Ruiz is in the 12th precinct, seen in "When the Bough Breaks" and "The Double Down".
    • In "Law & Murder", one of the jurors has appeared before in the show.
    • Mac is an intern on a soap opera in "One Life to Lose".
    • Loker is an up-and-coming writer that Castle mentors in "Dead Pool".
    • Helen Santos is now married to a Donald Trumpalike?
    • Mike Franks is an antique gun nut in "Punked".
    • Steve Stevens is the presiding judge in the trial in "Law & Murder."
    • Dave Bowman appears in the pilot episode as the father of one of the victims.
    • Alexis' boyfriend Ashley is Ben from The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
    • Worf is Beckett's police-mandated therapist.
    • Our new captain was Kasidy Yates. That and her insistence on "Sir" over "Ma'am" puts her in stark contrast to a certain Trek captain who insisted just the opposite. (Still others will remember her as Sherry Palmer, though.)
    • Azazel appeared in Castle's supernatural-themed Halloween episode, where characters talked about ghosts and demons. Azazel himself finds the idea of demons to be ridiculous. He turned out to be the killer.
    • Lee Garner, Jr. is one of the people holding up a bank in "Cops & Robbers."
    • Pierre Chang is now leading a Chinese gang.
    • It seems Castle has become something of a Star Trek Reunion Party, because Kira Nerys featured in "An Embarrassment of Bitches".
    • Also prominently featured in "An Embarrassment of Bitches"? Hilarie Burton, known to some as Peyton Sawyer and to others as Sara Ellis.
    • Beckett's mysterious benefactor holding the attack dogs at bay seems to have stepped up from his previous miserable life.
    • Garrus Vakarian seems to be tasty to zombies in one of the more recent episodes.
    • Paul Ballard is the one who tried to kill Beckett. The Dollhouse must be involved in the conspiracy.
    • Albert Wesker shows up in "Dial M for Mayor" as a lawyer. This is a surprise to no one.
  • Hey, It's That Place!: Sort of. The warehouse that they fight the murderer in "Boom!" in returns again in "Setup," with absolutely nothing to disguise it and several shots of the warehouse which are basically exactly the same in both episodes. Either they ran out of locations or the terrorist in setup used the same warehouse again. Lampshaded by Castle when he wonders why that particular building is so popular.
    • The hallway leading to the sleazy boyfriend's apartment in "Pretty Dead" seems very familiar - especially its distinctive square window.
  • I Want You to Meet An Old Friend of Mine: Some of the people that help Castle and the 12th also happen to be people Nathan Fillion has worked with in the past, most notably Dana Delany in "Tick Tick Tick"/"Boom!", Kristen Lehman in "Eye of the Beholder." Alyssa Milano is also apparently a friend of Fillion's, but the two haven't worked together except for "A Rose for Everafter." "Headhunters" finally brought a Firefly alumnus to the table in the form of Adam Baldwin. Still waiting on the others!

Notes

  1. Incidentally, Huertas is a Desert Storm veteran, but served in the USAF
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