For anyone who watched Monday night's 'very special' Halloween episode of Castle, you were treated to a none-too-subtle shoutout to genre fans. The episode starts out with Nathan Fillion ("Castle") playing with quick-drawing and re-holstering a cool-looking pistol while wearing his old costume from "Firefly." (in which he played Mal Reynolds)
He busts in to his livingroom, gun drawn, and his daughter asks him what he's supposed to be. "I'm a space cowboy."
"One," she replies, "There are no cows in space, and two, didn't you wear that thing like five years ago?"
"I like it," he says a bit defensively.
So: In jokes within in jokes within in jokes, and yet all still fairly superficial.
Then he gets the call for the murder-of-the-week, and it becomes a fairly standard whodunnit with no further references to Firefly, though there is one more Whedon joke before the end.
The next scene has him skulking through a graveyard, still in costume. You can see it here in this cheezy preview:
This murder is a bit tighter and sicker than most on the show, but not by too far. It took me about 35 minutes to figure it out, rather than my normal fifteen.
If you've never seen it, Castle is a fun but aggressively mediocre detective show that has never quite figured out what it wants to be. The in-joke shoutout was cute and all, and I'm glad they did it, but I do sort of wish I'd been completely surprised by it. There've been rumors they were going to pull something like this for months now, but even if there hadn't been, it's a show the republispouse and I watch anyway, so we would have stumbled across it anyway. I have to assume we would have enjoyed it more that way. I'm not a huge fan of this "And imagine your surprise when you find out in the final scene of the movie that Rosebud is a Sled!" crap in previews.
Once they put the episode up on Hulu or whatever, I'll post a link to it for anyone interested, though the Firefly-pertinent bits are all in the first ten minutes or less.
[EDIT: It's up! All the Fireflyish stuff is in the first 10 minutes, but if you want to watch more you'll be rewarded by a horribly poor actress as a vampire.