There are only 10 Days left till Psych: the Movie premieres on December 7th. To celebrate, here is my top 10 list of Psyche episodes... in no particular order.
Contrary to What Shawn might think, “Lassie” (Detective Lassiter) is actually good at his job. Recently he’s been on roll, closing a string of nine cases, without the need of outside consultants. His latest case involves a dead body on the beach. Feeling somewhat smug, Lassie invites Shawn along to the crime scene, to show him how a real detective works.
There is little to go on, except some odd puncture marks. Seizing the opportunity, Shawn declares, “This was no boating accident,” (a nice reference to Jaws) and declares the marks were made by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It may be a bit of an overreach, but Shawn is desperate to steal back the limelight and score a paying job. His antics, which include bringing a life-sized papier-mâché T-Rex head to the morgue, leaded to a humorous intervention (with cupcakes).
Gus: “Don’t look at me. I’m here for the cupcakes.”
The episode is chock full of film references as is usual for Psych, but my favorite might be the reference to Holes, which Gus can’t guess. Dule appeared in the movie.
Shawn: [looking at a field of dirt mounds] “Oh, look at that. It’s like that movie, the one with, uh... Sigourney Weaver.”
Gus: “Alien: Resurrection?”
Shawn: “Gus, the one with the holes and Shia LaBeouf.”
Gus: “They had holes in Shia LaBeouf?”
Shawn: “The holes were in the ground, dude. Like that.” [gestures toward the mounds] “And Jon Voight was walking around all crazy.”
Gus: “Oh! Anaconda.”
Shawn: [sighs] “Man, never mind.”
Gus: “Gorillas in the Mist? Death and the Maiden?”
Gus: “Half-Moon Street?”
Shawn: “Just let it go.”
When a 3000-year-old mummy disappears from the Santa Barbara History Museum, assistant curator Sophie Morris Bridgewell sees it as more than a simple case of thievery. She believes something supernatural is afoot and insists that the SBPD bring in paleo-sleuth Shawn Spencer to investigate. Sophie points to the plaque next to the T-Rex skull found earlier in the season (65 Million Years Off).
Gus is understandably upset that Shawn is given all the credit for the discovery of Zippy (The T-Rex Skull). Shawn tries to console him by saying his name is there too, at the bottom. But “Photo by Bruton Gaster” isn’t much of a consolation prize.
- Best Quote:
Gus: [watching Shawn on the security monitors, trying to evade notice] “Look at me, look at me, I love my hair! I can make obscure ‘80s references that nobody understands. Laugh at me, ha ha ha! Hey, know something about me? I have a motorcycle, but I never seem to be riding it!”
- Game Changers:
This episode foreshadows the return of Maddy (Shawn’s mom) and teases the possible departure of Chief Vick, who is only the interim police chief. Thankfully, the mayor calls at the 11th hour to beg her to stay. It seems his handpicked replacement was caught in a compromising position. The incriminating photo in the paper is attributed to a Bruton Gaster. Chief Vick gives Shawn a knowing smile and the group shares a hug.
Shawn believes a murder has taken place at his and Gus’s high school reunion...but with no suspect, not victim and no motive he has a hard time getting anyone to believe him. Gus assumes the worst and Lassiter refuses to help, so Shawn seeks assistance from Juliet. This episode goes the full Hughes, John Hughes that is. It’s like a love note to the 80s. And then there’s this…
- Best Quote – The award goes to Gus. Let’s here it from the man himself.
While on a ski vacation in British Columbia, Shawn finds himself in the presence of the elusive art thief Despereaux, who Lassiter has worked his whole career to catch. Shawn’s admiration and hero worship blinds him to the fact that he’s being played by the suave art thief.
This is the first appearance of Cary Elwes as Pierre Despereaux.
- Best Quote - So many good quotes… It’s hard to choose, but let’s go with this Shot at The Mentalist.
Shawn: [describing his “psychic powers”] “You’ve seen “The Mentalist”, right?”
Corporal Mackintosh: “Yes!”
Shawn: “It’s like that.”
Gus: “Except that guy’s a fake.”
Shawn: “Right. If I was a fake psychic, it would be eerily similar.”
Gus: “Exactly the same.”
Shawn: “A virtual carbon copy.”
Guess who’s back back again. Despereaux’s back, tell a friend.
It’s the triumphant return of the International man of leisure (and art thief) Pierre Despereaux. Shawn and Gus return to Vancouver, at Despereaux’s request. He is facing extradition to the United States and wants to pull one last job. The guys become unwitting accomplishes in his escape from prison.
The master thief easily ditches them with a grapple gun and a jovial toodaloo, but later returns desperate for Shawn’s help. Despereaux has been framed for murder.
- Best Quote –
Shawn: “Can I just say what I... what I came here to say, please?”
[Juliet sighs, turns to face Shawn]
Shawn: “I have a motorcycle.”
Juliet: [frowns] “Yes. You do.”
Shawn: “Yes, I do. And you know what? It is... it is the purest form of freedom that I have ever experienced. You zip through traffic, park anywhere, you never have to take anyone to the airport, you certainly don’t have to help anyone move. Easily the best purchase I’ve ever made in my life, and I have never regretted it, not for one second.”
Juliet: “Great. You love your motorcycle. Is there a point to this?”
Shawn: “Yeah, there’s a point. The point is, since I met you, I... I’ve been thinking about getting a car.”
Juliet: [pauses... then smiles] “And you’re not thinking something... practical or... sensible...”
Shawn: “Oh, God, no. I’m not throwing in the towel altogether.”
[and they kiss]
After eluding capture and disappearing six years ago, the famed Yin Yang serial killer resurfaces, to play a new game with our resident psychic detective. Even with Cybill Shepherd back as Maddy and Rachael Leigh Cook returning Shawn’s high school crush, Abigail, the real standout (for me) is Yang herself, Ally Sheedy.
Jimmi Simpson’s turn as Mary Lightly is creepily fun too. He has amazing range. If you haven’t seen Hap and Leonard, I’d recommend watching it. Jimmi is great as Soldier (first season).
- Best Quote
Shawn: “Mary, I’m surprised it took you so long. You seem so spry.”
Mary: “Ankle weights. I always wear ‘em, even when I sleep. Read about it in Men’s Fitness. Totally reinvigorated Ryan Reynolds’ career.”
A year after the arrest of Mr. Yang, a new killer emerges to take up the game with Shawn and the SBPD. It turns out Yang didn’t work alone. Yang reveals in her new book that she had a partner, Mr. Yin, and that her partner is even more psychopathic than she is.
As with Yang herself, Mary (Jimmi Simpson) makes his triumphant return… and final curtain call. I’m interested to see how they work him into the movie.
- Best Quote -
Mary: [holds up Yang’s book] “I’m assuming you’ve read this?”
Shawn: “Are you kidding? We’re in it. If I’m not mistaken, and I am paraphrasing here, I am introduced on page eleven as a “thick-tufted boy genius who ice skates through life on polished blades of snarky eloquence.”
Mary: “That is an exact quote, Shawn.”
Gus: “Do you remember what I was described as?”
Mary: “Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside, the fastidious wrinkle in the brow of Psych.”
Shawn: “True, but she also said that you had “skin of pure cocoa velvetiness.”
Gus: “She also said she would like to use that skin to make children’s dolls.”
Mary: “I’d buy that doll.”
The SBPD don’t believe a young woman’s (Allison) claims that she was kidnapped by the infamous Yin. The house she claims to have been held in is occupied by an innocent family. Even her supposed proof, a picture of a young Shawn standing next to Yang, is suspect. Though the police don’t believe her, Shawn does.
When she goes missing again, from Henry’s home no less, Shawn and Gus must race against the clock to find her. The end of the Yin/Yang trilogy sees Yang sprung from the looney bin to help Shawn and Gus track down Yin and save Allison.
Peter Weller was a nice surprise as Mr. Yin. Allison being less innocent than she originally appeared was less of a surprise, but still handled well. It also gave Juliet a chance for a bit of closure.
- Best Quote -
Need I say more? I do? Ok, so this is really a 2 hour event, at the end of season 7 and the true swan song for Yang.
Woody: [Meeting Yang in autopsy] “Hopefully your husband here” [motions to her guard] “doesn’t mind you being in the same room with a naked man?”
Yang: [Coyly] “Oh, I’m not married.”
Woody: “Well in that case, how about two naked men?”
Lassiter: “Strode, she’s a killer.”
Woody: “Agree to agree!”
Breaking up is hard to do. And after 8 seasons, it’s hard to say goodbye. Still it was a good send off, with a happy reunion in San Francisco and a nice Monk reference thrown in at the end.
- Best Quote –
Shawn: [saying his goodbye to Lassiter over a DVD video message] “Carlton Lassiter, Chief Lassie, The Lord of Sternbush. I am proud, honored, and baffled to call you my friend. But it’s true. It’s also true that you might be the only other person on the planet who loves Jules as much as I do, even though it’s different. You’ve always had her back, and for that I feel I owe you more than the others, so, time to come clean. Regarding my methods and the way I solve cases, you’re the only one that’s ever suspected that, uh... The truth is, I am not-”
[Lassiter presses eject, snaps the DVD into pieces, and throws it into the garbage]
Well, that’s my list. Feel free to suggest your own favorites in the comments section below.