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Archive for February 21st, 2009

The best friendship on TV; Shawn & Gus of Psych from USA Network.

The best friendship on TV; Shawn & Gus of Psych from USA Network.

Last week I did my first mini-post on Psych, the awesome show on USA.  I’d never felt the need to write a whole blog about it before, I’m sure not a ton of people watch it and probably plenty have never even heard of it.  But this weeks episode was so awesome that I thought Psych finally deserved its own blog.

Psych is about an unmotivated, unfocused man who has a photographic memory and awesome powers of observation.  One day he decides to help the police solve crimes by pretending to be psychic.  His father was a police detective who trained him growing up (we get great flashbacks of young Shawn and his father in most episodes) so he knows what to look for and uses what he sees to help the police.  His best friend, Gus, is along for the ride and he’s generally the straight man to Shawn’s comedian.  The police call them in constantly for help and the dynamic between Shawn and the head detective, Lassiter (Lassie as Shawn calls him), is a thing of beauty.  The show is filled with pop culture references from the 80’s, which thrills my inner child.  Also, it’s just flat out hilarious but touching at the same time.  The friendship between Shawn and Gus is the best on TV, hands down.  This season finale episode really showed that.

This week, Shawn gets called in to help find the Ying/Yang killer.  This killer has confounded the cops for 13 years or so and likes to leave riddles and stop watches to taunt the people after him.  He’s decided to call out Shawn, deeming him a worthy opponent.  He kidnapped a waitress that Shawn was flirting with that afternoon and left several riddles that Shawn and the cops were able to solve.

The thing that really got to me early in this case was when Shawn was being his usual snarky self at very inappropriate intervals and Gus called him out on it.  Shawn took Gus aside and told him that he knew he was being a jerk but that he had to do it to keep his mind clear so he could focus on the case.  Shawn has never really admitted to that and a light went on with this viewer and with Gus and Gus, best friend that he is, set out to help Shawn.  The case was really pushing Shawn over the edge and every time that Gus saw him get close to snapping, he channeled his inner Shawn and made the dumbest but most hilarious comments to pull his buddy through.  He did a Michael Jackson impression while Shawn was struggling to figure out what clue a rat in a cage had for him.  He grabbed a toy airplane and started commenting about how much he bigger he was than it; like King Kong.  These acts were followed by long silences and you know Gus felt like a tool but Shawn would look at him and give him a wink to let him know that it was helping so Gus kept on.  It really was awesome to see.

Gus was also there in the end when Shawn finally went on his date with Abigail, the girl that got away in high school.  He called to ask her out prior to the Ying/Yang killer contacting him and he had to keep calling her and making excuses for why he might be late.  Since he stood her up in high school, this was not very well received.  Shawn doesn’t do relationships and he was scared as hell about finally putting it out there with Abby.  Gus knew this and was there on their date, sitting in the car awaiting his popcorn at the drive-in movie.  Shawn gave him a “thank you” type of look so you knew he wanted him there.  Best friendship ever.

Back to the case, which was really one of the best they’ve had.  Shawn snapped after they solved several of the clues and they got to one where he had to answer the phone by the 8th ring or the girl would die.  Shawn found the cell phone on a pier and instead of answering he stood there trying to figure out where the person was calling from.  As Lassie and Juliet yelled at him to answer it, he just got mad and said he wasn’t playing the killer’s game anymore and hurled the phone into the ocean.  This caused an apparent rift in the cop team; Shawn told them that he wasn’t going to participate any longer and to leave.  They headed off to investigate on their own and Shawn told Gus that he wasn’t giving up, he was just taking the game in a new direction.  That direction ended up being a hotel where they found the waitress alive but a new clue; Shawn’s mother’s purse.  The killer, irritated that Shawn appeared to be disinterested in playing, upped the stakes.  Shawn nearly lost it but he held it together enough to figure out where his mom was and meet up with the killer.

Mr. Yang was played by none other than Ally Sheedy, which is made of awesome.  Last week we had Justine Bateman and MacKensie Astin, this week it’s Ally Sheedy.  This show loves the 80’s as much as I do!  She was a great raving psycho but she gave up too easily.  She told Shawn they’d meet again though and I suspect they will.  Oh, and for more 80’s goodness, Cybill Shepherd plays Shawn’s mom (and her husband was calling her Maddy, Moonlighting shout out!)  and Corbin Bernsen plays his father.  And on the rare occasions we see Gus’ folks, they’re played by Clair Huxtable and Mac from Night Court.  Also when Shawn called Abigail to invite her on the date he called himself Judd Nelson.  A fantastic shout out to the unannounced appearance by Ally Sheedy at the end of the show.

There was other stuff happening of course, and we got our obligatory Shawn and Juliet moment.  She finally asked him out while he was busy getting popcorn for his date with Abigail.  I was glad that he admitted to her that he was already on a date and that he didn’t derail his date for Juliet.  I’m not one of those people that hates the idea of Shawn and Juliet hooking up but I’m not a shipper either.  Plus, Abby is cool and she deserved her real date with Shawn, even if it came a decade later than it was supposed to be.   Of course with Gus along for the ride, I’m sure things were pretty tame.  Clearly Shawn’s not ready for a relationship and when he is I’m sure it’ll be Juliet he gets with.  The actors date in real life so it’s only a matter of time.

You really couldn’t have asked for a better episode to end the season.  The humor was awesome, 80’s abounded, Shawn/Juliet shippers got a moment, Shawn/anyone else shippers got a moment, the case was fantastic and most importantly the friendship between Shawn & Gus was rock solid.  I’m already Psyched (pardon the horrible pun) for the new episodes this summer.

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