Psych season 7 episode 2 review: Juliet Takes A Luvvah

Review Nick Slawicz 10 Mar 2013 - 20:42

Psych delivers another strong, entertaining episode. Here's Nick's review of Juliet Takes a Luvvah...

This review contains spoilers.

7.2 Juliet Takes a Luvvah

When the first shot of an episode of Psych has Cybill Shepherd in it, you know you’re going to be in for a great time. The only surprise, then, was just how good Juliet Takes a Luvvah turned out to be.

First of all, let’s get something out of the way. It’s not often that I get to feel a personal connection to a Psych episode: I’ve never been drag racing or joined an a capella group; I’ve never taken part in a spelling bee or an exorcism; I’ve never had a hallucination about Tony Cox in an elf costume (but I’m still young, so fingers crossed on that one).

Online dating, on the other hand, is a different situation entirely. I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Fake profiles. MySpace angles. Attack ships off the shoulder of Orion. And so it was nice, if not entirely so, to have online dating dealt with in a mainstream TV series and to be something other than a punchline. That’s not to say we were left with a particularly positive portrayal: the villain of the piece was, alas, exactly the kind of frizzy-haired, bespectacled nerd that television has taught us is the sole inhabitant of Match.com, OKCupid and their ilk, and the final shot of Gus discovering that his newfound paramour comes with a little extra baggage played on the notion that no one is entirely honest once they get behind the relative security of a computer screen, but overall it worked, and we were left with Gus and Rachael’s digital matchmaking seeming to be a success. Not everyone on the internet is a liar and a thief and a harlot indeed.

I’ve often noted (not always as a complaint) that the mystery element of Psych has a tendency to take a back seat to the comedy – after all, with six seasons and more than a hundred episodes under its belt, how many of the show’s murderers could you pick out of a line up? – but here we had the classic elements of detective fiction. The killer was someone we had seen before, but who had been ruled out early on. The logic behind the crime made sense (if only in his twisted imagination). He was suitably threatening, even though we knew Juliet wasn’t going to come to any harm. Sure, there were missteps in the investigation – why would Shawn assume that someone he knew to be a catalogue model would have photoshopped himself into other pictures, rather than a third party being involved? – but that aside, Berman’s script does a great job at leading us down the garden path for forty-odd minutes.

If I’m honest, right until the last phonecall I had the wonderfully named and equally wonderfully creepy Fielding Mellish (played by Ryan Beil) pegged as our killer. It’s a shame that he’s so case-specific, because it would be nice to see him return in much the same vein as Jimmi Simpson’s Mary Lightly. Still, we can dream, eh?

And then there was the ending.

Once Shawn got to grips with the notion that you really can’t go home again (lest you accidentally walk in on your parents going at it like jackrabbits), it was nice to see him making a step forward in his relationship with Juliet. The big romantic moments are something that Psych does extremely well, for a show as lighthearted as it is, and this week didn’t disappoint.

For every Don’t be the B--- from Apartment 23! and ‘You just don’t know how to take a Swedish practical joke,’ there’s a ‘Home should be wherever you are’, and that’s a good thing. The latter is one of those lines that is going to adorn Tumblr graphics for years to come, but Roday and Lawson really sell it; their banter about pug faces and parental coitus gives the impression that, for all of Juliet’s independence and ability to kick ass on her own, deep down she has the same childish streak that Shawn is so desperate to keep hold of. Either he brings it out of her or she’s willing to play along, and that’s really quite awesome whichever way you slice.

The best part of this episode, though, is just how much remains to be dealt with. Just how long will Madeleine Spencer be sticking around? Will Gus finally find himself in a longterm relationship? Will Shawn ever come to see Rachael as anything other than a threat to his bromance, even with her savant-like recollections of Rotten Tomatoes review percentages?

And more to the point, who names a child Maximus?

Read Nick's review of the previous Psych episode, Santabarbaratown 2, here.

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