While the Santa Barbara elite and their devout fans are still wringing out our collective Kleenex after last week’s news. After tonight Psych will only have five episodes left.
And now four. That makes it hard, not just as a critic that gets to review his favorite show, one that did not even get into the show until season four wrapped. Before I become the major pineapple-wielding and smoothie drinking fan that I have transformed into, I had four fresh full seasons of Psych to gorge myself on in all of their 80’s goodness, and I continue to enjoy in seasons five as Shawn & Gus, collectively the Psychic Detective Agency: “Psych”. But I have to admit that, even with having the coveted 18 to 49 demo nailed in their time slot, it is the right time for the guys to ride up the Santa Barbara coast off into the sunset.
The guys, even including Lassie (wow) are excited that they all just received a text blast from the Chief. They enter the office agreeing “Please No more Trout!” when Chief Vick swirls her chair to tell the gang what’s up. There is not going to be any more Mr. Trout. But there will also be no more Chief Vick. Turns out that she is moving her gig up the north coast. While the guys leave the room, the Chief asks Juliet to lag behind for a chat off camera. Hmmm.
In her Psych directorial effort, actress Kirsten Nelson shows clear chops behind the camera. I was particularly impressed because it was not your usual Psych episode where there is no straight-up narrative. The episode leaps back and forth from a 1967 cold case having each actor make personal decisions about what comes next in their life. After knocking boots, Jules reveals to Shawn that Vick has offered her her now-dormant position, now that she will be in Santa Barbara. So either way it’s a win-win for Juliet who will be head detective under Vick if she decides to go North with her or stay as Chief of SB working under Lassie. Plus she will have Shawn & Gus and won’t have to move and, wait—I’m guessing the ABC baseball dramedy she is starring in is going to be the real kicker on whether or not she stays or goes. I hate hypothetical situations but this one is a doozy.
I always liked the professional relationships that Vick has kept with each of her subordinates. She and Lassie in particular always engaged in a head nod of sincere honor and respect towards each other. A kind of “let’s not say anything about this but I value your input and trust your gut.” Juliet and the guys had to earn their keep before getting any free lunches around the coffee cart. It would have been very easy to make everyone buddies from the pilot, especially with such utterly likable leads with Shawn & Gus.
I am not normally a fan of episodes where the team goes “off book” and start dashing all around Santa Barbara working with one case that just may be their last one together—forever. But this is what the stake and legacy of the show will leave behind and it is one that I did not see coming in spite of Maggie Lawson’s career choices! And man does Maggie have the chops. Her saying goodbye to Lassie and realizing this twist of fate is just too much to take in had me laughing. When she and Shawn have to discuss how their new 5-hour- away long distance relationship is going to work, they both fade off into the night and cut to Jule’s car and trailer making the journey up the coast. I’m getting depressed just thinking about that music again.
Remember, there are still four more cases left in the series. Well done to Kirsten Nelson for putting together one of the best pieces of work this season. I liked her style and she was carrying a lot on her back as director. I imagine she will have a stab or two at one of the last four episodes. This cold case can wait out another day. The symbolic death of the show is the one murder that they could not have stopped no matter what. With only four episodes left, I am at least satisfied with the build-up of how things are going to wind up and sync permanently. This cushion episode will definitely be the buffer between now and the end of Psych forever. Even though it’s not officially over yet, I am already missing them.
Quick Note to Dule Hill: During the Flashback scenes to 1967 where each current cast member takes on a character from the case in the late 60’s. Myles Velour is played by in-house funkmaster Dule Hill that passes for a Little Jackie Wilson. What a talent this guy is—his pipes are dangerous and his dancing moves are those of the Godfather of Soul himself.
Den of Geek Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars