Psych: No Trout About It, Review

Even with Anthony Michael Hall, the Psych finale is no trip to Wally World

In a seemingly boilerplate season finale, complete with ‘80s mainstay Anthony Michael Hall, I was unfortunately disappointed by Season 7’s poor attempt at a goodbye. After a chase gone awry, the Psych gang is being judged by Harris Trout (Anthony Michael Hall), an efficiency expert hired to take down Santa Barbara’s finest with his shut up or ship out attitude. Immediately, I realize that Trout/Michael Hall is really chewing the scenery to make some kind of comeback. He was actually much better suited for the low-key type of role in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight back in 2008. Then again, Nolan always loves getting ‘80s stars to ham it up in restraint. A potential client at the Psych office, in the form of character actor Joey Slotnick, asks the guys to find his killer as he has recently been poisoned. With their client having just over a day to live, the guys must work fast. They take him to the hospital to find out the severity his condition. The guys also pick up Leo’s wife Rita and find that she is quite the dish and. Love is blind, oui? The whole time I was thinking that everything, including the plot, had been overdone and was certainly not Psych-worthy. Even after investigating Rita’s home, the obvious occurs when she is found dead on the floor. The story of what we are seeing is continually regaled to Mr. Trout and it becomes laborious to listen to after 15 or so minutes. It felt very gimmicky after that “start from the end, end at the start” episode of SEINFELD back in the late ‘90s. Michael Hall is really just playing a rehashed version of the characters that picked on him as a teenage actor. Each main actor tells his tale of just what exactly happened in flashback. I loathe that device, especially when we are in the present. It just irks me, although the guys have been able to pull it off in previous seasons. So, to have each character narrate over their version of the episode becomes incredibly annoying. As psyched as I was to see Anthony Michael Hall in a primo role, it falls terribly flat like a dead balloon. It is never easy to see your childhood hero’s fall so hard. They should have just had him come into the Psych fray as strictly as a) a good guy or b) himself. While it is cool to see Lassie, Jules, the Chief, Gus and Shawn all working together in the name of the Chief, the episode’s murder is just not all that interesting. And you are talking to someone that went on a Psych-only bender for three straight months! That is watching NOTHING BUT PSYCH for three months, people! It is both sad and quite impressive at the same time. But it is that infectious nature of the show that makes it so easy to watch over and over again. While they keep returning to the Chief’s office, where Trout has taken over as the de-facto Chief, tales from the gang endlessly bombards us. Anytime the show shifts it into drive, we are stalled by the silliness of Harris Trout. While the core cast seems to be losing it and turning on each other, Shawn treads water in solving the very boring case of “the lawyer with an infectious disease  (that is not contagious).” Any pacing that was arranged for the episode is outdone by silly dirtbike chases and the fumbling Blueberry and Lassie’s maniacal getaway driving. It is a complete rarity for me to say that an episode of Psych is relatively boring, but sadly that is what happened with this season finale. In the end, Trout is still running the police station and spoiler alert: the Chief is out for a six-month leave. Come to think of it, we have not seen that much of her this season. I imaging that by the time the eighth season starts back up, her suspension will be over, making this Anthony Michael Hall experiment a thing of the past. While I am all for bringing ‘80s centric guest stars to the show (see last week’s perfectly baked Lori Loughlin episode), I say that we go back to some of the originals to show just how they became Psych and not just a one-trick pony with guest stars. It is time we should get back to basics and try and do some old-fashioned fake crime fighting. While it is something to behold, seeing the Psych machine work on all cylinders, I was truly upset to see this as the season finale. Despite looking forward to the Psych two-hour musical finale later this year, this was an interesting failure of an episode. I think at the heart of it is that the guest-stars can *never* be bigger than the cumulative team. The less the guest-star, the better the episode. And since Psych has pretty much exhausted the pool of ‘80s guest stars from Ally Sheedy to Judd Nelson, it may be time to broach the ‘90s pool of potential Psych-os.  A final note, I think that the book “written” by the characters of Shawn and is a brilliant addition to the Psych canon and it is a necessary gift for all of the Psych-os in your life for just under $12. I normally like to have a cliffhanger at the end of the season, but with the Chief is exiting on paid leave with under Trout’s watchful eye, I have to ask: How many episodes was the Chief really in that mattered? Personally I love the Chief despite it taking me a few seasons to warm up to her. Hopefully, all will be well by the eighth and possibly final season. 

Den of Geek Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars


2.5 out of 5