This review contains spoilers.
7.3 Lassie Jerky
So we were promised a Blair Witch spoof. What we got was Die Hard.
And it was quite, quite wonderful.
Going into Lassie Jerky, I’ll admit that I was a little hesitant. For all of its high-concept posturing, Psych hasn’t always dealt with its horror-themed episodes as well as might be expected. Granted, we’ve had a lot to work with, with serial killers (in Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast), werewolves (in Let’s Get Hairy), vampires (in This Episode Sucks), demonic possession (in The Devil’s in the Details… and the Upstairs Bedroom) and ghosts (in… well, in Ghosts), so it was all but inevitable that eventually we’d get ourselves a genuine Creature Feature, but it was touch and go as to how well it would be dealt with.
I needn’t have worried. If there’s anyone out there who understands what makes a Psych episode work, it seems that it’s James Roday. Writing and directing this week’s episode, he hit pretty much every note perfectly. The plot was logical and consistent, disregarding the fact that the Serbian hitmen who were this week’s real villains were worse shots than your average Stormtrooper, and we managed to get a couple of nice callbacks to other episodes that I’m sure will come to pass later in the series (not least mentions of Marlowe and Gus’s ‘son’, which can only end well). Even the secondary characters, sex-obsessed Kate and possibly-surnamed-Seacrest Chavo, actually brought something to the table beyond giving Shawn and Gus a new rube to play off, or somewhere else to look while we were being directed away from the killer.
But by far the best part of this week’s episode was the script. There were so many choice lines that it’s practically impossible to choose a favourite – and the best part is that they were shared evenly around the cast. Granted, Roday made sure he didn’t go short (‘I’m sensing he’s not in there. I’m also sensing that Bigfoot might have a green thumb. Which is weird. Because he’s Bigfoot.’), but Gus was put front-and-centre in terms of comedy, Lassie had his speech to camera and a chance to show off his firearms training, and Juliet had her (practically mandatory, now) badass moment, complete with crossbow.
Yes. Juliet is pretty deadly with a crossbow. Let that one sink in for a second.
It’s perhaps surprising, given how much it was hyped up as being a Blair Witch parody, just how neatly the whole thing segued into action movie territory. Unlike past horror-themed efforts, the notion of it actually being a Bigfoot wandering around Santa Barbara was pretty swiftly dealt with, and after a brief dalliance with Deliverance, we were straight into action territory – largely helped by the imposing figure of The Big Show. As wrestlers go, he put in a performance that went well beyond ‘stand there and be colossal’, and so it’d be nice to see him in other roles. The Rock may have some competition on his hands.
In summary, then, Psych is three for three this series. Next week we have Jeffrey Tambor guest-starring, and if there’s anything I want to see more than Pop-Pop getting into trouble with Henry in Old Mexico, I can’t quite put my finger on it.
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