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October 4, 2015

Psych: Woman Seeking Dead Husband - Smokers Okay, No Pets

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 29th 2006 10:12AM

The cast of USA Networks Psych(S01E04) Let me just get this first little item out of the way and we can move on. There was a scene early in this week's show where Shawn Spencer and his friend/business partner Gus are talking outside of their detective agency, which is at the beach. Behind Shawn we see the continuation of the beach and a seemingly large evergreen forest looming just above the water.

I'm pretty sure that there aren't any large evergreen forests near the beach in Santa Barbara, where the show is supposed to take place.You would find that type of stuff in the Pacific Northwest, including Vancouver, British Columbia where, by coincidence, Psych is filmed. I only ask that the producers try to limit the amount of outside shots to avoid breaking the illusion that the show is based in Southern California.

There, I feel better now. So, let's get on with the review.

This was the funniest episode of the series so far. James Roday's Shawn Spencer was really on the ball this week showing his true Ben Stiller side. The lines were flowing out of him fast and furious and he was getting some really good zingers in for everyone on the show. Dule Hill's Gus was also very strong as we saw the first 'romantic interest' for Mr. Guster. Well, it was actually more of a crush than a romantic interest. To be truthful, this week's client, who wanted Shawn to speak to her dead husband and find out where he hid millions of dollars in cash, reminded Gus of her former 37-year-old babysitter.

In addition to the strong performances by Roday and Hill, we also got to see a bit more of the relationship between Detectives Roland Lassiter and Juliet O'Hara. You can see that they will be total opposites of each other. Lassiter feels that he has carte blanch to do whatever he feels like to solve a case, and doesn't need any additional help; whether it come from his partner or from a 'psychic'. O'Hara is a by-the-book type of policewoman who thinks her partner is a little too eager. Yet, she's also quite shrewd and knows how to keep Shawn on a leash (albeit a short one) when it comes to investigations.

As I mentioned, this was one of the funniest episodes, and I'll give you an example of why. In one scene Shawn and Gus are caught breaking into the motel room of two former criminals who are also looking for the money that Shawn and Gus's client wants. One of the hoods gives Shawn an ultimatum: prove that he's a psychic or die. He tests Shawn by asking how many fingers he has behind his back. Shawn gets it right everytime because he sees the man's hand through a reflection in the television and a water pitcher. The convict then moves away from the reflecting elements and asks the same question again. Only this time he stands in front of Gus, who gives Shawn the amount of fingers behind the man's back. Very amusing.

Other than the little complaint I had at the beginning of the post, I had two minor issues about this otherwise strong episode. First, the whole thing seemed a little bit incomplete to me. In the first three episodes the crime was wrapped up by Shawn during one of his 'psychic' moments. However, this wasn't the case this week. It actually ended on a bit of a flat note. This feeling may be due to the fact that I'm used to seeing crimes wrapped up on shows like Psych, so it just may be something I need to get used to. The second issue I had was lack of Corbin Bernsen's Henry Spencer. He had some good performances during the first two episodes, and only one scene last week. I hope that this doesn't mean a smaller role for Shawn's father, because they do have a relationship that I'd like to see more of.

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Erik Eshelman

Another hint that the show is filmed in Canada (and the producers aren't into details) is the car Gus drives. It's a Toyota ECHO hatchback which is not sold in the U.S.

August 03 2006 at 8:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Moncur

The dialogue is so good, I want to like this show. (The two random mentions of "mahjongg" were priceless.) If only there weren't so many complete idiots who are willing to believe he's psychic... I mean, really. At least "The Dead Zone" takes place in a tiny village so we can expect a bit less skepticism.

Also, is it me, or has the bad guy ended up being the woman Sean (or Gus, in this case) has a crush on in 3 out of 4 episodes?

July 30 2006 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I laughed at the Yahtzee line, too but my favorite was:

Shawn says:
Gus, there are no rules against having a séance. Anyone can have one. It's like a garage sale or plastic surgery.

That cracked me up.
And I loved the finger scene. Gus' facial expressions were hilarious.

July 29 2006 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. Funbags

Here's a tip - if the occasional shot of an evergreen tree in a show with a local (which is secondary - no wait thirdary or fourthary to the plot) that doesn't support that type of fauna bugs you - you need to turn off the TV, and realize that you may be a tad too anal about things.

July 29 2006 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the premise of this show is flawed. The fake psychic part is a real downside.

I am going to watch the third show and then decide if I should bother to continue watching.

July 29 2006 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan S.

my vote for funniest line in last nights episode went something like this.

Shawn: This it bingo!

Gus: You know i hate it when you say bingo.

Shawn: Yahtzee!

I don't know what made that so funny to me, but i thought it was.

A really good episode. I am really liking this show, its funny and the acting is spot on. Excellent addition to my TV watching schedule.

July 29 2006 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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