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October 6, 2015

Psych: From the Earth to Starbucks

by Richard Keller, posted Jan 28th 2007 10:30AM

(S01E10) I predict we'll solve it Friday at 10:01pm, then maybe watch some cable. -- Shawn Spencer

This was a very significant episode. Not because of the mystery being solved (which was very weak), but because of the character development we saw in three of the main players -- Carlton Lassiter, Henry Spencer, and our fair-haired boy Shawn Spencer.

Let's begin with Carlton. As I mentioned last week I noticed that Lassiter performance in the second-half of the first season was much more subdued than he was first portrayed. At the beginning he was shown almost like an amalgam of other over-the-top television cops. With this episode we can see he has been considerably toned down and made to be a bit more human.

There were two revelations that came from Lassiter in this week's episode. One was that he found Shawn Spencer's abilities astounding and that he knew that Shawn's 'psychic' abilities were a bunch of crap. Being he made these statements while he was drunk they may be invalidated down the line, but it shows that there is now another person (other than Gus and Shawn's father Henry) who knows that Shawn is not a psychic. I don't think that there's any danger of this show moving away from the fake psychic angle, though, as there are plenty of other people, including Lassiter's partner Detective O'Hara, who think Shawn has a unique power.

My favorite part of the episode (other than Shawn's narration of the planetarium show) was the bar conversation between the drunk Lassiter and Shawn. This was the first time that these two had a lengthy mano-a-mano conversation in the history of the show. And, it wasn't one where Shawn was talking down to Carlton. Shawn seemed genuinely concerned that Lassiter had feelings of inadequacies as a detective. This was another significant development on Psych. In the beginning Shawn was shown as this young guy who went from job to job, woman to woman, trying to find a place in it and being a bit selfish while doing so. Now that he has a legitimate job he has certainly grown up.

Take the first scene of the episode . . . his date with a department store counter girl. He could have taken advantage of her, not even realizing that her boyfriend was about to propose to her. But, his abilities kicked in and he took the high road by telling his date that her boyfriend was probably looking for a ring, rather than cheating on her. I don't know if this is something he would've done before he became an investigator. Perhaps, deep down inside, he is changing his ways because he feels guilty about posing as a fake psychic.

Besides Shawn's growing maturity there was one other revelation about the young Spencer . . . he still isn't over the death of his mother. This was shown when he discovered that his father was dating another woman, which was Henry's revelation. This is fairly important since, up to this time, Henry Spencer was shown only as the firm father figure who didn't take any crud from his son. In this week's episode it was shown that Henry does have other things going on in his life and, despite what he says about to his son, he loves him and cares about his feelings about him returning to the dating scene.

A brief mention about this week's mystery. As I mentioned at the beginning of the review it was pretty weak. It involved the unsolved murder of an astronomer at the Vancouver Santa Barbara Space Center. Since there were only three suspects, and one of them was the dead astronomer's partner, you could kind of guess who the murder was halfway through the show. The only good thing about the mystery was the appearance of Richard Kind as the other astronomer. Since he's played some pretty over-the-top characters in the past it was interesting to see him play a fairly low-key person on Psych.

Despite the simplicity of the crime, I found this week's episode of Psych to be very entertaining due to all of the character developments. Here's hoping it continues.

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Is it just me or did Shawn do a Borat impression when he said "Niccce!" after Gus got the phone number?

January 29 2007 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

another great episode. shawn and gus are a great team (comedy team that is) and this is the first show i look forward to watching the credits (although this weeks wasn't the best).

January 29 2007 at 10:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

After only a few episodes of Psych had aired, I thought it was somewhat fun, but some of the characters, like Lassiter and Shawn, were a little too two-dimensional and irritating. Since its return, the toned-down characters are far more likable. Looks like maybe the producers listened to fans, or maybe figured it out on their own, but either way this show is improving each week. An added bonus is that Psych is also family-friendly so I don't have to send my little one away when it's on.

January 28 2007 at 6:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i'm a little annoyed that the article doesn't mention gus at all - he makes the show for me. i loved the little victory dance he started when he figured out the mystery.
and in the opening flashback -was it the same little gus from last season? i must have forgotten what he looked like.

January 28 2007 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

I know I saw Kirsten Nelson's name in the guest star credits at the beginning of the episode. She plays Karen Vick on the show, but we haven't seen her since her character had the baby.

Yet I didn't see her in the episode; did I look away at some point and missed her in a cameo?

Because I'm thinking that she was the voice we heard coming from inside Henry Spencer's house....

I could be wrong; I usually am.....

January 28 2007 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

This show is consistently fun to watch ... even if the mysteries are lightweight ... the character intertaction is more than enough

BTW ... Detective O'Hara's wardrobe has changed as well (no more giant colars)

January 28 2007 at 1:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I haven't watched the episode yet, but I have taped it. I saw part of it and from the beginnnig you could tell the mystery would be lame and the charaters would shine.

January 28 2007 at 11:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And the woman who played the girl that Gus wanted to date was Dule Hill's actual wife, Nicole Lynn.

January 28 2007 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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