Psych: Poker? I Barely Know Her
(S01E14) You knew that a moment like this would eventually come up . . . a time where a father needed his son's help. I mean, even though Henry Spencer shows reluctance about his son's detective skills (especially since he masks them with a fake psychic power), inside he is extremely proud of how far his son has come. So, when an old friend of Henry's asks for help in finding his son the senior Spencer happens to drop Shawn's name. Ah, parents.
Shawn doesn't disappoint this client. In fact, he goes over the top in solving the mystery. By 'over the top' I mean going severely psychic in the presence of the father and his client. As I've mentioned in previous posts Shawn has been pretty subdued when using his psychic powers. Not this episode, though. He went whole hog just to put his Dad in an awkward position. Ah, children.
All in all, it was a very entertaining episode to watch. It was also quite different in tone then previous offerings. Usually the mystery surrounds someone dying or being greatly injured. Not this time around. The only injury occurred when the client's son got kneed in the nose by a goon in a black suit. It was more a story about fathers who think their sons don't try hard enough no matter what they do.
What worked well was Shawn's utilization of his abilities when it came to gambling. With his keen sense of observation he's a natural at games such as poker, where any type of facial or hand movement can signal a good or bad hand for another player. It also helped in solving the mystery of why their client's son was stealing money from his father. Turns out the guy in the black suit was someone the son kept losing money to. Luckily, Shawn figured out he was using marked cards.
There were a number of 1980's references in this week's episode, starting with guest-star Dan Lauria as Shawn and Gus' client. No matter what he stars in I will always remember Dan as Jack Arnold from The Wonder Years. Then there was a brief riff about the NBC sitcom 227, which starred Marla Gibbs, Jackee, and Hal Williams as Lester Jenkins (that's Gus favorite character on the show). Finally, there was a reference to Ferris Bueller's Day Off, one of the greatest movies of the 80's. It came when the client's son said he would confront his Dad and take full responsibilities for his actions. In response Shawn muttered, "That's very Cameron Frye of you". The son didn't have any idea what he was talking about.
Now, I need to ask you all a question . . . Is this the first time that Shawn and Gus had no interaction with Lassiter and O'Hara for the entire episode (at least until the end)? Their two storylines never merged throughout the show. That's okay, because Lassiter and O'Hara's storyline was fairly incidental: Juliet trying to find out what Carlton wanted for his birthday. We did get to meet Lassiter's mother, though, and find out that his nickname was Booker. By the way, a nod of thanks to the producers of Psych for letting Juliet wear her hair down throughout the episode.
That is for this week. Next week I review the season finale, which involves a haunted sorority house.