Psych: Psy vs. Psy
(S02E03) Lassiter: What color is that suit?
Agent Ewing: Black.
Lassiter: Really? Really? It seems blacker than black.
Ewing: It's Washington Black.
Man o' man o' man, did Shawn have to work his arse off tonight! For the second week in a row Mr. Spencer really had to put his skills to the test to show both the Santa Barbara police department and the Federal government what he could do. And, if that wasn't hard enough, he had to compete with another 'psychic' hired by the Treasury Department. In the end he got the culprit, of course, but it was fun to watch him squirm and try to keep up throughout the episode.
I thank the television gods for the way the episode turned out because, from what I saw in the previews, this looked to be another episode like the season premiere. In other words, the focus would be on the guest star, Lou Diamond Phillips, rather than the cast and the crime being solved. Thankfully that wasn't the case. In fact, it was a fine example of ensemble work. Everyone who stars on the show, including Kristen Nelson as 'Interim' Chief Karen Vick, had some input to the program.
However, that's not to say that Phillips hid in the shadows this evening. On the contrary, his role as Special Agent Lars Ewing was very silly. He played Ewing as the straightest, straight-laced G-Man I have seen in a long time. Yet, he had a smoldering passionate side, as seen in his flirtations with Detective Juliet O'Hara. And he had throwaway lines that, if you caught them in-between all of his unemotional seriousness, were funny.
For instance, after they apparently close the case on the counterfeiter they were chasing throughout the episode he casually asks for a hug from Juliet. Later, as Ewing and his psychic are leaving, he asks if Juliet has a MySpace page. Then there was the last scene of the episode, where Juliet imagines Ewing walking shirtless towards her precinct desk. Turns out he was shirtless and that he keeps a crisp white shirt folded neatly in his wallet. Good stuff.
Back to Shawn. He was on the ball this week. I have never seen him and Gus work together so well to piece together all of the mystery's clues. That back and forth between them while building Henry Spencer's wet bar (more on that scene at the end of the post) was nice to see because it showed them really melding as a team. As I said last week, Gus has been much more involved in the investigations this season.
I was so impressed with the way that Shawn and Gus handled themselves that I was a bit miffed when Henry Spencer told his son to quit working for the S.B. police because he felt that his powers didn't match up to the other psychic's. That was a bit out of character for Henry since he has been shown as having a grudging respect for the work his son does. If all that Corbin Bernsen was hired for this season was to berate Shawn then maybe there needs to be less of him on the show.
Shawn also had some fine retro moments this week. The best running gag was the horrible pineapple upside-down cake he made out of Easy Bake Oven. You would think that after 19 hours under a 60-watt bulb you'd get a better quality of cake. Other references were made to Mindy Cohn and the character Tootie from The Facts of Life, David Mamet, and Spandau Ballet.
Actually, Spandau Ballet's song True was playing in the background during the romantic scene between Shawn and the female psychic, Lindsay Leikin. Did you notice that the first name and last name of both 'psychics' start with the same initial? I wonder if that was done intentionally. Anyway, even though I've heard that song hundreds of times since its original release it still brought me back to slow-dancing at the school dance, my first crush, and spending my days listening to that song play every hour on Z-100 (The Flamethrower) in New York. Ah, good times
A brief mention about tonight's mystery. While I really liked how it all played out (even though there was blatant plug for Home Depot in there) I knew that Lindsay was the culprit about 10 minutes in. I mean, she wasn't a real psychic, so how did she know what the counterfeiter looked like? It was very predictable. Still, it was one of the better mysteries that the show has had.
Finally, before I leave you tonight, I wanted to go back to the scene where Shawn and Gus are asked to build a wet bar for Henry. Shawn mentions that it would be perfect for entertaining if Reggie Jackson and someone else I can't remember stopped by for Harvey Wallbangers. Well, watch the end of this week's Psych-Out and see how many other 70's references were mentioned in that scene. See you in seven.