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October 8, 2015

Psych: Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead (season finale)

by Richard Keller, posted Feb 16th 2008 9:02AM

Shawn makes the big reveal

(S02E16) "One more time, buddy. For justice." -- Shawn Spencer

Where has the time gone? After a very short second half, the second season finale of Psych is upon us. And, despite the semi-disaster that was the season premiere, it was a pretty decent sophmore run for the show. We got to see a good bit of development from all of the characters, an easing of the psychic element of Shawn's abilities, and some extra focus on those who surround the young Spencer. One can only hope that the show's run on NBC come March will interest some more fans to the program.

If it does bring in extra viewers for the third season, which begins this summer, they will be in for a treat that many fans of the show have been waiting for (SPOILER BEGINS HERE!): the introduction of Shawn's mother. I wasn't too surprised at the ending of this week's show; it was either going to be Shawn's mom, Henry's announcement that he was going to marry the woman he dated last episode, or that he was taking (Interim) Chief Vick's place as head of the Santa Barbara Police Department. Since we had a brief glimpse of her during the flashback opening, possibly the first time that has happened, I had a feeling that his mother would be tied into the episode one way or another.

Being that Henry Spencer is a pretty serious and un-imaginative guy, I'm guessing (hoping) that Shawn's mom will the free-spirited one and the person that Shawn looked up to more during her time at home. Then again, she could be as straight-shooting as her ex-husband. I'm curious to find out who they will cast as Shawn's mom. Gus got the motherly Phylicia Rashad as his parent, but I don't see someone similar being Shawn's mom. I'm thinking maybe Heather Locklear or Farrah Fawcett as the mom -- in other words, some 70's or 80's hottie. I'd be interested in your opinions.

Going back to (Interim) Chief Vick -- she's not Interim any more. Finally! I was lamenting in last week's column how, after two seasons, she still wasn't the permanent replacement. And, I was pretty convinced that she was actually leaving the show. Luckily, Shawn was able to step in and help her keep her job, minus the Interim attached to the title, thanks to a little side investigation he was doing concerning the Mayor and someone definitely not his wife. Why does it seem all politicians on television have a problem keeping it in their pants? If this is the way politics works in the real world I'm surprised the country hasn't totally collapsed.

Anyway, glad to see that the Chief is staying and that she has Shawn to thank for it. I think that's what makes Shawn so special and Psych work so well. Even though he seems to be in it all for personal glory he definitely wants to be someone who helps people out. But, I think he also wants someone to acknowledge that he's doing something nice, something special. Unfortunately, as of late, Shawn hasn't been getting that acknowledgment.

Take this week's reveal, for example. Shawn was able to tie two murders together and set up an elaborate reveal at the museum. However, as his description of the events went on Lassiter, O'Hara and even the assistant curator of the museum were able to piggyback onto the reveal and add their own information to it. Because of that, Shawn was left alone, like last week, without the usual adulation that he receives from the public.

This is good for Shawn because it makes him a bit more humble and mature. You heard him when Gus asked if he was the sensible one while the investigation was ongoing. Shawn's response: more and more it seems like it. I think that scares Shawn a bit as he as been the free-wheeling part of the Shawn-Gus team for the longest time. Granted, he still has his impish side, but he is taking his job much more seriously than when he first opened the agency.

I won't talk about the 80's retro-references this week, even though there were a number of them. What I will mention are some of the callbacks that were made. The most important one was the display of the dinosaur that Shawn and Gus discovered way back in the episode 'Sixty Five Million Years Off'. Well, it was actually Gus who discovered the dinosaur; Shawn, as usual, just got the credit. The other callback was made by Gus while he was watching Shawn talk to the museum's assistant curator on surveillance cameras. There were mumblings on how Shawn would mention obscure 80's references and then talk about his motorcycle -- the one that he doesn't even ride.

Despite Shawn's lack of psychic calls, this season finale went back to the roots of the show, making in quite enjoyable. I'm glad you could join me in the journey and hope to see you back here in the summer.

What did you think of Psych's second season?
Much better than the first season. We saw a lot of character growth.292 (70.2%)
It had some good points and some bad. It was okay.105 (25.2%)
The first season was much better than this one.19 (4.6%)

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I want to say that I have loved Psych from the beginning. We DVR it every Friday and I can actually let my preteens watch it without cringing. It makes our whole family laugh outloud and having gone through jr. high and high school in the 80's, my husband and I love the references to all things 80. I hope the writers keep it "famliy friendly" in the future. It's a great show!

February 18 2008 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tele-Toby:I've got a queston - when Shawn was on the phone throughout the museum, he refuted Gus' claim about his butt. (Can't remember the exact insult.) And he said it loud enough to make a museum patron turn around and stare at him.

Was that some kind of in-joke cameo? Like maybe Steve Franks appearing in his own show?

It was Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park (and more). He is very tall and he was standing near the dinosaur display. I thought many more people would know that. But even my husband who has read all of his books didn't recognize him. I got my book out and his picture is right inside the back flap. Very Cool!

February 18 2008 at 12:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jan's comment

good catch!

February 20 2008 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Chichian

I just thought that saying the name repeatedly was like an adulat talking to a child. When some adults talk to kids they repeat their name often to keep their attention

February 18 2008 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dan Chichian's comment
Dan Chichian

I meant adult.

February 19 2008 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The calling his name thing was obvious to me, in the scene where Gus is following him on the camera, I noticed he was saying it everytime he made a comment. It's a little distracting. Do they think we don't know the name of the main character?

However this is not a phenomenon isolated to Psych. On Smallville Lex can't talk to Clark without saying his name every sentance, and though I've only seen a handfull of episodes on CSI Miami, one of the only character's whose name I know is Eric because Horatio said it about fifty times per episode.

February 18 2008 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tele-Toby: It was "pancake butt," and I wondered the same thing about the guy who turned around.

February 17 2008 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i have been watching this show from the beginning. with this show friday, i noticed that the others characters, who see him very often, say his name "shawn" many times as they are talking to him.

i know i hardly ever say someone's name to them as i talk to them.

not a trait that takes from the show, but one i wonder if anyone else noticed.

February 17 2008 at 8:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to csttar63's comment

That's a tv thing, really. Names are used more frequently in tv conversations than they are in real life.

February 18 2008 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First of all, Heather Locklear was a pre-teen and teenager through most of the 70s. I would suspect you'd need someone within 10 years of Corbin Bernsen's age, and while Farrah Fawcett might fit that bill, but she's still fighting cancer, and true to form filming a reality series about it. If I we're going to mine Charlie's Angels for Shawn's mom, I might go with either Cheryl Ladd (who was much better than Fawcett on CA) or Jaclyn Smith (although she's actually several years older than Bernsen). How about Maureen McCormack, she's only 2 years younger than Bernsen?

As for the series, I'm actually missing some of Shawn's "psychic" antics. I know the people around him have pretty much figured out the whole thing is a sham, but it was always fun seeing him pull off the final reveal with the psychic schtick. It's still a fun series to watch, especially for a genre that's getting a little old these days.

February 17 2008 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The pineapple was on the gift table for the Chief at the end.

February 17 2008 at 6:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Shawn, to Jules: "You had your chance!"

February 16 2008 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment

I was shocked when Shawn said that to Jules...and I LOVED it! You know that something will happen between them eventually, but it was nice to see that he was sort of hurt by it and moved on (or at least made the appearance of moving on) because it will only impress Juliet and create more sparks between them. Great decision by the writers.

February 17 2008 at 4:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

There was another call-back to a previous episode, when Gus said he needed to borrow somebody's cat. And then he asked about Buzz McNab.

Didn't McNab get custody of that cat by the end of the "9 Lives" episode?

I've got a queston - when Shawn was on the phone throughout the museum, he refuted Gus' claim about his butt. (Can't remember the exact insult.) And he said it loud enough to make a museum patron turn around and stare at him.

Was that some kind of in-joke cameo? Like maybe Steve Franks appearing in his own show?

And once again, if there was a pineapple reference, I completely missed it......

February 16 2008 at 6:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Toby OB's comment

yea there was one. the gifts for the chief sitting on the table--one of the gifts was pineapple with a bow

February 20 2008 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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