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October 24, 2014

Psych: Disco Didn't Die. It Was Murdered!

by Richard Keller, posted Aug 16th 2008 11:00AM

Shawn has a psychic reveal on the latest episode of Psych

(S03E05) Methuselah Honeysuckle and Old Scratch Johnson -- The names Henry Spencer gave Gus and himself while Shawn was introducing them at the DA's office.

Ready for this? We are nearly three-quarters of way through the first half of the third season of Psych. After this week's episode there are only two more left until the season takes a break. Other than the annual holiday special that will air in December the next time we will see Shawn and Gus after the first week of September will be the middle of January. So, enjoy while you can.

Well, I kept wishing for an episode where Henry and Shawn would truly work together on a case. And, I got my wish this week. Not only did they work on a case together, but it was Henry's biggest case while he was still on the police force. So, there was really pressure on both the younger and older Spencer men to solve the case. Of course, this led to some tension between the two.

The tension was inevitable since it was a battle of two strong personalities: the showy Shawn and the no-nonsense Henry. Their two different styles of detective work were easily discernible during this episode, particularly when they were together at the District Attorney's office. While Shawn was out there pushing his "psychic" mojo to work on the administrative assistant, Henry was 'Yeah, yeah, you're going to have another baby, and it's a boy.' What was interesting to see was they were both looking at the same pieces of evidence at the same time. Whether Shawn likes it or not, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Throughout the episode there was always a chance that the competition between the two would explode into an all-out argument, and it did about halfway through the show. What wasn't expected was the person who would breakup the argument. Sure, Gus is still a fraidy cat -- as seen when he ran away from the bomb site at the end of the episode -- but he is also showing more and more backbone each time. So, when he scolded both Spencer men in the way they were acting it was fun to watch. Particularly when he said that Henry was, well, old, and Shawn had a brilliant idea once in awhile. What it did was reflect the anger they had against each other to Gus.

What this case did was to bring Shawn and Henry a bit closer in their relationship. This is something that has been brewing since Shawn's mother revealed it was her that requested a divorce from her husband. Shawn actually felt bad at the way his father showed defeat at losing his biggest case. Henry, once the case was resolved, was genuinely thankful that Shawn helped to solve the mystery. Whether or not this father-son bonding will continue throughout the rest of the season has yet to be determined.

There were two differences to this episode that I found interesting. One was the cold open. For the first time, I believe, young Shawn was not a part of the flashback. Most likely, this was due to the timeframe it took place in -- around 1978. We rarely see Henry doing any police work in these flashbacks (though, he's in uniform most of the time), so it was good to see him strutting his stuff this time around. The other difference was the opening theme. I don't believe that we have ever heard the first verse to the theme song since the show began. It's very rare that shows actually have an opening theme, so to create a longer version of the opening is refreshing.

Other items of interest, including this week's pop culture references:

  • Señor Gotcha -- one of Shawn's photogenic poses
  • Gus has $400 in his wallet and sock, which is 'Just In Case' money
  • Pookie Wiggenton was the name of one of Henry's contacts. Pookie was portrayed by Ted Lange, who fit quite comfortably into the 70s motif.
  • One of the older Students Against Government soldiers was Jere Burns, who starred on the NBC sitcom Dear John
  • The further connection between Jules and Lassie as they try to get the good detective cases. And, by the way, is Lassiter going gray?
  • Two of my favorite quotes from Shawn this week: 'I'm getting some serious jive and it is fly.' and 'The jive's over. We should go before people explode.'
  • This week's pop culture references: Mimeograph machine, Raiders of the Lost Ark, National Treasure, Phil Collins and the Genesis song "Invisible Touch," and The French Connection's Popeye Doyle

Next week, the focus is on Chief Vick as Shawn and Gus head off-shore.

What did you think of the longer opening theme to Psych?
I liked it. It was interesting to hear the first verse of the theme song.291 (73.1%)
I like the shorter opening theme better53 (13.3%)
I wish the show skipped the opening theme to air more show.13 (3.3%)
Psych has an opening theme?41 (10.3%)

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Akoc

Hello.

I love Psych but i am not American. Therefore, i didnt understand these jokes : methuselah honeysuckle (i get methuselah but not honeysuckle), and senor gotcha neither.

Thanks a lot if you can help me.

August 18 2008 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JFTA

I loved this episode. I backed up the "Shut your mouth" line by Gus about 5 times. I was also waiting for Ben Lange to give the Isaac point, but no such luck.

August 18 2008 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CrazyWatto

Wasn't Shawn channeling Starsky everytime he was wearing his 70's 'disguise'?
I thought I caught Mod Squad moments and definite Starsky and Hutch bits, as well as 70's detective TV music.
The kids loved the car but I knew it was doomed.
Also, isn't Pookie a reference to Huggy Bear?

August 17 2008 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allison Solow

I thought this was a weak episode. I think I have high expectations based on the previews and it didn't deliver. The undercover '70s garb was a throw away. And the mystery wasn't very complicated. I think they've spoiled me. I expect their "A" game every week.

August 17 2008 at 10:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
csttar63

this may be sexist since i am a guy saying this. but clearly "jules" went on a diet and is waaaayyy too skinny. she was a thick fine sista the first two seasons. the pressure in Hollywood strikes again.

any amens???????????

August 17 2008 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to csttar63's comment
Frank

uh.... no.

August 18 2008 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
seth

i love the senor gotcha line....

Can everyone please start emailing magazines and such -- such as letters@ew.com or editor@usatoday.com and start talking about how great this show is! It's doing great in the ratings, but i don't feel enough people are even aware of the show -- especially james Roday who should be nominated for best actor in a comedy! It's just a shame when people say there is nothing good to watch on tv.

August 17 2008 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

Great episode, and I'm glad someone else noticed not only the hubcap falling off (which I loved) but the continuity error in the next shot of the passenger-side of the car a few seconds later which had the hubcap still in place. That implies to me that the hubcap flying off was not planned, but rather, they shot the "quickly pulling out of the driveway to give chase" scene last, after the rest of the chase scene had already been shot (with all hubcaps).

August 17 2008 at 1:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment
Brian

I think the "continuity error" was on purpose. It was a call-back to shows like CHiPs where you would see a hubcap fly off a car and then 10 seconds later, you would see all the hubcaps still on. I got a very "CHiPs-ish" vibe from the whole scene.

August 18 2008 at 12:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anita

This was a fabulous ep. But, because I adjusted to the less laugh-oriented ones, it took me a while to re-adjust to this old-style ep. I missed seeing Gus's goofiness and Sean's camera-mugging. I also liked seeing Jules develop as a detective i.e. no longer playing bright eyed assistant, but doubling with Lassiter to stick it to someone else.

August 17 2008 at 12:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tv.squad.zkam

Weird. I knew something was different about the theme song, but we've definitely heard that first verse before... Are you saying that the theme usually starts off with the chorus "I know, you know..."

(Actually now that I've listened to the mp3, I think the theme usually has a shorter intro, and goes from the first verse right into the chorus without the short bridge in between).

August 17 2008 at 12:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mike

The theme song is by creator Steve Frank's band "Friendly Indians." What played Friday was the first verse if the song. You can hear the entire song at
http://www.friendlyindians.com/

August 16 2008 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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