Psych: Gus Walks Into a Bank (summer finale)
(S03E08) "Free hugs. Who's next?" -- Shawn Spencer, after saving his "kidnapper".
Woosh! Feel that? That was the first half of this season of Psych blowing right past us to this week's summer finale. As the show has done since its inception in 2006 it is taking the fall off and, save for a holiday special sometime in December, returning at the beginning of 2009. While one side of me understands the reason for this -- survive the onslaught of the network season premieres -- the other side is sad to see the show go so quickly.
Save for the episode entitled 'Daredevils', the first half of Psych has been pretty good. They've done some experimenting with the format, some character development, but have maintained the light touch that has made this show stand out in the crowd of ever-increasing first-run cable shows. With this week's episode we saw a further example of tweaks to the format as we had an episode that was equal parts drama and comedy.
Now, some fans will grouse that these types of episodes mess with what made the show so successful. True, but it's these installments that also keep the format and characters fresh. Plus, this week's installment got to show off a more serious side of all of the characters. Particularly Shawn, who seemed to have more dramatic overtones this time around then he did during the season premiere.
Oh, it wasn't all anger and maudlin for the young Spencer. There were plenty of times that he displayed the comic side that all of the women love. Particularly in his scenes with Jules once he found out she was dating the hostage negotiator. Or, was that more jealousy than humor? Face the facts, the boy really likes Jules! Then again, it could have been anger at her dating someone several, several, several years older than her. It's all so confusing!
Okay, his scenes with Gus in the bank were funny. Well, Gus was actually the funny one as he came to so many revelations during his two hours of "hostage time". Then, he expressed his true feelings for Shawn before Spencer was released in order to continue working on the kidnapping case. They must have been his true feelings because the hug he gave his friend was really tight. Besides those moments, and his concern that the kidnapper would use up his work cell phone minutes, Gus was very stoic and unusually calm during his time as a hostage.
So, maybe Shawn wasn't that funny at all. For not the first time he was the serious one surrounded by the funny characters. Perhaps it was the guilt of letting Gus go into the bank alone that stemmed his usual frivolity. Or, his sense of purpose to make sure Phil Stubbins' wife was found okay. Either reason, this was another side of Shawn that we saw this week. The side that was actually playing the role of a true law enforcement officer. Minus the gun and shield, of course.
Shawn had a few interesting connections with other members of the police in this episode. After a long dry spell, Shawn was actually interacting with Lassiter in order to determine where Phil's wife was being held. He even brought up the fact that he felt that Lassie didn't really like him. Yet, Carlton broke a number of protocols this time around in order to help Shawn out. Maybe it was due to the fact that he was giving it to the hostage negotiator, Commander Luntz, whom Carlton didn't particularly like. There were plenty of times that Lassie broke a smirk when Shawn verbally attacked the negotiator.
Speaking about Commander Luntz...I'd be interested in knowing if anyone else out there felt that this character could have been a grown-up version of Shawn. From the way he ran his hand through his hair, to his sunglasses, to his observational skills, Luntz certainly could have been Shawn if the young Spencer decided to get really serious about his job. That's a likely reason why Shawn didn't particularly like the Commander. That and the aforementioned fact that Jules was dating him.
The guest casting for this episode worked out very well. Gary Cole is always good to call on for arrogance... Office Space is the perfect example of this. It's the deepness and, heh, timbre of his voice that make it work so well for him. And, there's always the chance that some of his Mike Brady persona will seep out into the character as well. As for Alan Ruck -- frankly, I still see him as Cameron from Ferris Bueller's Day Off always feel a bit shocked as I see him age (he's 52 now and was 30 when he starred in the film). Regardless of that, Ruck is a very good character actor and can switch from role to role pretty easily. Just take a look at the difference from his role on Psych as a middle-aged, suburban husband to his role a few weeks ago as the slightly off-kilter scientist on Eureka.
Though this was a good episode there were three things that bothered me. First was the situation with the shoes. While Phil's wife is describing the shoes of the second person who kidnapped her, Shawn goes through the photographic catalog in his brain to determine who was wearing those shoes. Didn't all of the hostages have their shoes removed prior to Shawn getting into the bank? Or, was that after? The next thing that bothered me was the next-to-last scene. After the fairly frantic pace and seriousness of the rest of the episode, the scene where they find the second kidnapper in the air ducts was extremely incomplete. Where did Gus pop up from? Why was Luntz being so agreeable? Why weren't they crying when they entered the bank (tear gas was still in the air)? Was Phil arrested or let go?
The third thing that bothered me was the ad for the new CBS series The Mentalist. Uh, can you say ripoff? This may have been a local ad on my USA Network feed, but why in heck would you advertise a series about a very observant detective who people think has mental powers on a currently running series about a very observant detective who people think has mental powers. Perhaps it was a ploy by CBS who wanted to say 'You like Psych? Then come over to The Mentalist while Psych is taking a break.' I just found the whole thing a bit awkward.
Before I leave you for the fall break I do want to mention the location of the pineapple. Okay, not so much a location as a mention of the word. it seems that this week's pineapple reference was when Shawn mentioned that there weren't any chunks of the fruit on the pizzas that were given to the hostages. If there was a physical appearance of the pineapple this episode I didn't see it.
That's it! Stay tuned to this Friday night, 10:00 PM space for reviews of NBC's Life, whose second season premieres in October. Then, once that is canceled, come on back in January for more antics of the Psych detective agency.
|Certainly could be.||124 (39.7%)|
|No way. Luntz had too much arrogance.||139 (44.6%)|
|Really hard to tell.||49 (15.7%)|