Friday, February 28, 2014

Psych - 1967: A Psych Odyssey

Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson, who also directed the episode) returns to Santa Barbara to say goodbye by announcing she's taken a new position in San Fransisco. One group hug later, Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) rounds up Shawn (James Roday), Gus (Dulé Hill), Juliet (Maggie Lawson), and Henry (Corbin Bernsen) to investigate an unsolved 1967 homicide in order to impress Mayor Swaggerty (John Kapelos), whose uncle was the victim, and become the SBPD's next Chief of Police. The cast does double duty by playing various roles in 60s flashbacks (including Hill performing as the lead singer of the lounge band) as Lassiter attempt to piece together the case with the help of the remaining living witnesses (Loretta Devine, Peggy Lipton) while becoming increasingly obsessed with solving the crime.

With the help of his team, flashbacks, and even a dream hallucination, Lassiter eventually solves the crime and earns his much-deserved promotion. However, the mayor's conditions (including forcing Juliet out of the SBPD) are too much for the loyal Lassiter to bear. It also makes Juliet's decision regarding Vick's offer to join her in San Fransisco all to easy, and allows Lassiter to keep his new position without turning on his partner. Of course the choice means a major bump in the road for Shawn and Juliet's relationship.

With four episodes still remaining in the show's final season "1967: A Psych Odyssey" offers tearful goodbyes to two of the show's major characters book ending the goofy episode of Lassiter's quest for his dream job and odd 60s flashbacks with emotional sequences that stay true to the heart of the show and the relationships of the tight-knit SBPD family. Lawson and Odmundson's final scene together reminds us why, despite their numerous differences and arguments, Juliet and Carlton are not only partners but dear friends as neither will let the other throw away a chance to go after their dreams. And then, amazingly, Lawson turns around and delivers another emotionally-charged scene to close the episode.

Shawn and Juliet's final scene is exceptional in showcasing how loving and mature Shawn can be when necessary (admittedly something we rarely see), especially while being blindsided with a situation completely out of his control as he understands (without Gus' help) that he can't stand in the way of Juliet's opportunity. A fight between the Shawn and Juliet would have achieved the same tearful cliffhanger, but what Roday and fellow co-writer Tim Meltreger deliver is something far more memorable and bittersweet as the show continues to count down its remaining episodes with, I'm guessing, several more big changes (and tearful farewells) yet to come.

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