S07E01: Santabarbaratown 2
“Psych” started four years after “Monk“, but a lot of people associated the two together, because “Psych” typically aired directly after “Monk“, and the two shows often had mash-up commercials where the two main characters spoke to each other. It also had similar concepts of police work and detectives. Obviously, the USA Network is notorious for its “characters welcome” catchphrase, which went into why the two characters interacted. Now, ‘Psych‘ is on its seventh year, and to give you “Monk” fans an idea of how long that is, “Monk” only aired for eight seasons. That’s right, “Psych” is rolling up there, so will it live longer than the other great detective series? Let’s look at the seventh season opener, “Santabarbaratown 2“
In case you forgot (which is quite easy to do with a break that lasts nearly eleven months, versus the usual three), season six ended with a cliffhanger. Shawn’s dad was facing off with an old police buddy of his, with the barrel of a gun staring him in the face. Not the most suspenseful cliffhanger seen by the show, but it works. So Henry is in fact shot, and ignoring the shooter, Shawn rushes his father into the hospital. When Juliet tells him he should get some rest and stay out of the case, he quickly accepts, only to gather Gus up to catch the shooter.
With the help of some “psychic” abilities and sleep deprivation, Shawn and Gus are led to a shooting range, and when they are told the manager only comes out when a problem arises…Shawn obviously creates a problem by going on a shooting spree, don’t worry…he didn’t cause any casualties. Turns out the leader was someone they already threw in prison on an earlier episode. Going to see the man, they were a bit too late, as a sniper guns him down before he can tell Shawn or Gus anything. Lassiter informs them that only two men are so talented in the area as to be able to make a shot like that, himself being one of them.
So Shawn and Gus once again make themselves known by showing up to a book signing from a man that is in charge of a charitable donation called “Feed Everyone”. The shooter was apparently a security guard for the foundation. They are thrown out when they create even more problems and return to their headquarters to think out a good plan. That’s when they sit on their couch, finding a land mine planted directly underneath. They of course get this taken care of (with no problem or tension).
It turns out this episode was about arms dealing, a front put on by Feed Everyone, and after a few explosions and CGI-vomit broken glass sequences, the guys solve the case and save the day. Henry gets better and all is well.
One thing that used to be hilarious about the show is the endless cracks and over-the-top humor at psychic powers that Shawn exerted himself with. So now I have to ask myself what in the world is this, one finger to the temple for a split second garbage? He clearly isn’t trying anymore, as the story seems to just be solely going after the mystery of the show, and forgetting its origins of what made Shawn so special in the first place. Sure, it still has cracks at pop culture references, but like many shows before it, it is beginning to lose what made it special.
There is a different and interesting new take on Shawn’s power of observation. Imagine “300”, where time slows down and then when he looks at words on a document, a slice of the paper lifts in 3D instead of highlighting, as previous seasons have done. I’m not too sure on how I personally feel about that, because it was clear that not only the power of observation is taking advantage of their apparent new-found computer graphics. There was CGI all over the place in this episode, so the real question is if they intend to continue with the CGI, because as cool as it was in the first episode, that can get very old very fast.
Overall, this was a decent episode of “Psych”, was it really on par with many of the other premieres? Not at all, but was decent on its own. We were able to see a different side to Shawn, which was sleep deprived and pissed, which affected his mentality. I liked it, I didn’t love it.