After what I thought was a partially weak season premiere, Psych rebounded with two hotly entertaining episodes that remind us fans why we love the series so much.
While both “Feet Don’t Kill Me Now” and “Not Even Close…Encounters” were generally awesome, the best part of both episodes was the slightly increased focus on Gus. It’s not that Gus isn’t given much to do on a regular basis, but for whatever reason, these two episodes feature a much more playful and sometimes totally goofy Burton Guster that isn’t so worried about his “other” job and the stresses that Shawn brings to his life. Not only is that good for the character dynamics and the tone of the series — in the sense that Shawn isn’t the only goofball — but it allows Dule Hill to prove just how damn funny he is in this role. His tap dancing skills were sweet and funny and I appreciated the switch up on “Encounters” that saw Gus push for the more outlandish theory while Shawn tried to rein him in. It’s little touches like those that can keep a procedural comedy in its fifth season fresh.
Moreover, I liked the partner switch in “Feet,” if only because I can’t remember the series attempting that gimmick ever, or for at least a long time. It was a smart way to bring Juliet back into the fold while reminding viewers of the things between she and Shawn. Plus, we don’t get to see Lassy and Gus interact too often on their own and if it also includes the latter teaching the former how to tap dance, well even better. And really, it’s totally believable that Shawn and Gus would be immature enough for a day or two to turn on one another for some sort of minor glory. I’m sure that says something about them as characters, but whatever, it’s Psych. In fact, I would have liked to see the new partnerships last a little longer, at least through the whole episode.
“Encounters” holds a special place in my heart, because I, like Gus, Shawn and random friend from the past we’ve never met Dennis (Freddie Prinze!), believe and hold a vested interest in aliens. It’s actually hard to believe that the series has taken this long to get to the topic, but I appreciate how the story was executed and probably because of my personal thoughts, I stayed more intrigued by the case in this episode than in either of the first two. I think Prinze is underrated as a comedic actor — but a horrible dramatic one, see: 24 season eight — as I enjoyed his ABC comedy Freddie, and he was just fine here as the closeted geek trying to be a jock for his super-fine wife. Also funny: Gus being the one to fawn over the wife, in a kind of creepy way.
Two fine episodes of Psych. Gosh, I love this series.