A Farewell to Psych: My Top Ten Psych Episodes

Psych is probably the only show I found completely on accident. Almost everything I watch is either a result of my friends pressuring me or displaying so much excitement about a show that I have to see what it’s all about (like Parks and Recreation), or it’s a case of me following an actor to a new project (following Joel McHale from The Soup to Community, or following Katie Cassidy from Gossip Girl to Arrow).

But I had only basic cable for the longest time, and no inkling of the offerings on cable networks. This was also back in the dark ages, before I had a cable box, much less a DVR, so anytime I was stuck at home trying to fill my time, I had to manually flip through the channels to find something to watch. One day, I was sick with one of the worst flus I’ve ever endured, and I was too tired to keep checking for a mindless romcom or a Friends marathon. I landed on USA Network, and it happened to be during an all-day Psych marathon. I was hooked after the first episode.

That was 2008. I’ve watched the show hungrily ever since that marathon, because no other show on TV can quite match the irreverent-yet-enthusiastic writing style, the campy-but-loveable characters, and the ridiculous plots and meta references that each episode provides. After eight seasons of ups and downs (yes, there were downs, even on one of my all-time favorite TV shows) it’s time to say goodbye. Here are my Top Ten Psych Episodes, plus honorable mentions, and here’s hoping that tonight’s series finale gives us all of the closure and a minimal amount of tears. {Tears for Fears plays softly in the background.}


 

Honorable Mentions

 

 

Ghosts {Season 3, Episode 1}

I loved seeing Gus in his day job, and I loved seeing how much Shawn could screw it up for him. The stuff with his mother was just added bonus.

 

Gus’ Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy {Season 2, Episode 10}

Shawn managing to get both of Gus’ parents accused of murder would’ve been enough to land this episode on my Top 15, but adding in Lassiter’s storyline, this really is a stellar episode. Plus I’m a sucker for Christmas specials.

 

The Greatest Adventure in the History of Basic Cable {Season 3, Episode 4}

A treasure hunt, complete with a double-agent, a lost Puma, and Shawn’s seldom-mentioned Uncle Jack. This episode is always a lot of fun to rewatch.

 

Tuesday the 17th {Season 3, Episode 12}

This is always on my list of Halloween episodes, and for good reason. It’s the perfect amount of creepy and funny, and it ends on a serious note. It’s clear James Roday had a lot of fun directing this one.

 

Heeeeere’s Lassie {Season 6, Episode 12}

If you’re a fan of Tim Omundson, this is the episode for you. If you’re not a fan of Tim Omundson, you will be after you watch this episode.

For me, these Honorable Mentions are more like “alternates” depending on my mood — and sometimes others that didn’t quite make the cut (like the Yin/Yang trilogy, or “Feet Don’t Kill Me Now”) end up on the alternates list, too. But for the most part, my Top Ten is pretty consistent, so without further ado…


 

My Top Ten Psych Episodes

10. “Deez Nups” {Season 7, Episode 7}

 

 

“This whole thing started because my ass was on the line. Self-preservation, Jules, you gotta understand that. I didn’t have a choice. And then we sorta found a groove. And by the time you showed up, it was so much fun. We put away like a hundred criminals. Most of them were murderers. I’m good at what I do. And what I do… it’s good, isn’t it?”

“What are you talking about? Are you telling me this is all a lie?”

“Please don’t make me answer that.”

There’s so much to love about this episode. Lassiter finally gets to marry the woman of his dreams, Henry gets back in the game after suffering a bullet to the chest in the previous season, Vick delivers my favorite line of hers {“Well what IS good enough, said the Chief of Police?”} and Juliet finally discovers Shawn’s big secret. The entire thing is so well done, I still get a little weepy about it.


 

09. “Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels, and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire” {Season 8, Episode 1}

 

 

Shawn: “I’m no criminal. Matter of fact, I’m not even crazy! At best, I am pleasingly eccentric. At worst, I’m incorrigible and sophomoric.”

I’m a big fan of “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels,” so I was delighted by the references and by the presence of Vinnie Jones. I was also excited to see the return of Cary Elwes! If that wasn’t enough, Gus running around in a Gryffindor uniform in search of Rupert Grint is pretty much how I’d spend my time in England, too.


08. “Indiana Shawn and the Temple of the Kinda Crappy, Rusty Old Dagger” {Season 6, Episode 10}

 

 

Gus: “Don’t you think your take on this is a little easy?”

Shawn: “Easy? Yes. But life is easy, Gus. If you really want it to be.”

This is my favorite of the Despereaux appearances, with the nice addition of John Rhys-Davies. It also contains my all-time favorite Shawn quote, the one above, which sums him up perfectly.


07. “Black and Tan: A Crime of Fashion” {Season 2, Episode 15}

 

 

Shawn: “They’re only going to talk to their own kind, okay? Shallow, judgmental, cruel, and gorgeous. We’re already embedded.”

At the time, I don’t think this show had ever been so ridiculous and funny. The model characters were perfect, Gus completely lost himself in the modeling world, and anytime Shawn has to be the sane one, the shenanigans are extra crazy. (The music in this episode is iconic as well.)


06. “Lassie Did a Bad, Bad Thing” {Season 3, Episode 11}

 

 

Shawn: “My process? Usually starts with a ‘Holla’ and ends with a creamsicle.”

Gus: “And if there’s time in between, Thundercats. Hooooo!”

Lassie-centric episodes tend to be my favorites, and this was the first time we saw him on the other side of the law and in need of Shawn and Gus’ help. Plus, Jackal Mode.


05. “Lights, Camera, Homicidio” {Season 2, Episode 13}

 

 

“Dame Judi Dench called. She wants her breakfast back.”

Remember in the opening of this post, how I said I stumbled across a Psych marathon while I was sick, and that’s how I got hooked? This was the episode that was on. More importantly, that line I just quoted was what made me start paying attention. The longer I watched, the more I laughed, and when it was over, I was glad the next episode was starting. I’ll always have this episode in my top ten, because if it weren’t for this one, I might never have discovered Psych at all.


04. “This Episode Sucks” {Season 6, Episode 3}

 

 

Shawn: “Are you sure this water is holy?”

Gus: “Yes! I had Father Wesley bless it over the phone.”

Shawn: “Over the phone?”

Gus: “Yes.”

Shawn: “I don’t think it works like that.”

Gus: “You don’t know how anything works, Shawn.”

Vampires are so lame, and yet this episode made them hilarious and even a little intriguing again. Bonus: Gus doing “Sookie is miiine!”


03. “Gus Walks Into a Bank” {Season 3, Episode 8}

 

 

Gus: “I just want you to know that no matter what happens, I care about you and I appreciate you. And, well, I love you Shawn.”

Shawn: “Okay, buddy. I hear ya. But you know I’m gonna be back in like half an hour, right?”

The friendship between Shawn and Gus is raw and wonderful in this episode. The case itself is also one of my favorites, but really, I could watch Shawn freaking out about saving Gus any day.


02. “American Duos” {Season 2, Episode 1}

 

 

Shawn:“I’m Shawn Spenstar, and this is my partner, Gus ‘TT’ Showbiz.”

Gus:“The extra T is for extra talent.”

This is probably the most iconic Psych episode of all time. An American Idol spoof, a guest role by Tim Curry, a rigorous dance lesson from Juliet, and a stunning performance of “Shout.” What more could anyone ask for?


01. “Last Night Gus” {Season 6, Episode 2}

 

 

Lassiter: “I cannot believe I am saying this, but men, we are in this together. Obviously, we all knew the victim.”

Gus: “Well, we all knew the victim, but you were the one who shot him.”

Lassiter: “You had the dead guy’s phone!”

Gus: “Shawn was wearing the man’s sandals!”

Shawn: “Huh. I was hoping you guys didn’t notice that.”

Woody: “Look, I don’t care if we did kill this guy! I’m just happy to be part of it.”

This is a no-brainer for me. There’s not a dull moment in this episode, and seemingly everyone got involved. It was also fun to watch this particular foursome work together to solve their own Hangover-style mystery.

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Tune In/Tune Out: Feb. 23 – March 2, 2014

Wow. So, that was an awfully long week, wasn’t it? (Why, yes, I am pretending to ignore the rules of space and time. Thanks for noticing!)

While not all our shows are back yet – and we’re heading into the hinterland of March reruns, which means I’ve queued up a bunch of IFC movies from the last two years – but there were some real stand-outs this week. And a couple stinkers, too. But lets not dally any longer, shall we?

TUNE IN

 

Person of Interest: This week’s ‘number’ wasn’t part of a larger arc, but it was still poignant, tensely paced and gripping: All the things POI does best and has done since the latter part of season one. – Moff

Brooklyn Nine Nine: – Did you know Jake and Gina have known each other since grade school? Neither did we until this week’s episode! Their storyline gave the department some surprising depth, while the self-evaluations held by Holt and Jeffords were downright hilarious. Poor Santiago. –Kerry

image

Arrow: The ensembles on Arrow were amazing in this episode. The Diggle and Felicity friendship gives me constant feels, and I hope this was the beginning of a wonderful friendship between Felicity and Sara – Becca

Community: I’ve liked Britta for a long time, even when she was The Worst. As much as this episode was about Abed finding his footing post-Troy, and Jeff and Ian Duncan’s friendship, Gillian Jacobs shone in this episode, fleshing out Britta’s character in bits and pieces. – Moff

 

Grimm: It’s fun when a show has finally established enough of its world that it can spend time character building, which this week’s second-half of the pre-Winter Olympics cliffhanger did. But it also managed to add new elements to Adalind’s pregnancy arc, and the resolution of Monroe’s falling out with his father even hinted at what the season’s remaining episodes will bring. – Moff

Psych: – This show really is firing on all cylinders as it heads into its last block of episodes. If seeing everyone in sixties costumes doesn’t appeal to you (notably Tim Omundson and Dule Hill, with Maggie Lawson as my favorite) then the last scene between Lassiter and Juliet is sure to tug your heartstrings. (What are we going to do without this show?) –Kerry

TUNE OUT

NCIS:LA: It’s difficult not to feel like the writers were simply scraping the bottom of the barrel as they tried to prolong the ‘Kensi in Afghanistan’ storyline. While it was an unexpected – and clever – way of throwing a wrench into the Kensi/Deeks partnership, it’s starting to feel confusing and unnecessary at this point. After all, the writers aren’t taking the same tact as they did with Tony/Ziva on NCIS, so why continue to keep Kensi and Deeks apart? – Moff

Saturday Night Live: Admittedly, I only tuned in to catch Weekend Update, as I was excited to see Cecily Strong anchor the desk on her own. But, in the grand tradition of SNL setting high expectations and then failing to meet them spectacularly, Strong is now partnered with a newer member of the cast, who I have spent the last 12 hours referring to as ‘Generic White Dude.’ Strong was clearly picked to take over from Seth Myers because she had the chops, and I’m disappointed the show isn’t going to let her show it. – Moff

Favorites of 2013: TV Ships and Friendships

This is the big one–the one with our favorite TV ships and friendships/partnerships/bromances/what-have-you of 2013.

Ships

Oliver Queen / Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

ship_oliverfelicity

Felicity: You killed again, and I am the one who put you into the position where you had to make that kind of choice.
Oliver: He had you, and he was going to hurt you. There was no choice to make.

All three of us are big fans of Oliver and Felicity. They complement each other really well, they have great chemistry, and they deeply care for each other. And they’re just so pretty together. —Kerry

Danny Castellano / Mindy Lahiri

{The Mindy Project}

ship_mindydanny

Mindy: “You should get the Philadelphia roll. Danny says it’s amazing, it’s his favorite.”

Mindy: “Haven’t you ever had to do something because of work?”
Jason: “Yeah, sure, I just went to my boss’s kid’s graduation, but that doesn’t mean I’ve memorized her favorite sushi order.”

These two snuck up on me. I love their bickering, their friendship, and the way that they seem to be in love with each other without even realizing it. —Kerry

Monroe / Rosalee Calvert

{Grimm}

ship_rosaleemonroe

Monroe and Rosalee’s romance could have seemed shoe-horned into the main narrative, and the differences in their upbringings could be overlooked, but the evolution of their relationship was natural, and they are confronting their contradictory natures in a way that’s both realistic and believable. —Moff

April Ludgate / Andy Dwyer

{Parks and Recreation}

ship_andyapril

“I’m going to tell you a secret about everyone else’s job: No one knows what they’re doing. Deep down, everyone is just faking it until they figure it out. And you will, too, because you are awesome and everyone else sucks.”

This is probably the relationship most would have believed would fail, but it hasn’t. The love and support they show each other is unique and genuine. —Becca

Barney Stinson / Robin Scherbatsky

{How I Met Your Mother}

ship_barneyrobin

Barney: “Our wedding is gonna be legendary.”
Robin: “No ‘wait for it?'”
Barney: “I’ve got you, I don’t have to wait for it anymore.”

Who knew they’d make it all the way to the neverending wedding weekend? The writing isn’t doing them any favors (they keep having to spin their wheels as the writers try to fill the entire season with pointless shenanigans) but they’re still growing into a supportive, if unconventional, couple. —Kerry

Jemma Simmons / Grant Ward

{Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.}

ship_wardsimmons

F.Z.Z.T. is the episode I started shipping these two together. It is also the episode I finally started to like Ward. The scene where Ward mocks himself and Jemma corrects him sealed it for me. Plus: height difference. —Becca

Kensi Blye / Marty Deeks

{NCIS: LA}

ship_kensideeks

Deeks: “I’ve never had a girl give me her knife before. Does that mean we’re official?”
Kensi: “You know sometimes a knife is just a knife.”

Ah, one of the great ‘will they, won’t they’ partnerships of the police procedural world. As much as I continue to hold out hope Eric Christian Olsen will one day return to Greendale, I can’t put into words how pleased I am Kensi and Deeks have finally taken the logical next step. —Moff

Joan Watson / Marcus Bell

{Elementary}

ship_belljoan

Bell [to Sherlock]: “Where’s your better half?”

Bell and Joan have always had a unique chemistry; Bell initially liked Joan better than he liked Sherlock, and Joan always had a deep respect for Bell’s talents as an investigator. This season, there was a one-off line where Bell complimented Joan in her bulletproof vest, and suddenly, it felt like there was something there. It’s never overt: even when Joan brings him meals after his injury, it’s played as Joan just being a nice person. I won’t be mad if they never date, but I think they’d be great together. —Kerry

Ryan King / Carrie

{Go On}

ship_ryancarrie

Ryan: “I know we work together, and that’s weird. I don’t know what I want. I just- I just want it to still be a possibility between us.”
Carrie: “You’re right, it’s complicated. We work together… I quit. Ball’s in your court.”

The show got canceled, but before it ended Carrie kissed Ryan and told him the ball was in his court. I would like to believe this May/December romance actually worked out. —Becca

Ben Wyatt / Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

ship_benleslie

“Your heart is in the right place. Your heart and your butt.”

They’re married! They’re still amazing together! And sometimes I go back and watch the early seasons, where Mark Brendanowicz calls Leslie a dork and treats her enthusiasm like it’s an annoying little quirk, and I get really, really, insanely happy that Leslie found someone who loves that about her. —Kerry

Rumplestiltskin / Belle

{Once Upon a Time}

ship_rumbelle

“You were the only one who could ever see past it… past the mask of the monster.”

While the Charmings have already had their somewhat happy ending, it feels like Rumplestiltskin and Belle will never get theirs. The pairing is beautiful, but it is hard for them to catch a break (especially after the winter finale). —Becca

Harvey Specter / Donna Paulsen

{Suits}

ship_harveydonna
Harvey: “You and Stephen, it bothers me. I know it’s not fair, but it does.”
Donna: “Good.”

I just want them to be together and happy. Is that too much to ask? —Kerry

Friendships

Shawn Spencer & Burton Guster

{Psych}

friendship_shawngus

Shawn: “I think we should call the police and let the chips fall where they may.”
Gus: “You’re talking like a real white guy right now, Shawn. Brothers don’t get the benefit of the doubt. I will not rot in a cell. You said we were in this together!”
Shawn: “C’mon, man. You know I’m gonna bake you a cake with a gun in it.”

Their friendship has only gotten better over this past year. Gus supported Shawn during his breakup with Jules, and Shawn learned to share Gus when Gus started a serious relationship with a woman. —Kerry

Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson {Elementary}

friendship_joansherlock

Joan: “You named a bee after me?”

Best partnership on TV. But, you know… besides all the other partnerships we have listed here. —Kerry

Team Arrow (Oliver Queen, John Diggle, Felicity Smoak)

{Arrow}

friendship_teamarrow

Felicity: “What are you doing?”
Diggle: “Calling 911.”
Felicity: “Digg, wait!”
Diggle: “We can’t wait!”
Felicity: “How are we supposed to explain this? Everyone’s gonna find out Oliver is the vigilante!”
Diggle: “It won’t matter if he’s dead! Felicity, we can’t save him!”
Felicity: “I know! You’re right. We can’t.”

They all have their own special friendships with each other, and they work well as a team. It will be interesting to see how dynamics might change when/if someone else fully joins the team. —Becca

Ichabod Crane & Abbie Mills

{Sleepy Hollow}

friendship_ichyabbie

The friendship has grown so quickly in just a few episodes. It is a strong friendship, and their camaraderie is enjoyable. —Becca

Sarah Manning & Felix Dawkins

{Orphan Black}

friendship_sarahfee

Felix: Sarah.
Sarah: What?
Felix: Um, just don’t die… ’cause your first funeral was just agonizing enough.

Felix has endured a lot (Sarah’s threatening ex-boyfriend, obstruction of justice, countless police interrogations, and oh yeah, all of that clone stuff) and he’s still deeply loyal to Sarah. That’s what family is for, right? —Kerry

Samantha Shaw & Root

{Person of Interest}

friendship_rootshaw

While former government agent Shaw hesitates to give anarchist hacker Root too much free reign, the morally dubious Root’s willingness to take immediate action appeals to the trigger-happy Shaw. —Moff

George Altman & Noah Werner

{Suburgatory}

friendship_georgenoah

The news of Alan Tudyk no longer being a regular on Suburgatory depressed me. I found George’s and Noah’s friendship was one of my main highlights for the show. In some ways, they don’t appear to have a lot in common, but the time they spent on screen together were some of the best moments of the show. —Becca

Ron Swanson & Leslie Knope

{Parks and Recreation}

friendship_ronleslie

Ron: “You are a wonderful person. Your friendship means a lot to me. And you look very beautiful.”
Leslie: “Okay, weirdo. Let’s go.”

He walked her down the aisle. Twice. He also punched out a jackass at her wedding. Leslie, in turn, organized a beautiful wedding present for Ron: an intricate trip up to the Lagavulin distillery in Scotland. It moved Ron to tears. —Kerry

Lance Sweets & Seeley Booth

{Bones}

friendship_boothsweets

Dr. Lance Sweets and Agent Seeley Booth have grown from bickering antagonists to friends and coworkers who trust each other’s instincts. —Moff

Ryan King & Steven

{Go On}

friendship_ryansteven

Ryan had his support group, but he also has his best friend, Steven. Steven was still the one who understood who Ryan was, and wanted to be there for him. In my head, they are still the best of friends and double date together (Ryan with Carrie and Steven with Lauren). —Becca

Quentin Lance & Felicity Smoak

{Arrow}

friendship_lancefelicity

Oliver: “Felicity…”
Felicity: “Already on it.”
Lance [amazed]: “How the hell can she do that?”

Felicity and (former) Det. Lance have had only a few instances where they’ve worked together, but I think future episodes will reveal their values are more in line than they currently realize. —Moff