Shaw and Gus investigate a troubled dating show by becoming contestants themselves.
The Dating Game
Tonight finds the Psych crew investigating the suspicious car accident of a reality show contestant. This being Psych, Shawn and Gus must get close to the situation by taking roles on the show: Shawn poses as a doctor and Gus is largely himself as they try to woo a bachelorette; Wayne Brady hosts. The result is Psych at its very best.
Shawn must of course avoid indicating any interest in the bachelorette, Melinda, so as not to upset Jules--Gus, on the other hand, is endearingly enthusiastic about reality television, earnestly believing that he can win the competition and find love. They square off against a number of other prospective bachelors, including a complete psychopath, a ripped man who never wears a shirt, and a lovestruck grill-master named Danny who was obsessed with Melinda before ever appearing on television.
Danny is Shawn's first suspect, as he initially seems capable of going to any length to ensure his place on the show, including the attempted murder of Melinda's other suitors. When Danny is nearly killed in another suspicious accident, however, Shawn begins to suspect the show's producer and financier of sabotaging the show for insurance gains.
The proceedings culminate in Melinda picking mysterious, hard-to-get Shawn as her bachelor of choice, much to Jules's chagrin. Shawn removes himself from the running, however, confessing that he's not really a doctor, he already has a girlfriend, he's here as a psychic detective, and that Danny was her true love all along.
Capturing the Culprits
All seems well until Shawn uncovers more evidence while going over show footage: though the producer was indeed a lying scumbag, it was actually an irate cameraman who'd been trying to kill off contestants, and he's about to drop the two leads out of a plane for the season finale. The Psych team races to save the show's happy couple, and justice is served just in time.
This episode wasn't huge on radical plot points or landmark character beats, but it was, for my money, the best episode of the season thus far. Though Psych is typically more than happy to broadcast its humor at full blast, tonight's best moments were more subdued, particularly Lassie's stoic reaction to a thrown doughnut, the well-targeted touches of reality show style and Shawn's quietly absurd on-air admission of psychic abilities. Tonight set a high bar for Psych in both humor and retrained use of pastiche, one which I am happy to see it aspire toward going forward.
"I am a heart surgeon. And sometimes brain."-- Shawn, on his faux-medical specialty
"I couldn't help noticing that you have amazing hair.""Looks real, doesn't it. It's not."-- Melinda and Shawn, as he tries to sabotage his reality show chances
"The week after we get married, I hope we just have a ton of kids."-- Contestant Danny, on love
"Gus. You're an okay guy."-- Melinda, on Gus's many charms
"If someone were to remove footage, where would it go?""Outer space, if I'm correct, right Steve?"-- Shawn, on videography