Psych – Ghosts (03×01)

At the end of last season back in the beginning of 2008 we last left Psych with Shawn opening the door to be greeted by his unseen mother. Similar to the excellent casting of Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show) and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) as Gus’ parents in the mid-second season premiere, Shawn’s mother is played by the very capable Cybill Shepherd, a psychologist who arrives in Santa Barbara to talk to some police offices, funny enough, Detective Lassiter, oblivious to her relation to the much maligned Spencer.

The third season sticks with the show’s procedural pace, although the case plays second fiddle for once with the characters taking center stage. More surprising is the episode’s reliance on actual character drama rather than comedic timing, as has been the show’s staple. The third season premiere was written by show creator Steve Franks and propels a lot of information that shifts the show’s dynamic into the relationship between Shawn and his father.

The B-story, as mentioned above, is the actual case that Psych takes on for one of Gus’ bosses at the pharmaceutical company. The boss in question is played wonderfully by Christopher McDonald who basically plays Shooter McGavin as the head of a drug company. His description of Dutch hot chocolate is perfect for a few laughs. Over all the story’s big twist ending is unseen, but not very surprising considering the context and circumstances, however it is entertaining.

Lassiter and O’Hara are barely in the episode, although the flashback to the mid-1990’s and seeing Shawn as a rebelling teenager (complete with Kurt Cobain’s wardrobe and hair) and Lassiter as a bumbling, rookie desk clerk do provide a few laughs. More is spoken about Lassiter’s estranged wife and their pending divorce with the knowledge we’ll finally meet her later in the season, something that should be fun to watch.

Psych comes out of the gate swinging with the introduction of Shawn’s mom and the paradigm shift between Henry (Corbin Bernsen) and Shawn (James Roday), and Gus’ new found independence at his day job while continuing to work with Shawn. The rest of the season looks to be set up pretty wonderfully, and while not the show’s strongest episode by any means, it certainly keeps the trademark sense of humor with a light dusting of drama for good measure.

Written by Erich Becker
Thirty-something with a love of everything we cover here, and a few things we don't. Erich has run Entertainmentopia since the site's inception in 1999, countless redesigns, a few crashes, and a lot of media later, here you have it!