The Spelling Bee

season 1 ep guide

Gus is a closet fan of spelling bees. He knows everything there is to know, from the major players to the winning words each year. When Shawn catches him watching the Regional Spelling Bee that he Tivo'd earlier, they see that this year's favorite, Brendan Vu, collapsed while spelling a word. Shawn doesn't think it was an accident. He notices something is wrong with Brendan's inhaler. They get a call from Interim Chief Vick to come down and investigate. This is Gus' dream come true.

Vick tells them Brendan said his inhaler felt funny in his hands. When the paramedics got there, the inhaler disappeared. They need to talk to all of the suspects by 5 p.m. She wants this case solved before the Bee is over and the potential suspects scatter back to their hometowns. 

Immediately Shawn eliminates all the spellers who were already knocked out of competition when Brendan went down. As he's going through the remaining suspects, word comes down that the Spellmaster, notoriously reclusive former champion Elvin Cavanaugh, has a big announcement to make. As Shawn and Gus come out to hear it, they witness Cavanaugh, up in the Spellmaster's box in the balcony, stumble and fall over the railing to his death. 

Lassiter and his new partner, Juliet, think Cavanaugh probably had a heart attack or an allergic reaction. The man loved junk food and was dangerously overweight. Shawn and Gus, meanwhile, talk their way into the Spellmaster's box to investigate. When Gus' "Supersmeller" nose detects a weird odor, they suspect Cavanaugh's Chinese food may have been poisoned. They need to know for sure, so they take a few noodles with them. Now all they have to do is find a lab to do the testing. 

Shawn goes to his dad for help. Henry's got a friend who runs a lab that'll solve their problem. In return, Henry wants a favor. Shawn has never finished anything in his life. Henry wants him to complete something in the form of a doghouse he started building in 1989. Shawn's desperate, so he agrees to do it. Of course, he quickly gets frustrated and quits. On his way home, Shawn gets run off the road by a van and thrown from his bike. Someone is trying to kill him!

While Shawn's at the hospital getting patched up, he and Gus check on Brendan. They notice he has a replacement inhaler. It's the identical type Jiri Prochazka, another speller, has. Only Gus informs Shawn, the doctor on Jiri's prescription does not exist. Jiri's inhaler is a fake. Shawn is now determined to finish the doghouse. He needs the results on those noodles. 

Henry notices Shawn's been injured and helps him finish the doghouse. Turns out, Henry already had his friend analyze the Chinese food. It definitely was poison, a fact that Shawn takes to the cops in the form of a "vision." Unfortunately, they can't build a case off his vibes. Shawn and Gus are going to need actual proof. 

Back at the Bee, Shawn poses as the new Spellmaster and he and Gus sneak back into the Spellmaster's box. There, Shawn notices distinctive indentations on the carpet. He finds a tripod in the closet with a camera attached, locked in an awkward position. The feet of the legs fit into the indentations perfectly. As Shawn moves the tripod around, he realizes Cavanaugh was spying on Jiri's father, Miklous. Cavanaugh must have suspected Miklous and Jiri of cheating and was going to disqualify the boy in his big announcement.

 

Back downstairs, Shawn watches Miklous as Jiri comes up to spell. He sees Miklous tapping something in his jacket and then Jiri gripping his inhaler. Shawn realizes Miklous rigged a system that sent electrical pulses to the inhaler to spell out the word for Jiri. Brendan accidentally got hold of that inhaler, and that's why it felt strange in his hands and didn't work when he needed it to. It was Miklous who poisoned Cavanaugh and ran Shawn off the road. Gus calls the police and Shawn has a grand psychic episode onstage, pointing to the inhaler as the definitive proof the cops were looking for.

About Psych

PSYCH is a quick-witted comedy/drama starring James Roday as young police consultant Shawn Spencer who solves crimes with powers of observation so acute that Santa Barbara PD detectives think he's psychic.
Psych also stars Dule Hill as Shawn's best friend and reluctant sidekick, Gus, and Corbin Bernsen as his disapproving father, Henry, who ironically was the one who honed his son's "observation" skills as a child. Also featured are Timothy Omundson, Maggie Lawson and Kirsten Nelson.

Psych was created by Steve Franks ("Big Daddy"), who also serves as executive producer, along with Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchack, in association with Tagline Television and NBC Universal Television Studios. Co-executive producers include Saladin Patterson ("Frasier") and Josh Bycel ("American Dad"). Serving as producers are Andy Berman, Anupam Nigam and Kell Cahoon. Tim Meltreger is staff writer.

Psych continues USA's tradition of original scripted programming centering on quirky, intelligent characters. As with Monk, Psych mixes comedy with its crime and features a somewhat eccentric lead character - Shawn, a police Psychic with absolutely no psychic abilities.

Raised in Santa Barbara by a family of cops, Shawn possesses uncanny powers of observation honed by his police officer father, Henry, who drilled young Shawn to note even the smallest of details from his surroundings as a way of grooming him for his inevitable career in the family business. Unfortunately, when a rift develops between father and son, Shawn finds himself taking a series of random jobs instead of becoming the detective he was groomed to be.

However, for the fun of it, Shawn makes a habit of calling in tips to the police about cases he reads about or sees on television, and when one of his tips appears too close to the truth, the police are convinced that Shawn is an accomplice and arrest him.

Using his charm and well-tuned talent, Shawn convinces the cops that he's actually a psychic, and although highly skeptical of his explanation, they hire him to help solve tough cases. With the reluctant assistance of his best friend Gus, Shawn uses his skills of observation and charismatic personality to become the detective he was trained to be, opening his own PI agency - Psych - and solving cases for an ever-suspicious, but grudgingly impressed, police force.

Cast & Crew

Psych Shawn Spencer as played by James Roday