Remake A.K.A. Cloudy…With A Chance Of Improvement

This episode is a remake of “Cloudy With A Chance Of Murder,” an episode that originally aired in Season 1 of Psych.  Mirroring the case in the original “Cloudy,” Shawn and Gus try to solve the murder of local weatherman Jackson Hale.

We begin the episode with a flashback to 1981.  Henry has been summoned by the court to testify in a case he was an officer on.  Before he takes the stand, we see him talking to Shawn as a baby, telling him how important the jury is to a case and why. 

We then flash forward to the year 2006.  Shawn and Gus are still newbies trying to prove to the SBPD that they’re worthy of being hired to help solve cases.  Shawn’s motorcycle was recently impounded so he and Gus arrive at the courthouse to pay the ticket.  Shawn spots an attractive woman seated in the hallway.  Gus asks her where the parking ticket counter is and she kindly points them in the right direction. 

Back at the Psych office, Shawn and Gus catch an episode of “Sun Up Santa Barbara” hosted by husband and wife team Connie and Morty Camp.  Connie and Morty present a story outlining the murder of their own weatherman Jackson Hale, who was attacked at the station and killed. They show a clip of the prosecutor talking to the press about the accused attacker, a woman named Sandra Panatch.  Sandra was with Hale at the news station at the time of his death.  When Sandra’s picture is displayed on TV, Shawn and Gus are shocked to see that she’s the same nice woman they met in the courthouse earlier that day.  In the same clip, they see Sandra’ attorney Adam Hornstock telling the press that she is a Preschool teacher with no priors and that she couldn’t possibly have been capable of committing murder.  Shawn notices that Hornstock is nervous and discombobulated and perhaps in need of some help.  After watching the clip, Shawn believes Sandra is innocent and worries her lawyer may not be capable of proving her innocence.  So Shawn and Gus convince Hornstock to hire them on the case as legal consultants.

While in court, Shawn notices that Juror #5, a young lady, doesn’t like Hornstock.  Shawn thinks it’s Hornstock’s tie that is putting her off. Knowing how important the jury is on a case, Shawn gives Hornstock Gus’ tie to wear, and sure enough, when Hornstock puts it on, Juror #5 appears pleased.  Hornstock is impressed with Shawn’s insight and lets them stay on the case to help out.  After court is adjourned for the day, Shawn and Gus head to the news station to investigate Hale’s death.  They first meet with Connie and Morty.  Shawn finds a clue that tells him Connie and Morty are lying about their relationship; they aren’t even together anymore but they appear to be while on camera to keep their viewership alive.  Shortly after speaking with Connie and Morty, one of the production assistants, Priscilla, gives Shawn and Gus a tour of the studio. She shows them where the murder took place: in front of the green screen Hale used when reporting the weather. Apparently Hale was a womanizer who liked to bring his ladies to the studio to seduce them and tape them while they made love. Priscilla then shows them the office of Ruben Leonard, their roving reporter.  Ruben has since taken over as temporary weatherman, which leads Shawn to believe Ruben could have murdered Hale because he wanted his job.  

Back in the courtroom, Hornstock has Ruben on the stand. Shawn guides Hornstock during questioning, trying to get Ruben to admit that he hated Hale.  Hornstock gets Ruben worked up enough that he admits his hatred of Hale. Shawn and Gus are convinced that Ruben is the killer, but they need hard evidence to prove it, so they head back to the news station.

They search Ruben’s office, and Shawn finds the murder weapon hiding above the ceiling tiles.  He then calls in Lassiter and Juliet to investigate his findings.  They immediately go to question Ruben who is currently on-air doing the weather. Ruben says that he didn’t kill Hale and neither did Sandra, but that he knows who did.  But before he can say the killer’s name, he drops dead.  Shawn says that it couldn’t have been Sandra who poisoned Ruben because she is currently in police custody.  But Lassiter reminds Shawn that they still need to do an autopsy to confirm it was murder and not natural causes. 

Shawn comes up with another theory. He knows Hale was a womanizer, so Shawn goes to question Priscilla, who admitted earlier to having a crush on Hale, but Hale failed to notice her.  Shawn thinks Priscilla could have killed him out of jealousy when she saw Hale and Sandra kissing in front of the green screen. Hornstock brings her in for questioning.  While on the stand, Hornstock gets her to admit her jealousy, but when the prosecution cross-examines her, they get her to admit that she was at a bar with Woody the night of Hale’s death so it couldn’t possibly have been her who killed him. Woody is then called to the stand and he confirms that Priscilla was with him all night. Just then, the prosecution enters a new piece of evidence, a video tape. The tape is a backup copy of video footage from the night of the murder; the original tape was never found.  The video shows Hale and Sandra kissing, but the murder isn’t shown on the tape because it happened when they were out of frame. It looks and sounds like it was Sandra who did it, but it does not prove that it was in fact her. Because the murder took place out of frame on the video, the murderer could have been someone else entirely. But the fact remains that things aren’t looking good for Sandra.  So Shawn tells Hornstock to buy him some more time in court so he can find some evidence that will exonerate Sandra.

Back at the Psych office, Shawn watches the tape over and over again until he notices a clue that points to the real killer and proves Sandra is innocent.  In the courtroom, Shawn takes the lead and calls Morty Camp to the stand.  He question Morty about his and Connie’s separation.  Connie wanted a divorce but Morty did not.  Shawn presents evidence that paints the story of what really happened: Morty was convinced that the reason why Connie wanted a divorce was because she was having an affair with Hale.  Morty knew that Hale liked to take ladies to the station after hours to seduce them and film his trysts.  Morty wanted to catch Hale and Connie in the act, so he hid in the station and readied himself to murder Hale when the moment was right.  Morty thought Hale was kissing Connie, so he killed Hale. But soon after, he realized Hale wasn’t kissing Connie; Hale was kissing Sandra.  So Morty covered his tracks by pinning the murder on Sandra.  Shawn shows the court the tape again and explains that Morty knew he could kill Hale and get away with it by wearing a green suit that would conceal his identity when in front of the green screen.  Shawn points out that the hand part of Morty’s green suit ripped during the stabbing, revealing a shiny ring on Morty’s pinky finger.  Shawn pauses the video at the exact second the ring is visible on screen. Shawn grabs Morty’s pinky finger, holds it up to the screen and proves that the ring he is wearing is the same ring seen in the video, and that Morty was indeed the true killer. Morty is convicted, Sandra is a free woman, and Juliet and Lassiter are impressed with Shawn’s work on the case, which gives Shawn confidence that the SBPD will hire Psych to consult on future cases. 

Fun Facts

  • Psych is the first show in the history of television to remake one of their own episodes.
  • Practically every character in this episode is played by an actor that has previously guest-starred on Psych.
  • The character Morty is played by Psych writer Carlos Jacott.
  • Janet Varney, the actress who plays Connie, originally appeared in an episode from season 3 titled “Murder?... Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller?” in which she played Lassiter’s date to Shawn and Gus’ high school reunion.  

 

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