1967: A Psych Odyssey

Chief Vick announces she took a job as Chief at a station up north in the bay area and will not be returning to the SBPD as chief.  The group is shocked to hear this news.  Lassiter, although saddened by this news, immediately sets his sights on being appointed as the new chief.  Vick says she put in a good for him at the mayors office, but cant make any promises.  After Shawn, Gus and Lassiter say their goodbyes, Vick asks Juliet to speak with her in private. She asks Juliet to join her up north and serve as her head detective.  Juliet knows this is a huge opportunity, but she needs time to think about it. 

Mayor Swagerty interviews Lassiter for the Police Chief position, but Lassiter messes up the interview badly, leaving him almost no chance of getting the job. Desperate to make up for his comically tragic interview and to prove himself worthy of the job, Lassiter goes on a hunt to solve the murder of the Mayors beloved uncle, Archie Baxter, who was killed back in the 60s but the case was never solved. Lassie gathers Shawn, Gus, Woody, Henry and Juliet and convinces them to help him solve this cold case together. Knowing how important this is to Lassiter and his career, they agree to it.  

From there, the investigation plays out through a series of present day scenes that trigger flashbacks to 1967 in which each of our characters (Shawn, Gus, Juliet, Woody, Lassiter and Henry) play the part of a person who was involved in the Archie Baxter case. We start with the coroner from 1967 (played by Henry) doing an autopsy on Archie (played by Lassiter). Archies blood alcohol content suggests he was moderately to severely intoxicated when he drove his car off a cliff.  His death was therefore was deemed an accident.

Present day Lassiter says theres no way Archie was a drunk; in fact, he was a teetotaler. After Archies car went off the road, a sky blue cadillac was seen driving away from the crime scene.  Lassiter believes that whoever was driving that car, drove Archie off the road and wanted Archies death to look like an accident. Lassiter finds a box of Archies stored possessions and discovers Archie was a crime reporter.  Also in the box is a photograph of “The Limelighter Lounge,” owned by the infamous mobster Rodney Caruso (played by Shawn). Lassiter thinks this photograph exists because Archie was staking the place out. Archie knew there was criminal activity going on at the lounge and he was going to be the one to expose it.  Shawn takes a closer look at the photo and notices a couple of drunk cops outside the lounge.  Lassiter finds it very odd that drunken police officers would be patronizing a mob joint in the middle of the day.

We then flashback to 1967. Archie heads to the SBPD to pay a visit to Chief Olsen Watt (played by Woody).  He shows him the photograph of The Limelighter Lounge, but Watt thinks nothing of it and dismisses Archies findings. But Archie persists and accuses Watt of letting his officers get tied up with the mob. Watt denies it and sends Lassiter on his way.

Present day Lassiter leads Juliet, Shawn and Gus to the now-abandoned Limelighter Lounge to find some more clues. Juliet says that Watt never once launched an investigation after Caruso; Lassiter finds this interesting...

Juliet wonders why Shawn is so keen on helping Lassiter solve this case. Shawn believes that if Lassie is promoted to Chief then Juliet will be promoted to Head Detective.  Juliet doesnt tell Shawn about Vicks job offer to be her head detective in the bay area; shes still undecided and doesnt want to cause a stir just yet. Still at the lounge, the group comes across a wall of pictures. One is of Olsen Watt living it up at the lounge, and another is of Caruso with his smoking hot girlfriend Scarlett Jones (played by Juliet). They also see a picture of singer Miles Velour (played by Gus) performing at the lounge with his backup singers, The Velourettes. Lassiter thinks the picture of Olsen at the lounge confirms Olsen was somehow responsible for Archies death. But Juliet points out that they have no physical evidence to prove it and that there is no one to question because everyone who worked at the lounge back in ‘67 are probably dead.  But Gus steps in and says that there is someone still alive that could give them some answers: Melba Birdsong, one of MilesVelourettes.

They head to Melbas house and she tells them Watt was clean; he was one of the good guys. He was only hanging out at the lounge to find a way to expose Carusos criminal activity. It was Caruso that was the bad guy. She points out that Miles wasnt always truthful with Watt because Miles used to handle Carusos money from time to time and he didnt want Watt to arrest him.  Caruso found out that Miles had been using his money to gamble with, but Caruso didnt punish Miles because his girlfriend Scarlett loves his music and he didnt want to upset her. While Melba is explaining all of this, Shawn spots a picture of Miles and Melba standing in front of a sky blue cadillac; presumably the same sky blue cadillac that was seen driving away from the crash site where Archie died. From this, Shawn thinks it was Miles who killed Archie. Melba is sure it wasnt Miles who killed Archie, but Lassiter thinks otherwise. 

Lassiter marches straight into the mayors office to tell him the news about Miles being Archies killer. But the mayor says it couldnt have been Miles because Miles was in Kansas City at the time of Archies death. Lassiters confidence shrinks. The mayor is not impressed and Lassiter fears hes messed up his chances at landing the job as Chief for good.

Back at the SBPD, Shawn notices that Scarlett Jones also appears in the photograph they found in Archies box of possessions. Juliet finds out that Scarlett is still alive, so they bring her into the station for questioning.  Scarlett tells them Archie was stumbling around the lounge drunk the night he died. She thought he died because he was so drunk that that he drove himself off a cliff. Her story is convincing, and Lassiter is left with no other clues to go off of.  Perhaps Archies death really wasnt murder after all...

That night at Juliet and Shawns place, Juliet finally tells Shawn about the job offer from Vick. They discuss all the reasons why it would be good for her to stay in Santa Barbara, but Juliet is still left unsure about what she should decide.

That same night, Lassiter, while asleep in bed, is visited by Archie in a dream.  Archie tells Lassiter that he was murdered, and that he had never had a drink in his life.  He then tells him that Scarlett Jones had plenty of reason to lie and that he should question her again.  Lassiter shoots out of bed and ponders this.  He heads over to see Woody to talk it out. He asks him if there was anything else he found that could have accounted for Archies level of intoxication.  Woody says he had wondered the same thing, so he did a test.  The test told him that Archie hadnt consumed any alcohol at all that evening. But Woody did, however, find something that suggested the presence of barbiturates in his system. Lassiter isnt sure what to make of this news. 

The next day, Lassiter brings Shawn, Gus and Juliet back to The Limelighter Lounge to look for additional clues.  Shawn eventually finds a secret door, and he leads everyone in.  Inside, Lassiter realizes that Carusos phones were tapped.  Juliet points out that if Carusos calls were being monitored, then there must be tapes with recorded evidence. Lassiter thinks he knows where to find them. 

They head over to the mayors house and find the tape hidden in Archies personal belongings. They listen to the tape and hear Scarlett Jonesvoice telling Miles that shes worried Archie is going to find out that she and Miles are having an affair and expose them.  From this, our guys figure out that it was Scarlett Jones who was responsible for Archies death. Archie had taken an incriminating photo of Scarlett and Miles together as lovers.  Scarlett knew that if the picture got reported or ended up in the wrong hands, Caruso would find out about her and Milesaffair and have them killed. Scarlett slipped a drug into Archies drink at the club and after he left, she followed him and ran him off the road to silence him for good. Scarlett is then arrested for Archie Baxters murder and sent to prison for the rest of her life. 

The Mayor is very pleased with Lassiters investigative work and appoints him to be the Chief of Police for the SBPD.  Lassiter is overjoyed, and tells the mayor that he promises he and his team will make him proud.  But the mayor throws Lassie a curveball and says he has already assembled a team, and that his new head detective will not be Juliet.  The new head detective he has hired is a woman named Betsy Brannigan. This news is bittersweet for Lassiter because he was going to ask Juliet to be his Head Detective. 

The next day, when Lassiter breaks the news to Juliet, he tells her that he cant take the job as Chief of Police without having Juliet at his side as his head detective.  Juliet knows that Lassiter needs to take this job; its what hes been working his entire life for. In that moment, Juliet makes a decision and tells Lassiter that she is going to take the job Vick offered her up north.

Later that night, Juliet breaks the same news to Shawn.  They discuss options, but ultimately they decide to try long distance for now and figure out a more permanent solution when the time is right.  

PRODUCTION NOTES

·         We shot a full-length video for Myles Velour's song for the Limelighter Lounge sequence, and Dule Hill did, in fact, split two of the three pairs of pants we had for him during his climactic splits move.  But always the professional, he just kept on going and we got the shot.

·         This episode of Psych is Kirsten Nelson’s (Chief Vick) directorial debut.  

·         The character of Mayor Tom Swagerty first appeared in “The Santa Barbarian Candidate,” an episode from Psych season 7.

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