Shawn vs. The Red Phantom

season 1 ep guide

Interim Chief Vick and Detective Lassiter are out of town on their way to a seminar on non-lethal weaponry, which leaves only Juliet to deal with a mother who comes to the station claiming her son, Malone Breyfogle, is missing. However, since her son is 18, the police can't get involved for 48 hours. Juliet believes something has happened to him, and so she enlists Shawn's help to investigate immediately.

Shawn and Gus head to the Breyfogle house, where they discover a pile of cash stashed in Malone's room and clues to his last known whereabouts: the TriCon, the tri-annual comic book and science fiction convention which is being held in Santa Barbara at the moment. 

Tickets to the TriCon have been sold out for months, so Shawn and Gus talk their way inside by convincing the administrator that they are assistants to this year's featured guest, George Takei. While there, they meet two executives from Parastone Pictures, who tell them they are premiering footage from their new film "The Red Phantom." Gus tells Shawn he already knows the movie will bomb because it has been panned on a popular internet website that reviews movies based on comic books. It's unfortunate because the last movie Parastone made, "The Adventures of the Green Spirit," was so bad, it nearly killed the Green Spirit character altogether. 

Shawn and Gus soon discover how Malone got all his cash. He is, in fact, the mind behind the website. Parastone paid for him to give a good review to "The Red Phantom." Clearly, he went back on his word, which makes the Parastone executives prime suspects in his disappearance. However, the investigation soon takes a turn when those executives go missing as well. This has now become a full-fledged police investigation. 

Meanwhile, Chief Vick's water breaks on the way to the conference and Lassiter must rush her to the hospital and stand-in as her birthing coach.

Back at the convention, in between assistant duties for Mr. Takei, Gus tells Shawn that the bad reviews for "The Red Phantom" which appeared on Malone's website, were posted after he was kidnapped. So the kidnapper must be the one slamming the flick online. 

Gus also realizes that the case is eerily similar to a Green Spirit comic, and according to the story, they don't have a lot of time to save the victims before they are killed. Gus thinks the kidnapper must be some kind of deranged fan of the Green Spirit, but Shawn says it's not a fan, it's the comic's creator, Hiltz Kooler. Kooler has a vendetta against anyone involved in the tanking of the Green Spirit movie and the near decimation of the character, and when he found out all the people who had wronged him would be in the same place at the same time, the convention, the opportunity to exact revenge was too good to pass up. 

The police arrest Kooler and save the victims, Shawn and Gus are heroes, and George Takei storms off, upset his assistants have upstaged him. 

In the end, Shawn, Gus, Lassiter and Juliet congregate at the hospital to congratulate Vick on the birth of her daughter.

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