A Touch of Sweevil

After years of trying, Shawn finally gets an invite to be a panelist at the Cutting Edge Consultants Convention hosted by Professor Bob Stein, a Paranormal Forensics Expert.

Meanwhile, Lassiter has hired a new head detective named Betsy Brannigan.  Her credentials are impressive, but Lassiter is still upset the mayor wouldn’t let him hire Juliet, his first choice.

At the convention, Shawn and Gus meet Randall, Professor Stein’s assistant.  He leads the guys through a courtyard.  Across the way they see James Earl Craig, LAPD’s mindreader consultant, getting taken away by security because he was proven to be a fraud and was not asked be a panelist at this year’s convention.  Shawn and Gus are his replacement.

Shawn and Gus are introduced to professor Stein, who then introduces them to their fellow panelists: Hazel the Wicca consultant for for New Orleans PD, Garth the ghost whisperer consultant for the Anchorage PD, and Bernie the ghost.  Garth explains that Bernie is literally a ghost and that he is sitting right next to him; Bernie is Garth’s most trusted entity and they solve every case together.  Shawn and Gus find this a tad wacky, but they go with it.

Before Stein brings the panelists out to the stage, Hazel calls Shawn a faker and says that Stein should have kept James Earl on the panel instead.  Before Shawn and Gus are called to the stage, Professor Stein drops dead out of nowhere and the crowd is shocked and horrified. 

Lassiter and Brannigan arrive at the crime scene.  In private, Lassiter tells Shawn and Gus that he has a to plan to get Betsy to quit so he can hire Juliet.  He tells them they should embrace the ludicrousness of this case so she’ll realize she doesn’t belong there and thus turn in her resignation.  Shawn and Gus are on board, so Lassiter orders Betsy to work with Shawn, Gus and the paranormal consultants to solve the case.  Betsy has trouble taking this order seriously, but she trusts her new chief and embraces her assignment in order to prove her worth at the SBPD.

At the morgue, Shawn and Woody agree that all signs on Stein’s dead body point to poison, and that it was given to him very close to his time of death.

Shawn and Gus go to check out Randall’s office.  Shawn notices a bottle of hand sanitizer in his desk drawer, and he immediately remembers seeing Randall give Stein some of it prior to him taking the stage.  Shawn thinks Randall killed Stein because he never gave him any credit for being a loyal, supportive assistant.  Shawn and Gus tell Lassiter and Betsy they think Randall is a suspect, but before they can get a word out, Betsy tells them she already has Randall in custody.  She didn’t need anyone’s help.  The guys are a bit shocked; Betsy may be the real deal.  Betsy further proves her talent as a detective when she masterfully interrogates Randall.  While this is happening, Shawn realizes Randall isn’t the killer because there is proof that Stein was finally going to give Randall the recognition he deserved.  Randall had no reason to kill Stein.  Additionally, the hand sanitizer found in Randall’s desk tested negative for containing poison.  Randall isn’t their killer.

Shawn and Gus think their next suspect could be James Earl, so they go to question him.  For the time being James Earl appears innocent.  He gives Shawn and Gus their next lead.  James Earl explains that he had tried to visit Stein at his house, but Stein was occupied by a woman visitor.  Shawn and Gus head to Stein’s house.

At Stein’s house, Shawn finds a clue that leads him to believe that Hazel was having an affair with Stein, and that she was the woman James Earl saw with him that night he tried to visit him at his house.

Meanwhile, back at the SBPD, Shawn and Gus tell Lassiter about their theory that Hazel is the killer.  Betsy disagrees with their theory and explains that Hazel believes in Wicca, an ancient philosophy that regards all life as sacred.  Lassiter doesn’t take this seriously and orders Betsy to follow up on Shawn and Gus’ lead anyway.

Shawn and Gus head back to Randall’s office and find him dead.  Hazel is there and Shawn and Gus accuse her of killing both Randall and Stein.  She admits to having a fling with Stein, but not to committing the murders.  She flees before Shawn and Gus can ask her anymore questions.

They then find out from Woody that the poison wasn’t topical and that it was instead ingested.  There’s evidence that Randall could have died from the same poison Stein died from.

Shawn and Gus head back to see James Earl and find Hazel there with him. It turns out, Hazel and James Earl were working together to solve Stein’s murder.  They’re innocent.  Shawn then proposes that all the consultants should join forces to find the real killer. Hazel, James Earl, Garth and Bernie are on board.

They head back to the SBPD and Lassiter tells them they’re close to getting Betsy to quit.  He orders them to amp up their unorthodox case solving antics even more to get her to officially leave. Shawn and Gus agree, and together with the other consultants, they perform a fake ritual to wake the spirits in hopes they’ll tell them who killed Stein and Randall.  Betsy is mystified by this display.  Just as everyone is about to leave the SBPD, James Earl starts to foam at the mouth, then passes out, presumably dead. It looks as if James Earl was poisoned by the same person who poisoned Stein and Randall.  There’s a clue on James Earl’s body that tells Shawn that Garth is the killer.  Shawn accuses Garth in front of everyone, saying that Stein was about to expose Garth of fraud so he killed him to silence him.  Garth tries to put the blame on Bernie, but obviously no one is buying it.  Garth is arrested, and the case is closed.

Lassiter is sure that the strange methods they used to solve this case has convinced Betsy to leave the SBPD.  However, to everyone’s surprise, Betsy says she’s impressed with the way the case was solved.  She at first thought this investigation was a joke, but when they actually solved it and arrested the murderer, she realized that their unorthodox methods work. It felt strange for her at first, but in the end she decided that she loves this approach to case-solving. In fact, she feels more free to be herself now because of it.  Betsy explains that she was worried to show her true colors to everyone in fear of not fitting in.  She’s elated her predictions were wrong.  She then reveals to the guys that she’s packing two Colt 1911 guns, one on each hip.  Lassiter is impressed; those are the exact guns he carries.  It turns out she isn’t who Shawn, Gus and Lassiter thought she was.  Betsy is a hardcore, crime-solving detective committed to serving the city of Santa Barbara, and she’s proud to be a part of the team.  Lassiter begins to have a change of heart.  He explains to Shawn and Gus that deep down he knew that the mayor wouldn’t let him hire Juliet anyway.  Perhaps Betsy may fit into the SBPD after all.   

PRODUCTION NOTES

  • Yvette Nicole Brown refused to touch the chicken foot key chain that was part of her witch tools.
  • Dule went a bit too far with his Pilates machine thrusting, so the audience will only see him getting off the machine.
  • Shawn doing the worm was James Roday's decision during rehearsal.  It was not scripted.
  • This is the second Psych episode Richard Coleman has directed.  His first was his directorial debut “The Santabarbarian Candidate.”

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