One of the most enjoyable aspects of Psych is that it is a show that by and large doesn’t take itself seriously. Yes, there’s often a crime to be solved and the characters have been developed over the years, but it’s more “theatre of the absurd” than your standard procedural. Enter, “Office Space” an example of just how absurdly entertaining the show can be when firing on all cylinders.
After spending most of this 7th season focusing on the pathos of the relationship between Shawn (James Roday) and Juliet (Maggie Lawson), a little absurdity is not unwelcome; especially when it starts with the two of them once again sharing a bed. Later, Juliet will shrug it off as a one-time thing, but it’s clear that the couple has crossed the bridge over their troubled waters and the show can go back to business as usual.
It’s also nice to see the buddy-cop aspect of the show return. Gus (Dule Hill) comes to Shawn in the middle of the night, covered in dirt and begging him for help. What follows is a comedy of errors so ridiculous it can’t be believable, but so fun to watch you just don’t care. The writers cover all the comedic bases from the physical humor in the very beginning, to the twisted version of “Time After Time,” and ending with a bound and gagged Woody (Kurt Fuller), whom the boys forgot to free once the case was solved.
The comedy is highlighted further by the performances of the excellent David Koechner as office security manager Leslie Sally and Michael McGlone as the suave killer and one of the founding fathers of Gus’ company, Mr. Murray. It’s too bad Sally is killed off by Murray, because he and Lassiter (Tim Omundson) could have had a spin-off show they work that well together. It’s Sally who tracks the clues and discovers Murray’s guilt and Lassie has a grudging admiration for him by the end.
Meanwhile, McGlone is as smooth as James Bond in his role as Murray. He and Koechner also play well off of one another, especially in the scene where they make Gus the new Vice President. His condescending attitude combined with the “DROS” speech is the perfect caricature of a modern-day company higher-up. The only disappointing thing is his obsession with scratch and sniff stickers is never explained.
Some of the other highlights of this week’s romp: “Bring your white best friend to work day.” The lightsaber barely visible in the box of Gus’ work things. The number of main characters in shock that Gus still works in pharmaceuticals and the fact that he handles the scrotal inflammation cream line. Will his promotion stick? Juliet invoking the “lady doctor” excuse on Lassie and later, Lassie questioning whether she is carrying “Spencer’s unwed demon seed.” Juliet’s conclusion that maybe honesty is not the best policy when it comes to knowing how Shawn and Gus solve crimes. What made you laugh the hardest?
Psych airs Wednesdays @10 on USA.