Like last week’s episode, “Dead Air” sees the Psych team spend a good bit of time investigating a death in the workplace. And while it isn’t set in his pharmaceuticals’ office, this one is all about Gus (Dule Hill). With Juliet (Maggie Lawson) and Shawn (James Roday) back on solid ground, the writers decide it’s time for Gus to have a romantic shakeup of his own. A shakeup that involves not only his current girlfriend, Rachel (Parminder Nagra), but the very interested radio station owner, Miranda Sherrod (Garcelle Beauvais).
Poor Gus is targeted by Miranda early on and spends the rest of the episode fighting off her advances, making for some excellent comedic moments – and a few serious ones – between he and Rachel. Given the compromising positions he’s found in with Miranda, it’s no small wonder the couple questions whether or not they can last through Rachel’s 6-month absence. Lest the tension grow too heavy, though, their short, sad goodbye is followed by the intrusion of a murderous stalker followed almost immediately by Miranda, hoping to catch Gus at a weak moment and swoop in for the steal. Again.
Besides setting up some romantic tension, “Dead Air” is also riff on shock radio, centering around the death of Crock Daniels (Brent Chapman) who, according to Shawn, is the “Howard Stern of radio”. The list of people who would want him dead is fairly lengthy as Crock’s MO was cracking jokes at other people’s expense; a list that includes a suspect named Red Herring. Meanwhile, ads for this episode may have featured Shawn in the DJ seat but as the story picks up speed, it’s Gus who goes takes over at the radio station as late-night host “Playa Named Gus” with his sidekick “White Chocolate”. He attracts the attention of the episode’s true red herring: a fan-girl named Laura (Jessica Makinson). Laura’s house is nothing short of a shrine to the late DJ Crock, but it seems she has the ability to change loyalties in a heartbeat. She’s already set her sights on Gus and even had an 80s-esque t-shirt made up for him.
Laura also has a stalker named Bob and her own personal stock of heavy meds, including anti-depressants. This, combined with some clever writing and editing, seems to indicate that Laura and her host of personalities, including “Bob,” are responsible for taking out Crock and attempting to take Gus out too. She even gets the Shawn Spenser monologue treatment. Bob turns out to be very real, though, and he goes after Gus before being taken out by a bottle of champagne and a flying tackle from Lassie.
While not as hilarious as last week’s episode this one does have its moments of funny. The reveal that Shawn doesn’t stop by Henry’s (Corbin Bernsen) as often since his unfortunate run in with Mom and Dad doing the horizontal tango back in episode 2. Lassie’s curt dismissal of Laura’s feelings and his later arrest of “Laura, Bob, and whoever else is in there.” Shawn and Gus’ whisper fight about going to the bathroom together. Lassie’s aforementioned flying tackle. Almost all of the scenes with behind-the-scenes guy Syd (Haig Sutherland). What are some of your favorite moments? Do you think Gus and Rachel will survive the distance or is it time for them to move on?
Psych returns next Wednesdays with “Nip and Suck It” @10pm on USA. You can check out a preview of next week’s episode below: