Although this episode of Psych is called ‘Lassie Jerky,’ it focuses on Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill), along with two college students, in what is an obvious Blair Witch Project parody. Nevertheless, it’s a fun ride as they go in search of Bigfoot.
The opening montage clues us into the fact that the Blair Witch nod is what we should be expecting for the duration of the episode. But since ‘Lassie Jerky’ was both written and directed by one James Roday, we are in for some surprises along the way.
The best part in the beginning is that Gus has no idea that Shawn signed them up to help in the search for Bigfoot. Shawn has lured Gus in by telling him that they’re going to the Sassy Quatch BBQ, where they could eat as much as they wanted. In reality, Shawn, who is always doing random things behind Gus’ back, has offered his psychic services to a pair of college students, Kate (Kate Rogal) and Chavo (Alex Enriquez), on their quest to find the legendary Bigfoot and win a student Academy Award. Shawn also brings along a camcorder in order to film a documentary about a documentary – the next Lost in La Mancha!
The madness picks up steam with Gus falling down a steep slope and into a deep pit where he finds himself surrounded by three dead bodies. Did the college students commit murder or was it Bigfoot? Hill’s physical humor is funny, but is nothing compared to Tim Odmunson this time out.
Upon meeting them in the woods and joining the investigation, Lassie steps into an animal trap. One would think this might be a painful scene to watch, but it turns out to be one of the funniest bits the series has ever done. Lassie’s howling in pain is evidenced by Tim Odmunson’s great comedic acting and doing what he does best. As if that wasn’t enough, he then hobbles alongside a steep cliff, falls down the side, and careens into a large rolling river. The following bit with Lassie and Shawn’s camera has to be seen to be fully appreciated.
And if that doesn’t tickle your funny bone, it’s followed by a harmonized campfire version of “Eternal Flame” by the Bangles. Priceless. Lassie, in the meantime, passes out on guard duty and is grabbed by a giant mysterious shape. Shawn thinks Lassie is dead. Jules (Maggie Lawson) says otherwise and Gus pipes up that he smells BBQ. The super sniffer leads them to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. In a Fried Green Tomatoes moment, Shawn tells everyone that Lassie is on the BBQ pit, but smells delicious, hence, Lassie Jerky. Psych always tends to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and Roday’s writing in this episode goes right down this path.
The ending is the only part that feels rushed as we are introduced not to Bigfoot, but big, nature-loving Ed Dixon (The Big Show from the WWE), followed by a bizarre, Serbian, killing-for-hire plot involving those bodies Gus stumbled onto earlier. The insanity culminates with a shootout that should come with a free Dramamine patch for all of the quick cuts.
Chavo and Kate are both quickly shot and howling on the ground. Jules comes out of nowhere and takes out one the Serbs with a crossbow shot to the chest before taking another out with some quick self-defense moves.
In the meantime, Lassie is shot in the shoulder by a Serb who snuck in the cabin during the firefight. The Serb turns his sights on Gus and is ready to shoot him, when Ed manages to stand up and grab the Serb and crush him with brute strength. Ed falls back down and the fight is over. As cleanup converges on this mess, we see a body covered up and Shawn giving Big Ed a eulogy. Moans come out from under the coats and Ed grunts that he’s not dead, he just has an axe in his back.
Back in the relative safety of the station, Lassie is highly impressed with Jules’ heroics during the whole ordeal, while Shawn only wants to make some money on the encounter. Sadly, the footage will be used as evidence against the Serbs for prosecution instead of being entering in the film competition.
Meanwhile, horny Kate starts hitting on Henry (Corbin Bernsen), Chavo wants to know why he’s listed as “Chavo Seacrest,” and Gus wants to know why he’s known as Gopher in the movie. Only Shawn knows that answer. As the credits roll on this ingenious episode, a final message appears onscreen assuring the audience that “no Lassies were harmed during the filming of this movie.” The only thing that might actually be be harmed would be our ribcages from laughing too hard.
Psych airs Wednesdays @10pm on USA Network.