For their 100th episode the cast and crew of Psych pay homage to the ’80’s classic, Clue; a movie based on a board game that actually worked (I’m looking at you, Battleship). On its own, “100 Clues” is a solid episode – whether you’re familiar with the movie or not – and the added twist that the audience chooses the ending via social media puts this in a class all its own.
One of the great things about this episode is the all-star cast that’s been assembled. As its popularity has spread, Psych has attracted quite the list of A-list superstars and one of the oft-heard lines in interviews is that it is one of the most fun sets for visiting actors. For the 100th episode, then, it makes sense that Steve Franks and Company would pull out all the stops – and not only do they manage this, but they provide great material for the guest stars to work with as well.
Three of the guest stars were culled straight from the original cast of Clue. Martin Mull, who played Col. Mustard in the movie, is Highway Harry, band manager. The ageless Leslie Ann Warren played the role of the sassy Ms. Scarlet and here embodies Leslie the band groupie with the same reckless abandon. And in a league all his own, Christopher Lloyd – the original Professor Plumb – joins the fray as Martin Kahn, biographer. Steve Valentine and Garrett Morris also come out to play with the Psych cast – and last but not least, Curt Smith returns to Psych for a second time as, well, Curt Smith.
It might have been easy for things to get too crowded or seem too much like the movie to retain the show’s trademark humor, but they all rise to the occasion, striking the perfect balance of homage and original material. For instance, both the episode and the movie feature a deluge of rain, a mysterious invitation to a spooky mansion, a falling chandelier, and a dead body stuffed in a freezer. Psych, however, reunites an ’80’s metal band versus the movers and shakers of Washington DC; pairs the guests up, but arms the guests with random items from a saxophone to a paintball gun. Also, the body count on TV doesn’t go nearly as high as it did in the movies.
There were some other nice twists that the writers put in, such as the secret passages being swapped for a hidden chocolate room and a secret stash of toupees that reduces Gus (Dule Hill) to a quivering mess. Not to mention the singing bellhop who delivers the invitation to Shawn (James Roday) and Juliet (Maggie Lawson); though sadly she isn’t shot in the middle of her song. Possibly the most original – and insane – story thread the writers develop here is for Clizby (Garrett Morris), the lisping butler who also happens to be the father of Leslie the groupie’s son. He takes the spirit of Tim Curry’s Wadsworth, but makes it all his own to hilarious ends.
All things being fair, however, it is tough to decide whether the end of the episode is supposed to be Shawn channeling Curry, or Shawn just being himself. Over the last 100 episodes, Shawn has made a habit of monologuing how all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together, sometimes with the crazy running and sometimes without. Clue is a wacky, don’t-take-us-too-seriously movie with a talented cast and the same can be said of Psych so it seems quite a fitting way to celebrate such a huge milestone for the show.
As for the ending, well, here’s hoping you got the one you voted for!
Psych airs Wednesdays @10 on USA.
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