It is the duty of every good season finale to wrap up a season and leave audiences dangling in some state of distress over the long hiatus to come. In season 6, Psych did this in dramatic fashion with an intense hour that ended with Henry (Corbin Bernsen) being shot in the chest at point blank range. Now we come to the Psych season 7 finale, and while there is a slightly dramatic twist at the end, by and large “No Trout About It” is the recounting of just another zany day for the Santa Barbara Police Department. And where last season the finale highlighted the strength of the relationship between Henry and Shawn (James Roday), this one focuses on how much Shawn, Gus (Dule Hill), Juliet (Maggie Lawson) and Lassie (Tim Omundson) have grown from two separate partnerships into one solid team.
Of course it wouldn’t be Psych without more than a few ’80s references, so it’s only fitting the finale gives a huge shout-out to Duran Duran, then turns to Anthony Michael Hall to send them off in style. Hall is one of the few members of The Breakfast Club who hasn’t guest starred on the show, but there is no trace of the awkward teenage boy he once was as he fully embraces the role of antagonist Harold Trout. Trout is a consultant for the higher-ups who is sent to sort out the latest SBPD fiasco and while laden with a few quirks of his own, is the closest to a real police boss the team has seen in quite a while.
The episode bounces back and forth between Trout’s interrogation of the team and the case that landed them in hot water. The case of the poisoned man who comes to Shawn and Gus for help in solving his own murder has elements of 1988’s D.O.A. that play well in the Psych universe. Familiar but fun Psych hijinks ensue as Leo (Joey Slotnick), the dying man, is dragged around Santa Barbara by Shawn and Gus. The body count rises until the whole mess culminates with a spectacular chase scene between Shawn and Gus in the Blueberry, Juliet and Lassie in their police cruiser, and a mysterious motorcyclist dressed in black.
All throughout there is evidence of just how close the main foursome has become over the years. Yes, Lassie will still tackle Shawn in a conference room in front of Trout for dousing him in human ashes, but more than a few times he gives the pseudo-psychic credit where credit is due. Yes, Shawn and Gus don’t include Lassie and Jules until the last possible second, but in the end they go and nab the bad guy as a team even though they’ve all been thrown off the case. The narrative spun for Trout is also one great big exercise in covering for each other’s slip ups, though they still come off to Trout as bumbling idiots with little respect for how a “real” law-enforcement team works.
In the end the ultimate sacrifice is made by Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) who takes a 6-month suspension in exchange for Lassie and Juliet getting to keep their jobs. Over the last few years she’s put up with a lot of slip-shod work but her actions prove she believes in them all and is proud to be their leader. Nelson’s speech about falling on her sword for the chance to one-up a bureaucrat makes this feel like a true ensemble piece and the warm fuzzies really pop with her soft smile at the chance to spend more time with her daughter. Every finale needs its cliffhanger, though, and season 7’s is brought to you by Trout’s summary dismissal of Buzz (Sage Brocklebank), Lassie losing his status as Head Detective, and the announcement that the SBPD will no longer be hiring psychic detectives. Oh, and Trout will be hanging around as acting police chief until Vick’s suspension is over.
It might be a long wait for Psych fans until the show returns with the highly-anticipated 2-hour musical extravaganza in December, but the show has left us with some great laughs in the interim including: Trout’s failed robot cops who strangled a jay-walker. Shawn’s description of Rita (Rebeka Montoya) and Leo as “a hot latino and the Travelocity gnome.” The group throwing McNair under the bus and outing him as a male stripper coupled with the revelation that his stage name is Morning Wood. Lassiter describing Rita’s crime scene as 50 Shades of Grey Matter and Trout telling the smarmy detective that all of the butt-kissing is “chapping my ass.” There is also a masterful piece of comedic timing where Omundson delivers his own scathing opinion of Trout, realizes too late that Trout will be sticking around while Vick serves her suspension, and is then one-upped by the guest star who installs himself in Vick’s office with his own parting shot: “Suck it.”
Psych returns with new episodes in December on USA.