For fans of USA Network's hit show Psych, it's been a long nine months since season 6 ended. Nine months since Shawn (James Roday) got a piece of information that sent him running to find his father. Nine months since Jerry Carp (Max Gail) strolled along the beach beside his old pal Henry Spencer (Corbin Bernsen) and shot him, dropping him to the ground like a stone.
So in a very real way, this episode has been a long time coming.
It picks up right where the season 6 finale left off, only this time we see that Shawn does make it to the beach in time to witness the shooting. Typical Henry tells him off for not going after Carp, but Shawn's more worried about losing his dad than anything else.
In a way, what follows was set up back in season 6, episode 10. There, we discover that Shawn has never coped well with death. He gets highly emotional when it comes to the topic and the ensuing grief drives him to act on some of his darker impulses. In season 7, that translates as several broken window panes and the a scene (below) with Shawn pulling a gun on bad guy, James Earl Vest (Paul Lazenby). It also results in his being banned for life from the local gun range.
Even once Henry is out of the woods, Shawn is determined to bring down Carp and drag Gus (Dule Hill) along with him. The chemistry between Hill and Roday is as sharp as ever and provides levity in a case involving corrupt cops and arms dealers. Food, as always, is never far from their minds, though this time their snack breaks are few and far between.
One of the most hilarious moments is when Shawn's attempt at apology Jerk chicken nachos ends with the two of them stuck on the couch because of a land mine. They even try and direct the bomb squad's robot to get the nachos before diffusing the mine, and as soon as they are free, they both dig into the food with gusto.
Also surprising are the two allies Shawn finds along the way. The first is Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson), who has always offered her tacit approval of Shawn's work even if she's not keen on his methods. Here she all but gives him permission to do whatever needs to be done to find Henry's shooter, revealing a tiny soft spot she's got not only for Henry, but for his son as well. Shawn's second unlikely ally is Lassiter (Tim Omundson). The scene with the two of them in the car outside of Carp's rental property is comedy gold.
And of course, it wouldn't be Psych without a parade of wildly outrageous antics and a running gag or two. Shawn and Gus sneaking into the gun range using a half a beard each to hide behind is hilarious, as is the look on Gus' face when he realizes he's eaten the Chinese food laced with ipecac. Tragically, "The Blueberry" - which is as much a part of the show as Shawn and Gus - is snapped in half, and its rental replacement "The Cranberry" is blown to smithereens.
The best gag of the night goes to Kurt Fuller's Woody, who hovers around the hospital with a body bag for Henry just in case. He's way better than the blonde bimbo. Kudos, too, for all of the Lethal Weapon references. Welcome back, Psych! Welcome back!
Psych airs Wednesdays @10pm on USA.