Psych "100 Clues" Review: Episode 100 Cuts the (Colonel) Mustard

By Drusilla Moorhouse

Mar 28, 2013

Psych S07E05: "100 Clues"

"100 Clues," Psych's tribute to the film Clue, was even better than the real thing.

Be honest: As much as we all might adore the 1985 cult classic, there's a reason it was a critical and box office bomb. Although Psych's 100th episode was just as silly, in many respects, as the film, "100 Clues" (written by diehard Clue fan Todd Harthan), was definitely enjoyable. The dialogue was wittier, the storyline was tighter (by virtue of running for only half of the source material's duration), and Dulé Hill owned his zebra leggings and platinum platform boots. What?

Please don't whack me with a candlestick for my obvious bias as a Psych devotee. I'm curious to hear the opinions of any newcomers who may've tuned in for the first time because of USA's massive promotion for the series' 100th episode and the choose-your-own-ending stunt. Were the bromancers' catchphrases and in-jokes just as hilarious to Psych virgins as they were to those of us who appreciated Shawn's generous servings of Gus-isms? ("Gus, don't be the second time ever I saw your face" and "This is my partner, Domo Arigato" were both stellar.)

The episode began with a flashback to 2007, when Shawn and Gus were just starting to work with the SBPD and Chief Vick. (Or "Chief Dick," as Shawn believed at the time.)  Helping out with the department's cold cases, Shawn pointed out some inconsistencies in hair band frontman Billy Lipps' (Steve Valentine) biography, Rock Bottom—even though he and Gus, who jumped at the chance to resurrect their amazing '80s concert gear and guyliner, were diehard fans of the rock star.   

No one was more surprised when superfan Henry Spencer joined them backstage with two beers and a sleeveless Billy Lipps 1978 tour T-shirt. Sadly, Detective Lassiter, sporting an atrocious suit and a haircut not even Marlowe could love, arrested Lipps for the murder of his girlfriend/groupie, Melinda.

Cut to the present day, when Shawn received a mysterious, singing messenger invitation to the famed Villa Rosa mansion. (I was ashamed to realize it shared a name with Real Housewives star Lisa Vanderpump's Beverly Hills crib.)

When Juliet was called to a case, Shawn invited Gus to join him at the villa. During a house tour from butler Clizby (pronounced Clithzby), they were frequently interrupted by a woman's scream—the doorbell (as in in Murder by Death, a 1976 country-house whodunit spoof).

Shawn and Gus didn't mind—it gave them more time to gorge themselves on licorice pastels and perform the chocolate dance when they learned about the mansion owner's secret chocolate room. (Unfortunately, the chocolatier collected toupees, which terrify Gus more than hunger pains.)

The guests arrived, "one by one by one by one by one," and eventually it became clear that they all played a role in sending Billy Lipps—their anonymous host—to prison: His biographer and Harvard snob Martin Kahn (Christopher Lloyd, whose character was a nice nod to late actress Madeline Kahn, Clue's Mrs. White), longtime manager Highway Harry (Martin Mull, owning it as the unintelligible, slurring drunk), and stuttering groupie Lesley (Lesley Ann Warren)—a former nurse who inaccurately pronounced Harry dead when he faceplanted on his dinner plate.

(Hysteria ensued when his body disappeared, but Harry had actually awoken and found the chocolate room.)

Inarguably dead—stabbed by an ice pick and chilling in the freezer—was Billy's former bandmate Rip, whose disappearance brought Juliet and Lassiter to the house party.

Lipps himself almost became the next victim, but Shawn managed to save him before a chandelier fell on the newly converted Jew's Union Jack yarmulke. (The cause of death would've been the chocolate dance, as Gus and Shawn strained the chandelier's loosened fixtures during their spastic celebration.)

At last, the final guest arrived: Curt Smith! It turned out that Billy was producing his new album: Curt Smith: Duets With Curt Smith. (The Tears for Fears pop star has played himself once before on the show and performed at Psych's 2010 Comic-Con panel. And Shawn dressed up as his partner, Roland Orzabal, in Season 2's "American Duos," featuring Clue star Tim Curry. Got it?) 

Curt Smith was close to death himself; in addition to being shot in the diaphragm, he was also mauled by Billy's pet panther. And just as he was about to identify the ice-pick-wielding gunman, he passed out.

Shawn tried to pin the murder on each guest in turn, including Lesley. But the former groupie shocked everyone, including Clizby, when she revealed that the butler—not anyone in Lipps' entourage—was her baby daddy.

And also the killer. The butler did it! At least, that's the ending fans chose for the East Coast broadcast. Lipps and his band had been stealing the whistler's melodies, and he retaliated by smothering Melinda. When Rip figured it out after "intensive psychotherapy," Clizby killed him, then targeted Billy, too, by sabotaging the chandelier. (The chocolate dance wasn't entirely to blame!) Poor Curt Smith was just collateral damage.

Like the ending of the movie, the ending of "100 Clues" was incidental. The real delight of this Psych milestone was watching the veteran actors hamming it up alongside the appreciated series regulars. It didn't compare to "Dual Spires," James Roday's love letter to Twin Peaks, but the David Lynch classic offered much richer source material and iconic characters. (And really, how can you top Sheryl Lee—fully clothed and not shrouded in plastic this time—reenacting the discovery of Laura Palmer's body?)


– "I stepped in scat, man!" "Scatman Crothers?" "No, panther scat!" "Gus, don't be the second time ever I saw your face." "I know my scat, Shawn."

– "This is my partner, Domo Arigato."

– "Licorice pastels, twelve o'clock!"

– "He didn't call you a gay Snoopy. He said you were their No. 1 groupie."

– "We split the food of the dead fifty-fifty, that's always been the deal."

– "Did he just do a mash-up of Yiddish and Spanish?" "Sure did, it's like a matzo-dilla." "Sounds delicious."

– "He's been lurking here all night long, Lionel Ritchie style."

– "You might want to lower that paint gun, Alice Cooper." (Lassie to Lipps)

– Carlton Lassiter, shut up. (Lassie's reply to "Martin Kahn, Harvard.")

– "I'm not sure if you're familiar with the 1984 Chuck Norris classic Missing in Action, but my partner and I are about to grill each and every one of you like Col. Braddock did the Viet Kong." (Lassie to the suspects, which included Gus and Shawn)

– "Deep down I think he is resentful and bitter that his wife was stolen from him by that beautiful bastard face dancer Derek Hough. His words—though I too would've chosen the word Derek." (Shawn, referring to Lipps' ex's hook-up with the Dancing With the Stars pro.)

– "Is your name Curt Smith?" (Curt Smith, when Shawn interrupted his duet with Curt Smith)

– "He's not dead!" (Everyone, every time someone said Curt Smith had died)

– "It's burning London broil." (Gus, with help from his Super Sniffer)

Did "100 Clues" live up to your expectations? What ending did you see? Which suspect did you vote for?

  • Comments (56)
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  • Whedonrules Mar 30, 2013

    I liked the episode. Jim Roday was on fire this episode and everybody followed his lead with the perfect mix of Gus, Jules, and Lassiter; makes perfect sense for the 100th episode. Wonder how many times Roday had to smack Maggie Lawson's bum? Bet it was always first take. When you have that many guest stars and the pace has to hold for the entire hour and it does, I think that means it worked pretty well. Could've used one more something - an Eileen Brennan appearance, just to see she's doing fine, would have been a great surprise or a "Lenny" showing. Very glad that Clizby was the culprit. The world needs more Garret Morris. Been a long time since he just wanted to get him a shot gun and kill all the whitey he saw. Remember when SNL was good....I'll stop.


  • Dayman90 Mar 29, 2013

    I admit to being a semi new comer to the show. I've seen a few episodes a couple of years ago and found it pretty good just never had the time to watch it. I am a huge Clue fan so I mostly watched it for that. There were some nice references to the old movie and was cool to see Mustard, Plum and Scarlett back together again. I liked the shows off beat humor and may watch it again. I can't agree with the reviewer though in claiming this to be better than a classic in Clue. Her argument about it being a critical dive doesn’t really madder to me. A lot of comedies are torn apart by reviewers it doesn't mean they aren't great comedies....

  • kanniballl Mar 29, 2013

    Also, where's the snack breakdown?

    Lately, the reviewer has been listing all of the stuff they eat... usually towards the bottom in the Quotes section.

  • CiaraGlynn Mar 29, 2013

    Burton Guster: "You some bitch."

  • CiaraGlynn Mar 29, 2013

    I might have enjoyed the episode more had I not watched it so late at night, but it still remains that the episode wasn't quite as great as expected? There were a couple of moments where the humor was just lost on me, or felt forced. It had it's good moments, like Gus finding the wig room instead of the chocolate room (Gus' ever-growing appetite as the series progresses is one of the the msot riveting storylines they've done, I believe), and the Curt Smith joke made me laugh, but it fell short of expectations - probably my own fault, I was expecing something to top 'Last Night Gus' in terms of how hard it made me laugh.
    Also maybe I missed it, but I'd have loved to have heard someone, maybe Lassiter, say 'Communism was just a red herring', but alas...there probably wasn't an opportunity to use it that wouldn't have felt gratuitous.

  • osdawaya16 Mar 29, 2013

    I thought it was absolutely hilarious. I laughed often and loudly and really enjoyed the camp. I've never actually seen Clue, though.

  • safibwana Mar 29, 2013

    Not even close to the original thing. Fine ep, but not even within an order of magnitude. This was good, Clue was genius. The writing, the pacing, the acting, the directing. There's just no comparison. Also the particular catchphrases and in-jokes cited felt particularly weak to me. And well, it was fine, but 100th episode level? After the twin peaks ep? The concept could have been good enough or on par, but the execution didn't rise to even their second best. Casting and writing didn't rise to that level, nor the directing. I not only don't see it, I don't see how anyone else could see it either. I think drugs may have been involved.

  • tnetennba Mar 29, 2013

    The Twin Peaks episode is the only one I've switched off half-way through because I thought it was so boring. It even got me to quit watching the show for a while.

  • safibwana Mar 29, 2013

    I can only guess you didn't watch Twin Peaks, in which case it wasn't for you. It was definitely not going to resonate with everyone, just as every time a series does a found footage episode a la Blair Witch, I hate it.

  • CindyWellingt Mar 30, 2013

    Except Psych's found footage bigfoot episode was possibly the funniest of the series and one of the 10 funniest episode of TV ever. Tim Omundson even pulled off the scene which is usually cringe-worthy when referenced.

  • safibwana Mar 30, 2013

    I found it watchable, but that's as far as I'll go. Most found footage stuff I just shut off.

  • tnetennba Mar 29, 2013

    I've seen Twin Peaks. Twice actually. I rewatched it a few years later.

  • CindyWellingt Mar 30, 2013

    Oh. The only other thing I don't like about Dual Spires. After seeing Don S Davis was in Twin Peaks, I was disappointed that there was no apparent tribute to him considering he'd been in the pilot for Psych and passed away a few years ago. Unless there is some tribute and I missed it. In which case, I'd be appreciative if someone pointed it out.

  • CindyWellingt Mar 30, 2013

    The body's discovery and the theme song were the slowest part of the Dual Spires episode. I'd never seen Twin Peaks, so I just figured it was a reference I didn't get -- which it was. I didn't really care for it, because it was too un-Psych-like. After watching Twin Peaks, I get the reference, but still don't like that scene or the slow intro. But the rest of the episode was pretty good. The Twin Peaks references were more subtle and then tone and pacing was more in-line with Psych that the beginning of the episode.

    Side note: There was only one outside the intro that stood out as an obvious reference. It was kind of amusing because of the way it was delivered but there was obviously more to it that you had to see Twin Peaks to get. It involved the priest's hair. I watched Twin Peaks just to figure that joke out. In hindsight, it was hilarious.

  • tnetennba Mar 30, 2013

    Hm, maybe I need to rewatch it then. I switched it off pretty early.

  • safibwana Mar 29, 2013

    I can't explain it then. That episode may have been the ultimate culmination of art in western civilization.

  • kanniballl Mar 29, 2013

    Juliette's reactions to Shawn's sexist butt slaps were hilarious

  • dh4645 Mar 29, 2013

    jules is so hot. she took those slaps like a champ

  • kanniballl Mar 29, 2013

    The fact that Rhoday is her husband probably made it a little easier and/or familiar :-)

  • dh4645 Mar 29, 2013

    you mean Roday...and they arent married, they've just been dating a long time.

  • kanniballl Mar 29, 2013

    Ah sorry, you're right on both accounts. A friend of mine said they finally got married a few months ago but I guess he was wrong.

  • ColdHearts Mar 28, 2013

    This was the first time ever I've actually noticed the pineapple without outright looking for it.

  • JT_Kirk Mar 28, 2013

    Ugh, licorice pastels, my sworn enemy.

    This was a cute episode, I am not sure it was better than the movie though, but it was fun and solid all around. The inclusion of the "Clue run" style was a clever little nod as was the singing telegram girl and the group frustrated yell, although so was the "great scott" from BTTF. I was surprised how different each character was written from the actor's original role, that was the best part was that they weren't just making these actors ape what they had done before.

    As for the endings, both were fine but thin, not enough clues to get Shawn to guess either. The West Coast ending with Martin Kahn being the killer because he was in love with Melinda who prefered the band over him had a little more fun in the moment because Lloyd really put it all into the moment. I'm glad there isn't a tight continuity in Psych or I don't know how they would have dealt with that ending thing.

    Having Henry be a superfan was probably my favorite moment, and while I'm glad they didn't shoehorn in Chief Vick to that moment she should have been somewhere for the 100th.

    I'll forever be sad that we'll not get to see the chocolate room.

  • Detta Mar 28, 2013

    They are selling a t-shirt for this episode reminiscent of the Clue gameboard floor layout with the chocolate room's location revealed to have been hidden behind a closet. If it wasn't 25 dollars I would so get it.

  • JT_Kirk Mar 29, 2013

    That sounds kind of great, hopefully they'll have 'em at Comic-Con for a reduced price or a giveway, thanks for the info. Behind a closet, of course! ;-)

  • JT_Kirk Mar 28, 2013

    Aw man, I gotta give props to Garrett Morris, great work playing not too silly but not too straight, very different from how he plays his character on 2 Broke Girls.

    Oh, but I also have to give this episode a knock, what was the deal with the blood in Rip's abandoned car? That didn't fit right at all and got dropped.

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