Psych's "Cirque du Soul" was basically a three-ring circus, and it featured a trio of romances: Lassie and Marlowe (up top for the return of Kristy Swanson!), Gus and Rachael, and Gus and Shawn.
The crime of the hour—robberies linked to the death of a trapeze artist—was so ancillary to the storylines that it's hardly worth recounting here.
And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Most Psych-Os tune in not for the whodunit, but for the hilarious situations our crimefighters find themselves in while attempting to solve the mystery.
But I can't help feeling that "Cirque" did a disservice to Lassie and Marlowe's epic love story. "This Episode Sucks," the vampire-themed installment in which the original Buffy star stole Lassie's heart, let us see the tough detective at his most vulnerable—and I fell harder for him than ever before.
So this week, from the moment Lassie welcomed the ex-con into his arms outside the prison gates—and it was a lovely moment—I expected great things. Unfortunately, their story was as frothy as the bubble bath a horrified Juliet found her partner sharing with his "honey bear." (A definite highlight, though something that poor Jules can never unsee.)
A quickie engagement—to circumvent a vindictive probation officer—replaced the badass proposal I was prepared to relish. Not a single Clint Eastwood reference from his diehard fans? The stoic antihero spoke this couple's language of love!
Speaking of the language of love, It was Gus and Rachael's lovey-dovey appropriation of the BFFs' signature catchphrases that first riled Shawn this week: "Time out! She's doing our 'C'mon sons'?" protested the pretend psychic. (His outrage was legit: "C'mon son" should never be said in a baby voice.)
Through a series of unfortunate events—most of them involving Rachael's son Maximus—Shawn successfully sabotaged Gus's relationship: Rachael broke up with him.
Now it was Guster's time to call a time out—by breaking up with Shawn.
The strain on their bromance, which is the soul of Psych, was "Cirque's" strongest story, and deftly handled by writer Saladin K. Patterson. In fact, the strength of this season has been the writers' emphasis on finally assigning equal weight to Gus's romantic relationship. He's officially graduated from "sidekick" to "full-fledged partner in crime."
Neither couple was apart for long: Henry reminded Gus that he'd always been the one constant in his son's life, while Shawn called Rachael and persuaded her to give his buddy another chance.
He also called Gus. A lot.
As usual, Gus rescued Shawn—disguised as an Icelandic exterminator with an accent stranger than Balki's—resulting in "some grown-ass men settling their differences."
"I know you're terrified and afraid of change, and that you hate Tito Jackson's birthday," Gus reassured his pal (referencing the date his mom moved out), "but I promise I will always be here." It was a perfect moment that managed to be both heartwarming and hysterical.
Then Shawn delivered another aw-worthy line to Maximus, who was waiting with his mom to reunite with Gus at the station: "You realize that is the coolest dude in the whole wide world?"
You know that's right.
– "My psychic powers generally don't kick in until someone's been missing for 48 hours. Unless that person is Eddie Murphy, from the movie 48 Hours, but sadly I fear he's lost forever." (Shawn to his client)
– "I'm still here, Shawn. And I'm not a leprechaun." (Rachael after Shawn mimicked her when he thought she'd hung up)
– "Quick: Say something to give your mom proof of life." (Gus on another call to Rachael)
– "Sorry, O'Hara, I'm too frustrated to care about what lowlife broke into what sign factory or how the ACLU's going to take all the fun out of catching him." (Lassie)
– "Orenthal James Simpson. My folks were big fans of Hertz rental car." (Shawn, explaining his circus alias.)
– "He better be talking to you." Gus to Shawn, when one of the circus performers said, "OJ, come with me if you want to leave."
– "OMG, WTF, JTT!" "Jonathan Taylor Thomas is not an acronym, Shawn." (Juliet, correcting Shawn after his horrified response to discovering Lassie at his home)
– "I'm tired of your mouth writing checks that my ass has to cash." "Gus, I'm going to need you to lower the volume or at the very least change that metaphor."
– "She went all Halle Berry and Boomerang on a brother." (Gus, on Rachael not returning his calls)
– "Of course I do, that's Tito Jackson's birthday!" (Gus, when Henry asked about the significance of Oct. 15, also the day Shawn's mom moved out)
– "I know, I know. TMI: Tell more information!" (Woody, oversharing about his sex life)
– "I am begging you to share less." (Juliet interrupting Ursula's raving about Lassie's sexual prowess, before realizing she'd be a perfect match for Woody)
– Were you disappointed in Lassie and Marlowe's rushed romance, or did you like seeing the severe detective besotted and soppy?
– On a scale of 1 to 10 pineapples, how do you rate "Cirque du Soul"?
– What wisecrack made you laugh the hardest?
– Rachael and Maximus: Annoying?