"Lassie Jerky," written and directed by Psych star James Roday, packed so many punches that I'm more bruised than an overripe banana. (Destined for a pudding. A delicious pudding.)
Briefly, the found-footage homage to The Blair Witch Project found Shawn and Gus volunteering (sort of) to help a sex-crazed coed and her fellow film student with a "finding Bigfoot" documentary. Detectives Lassiter and O'Hara became unwilling participants in the project after Gus's car (did they fix the Blueberry?!) was reportedly abandoned.
All evidence seemed to point toward the existence of Sasquatch: Gus stumbled upon three fresh corpses, Lassie was gravely injured by a bear trap and taken away by a giant furry creature, and the gang discovered what they believed to be Lassie's remains roasting over a fire in the beast's lair.
Of course, the creature was a gentle giant and very human: Big Ed Dixon (WWE's Big Show, following in
the big footsteps of Psych's many WWE guest-stars), a society-shunning former Army ranger. The
real enemies were a trio of Serbian contract killers who axed Ed in the back (he'll be fine, although the gang
seemed more intent on declaring him dead than Woody the coroner did) and ambushed the group before Santa
Barbara's Finest, and Ed, could take them out.
Because this is a review and no one is more impartial about Psych than me, let's run down the pros and cons of "Lassie Jerky," shall we?
Tonight we saw that Lassie has more layers than a Rubik's cube. The hard-nosed veteran cop was tough (taking a bullet in the shootout, for starters), vulnerable ("Big Ed picked me up like a baby fawn" after snapping his ankle in a bear trap), adroit (catching Shawn's camera from the sky while almost drowning in a rushing river), romantic (saying goodbye to his jailbird babe Marlowe in his farewell video), and earnest (calling Juliet the "best partner ever"). And even though he really did look like the "love child of Matthew Perry and Tony Randall," no one could do a better impression of Blair Witch's sniveling Heather in a wool cap than the "dying" detective.
Juliet has reached the highest echelon of badassery. And after besting the Serbian
mob—with both her gun and a crossbow, for the love of God—she might've notched more kills than Lassiter himself. (Unless you count squirrels.) And saving her partner by knocking down a
tree to catch him in the river? Just wow. (Also, how hot is Maggie Lawson? Did you guys see her
guest spot as a very naughty girl on Justified?)
Gus seemed to lose his appetite last week (lovesickness?), but it was back with a vengeance tonight. And when Gus is hungry, hilarity ensues. Here are some of the snacks he either ate or mentioned in "Lassie Jerky": Lassie, beef jerky, bread, brisket, corn pudding, crackers, dry rub, flan, Nutella (okay, that was Kate's nickname for Gus, but it's worth noting), Odwalla-palooza (which doesn't exist—yet), pone, a turkey leg (containing a tracking device, which he found in a tree), and venison (formerly known as Lassie).
What's better than ravenous Gus? Terrified Gus! From his high-pitched wailing to his funny faces, Roday used every opportunity to take advantage of Dulé Hill's signature skills tonight. Also: Gus whipped out the Super Sniffer again!
Other highlights: The quartet of Shawn, Gus, Kate, and Chavo singing the Bangles' "Eternal Flame" around the campfire; Big Ed Dixon, and Woody (any appearance, however brief, by California's creepiest coroner is always a win). Plus, Red Vines!
As if! There are 0 percent minuses. "Lassie Jerky" was perfect in every way and it's definitely a frontrunner for the Golden Pineapple Award and a spot in the Psych Hall of Fame. (I just made up the trophy and organization, but c'mon son: They should totally exist, right?)
In addition to the obvious homage to The Blair Witch Project, Roday—a film buff and pop-culture virtuoso—dropped at least 16 big-screen references in the "Jerky" script. Here are the ones I caught, in alphabetical order: Bridge on the River Kwai, Cannibal Holocaust, Capturing the Friedmans, Don Quixote, Glory, Harry and the Hendersons, Jungle Fever, Ladyhawke, Last Tango in Paris, Lost in La Mancha, Love & Basketball, The Notebook, Pootie Tang, Predator, The Village, and Wild Orchid.
Almost every single line in "Lassie Jerky" was quotable, so you might as well memorize the entire episode. Here are some of the highlights:
– "We're on our way to the Sassy Quatch. It's a secret BBQ place built into the side of a cave. It has the best-tasting corn pudding in all of…" (Gus, before realizing Shawn had totally set him up)
– "Shawn, John Lithgow is never writing you back. He's never even heard of [the Harry and the
Hendersons] fansite." (Gus)
– "Organic juices and weird elixirs that are alive are the future, just like milk." (Shawn when Gus disparaged his dreams for Odwalla-palooza)
– "I enrolled you in something called Hermeneutics at UCSB. I think it is the study of The Munsters, so we should be fine." (Shawn on why they were eligible to win the Student Academy Award)
– "There are still bears out here, Shawn. Black bears who feel no kinship to black men." (Who else?)
– "I'll rarely order flan. If it's there on the table, sure, I'll partake, but chances are something else on the menu is gonna grab me." (Gus, speaking for most of America)
– "You're very open and sensual and European-seeming, but I'm in a committed relationship, and my lady and her illegitimate son count on me to make responsible decisions—in the clutch. (Gus about his brand-new girlfriend when Kate tried to hit on him again)
– "He'll want me first. I'm the sweetest!" (Gus worrying about being Bigfoot's prey, until Shawn reassured him: "What are you saying, he's gonna start with dessert?")
– "That's right, Los Lobos, so get that camera out of my face." (Lassie, when Chavo asked if he and Juliet were the po-po)
– "Mother Nature was not meant for us. It was meant for the animals and Jeff Probst. And you know what? Not really Probst because we all know that after wrap he goes to the Marriott." (Shawn on his refusal to participate in outdoor activities with his lady love)
– "I won't be making anymore off-color LPGA jokes during the holidays." (Lassie's dying declaration to his mom)
– "In lieu of everything we've been through with that man, Lassie does smell absolutely delicious." (Shawn, believing they'd found Bigfoot barbecuing Lassie's remains)
– "I can feel my ribs, Shawn." Gus, picking meat out of his teeth when Shawn accused, "You tasted the
meat when we all thought it was Lassie?!")
What'd you think of "Lassie Jerky"?