Well, Psych-Os, that does it for another stellar season. And Psych couldn't have picked a better way to sign off than with a guest performance by '80s icon Anthony Michael Hall.
"No Trout About It" was an excellent homage to 1988's D.O.A., in which Dennis Quaid stars as an English professor trying
to catch his would-be murderer before a deadly poison kills him in 24 hours.
Like D.O.A., "Trout" was told through a series flashbacks, opening with the Blueberry in hot pursuit of a daredevil motorcyclist... through the middle of a crowded race course. Unfortunately for race participant Henry, a few hundred of his fellow runners, and Detectives Lassiter and O'Hara, the chase ended with a collision and a cloud of "cake mix," with the motorcyclist ending up dead after crashing into a tree.
As a result, an unwelcome guest crashed the police department's party: Hall's Harry Trout, an abrasive, humorless consultant sent in by the head honchos to discipline/punish the SBPD Scooby gang (think Albert on Twin Peaks). And Trout's resume spanned more than just "real" police work: He may or may not've been an Emmy-winning consultant on a show called Badge and Honor.
When did the adorable geek from Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, and The Breakfast Club become such a first-class prick?
Among Trout's most terrible transgressions: He tossed the group's fresh donuts in the trash, munched on a plate of sandwiches without sharing, and "snacked" on a Balance Bar. (At least it was s'mores, my favorite flavor.)
When Lassie tried to shake Trout's hand, Trout only offered an elbow—much like Gus toward their poisoned client, whom he refused to believe
Gus was also extremely uncomfortable with Trout's use of silence as an interrogation tactic, and couldn't help filling the dead air (a side effect of his recent radio gig?) with inane comments: "So is Trout a family name? I had waffles for breakfast this morning. Wanna hear my shoulder click?"
Trout immediately fired everyone, then gave them a chance to defend themselves. In a nice shout-out to Psych's series run, Shawn boasted accordingly: "Over the last seven years we've solved something in the neighborhood of 100 homicides."
Maybe because it was the finale, we were treated to two Gus-troductions in this episode, with the first one directed at Trout: "This is my partner, Burton Trout," to which Gus added, "No relation."
At Trout's command, Shawn delved into their sorry tale, beginning with a "disgusting smelly man" named Leo Quinn, who'd hired the Psych team to solve his own murder. They took Leo to the hospital, where a doctor confirmed that he was dying from a toxic pest control poison and had less than 48 hours left to live.
At Trout's prodding, Shawn asserted that he then called the SPBD—not
to report the poisoning, but to play smoochie face with Juliet. A departmental squabble
ensued, with the consultant learning that Lassie is now married to a felon he once arrested ("She's
a rehabilitated felon; the system works!") and that "Magic Mike" McNab
is a part-time stripper (which was news to the chief because she was so hammered
at the bachelorette party he was hired to entertain).
"You guys are practically writing my next episode of Badge," Trout noted.
Resuming their story, the boys explained that they'd offered to pick up Leo's wife, Rita Quinn, at the airport. "Obviously I was skeptical of the superhot Latina married to the Travelocity Gnome," Shawn admitted about the beauty, whom he deduced only married Leo to obtain U.S. citizenship. He let Gus reveal that she was about to be a widowed American.
"This is my partner, Bad News Marvin Barnes," said Shawn, to which his sidekick naturally replied, "I have bad news."
But Rita soon received even worse news, in the form of a fatal head-bashing. As Lassie quipped at the scene:
"Looks like we've got 50 Shades of Grey… matter."
The bodies continued to fall (i.e. "two bodies and one circling the drain"—Shawn definitely undersold the "100 homicides" they'd solved), leading Trout to ask, "How close are we to the part where you turn [the case] into a bad episode of CHiPs?"—provoking a heated debate:
"First of all, there are no bad episodes of CHiPs," countered Shawn.
"What about the one where Ponch is plagued with bad luck after he pulls over a van full of black cats?"
"Character enrichment, Gus."
(For what it's worth, Shawn's argument here was as thin as his stance on Duran Duran's "Rio." It might not be "pure poetry" as "Durany" Leo claimed, but there's no way "Rio" and "Hungry Like the Wolf" should be lumped in with "View to a Kill" or God forbid "The Reflex.")
Annnyway, because Gus didn't want the Blueberry "to smell like dead dude," the guys returned Leo to the hospital. The next time they saw him, he was "hot out of the oven" at the mortuary—"12 ounces of disgusting cindered gingered dead dude."
About that "cake mix" that coated Lassie and
Juliet when they collided with the Blueberry: Yep, it was dead dude. But it wasn't Leo; it turned out that he was simply pretending to suffer from compound 1080
poisoning (or, if you believe Shawn, Blink-182/P90X poisoning) in order to
knock off his accomplices in a jewel heist.
But even with the case closed, the story didn't end happily for our favorite crimesolvers: Trout suspended Vick, announced himself as the new interim chief of police, demoted Lassie ("your butt-kissing is chapping my ass"), fired McNab ("grab your bowtie and your thong and hit the bricks"), and terminated the Psych consultants.
How will the show return to its status quo? That's a question only next season can answer. But even though it's hard to bid farewell, at least we don't
have to wait another year to satisfy our Psych
appetite: The long-awaited, two-hour (standalone) musical extravaganza premieres in December!
I was on the set during filming and can guarantee a ripping good time! (That's a hint to the
musical-within-the-musical's title, btw.)
But even the promise of singing detectives doesn't really lessen the pain of Psych's parting. "Trout" concluded a standout seventh season on a note higher than the "it" in "Suck iiit!" Only two episodes disappointed me: the premiere and "Dead Air," which I unfortunately wasn't able to review when it aired two weeks ago. The other 10 episodes, however, were virtual taste sensations. Over the course of the season, the entire cast shared the spotlight, and each character matured in a different way. Shawn, Gus, and Lassie put on their big-boy pants (while Woody took his off), Juliet became Santa Barbara's biggest badass, and Shuliet finally enjoyed true love thanks to a little honesty.
Truth time: What did you think of "No Trout About It" and Season 7 as a whole? Which episode was your favorite? (I honestly can't decide between "Lassie Jerky," "Juliet Wears the Pantsuit" and "Office Space"—I'm still laughing about Shawn and Gus's crime scene "cleanup.")
– "No Trout About It" was co-written by sporadic Psych guest-star Carlos Jacott, who played Terrance in 2006's "9 Lives" and Geoff in 2011's "The Tao of Gus." This was the third episode he's penned this season.
– Who knew such a jerky persona would suit Hall so well? (Tim Burton, that's who; Burton was responsible for casting Hall as the thug in Edward Scissorhands.)
– Hall is currently playing a version of Trout on Awkward., which I highly recommend you watch to help ease the pain of Psych's departure.
– Other Breakfast Clubbers who've guested on Psych include Ally Sheedy, as another infamous Psych villain; Molly Ringwald; Judd Nelson; and janitor John Kapelos. Emilio Estevez, it's your turn.