So after what seemed like forever (to me and my Twitter buddies. I am pretty sure the six month time space continuum passed pretty much like six months for the rest of the universe), the quirky crime-fighting duo of Shawn and Gus finally made it back on our screens for the fourth season. But not from sunny Santa Barbara where the show is set at , but the snowy peaks of British Columbia, Canada. The season premiere titled â€˜Extradition : British Columbiaâ€™ finds Shawn ( James Roday) and Gus ( Dule Hill) off to a ski vacation in Whistler which gets disrupted with an international art thief , Pierre Despereux played by Cary Elwes of â€˜The Princess Brideâ€™ fame showing up in town whom Shawn recognizes from Lassiterâ€™s wall of most wanted. Pretending to be Head Detective to solicit the local policeâ€™s help, Shawn attempts to nab Despereux with Lassiter (Tim Omundson) and Juliet (Maggie Lawson) flying down to assist. What follows is an entertaining forty minutes complete with a dig at the â€™The Mentalistâ€™, the standard Canada joke or two, talking to raccoons, An â€˜Entrapmentâ€™ laser spoof and some less than stellar skiing on part of the guys all of which is rounded off nicely with an adorable, aww worthy non-date between Shawn and Jules. Lassiterâ€™s frustration at not being able to have a gun and exude his usual authority, being out of his jurisdiction is amusing as is Cary Elwesâ€™ portrayal of the gentleman criminal as he speaks in clipped tones and wears designer loafers. As fans of the show would know, the show is actually filmed in Vancouver where it does a decent job of masquerading as being set in California. With the need to pretend obviously not there in this particular episode, panoramic shots of popular tourist destination like the Capilano Bridge and Stanley Park and the city skyline have been added gleefully for the simple fact that they can be shown.
As far as season premieres go, even without the staple dead body, â€˜Extradition: British Columbiaâ€™ doesnâ€™t disappoint. It delivers itâ€™s signature blend of humor and wit while successfully addressing some of the developments in Season 3 namely Shawnâ€™s attempts at rekindling romance with high school crush Abigail (Rachael Leigh Cook) and the interesting twist it has for the Shawn and Juliet storyline. Season 4 finds the fake psychic attempting to negotiate a fledgling relationship with Abigail while reconciling with the abruptly changed dynamic of his little more than friendship with Juliet. Roday brings out some unseen nuances to the character of Shawn as he awkwardly and endearingly fumbles through conversations wiht Juliet before oh so sweetly proclaiming to refuse to be uncomfortable around her, because she means too much to him. Maggie Lawson too does well at keeping Juliet non-dramatic and composed. Episode writer and show creator Steve Franks thankfully keeps out any exaggerated heartbreak or pining from weighing in upon the lightness of the show. While I must admit, the shipper in me was less than thrilled about yanking the flirtatious element between the two characters, there is a new and heightened awareness of feelings for each other which is sure to lend to the depth of the show.
All in all, â€˜Extradition..â€™ sets the tone perfectly for season ahead.