Season 4 Episode 9

Shawn Takes a Shot in the Dark

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Oct 16, 2009 on USA
out of 10
User Rating
500 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Shawn finds himself central to a criminal enterprise when he interrupts a brother preparing for a robbery, and then ends up a hostage for the other brother when all his well-laid plans are ruined by one psychopathic action.

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  • Had much higher expectations...

    When I discovered there was an episode of Shawn whumpage I was still watching season one. It was only until I reached season 3 that I could no longer contain my excitement, so I skipped several episodes to watch me some Psych drama! Needless to say, I had very high expectations.

    By the end of it, I would say it was an alright episode. The humour was really decent. BUT they could've done A LOT more than just constant jokes (when really it's supposed to be a dramatic episode), especially with the very disappointing end. *SPOILER ALERT* When there was the sudden cut from the Echo pulling closer to Shawn and Gus conversing about Juliet (bleh) - I would've much rather watched Shawn in the hospital.

    Also, when I watched the episode commentary three things that spoke out to me:

    1) The executive producer woman commenting on how she loves seeing characters hurt (mainly Shawn) AND that she sees Shawn like a "super" character with many skills. HUGE thanks to her as she was the one who suggested an episode like this in the first place.

    2) They decided to cut the actual bullet penetrating Shawn's shoulder with the addition of blood. BAD MISTAKE. They should've kept it. They thought the graphic would "upset" the audience. (Do they not remember what they did in the pilot? Now that was graphic).

    3) The phone conversation of Shawn with Juliet was originally supposed to be with Henry....

    ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?! We FINALLY get an excuse to take advantage of a father/son moment and they PULL THIS CRAP?!?! We don't need any more Shules infecting the show further. The only relationship I want to see explored is the the dynamic between Shawn and his father.

    And with that, I end my ranting...and this review.

  • That's it? Really?

    For fans this episode was suppose to be the big highlight of the 4th season. If, like I did, you have been following cast interview, you knew that there is suppose to be a emotional conversation between Shawn and Juliet. But first let's talk about the story.

    We meet Lassiter, Jules and Gus in the middle of nowhere and learn that Shawn has been kidnapped. He sends Gus some cryptic messages like (minor SPOILER) "binshot not lol" meaning that he's been shot and it is not fun. I don't know about others but this joke was not funny for me when it was coming and definitely wasn't funny when they explained it. Where were the writers aiming? 15 year olds? I'm a bit doubtful if just anyone finds that funny. Anyway the show takes us through some flashbacks and we get to see the investigation... which is not very funny as well. Shawn and Guses antics really grew old - how many times did I hear "You've got to be out of your damned mind" from Gus?

    The second half of the episode is the present time and the investigation. Henry gets involved to have some conversations with Lassiter, which, again, are mediocre. How funny is that Henry is in better shape than Lassiter? Also Lassiter gets a new car in the episode (looks like the old one), which doesn't factor in until very end of the episode and still is underused. These little subplots can be fun - rember how in Monk Julie got to trash the brand new Dodge Charger? In Psych nothing happens. Oh, Lassiter gets to say "I love these new brakes" after doing a hand brake stop. Comedy gold (sic!).

    Now Shawn and Jules. There is really awkward scene when she goes in Shawns apartment (yes, we get to see it) and finds Abigails toothbrush and some clothes. It makes me awkward as well - how much would you like to visit your ex-partner(or interest) and find traces of his/hers current love object? Not cool. And there is a "big" emotional scene. From what Lawson said in the interview I though she would put more heart into it. She doesn't really get emotional, she doesn't blush, she doesn't spill a single tear of joy, almost nothing. In all honesty the romance in season 2 and 3 was hundred times better. Oh, Shawns later comments on this "confession" like if it was nothing - so what, 3 years of buildup between him and Jules and suddenly he so tight with Abigail. I know the writers have it planned that it isn't so but it just doesn't make you care so much as it did before.

    One thing that shows about this episode is, like Roday or Steve Franks said, use of special effect. There is one pointless effect of a 3d bullet going into Shawn. What's the point? And they didn't even have enough funds to show the bullet go in. The point is - Psych doesn't need this. Unless that is only "fresh" idea that they can come up with. If so - then I would say that it is about time to end the show. At least it wouldn't stain the great memories that season 1-3 left us.moreless
  • One word: Heartstopping!

    usually, Psych episodes are ratehr light with a little drama thrown in for good measure. this time they reversed the formula and I worked surprisingly well. it was nice to see Shawn as determined and proficient. now we know he can be mature. he just chooses not to most of the time. the little funny interludes kept the episode from feeling too un-Psych like. also, the swaping of the usual pairs worked very well too. seeing Henry and Carlton work together was really interesting since they are so much alike. and Gus and Juliet as the two people who care about Shawn the most while not related to him. I also enjoyed the little Sahwn/Juliet interlude. we know they have feelings for each otehr but it is handled in a rather subtle and believable way. I also liked the bad guy who was not so bad after all. and the car chase was fun in true Psych fashion. it was one of the most enjoyable episodes not only of the season but of the show.moreless
  • The story revolves around Shawn, who gets in some trouble, and it's up to team to save him before it's too late.

    I've been watching the seasons on DVD, and I actually skipped 3 episodes tonight just so I could watch it, and I have to say, I was not disappointed! This episode is probably my favorite so far. I love the back-track of the story, showing us how Shawn got kidnapped. I loved seeing Henry work with Detective Lassiter, and I also enjoyed a more "serious" Shawn (if there ever was one). I also liked the fact that Lassiter showed how much he cared for Shawn. Yes he's a cop and finding people is his job, but finding Shawn was personal for him, even if they don't always get along.

    The episode was just so interesting, and it kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time. I am definitely going to have to watch this episode again!moreless
  • Compelling Shawn, Maturing Shawn? - and how did they do that????

    To keep viewers interested in someone who could easily just become a royal annoyance with his "snarkiness" :-), this episode among other darker ones allows Shawn's character to show some depth and that makes him all the more interesting and compelling to watch. I had faith that he would be okay, but it was pretty terrifying and full of derring-do along the way. Also - how in the world do they shoot the vehicle chase scenes? I'd love to see a "behind the scenes" on this part although I think I've figured it out after several viewings.

    I know that Shawn will eventually have to outgrow his Peter Pan persona, but I hope the writers find a way to keep his buoyant spirit alive and well as he deepens in the inevitable "maturing" process (despite what the title song says). I just cannot figure out a "normal" occupation for his character and talents other than what he has carved out for himself. Could he become a psychologist like his mother?

    What would happen to Shawn if he took medication for his "ADD", or was that just a line he gave in this script. Was Shawn ever diagnosed as having ADD? I wonder.

    Thanks USA, Steve Franks, James Roday, Dule Hill, and all the people who make this show possible. What a treat for all of us!moreless
John Hawkes

John Hawkes


Guest Star

Sarah Edmondson

Sarah Edmondson


Guest Star

Devon Weigel

Devon Weigel


Guest Star

Sage Brocklebank

Sage Brocklebank

Buzz McNab

Recurring Role

Liam James

Liam James

Young Shawn

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • Psych-out: Gag reel from Lassiter and Henry's first car scene when they spot the peace sign.

    • Goof: Jules says that crooks buy social security numbers "off the deceased" on the black market. It's doubtful the deceased are the ones doing the actual selling.

    • Goof: Henry states that "yellow reflectors" was Shawn's last clue when explaining to Lassiter why they should start their search in that location. The last clue Shawn left was actually "peac sig."

    • Shawn claims he has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) in this episode.

    • Goof: The opening scene is a flashback to 1989, but when Henry is opening the trunk of his car the license plate tag shows that it expired in September 1988.

    • Goof: Lassiter comments on the fact that Shawn can't be found via GPS on his phone, but when Shawn is trying to call Gus you can clearly see that he has full WiFi connectivity. And with an iPhone there are more then a dozen apps that can point to your location and broadcast it out based on either WiFi, Edge and 3G even if your GPS is not working.

    • This is the first time since the pilot that Shawn has used a gun.

    • Pineapple Spotting: It's on the doormat of Shawn's apartment.

    • Mentalist Reference: One of the websites in Shawn's recent history is "".

  • QUOTES (4)

    • (As Henry struggles for the gun to get a better shot at the bad guy.)
      Lassiter: (sputtering) Spencer! What the hell are you doing?
      Shawn: (from the hood of the car) Which Spencer are you talking to?!
      Lassiter: It doesn't matter, you're the same person!
      Shawn: (shocked and deeply offended) Am not!

    • (After one of the crooks tells Shawn he has more than enough plastic bags to hold all of Shawn's body parts.)
      Shawn: Note to self, call Hefty with commercial idea.

    • Henry: There's not a room I won't bust in to find my son.

    • (After both Gus and Lassiter refuse to let him leave the truck from which he's trying to escape.)
      Shawn: I've been shot. I'm jumping on somebody's car!

  • NOTES (5)


    • During the car chase scene, there is an exchange between Gus and Shawn over which character from The Fast and the Furious each main character represents: Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, or Paul Walker.

    • Shawn: What do I call you? Mr. Brown? Mr. Pink?

      These are the code names for the criminals in Quentin Tarantino's 1992 debut, Reservoir Dogs.