Psych Review: Happy Birthday, Jules!
This episode was the Shat!
Who could have guessed that 30th birthdays could be such a roller coaster?
We should have known even the most basic of holidays was bound to get out of hand, as Shawn and Gus had their plates full this week on Psych this week. Not only did they plan Juliet's party, they also attempted to broker a reunion between her and her estranged father, Frank.
And it all happened on, "In for a Penny."
I can't go any further without acknowledging the legend that not only graced the small screen this week, but made one of the best guest star spots this season on Psych:
William Shatner knocked this role out of the park. I loved him as Juliet's dad. He and Maggie Lawson were believable as a father/daughter, and you wanted to root for them. I would love to have him back as soon as possible. I really didn't want the episode to end because of how well Shatner meshed with the rest of the cast.
This is the dialogue-heavy guest spot I've been dying to see all season. We've had a few, including Kristy Swanson's role as Marlow, but THIS performance is what guest starring is all about. That said, Maggie, this was also one of your most emotional episodes in the post-Mr. Yin era.
Any time the focus of the episode pertains to Juliet, you own it. You portray Juliet as the portrait of strength, grace and heart. That's what we all love about her. In her best moments, in her worst moments, she's an admirable person that I aspire to be. Thank you.
And now for the fun part: Happy Birthday, Juliet!
It was great to see the group finally attempt to celebrate this occasion. We got an episode with Carlton's birthday all the way back in season one, but this one included a ninth birthday flashback for Juliet, which was neat, and it simultaneously set the backdrop for her issues with her father.
We learned a lot about the character here, particularly how much like Shawn she really is when it comes to her broken relationship with her dad. It really puts some things into perspective.
Remember when, way back in season four, she lashed out at Shawn for not understanding what it was like to have a "healthy, loving relationship with [his] family?" This really seemed to call that observation into question given that Juliet's family is just as fractured as Shawn's. Her brother, Ewan, is a spy, and her father is a con man.
As much fun as it might be for Juliet to have the perfect family, I don't think I would respect her as much if it was. Clearly the writers hit a high note with me for that.
There was also something else about Juliet's relationship with her father that caught my attention: how much like Shawn Frank really is. Sure, Shawn isn't pulling off cons in a sense that he's stealing things. But Shawn is running a con on Juliet by not telling her that he's psychic.
Did you notice how quickly Shawn bailed once Juliet confronted Frank in the parking lot? He appeared sincerely convicted to me. He couldn't stand there and listen to Juliet berate Frank because he would have drawn parallels to himself.
The entire episode I kept wondering: Who is this reunion for: Juliet or Shawn?
Seems to me that Shawn had as much to gain from Juliet's forgiveness as Frank did. It would have validated that his gift wasn't simply a con, that he didn't mean any harm. Then again, we don't really know that Frank changed at all. It was like Shawn wanted some kind of reassurance that Juliet might forgive him if he came clean.
Problem is, Shawn isn't in a situation where Juliet was always fully aware of the lie. It's likely to throw her world upside down when she finds out he's not psychic. She won't have had time to ponder it and reject it like she did with Frank. It's going to hit her head on, and she's going to have to confront it every day.
I also think that when Shawn admitted how his lack of contact with his father had created a void in his life... it was the same as him trying to repair Juliet's relationship like he wished he could repair his own. Shawn and Henry are definitely getting there, but they still have a ways to go.
Do I know who the reunion was really for in the end? The jury is still out.
Some other moments that had me asking questions:
- Who were all those people at Juliet's birthday party?
- Why are Juliet and Carlton's hugs still awkward?
- What allowed Juliet to deal with her father so publicly at the station? It's one thing to pull them into the conference room, but she acknowledged in front of the entire station that she and her father had a strained relationship. This was very interesting to me.
This was such a fun episode and there sure was a lot to talk about! What did you think about Shatner's guest spot?
Psych: "In for a Penny"
C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.