Psych Season Finale Review: Family Ties
Psych-O's... DID THAT JUST HAPPEN??????!!!!!!!
A reopened case, a dive back into Henry's past, dirty cops, an unexpected departure and a crazy ending that had us all screaming at the television set. You know Psych wouldn't let us down in their sixth season finale, "Santabarbara Town."
This is the first finale since season three that didn't include the Yin-Yang killer case. While a bittersweet realization that the era of the trilogy has passed, it seems Psych is not at a loss for how to keep us on the edge of our seats 'til next season.
So much went down this episode, it's almost hard to know where to start. Let's start from the beginning then!
I welcomed the return of the flashback. Seeing Shawn in 1991 isn't something you realize you miss until you see it again. This one in particular gave me that recognition, given we got to see young Shawn inquiring about a case, not unlike he does now.
We also haven't seen ones where Henry and his partner are both present, which also made it memorable. I didn't know Shawn had an Uncle Lou, nor have we ever gotten a full picture of the men Henry worked with back in the day.
After all the seasons we spent trying to put together a link in Shawn's past regarding the Yin case, it was quite the table-turner to have Henry going through a similar phase here. I LOVED it. I guess you could call this the second Henry-centric episode we've ever had on Psych. It's been a long time since "Disco Didn't Die, It Was Murdered." We certainly have come a long way since then.
My first and favorite observation about this episode was the unfailing Psych tradition of making sure the whole cast is a critical element in the season finales. I think this is the most we've really seen of Chief Vick throughout the course of the season, but seeing her at the helm of the investigation is reminiscent of season finales past. She's no stranger to rallying the troops.
It also gave us another glimpse into the relationship between Chief Vick and Henry. There is a lot of respect there that's easy to miss in the daily grind of their interactions. When Henry decided to leave his position as head of consultants, the Chief was truly sad to see him go, and I love that she opened the door for him to return if he changed his mind. Their hug was simply an added bonus.
If there's anything their hug reminds us of, it's how much of a legit family this group has turned into. Whether everyone wants to admit it or not (particularly in Carlton's case), Karen, Henry, Juliet, Carlton, Shawn and Gus have seen the best and worse of each other in a lot of different ways and it's been quite the ride watching them all come together time and again.
As for the case, who knew that men from Henry's unit would have been behind it? Bank-rolled by Ellis Beaumont, Lou, Jack and Jerry were all working security at the Derby without Henry even knowing!
The writers really had us going thinking that Jordan or Thea was behind the whole thing. It was kinda creepy that they reverted to the "Blocked" iPhone calls. It seems they just can't leave the Yin-Yang trilogy behind in that respect, especially some of the other subtle references, like the "yours is so much bigger than mine" pocket knife callback.
Putting Juliet in the cross-hairs was also a nice touch. I don't think I've ever seen Shawn instigate a fight, especially not one in which he legitimately punched someone out. His assault on Jordan, as well as his insistence to be allowed to take care of Juliet, really shows you where their relationship is at, as if you even needed reminding!
Also, was I getting some kind of vibe that Juliet might be wanting Shawn to move in? The scene with the two of the bench in front of the precinct (stealing kisses, no less) had me wondering what next season might bring for their relationship. I was glad they integrated Shules in the finale, and has woven its way effortlessly into many episodes this season, as it should.
But the real relationship I was begging to see more of was the matured one taking place between Henry and Shawn. I know it's been developing over seasons five and six, but when you reflect on the outright antagonism that marked Henry's first few weeks at the SBPD to Shawn almost begging him to stay now, you see how far they've come. Not to mention what a departure it is from the shows pilot! When they had beer together in that episode it was awkward and slightly painful.
Painful is probably the one word that defines the final minutes of this episode. Even though it included Buzz, what I did not expect was for Henry to get shot. I was wondering where the much-touted suspense was going to manifest itself, and having Henry's life hang in the balance was certainly one way to achieve that.
It broke my heart to see Shawn recognize how much danger his father was in. I can only imagine the wreck he will be when the show returns for season seven this Fall.
Other highlights from the episode:
- Shawn's awkward reference to the Kama Sutra. There are just some things you don't talk about.
- the Veronica Town/Ellis Beaumont case combo, way to go with the sister/lover/killer thing with Thea/Dahlia.
- Gus's undiagnosed addiction to chocolate.
- Woody being a key player in the finale. He can officially say he's part of the team.
- Bee remembering Shawn for crying when his dead refused to buy him ice cream six years ago.
What a finale! How do you think Henry getting shot will play out in Season 7? Will he return to the SBPD? Are you as depressed as I am that we now have to wait till Fall for new episodes?
Psych: "Santabarbara Town"
C. Charles is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.