Intelligible Television: Psych and the Yips

Posted on September 12, 2009

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Shawn gets the Yips
Shawn gets the Yips

This episode is a perfect example of when Psych accomplishes the fine balance between keeping it funny and dabbling with some heavy stuff. ‘Shawn has the Yips’ is well written and well shot with an uncanny ability to jump from funny moment to a serious one seamlessly.

In this episode, Shawn ( James Roday) tries to convince everyone after a shoot out at a local bar that it’s an assassination attempt on one of them. The target as it turns out is Lassiter( Tim Omundson). Investigating the case Shawn and Gus (Dule Hill) team up with Juliet (Maggie Lawson)  looking through past cases to find the shooter, while Lassie sulks under protection before the bad guy is finally found.  Hilarity and dramatic moments  unfold as Buzz  loses his eyebrow in a blast, Lassiter crashes his car and shoots an already dead guy and we learn some disturbing facts about Juliet’s gym routine.

This episode is a rare treat because it provides equal space to the entire cast. Everybody gets to play except for Shawn of course, who tries to deal with his hilarious mental block (thus the Yips in the title) of being unable to throw a proper catch even as he pieces the puzzle together. Lassiter gets his moments in the episode and all of them are great. Not only does he get to shoot two guns in classic action movie style, he also gets to display the rare sensitive side of his personality as he tries to  to a revenge driven father who turns out to be the one trying to kill him.

Funny moments that stand out include Shawn’s frantic elliptical workout fuelled by a fear that the machine is rigged to blow up should his heart beat rate come down. Only later does he found out, that the note was not a death threat but a ‘motivation’ tool left for him by Juliet. The whole elliptical version of ‘Speed’ is by far the most comical scene in the episode. I was also very happy to see Juliet’s character  finally get more of a role.

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