It only took seven seasons and 95 episodes, but Gus is finally getting a long-term love interest on Psych! So what took so long?
"Let's just say good things come to those who wait," Dulé Hill tells TVGuide.com with a laugh.
That motto holds true for many elements of Psych's upcoming seventh season, which kicks off Wednesday at 10/9c on USA. Not only will Gus finally get some lady attention after playing third wheel to Shawn (James Roday) and Juliette (Maggie Lawson) for years, but Season 7 also boasts a long-rumored Clue tribute and musical episodes.
On the bright side, the years fans had to wait for both highly anticipated episodes to come to fruition made the show's 10-month hiatus look like a piece of (pineapple) cake. In the final moments of Psych's Season 6 finale, Shawn's estranged dad Henry (Corbin Bernsen) was shot. "Any relationship, especially an estranged relationship, when you realize that that person may be gone all of a sudden, you go to the other extreme," Hill says. "Gus is making sure that Shawn doesn't go too far off the rails because he definitely goes into vigilante mode."
So will Henry live to see another Santa Barbara sunset? "I think the fans have waited long enough, so there's no reason for us to drag it out too much longer than the first episode," Hill teases. "We appreciate them staying with us for so long and it will be well worth the wait."
The same holds true for Gus' new love interest, Rachel (ER's Parminder Nagra), who is introduced in the second episode of the season. Sure, Rachel is smart and beautiful, but more importantly, she speaks the Shawn-and-Gus "jargon," as Hill calls it. "That's one thing that really intrigues Gus, that she's down to have fun and act a fool also," he says. "That's also a challenge for Shawn because someone is trying to move in on his territory."
But Hill says that it won't take too long for Shawn to come around, especially when he and Juliette are faced with a few of their own relationship hurdles. "Sometimes they'll give each other great advice and other times they'll give each other horrible advice, but it always comes from the heart," he says. "They'll definitely be there in each other's corners trying to help each other navigate through these waves of relationships."
After seven seasons, Hill says it was a "different challenge" to reveal Gus' softer side. "Gus has been going after ladies for so long, you have to give him a little something," Hill says. "You can't just keep crashing and burning all the time."
Another big challenge for Hill — and the entire Psych cast and crew — was the two-hour musical episode, written, directed and featuring original music by series creator Steve Franks. "I probably felt more pressure because it was so outside of what we normally do and we've talked about it for so long that we really wanted to deliver," he says. "It's so easy to fall on your face and just really mess it up and mess it up badly."
Although Hill got his start in musical theater, he says it took a bit of adjustment to get back into the groove. "After our opening number that we did, my legs let me know that I hadn't done musicals in a long time. I was pretty sore after filming the first number," he says. "It actually got a little fire burning inside of me to go and do another musical."
But will Hill have any free time in his schedule? After Psych received a shortened eight-episode order for Season 8 late last year, speculation has begun about whether that will be the show's final season. "Never say never," Hill says. "We're still here and we're still chugging along, so as long as the Psych-Os are with us, anything is bound to happen."
The new season of Psych premieres on Wednesday at 10/9c on USA.