Shawn and Gus are back! With Ninjas! And...Ken? Join me for a fun beginning to the fifth season of USA's Psych.
My favorite part of summer has arrived: Psych has returned! I can't include every hilarious line from this episode —there are just too many —but I will do my best.
1990: Shawn and Gus face off against school bullies. Gus knows Kung Fu, but my guess is the bullies know the art of fist to face. Also, they probably don't have a cat named Mrs. Pickles. Intimidating, Gus is not.
Present Day: Shawn and Gus are playing a game of "not it" over who will fire their Asian office assistant, Ken. I swear his ethnicity is important. Ultimately, they play to their strengths and tackle the lay-off together. Ken's confused — he was only hired four days ago so how can business have already slowed down? It turns out Shawn, despite Gus' nay-saying, believed his father Henry's new position at the police station would lead to a heavier case load for the Dynamic Duo. He was, of course, wrong in his assumption.
At said police station, Juliet's name plate is overturned on her desk and Henry is settling into his own space near Detective Lassiter. Lassie is fine with the station's newest member as long as he doesn't have to follow Henry's orders.
Somewhere in Santa Barbara, a VIP named Mr. Chang gets his picture taken for the newspaper alongside his daughter and wife at some kind of Chinese festival and — holy crap! Ninjas! Complete with a black jacket, a lone warrior somersaults into the festivities unnoticed and stalks Mr. Chang and family. He sneaks up behind the daughter and when Chang himself turns around he finds that she's gone.
Credits! In traditional Psych fashion, they've messed with the titles. This week the names of those involved in the show appear in Chinese characters and then transform into their English translation. I really like the scenes added to the theme song this season.
SBPD: Shawna and Gus run into buzz who confirms that Juliet didn't come back on Monday. Mr. Chang is in the Chief's office who assures them the force is on it. Shawn comes in, introducing himself properly and calling Gus "Jonathan Jacob Jingly Smith." Chang is no fool and quickly catches on to the John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt joke. Darn you, Roday. I'll never get that song out of my head now. I curse you in the name of Lambchop, sir.
The Chief reminds Shawn that she never called him, but he protests that the case called him. Gus: "It called collect." Just as the Chief relents to Shawn's logic, Henry finds his way into her office and denies the dynamic duo access to the case. Not pleased, Shawn shoos his father into a corner and demands answers. Five cases have come and gone during Henry's tenure without the Psych offices being hired and Shawn wants to know why, complaining that Henry has always held him to a higher standard.
"You buried my Easter eggs five feet underground," Shawn points out.
"And I left loose dirt to indicate a fresh dig," Henry fires back. There are two eggs still missing, by the way. I'm glad this show is a comedy because Shawn's childhood always sounds terrible in reality.
As usual, Shawn talks his way onto the case. "Define hired." This time though, Shawn has another objective: get his dad fired.
Shawn and Gus investigate the kidnapped girl's apartment. Latching onto the cleanliness and order of the girl's belongings, Shawn hypothesizes that the victim is hiding something...and then immediately finds a hidden compartment in her desk containing a necklace.
Instead of taking the new found evidence to Lassie, the team takes it to Juliet who is rocking new digs at (gasp!) City Hall. She rightfully assumes the two weren't actually hired and defends her temporary reassignment as common for cops who have experienced something "traumatic." Aww. Make-out with Shawn. Right now.
Shawn kills any chance of my wishes coming to fruition by accusing Juliet of hiding in "this giant post office." He then lays out the facts of the case hoping to intrigue the nerdy detective into pitching in. It works and she tells Shawn and Gus that what I thought was a necklace is in fact a Hong Kong 50-cent piece from the 1978 dynasty. One more thing: it's counterfeit.
Shawn and Gus catch Lassie coming into City Hall. Though he denies it, the Dynamic Duo knows the detective is also there to lure Juliet back. Unfortunately, all three men fail in their efforts and Juliet exits stage right. Before Lassie can completely vamoose though, Shawn spits out the recently-learned information about the 50-cent piece. Lassie jumps on the clue implying the Triad may be involved and mentions two rival Triad gangs: the Dragon Triads and the Golden Triads. He warns the Dynamic Duo to stay away from both gangs.
Ignoring Lassie as always, Shawn and Gus instead turn to their recently fired Asian assistant, Ken, for help. I told you it would be important. Ken accuses the two of being racist, but ultimately admits that he does know of a former Golden Triad hang-out.
Little Blue Car Stakeout: Gus establishes a new rule that all cover stories must be run by him first three days in advance. Shawn goes out of his way to prove the futility of this idea by announcing their real identity to the bartender of the Triad bar. A shady looking guy sitting in the back of the room conspicuously sneaks out leading the Dynamic Duo to a group of Asian men transporting firearms in the back alley. It doesn't take long for the two to get caught, but a nice little twist ensues when they discover that the boss in charge of the operation is actually Mr. Chang.
The apparent gang overlord turns the creepy dial up to 11 revealing that he gave his daughter the counterfeit Hong Kong coin as a symbol of their past. Chang advances on the two as Shawn spots photos of a dragon symbol in the henchmen's hands. Begrudgingly, Chang still lets them leave.
Ken's house: Shawn draws the symbol he saw for Ken who points the two in the direction of Chinatown. He says he probably saw the symbol spray painted on a martial arts studio.
At City Hall, the Dynamic Duo shows Juliet the drawing. Shawn has a theory that the kidnapping could be part of a larger battle between two rival Triad gangs. Lassie shows up to offer his two cents and Juliet threatens to have them all banned.
The hand-drawn symbol fades into the neon sign from the photo. Ken was right; it is a martial arts studio. Yay Ken! Shawn, through Gus, threatens legal action and finds himself in the middle of a martial arts class for 5-8 year olds. Distracted by the Triad members meeting in the studio next door, Shawn loses his focus and is berated by the instructor into actually paying attention to the class.
Two hours later, Shawn tells Gus that the Triad may be meeting above the martial arts studio later that night. Also, he kicked a board and it splintered.
The Chief is now getting in on the act at City Hall, paying Juliet a visit with pep-talk in hand. Clearly hoping to speed up the process of bringing her detective back to the station, the Chief hands over an overflowing cart of files for the Stoplight Safety Project and wishes Juliet luck. Touché.
As Shawn obsesses over the chances he missed during childhood, Gus spots the kidnapper vaulting into the window above the martial arts studio. The two follow the ninja by crashing through a window on the bottom floor and find him stealing goods from the studio safe. Just before being punched in the face, Shawn happens to notice the same dragon from the studio's neon sign tattooed on the kidnapper's hand. Shawn and Gus emerge from the back room behind the kidnapper and soon find themselves facing three very large thugs. The kidnapper, being a ninja and all, quickly takes care of the thugs. Escaping out the back, Shawn and Gus try to follow the kidnapper but only end up being chased by one of the thugs who has regained consciousness. After hiding for a little while, the two spot the kidnapper once again and trail him to an apartment building where they see the jacket of the missing girl through a crack in a door. Shawn, due to his two-hour martial arts training, is now a man of action and is sick of "riding everyone's coat tails." He decides to burst through the door and is greeted by the sight of the kidnapper macking on his supposed victim.
Gus has been waiting outside this whole time, weighing his options depending on the amount of screaming and pleading coming from the apartment. Shawn drags him inside and introduces him to Sang Tan and Becky whose fathers are the leader of the Dragon Triads and the Golden Triads respectively. Basically, this whole plot boils down to a re-telling of the story of Romeo and Juliet. Their relationship was discovered so the two felt they had to run away instead of face their parents. Also, Becky's pregnant so Sang Tan wants to get some cash and get her safely away from this gang war. Of course, all of this exposition is very important to the plot, but my favorite part of the whole conversation is this line from Sang: "Shawn, you're part Chinese. You must understand." Oh, Shawn. Really?
Back at SBPD, Shawn is telling the Chief that there was no kidnapping. Unfortunately for him, Henry comes in right at that moment with a picture they just received of Becky all tied up. The Dynamic Duo leads the Chief, Lassie, and Henry back to Becky and Sang Tan's apartment desperate to convince them that Becky was not kidnapped. Lassie finds blood on the couch and Henry quickly motions for Shawn to follow him outside. Shawn tries to explain the whole situation, but Henry tells him that he already knew Chang was the leader of the Golden Triad; that's why he didn't want Shawn on the case. Henry is not convinced Becky and Sang Tan were lovers, though; he thinks Shawn "got played."
Shawn, with Gus in tow, returns to City Hall hoping Juliet will back up his theory. She tells the Dynamic Duo that there are two Tan sons. Teno, Sang's brother, has a history of inciting trouble between the two gangs. "The only reason Teno makes sense as a leader is at a time of war between the Triads."
Shawn quickly puts everything together, realizing Teno must be the real kidnapper hoping to wrestle the inheritance of the gang away from his much more reasonable brother.
Deciding to take a not so calculated risk, Shawn leads Gus to the leader of the Dragon Triad hoping to tell him about his son Teno's effort to incite a war. He rambles for a bit before realizing Mr. Tan doesn't speak English and a hilariously one-sided game of Charades begins. After that fails, Ken is thrown into the room by some thugs and Shawn admits he had him brought there to translate. Unfortunately, Ken only knows nine words of Chinese. "And six of those are numbers." Ken doesn't have to protest for much longer as Mr. Tan finally reveals that he understood everything Shawn was saying. I admit I would probably feign ignorance in the face of Shawn Spencer if only to see what he would do.
Mr. Tan says he can't get involved with the kidnapping or the "bloodshed will never stop." Shawn volunteers himself, Gus, and Ken — who literally backs himself out of the group and then runs out of the building.
Shawn calls Juliet for back-up and then he and Gus make their way to Teno's headquarters. After confronting the bloodthirsty Tan brother, Shawn tries desperately to defend himself with a slight assist from Becky. Floppy sword in hand, he prepares for a final battle but Juliet shows up just in time to arrest Teno.
Staring at the wreckage of his son's work, Henry defends his decision to never let Shawn study karate as a kid. Shawn's point, though, is that he doesn't need protection. Henry's fine with that as long as Shawn never again puts him in a position where he has to lie to the Chief. Everything's changed now that Henry's working for the SBPD again.
Juliet saunters over to thank Shawn, who offers a hug and then rain-checks when he sees Lassie enter. An obviously disappointed Juliet suffers through Lassie's own form of affection but draws the line at doing his taxes.
As the episode closes, Shawn and Gus decide PF Chang's is the only way to celebrate the end of this case.
I think this probably wasn't the best Psych episode, but it had a lot of great moments. Besides, Juliet's back! So, what did you think of this ninja-packed premiere? What were some of your favorite lines that I failed to mention? Would you like to see a return of Ken, the office assistant? Let us know what you thought and I'll see you next week!