Alien encounters and Freddie Prinze, Jr. Psych continues its streak of great episodes with this hilarious trip into nerd-dom. So, grab your own pair of Geordi glasses and let's get started!
1990. Henry is on the phone denying responsibility when Shawn, Gus, and some kid named Dennis wander into his office. Apparently there was a weather balloon recovered from a field and the kids are convinced it was really a UFO. Despite Dennis' annoying pleas to the contrary, Henry shuts down any UFO talk and the kids flee from him and his sidearm.
Present Day. A man with disturbingly Dennis-like glasses sits in his study drinking beer. He's dictating some notes when his TV signal goes on the fritz and bright lights flash outside his window. He reaches for some medication, but the whole building starts shaking. The man, who is apparently not Dennis, makes a beeline for the door only to be stopped by his assistant Toby. Toby comes bearing medication refills. I mention this because I have no doubt it will be important later on.
Not-Dennis asks if Toby noticed any "commotion" moments ago, but the clearly overworked assistant is clueless. Then, the building starts shaking again and the lights outside begin their flashing once more. Not-Dennis finally succeeds in escaping his own house only to be greeted by a fuzzy ring of lights similar to a — you guessed it — UFO. Toby joins him outside and it's pretty clear from his expression that Not-Dennis isn't the only one seeing dark shapes milling around the ring of light. Unfortunately, Toby is either pulling an elaborate hoax on his weak-minded boss or has never seen a single episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 because he stupidly decides to walk toward the light and into the apparent space craft.
The next morning, Jules and Lassie pull up outside Dennis' house. Actually, it's Jules, Lassie, and Henry child-locked into the back seat. Lassie is currently taking out all of his Shawn-induced frustrations on Henry. At least Lassie cracked the window. Ha! He agrees with me.
Once the team reaches the house, Dennis tells his story about the UFO and aliens. Shawn and Gus pop up out of nowhere and make it clear they believe every word of his story. Of course, Lassie has no time for such tales and angrily dismisses the poor bespectacled lawyer. Juliet is polite as always. "You have a very nice home."
Gus asks some questions about the UFO and Not-Dennis, relieved that someone thinks he might have some sanity left in him, hires the Psych partners on the spot. Not pleased, Henry calls Shawn over to warn him about the pitfalls of taking on such a kooky case — namely that he can't hire the pair if everyone in town thinks the Dynamic Duo is a couple of nut jobs running around after little green men. Shawn denies any belief in Not-Dennis' story and, quite surprisingly, seems to be telling the truth. Even after seeing the giant circular burn mark in Not-Dennis' yard, he tells Gus this case can't possibly involve real aliens.
Still, the "$1200 balance on [Gus'] JCPenny card is not going to pay for itself" so they'll have to take the case. In order to maintain objectivity, once one of them starts to lean towards the alien theory, the other one gets to flick him in the ear. Let the games begin, my friends.
In the kitchen, Shawn and Gus confront Not-Dennis, nee Roy, about the empty beer bottle on the floor of his office. Clearly, he had been drinking. Not-Dennis refuses to be swayed, however, and points out Toby's car is still sitting in the driveway; it won't start despite being brand new. Shawn starts to veer into alien territory until — ear flick! And he's back.
Shawn's struggle with tone-deafness subjects him to much embarrassment as he tries to recreate the sound of the "UFO" heard on Not-Dennis' recorder from the beginning of the episode. He knows the Dynamic Duo needs an expert for this case so he and Gus skedaddle to...
Real Dennis' house. Shawn knocks and Dennis, now looking remarkably like Freddie Prinze, Jr. opens the door. Once inside the well-appointed abode of Dennis, the Dynamic Duo discovers that he is married to a hot woman, no longer into UFO's, and is claiming to be a total jock. Dennis and his wife do the hand explosion thing as the Dynamic Duo looks on, amazed.
But once Dennis' wife finally vacates the premises, the truth comes out in the form of a super awesome nerd lair hidden behind a bookshelf in the study. The closeted geek offers to show the boys "where the magic happens" aka the room downstairs where he practices his magic. Ha! Freddie Prinze is doing a fantastic superhero serious voice during this whole scene. Dennis pretended to be a jock when he first met his wife and he's been pretending ever since.
The best exchange of the night award goes to:
Dennis: The worst is when I'm around Molly's friends' husbands. They say inane stuff like "beer me" or "yeah, I'd totally hit that." I mean, what exactly am I hitting?
Gus: Most likely an attractive lady.
Dennis: Okay, that's horrible.
Shawn decides to get down to business and plays the UFO noise for Dennis. The verdict? It's either an alien spaceship or bad new age music. Instead of choosing between the two, Dennis decides to check his hacked database for any possible sky activity the night before. At 10:44pm, a distinctly saucer-shaped something floats across the screen. Dennis' asthma reacts to the overstimulation and he sucks on his inhaler for a few moments trying to calm down.
Outside Dennis' house, the Dynamic Duo covers their ears and each confess their belief that aliens are involved in their case. Gus decides to call Not-Dennis to reassure him that they don't think he's crazy. In return, Not-Dennis goes on local news to declare his UFO beliefs. Oh and he drops both Shawn and Gus' names. Well, he calls Gus "Gurton Buster," but that's beside the point.
SBPD. Henry chews out the Dynamic Duo for believing the ravings of a conspiracy nut like Not-Dennis who believes a recent chemical spill was done on purpose. Oh and Not-Dennis apparently needs those meds from earlier in the episode to keep his psychotic episodes at bay. Oh and Toby was found earlier in the day and is currently sitting in a conference room with Jules and Lassie. He just took a cab home that night after his car wouldn't start. Ear flicks ensue!
In the conference room, Toby is continuing his denial of anything strange having happened. Shawn notices a mark on Toby's arm but doesn't say anything. Not-Dennis has apparently been suspended from the firm until he completes mental health treatment and Toby shows a little too much eagerness about Not-Dennis' abandoned case load. Nope. Not at all suspicious.
In the halls of the SBPD, Gus and Shawn are jeered at by Lassie, who does his own little happy dance. Sadly, it does not involve tap shoes. Gus and Shawn argue over whether or not Toby was abducted — during which Gus mocks Shawn's "I got a clue" face — and eventually decide that only one person can settle this dispute.
Real Dennis! Freddie Prinze is convinced Toby was abducted and tells the Dynamic Duo they'll need to spy on him in order to find out the truth. Shawn, however, is beginning to lean toward a slightly more rational line of thought when he spots a note on Toby's employee page stating he'll be taking over Not-Dennis' case load.
Taking Dennis' advice, the pair decides to spy on Toby while also wearing some serious nerd gear. Oh Geordi. Watch the episode and you'll understand. Toby is outside nervously smoking a cigarette when he suddenly dashes across the forecourt of the building. Of course, Shawn and Gus lose their quarry but soon receive a phone call. It's Toby! He spotted two guys chasing him. Unbeknownst to him, those two guys were Shawn and Gus. The point is, Dule Hill looks remarkably like Lavar Burton in those glasses. Oh, plus, Toby now says that Not-Dennis was telling the truth. Shawn and Gus go to meet Toby, who promptly falls to his death in front of them.
SBPD. Jules tells the Dynamic Duo that Toby wired all of his money to a charity an hour before his death. The cops are leaning towards suicide. Shawn tries to argue there must be more to the case, but his father intervenes and points out they weren't hired on this case. Pretending to be even more of an idiot than everyone believes, Shawn deviously steals the autopsy file and finds that a strange object was discovered in Toby's stomach. This information leads the Dynamic Duo to visit — say it with me — Kurt Fuller!
Morgue. Coroner Fuller is chowing down on lunch while weighing some poor victim's organs. Ew. We learn two things: No. 1, coroner Fuller likes to loot bodies and No. 2, the object found in Toby's stomach was a flash drive. And the markings on his arm were a birthmark.
Lassie is chit-chatting with Henry while attempting to read the flash drive. In the process, he reveals that he has an actual, physical "crap list." Suddenly, his computer starts acting strange as if someone else is remotely accessing it. Of course, Shawn and Gus have enlisted Dennis to hack into Lassie's computer so they can see what is on the flash drive for themselves. And to see Lassie's browser history. "That man needs Jesus," Gus intones.
It turns out the flash drive contains files pertaining to the chemical spill case. Shawn spots something in the files so he and Gus, sans the wimpy Dennis, whisk themselves away. The Dynamic Duo quickly arrives at the trailer park whose homes were the victims of the chemical spill poisoning. Oddly enough, the same company that caused the spill — Budding Textile — now owns the homes and the land. Shawn and Gus climb inside a suspicious-looking truck so that Shawn can explain his theory.
Basically, Budding Textiles wanted everyone off the land so they could check for oil underneath. The truck in which the Dynamic Duo finds themselves in is actually the tool used to check for oil. Because Shawn will always be "that kid" he pushes the start button on the machine causing vibrations similar to those plaguing Not-Dennis during the supposed "abduction."
As Shawn and Gus step out of the machine, a strong wind blows and a UFO-like object appears. It turns out it's just Budding's helicopter. Luckily, Shawn is smart enough to turn on his phone during the Dynamic Duo's abduction. The two are brought to a warehouse where Shawn lays out Budding's plan to discredit Not-Dennis by staging a fake UFO abduction. He paid off Toby, who eventually felt guilty upon seeing the actual case file. Toby swallowed the flash drive just as Budding's henchmen threw him off the top of the building.
Upon hearing all of his plans laid out, Budding decides to have the Dynamic Duo killed. Dennis comes to the rescue, posing as a messenger and then using nun-chucks to take out all of the guards...and himself. Shawn just barely gets the situation under control when Lassie and Jules finally arrive just in time to taser Dennis. Poor Dennis.
SBPD. The Dynamic Duo revels in their newly regained respect with their own happy dance. Henry stops the two and gets an earful from Shawn for not taking his urgent text more seriously. Begrudgingly, Henry reveals that both Shawn and Gus are being hired on a new case. The three haggle price with Henry ultimately agreeing to $2000, but changing the number to $1500 as soon as the duo departs.
Dennis' nerd lair. Not-Dennis hangs with Shawn, Gus, and Dennis and is describing his very own Bigfoot encounter when Dennis' wife wanders into the nerd lair. Dennis fesses up to his giant nerd secret only to find out she's a nerd too. They kiss, Gus makes inappropriate comments, and we all go home happy.
I really like the supporting cast of characters this season. First Ken, now Dennis. Well done, show. What did you guys think? Was Freddi Prinze, Jr. believable as a total nerd? How does this episode stack up against last week's gem? Let us know below and I'll catch you next week!