If just the title of the second Psych movie -- Psych 2: Lassie Come Home -- has you feeling emotional, brace yourself for actor Timothy Omundson's thoughts on returning to the franchise. More than two years after suffering a massive stroke in April 2017, Omundson is making his return to television in a pair of high-profile projects. The beloved Psych actor is currently guest-starring on the fourth season of This Is Us, and he will also reprise his role as Carlton Lassiter, now chief of the Santa Barbara Police Department, in the upcoming sequel to Psych: The Movie, officially known as Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.
The movie was shot before Omundson's turn on This Is Us, making it his first significant role since the stroke. (Omundson made a cameo appearance in the first Psych movie, which was filmed in 2017 during the early stages of his recovery. The movie was rewritten to account for the actor's absence.) In a candid new interview with TV Line, Omundson opened up about the stroke's severity. "Early on I joked that it was 'Just a wee touch of a stroke,'" he said. "But it was a massive stroke; I came really close to [dying]."
The actor said he credits his Psych family with "so much of [his] recovery," revealing how the cast and creatives accommodated his condition while filming the second movie. "[Psych star] James Roday and [series creator] Steve Franks were visiting me in recovery all the time to see how I was coming along," Omundson told TV Line. "And just knowing that they were going to take care of me on the set and in the script and to write the story around my disability was [incredible]. That was a huge learning curve to go back to that show. It was the first time I had been back on a set and I quickly realized the challenges of trying to do something I had done for eight years. A character I knew so well. I had this superpower where I could just highlight my lines once and have them [memorized]. That's not the case anymore. They were very patient with me, and really gave me an opportunity to fall and pick myself up."
Psych 2: Lassie Come Home follows Lassiter in the midst of his own recovery after he's ambushed on the job and left for dead. The official logline teases that he begins seeing impossible things happening around his recovery clinic in what is described as a "vintage Psych-style Hitchcockian nod."
Omundson credited his role in the second Psych movie for helping "get [his] confidence back up" for This Is Us, saying that Psych star Dulé Hill had encouraged him to get back out there. Omundson's character on the NBC drama, Gregory, is himself recovering from a massive stroke. "I was really excited to dig into this stroke recovery story, and just tell it warts and all," the actor said. "Because up until that time I had kept my current disabilities under wraps. I was in a wheelchair for months. The [doctors didn't] know if I was ever going to walk again, let alone walk onto a set."
The role reunites Omundson with This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman, who also created ABC's short-lived Galavant, which Omundson starred in. "It can't be overstated what Dan has done for me, in writing this character and giving me a chance to get back in front of the camera with supportive, loving people," the actor said. "And spreading the word that people can hit horrible speed bumps in their health and recover. There is hope."
Psych 2: Lassie Come Home will air on NBCU's new streaming service, Peacock, in 2020.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.