Lassiter and Juliet investigate a fatal car accident in which the driver, Desiree Blake, evidently drove over an embankment into the ocean and drowned. Still concerned about Juliet’s fragile mental state after her traumatic encounter with Mr. Yin, Lassiter shoos her away from the crime scene, sternly telling her, “There will be plenty of other females who have died horrific deaths, and you can investigate all of them when you’re ready.”
Shawn and Gus arrive and snoop around. Shawn notices signs in the car that indicate Desiree wasn’t in there alone. He also finds a baggie filled with unidentified prescription pills. Shawn tries to share his results, but Lassiter won’t let them in on the case until they get approval from new police liaison Henry. Shawn is not terribly pleased about this:
Shawn: I’d be lying if I said I liked having to ask my dad for case assignments. I’d also be lying if I said Val Kilmer still looks like Val Kilmer.
Gus: I still have hope.
Shawn: Me too.
Gus leaves the scene to scurry off to his tap-dancing class. Lassiter, scornful yet intrigued, grills him on the details: “Is it court-ordered? Will it make you faster? Are you investigating some kind of dancing drug ring?”
(Is this entire episode just a flimsy pretext to let Dulé Hill show off his mad tap skills? Yes. Yes, it is. I have no complaints.)
Lassiter trails Gus to his class and loiters around the lobby while Gus taps up a storm. He wants to join in, but Gus bursts his bubble, claiming the class will be far beyond his skill level. Lassiter snipes, “I’ll have them send over the transcripts from Walking and Chewing Gum School,” and joins the class anyway.
Predictably, he’s a disaster. Gus takes him aside and gives him some private coaching, and finally, he starts to get into the swing of it. Further, he finds tap-dancing relaxes his mind and allows him to focus on his investigations more effectively. Mid-tapping, it occurs to him he forgot to call the police lab for an analysis of the prescription pills found in Desiree’s car. Pharmaceutical representative Gus takes one glance at the pills and identifies them as clinical trial samples from a local laboratory.
Gus and Lassiter form an impromptu partnership and head off to the lab together, where the cute technician, Lillian, identifies the pills as an experimental fertility treatment. Lillian insists she was the only one administering the test, which Gus realizes is a lie -- it was a double-blind test, and thus there must have been two administrators. Under interrogation, Lillian confesses she was trying to protect her lab partner, Ben -- Desiree was Ben’s girlfriend, who was taking the pills on the sly because she was trying to get pregnant but couldn’t afford fertility treatments.
Shawn trails Gus to the laboratory via the GPS parental controls he installed on Gus’s phone. Outraged that Gus is investigating this without him, he badgers Henry into letting him in on the case as well. Henry partners him with Juliet, who is still seething about Lassiter shutting her out of the investigation.
(Wow, with his new job at the police department, Henry seems to have absorbed most of Chief Vick’s job duties. I’m sort of thinking this new development will end up chipping away at Kristen Nelson’s already-meager screen time.)
While trying to find Ben, the Shawn/Juliet and Gus/Lassiter teams bicker and feud and mangle the investigation. Shawn and Juliet pose as a couple and sign up for fertility treatments; Gus and Lassiter tap-dance while brainstorming for ideas. They arrest Ben for murder, but release him after Lillian produces records that prove he was in the lab at the time of Desiree’s death. Ben is released from custody and immediately thereafter turns up dead, drowned from an apparent surfing accident.
The SBPD’s eccentric coroner, Woodrow (Kurt Fuller), deduces that both Desiree and Ben died from dry-drowning, not from being submerged in water. Shawn and a tap-dancing Lassiter puzzle it out: Lillian killed them both through an overdose of anesthesia in the lab, then dumped them in the ocean to disguise her crimes. She was secretly having an affair with Ben, and killed Desiree when she realized Desiree was trying to get pregnant. When Ben got wind of her actions, he threatened to turn her in, so she killed him as well.
And we wrap things up with Shawn and Juliet in the audience of a tap-dancing showcase, watching Gus tapping up another storm. (Yes, Gus. We’re all duly impressed. You can sit down now.) Following Gus’s triumphant performance, Lassiter takes the stage, tapping with a group of small children. Once again, the tapping stimulates his mental processes, and he shouts out, mid-performance, “I know who the Westside rapist is!”
A fine episode. Tap-dancing Lassiter! Hard to top that.
Gus’s fake names:
Santonio Holmes (wide receiver for the Jets) and Deon Richmond (former child actor who used to play Rudy’s friend Bud on The Cosby Show. It’s an inside joke: There’s a popular urban legend that Dulé Hill played Bud.)
Awesome Eighties reference:
Shawn: (after he and Gus make a particularly clever deduction): And now we revel, Alien-style. (Shawn and Gus claw the air and emit high-pitched squeals, a la the creatures in Alien. Which, granted, was released in 1979, but it’s close enough to count for these purposes.)