Psych: Ferry Tale

Watching Psych is the equivalent of eating a bowl of marshmallow fluff for breakfast: tasty but insubstantial, and it’s only a matter of time before you start jonesing for solid food.

A cluster of furloughed convicts on board a ferry bound for the Channel Islands to participate in a work-release program overpower their guard and try to escape on the lifeboat. Fellow ferry passengers Shawn and Gus (Gus dragooned Shawn into helping him with an environmental cleanup effort) team up with the prison guard, Craig (Chi McBride), and try to recapture the felons, above Henry’s explicit orders to let the Coast Guard take care of it. When Shawn releases the lifeboat, thus cutting off the prisoners’ line of escape, the felons take everyone on the ferry hostage and demand a boat and safe passage in exchange for the release of the passengers.

Under orders from Captain Vick, a SWAT team storms the ferry. Two of the convicts are recaptured, but the remaining two, Dane Northcutt (Kevin Alejandro) and Sanders, manage to evade custody by disguising themselves as injured hostages. The Santa Barbara Police Department begins an extensive manhunt.

The warden fires Craig for letting the prisoners escape while in his custody. Shawn and Gus take pity on him and offer to cut him in on their fee for investigating the case in exchange for his help. From the matching tattoos he spotted on Northcutt’s and Sanders’s necks, Shawn deduces they belonged to a gang called Tres Diablos, which also included Northcutt’s former cellmate, Percy Dunn. Percy died two years ago, but his mother, Lorraine, frequently visited Northcutt in prison.

When Shawn and Gus, with Craig in tow, stop by Lorraine’s house to question her, Shawn notices Northcutt’s bandanna in the laundry hamper. Lorraine confesses that Northcutt visited her immediately following his escape, claiming he wanted to see Percy’s bedroom to pay his respects to his dead friend.

Shawn searches Percy’s room and finds a dusty imprint of a key in an air vent. At the time of his death, Percy had been serving a long prison sentence for stealing a million dollars in an armed bank robbery. The money was never recovered; Shawn suspects Northcutt and Sanders are searching for the cash.

Next, Shawn and Gus and Craig visit Northcutt’s girlfriend, Patty, who tells them Northcutt had dropped by to visit his young son after his escape. Patty says Northcutt had mentioned something about going to church. When they drop by the now-abandoned church Northcutt used to attend in his childhood, the guys spot the felons prying up a floor vent and retrieving Percy’s hidden million. Shawn and Gus attempt to stop them… but Craig pulls a gun, ties up Shawn and Gus and Northcutt and Sanders, and swipes the money for himself.

Their legs still duct-taped together, Shawn and Gus hobble around in pursuit of Craig. They try to persuade him to give himself up. Craig initially refuses, but when Northcutt and Sanders get themselves free and try to shoot Shawn and Gus, Craig defends them, arrests the convicts, and turns himself in.

In a wholly misguided show of gratitude, Shawn and Gus give Craig all the credit for recapturing the felons and keep silent about his attempt to swipe the money for himself. Craig gets his job at the prison back and collects a hefty reward, which enables him to fulfill his lifelong dream: opening a Bangkok wine bar.

Wow. These Psych recaps keep getting shorter and shorter. There’s probably any number of factors contributing to that, but mostly it’s because the plots keep getting wispier and simpler with each passing episode. Still, nobody watches (or should watch) Psych for substance, and it's hard to deny that the writing staff knows how to consistently churn out an entertaining hour of television.

Lassiter-based awesomeness:
After Lassiter harangues Craig for his incompetence in letting the felons escape, Shawn criticizes him for kicking a man when he’s down. Lassiter replies, “That’s exactly when a man should be kicked, because that’s when he learns. The nuns taught me that.”

Awesome Eighties reference:
Gus: Let’s not forget the “armed” part of “armed and dangerous.”
Shawn: Or the John Candy part.


Rosey said…
I really enjoyed this episode! I think one of my fav parts was when Shawn did his impression of Chris Tucker in Friday :) LOL. It was really good IMO.

I think I said it already but I am really enjoying the guest stars this season.
Morgan Richter said…
I thought Chi McBride was a pretty great guest star. And we get Nestor Carbonell this week, which should continue their streak of awesome guest stars. They seem to be getting away from stunt casting (fewer WWE wrestlers this season, for starters) in favor of just getting some cool actors. It's a good move.

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