Psych: In Plain Fright

So Shawn and Juliet are officially a couple, though they’re hiding their relationship from everyone, Gus and Lassiter in particular. Meanwhile, Shawn and Gus celebrate the return of something called Scare Fest -- a monster-themed festival -- at a local carnival. Why, yes, Halloween was almost three weeks ago, but Psych was off the air throughout October, so they’re playing catch-up. Scare Fest used to be a much-beloved annual tradition, until the carnival canceled it fifteen years ago after the death of a kid named Johnny Ricketts on the Ferris Wheel.

At Scare Fest, Shawn and Gus eat bacon-wrapped churros, which actually sound kind of awesome, and run into their former assistant Ken (Jerry Shea), who is now working as a janitor at the carnival. Ken! Aw, I like Ken. Good to see him back. While touring a haunted house, Shawn spots someone murdering an elderly man and stuffing him inside a coffin. The tour operator, Carol (April Matson), can’t be bothered to investigate, so, with Ken’s help, Shawn and Gus break back into the haunted house and get apprehended by security.

The carnival’s security chief, Eve (Nora Dunn), doesn’t believe Shawn’s story about seeing a murder. Even Gus has his doubts about Shawn’s powers of observation:

Gus: Last week, you thought a sponge in the Psych office was an owl.
Shawn: If you’d stop buying them in bird colors, this would stop happening.

When the carnival’s president, David Wayland, is reported missing, Juliet and Lassiter arrive and search the haunted house. They find Wayland’s body, though the cause of death appears to be accidental strangulation. Shawn insists it was murder: “We have a bona fide Scooby Doo case!”

The carnival’s vice-president, Frank Holloway (Rob LaBelle -- hey, he was in Watchmen!), claims the ghost of Johnny Ricketts, who has been seen haunting the carnival ever since the announcement of the return of Scare Fest, murdered Wayland. Shawn initially suspects that Holloway posed as the ghost and killed Wayland himself. He reconsiders this theory after Holloway is found drowned in a water attraction.

Shawn and Gus break into Eve’s files and discover that, despite previous reports, the carnival was at fault in Johnny Ricketts’s death. The carnival secretly paid $350,000 in a settlement to Ricketts’s family and another $350,000 to a girl named Jamie Emerson, who was wounded in the same accident -- the latch on their seat on the Ferris Wheel broke, and Johnny plunged to his death when he tried to save Jamie.

Jamie Emerson turns out to be the tour operator, Carol. She murdered both Wayland and Holloway out of rage at the return of Scare Fest, with the aid of her boyfriend, Todd. Shawn unravels the whole mess, and Juliet and Lassiter swoop in and arrest Carol and Todd before they can murder Eve.

And Shawn and Juliet come clean about their new romance to Gus, though they prudently decide to keep it hidden from Lassiter for a while longer. Good call, guys.

Awesome Eighties references:
Shawn (explaining to Gus that their partnership dynamic will change now that Juliet is a part of his life): Now it’s more like the “Say Say Say” video.

Shawn: Clyde, Lugs, and Pembrook! Johnny Ricketts did kill Wayland!
Gus: Did you just use the characters from Stroker Ace as an interjection?
Shawn: Don’t interrupt.
Gus: But you did use Stroker Ace.

Lassiter-based awesomeness
(Upon finding Wayland’s corpse in the haunted house): “Well, it just goes to show that kids should be scared by the law, not adults in costumes.”


Rosey said…
Solid ep. but I think could have been funnier. Jamie is suppose to be 30yrs old and looks...well not 30. LOL.
This season is still going strong. Only 5 more eps.! :(
Morgan Richter said…
Yeah, I give the episode a firm B overall -- the jokes weren't quite as crisp and tight as they are in the very best episodes, but it was still enjoyable.

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