Psych: Dead Bear Walking

I’ve got a lot of recapping to blast through today, so this’ll be fast and dirty. I’d make some kind of “bear with me” pun here, but I don’t want you all to lose respect for me.

Lassiter’s surprisingly normal and friendly kid sister Lauren (April Bowlby), an aspiring filmmaker, decides to trail her big brother around while filming a documentary on police work. A zoo trainer named Jasper Zane is found murdered, presumably mauled by a polar bear. The bear is set to be euthanized, though Shawn suspects the bear is being framed. Shortly thereafter, animal-rights activist Macleod Sinclaire (Brian Klugman) emancipates the bear from the zoo and stashes him in the Psych offices to hide him from the authorities. Shawn is totally cool with this, Gus is less so.

Lassiter swiftly traces the bear back to Shawn and Gus and takes him back into custody. Shawn and Gus search Zane’s home and discover the zoo’s director, C. Lee Banting, has insured the bear for two million dollars. Their theory that this is a motive for framing the bear is blown when Macleod reveals that the insurance money can only be collected if the bear dies of natural causes. If he’s put to death for attacking Zane, the zoo doesn’t profit.

Shawn discovers that the bear has a heart murmur and thus always wears a wireless transmitter that monitors his vital signs. When the county’s Director of Animal Control, Cody Blair (Family Ties’ Michael Gross), shows up to euthanize the bear, Shawn wins a stay of execution by proving that, per the heart monitor results, the bear was asleep at the time Zane was murdered.

Shawn and Gus next suspect the murder was committed by Zane’s fiancée, Gemma, who was jealous of the attention Zane lavished on the bear. When Gemma’s blood-stained shirt is found in Zane’s trash, Lassiter arrests her, but is forced to release her when Shawn determines the blood came from scratches she sustained from cultivating roses.

Meanwhile, Lauren continues to film her documentary (Shawn expresses a wish to be played by Cillian Murphy in her filmed version of events, with Stoney Jackson as Gus and Fyvush Finkel as Henry. Heh). Lauren, who worships her big brother, becomes increasingly disillusioned by watching Lassiter fumble his way through the investigation. To restore Lauren’s faith, Shawn steps aside and lets Lassiter have all the glory for solving the case: After noticing that a boundary fence has been moved, Lassiter realizes Zane was murdered as a result of a property dispute with his neighbor.

Is it ridiculous to complain about a Psych episode being under-plotted? Granted, Psych plots are almost always entirely beside the point, serving merely as a background upon which to present running gags and inspired nonsense, but even so… this episode was under-plotted.

Gus’s fake name:
Gusjay Gupta

Gus’s fake stripper names:
Original G-String, a.k.a. Crowd Pleazah

Gus’s fake name with bonus awesome Eighties reference:
Radio Star.
Shawn, to camcorder-toting Lauren: “I’m afraid your video will kill him.”

Awesome Eighties reference:
Shawn (upon uncovering the property dispute between Zane and his neighbor): Like Belushi and Aykroyd.
Lassiter: Yes! Trading Places!
Shawn. No. Neighbors.

Awesome Seventies reference:
Shawn, on Macleod’s experience working with bears: “He has a signed Dan Haggerty 8x10, so you know we’re in good hands here.”


Morgan Dodge said…
Yeah, in the end I was just thinking: "property line dispute motive? Really? Are you kidding me? Really?"

But the bear in their office was kinda fun, wasn't it? And I suppose I have definitely wasted worse hours of my life.
Morgan Richter said…
It's only been two weeks, and already I remember nothing about this episode. But yeah, the bear in their office was pretty cool.

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