In the sixth season premiere of USA’s Psych, “Shawn Rescues Darth Vader,” Shawn (James Roday) rescues Darth Vader. Or, more accurately, Shawn breaks into a diplomat’s house to steal back a rare Darth Vader action figure for a kid. While there, Shawn encounters a dead body, and soon he’s in over his head. With Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) close to finding proof that Shawn is not a psychic, as well as digging for the truth about Shawn and Juliet (Maggie Lawson), Shawn must solve the case and maintain his cover.
Psych often attracts good guest stars, and “Shawn Rescues Darth Vader” continues that trend. The ambassador whose house the murder takes place in is played by Malcolm McDowell (Franklin & Bash, Entourage), and his assistant is Polly Walker (Caprica, Rome). Neither performer distracts from the main plot, nor upstage the lead characters. However, their professionalism and excellence enhances the story, keeping viewers from being taken out what is going on.
The murder is merely one of the plots going on in this episode, and certainly not the most important. As stated, one big event is Lassiter closing the noose around Shawn. After Lassie suspects that Shawn and Juliet are dating, he gets Shawn hooked up to a lie detector. The motivation here is his feeling betrayed by his partner, but Lassiter also takes the opportunity to question the legitimacy of Shawn’s psychic abilities. Thank goodness Henry (Corbin Bernsen) taught Shawn how to beat a lie detector as a child, and Shawn makes it through unscathed.
Lassiter overreacts, of course, to the news that Jules is secretly with Shawn. Juliet has good reason for hiding this tryst from her partner, and she can still be trusted by him about everything else. Without good reason, Juliet would not lie to Lassie. On the other hand, there’s a great throwback to the “Pilot” of the series, when Lassie mentions Shawn getting his previous partner, Lucinda (Anne Dudek, Covert Affairs, House), transferred. Interestingly, Lassie is / was in love with Lucinda, which draws a sort of parallel between Shawn and Juliet, and may explain why Lassiter takes trust so seriously. Hopefully, Lassie’s platonic affection for Juliet will prevent him from seeking revenge on Shawn.
This relationship could effect Juliet’s job if Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) decides to pursue it — she learns about it when Shawn admits to being in love with Juliet while hooked up to the lie detector. Vick seems to let Juliet off the hook, but we’ll see if that continues next week.
Also, it’s worth noting that Shawn confesses his feelings before steeling himself to beat the machine, so he’s most likely sincere. Whether Juliet may call this into question when she inevitably finds out that Shawn is lying this whole time about being a psychic remains to be seen, but it probably won’t be an issue. It seems like Juliet may already know the truth about her guy, but allows him the fib as long as Shawn helps them solve their cases. After all, without the psychic gimmick, Shawn wouldn’t get all of his consulting gigs with the police.
The real problem with “Shawn Rescues Darth Vader,” if there is one, is that Psych sticks with the shortened version of its theme song this week. The short cut is quite mediocre, though updating the images does excite this viewer slightly. Sometimes Psych runs a longer, extended version of the tune, which is truly amazing. Any episode without the longer cut is disappointing, and after going without a fresh episode for nearly the last 10 months, a fix of the good stuff is needed. Perhaps next week?
Psych also stars the very funny Dulé Hill. Watch it Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on USA.