Psych: The Final Season Reviewed

A Season of Guest Stars, Horror, and The Man With the Chin

I’m sure, like me, many of you guessed last year when it was announced that Psych would be cut down to eight episodes for the upcoming season eight that it was sure to be cancelled. Followed by seeing Maggie Lawson (Juliette) cast in the ABC show Back in the Game pretty much solidified any hopes one would have. Once Back in the Game was cancelled, speculation started that maybe this wasn’t the end of PSYCH and it would continue on. Any and all hope was shot when, at the end of episode five, James Roday (Shawn Spencer) and Dule Hill (Burton Guster) announced that this would indeed be PSYCH’s final season with the series finale airing March 26th. There has been talk about USA bringing back PSYCH in the future as a movie, but I’ve been around the block enough times to know not to hold my breath.

Bruce Campbell (Dr. Simpson) and his novel "In Dreams I Walk With You" PSYCH 8x09, "Nightmare on State Street:

Bruce Campbell as Dr. Simpson
via USA

Although the official start of season eight of PSYCH was January 8th, on December 15th Psych premiered a two hour musical special simply titled PSYCH the Musical.  I loved it even though you could tell it had no consistencies with the previous season, which was confirmed after reading various news reports online.

Once season eight began, I was bummed there were no flashbacks between Henry Spencer (Corbin Bernsen) and Shawn. Also, where was Buzz McNab (Sage Brocklebank)?  Although season seven ended with Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) being replaced at the SBPD by an obnoxious OCD new Chief Harris Trout (Anthony Michael Hall), it would have been nice to check in with her. Although Trout left in episode four, “Someone’s Got a Woody”, Karen Vick did not make an appearance until episode six, “1967: A Psych Odyssey” when she made an announcement that she has taken a position at a police department in San Francisco and worse she offers Juliette (Maggie Lawson) a position as head detective, which she takes and not a dry eye was in the house watching the final scenes between Juliette and Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) and Juliette and boyfriend ShawnKristen Nelson has stated they will be back.

Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and Burton Guster (Dule Hill) performing a number in Psych: A Musical

via USA

Sadly, by episode eight, “Shawn and Gus Truck Things Up”, the only mention of Juliette was by newly appointed Chief Lassiter. It would have been nice to show some consistency with Shawn who pined for Juliette for years before they began dating.

Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) undercover running a food truck in PSYCH 8x07 "Shawn and Gus Truck Things Up"

via USA

Lets jump ahead to this past week’s episode, “A Nightmare on ‘State’ Street” guest starring my personal fave Bruce Campbell as Gus’s dream therapist Dr. Simpson. The episode begins with Gus who’s having trouble sleeping, and when he does, he has nightmares. Directed and written by James Roday, this episode was a montage of 80s horror movie references with guest stars to boot. It also guest starred Dean Cameron, Mira Sorvino, William Zabka, Phylicia Rashad, and Curt Smith.

Gus (Dule Hill) being attacked by a Texas Chainsaw Leatherface character on PSYCH 8x09 "A Nightmare On State Street"

via USA

After reading an article with Bruce Campbell and Dule Hill about the horror references,  my son Nick and I tag teamed and these were the movie references we found: Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, The Shining, Children of the Corn, Return of the Living Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Omen, Tremors, Thriller, Dreamscape, possibly Little Shop of Horrors, Village of the Damned, Army of Darkness and a few not so horror movies, Real Genius“We live” is a reference to Summer School’s Dean Cameron who played Chainsaw and William Zabka (Karate Kid) playing the bully Coach D-Bagg was cool. I would like to add that although it was not a movie, a nice reference was made to Bruce Campbell’s 2002 book, “If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor”.  If anyone disagrees or caught any references we may have missed, please let us know.

Shawn (James Roday), Gus (Dule Hill) and Dr. Simpson (Bruce Campbell) in Dream Therapy

via USA

Wednesday March 26th is the series finale of Psych titled appropriately “The Breakup” and sadly the end of a great show.  At times last season felt like it was missing something, and the loss of key characters was felt. Lets face it; when you have a long running close ensemble cast and several of the cast members leave it starts missing part of that magic that made the show a hit in the first place.

Gus (Dule Hill), Shawn (James Roday), and Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) in an emotional reunion for the series finale of PSYCH 8x10 "The Breakup"

via USA

Season eight also brought us other great guest stars such as Cary Elwes, Mira Sorvino, Ralph Macchio, Alan Ruck, Loretta Devine, Kristy Swanson, and Billy Zane to name a few.

I look forward to the finale next week with tissues in hand.  Until then…