USA Network’s Psych opened its eighth season with an episode that was largely a standalone, Juliet-less outing removed from continuity — save for a couple of phone calls to demoted beat cop Lassiter — yet one that was a special kind of “magical” nonetheless.
Effectively fired by new SBPD boss Trout in the Season 7 finale, Shawn leaps at the opportunity to hop across the pond and consult for Interpol — you know, fthe folks rom the DVD warning screen — and Gus tags along, if only to attend a Pottercon and/or stalk Rupert Grint. But Shawn’s “psychic” services are not what Interpol is after. Rather, their liaison Winston says that Shawn is a ringer for a car thief who’s about to get pulled into a big heist orchestrated by a kingpin named Ronnie Ives (played by Vinnie Jones) — and they want to pull a switcheroo. And leading the Interpol sting is elite agent Roy Staley aka… Pierre Despereaux?!
As Staley explains, “Despereaux” was but a deep cover ID he adopted years ago to move away from desk duty and infiltrate crime orgs. Though through the course of the episode, Shawn and Gus find plenty of reason to question his tale.
One Smokey and the Bandit jacket purchase later, Shawn slips into the meeting of Ives’ gang — which also includes Olivia d’Abo as “Deir-dree” — and successfully if unwittingly convinces them of his daftness, thus selling the ruse. (Even a wretched spin around a getaway driver obstacle course doesn’t get him made!) Gus also gets pulled into the heist when Ives eliminates a traitor within the ranks — and because his first try at using floo powder is unintentionally successful.
Their target is a royal residence, though once Shawn and Gus arrive on the scene, it becomes clear that Ives — whom we learn is carrying a grudge, having been cheated out of his royal bloodline — and Deidre had already done the dirt work, offed the owner and ransacked the place. Their plan now is to kill Shawn and Gus and stage a “heist gone wrong.” Luckily, Staley/Despereaux resurfaces in time to KO Ives, after which Interpol storms the place.
At hour’s end, the boys toast their adventure in London (or, more accurately, British Columbia), then realize that Despereaux may have pulled them into the biggest con of all, when they see that his “superior” is actually a homeless man….
Notable quotables and sight gags:
* The newspaper front that featured a Daily Prophet-like moving image
* “I may not be the best judge, because you people all look alike to me….”
* “I thought I saw Rupert Grint; it was just dumb ol’ Prince Harry.”
* “That was Rocky Balboa.”
* “The only thing I’ll admit is that the bubble and squeak is neither bubbly nor squeaky.”
* The photo of Gus “Pottering”