It is so typical of PSYCH that they would make their season 6.5 return on a leap day because no ordinary day would be good enough for the return of Despereaux (Cary Elwes reprising his popular guest-starring role). But before I go into what Despereaux is doing in Santa Barbara, let me start with the big question, or rather, the question that Shawn (James Roday) did NOT ask of his lady love, Juliet (Maggie Lawson), that left me reaching for the Kleenex in the mid-season finale.
As you may recall, at the end of “Neil Simon’s Lovers Retreat”, Gus (Dulé Hill) found a diamond ring hidden in the back of Shawn’s Nintendo DS that had been stolen by a pair of grifters. Was Shawn going to propose? Needless to say Gus was none-too-impressed with the fact that his best friend had not told him of his intention to propose. When confronted, Shawn tries to evade the question: “It’s my emergency ring.” Yeah, right, as if he carries a diamond ring with him everywhere and hidden in the back of a game console? Who’s he trying to fool? He explains it is his grandmother’s ring that he stole from his father, Henry (Corbin Bernsen), and promises Gus that he would not propose without having his “oldest and blackest”* friend by his side, with Jules on his other side and Shamu in the middle…huh?
Ok, so valuable art work has arrived at the Santa Barbara Art Museum from the Louvre in Paris. It is a priceless collection that was bequeathed to the museum by one of the richest art collectors in the world, Harrison Yeardon – a Howard-Hughes-meets-Indiana-Jones-type. Yeardon’s will specified that his art collection would be donated to the Santa Barbara Art Museum on the 50th Anniversary of his death. And no, there is no Hershey bar amongst the collection.
As you would expect, where there is priceless art, there follows world-famous art thief Pierre Despereaux; and where there is a potential for crime (and trouble), there will be crime-solving psychic detectives. As much as Shawn and Gus try to insert themselves literally and figuratively into preventing any harm from coming to the art, they are relegated to guard duty outside the museum loading dock by the museum curator, Christopher Holme (guest star John Rhys-Davies, who played Indiana Jones’ sidekick Sallah in the classic Spielberg film).
While on guard duty and scoffing at the ridiculousness of standing in front of a wall, the pair witnesses a crime in progress and they go to the rescue of the beautiful damsel in distress (guest star Madchen Amick). Moments later, just as Shawn tries to act heroic, a truck crashes out through the pretty important wall that Shawn and Gus are supposed to be guarding, taking with them the priceless art. The curator wants Jules and Lassiter (Tim Omundson) to put the pair in jail but even Lassie admits that as much as he would love to do so, “you can’t put someone in jail for being stupid”.
For fans of the USA Network, you know you can never tie a good art thief down, and so it is that Despereaux finds himself out on bail in Santa Barbara and helping Shawn and Gus recover the stolen art. The trio quickly realizes that the damsel Shawn had saved is actually a known art thief (Jacqueline Maderos) and she is only interested in what appears to be a kinda crappy, rusty old dagger. Despereaux uses his stealth-like talent to take the kinda crappy, rusty old dagger out from right under Jackie’s nose, leading to a big speed-boat chase.
Without giving away too much, the chase ends in a big explosion, a death, and a lost dagger – or so they all thought. Luckily, Shawn turns out to be even stealthier than Despereaux. It takes a fight between Shawn and Gus at a funeral (and as we find out in the opening scene, Shawn does not cope well with death) to work out the true purpose of the dagger and Shawn channels his inner-Indy to find the real treasure and its secret hiding place.
It is so nice to have Shawn and Gus and the SBPD gang back in action and paying homage to more ‘80s pop culture. There may be no Nazis or the Lost Ark of the Covenant here (although I suppose they could have borrowed the Ark that was built for WHITE COLLAR’s season 2 finale), but the treasure they find is just as surprising and just as much fun to reveal at the end.
Oh, and by the way, although it seems the art collection is priceless, Lassie knows the exact value of his father’s life: $387,000.
Welcome back Team PSYCH! You’ve been missed!
*Please do not email us with your complaint…this is a direct quote from Gus!