May 30 2013

Cake Mix. Review: Psych – “No Trout About It”


Season 7, Episode 14

Air Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 10/9c on USA


“Your butt kissing is chapping my ass.” – Harris Trout

Warning: This review contains season ending spoilers midway through. 

Police consultant Harris Trout (Anthony Michael Hall)

Police consultant Harris Trout (Anthony Michael Hall)

CORRECTION: I previously stated in this review USA Network added 5 episodes to season eight bringing the total up to 13.  Season eight is still officially only eight episodes. Recently USA Network ordered five more scripts but that does not mean these five will go into production.

The Citizens of Santa Barbara are outraged when a high-speed police chase disrupts the Memorial Day 10k and police consultant Harris Trout (Anthony Michael Hall) is brought in to figure out what happened—and make a few sweeping changes to the Police department.

Hall’s character is an interesting addition to the cast, yet I swear he’s being used in a last ditch effort to shake things up. And what is with these guest stars having odd quirks? I initially noticed it with Mike McGlone’s character, Mitch, and his need to hand out scratch and sniff stickers to everyone in the “Office Space” episode. Now, Trout’s eating Balance bars and has kitchen timer idiosyncrasies? I find some of these traits are more of a distraction and add nothing to the story or the character.

After several episodes where the murder plot was reduced to background noise, it’s nice to have a mystery that keeps my attention.  This time around, it involves Leo Quinn (Joey Slotnick), who hires Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dulé Hill) to figure out who poisoned him before he dies. The murder storyline is enjoyable to watch and features a twist I did not see coming when the killer’s identity is revealed.

One thing that disappoints me about “No Trout About It” is where “Nip and Suck It” had set up some interesting things involving Henry (Corbin Bernsen) possibly joining the Psych office, those hints are then ignored in this season finale. I think it would have been better suited as the closing scene of this finale rather than being highlighted in an earlier episode. Speaking of Henry, I still don’t get what the writers are trying to do with his character. Is he having a midlife crisis or are we simply learning more about his hobbies that don’t seem to fit his hobbies of the last seven seasons? Shawn picks on every aspect of his father from the way he dresses to his lack of hair, which should make for an interesting exchange between the two over Henry’s newfound fondness for bird watching and running 10k’s. It’s like having a character who’s been bald for six seasons show up with hair midway through the season and nobody notices.

Spoiler Alert Ahead! 

Lassiter learns it wasn't cake mix

Lassiter learns it wasn’t cake mix

As far as season ending surprises go, “No Trout About It” is tame compared to previous season finales. Shawn and Gus are informed that their services are no longer needed, which to me isn’t a big deal since the guys have taken other cases in the past that are not tied to the department. And, given the hints that Henry is joining the office, their absence could make things interesting. Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) is demoted from head detective, which does not seem like it would change things much story wise. Chief Vick (Kristen Nelson) is placed on a six-month suspension for her lack of control over the others, which she embraces because it will allow her more time with her daughter. The real tragedy is the firing of McNab (Sage Brocklebank) after Trout learns about his moonlighting as a stripper named “Morning Wood.”  To oversee all of these changes, Trout announces that he is staying on as Interim Chief.

I was really disappointed with season seven. The gap between these last two seasons was longer than any other hiatus and I really thought the delay meant something great was being created. I was wrong. Even before season seven started, Psych felt like a dying show as the studio announced season eight would only be eight episodes, and Maggie Lawson would be filming a pilot for a new show, leaving her future in question.

“Jumping the Shark” is a TV term used when a show loses quality and has to resort to gimmicks to try to retain or recreate what it once had. With the special two part Psych musical episodes airing this fall and the recent announcement that Psych will do a remake of an earlier Psych episode sometime during season eight, it really makes me wonder what’s left in the creative tank for the writers. The one ray of hope is that USA Network added five episodes to the season bringing the total up to 13. Is it a sign of renewed faith in Psych or a buffer to give the writers extra episodes to close the show? I guess we’ll find out next season.


For more information on Psych, visit the official website.

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All photos © 2013 USA Network, a division of NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


© 2013, Greg Staffa. All rights reserved.

Greg Staffa

I provide testosterone to the site. You won’t be reading about how nice a actress looks in a dress or how much of a hunk Matt Bomer is in my reviews. I describe colors using words like brown, not taupe. My twitter name is @staffaroadtrip because I love road trips and have done two different 48-state road trips since 2008. My favorite show is White Collar.


    • Frizbee9 on June 11, 2013 at 8:56 pm
    • Reply

    I was disappointed on Psych season 7 with the Shawn and Juliet fake psychic story the idea, hated the results. They could have done so much with it.have Shawn teach Juliet his “gift”. have Chief Vick already know. Have Abigail come back in Shawn’s life. So many possibilities and the writers dropped the ball.

    • Mac on May 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm
    • Reply

    The thing is Maggie Lawson said just a couple of weeks ago that she is not leaving Psych and that she is going to be doing both shows. This is both good news and bad news. Good news because Psych just would not be Psych without Maggie Lawson. Bad news because that means the show is definitely filming as we speak it’s final season. Also James said outright that season 8 would be love letter to the fans and to say goodbye, plus Maggie would not have taken on another role if they didn’t already know the show was ending next season, she loves her role on Psych and wouldn’t have done anything to jeopardize that. I liked season 7 but i was not a fan of the break up arc between Shawn and Jules and am very glad that they are back together because i love them as a couple (not surprising that James and Maggie have been dating in real life since season 1 (2006)). I thought it was a lot of unnecessary drama that brought down an otherwise hilarious, fun season. I thought that the finale was surprisingly one of the funniest episodes of the season and Anthony Michael Hall’s character was fantastic and absolutely hilarious (what a great role for him), i am glad we will be seeing him again in the season 8 premiere. As for the cliffhanger it wasn’t really a big deal, Kirsten Nelson (who plays Chief Vick) will be back next season and on top of that Kirsten will also be directing an episode! Also i am sure they wont finish out the series without McNabb, he will be back in some form. I am curious as to whether Juliet will be made head detective considering that she was the only one who didn’t lose her job, i am guessing she will be at least temporarily, and i am also curious as to how they are going to handle her absence in certain episodes since apparently she may only be able to film 5 of the 8 final episodes (one of which will probably be the series finale). If the other 5 scripts that were ordered by the network are finally added to next season i have heard that she will probably be in at least some of those as well. I hope everything works out because i am only planning to watch the episodes Maggie is in next season, because Juliet is my favorite character and i refuse to watch without her. I think it will all work out though and i am 100% certain we will get a happy ending to the show.

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