Season 8, Episode 1
Air Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 9/8c on USA
“You infiltrated Interpol?” – Gus
Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) are called upon by Interpol to fly out to London to help with an undercover sting operation to take down one of its most wanted criminals, Ronnie Ives (Vinnie Jones). But, when they learn who is really behind their trip across the pond, they quickly wonder whether this is a ruse for something much bigger.
While “Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire” is the season eight premiere of Psych, it feels more like a stand-alone episode that completes the Pierre Despereaux (Gary Elwes) trilogy. Yes, I am counting “Extradition: British Columbia Parts 1 and 2” as one episode especially since Shawn, Gus and Despereaux are the only main characters to appear in the episode, with the exception of a brief appearance by Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) in more of a guest star role.
For some reason, the Despereaux episodes seem to kick the show up a notch, thanks to the writers and cast, and “Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire” is no exception as a new twist is added to the international man of mystery mythology that is Pierre Despereaux. I especially enjoyed the looks when the two learn Despereaux is behind their trip, Shawn looking all giddy and Gus with an “Oh, hell no” expression on his face.
Despite Shawn and Gus’ reservations about Despereaux, there is this ”The boys are back” reunion feel to the episode that just makes you grin when you see the three together again, making “Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire” stand out as one of the best Psych episodes.
I doubt I was the only one a tad disappointed at first by the notion that Despereaux is actually Royston Staley, an undercover agent pretending to be a criminal mastermind. But that feeling is short lived and with the twists that follow, it all works out not only brilliantly, but it’s enjoyable to watch while leaving you wondering through the end.
Turns out Shawn bears a striking resemblance to Robert Fino (Byron Brisco), a criminal in Interpol custody who was hired to do a job for Ives. Since the two had never met, Despereaux figures Shawn could go in undercover. Needless to say, Gus and Despereaux get pulled in due to Shawn’s usual hijinks that go horribly wrong but in true Psych fashion, are worked out in the end.
Full disclosure—it has been a long time since I saw the movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels so I might have missed some of the inside jokes. But, what I lacked in knowledge about Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was made up for with Harry Potter knowledge. I thought it was a fun touch to see images on newspapers moving like they do in the movies. Is it any surprise how much of a fan Gus is? Admit it, some of you are already thinking about doing the flying broom photo like Gus does.
I will be the first to admit I was rough on Psych last season, but having seen the first three episodes of season eight, I can say there seems to be an aura and increased level of excitement emanating from Roday that I did not see last year. The humor also seems more in line with earlier Psych seasons that were more lighthearted and fun rather than the darker tone we have seen in more recent seasons. On a side note, did anyone else notice how buff Roday looks in this episode?
One thing that stands out during “Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire” is the soundtrack and score; the music is very enjoyable to listen to. It gives the episode a different feel than what we’ve been used to seeing on Psych.
“Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire” is simply fun to watch and is Psych at its finest. Everything, from the return of Despereaux and the twists to Shawn’s silly British accent to even the music, works and is amusing to watch.
The big question now is whether it will be too little, too late, as many feel this could be Psych’s final season. Let’s hope not as “Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire” kicks off what looks like a fun season.
If the creative minds at USA Network are smart, they would release the four Despereaux episodes on one DVD, much like they did with Psych: The Musical. Just a thought…
What did you think of “Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire?” Is this the last we will see of Pierre Despereaux? As Shawn said, “What do you choose to believe?” Leave a comment below or tweet me at @StaffaRoadTrip.
On a side note, you may have noticed the dedication at the end of the episode to Stuart Collison. Collison did various lighting jobs in more than 50 Psych episodes and died April 13, 2013 at the age of 43. Too young for such a talent to pass away.
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All photos © 2013-14 USA Network, a division of NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
© 2014, Greg Staffa. All rights reserved.
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