What you get when you take a hyper-observant slacker, his pharmaceutical rep best friend and a pair of police detectives and throw them all together? Turns out, you get Psych, one of the USA Network’s best shows! I know you know that I am telling the truth!
After eight seasons, Psych ended a phenomenal run in 2014, saying goodbye to its fans and leaving everyone wanting more adventures from Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and his best friend, Gus (Dule Hill). Thankfully, we’re only going to have to “wait for iiiiiiiiiiiit” just a little bit longer!
That’s right! Psych is coming back for a holiday special this December! In honor of this magical moment, I’m taking a look at all eight seasons of one of my favorite TV shows and qualifying my love for the show by ranking them from worst to best!
8 – The Worst: Season 8
Like a lot of long-running TV shows, by the final season rolled around, Psych had started to run out of steam. Most disappointingly, the main characters had started to be caricatures of the worst qualities of their younger selves. While there were still more hits than misses, the final 10-episode season felt more like an obligation than the labor of love that had made the show so much fun. The addition of Brat Packer Anthony Michael Hall as new Commissioner Trout should have been amazing, but the joke went on too long. The final season limped along to its inevitable conclusion, but still managed to have some fun in the process.
Lock, Stock, Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire – The final episode for occasional guest star Cary Elwes sent Shawn and Gus to England to infiltrate a gang of criminals, as Gus tries to make it to PotterCon to see Rupert Grint. I guess sidekicks really do stick together.
Remake A.K.A. Cloudy… With A Chance of Improvement – Maybe the best example of how the show had changed over the years was this episode, which reimagined a season one episode. It’s a neat experiment, but the episode doesn’t really hold up against the original.
The Break-Up – The series’ final episode was a perfect send-off for the show and showed the glimpses of greatness that had been absent for a while. Shawn and Juliet (Maggie Lawson) finally get engaged, Detective Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) gets the promotion he always wanted and we get the perfect resolution to Lassie’s relationship with Shawn.
7 – A Dark Turn: Season 7
The penultimate season kicked off with the resolution of the previous season’s cliffhanger, with Shawn going after the guy who shot his dad, Henry (Corbin Bernsen). And just when you think things can’t get worse, well, it always does. Juliet’s discovery that Shawn has been lying to her about his psychic gift in Deez Nups hangs a dark cloud over the back half of the season.
100 Clues – Paying tribute to one of my favorite movies, Shawn and Gus are invited to a party thrown by an aging rock star and end up investigating a murder the rocker doesn’t remember committing in this send-up of 1985’s Clue.
Right Turn or Left For Dead – The follow-up to Juliet’s discovery of Shawn’s secret has Shawn playing “what if” as we get two versions of a case – the one that happened after they break-up and what could have been if Juliet hadn’t found Shawn out.
Psych The Musical – It was a very special musical episode, as Shawn and Gus track down an escaped mad playwright.
6 – The Beginning: Season 1
The first season of the show had a lot of promise and really did a phenomenal job setting up the world in which the show exists. Right from the beginning, it was clear that people working on the show were having fun, telling quirky stories filled with pop culture references that certainly spoke to my generation growing up. This may be a relatively low spot on the list, but it’s not because of poor quality of the season, it just speaks to how good the five seasons above it are.
Weekend Warriors – Maybe the first great episode of the show, as Shawn and Gus get involved in Lassiter’s Civil War reenactment to solve a murder. We get a strong focus on the relationship between Shawn and his dad and a lot of references to Denzel Washington in Glory.
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me, Oops He’s Dead – A naked man turning up in a field and Lassiter wanting to mess with Shawn leads to an identity theft case involving speed dating. The episode gives strong hints to the future of Shawn and Juliet’s relationship.
Scary Sherry: Bianca’s Toast – The first season finale featured Juliet going undercover with a college sorority to solve a murder, and she brings Shawn and Gus in for help. But the highlight is Lassiter trying to break in a new partner, an older woman who was in over her head, played by Mercedes Ruehl.
5 – The Last Great Season: Season 6
By the time the sixth season debuted in 2011, Psych was running along smoothly. There were more fun episodes than misses and the cast was gelling perfectly. The show had paid off one of its longest-running stories – will Shawn and Juliet ever get together – the previous season, so the sixth season was adjusting to a new paradigm, and having fun while referencing pop culture favorites.
Last Night Gus – In my opinion, one of the best episodes of the show ever, as Shawn, Gus, Lassiter, Henry and coroner Woody (Kurt Fuller) try to piece together the previous evening after waking up with no memory. The Hangover spoof also sees Shawn and Juliet begin to discuss taking their relationship to the next step.
In For A Penny… – In a great case of stunt casting, this episode introduces Juliet’s estranged con man father, played by William Shatner. Shawn, who spent the entirety of the series having issues with his own father, tries to bring the two together but ends up getting mixed in with one of his future father-in-law’s schemes.
Autopsy Turvy – Shawn and Gus try and help Woody, who is being accused of making a mistake in a case. The investigation take the pair to a palm reader, a performance artist and an underground WWII-themed speakeasy to figure things out. Guest star French Stewart is great in this episode as Whip Chatterly, a book store owner who has followed Psych’s career.
That’s all for the first half of the list. Come back tomorrow for the top four Psych seasons!