“Psych” Recap: The devil’s in the details … and in the bedroom upstairs

By Dizzy Miss Lizzy

With Psych taking a week off, this was a perfect opportunity for recap catch-up.

When a good-girl college student unexpectedly commits suicide on campus, Shawn and Gus join the investigation to help an old friend, a priest from their childhood. Father Westley, now a professor on the campus, believes that the girl was, in fact, possessed. Shawn the skeptic refuses to acknowledge that possibility and looks for any earthly reasons why the girl may have gone off the deep end — mental instability, drugs, bad breakup, Grand Theft Auto

Suspects abound. Father Westley and his obsession with possession. Father Bard, the semi-creepy headmaster. Lucy, the tragic best friend with blond curls. Cameron, the dead girl’s hippie boyfriend, maybe hopped up on something he took at Burning Man. And, of course, The Devil.

Gus immediately jumps on board with Father Westley’s theory and joins the case as Psych’s Lead Investigator. Shawn tags along, if only to mock Gus mercilessly. According to the priest, Agatha’s personality shifted drastically in the weeks leading up to her death, and she had dabbled in the occult (by playing a Ouija board). Certainly, all signs pointed to Devil.

Shawn suspects man trouble may have been the real cause. Gus hacks into Agatha’s online social profile by correctly guessing her password. And no, it wasn’t Bauhaus. They find a picture of Agatha and her boyfriend Cameron smooching, as well as a number of updates highlighting the disintegration of their relationship. Shawn predicts that either he broke up with her and she killed herself in despair, or she broke up with him and he pushed her. A quick interview with the hippie boyfriend, however, disproves both ideas.

To find out what may have caused Agatha to start acting crazy, Shawn and Gus pose as grief counselors and visit her best friend, Lucy. Apparently Lucy witnessed the whole suicide; Agatha died in her arms. When the guys arrive at her house, they find the girl spider-walking around the room and growling. Gus cites the plot of The Exorcist and suggests possession as a genuine possibility. Shawn doesn’t know what to think, but he doesn’t have any better explanations. He takes off to get some advice from Henry, leaving Gus to call in his own backup, Father Westley.

Shawn returns to Lucy’s house just in time to help the priest exorcise the demons. Father Westley gives the boys a quick rundown on demon behavior. They will use lies, trickery, and secrets to distract. Shawn’s firm anti-possession resolve is shaken when a flailing, wailing, crazy Lucy taunts him that she knows about Mr. Reno, a teacher he may or may not have accidentally poisoned as a child. Gus pulls Shawn out of the room, while Father Westley, joined by Father Bard, frees the girl from the Devil.

Feeling directly challenged by the girl’s intimate knowledge of a dark secret, and not satisfied with “the devil did it,” Shawn digs even deeper into what real things could’ve caused these occurrences. He looks at Agatha’s autopsy and learns that the preliminary toxicology report only screens for a small number of drugs. So, he uses Gus’ pharmacology encyclopedia to find additional drugs that could cause someone to act crazy and sends the list to the lab. The results come back positive — the dead girl had L-Dopa in her system. L-Dopa is used to treat Parkinson’s, a condition Father Westley was diagnosed with ten years earlier. Shawn surmises that the priest drugged both Agatha and Lucy, hoping to create fake possessions and reclaim some of his past fame and credibility.

Father Westley maintains his innocence from behind bars. Gus presses him about whether someone else may have wanted to hurt Agatha and learns that there is another suspect. However, the information was offered during confession; the priest cannot reveal the person’s name because that would be a violation of his vows. He does try and offer a tip, by quoting a specific proverb. Shawn and Gus track down a Bible at Henry’s house and put the cryptic clue together.

The answer leads them straight to Cameron’s dorm room, where he and the real killer, Lucy, were in the midst of “comforting” each other. Shawn breaks the whole thing down for Lassiter and Juliet, and the unsuspecting Cam. Lucy stole Father Westley’s medication and secretly gave it to Agatha, hoping the girl would act crazy enough for Cameron to break up with her. But the drug made Agatha too crazy and she killed herself. Lucy pretended to be possessed after she heard Father Westley’s judgment, to throw the investigators off the trail. She added small details to really sell the performance, like quoting from a German film (when she only speaks French) and spouting personal information about Shawn, which she found on his open-to-the-public online social profile.

Holy crap, this episode may go down in the books as one of my favorites. Psych’s spin on The Exorcist really had me guessing until the end. We knew it wouldn’t be an actual possession, but what other explanation could they come up with?! The resolution didn’t disappoint and the ride was certainly fun. I won’t even begrudge Psych for giving us yet another example of Season 4 Shawn jumping to an erroneous conclusion. This time, at least, his reasoning was sound and it seemed like a very possible scenario.

The running asides were great, too. All of the Exorcist references. Shawn and Gus fighting over who got to be Lead (pronounced “led”) Investigator. Henry’s slow descent into video game madness. Shawn’s commercial jingles (bum bum bum “this thing”). Plus, everyone loves a good Brett Favre joke these days.

Spot the Pineapple: A pineapple icon was posted on Agatha’s online social profile.

Gus-ism: Shawn, no relation

Quotes & References

Shawn: May I speak with you in the stop-openly-contradicting-me room, please?


Shawn: I look up to Brett Favre. Doesn’t mean I believe everything he says. Alright, that’s a bad example. It’s those tearful press conferences, man, they get me every time.


Shawn: Carson D’s got Simon Baker on tonight. That’s a can’t-miss.


Henry: It’s this game. I don’t know how they do it, but it lets you feel like a cop without all the guilt after you shoot someone.
Shawn: Dad, kids your age should not be cooped up inside playing video games all day. You should be outdoors feeding pigeons and driving with your blinker on.


Lucy’s Mom: Do you think she has PTSD?
Shawn: I’m afraid this is more serious than a mere menstrual issue.


Shawn: Linda Blair would be proud. Now you can do your best impression of her in Chained Heat. (Gus: And?) And Red Heat! Two prison movies.