Shawn gives Abigail a tour of the police station, pointing out all of the key landmarks, places especially marked by his bravado. She also meets Juliet, which is an entirely awkward exchange as Jules struggles to sound casual. Luckily, Lassiter interrupts with an urgent police issue, the impending interrogation of a young Indian man whose girlfriends all suffer strange and mysterious accidents.
Raj (the dreamy Sendhil Ramamurthy) believes that a curse is targeting every girl he falls in love with and putting them in mortal danger. His latest flame was nearly crushed by a runaway truck during a break from her performance rehearsal. After hearing Raj’s theory, Lassiter seizes the opportunity to put one over on Shawn and invites him to help on the open-and-shut case. Shawn accepts the challenge and vows to break the curse.
The next day, Shawn tricks a very curse-phobic Gus into helping on the case. They visit the scene of the accident and learn that Raj’s brother is the choreographer of the Bollywood-style show Mina was starring in. Jay (Broken Lizard’s Jay Chandrasekhar, who also directs the episode) insists that Raj blames everything that goes wrong in his life on the curse. “That butterfly was right, Gus!” Shawn agrees that the curse is all in Raj’s head. He decides to break the self-fulfilling cycle using silly props and proclaims that the curse is lifted. Case closed, or not.
That night, when the guys check out Mina’s dance performance, Lassiter and Juliet show up with new information about the truck incident that points to sabotage, not a curse. Shawn laments to Gus that maybe they should have done some actual investigating. Then he spots something unusual on-stage and realizes his case-closed assessment was completely premature.
He runs onto the stage just in time to save Mina from falling to her doom as the floor gives out under her. Plastic screws holding the trapdoor in place were painted to look like metal, so they begin to look for an actual flesh-and-blood person who may have wanted to hurt the girl. Someone who knew precisely when Mina would be dancing over that part of the stage.
Shawn, Gus and Abigail crash dinner at Raj’s grandmother’s house. Raj is resistant to Shawn’s continued help, calling him a fraud, but eventually agrees. After all, “as sure as I am that Gus will accidentally cause his own death, I know that you are not cursed” is an extremely compelling argument. Mrs. Singh complains loudly about the added number of dinner guests, but makes room for them at the table. They sit down to an authentic Indian meal and meet Jay’s fiancée, Sita. Family dynamics begin to unfold and hint at several potential saboteurs. Lassiter comes in with a warrant for Jay’s arrest.
Shawn is sure that Jay wasn’t responsible for the accident and secures his release. After interviewing Raj’s very good-looking ex-girlfriends, he figures out that the attacker’s only pattern is to keep Raj from finding love. And that the incidents only happen when Raj gets serious. Juliet goes undercover as Raj’s new girlfriend to try and draw out the attacker. Shawn stakes out each date in the name of surveillance, but Gus and Lassiter are sure he just doesn’t like Jules dating someone else. Even pretend dating.
At the Indian Holi Festival, Raj and Juliet make their relationship official by announcing their engagement in front of everyone. Soon after, the culprit reveals herself when she goes after Juliet with a knife. Sita fell in love with an unsuspecting Raj after getting engaged to Jay. She found reasons to postpone her own wedding and drove other girls away, hoping that once they were both single together, the relationship would naturally follow.
Shawn gives a theatrical and wordy reveal to distract Sita, allowing Juliet a chance to escape. He bravely rushes in to knock the knife away. Jules pulls her gun as Lassiter arrives and they arrest Sita, citing the number of charges they have her on which now include assaulting a police officer.
As done in the Spanish-language soap opera episode “Lights, Camera… Homicidio” from Season 2, the theme song underwent a cultural makeover, this time featuring Hindi singers and a sitar. Totally awesome. Fun guest stars, great jokes, and an interesting story line made this episode memorable and completely enjoyable.
Plus, the Shawn/Juliet/Abigail love triangle supported the episode in all the right places and never felt forced. Abigail and Shawn had the old high-school-reunion-episode spark. And, thankfully, Abigail left off (mostly) the let’s-explore-our-feelings-and-communicate psychobabble. If I wanted to watch relationship therapy, I’d put on Intervention. Or Celebrity Rehab.
But not so awesome is that every episode this season has Shawn hastily jumping to incorrect conclusions. I’m beginning to solve the cases before he even gets on the right track. The jokes are still sharp as ever, I simply wish that his observational skills were too.
Spot the Pineapple:
There is a pineapple-shaped (a very abstracted pineapple shape) lamp at Raj’s grandmother’s house. I also speculate that Lassiter is eating a pineapple cup as Juliet reviews performance videos, but I can’t prove it. Why couldn’t any of the pieces of jewelry or colorful decorations in this episode include the pineapple? Those would’ve been perfect places to hide it!
Odds & Ends:
• Sendhil Ramamurthy and Jay Chandrasekhar, who also directed the episode, are real-life cousins.
Shawn: Gus, don’t be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Marzipan.
Gus: It’s Azkaban.
Shawn: I’ve heard it both ways.
Juliet: Wow, Lassiter’s really got your goat, huh.
Shawn: Yeah he does. And I want it back. God knows what he’s doing to that poor thing.
Gus: Are you as jealous of this guy as I am?
Shawn: More. Except for the part where his girlfriends almost die.
Shawn: We spoke to your other girlfriends.
Gus: And we have concluded that they are all kind of hot.
Shawn: (at the Indian Holi festival, shouts) Indian giver! (everyone turns to stare) No, no no no no no. I meant to insult an entirely different group. Of Indians. Sorry, sorry about that.
Photos: NBC Universal/USA/Alan Zenuk