Sunday, March 14, 2010

Psych: Mr. Yin Presents

So, I've been basing my decision to blog Psych on whether or not the episode really inspired me to take notes and pay attention. Well, this episode blew me away. I was literally in awe of it that I almost forgot to take notes, and not out of indifference! Loved every second of it. Before I even get into the plot, HUGE kudos to James Roday for the amazing direction and writing (along with co-writer Andy Berman) of the episode.  Seriously, it was as close to perfection as one can get, I think. He truly took Hitchcock into consideration and the episode was a wonderful homage to his genius.

One other thing I'd like to say. I love Hitchcock. I think he is the master of suspense. Any thriller that followed his movies were influenced by him, whether or not the director did it intentionally.  The only movie I'm not really a fan of is Vertigo. Partly, I just don't like the plot, but mostly it is because of a geographical error that drives me nuts.  When Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak are driving to the Mission at San Juan Bautista from San Francisco they drive through the grove of Eucalyptus trees that all my Bay Area CA friends know is south of San Juan Bautista so there is no reason for them to be driving through them, no matter how well they lend themselves to framing a shot. Takes me right out of the movie every time. Ugh, Hitchcock! Why?!

I contemplated doing a whole recap of the episode similar to my LOST blog, but it was getting to be too ridiculously long that even I was annoying myself. Instead I'll just go through and pick out some of my favorite stuff.  Though I'm going to start with one thing that annoyed me.  In the opening 1989 sequence how did Henry not see that Psycho was also playing? He is supposed to be some amazing detective (as he did teach Shawn everything he knows) but somehow he though the 9 year old boy wanted to go see The Little Mermaid? Kinda of a goof on the part of the writers, but I get why they did it, as it did play well into the opening of the 2010 part of the show where Shawn is walking in to the theatre to see Psycho for what I am sure is the 38075th time.

I love that they brought back Mary. How can we do Yin Yang killer without Mary? He is so super creepy and I think it was genius to bring him back because it set up the "Mary is Yin" misdirect we all knew was going to happen. And good ol' Ally Sheedy as Yang. I think we all knew that her character in The Breakfast Club would turn into a serial killer. The dandruff as snow thing was a dead giveaway.  Get it? DEAD give away. Moving on...

Speaking of Yang, possibly my favorite quote of the season was the line from Yang's book describing Shawn as, "a thick tufted boy genius who ice skates through life on polished blades of snarky eloquence." I wish I was in the room when Roday and Berman came up with that. And let's not forget poor Gus who is "laughing on the outside, crying on the inside."

Ok, a few of my favorite shots/sequences:  The initial shot of the dead waitress with the extreme close up of her head framing Jules in the background - love love! So Hitchcock. Remember the phone in Dial M for Murder? He loved that trick. When Shawn saw the rocks and the camera panned up to show that the corpse was shaped as the wavy line making a Yin Yang... CHILLS! Also loved the duo of the cop in Psycho and Mary falling down the stairs. Roday must have studied hard. The North by Northwest bi-plane bit with Lassiter and a toy. Plus I love that Lassie wanted to cite the kid. Of course he did. Possibly the best throwaway Hitchcock shout out was the grafitti on the building they watched Mary go into -- all the crows looking so menancingly at Jules. Creepiest shot: When Yin gets McNabb as he is escorting Abigail home. The way McNabb's eyes gloss over and his head tilts. *shudder* And last but certainly not least - Shawns crazy dream, if only because it included Lassiter dressed as the "mom" in Psycho.

Normally, Psych is easy to figure out. Much in the vain of Monk, this series is more about the characters and the fun of getting there than actually making a storyline that stumps you. Well this time they really pulled out all the stops, of course it had to be difficult because even Shawn had no idea what was going on. The clues were crazy, and Yin was always one step ahead. Even scarier - Yang said that Yin was worse than she was. Ah! This one kept you guessing, including whether or not they were going to off Abigail. Glad they didn't kill her, but super glad that she is out of the picture. I know we are dealing with a serial killer here, but SHAWN AND JULES FOREVER!

Speaking of Abigail, how fantastic was the sequence where they were both kidnapped and Lassie and Gus went after Jules and Shawn and Henry went for Abigail? I literally was holding my breath. So well done with the back and forth. When Yin came out of the shadows and was standing in front of Shawn I gasped. Since I don't like Abby I kinda wanted him to just attack Yin, but I get why he let him go - both as a character and for the sake of the story. And the scene at the very end where Jules breaksdown.... kudos to Maggie Lawson. I got all misty there. I just wish Shawn had been the one there to comfort her. Hoping when we return she isn't also in the "i don't want to be around Shawn" mindset.

And then there is the last shot....  Who is Yin?  And is that Shawn in the picture with Yang? If so, how does Shawn not remember it? Or Henry? Is it photoshop? Andy Berman said that the picture was fuzzy on purpose. One theory (thanks, Katie) is that Yin is Yang's son and he is jealous of Shawn and his mom's obsession with him. A lot of Twitter people somehow think that Yang is Shawns mom, but ummmm, pretty sure Henry would remember THAT! Berman laughed that one off. I don't know, but is it summer yet?


Matthew said...

well, we know that yang cant be shawn's mom, because his mom is played by Cybil Shephard.

Also, maybe at the movie theater, Henry missed it because it was on the other side of the marquee. The little mermaid was facing them and the Psycho would have been on the side facing away from them (yes, I rewatched it to pick up on all the nuances I originally missed and caught that part)

My first impression was the Yin is Yang's son and that is how she knows "they would make great business partners."

anyways, we should just talk because there is too much to type...hope you are well and big respect on your blog.

Anonymous said...

It totally is Shawn in the photo! And it fully creeped me out. I too thought maybe Yin was Yang's son after a little thought. I think Shawn had to have known Yin/Yang as a child, but why wouldn't he remember them given his talent at observation? Argh, I wanna know!

Shawn and Jules forever!

Ethan said...

This episode was awesome. I love how you mentioned that the plot was a bit deeper than most. I think it would be awesome if they kept the show going in that direction.

Melissa said...

Matthew- I know it can't be Shawn's mom. I just included it because I like to mention other people's silliness!:) But Yang as Yin's mom seems likely.
You're right, Psycho was on the otherside of the marquee.... but when he pulled away? I'm letting it go...

Ethan- This episode was so well received, so I'm hoping they keep going with this direction too. I'm down with the silly, but the smarter plots would be nice!

Lianna - I wondered that too! Why wouldn't he remember them? It's weird. And yes...