Juliet tries to assert her independence from Shawn by both throwing him out of their shared condo and taking on a new roommate in this week’s episode, “Juliet Wears the Pantsuit.” Unfortunately events quickly spiral out of control thanks to Shawn’s interference…and the death of one of her applicants. Against Jules’ repeatedly stated wishes, Shawn and Gus investigate the background of the deceased – and discover a connection to Juliet’s new roommate…and who’s cut and styled her hair
While definitely not equal to last week’s episode in emotional scope, “Juliet Wears the Pantsuit” brings back two elements missing from the show’s recent dramatic diversions: rapid-fire banter and outlandish set pieces. Shawn and Gus exchange a series of insults that’re liable to get you giggling, and the boys stake out a yoga studio with predictably non-athletic results.
Also noteworthy was Shawn’s surprise partnership with kinky coroner Woody Strode; after rejecting a stop at his father’s house (he’s too still too grossed out by the memory of seeing his parents in flagrante delicto during his father’s convalescence earlier in the season) and being turned down by Gus, Shawn moves into Woody’s double-wide and learns a little too much about his friend’s sexual peccadillos. Kurt Fuller goes to town with the material he’s given and it leaves you laughing.
Without a doubt, Dule Hill’s performance was the most intriguing comedic one – while Gus has been on the receiving end of some lovely romantic moments this season they’ve been using his character as a comedic anchor while Shawn and Juliet’s romance provides the gravitas. But don’t overlook the work of Kurt Fuller, who takes Woody’s innate creepiness a dozen steps further than usual without repulsing the audience.
Much like last week’s episode, the mystery is actually pretty nifty, though I disliked the sudden mid-stream switch in perpetrators: it felt false and an attempt at extending the suspense. A nice chase sequence in its last fifteen minutes makes up for that handily.
Overall, “Juliet Wears the Pantsuit” works pretty well, with several laugh-out-loud moments. Falling on the average side, however, it’s neither the best of the series’ run, nor is it especially memorable in the long run.
- Juliet and Shawn’s relationship woes continue. It’s interesting that the show’s decided to let the audience know that Jules is absolutely in the right in this situation; the only thing she wants him to do is stop lying and that – thanks to his position with the SBPD – is the one thing Shawn can’t do. It sets up a nice conflict between what Shawn wants and what he feels gives his life value and fuels his constant need for attention.
- That said, one of the episode’s nicest moments was its smallest one; as Shawn leaves his and Jules’ condo, he reaches out to grab her hand – a beautiful callback to “Talk Derby To Me”.
- This episode sees the return of Henry to the singles scene. I had wondered how they were going to play out the fallout from his fling with Madeline in “Juliet Takes a Luvaah” and was disappointed that it was reduced to a quick reference from Shawn. I understand that Cybill Shepherd’s availability limits her guest appearances, but I would have loved to have watched them break up onscreen.
- As hilarious as it was, I didn’t buy that the toned, athletic Gus couldn’t survive a simple set of yoga moves. The series has established him as both an extreme sports enthusiast (“Thrill Seekers and Hell-Raisers”) and an avid tap-dancer (“Feet Don’t Kill Me Now”), as well as a hypochondriac health freak. Shawn, however – who has been established as a laconic couch potato who can barely clear a wire fence and who refused to do anything athletic with Juliet during their relationship– was definitely in-step with previous character establishment.
- Speaking of, Gus’ girlfriend Rachel is referred to but makes no appearance. Could the fire between them be cooling down?
- The Blueberry is officially back in action!
- Best running gag: Shawn and Juliet splitting ‘custody’ of a box of Fruity Pebbles, an excuse that Shawn uses to break into their condo repeatedly, and a nifty metaphor for his immaturity and fear of growing up.
- Next week, in ‘The Santabarbarian Candidate’, Juliet and Shawn’s break-up woes are set to come to a head as Shawn runs for Mayor of Santa Barbara – mostly as an excuse to delve into the death of the previous mayor, which was ruled an accident.