TV Recap: Psych,“Lock, Stock Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire”, (8.01)



8/1/2014, 9PM, USA Network

Shawn and Gus travel to foggy “London” (AKA: backlot, Canada) to help Desperaux – who’s now working with Interpol …or was he ALWAYS working for Interpol? – out with a sting operation that involves the two men infiltrating a gang. Poor Gus just wants to talk about Harry Potter and attend a convention, but instead he and Shawn find themselves racing to prevent the mob from committing a million-dollar heist.

This week’s Psych contains a Guy Ritchie parody that’s rather…trenchant. If you haven’t seen at least one of his movies, you probably won’t pick up on the little visual cues and verbal jokes that are sprinkled throughout the episode. The show doesn’t lock you out of the equation entirely, though. There are quite a few funny bits that don’t require previous knowledge of any franchise – my favorite involves Shawn’s attempt at impressing the gangsters by smoothly…running over every obstacle in his Mini-Cooper’s path.

Roday and Hill are the center and heart of the show, and their work is smooth and well-oiled this season. Performing a lyrical duet that enchants the watcher, they prove that they don’t need a full table of side characters to capture their audience’s attention. One wants another episode where the guys are stuck taking care of a mission all by themselves.

Cary Elwes has been gone for two seasons now, but his Desperaux is still one of the show’s best recurring characters. Desperaux is smooth and smart, and this episode gives him a surprising backstory. Also surprisingly enjoyable is Vinny Jones’ performance as the gang’s ringleader; Jones, mostly known for his work as an MMA fighter, has built up quite a following in direct-to-dvd movies. Comedy is a new frontier for him, and he tackles his role with surprising aplomb. The other members of the mob are colorful and memorable, though they aren’t played by actors of any reputation.

It’s also great to watch Gus lay out some Harry Potter fandom knowledge along the way. Of course he relates to Ron; if ever there was a Hufflepuff…In any event, the writers must have some tiny bit of experience in Potter fandom, for it hints at a lot of little in jokes within the fandom – though I can’t quite ascertain if Pottering is an actual thing.

Yet this episode doesn’t quite stand out to me as a particularly memorable one. It’s fun, and it’s always great to see Desperaux, and it’s a change of pace to see Shawn and Gus in a new setting, but it doesn’t feel terribly special, doesn’t jump out or make the audience sit up and take notice. It’s got some bright spots, will make you laugh, and will allow you to bask in the happy realization that Psych is back, but it doesn’t have the punch of a classic.

Psych remains an amiable, funny and pop-culture filled joy ride. Lock, Stock Some Smoking Barrels and Burton Guster’s Goblet of Fire is no different from the rest of the show’s run and that, sadly is the show’s biggest problem with this episode. S.E.I.Z.E The Day looks a lot funnier and I hope it will be.

The Roundup

  • Gus’ favorite Harry Potter character is Ron Weasley. Perfect.
  • There are multiple jokes about the fact that this episode was filmed in Psych’s homebase of Canada and not on location in London.
  • As indicated above, Cary Elwes makes his third appearance as Pierre Desperaux, a suave ex-conman, now Interpol agent and Lassiter-substitute for this episode.
  • There’s something wonderful about Gus refusing to believe that Desperaux’s entirely reformed. Forever wary.
  • Gus, Shawn, and Lassiter (very briefly) are the only regular characters to appear on this week’s episode.
  • ”We went to one pub and a warehouse. We might as well have been in British Columbia!” I see you, Show.
  • Next week: the gang tries to figure out what Lassie is hiding in S.E.I.Z.E The Day.
[notification type=star]89/100~GREAT. A little obscure reference-wise, but still packed with adorable, funny and enjoyable moments.[/notification]

About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.