TV Recap: Psych, “Shawn and Gus Truck Things Up” (8.7)


Psych - Season 8

March 5th, 2014, 9PM, USA Network

The owner of Shawn and Gus’ favorite taco truck, Mauricio’s Tacos, is murdered. The manipulate Lassiter into letting them take the case over – mostly so he can help Marlowe prepare for the birth of their child and concentrate on the (unnecessary in his opinion) parenting classes they’re taking. A whole host of rival food truck drivers, a Spanish restaurant owner, and a gym owner present themselves as suspects – but Shawn and Gus are distracted by the dazzling world of food, the hope of making “Mashable” into a success, and a series of bank robberies, which they try to connect to Mauricio’s murder. As they close in on the killer, their problems collide, and they have to deal with a hungry Marlowe, a gloating Lassie and an apologetic Henry at the same time. The entire plan is turned upside down when her water breaks in the middle of it all.

Meanwhile, Henry drops a bombshell on Shawn and Gus that forces Shawn to consider his future.

“Shawn and Gus Truck Things Up” is a remarkably sitcommy entry into the show’s canon, filled with recurring gags, slapstick and goofy wordplay. The last act – where Gus and Shawn have to juggle all of their problems at the same time while trying to catch their perp – is classic sunshine 70’s midlevel ABC Family at its finest. There’s even a classic double-faint from Dule Hill and some really genius comedic work by James Roday throughout the episode.

Yet the show’s tender heart shows bright and clear this time around as well. Only in the circular world of the show would Henry’s decision turn around and end up providing help to another character, and for all of the show’s sarcasm it never hesitates to provide a sweet ending. There’s something touching, and fitting about the path the show chooses to take there, another lock tightly turned and another satisfactory future ensured.

Along the way, though, the humor is utterly outlandish. Shawn and Gus gleefully eat their way through the county’s best food trucks while quietly running theirs into the ground (their specialty is the “Thanksgiving Bowl”, which contains an entire Thanksgiving dinner in one single serving, including a slice of pumpkin pie). They deal with the changes in their life with a shrug (though Gus can’t quite manage to be graceful and let go of some old toys of his that Shawn ‘borrowed’ during their youth) and plow on happily through the issues before them – Shawn by practicing denial and Gus by being angry at Shawn.

This is an ensemble episode at its finest, with each character having a spotlight-stealing moment. While some moments might confuse the pallet (such as the interminable Mystic River running joke that makes no sense in the scheme of things), but ultimately Shawn and Gus Truck Things Up is a feast for the heart and soul that leaves you yearning for a little bit more. But with three episodes left, our favorite Psychic and his best friend are turning their trucks ever more toward the sunset.

The Roundup

  • Names of other food trucks: ”Meat and Mrs. Jones”; “It’s Hard Out Here for A Shrimp”, “Macho Nachos”.
  • The ”is that my (Blank!) in there” reference is a callback to Sean Penn’s character’s breakdown in the Oscar-winning movie “Mystic River”.
  • …So how does Gus know anything about gestation?
  • Next week: Shawn and Gus head to a detective’s convention, where a murder takes place and they have to utilize the unique skills of their fellow detectives in “A Touch of Sweevill”.
[notification type=star]87/100~GREAT. Madcap and more farcical than usual, one expects Jack Tripper to launch himself over the side of the boys’ food truck. But that doesn’t stop the show’s sweet, tender, beating heart from being the main attraction.[/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.