Wow! That thought crossed my mind repeatedly over the course of tonight’s Season Finale of Psych. While the episode still served up some great laughs, it was a much more tense, scary, and dramatic episode than what Psych fans are used to.
Personally I loved it, I thought Roday’s direction was great, and I loved the shots he cribbed from Hitchcock, especially Lassie getting chased by the remote control airplane a la North by Northwest. I loved the Mary and McNab red herrings, and of course Gus' "What about my face" line. And I absolutely loved the song that played over the final scenes. ("I Go To The Barn Because I Like The" by Band of Horses) There was so much to love in this episode, and I didn't want it to end.
And, I don’t know about you, but I was honestly worried someone was going to die. First I thought McNab was dead, then when he wasn't I was worried again. I never really feared for Juliet’s life as I think she and Shawn will get together before anything happens to either of them, but I was genuinely worried that Shawn was going to have to watch Abigail die. I also feared for Henry’s life for a few seconds when Shawn chose to save Abigail over catching Mr. Yin, as I was worried Henry would be ambushed by our secret killer.
But lets discuss the thing I’m sure you’re all wondering about: That last moment where we see a picture of Mr. Yang (Ally Sheedy) and young Shawn. What does this mean? Does Shawn know that he knows Yang from when he was a kid? Is he hiding this fact from everyone else? What was their relationship like? And more importantly how long will we have to wait to see Yang again?
Personally I think Yang was someone who worked at his school, or someone he met on a field trip. Someone Shawn has no memory of having met as a kid, but who clearly had an impact on a very crazy woman. (I'll admit for a second I thought it was Yang and her son, Mr. Yin, and thought his resemblance to young Shawn was indicating that Yang and Shawn had a kid together. But I mostly attribute that to having originally watch the episode on a tiny square on my computer monitor)
During my interview with Ally Sheedy and James Roday on Monday several questions were asked about Mr. Yin and Mr. Yang. I didn’t want to spoil any of last night’s episode so I held those questions and answers for today. So keep reading to find out a little bit more about the serial killers that haunt Shawn and Gus at night. (This part of the interview is pretty Roday heavy as most of the questions center on last night's episode and the future of Psych)
I asked Roday and Sheedy when and if we’d be seeing her character again. Sheedy said that “there is a strange secretive sort of story going on here,” and deferred to Roday who said that “it’s fair to say we have not seen the last of her and we’ll leave it at that.”
Of course the questions that everyone wants to know is what is up with that picture that appears to be of young Shawn and Mr. Yang? Of course neither stars wanted to comment to much on that questions. “James can answer it.” Sheedy said, while Roday replied “I don’t even want to talk about that last moment.” So it seems like we’ll have to wait a few months to find the answer to that question.
"You're just amazing...My most admiral foe...That's why I chose you...We're going to be working together again...Shawn I knew you'd come."
Another question we’ll have to wait for a definitive answer to, just who is Mr. Yin. When asked if there had been any clues to that mystery Roday said there was nothing overt. “We’re still sort of working that out ourselves, but we’ll make sure that when we do finally sort of come clean we’ll do our best not to make it one of those things where retrospectively it’s like, well, that couldn’t have been possible. We’ll do our best not to cheat. I don’t think we’ve backed ourselves into any corners so far. We’ve kept it pretty ambiguous. We’ll just come up with something really cool and then lay it out there.”
Roday also said that the idea to make a trilogy out of the Yin/Yang killers came from Andy Berman and himself. “[We thought] that it would be fun to do a trilogy within the landscape of Psych. For a while it was just me and Andy that thought that was cool and then we did the first one and it kind of went over like gangbusters. And Ally was a huge part of our campaign to keep going because I think she did such a marvelous job with that character that it’s like how can you not want more of that?”
Roday also said that credit had to be given to Jimmi Simpson (Mary) who came in and “created this unbelievable sort of character that we didn’t want to see the end of yet either.” Roday said a lot of different things just came together and it was a no-brainer to do another one. “We started thinking about the second Yang, I think a day after the first one aired and everybody was so pumped about it. We have not stopped thinking about it since because we still have more work to do.”
Asked whether or not he thought the dramatic tone of this episode would change the series tone Roday said a hearty no. “I don’t think it’s going to change the tone. I think it’s another sort of feather in the cap of Shawn’s growth. Obviously I’m not getting younger; the character is not getting younger. None of us are getting younger so we have to start addressing that. This is a pretty good jumping off point, I think going into season five of just like wow, everybody sort of needs to check in with themselves and recognize that you can’t be a kid forever and maybe that should start informing our behavior a little bit.”
Roday also said that there while there would still be plenty of laughs in the next season, this episode would serve as a way to push the growth of Shawn’s character. “We’re still going to be plenty silly. This is just a character beat for him more than anything. He’s mortal even though he likes to think sometimes that he isn’t. This is sort of just a wake-up call. It’s good. You’ve got to do that kind of stuff once you get this deep into the series so that you feel like you’re going somewhere.”
Roday was then asked how he thought fans would react to the finale and the choices made by the characters. “I hope they dig it. There is not a lot of build up to it and I think our publicity guys have done a really good job of sort of getting everybody’s anticipation up and like I said I think we’ll get away with it partially because it’s a finale and everybody gets a few months off to sort of process and water cooler talk and you don’t have to sort of adjust yourself to come right back next week and watch us save a sea mammal of some sort.”
Roday continued saying that it’s easier to do these heavy episodes at the end of the season. “[It] buys us a little bit of latitude and the fact that it’s a little darker and a little scarier and the stakes are pretty high is fun I hope for fans. It’s a nice sort of curve ball that we don’t throw very often. Also, I think it’s a treat to watch good actors doing good work on a show that you’re a fan of. I think that’s what Ally and Jimmi and the rest of the cast sort of delivered in spades in this episode. They certainly all made me look good.”
Finally Roday was asked about the cameo he and girlfriend and Psych co-star Maggie Lawson had in the movie Gamer, and whether or not the mustache he had was his idea. “We’re buddies with the filmmakers. I’ve known [writer/directors] Mark [Neveldine] and Brian [Taylor] for a while and they just called and said, “Hey do you guys want to come to New Mexico for a day and do some silly stuff?” We were on our way across country to visit Maggie’s family anyway so we just made a quick pit stop and did that silly stuff. The mustache is always my idea, man. Any time I can exploit that thing I do because it’s serious and it’s real.”