PSYCH 6.16 ‘SantaBarbaratown’

Shawn helps SBPD solve an old case that may have claimed another victim in Henry.

Hilary Rothingby Hilary Rothing

Episode Title: 'SantaBarbaratown'

Writer: Bill Callahan

Director: David Crabtree


In a flashback to 1991, Henry (Corbin Bernsen) and his partner, Lou tell Shawn about the case of a missing girl named Veronica Towne, who they believe was murdered by her boss at The Blue Derby bar, Jordan Beaumont.

Back in present day, Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) meet up with Jules (Maggie Lawson) and Lassie (Timothy Omundson) at a construction site where an unidentified male body has turned up. Shawn then spots a necklace in the dirt, leading them to uncover the body of Veronica Towne. As he did years ago, Henry immediately suspects Jordan Beaumont killed Veronica, however, he's never had enough evidence to prove it.

Woody (Kurt Fuller) reveals that the unidentified male is Beaumont's father, Ellis, a powerful local businessman. Henry asks Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson) to reinstate him as a detective so he can work the case, as he feels he owes it his old partner, Lou and she agrees.

Gus and Shawn head to Jordan's (Rob Estes) house, where he supplies them with an alibi: he was with his girlfriend, Thea the night of his father's murder. Shawn then talks to Thea (Amanda Schull) who backs up Jordan's story. Shawn also notices that Thea is colorblind.

When Woody finds DNA on Veronica Towne belonging to Lou Gamble, Henry, Gus and Shawn visit Lou's widow, Bee. She tells the trio about strange phone calls she got around the time of Towne's death as well as photos that were taken of her and left on her windshield. But the real bombshell comes when Bee reveals that Lou worked security at The Blue Derby to cover her medical bills.

Henry, Gus and Shawn visit The Blue Derby, which appears to be hurting for business. Henry recognizes a waitress named Ida (Lolita Davidovich) who tells them that Veronica was sleeping Jordan, but then suddenly disappeared for six months. When she returned, Jordan gave her back her old job. Inside the kitchen, which hasn't been used in years, Shawn and Gus notice a bag of baking soda. Shawn theorizes that Ellis was using the kitchen to make crack and used Lou to keep the police out of his business. Shawn then gets a strange call warning him to stay away from the Towne case.

Back at the lab, Woody drops yet another bombshell on the team when he tells them that Veronica gave birth before she was killed, leading the boys to figure Jordan got her pregnant, sent her away and then killed her when she came back.

Things get creepier when Shawn finds an envelope containing pictures of Jules on the Blueberry's windshield. While checking on Jules, Shawn learns that Lassie put a trace on his phone and that Jordan was once married to Ida. When he and Gus confront her, Ida tells them that the marriage ended because she wanted children and Jordan is impotent.

After meeting with the doctor who delivered Veronica, Shawn and Gus learn she had a daughter named "Dahlia." That night, Shawn is held at knifepoint by a masked man who tells him to drop the case. Shawn initially suspects Jordan was the attacker but when he gets another call while confronting him, he realizes Jordan is innocent.

Lassie puts a trace on the call and tells Shawn it's coming from two blocks away. Shawn spots Henry's old partner, Jack across the street and he and Gus give chase. They soon catch up with Jack, with Henry holding him at gunpoint.

Jack explains that Ellis paid him and Lou to work as lookouts for his drug business. When Veronica was accidentally killed, Ellis blackmailed the detectives into covering it up. However, Jack insists he didn't kill Ellis. Shawn then recalls that Ellis was colorblind and realizes that Thea is "Dahlia" and the killer.

Outside the hotel, Shawn confronts Thea about her real identity and explains to Jordan that she is actually his sister. Thea says she came to town to find out the truth about her mother. When Ellis told her what happened, she insisted he take her to the burial site . Once there, she shot him dead.

Back at the precinct, Henry tells Vick he's retiring for good, despite her insistence that he stay on the force. He invites Shawn out for a beer but says he has to visit an old friend first. Henry meets up with Jerry, another detective who he worked with along with Lou and Jack, at his beach front home. When Jerry mentions the fifty-grand the detectives were paid by Ellis, Henry realizes he was in on The Blue Derby action, as well.

Meanwhile, back at the precinct, Buzz (Sage Brocklebank) tells Shawn about an off-duty work permit he dug up for Towne case. When Shawn sees Jerry on the list, he realizes that Henry is in danger and rushes off to find him. Back on the beach, Henry tells Jerry there's still time to do the right thing. Jerry considers putting the gun down and then shoots Henry.


Weren't expecting that now, were you? Is Henry dead? Unlikely, especially for a happy-go-lucky show like "Psych." But it's certainly a lot darker than last season finale, in which the big "cliffhanger" was Lassie finding out that Jules and Shawn are doing it, or at least kissing.

Aside from a nasty cliffhanger, "SantaBarbaratown" was also a fun homage to Roman Polanski's "Chinatown." I'm no expert on the film, but I did notice the loose interpretation of the characters "Ida" and "Lou" from the movie, which was written by Robert Towne.

And though the finale didn't feature any real big name guest stars, Lolita Davidovich, Amanda Schull and Rob Estes' hammed up roles were worthy of a "Psych" season finale. Gotta love how Thea made a point of letting us know that she had not slept with Jordan. And hey, it's Wojo (Max Gail) from "Barney Miller" as Jerry!

It was also to see more of the love-hate father-son dynamic between Shawn and Henry. Despite his constant need to unbutton his pants and tuck his shirt in, which has traumatized Shawn, Henry and his son shared some sweet moments in this episode. But were they their last?

We also saw Shawn get a little emo when Jules appeared to be in danger. Every now and then, we need a dose of "serious" Shawn to balance things out and this episode provided that on several occasions . I just hope things don't get too serious when "Psych" returns for its seventh season.

A few of the better non-serious moments from "SantaBarbaratown:"

"This is my partner, Sh' Dynasty. S-H comma to the top Dynasty" – Shawn

"I'm on you like fat on a fat person" – Shawn

"His juice had no pulp…he was pouring decaf…" – Ida explaining Jordan's impotence

"I'm about to have a threesome with two Toberlones" – Gus chasing his sugar high

So where does "SantaBarbaratown" leave us as we head into season seven? Well, Shawn and Jules seem to be moving past the slumber party phase of their courtship, Gus is now eroticizing his relationship with milk chocolate and Henry's been shot. One of these things is uncharacteristically not like the other and we'll have to wait till next season to find out just how much so.