Episode Title: 'The Tao of Gus'
Writer: Tim Meltreger
Director: John Badham
At SBPD HQ, Gus (Dule Hill) is drawn to a hippie cult member named Nicole (Diora Baird), who claims to have witnessed a murder in broad daylight. Shawn (James Roday) and Gus go to the crime scene with Nicole, where she is nearly hit by a car heading straight at her. At Jules' place, Shawn asks her if Nicole can stay but Jules (Maggie Lawson) thinks it's a bad idea. After the boys leave with Nicole, shots are fired through the front window of Jules' apartment.
The boys take Nicole back to the hippie cult farm where she lives. Jules calls Shawn to tell her about the shooting at her apartment and is almost hit by a car while on the phone with him. Back at the farm, Shawn contacts Henry (Corbin Bernsen) via computer in cult leader, Eli's office. While looking at surveillance shots from alleged crime scene, Henry recognizes a cop from Internal Affairs named Dan Cooper. Moments later, Nicole comes in and tells Shawn that Cooper is the man she saw killed.
Lassie (Timothy Omundson) and Jules meet with the head of IA who claims he just spoke to Cooper the day before and that he was only handling some routine paperwork regarding evidence. When Jules tells Shawn the news, he remembers seeing a cop at HQ not signing in evidence. Later, Jules tells Shawn they arrested the officer he named for stealing evidence and assume he killed Cooper.
As the boys leave the commune, Shawn sees the car that tried to run down Nicole covered up in the woods. He and Gus head back to the farm and Lassie and Jules soon arrive.
When Shawn determines that the killer has been on the farm the whole time he brings the news to Eli (Diedrich Bader). He calls a meeting of his followers inside the "Barn of Truth." There, Nicole's ex-husband Jeff confronts her about heading into Santa Barbara to meet a man. She claims the man just wanted to learn more about the commune. When it's revealed through an email that the man was Dan Cooper, Nicole claims she had no idea he was a cop.
Positing that Jeff had Dan killed because he was jealous, Shawn heads to his cabin to have him arrested. He soon realizes there's something in a shed nearby and Cooper's body falls out as the door is opened. Jeff is arrested but after looking through Cooper's wallet, Shawn learns that he had a sister who was a former cult member. After signing over her assets to Eli as all members do, she eventually left the cult but found her finances ruined upon returning to the real world. Shawn realizes that it was Eli who Cooper was investigating. When the cult leader learned that Nicole was meeting with Cooper, he killed him and tried to run her over, for fear she recognized him.
When Shawn exposes Eli to his members, the cult leader tries to flee but is taken down by a member and arrested. Nicole tells Gus she's headed to India to reconnect with her spiritual guru and invites him along, but he refuses.
"Psych" is at its best when the cases are more ridiculous than Shawn and Gus, themselves. 'The Tao of Gus' saw the boys tackle the whackiest case in recent memory and it made for my favorite episode of the season, thus far.
Let's face it, Shawn and Gus would be thrown out on their asses and possibly reported to the Better Business Bureau if they ever tried to take their Psych operation to a real world police department. Which is why when the boys are saddled with a run-of-the-mill murder case, "Psych" tends to falter. However, in this episode the boys were right at home (especially Gus), in a comedically heightened, over-the-top investigation into a hippie cult.
I love it when someone gets the best of Shawn and that certainly was the case with cult member, Dot, who quickly became smitten with the psychic. All was revealed in the "Barn of Truth," as Dot clutched the Gourd and told those in attendance about her naughty dream of chocolate chips, immaculate underwear and Shawn.
And then there was Gus, in full-on ladies' man mode macking on the cult member at the center of the investigation, Nicole. With lines like "your silhouette should be on a mudflap," is it any wonder the ladies love Burton Guster? We were promised developments in both the perpetually single Gus and Lassie's love lives this season. However, it seems Shawn isn't taking to well to the idea of his BFF finding love. In fact, he's kind of being a jerk about it. I'm having psychic visions of Shawn throwing a "mantrum" in episodes to come.
As for this week's guest stars, veteran voice actor, Diedrich Bader was excellent as the monotoned cult leader/embezzler, Eli. Honestly, I find "Psych" does better with it's lesser know drop-ins, this case Bader, Suzanne Krull as Dot and Diora Baird as Nicole, than its splashier guest stars.
'The Tao of Gus' was a near pitch-perfect episode of "Psych." Even if next week's mid-season finale is a total flop, we'll just partake in a bit of chakra alignment by the peace ash and all will be well until "Psych" returns.
Crave Online Rating: 9.5 out of 10.