Synopsis: When a dinosaur is suspected of murder in Santa Barbara, it is up to Shawn and Gus to track it down.
Review: Steve Franks, series creator, delivers a solidly funny episode that captures the tone of this series. This week's mystery was top-notch. It ranks up there as one of the better mysteries of this series and mystery fiction in general.
This episode gives a fresh take on what I call the drowned-in-the-middle-of-the-desert mystery. Drowning in the middle of the desert is an impossible crime that fictional sleuths have tackled so many times it has become cliche. The great Adrian Monk, star of another USA Network series, comes up against crimes like these all the time including an actual drowned-in-the-middle-of-the-desert incident but also fresh twists on the archetype like an episode where an astronaut murdered his girlfriend while in outer space. In Sixty Five Million Years Off, a dead man is found with wounds from a dinosaur bite...impossible since dinosaurs are extinct (or at least that's what I'm told). A dinosaur attack is goofy enough to match the goofiness of the series' premise.
In what is probably the most postmodern series on television right now, Psych continues to blur the lines between the characters and the actors who play them. There is never an overt breaking of the fourth wall, but the series is peppered with colorful acting that could be termed pseudo-"breaking the fourth wall." There were two instances where Shawn and Gus seemed to exert an unrealistic amount of effort to open a door or gate. This could be misinterpreted as overacting, but I think it was intentional. How many times have you acted like you were straining to pick up a light item for comic effect? In an age of television and movies, we are all actors in a much grander drama, a metanarrative.
The police psychologist does raise some interesting questions. As viewers, you and I know Shawn doesn't really think he has psychic powers. He has a talent that makes him a great detective. Shawn used the psychic cover to keep from being put under suspicion in the pilot. He continues the psychic detective agency because he enjoys solving crimes. Even if he does not want to become a cop because of his dad, he could continue to do that as a legitimate private eye. There must be something more. He enjoys the thrill of pretending to be something he's not. I'm giving this above average episode an 8 out of 10.
Spiritual Content: Your culture and religion form a metanarrative you often take for granted. If you are a Christian, you are part of a narrative about Christ offering redemption. Whatever background you come from, television has the ability to make you pause and reflect on your narrative when you actively engage the shows you're watching.
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Reviewed by: Matthew Miller)