Wait for it……Psych Season 4 Finale Discussion: “Mr. Yin Presents”


Omg…omg… I think I have totally revived myself from the epic season 4 finale of “Psych”. Now if you haven’t seen it, 1) Don’t read this discussion and 2) How haven’t you seen it yet? You must.

So “Mr. Yin Presents” was directed and co-written by Shawn Spencer himself a.k.a the lovely and fantastic James Roday. It was also written with Andy Berman who has written fantastic episodes in the past including “Shawn Takes A Shot in the Dark”.  This episode has gotten alot of buzz in the Psych message board community due to the picture posted on the Psych countdown calendar back in January. It was a long wait, but March 10th finally arrived with all it’s Hitchcock flair.

Side note: I was unable to watch any of the Hitchcock films before this episode, but my family helped clue me in. In the coming weeks since there is a lack of Psych, I will post a part two discussion of this episode that relies heavily on Hitchcock motifs.

“Mr. Yin Presents” is the second episode in the Yang Trilogy and it didn’t dissapoint, well at least not to me. Ally Sheedy returned as the cracked out Mr. Yang, Jimmi Simpson reprised his role of awkward, but hysterical Mary and Rachel Leigh Cook also returned from her trip to Uganda as Abigail Lytar.

Unlike the first Yang episode which had no flashback, we had a flashback to little Shawn going to see “The Little Mermaid” and which quickly shufffles to a shot of the Marquee of present day with Gus and Shawn seeing a Hitchcock film festival.

At first I wasn’t sure how this Yin and Yang episode would play out. Would this episode be like the last? Like Mary said, I had to take into consideration that Yin has his own game and it’s nothing like Yang’s game that was clearly defined by rules and riddles. I did miss the riddles and the yang music,but who doesn’t love a mock movie set up and trying to decide how to save two people you care about?

Before I get ahead of myself, I want to point out that I did love the one riddle they gave in the beginning with the combination of the crossword puzzle and the movie theater seats. I thought that it was a brilliant Shawn vision with him counting the seats.  Probably his best Shawn vision in this episode, though the crane shot in the beginning of the episode was a second favorite with Shawn mentally seeing the body of the waitress and the rocks resemble a yin-yang symbol.

In this episode, I didn’t have to wait long for Mary to return. They of course had to bring him back because he was hysterical in the first episode. He was a good balance of humor against the drama that was happening in that episode. Sadly, the Mary humor didn’t get to stick around long in this episode.

Before Mary’s death, I too questioned like Shawn, Mary’s involvement in the Yin-Yang murders. He always seemed to know to know so much, but it’s been noted that a big thing of Hitchcock’s is to have misleads which turn out to be wrong. Duh, Jennifer that is the definition of a mislead. Juliet was right, Shawn did question Mary’s involvement in the beginning of the first Yang episode.

Also about Mary, his house was so creepy, but yet so Mary especially with pie written across the ceiling, all the empty sardine containers and having his closet devoted to Yang. Fun fact: The crew of Psych said the pie number was written all over that wall before they even go to the location…creepy

The saddest fact revolving around Mary is that I can’t believed he died. I knew someone was supposed to die, but Mary’s came as a slight surprise. It was a bummer that he and his limp handshake couldn’t stick around for the whole episode and he won’t be there for the conclusion of the Yang saga. I always will wonder if he ever knew who Yin was. His funeral was so sad and I was kinda surprise that Lassiter and Juliet didn’t go. Yeah he was a little creepy, but he still worked with them. I adored Shawn and Gus dressing up in Racquet ball gear.

In Mary’s death scene, I do wanna point out a couple things. I loved.. I mean absolutely loved the framing of the shot when Lassiter and Juliet were leaning up against the door. Roday started the camera off by the Bird drawing to reference Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and then panned over to Lassiter and Juliet and then panned over just a little more to Shawn and Gus leaning up against the wall. It just captured my attention and I had to rewind it a couple times after the first viewing, just to drool over that shot. What can I say, I’m easily amused especially by perfectly framed T.V. shots.

Next, Gus and Shawn having trouble opening the door, before they get trapped in the room. I love how everyone on the cast continues to play up the inability of Gus and Shawn to open things that are so easy to open. Also when they do get trapped and Gus is pushing against the door, didn’t they push it to go through? So shouldn’t they have to pull it? You know opposites… I think I’m thinking way too much.

Last part of Mary’s death scene that intrigued me was the flare gun, the color of the gun was so bright, it grabbed my attention. I don’t know if it was suppposed too, but in the dark lighting, it just popped.

I guess if this episode was divided into three parts, you have Mary’s death, the movie set and Juliet/Abigail bit… so onto the whole movie set part of the episode. That idea was brilliant.

I loved the whole idea of it especially when I first saw it played out on the screen. That first shot of the whole gang excluding the chief, all lined up with flashlights looking around it. It was just set up very nicely and aesthically pleasing to the eye.

Everyone had parts, but did anyone notice how for Gus’ part, he actually didn’t get to do anything? Shawn went up to the wheelchair and watched like in “Rear Window”, Lassiter and Henry both got into the car and Juliet went into Ernie’s bar for “Vertigo”, but Gus’ door was locked. Did Yin really have nothing set up for him?

Going back to Shawn’s “Rear Window” part, my sister got a kick out of Roday’s mimic of Jimmy Stewart. Roday said in an interview that he didn’t think it was that good, but my sister and my parents throughly enjoyed it.

Also Juliet’s choice of clothing… She was already wearing a turtleneck before she got down to the movie set. That’s your choice of clothing during hot Santa Barbara weather? I see you were trying to mimic “Vertigo”, but still I wasn’t sure if it played out right.

Now  when Juliet’s disappeared, it freaked me out the first time I watched it. The second time however, I questioned why she didn’t scream when she dropped down and why before she pulled the draft lever, didn’t she move to the side? Anyway, after she fell, I loved, the scene that followed. The eerie silence and just hearing the lone voice coming from the police radio with “Detective Juliet O’Hara is missing. Possible Suspect of Mr. Yin”.  Then panning to Buzz with that sad stare in his eyes.  Question:  When Vick reassures Shawn that isn’t his fault, doesn’t Shawn kinda come out and say that he isn’t a psychic to her in a way? I’m pretty sure she already knows she knows he’s not a psychic, but still. Also loved how Henry also took the job Vick offered him… yeah more Henry!

I can’t tell you how much I loved the whole choosing between Abigail and Juliet. It totally reminded me and my sister of “Dark Knight” when the Joker told Batman he could only save one. At least in “Psych”‘s case, he was able to save both of them. Okay, so when Buzz came to pick Abigail up, he was acting a little strange. I don’t know if he was meant to be a mislead or something, but he had met Abigail before so I don’t know why he had to be all formal with her? The creepy stare before being gassed was frightening… I could see why Abigail screamed besides the fact that a faceless man was staring at her after Buzz fell.

So for choosing between Juliet and Abigail, I understand Shawn’s logic. He kinda did have to go after Abigail first because she was his girlfriend. It would seem a little odd and a little wrong if Gus or Lassiter came to save her and not her boyfriend, so even thought I wanted him to go after Juliet, I completely understand why he had to go after Abigail. In Abigial’s drowning scenario, I questioned why Abigail couldn’t just hold her breath while Shawn worked to untie the ropes, but granted, I probably would have panicked and screamed as well. I loved the whole swiss army knife liners because my dad does in fact always carry his army knife on him. The hug between Henry and Shawn was also great at the end.

Now Juliet’s terrifying almost drop to her death scene… that really freaked me out. I’m not a fan of heights so that could have been why. I loved the recreation of the Hitchcock shot of Gus and Lassiter running up the stairs. Think of the timing Roday had to set up to make it work out perfectly. Also, I applaud Lassiter going after his partner and destroying his gun for his partner. What a good Lassie boy!

The music montage which wrapped up this terrifying adrenaline rush of an episode was awesome. Okay I’m not a fan of montages in general, but Roday did it in a tasteful way. Favorite part of the montage was the Juliet crying bit. It was the post stress of the situation and I loved that Lassiter was the only one who could calm her down. The  Abigail and Shawn scene was bittersweet with the whole parallelism of starting and ending at the pier. I loved Shawn’s line that she changed his life, but she was right, she just couldn’t do it. If you think about it, the five episodes she was in, 2 of those she was faced with the duo killing pair of the Yin Yang Killer. That might be a little too close for her.

The last shot of Yin caressing the picture of Shawn and Yang was completly wtf? for everyone including me. . Theories that have been knocked down by the writers is that Yang isn’t Shawn’s mother…thank god. After some careful sleuthing by fellow psych-O’s, it has been concluded that Yang badly photoshopped herself ontop of someone else’s head…but whose? Theories have been made and will keep being made until Psych returns for it’s fifth season in the summer

The whole episode was fantastic and all the actors did a fabulous job including those not in the lead cast including Ally Sheedy, Kirsten Nelson, Rachel Leigh Cook, Sage Brocklebank and Corbin Bernsen.  Everyone was fantastic and since Psych doesn’t come back until Summer 2010, there will be another Yin Presents discussion in the coming weeks. Stay tuned…

Side notes:

-See Kelly Kulchak, the mouse, Ben, has returned. He was in Mary’s pocket for most of the Yang episode, but Mary didn’t forget about him. He made him a pet and even a little hat out of Gus’ money.

– Whose voice was used on the phone call for Yin and who was used as the body for Yin? Did the network really hire someone for the part since we never did see his face or did they just someone for the cast or crew as a way to save money?

-Loved the dig at Hill’s Jamaican Culture.. Dominoes with the Jamaicans on Sundays, hehe

-The reference back at “An Evening with Mr. Yang” when Lassier told Gus that he wouldn’t stand him being the court jester for round two, loved that bit.

-Vancouver in the fall when the shot it looked beautiful and it showed especially in the scene when Shawn and Gus were driving to Mary’s House. I loved the bright autumns colors… it was beautiful. I know it was February in Santa Barbara, but I don’t care… I loved the fall foliage…

Favorite Lines:

1. “She’s overstimulated by color”- Lady guard friend of Yang. “What about my face?” Gus to Shawn

2. “Oh little brooding brown one…”- Yang (Yang would have some of the best lines, wouldn’t she because she’s crazy?)

3. “I promise to not try anything while I’m down there.”- Shawn to Abigail when saving her.

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4 thoughts on “Wait for it……Psych Season 4 Finale Discussion: “Mr. Yin Presents”

  1. Hey – great article!! Two things to perhaps answer your questions…

    First, I think the reason that Gus’s door was locked in Yin’s movie set up was to separate him from Juliet, otherwise Gus would have walked into the bar with Juliet. When she pulled that lever thing, he could have been standing beside her, so they both would have dropped through the floor and Gus may have seen Yin/prevented him from taking Juliet.

    Second: the photoshopped pic of Yang, with Young Shawn… on the audio commentary for that episode, crew/cast said the pic *had* to be photoshopped on principle b/c it would be impossible to get a young Ally Sheedy with a current Young Shawn. So if the pic looks photoshopped, that it probably why.

    I live in Canada and don’t have USA, so I am behind – I am really at a loss, who could be Yin… why does it matter whether Yang was with Shawn during Shawn’s childhood. All that pic says it that they were together in the past…

    Please don’t give any info or spoil it!!!

    Again, great analysis of the episode 🙂

  2. What was the bit with the Swiss Army knives at the end between his Father and him?
    How did there knives get switched? and wasn’t it strange that as soon as his the unidentified man escaping,shortly after shawn’s dad shows up?

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