Steve Franks continues as show runner for his entertaining and goofy crime show. He directed two epsodes this season and wrote three. James Roday and Dule Hill return as Shawn and Gus. James directed one episode of the show and wrote three. Corbin Bernsen returns as Shawn's dad Henry and he's now working for the Chief of Police played by Kirsten Nelson. He's the Police Department's Shawn and Gus wrangler. Shawn continues to work in his own annoying way but he gets the results and the department continues to hire him. Timothy Omundson and Maggie Lawson return as the shows main police detectives Lassie and Juliet. Kurt Fuller continues to play the coroner Woody. He's evolving into a nicely rounded odd ball. Entertaining characters are always appreciated by me. There are a lot of great guest stars this season. The writing continues to be good and the production looks great as usual. It's a busy and quickly paced show but without being annoying. There are lots of cuts and inserts but the visuals never push the story aside to take center stage. I find it a joy to watch the series even after 5 seasons.
Shawn thinks having his dad on the police force will get him more work but it isn't true. Henry doesn't always want to hire him. Shawn lives in his own fantasy world which at times seems so much better than the one I'm living in. Occasionally he has to face up to reality but we know how hard that is. Shawn and Gus spend time in Santa Barbara's Chinatown in the first episode. It's Vancouver's Chinatown substituting since Santa Barbara doesn't really have a Chinatown to shoot any exteriors. Vancouver, where the show is filmed, has a large one after the mass exit of Chinese from Hong Kong before China took it back from the British in 1997. Charles Martin Smith guest stars as a rich guy who thinks his assistant was abducted by aliens. When the assistant turns up the following day everyone thinks that Charles is crazy. Shawn and Gus set out to help him. Freddie Prinz Jr guests as a secret nerd with a hot wife and a hidden man cave. Shawn and Gus are so jealous. John Badham directed that episode and Jay Chandrasekhar directed the one that guests Jean Smart as a rich lady who's young boyfriend falls to his death. Woody finds poison in the guy and Shawn and Gus get to investigatin'.
There's an episode where Shawn and Gus get into the world of street racing. Shawn nearly ruins his dad's truck. Carl Weather and William Devane guest as a couple of retired detectives who Henry hires to help with a case. Shawn and Gus get very competitive with the old guys who are easily as good as Shawn and Gus when it comes to solving crimes. Chi McBride guests as a piss poor prison guard who looses control of his prisoners on a ferry. It turns into a hostage situation with Shawn and Gus right in the middle. They help Chi who comes through the end of the shit storm smelling like a rose. He carries off a big cash prize on top of that. There's a spy story with Franke Potente and C Thomas Howell. Glimmers of Shawn and Juliet are on the horizon when she overhears him tell Gus how he feels about her. Cary Elwes returns as the sophisticated art thief and in another episode there's death at an amusement park. Twin Peaks actors Dana Ashbrook, Catherine E Coulson, Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, Robyn Lively, Lenny Von Dohlen and Ray Wise all appear in a Twin Peaks parody. The title song is sung by Julie Cruise who sung the Twin Peaks theme song. It was pretty entertaining to me. I was a big Twin Peaks fan when they came out. I haven't seen the series since a bit after the 2nd season dvd's came out in 2007. I need to cycle those through again.
Henry and the Chief send Shawn and Gus to the Police Academy where they run into guest star Ralph Macchio. He was a cop who froze on the streets but he does well training, at least until he meets Shawn and Gus. They don't do well at the academy, in fact they get Ralph fired. They help him get his job back and in the next episode it's Shawn that gets suspended indefinately for screwing up some evidence. He has to work hard to get his cred and job back. In the season finale Ally Sheedy returns as the crazy Yang. Mina Suvari plays a victim who escaped from Yang's mentor Mr Yin's hands. That has some surprizing revelations and an interesting guest as Mr Yin. Gus and Shawn nearly bite the big one...at least the producers want you to think they might kill off one of the main characters. At least it doesn't end with the sort of cliff hanger the end of season 6 did. I dislike cliffhangers for the most part.
So all in all a nice bunch of shows with some enjoyable antics by the cast. I'm glad I took a chance when Target had the first four seasons for 8 bucks a pop last black friday. I paid about double for season 5 but it was worth it.