Season 5, Episode 3
Not Even Close… Encounters
Directed by John Badham
Written by Bill CallahanLate one night, the wealthy and successful attorney Roy Kessler witnesses his partner Toby being taken away by tall, humanlike visitors in a strange, brightly-lit flying machine unlike anything he’s ever seen. The police aren’t interested in his crazy alien abduction story, so he hires Shawn and Gus to clear his name. Shawn and Gus are very interested in the case, and fight to stay impartial even as evidence of something very strange visiting Kessler’s house starts to mount up. They go to a childhood friend of theirs named Dennis for advice, since Dennis was once the uber-nerd authority among them on aliens and such. They discover Dennis has since lost a lot of weight, gotten an extremely high-paying job, and is now a textbook Closet Geek who hides all his nerdy interests from his extremely attractive wife. When Toby turns up completely unharmed, claiming he went home after an uneventful night, Shawn also learns that Kessler has a history of oddball behavior, and takes medication to treat psychosis. It looks like Kessler is simply nuts, despite the odd things all around his house – until Toby starts acting paranoid and erratic, then falls to his death from the top of a nearby building. It soon becomes obvious that something really did happen to Toby that night, but is it related to actual space aliens?... or to the upcoming lawsuit Kessler was planning against a major textile company for a chemical spill?
- Actor Allusion: Lassie has a crap listnote where Tyne Daly, among others, is listed. Daly co-started with Lassie's actor, Timothy Omundson, in Judging Amy.
- Alien Abduction: Seems to happen to Toby in the beginning, but he later turns up untouched… save for some strange marks on his arm. It turns out that the UFO was a specially-modified helicopter with extra lights making it hard to see clearly, a loudspeaker playing bizarre noises, and an EMP that killed most nearby electronic devices.
- Anal Probing: Brought up a few times.
- Big Badass Rig: Shawn and Gus find one in a nearby town that was abandoned after a chemical spill. Gus claims it looks like a Decepticon.
- Big Damn Heroes: The CEO and his thugs were about to kill Shawn and Gus when Dennis came in, wielding a pair of nunchucks.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: When Dennis hacks into Lassiter’s laptop, they pull up his internet search history. They apparently find he’s a frequent visitor to GrenadeFancy.com, SquirrelAssassins.com, and something unseen that has all three of them cringing in disgust.
- Brick Joke: During a chase, Shawn’s Battlestar Galactica (1978) helmet is broken. At the end of the episode, we see him wearing it again, and he’s tried to fix it up with duct tape.
- We also hear Woody accidentally admit to Shawn and Gus that he stole Toby’s watch. At the end, Shawn mentions that Woody apparently got in a lot of (offscreen) hot water over it, and will probably need a lawyer.
- One of the websites that Lassie recently visited was called "squirrelassassins.com". In the previous episode, Lassie was in hot water for killing his neighbors squirrels.
- While discussing how "it's never the crazy suspect", Shawn brings up the cases with the Mummy (Shawn (and Gus) of the Dead) and the Devil (The Devil Is in the Details... and the Upstairs Bedroom)
- Closet Geek: Dennis is a textbook example of this, having used his impressive wealth to build a few secret rooms in his house containing his nerdy interests and memorabilia. He doesn’t mind letting his nerd out in front of Shawn and Gus, since they knew him way back when, but he wants to keep it a secret from his wife, since she’s apparently made her preference for more macho types quite clear. At the end, his secret comes out, and she reveals she’s a closet nerd too.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The real villain. He was a textile company CEO who discovered a nearby small town had oil underneath, so he arranged for an “accidental” chemical spill nearby, forcing everyone out. He bought up the entire town, and was ready to start construction for drilling when he learned Kessler had arranged for a lawsuit against him, claiming the spill was deliberate. He wound up faking a UFO abduction to undermine Kessler’s credibility, paying Toby to go along with it, then arranging to have Toby killed when he had a change of heart. He also abducted Shawn and Gus, and was about to kill them when Dennis showed up.
- Et Tu, Brute?: When Henry tells Shawn that he and Gus are seen as the village idiots due to their involvement in Kessler's story, Shawn asks if anyone actually thinks that they are. Everyone in the police station raises their hands, including Jules and an arrested criminal.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Names on Lassiter's "Crap list" include Chris Tucker, Hillary Clinton (listed twice), Michael Moore, and "Check out girl at the A&P".
- Frivolous Lawsuit: Henry implicitly describes a chemical leak lawsuit Roy Kessler was planning on launching against Budding Textiles as this when he calls Kessler a "Conspiracy Theorist". It turns out, the lawsuit actually had merit as Budding had purposely spilled chemicals on a small town in order to buy it for a pittance, and faked the UFO abduction to discredit Kessler.
- Gas Leak Cover-Up: In the Cold Open, we see young Shawn and Gus, led by a young Dennis, corner Henry in the police station and claim that Henry used this trope to “cover up” a UFO that went down in a nearby field. Henry standing up from his desk is enough to get them to back off. Apparently it really was just a weather balloon.
- Hidden Depths: Molly is initially described as a shallow woman who only likes "manly men". It turns out that she is as big a nerd as her husband, apparently watching the original Battlestar Galactica while Dennis was at ComicCon (which she also wanted to go to).
- Hollywood Hacking: Downplayed. Dennis somehow remotely hacks into Lassiter’s personal laptop with ease, and apparently hacked into the National Weather Service’s network a few years ago, but we never actually see how he did it.
- How Did You Know? I Didn't: After Shawn reveals to the CEO that he and Gus know everything, the CEO mentions that he had only apprehended them for tresspassing, but since they know too much, now they have to die.
- Noodle Incident: Apparently, Psych once took a case involving Bigfoot and a missing school bus. Gus doesn't remember it, but Shawn does.
- Not What It Looks Like: When the police officers come in, Lassiter sees Dennis holding his nunchucks and tells him to drop it, but Dennis was having an asthma attack at the moment. Thinking he was resisting an officer, Lassiter tased him (and took too much enjoyment in it). It also caused Dennis to wet himself.
- Redemption Equals Death: Toby soon had a change of heart over his involvement in the plan to undermine Kessler’s credibility. For his trouble, he’s shoved off a roof by the henchmen working for the textile company.
- Red Herring: The marks on Toby’s arm turn out to be a birthmark, and have nothing to do with the case.
- Running Gag: Gus leering at Molly (who's married to Dennis), and unnerving Shawn in the process.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: Shawn soon decides this was used to make Kessler look like a nut, and undermine his credibility. Figuring out the “who” and the “how” is more challenging.
- Tomato in the Mirror: While spying on Toby (and wearing vintage sci-fi gear), Shawn and Gus notice him suddenly sprint down the street. They try to keep up, but soon lose him. Soon, Toby calls them, begging for help, claiming he’s being followed by two people who look like “The black dude from Star Trek and some white guy in a ridiculous helmet.”