The "Psych" Season 7 finale brought about numerous big changes for the Santa Barbara crime stoppers. Vick has been given a six-month suspension, leaving Harris Trout as the interim chief. But that's not all! Lassiter is no longer the department's head detective. Worse still: Trout says that the department will no longer be hiring psychics to solve crimes, a huge financial and professional hit for Shawn.
Overall, the episode was well-received by critics. The AV Club's Kevin McFarland favorably compared the Season 7 finale to the Season 6 finale but guessed that Trout's changes wouldn't last long.
"Judging by [the] past, this will last for all of one episode a year from now," McFarland wrote. "But as far as a place to cut out for the summer, it's stronger than endangering a supporting character like Henry and leaving him sprawled on a beach with a gunshot wound, when his survival was a foregone conclusion."
The Season 7 finale acts as something of a reset button for the aging franchise. Almost since its inception, Shawn has been working for the SBPD in a consultant capacity. Separating Shawn from the officers and detectives of the SBPD represents a big shift in the tone of the show -- assuming this change lasts.
Giving Shawn a challenge to overcome may do a lot to make him more likeable and easier to root for. The show had become a bit complacent in Season 7, which had the unintended effect of making Shawn's normally amusing antics seem petty and childlike at times.
There is also another direction the show might go next season, given the steps Trout has taken to shake up the department. Shawn might find it hard to get new clients, and his work may dry up. This might force him to abandon his childish fake detective agency and realize that helping solve crimes is a calling, not just a silly hobby.
In other words, Shawn might consider becoming a proper member of law enforcement. True, he has a somewhat checkered past that could prevent him from being accepted to the police force. However, the show could surely find some way to grant him a special dispensation and allow him to join the detective squad. Getting Shawn on the force in Season 8 would please Henry and prove that Shawn has matured after over nearly a decade on TV.
Here's hoping that the big changes at the SBPD will shake up "Psych" and help the show feel fresh again.
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