When we last left Shawn and the ‘Psych‘ gang, our favorite fake psychic had just thwarted the mysterious and sadistic Mr. Yin from killing his then girlfriend Abigail and helped save Juliet from plunging to her death. While Mr. Yin’s identity is not revealed on the season 5 premiere, airing tonight at 10/9c on USA, viewers can still expect Shawn and Gus to get into another wild adventure, this one involving a Chinese triad family.
In a conference call with reporters, creator Steve Franks and actor James Roday, who plays Shawn Spencer, talked about Shawn and Juliet’s relationship, Shawn’s nicknames for Gus, and…tap dancing?
On doing his own stunts in the Kung Fu premiere episode (‘Romeo and Juliet and Juliet’):
James Roday: I just participated fully in a Kung Fu battle. Steve directed the premiere and I just, you know, I went at it with some highly trained martial artists, in the martial art’s studio and, you know, and I got my butt kicked but it was fun. And, you know, I actually did it myself as opposed to giggling with Steve and watching my stuntmen do it. So that was just – that was the closest thing to crazy.
On where Juliet (Maggie Lawson) and Shawn’s relationship is headed:
Steve Franks: We’ve always said that the Shawn and Juliet development is all about Shawn being ready for Juliet and we think he’s getting really close. So there’s going to be movement in all those directions this year. And I know we’ve dog paddled around it for quite a while but we’re going to stop the dog paddling and actually start floating slowly with the current.
Watch the Season 5 Premiere Trailer:
On which guest stars to expect this season:
James Roday: We kicked it off with Jean Smart and John Michael Higgins who were both lovely and very funny and fit I thought well into the landscape of our show. We worked with a lot of wonderfully, physically adept Asian Canadians in our Kung Fu premiere. We have Freddy Prinze Jr. rolling through. We’ve got Carl Weathers and Bill Devane teaming up for what I think might be one of the funniest episodes we’ve done in a while. They were both fantastic and they just killed it in a good way. When I say killed it, I mean they slayed it like you would slay a dragon – a sleeping dragon; let’s be honest. Only Peter McNichol can slay live dragons.
Steve Franks: Brad Rader’s been trying to get on the show for five years and finally succeeded. We have Adam Rodriguez.
On an upcoming Gus (Dulé Hill) and Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) storyline:
Steve Franks: The great thing is there’s probably one of my favorite Lassiter episodes happens early. I think we’re airing it second and it’s Lassiter and Gus actually team up on a certain case. It’s our tap-dancing episode where you get to see Dulé actually do the thing that he was first famous for…Shawn becomes insanely jealous [of their friendship] of course and he’s been sort of putting down Juliet. So we team up Lassiter and Gus and it’s really fun to see those two guys together and see what the other half of our two teams do when they’re – and how they treat each other.
On Shawn’s nicknames for Gus:
James Roday: I tend to sort of let them go after we do them so that I can be surprised by them again when I hear them when they air but I can tell you that we’ve done, you know, we’ve done at least one in every episode so far and there will be some winners. There’ll be some tens – there’ll be some nines and there might be one four. But we haven’t done the four yet.
On the 80s references this season:
Steve Franks: I think I know exactly which one we are. We are going to bring on the living embodiment of an 80s reference. Actually we’re shooting it this week. And we’re actually going to have Curt Smith from Tears for Fears not only mentioned on the show as he has been numerous times. He’s actually going to be on the show as himself and rerecording the theme song which I think is the one I’m looking forward the most.
On a ‘Twin Peaks’ inspired episode:
Steve Franks: [It will be] episode twelve. We’re shooting it twelfth this year. I don’t know where it will air but James is co-writing it with Bill Callahan.
James Roday: Well, I have these terribly high expectations for our Twin Peaks episode and I will do everything I can to deliver something that will be both gratifying for die-hard fans, casual fans and even people who are completely unfamiliar with the series, we promise to deliver a good mystery and an episode with plenty of laughs so that they don’t feel left out.
‘Psych’ premieres Wednesday, July 14, at 10/9c on USA Network.