Psych’s Tuesday the 17th ranks in my top three, if not No. 1, in my favorite Psych episodes. It’s the perfect mix of horror/comedy and has some of the most memorable scenes from any episode. Also, anyone who enjoys the Friday the 13th series will enjoy it, as audiences can see the Psych crew loves the series just as much. So much so that James Roday was interviewed in His Name Was Jason, the documentary that spans the 30-year franchise.
For those reasons and many more, I’ve picked Tuesday the 13th as the must watch for this Halloween. Here’s why:
Friday the 13th – Psych Style
As a fan of the earlier Friday the 13th movies, I was beyond excited when Psych released the trailer for their Tuesday the 17th episode, which aired on Friday the 13. Imagine … Camp Tikihama (Camp Crystal Lake, Camp Blood), with stereotyped counselors, a creepy old guy, and Shawn and Gus.
I won’t go into much detail because I don’t want to ruin anything, but the Psych crew did an amazing job with this episode. The first half is the set-up, packed full of comedy and suspense as everyone looks for a missing counselor, Annie. You may recognize the name as the optimistic counselor from the original who’s hitchhiking her way to camp. Then the twist happens, and the second half goes much darker. Even though it goes dark, it never loses its Psych sense of humor.
Homage to Friday the 13th
Tuesday the 17th pays homage to the first two films. And the show references the movies throughout the entire process. Here are just a few examples:
- It’s shot in classic 80s style atmosphere. Usually, Psych episodes are bright and crystal clear, but not this one. It’s a little fuzzy with smart use of lighting, playing on light vs. dark. Psych actually does this much better than most horror movies that have been released in the last 10 years.
- The entire episode takes place at the camp in the woods.
- The group plays a game of strip cribbage, similar to the strip Monopoly in the original movie.
- Erwin. The creepy old janitor who yells, “You’re all doomed,” which is a throwback to the second movie.
- There is a Jason. No spoilers!
They reference the movie and the fact that they’re in a slasher-movie scenario. There is indeed a killer on the loose, and he’s wearing a potato sack.
The audience immediately knows this episode will be different because Shawn and Gus switch roles. From the beginning, Shawn is skeptical of the entire situation, while Gus shows no fear. Any Psych fan knows Gus is not fearless and runs from danger, so it’s nice to see him in a more fearless role, and he is hilarious.
Lassie’s Side Plot
Psych often had a couple of plots in each episode, ensuring the show never got too silly or too dramatic and the audience never got bored. When not at Camp Tikihama, the audience is with Lassiter during a very important life change. As it happens, you’re a little thrown off, but it’s huge in Lassiter’s character development. Each subplot scene lasts only a couple of minutes, and by the end, you know nothing will be the same … for anyone.
When this episode premiered in 2009, I was still recording on DVD. This was before the wonderful DVR was available. The night it premiered, I fell in love. I watched it twice that night, then several times over the weekend, and I’ve seen it a hundred times since. It’s that good.
It pairs well with the Friday the 13th traditions of watching the movies on every Friday the 13th, as you can watch Psych the following Tuesday on the 17th. I also recommend watching Friday the 13th 1 and 2, then watching Psych to get all the references.
If you love horror and horror/comedy, this show is a must. Also, I you’ve never seen the show, then watch this one episode. Tuesday the 17th is Psych doing everything the cast and crew loves to do: Have fun and keep the audience entertained while paying homage to a horror classic.
We hope you enjoy it and have a happy Halloween!
A quick note to Netflix fans: Netflix has announced it will remove Psych on November 1, so this Halloween may be your last chance to see it there.