The Horror Honeys: This Episode Sucks: A Psych Vampire Tribute

This Episode Sucks: A Psych Vampire Tribute

A Slasher Honey TV Retrospective from Chassity

As Vampire Month come to a close, I can’t think of a better way to end it than with this episode of the hilarious television show Psych. If you’re a fan of the show, you know that it’s well known for its 80s obsession, pop culture references, and horror tributes.

This is all thanks to the show’s star, James Roday. You probably know by now that Zombie Honey Bella and myself are huge fans of his, and his love of the horror genre. He’s responsible for most, if not all, of the show’s horror tributes, and I think this one might be my favorite of all.

Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster are best friends who help the police department solve crimes, thanks to Shawn's supposed psychic skills (he’s really just hyper observant and extremely intelligent). In This Episode Sucks, curmudgeon Head Detective Carlton Lassiter (affectionately known as Lassie) meets a woman at a bar and immediately falls for her (no small feat for a guy like him). She disappears on him, and the next day a dead body is discovered with two bite marks on his neck—just the kind a vampire would leave. Shawn and Gus are immediately convinced the killer is a vampire, and when Lassie finds his mystery woman’s necklace at the crime scene, he has no choice but to back them up, since he can’t believe that the woman he’s fallen for could be a murderer… that is, until Shawn and Gus latch onto the idea that this mystery woman, Marlowe (played, of course, by none other than Kristy Swanson, or the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer), is both a vampire and the murderer. Gus even refers to her as "Queen of the Damned." 

If you’ve a fan of this show or have even seen this show before, you know how the horror episodes play out. No one believes Shawn and Gus, nothing is what it seems, and they are always at least partially right. 

While it turns out, of course, that there isn’t an actual vampire on the scene, the true criminal behaves like a vampire (literally draining people’s blood and hanging out in “vampire bars”), and the entire joke of the episode is about obsessing over vampires, including vampire stereotypes. It plays on typical vampire film conventions (they have to be invited in; female vampires are evil, sex obsessed vixens; garlic as a way to keep vampires away—to name a few) and name drops a few of these films.  And the inclusion of a couple of Buffy-related actors just adds to nostalgia.

I always recommend the horror episodes as a starting point to potential Psych fans, and This Episode Sucks would be at the top of this list. Shawn and Gus dressing up as vampires, and the inside jokes alone make it a hilarious. The best one of all? Everyone thinking that Gus is Count Chocula instead of Blacula, and Shawn telling him, “No one remembers Blacula except us and Quentin Tarentino.”

I dare you to watch this episode, this love letter to vampire movies and all of us geeky Buffy fans, and not want, if only for a second, to believe in vampires. 

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