Psych creator and stars break down Gus' big surprise in Lassie Come Home
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.
"C'mon, son" has an entirely new meaning thanks to Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.
In Peacock's follow-up to 2017's Psych: The Movie, Shawn (James Roday Rodriguez) and Gus (Dulé Hill) returned to Santa Barbara, Calif. to investigate the expensive rehab facility Chief Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) was recuperating in after being injured in the field. As classic bits returned and pop culture references were made, the boys also found themselves reflecting on the passage of time and maturing, which was partially spurred by Shawn finding a positive pregnancy test in his wife Det. Juliet O'Hara's (Maggie Lawson) car.
Shawn immediately assumed it was Juliet's test and started wondering if he was ready to be a father. But then in the movie's climax, Gus' girlfriend Selene (Jazmyn Simon) revealed that the test was hers, which led to Gus and Selene proposing to each other. Of course, they both said yes.
"I thought it was a great evolution for [Gus] — the fact that he got together with Selene and now their family's going to be expanding. It gives them somewhere even more so to go," Hill tells EW regarding the big reveal. "Also, it's a little bit of art imitating life because Jazmyn Simon is my wife in real life, and while we were filming the film, she was about maybe three or four weeks away from delivering our son [Levi]."
Hill continues: "Gus had such a hard time on the relationship front over the years, that i think it's nice seeing his life expand and grow."
During the scripting process, Rodriguez and Psych creator Steve Franks — who penned the movie with longtime Psych writer Andy Berman — considered taking Shawn and Juliet in that direction instead of Gus, but they ultimately changed their minds once they thought about how Shawn and Juliet's relationship has progressed.
"Honestly, we felt like if we're going to do that [with Shawn and Juliet] and really investigate it properly with the attention that it deserves after all those years of watching them do their thing, then it probably shouldn't be a footnote in the movie," Rodriguez says. "We ended up pivoting and shifting gears to like, 'Well, what about Gus?' I think Shawn says it really well at some point in the movie. Like, 'Dude, you've basically been training to be a dad from the time you were a kid. You're 100 percent dad material.' Once we started talking about that, it was like we actually could do this to Gus. After the initial shock, you kind of realize that's really kind of perfect for him. It was like we kind of backed our way into what we thought was a delightful pivot when we knew that we weren't going to have the real estate to do a real baby story line with Shawn and Juliet."
Adds Franks: "When Shawn moves forward in life, he takes the smallest step possible. So the fact that we ended the last movie with them getting engaged, what has happened since then? Almost nothing, but Shawn really wants to. He wants to grow up. And we know that Gus is the one who always will embrace change and adapt, and Gus was built for this kind of thing. "
Furthermore, turning Gus into a father sets up more conflict for future films. "It really builds to something in the future because the idea of Gus was made to be a father," Franks says. "But the burden he carries in his life is keeping Shawn in check and [Shawn] dragging him into all these terrible things. So thinking about Gus trying to continue his life, a balancing act, now having to also have the family and the wife and the child, and potentially a dangerous [friend] to contend with, it's too rich. It's too much fun and such a fun way to go out."
That said, Gus and Selene's ending isn't without its complications. Right after proposing to one another, Selene offhandedly revealed that she's still married, which is a situation Gus is very familiar with. In season 2, Psych-Os found out Gus drunkenly got married several years earlier when his wife Mira (Kerry Washington) contacted him about getting a divorce so she could remarry. Franks and Rodriguez couldn't resist repeating history in a way.
"I love the idea that she still had this marriage that she hasn't completely cleared off the books and it's a problematic thing," Franks says. "But the thing that's so fun and so great about Selene's character is those kind of details are never going to stop her from getting what she wants. They're always just little annoyances. She decides what she wants and everybody else has to go along with the program, which is perfect for Gus because he needs someone to tell him, by the way, this is what you're doing and you're going to love me, and this is going to be your life. And then I really love the idea of, oh my gosh, who's her husband? Who can we cast? And that became James' and my favorite game on the set."
Even though it didn't work out for Shawn and Juliet this time around, Franks hasn't ruled out exploring them as parents down the line. "You have to see Shawn and Juliet have a kid because that's, talking about throwing rocks at Shawn, that's really going to force the issue of him evolving, when he likes to keep it as at slow a pace as he can get away with," he says. "So I think down the road, I certainly would entertain that. I think that would be funny, but both James and Maggie really just are comfortable with the characters taking their time. They seem to find that as their comfort zone as well."
Psych 2: Lassie Come Home is available to stream now on Peacock.