Everyone loves a cliffhanger, even if we know that the actor hanging from the cliff hasn't been fired so he's not going to die. The Season 7 premiere lets us off the hook as we find out what happened to Henry after Wojo from Barney Miller shot him point blank.
Wojo, how could you? As Henry recuperates in the hospital, Shawn, told to stay off the case, goes out for revenge, vigilante style -- hear in your mind how Shawn says that word.
This was supposed to be the maddest we've ever seen Shawn get, and I think it was. When he blew the tar out of that shooting gallery with that big ol gun, he was really angry. He was still wisemouthing it, but he was out for blood. The episode was actually a little heavier on the gun play than is usual and I could have done without it, especially given the spate of shootings in real life that preceded this episode. Though, the running gag about the Mexican Standoff was very funny. I guess guns even factored into the mystery as Shawn and a reluctant Gus realized that Wojo was a supplier for an arms dealer who was using philanthropy as a front. (Who sends canned peaches to Africa? Is that real thing?)
Nice moments in this episode included Jules saving Shawns' life-- for first of probably fifteen times in this season - and telling him he didn't have to face crises alone, Lassiter hooking Shawn up with some off the books backup, the not-over-played "Glad you're okay" scene between father and son, and the confrontation scene at the book signing where Shawn was all bad-a double crooked letter.
Speaking of father and son, did you notice Jake Busey? And the wacky girl from MADTV, random but amusing. Best of all, there was massive destruction to The Blueberry...but not massive as what happened to the replacement Cranberry. I'm a sucker for car blow up comedy, I must admit.
Looking back, I think this episode reflected the mixed nature of the whole season: some darker lows, some more violence, some conflicts splitting Jules and Shawn, Gus and Shawn, Henry and Shawn, but then everyone getting back on the same page, the regular juvenile comedy, traditional character schtick (like the guys always snacking, even when there's a bomb about to go off and Lassie's love for vintage explosives), and not very mysterious mysteries, showdowns, takedowns and romance. A mixed bag start for a mixed bag season.