"Autopsy Turvy" is the fourteenth episode of season six. After a mortician brings to light a mistake Woody the coroner made while performing an autopsy, Shawn and Gus try to figure out the body's real cause of death as well as keep Woody from losing his job.
A mortician, Grace Larsen, whom we learn was a classmate and former lover of Woody's, has informed the SBPD that she believes Woody made a mistake on a recent autopsy. The file on the deceased, Bob White, tells us that Bob's ear was severed cleanly with an instrument and not, as was originally reported by Woody, that it was slashed by a tire in the bus accident which killed him. So as a result of this news, Bob's death could have been murder and not an accident. Woody's position as medical examiner is in jeopardy, and Chief Vick orders Shawn and Gus to help re-investigate Bob's death and try to clear Woody's name.
Shawn and Gus go back to the scene of Bob's death to attempt to recreate the accident, in order to make sense of what actually happened. While doing so, they are interrupted by Whip Chatterly, the owner of the true crime bookstore across the street. Whip is devastated that he missed witnessing a murder that happened right outside of his bookstore, as he is obsessed with all things true crime. When Shawn reveals that he is the SBPD's head psychic detective, Whip is beyond excited; he has followed every case Shawn has solved and is honored to be in his and Gus's esteemed presence.
Whip shows them his store and the surveillance footage from the night of the murder, but they don't see anything suspicious. On their way out of Whip's store, Whip asks Shawn and Gus to sign his copy of the Yang book, saying he has read it at least a hundred times over. Whip then asks if he can tag along on their investigation. Shawn and Gus are a tad leery of Whip and his odd persona, but they see him as an asset nonetheless and invite him to go with them.
Back at Woody's office, we learn that Vick has hired Grace to reinvestigate the case she claims that Woody may have botched. Woody is shocked and a bit embarrassed by this, but Vick reminds him that his job could be in jeopardy if Bob White's death was actually murder.
Grace and Woody re-perform the autopsy on Bob. While examining the stomach cavity, they discover that Bob loved to eat Thai/Soul Food fusion. This fact leads Shawn and Gus to the only Thai/Soul Food fusion restaurant in town, Phat Thai Jones. Singh, the owner, tells Shawn and Gus that Bob was indeed a regular customer, and informs them that Bob always sat alone and never consumed alcohol, because he was allergic to it. This information shocks Gus and Shawn right away, as Bob's autopsy report shows that he had a blood alcohol level of .31 at the time he was hit by the bus. Shawn immediately calls Woody to tell him that Bob was allergic to alcohol. Woody then relays this information to Grace and she predicts that someone could have injected alcohol into his system. They decide to scan the body for injection marks.
Singh also tells them Bob was a horrible tipper and left him these weird tickets once. Shawn and Gus take a closer look at the tickets and realize they are from a dance hall. Shawn, Gus, Whip and Henry arrive at the dance hall, and see that it is an old-timey 1940s place, where gentlemen pay ladies for a swing around the dance floor. Just then, they get a call from Woody saying that Bob's toes were actually injected with alcohol and this case can now be definitively classed as a murder.
The guys split up and begin to question each of the dancers. Sandy, the woman Gus is dancing with, knew Bob. She tells Shawn and Gus that Bob was a really depressed, lonely guy and that she felt so bad for him that she sent him to her psychic friend to give him a positive reading – a fake one, but she saw no harm in this gesture.
Shawn, Gus, and Whip head to see the psychic, who tells them that Bob was desperately in love with a woman named Penny – the same woman the psychic lied and told Bob he'd have a future with.
Shawn, Gus, Juliet and Lassiter head to Penny's apartment to get the scoop. They are immediately disturbed to discover that Penny is an in-home performance artist – meaning, people literally pay to come watch her "live" in her apartment. She calls it, "life imitating art." It turns out, Bob was a frequent spectator of Penny's performance art show. Penny tells them the last time she saw Bob was when he left the show and got into a black Impala and took off, but she didn't know where. Shawn determines that whoever picked Bob up in that car was the last person to see him alive.
Meanwhile, Woody and Grace discover Bob had a mixture of spray paint and muriatic acid built up under his fingernails. Woody calls Shawn to tell him. This new information leads the guys to a painted mural a couple blocks from the accident.
Shawn sees a symbol on the mural that he recognizes: the same stamp that Whip places in the books he sells at his shop. From this, they believe that it was Whip who picked Bob up in his Impala, brought him to the mural and killed him. They believe he committed the murder so that he could go down in true crime history; however his plan was ruined when Bob's death was ruled an accident. They immediately head to Whip's house and discover Whip dead in his garage, with a plastic bag with Bob's earlobe inside, and a note thanking Shawn and Gus for securing his "rightful place in the annals of murder history".
Shawn discovers a message on his phone from Whip from one hour before he was killed. He hears something suspicious within the message, and decides to head back to the bookstore garage, the scene of Whip's death, to re-investigate. They find Whip's surveillance room and decide to watch the old surveillance videos taken in his shop, the ones Whip had been watching leading up to his death. On the footage they see the same woman in every shot reading from a different book in the store. In the same room, there's also a small stack of books. Shawn realizes that the same stack of books sitting on the desk in front of him are the same 5 books the woman was seen reading in the surveillance footage. Inside the books, Shawn notices that a small piece of each book has been carefully ripped out.
At the same time Shawn and Gus discover the ripped pages, Woody plucks a tiny capsule from Whip's esophagus. Within the capsule lie the missing ripped out pieces from the five different books. Shawn knows that Whip was onto something and that he found this woman to be suspicious. It turns out that this woman in the surveillance footage was doing all of her research to commit the perfect murder in Whip's bookshop, and figured out that Whip would be the perfect person to pin it on. Shawn takes a closer look at the woman and realizes she is actually Grace.
Shawn immediately tries to get hold of Woody, to break the news that his former lover and colleague is a murderer. However, Grace prevents him from answering the phone, and takes the evidence that Woody found in Whip's esophagus and throws it away. Woody, confused by this, asks her why she would do such a thing. Grace then reveals her true colors. She threatens Woody with a gun, and Woody demands an explanation as to why she is doing all of this. Grace laments that she hasn't been able to get a job in criminal pathology and has been stuck in the less glamorous world of a mortician since graduation. Woody then figures it out that Grace was after his job, and sliced Bob's ear on purpose to make it look like Woody messed up the autopsy. She wanted the SBPD to reopen the case so that she could prove Woody's incompetence, and in turn steal his job. But Whip was on to her plan; he set Grace up by swallowing the capsule, so that when the coroner found them and had the pieces DNA tested, he would discover it was actually Grace that killed him. Grace tells Woody that Whip has given her no choice but to kill Woody so that she can go through with destroying the evidence which would put her away for life. Woody is shocked and scared and practically begging for his life. But thankfully, Juliet arrives just in time with the SBPD in tow. They save Woody and arrest Grace. The next day, Vick tells Woody that his job is secure and that her decision to bring Grace in on the case was ill-advised.
- Singh was played by Andy Berman.
- Another portmanteau title, employing the concepts of 'autopsy' and 'topsy-turvy'. Throughout the story, many things prove to be the inverse of the way they originally appear.
- This incident/case is referenced in "Someone's Got a Woody" by the coroner, as the example of the first time someone pointed a gun at him in the morgue.
- The name "Penny Chalmers" appears among the list of patients of the fertility clinic that Shawn and Juliet investigate in "Feet Don't Kill Me Now" back in Season 5. Both are likely references to Psych's set designer of the same name.
- Medical Examiners are licensed physicians with expertise in forensic pathology. The whole premise of this episode arguably makes no sense, that a mortician and a medical examiner would have met in “forensic school.” If Grace couldn’t get a job as forensic pathologist, she still could have found other work as a doctor, and not ended up a mortician.