"Remake A.K.A. Cloudy... With a Chance of Improvement" is the third episode of season eight. This episode is a remake of "Cloudy... With a Chance of Murder", an episode that originally aired in season one of Psych. Mirroring the case in the original Cloudy, Shawn and Gus try to solve the murder of local weatherman Jackson Hale.
We begin the episode with a flashback to 1981. Henry has been summoned by the court to testify in a case he was an officer on. Before he takes the stand, we see him talking to Shawn as a baby, telling him how important the jury is to a case and why.
We then flash forward to the year 2006. Shawn and Gus are still newbies trying to prove to the SBPD that they're worthy of being hired to help solve cases. Shawn's motorcycle was recently impounded so he and Gus arrive at the courthouse to pay the ticket. Shawn spots an attractive woman seated in the hallway. Gus asks her where the parking ticket counter is and she kindly points them in the right direction.
Back at the Psych office, Shawn and Gus catch an episode of "Sun Up Santa Barbara" hosted by husband and wife team Connie (Janet Varney) and Mortimer Camp (Carlos Jacott). Connie and Morty present a story outlining the murder of their own weatherman Jackson Hale (Dana Ashbrook), who was attacked at the station and killed. They show a clip of the prosecutor talking to the press about the accused attacker, a woman named Sandra Panitch (Lindsay Sloane). Sandra was with Hale at the news station at the time of his death. When Sandra's picture is displayed on TV, Shawn and Gus are shocked to see that she's the same nice woman they met in the courthouse earlier that day. In the same clip, they see Sandra's attorney Adam Hornstock (Michael Weston) telling the press that she is a preschool teacher with no priors and that she couldn't possibly have been capable of committing murder. Shawn notices that Hornstock is nervous and discombobulated and perhaps in need of some help. After watching the clip, Shawn believes Sandra is innocent and worries her lawyer may not be capable of proving her innocence. So Shawn and Gus convince Hornstock to hire them on the case as legal consultants.
While in court, Shawn notices that Juror 5 (Allie Bertram), a young lady, doesn't like Hornstock. Shawn thinks it's Hornstock's tie that is putting her off. Knowing how important the jury is on a case, Shawn gives Hornstock Gus's tie to wear, and sure enough, when Hornstock puts it on, Juror 5 appears pleased. Hornstock is impressed with Shawn's insight and lets them stay on the case to help out. After court is adjourned for the day, Shawn and Gus head to the news station to investigate Hale's death. They first meet with Connie and Morty. Shawn finds a clue that tells him Connie and Morty are lying about their relationship; they aren't even together anymore but they appear to be while on camera to keep their viewership alive. Shortly after speaking with Connie and Morty, one of the production assistants, Priscilla Morgenstern (Katharine Murray), gives Shawn and Gus a tour of the studio. She shows them where the murder took place: in front of the green screen Hale used when reporting the weather. Apparently, Hale was a womanizer who liked to bring his ladies to the studio to seduce them and tape them while they made love. Priscilla then shows them the office of Ruben Leonard (Alan Ruck), their roving reporter. Ruben has since taken over as temporary weatherman, which leads Shawn to believe Ruben could have murdered Hale because he wanted his job.
Back in the courtroom, Hornstock has Ruben on the stand. Shawn guides Hornstock during questioning, trying to get Ruben to admit that he hated Hale. Hornstock gets Ruben worked up enough that he admits his hatred of Hale. Shawn and Gus are convinced that Ruben is the killer, but they need hard evidence to prove it, so they head back to the news station.
They search Ruben's office, and Shawn finds the murder weapon hiding above the ceiling tiles. He then calls in Lassiter and Juliet to investigate his findings. They immediately go to question Ruben who is currently on-air doing the weather. Ruben says that he didn't kill Hale and neither did Sandra, but that he knows who did. But before he can say the killer's name, he drops dead. Shawn says that it couldn't have been Sandra who poisoned Ruben because she is currently in police custody. But Lassiter reminds Shawn that they still need to do an autopsy to confirm it was murder and not natural causes.
Shawn comes up with another theory. He knows Hale was a womanizer, so Shawn goes to question Priscilla, who admitted earlier to having a crush on Hale, but Hale failed to notice her. Shawn thinks Priscilla could have killed him out of jealousy when she saw Hale and Sandra kissing in front of the green screen. Hornstock brings her in for questioning. While on the stand, Hornstock gets her to admit her jealousy, but when prosecutor Logan Phelps (Ralph Macchio) cross-examines her, he gets her to admit that she was at a bar with Woody the night of Hale's death so it couldn't possibly have been her who killed him. Woody is then called to the stand and he confirms that Priscilla was with him all night. Just then, the prosecution enters a new piece of evidence, a video tape. The tape is a backup copy of video footage from the night of the murder; the original tape was never found. The video shows Hale and Sandra kissing, but the murder isn't shown on the tape because it happened when they were out of frame. It looks and sounds like it was Sandra who did it, but it does not prove that it was in fact her. Because the murder took place out of frame on the video, the murderer could have been someone else entirely. But the fact remains that things aren't looking good for Sandra. So Shawn tells Hornstock to buy him some more time in court so he can find some evidence that will exonerate Sandra.
Back at the Psych office, Shawn watches the tape over and over again until he notices a clue that points to the real killer and proves Sandra is innocent. In the courtroom, Shawn takes the lead and calls Morty to the stand. He questions Morty about his and Connie's separation. Connie wanted a divorce but Morty did not. Shawn presents evidence that paints the story of what really happened: Morty was convinced that the reason why Connie wanted a divorce was because she was having an affair with Hale. Morty knew that Hale liked to take ladies to the station after hours to seduce them and film his trysts. Morty wanted to catch Hale and Connie in the act, so he hid in the station and readied himself to murder Hale when the moment was right. Morty thought Hale was kissing Connie, so he killed Hale. But soon after, he realized Hale wasn't kissing Connie; Hale was kissing Sandra. So Morty covered his tracks by pinning the murder on Sandra. Shawn shows the court the tape again and explains that Morty knew he could kill Hale and get away with it by wearing a green suit that would conceal his identity when in front of the green screen. Shawn points out that the hand part of Morty's green suit ripped during the stabbing, revealing a shiny ring on Morty's pinky finger. Shawn pauses the video at the exact second the ring is visible on screen. Shawn grabs Morty's pinky finger, holds it up to the screen and proves that the ring he is wearing is the same ring seen in the video, and that Morty was indeed the true killer. Morty is convicted, Sandra is a free woman, and Juliet and Lassiter are impressed with Shawn's work on the case, which gives Shawn confidence that the SBPD will hire Psych to consult on future cases.
- Psych is the first show in the history of television to remake one of their own episodes.
- Practically every character in this episode is played by an actor that has previously guest-starred on Psych.
- The character Mortimer Camp is played by Psych writer Carlos Jacott. You may also recognize him as Agent Dobson from the pilot episode of Firefly, "Serenity".
- Janet Varney, the actress who plays Connie, originally appeared in an episode from season three titled "Murder?... Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller?" in which she played Lassiter's date to Shawn and Gus' high school reunion.
- In the first scene in the Psych office, the Psych logo on the window is blue for the first shot. This is a nod to it being blue in season one. After the first scene, it changes to green.
- Shawn makes a reference to Suits, another program that airs on USA Network, when arguing with Henry at the TV station.
- Shawn and Gus discuss the unnecessary sub plot of the race car driver in the movie remake of Dukes of Hazzard. James Roday plays the part of the race car driver in the film.
- After Hornstock comments that My Cousin Vinny is a terrific film, the prosecutor (played by Ralph Macchio) objects, saying "It's okay, decent at best." Ralph Macchio co-starred in My Cousin Vinny as the cousin that Vinny is trying to get cleared of murder charges.
- James Roday revealed in an interview why they did a remake of "Cloudy with a chance of Murder". In the interview he reveals that "Cloudy with a Chance of Murder" was chosen due in part to what the cast and crew considered to be the weakest episode made in the series. That it lacked any of the humor that made the rest of the series wonderful, that the episode felt "procedural" as a result the episode was completely redone to fix all those errors.
- When Sean and Gus meet Ruben Leonard, played by Alan Ruck, Sean introduces Gus as "my black Cameron". This is a refernece to Cameron Frye, a charactor also played by Alan Ruck in Ferris Beuller's Day Off.