Shawn comes into the diner where he meets Juliet for the first time. He has a conversation with her, although it is mostly him because she is in a hurry. Halfway through another man come in and Shawn soon finds out she is a cop. Then Detective Lassiter comes in with a few other uniform police officers. He takes one look at Shawn and hurries out.
In 1985, Gus is at the Regional Spelling Bee and it is his turn. Shawn is in the audience and is telling him the answers. Gus then get disqualified for giving the wrong words
Shawn and Gus are watching the Regional Spelling Bee, mostly because Gus insisted. Suddenly, this year's favorite, Brendan Vu, collapses after breathing in from his inhaler. Shawn doesn't think it was an accident, and gets a call from Interim Chief Vick to go investigate.
Vick tells them that Brendan said that the inhaler felt strange. When the ambulance arrived, the inhaler was gone. Shawn and Gus need to interview all the witnesses by 5 p.m. - because when the Bee finishes, all the contestants and potential suspects will go back to their hometowns.
After eliminating the Bee contestants who were already kicked out, Shawn begins going through the remaining suspects, when the Spellmaster, former champion Elvin Cavanaugh, decides to make a big announcement. As Shawn and Gus come out to hear it, they see Cavanaugh tumble over the railing in the Spellmaster's box.
Upon investigation, Detective Lassiter and his new partner, Junior Detective Juliet O'Hara believe that Cavanaugh was incredibly overweight from eating junk food. They believe that he slipped and fell. Shawn and Gus sneak into the Spellmaster's box to do some investigating, and (using Gus' amazing "Supersmeller" ability) realize that Cavanaugh's Chinese noodles might have been poisoned. Shawn and Gus need to find a lab that will analyze the food.
Shawn decides to visit Henry, who has a friend that could analyze them, but he wants Shawn to do a favor in return. Because Shawn has never fully completed anything in his life, Henry wants him to finish a dog house that he started on as a child. Desperate to solve the case, Shawn agrees, only to quit in the middle of the night.
While riding home he flashes back to when he was young Henry comes come and finds his son building the dog house. He then tells him that a dog won't be able to live in it. He walks away telling him to do it right. As he flashes back to present a van runs him off the road and he is thrown from his bike.
After getting himself checked out at the hospital, Shawn and Gus decide to check on Brendan. Brendan has new inhaler, but is strangely identical to Jiri Prochazka's, another speller, inhaler. After further inspection, Gus informs Shawn that Jiri's inhaler is a fake because then doctor on his prescription did not exist. Jiri's inhaler is a fake. Realizing that he needs to know the results to the drug test on the noodles, Shawn leaves for Henry's house to finish the dog house.
After noticing Shawn's injury, Henry decides to help out and finish the dog house. Soon the results for the noodles come in. It was poisoned, and now Shawn has to tell the police in the form of a "vision." The police say that they can't solve a case off of his vibes; Shawn and Gus need to find concrete evidence.
Back at the Bee, Shawn poses as the new Spellmaster and he and Gus sneak back into the Spellmaster's box. There, Shawn notices distinctive indentations on the carpet. He finds a tripod in the closet with a camera attached, locked in an awkward position. The feet of the legs fit into the indentations perfectly. As Shawn moves the tripod around, he realizes Cavanaugh was spying on Jiri's father, Miklous. Cavanaugh had suspected Miklous and Jiri of cheating and was going to disqualify the boy in his big announcement.
Back downstairs, Shawn watches Miklous as Jiri comes up to spell. He sees Miklous tapping something in his jacket and then Jiri gripping his inhaler. Shawn realizes Miklous rigged a system that sent electrical pulses to the inhaler to spell out the word for Jiri. Brendan accidentally got hold of that inhaler, and that's why it felt strange in his hands and didn't work when he needed it to. It was Miklous who poisoned Cavanaugh and ran Shawn off the road. Gus calls the police and Shawn has a grand psychic episode onstage, pointing to the inhaler as the definitive proof the cops were looking for.
- The thirteen-year-old Shawn seen in the flashbacks here is played by Kyle Morven Tejpar.
- A pineapple appears when Henry comes home and Shawn is working on the doghouse - he's holding a slice of pineapple in his hand.
- At the beginning of the episode (when Shawn is talking to Juliet), it is revealed that her parents have been happily married for decades (30 as Shawn deduces), however this is later changed in the episode "In For a Penny" as Juliet has been estranged from her father for years who divorced her mother when she was young. These series of continuity errors would continue throughout the remainder of the series.
The gallery for Spellingg Bee can be found here.