"I know who did it!" Shawn announced.
"Already?" Chief Vick raised her eyebrows. "Good work, Spencer."
"He has no idea who did it," Gus said. He turned to Shawn. "Just because a man's dressed as an evil vizier, it doesn't mean he's guilty. You haven't even let the Chief tell us what the crime is."
"But look at him, Gus," Shawn said, the slightest hint of a petulant whine in his voice. He pointed at the black- and ruby-turbaned figure sitting across from Lassiter. "It's Jafar!"
"The man's in costume; that doesn't make him a criminal. Considering that you dressed as Darth Vader last Halloween, I don't think that this is too difficult a concept for you to grasp."
"I don't remember seeing a Darth Vader costume at the department party," Juliet said.
Shawn snorted. "Please. As though Gus and I would waste time going to a Halloween party right when we've gotten our trick-or-treat route mapped out to perfection."
Beside him, Gus nodded. "Two hundred and seventy-eight houses in four hours and fifty minutes, with minimal running and only one barbed wire fence to hop."
"People," Chief Vick said sharply. "Can we focus on the case, please?"
"Yes, Chief," Juliet said in a subdued tone, echoed by Gus's, "Of course."
"Good," she said, ignoring Shawn's conspicuous silence. "This man's name is Rudy Galindo--"
"Like the figure skater," Gus interrupted.
"No relation," Juliet said, sounding disappointed. "I already checked."
"--and he claims to have witnessed a dognapping while he was working a children's birthday party."
Gus raised a skeptical eyebrow at her. "The police department takes dognapping cases?"
"We do when the dog in question belongs to the mayor's niece," Chief Vick said grimly. "Spencer, I don't want to waste any more of my department's resources on this case than I have to, but I also can't afford to disappoint the mayor. I'd like you to fly solo on this one; Detectives Lassiter and O'Hara will get you up to speed, and you can give us a call when you've identified our dognapper."
"It would be our pleasure," Gus said smoothly before Shawn could protest that dognapping wasn't their style any more than it was the SBPD's.
Gus gave Shawn a look that silently referenced their encroaching cable and electric bills, and Shawn dredged up a smile. "No problem. We'll just go finish interrogating Jafar, maybe see if his friends Cruella de Vil and Maleficent have anything to add to our investigation, and nab you your dognapper posthaste."
Paycheck safely in hand, Gus fixed Shawn with a stern look. "I'd just like to say that your being right in this instance is not a validation of your original premise. The vast majority of people who dress in villainous costumes are law-abiding citizens."
"Gus. Jafar had a nervous tic. I noticed it the first time I saw him: he was compulsively rubbing the seam of his robe. Why would the witness to a non-violent dognapping have any reason to be nervous?"
"The man was talking to Lassiter."
Shawn processed that for a second. "Point. Still, he was our villain in the end--"
"Our criminal," Gus interjected. "This is real life, Shawn, not a Disney movie."
"--and maybe next time you won't be quite so quick to judge my methods."
"No, I'm pretty sure that I'll judge you anytime you decide a man's guilt based on a few yards of polyester."
"Fine. As long as you don't mind being proven wrong every time you're judgey."
"You mean 'judgmental.'"
"I've heard it both ways."
Gus shook his head in disgust. "That's it; you're getting a dictionary for Christmas this year."
"You've already given me five. I'm running out of space on my bookshelves."
"Start using them, and I'll stop feeling the urge to give them to you. Now, I'm going to go deposit this check before the city cuts off our utilities again."
The adulation of his peers, it wasn't, but on the other hand, Shawn got out of having to deposit the check himself. Taken as a whole, he was going to count that as a win.