Burton Guster

Burton Guster

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... in Santa Barbara, Calif. He lives alone but is almost always with his business partner and best friend since childhood, Shawn Spencer.

Profession... pharmaceutical sales representative and co-owner of detective agency "Psych" with Shawn. He claims to be perfectly happy slinging prescription drugs, but he continually allows himself to get sucked into working on crimes with Shawn. In part that’s because Gus has never been able to resist a call to adventure from Shawn, but also because Gus finds being a drug rep (understandably) boring.

Interests... spelling and smelling. Gus considers himself a champion speller; he participated in competitions in his youth and still follows the American Spelling Bee religiously. In middle school he took spelling advice from Shawn during a competition, and still blames Shawn for his defeat. Gus also has a highly developed sense of smell; he refers to his nose as the “Super Sniffer.”

Relationship Status... single. Gus has minimal luck dating, claiming he is attracted to "crazy women" and frequently using pick-up lines about astronomy. (During cases, Gus often falls for women who end up being the culprit.) He was married once to a woman named Mira after a drunken Spring Break, but soon lost contact with her and eventually the marriage was annulled. He is currently dating Rachel, which appears to be a relatively stable relationship, and sometimes even brings her son to investigations with him and Shawn.

Challenge... balancing out Shawn's impulsive behavior and overcoming his own skepticism and fear. Gus is the agency’s voice of reason and often tries to keep Shawn in check, with minimal success. For instance he once opposed Shawn illegally accessing a crime scene, saying, "This is breaking and entering!" But Shawn “corrected” him: "No, no, no - only if we break something, and then enter something." If Shawn is too reckless, though, Gus is naturally too passive and unwilling to take a chance unless he’s pushed. That’s why they make a good team.

Personality... likeable, logical, suggestible. Gus is an excellent partner in crime, because he’s generally up for an adventure (after a little convincing) but level-headed enough to keep things from getting too out of hand. He’s always trying to rein Shawn in, but it’s clear that they have mutual respect from their lifelong friendship. As Gus tells Shawn during one case, "Even though you can be extremely annoying, you actually have a brilliant idea every now and then." Even though it’s Shawn who usually leads the charge, often headlong into mayhem, the partnership simply wouldn’t function as well – or at all – without Gus.


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