I realized probably roughly seven episodes into season 1 that I was a Juliet/Lassiter shipper. There was just something about them, something that drew me in like Juliet/Shawn never has.
The truth of Psych's romantic situation is that Juliet and Shawn are a chick-flick couple. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with chick-flicks, believe me. I enjoy them quite frequently! It's just that I don't feel like a chick-flick couple has a place in Psych. It doesn't -feel- right to me. Doesn't suit the mood of the show. Romance? Yes, please! But that kind? No thank you! And aside from that, I don't know if it's just the dialogue and scenes that have been written for them or something to do with the actors (though I do know they're dating in real life), but on-screen Juliet and Shawn just... seem awkward, and not in the cute romantic way. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but it really does just come off as forced to me, between them.
However, then there's Juliet/Lassiter. Their chemistry DOES work and does show! Not only is it constantly interesting to watch the way they interact with each other, but it always feels so natural. Whether they're bickering, busy working together, or even just having conversation (or as close as Lassiter gets to conversation, anyway, that adorably socially awkward man), they feel right together. Even during their exasperation at each other, they seem at home.
Best of all, you can see the effects they've had on each other - she's slowly bringing out the softer, more human side of him that we all know was always buried in there somewhere, and he is grounding her somewhat ditzy and naive nature (as competent of a detective as she is, you have got to admit she does have her moments of ditziness) and making her into a more confident and capable woman. They're slowly coming to meet each other halfway, and it is easily visible in the amount of synchronization you can sense between them all through season 4. Juliet shows it most of all, for example the way she is much less prone to taking crap from Shawn, much less willing to put up with his half-insane and lackadaisical nature. Shawn even says in one episode something like "Wow, Jules, did Lassie just put his voice in your mouth? 'Cause that's gross," implying that she said something that sounded exactly like what Lassiter would say. And in the shark episode in season 4? She actually points at Shawn and says it's definitely his fault (that Lassie had such a humiliating press incident.)
You can also tell how much sway she holds over Lassiter - the way he gawks at her on multiple occasions, for instance. In no particular order:
-In Black and Tan, when she comes into the police station in her snazzy new outfit, and he is flabbergasted.
-In the episode where they have to drag the kid delinquent around in the hopes of straightening him up, and when she finally gets the kid to behave and then walks away, the episode ends with him staring after her.
-The episode where she figures out the perp they're chasing lives in the neighborhood, takes a shortcut to nab him before everyone else, and then cuffs him to drag him away, leaving Lassiter to pull off his sunglasses and stare after her.
Not to mention that when she says things in her Serious Voice, he listens. I'm fairly certain there are multiple instances of her breaking up bickering between Shawn and Lassiter, including an occasion wherein she simply glares at them and says "Boys!" and Lassiter immediately shuts up and walks away.
Oh yeah, and let's not forget the second to last episode of season 4, where Lassiter is a grumpypants and keeps telling Juliet to "shut it" and when he pisses her off with it the third time, he immediately apologizes as she is walking away. "I am so sorry!" he says after quickly standing up as she exits his office area. How often do you hear Carlton Lassiter say that? Let alone say it and mean it? Sure he instantly follows it with a silly excuse for his behavior (but then that could be taken as he's unhappy at the thought of her mad at him, amirite~?) Actually, come to think of it, he winced and said "Ugh, sorry about that..." when she called him on it the first time.(And the middle time, when she says "If you say that again I'm gonna shoot you!" and stalks off, Lassiter immediately makes an 'oops' face. Sincere apologies. Multiple sincere apologies! You know that is a RARE thing from him, because he has such a hard time with his pride.
AND - I've seen references to the potential instances of romantic happenings between them from many episodes, but one that I have not yet seen referenced is Bollywood Homicide. And you have to admit that, at least if you're looking at it in the light of Lassiet, there are a few good bits in this episode. For instance, when they're spying on Juliet's date with Raj. And Shawn is blatantly jealous, bla bla bla - and Lassiter calls him on it over the walkie-talkie. If Lassiter is such a generally oblivious and clueless man when it comes to relationship matters, how does he recognize what's going on in this instance? Possibly because he's feeling it too? Maybe even ignoring the fact that he's feeling that way by feeling smug over Shawn's own unhappiness with the situation. And THEN, later in the episode - Lassiter gets all excited when he thinks he's figured out that Raj is the murderer and sets off to arrest him. You COULD say that he was just pleased with the idea of beating Shawn to the punch (like always), OR... you could say it was because he was pissed off at watching all the interactions between Juliet and Raj and was eager to find him guilty and put him behind bars. Then we get to the woods with Raj knocked out and Juliet missing, and Lassiter immediately switches to his Serious Face and says "I want eyes on my partner in 5 minutes!" and dashes off to find her. Then he's all excited when he gets back and sees Juliet arresting the woman, saying "Way to be, partner!" or some such praise. Plus, the instant he hears "Assaulting an officer" he says "We can't have that!" and walks right over to help grab the woman. I can almost guarantee he would not have said that, especially with that intonation, if he knew the assaulted officer to be anyone else. (Now, granted, this is a lot of biased speculation, but nevertheless you have to admit those are some nice treats for us Lassiet fans!)
You know what's exasperating? The Shules fans who are like, "Ew, he's too old for her." As far as I can tell he's only somewhere in the 35-40 range, and Juliet is probably in the 25-30 range. Not only is it far from being scandalous or disgusting, age-wise, (though perhaps it is unusual) but the older you get, the less age difference matters. While she's still got her fair share of learning and growing up to do, anyone can see that she is both competent and mature enough for him, and has grown noticeably more mature over the seasons (in great part because of Lassiter!). She even lists the qualities she likes about an OLDER MAN in Gus Walks Into a Bank, when talking to Shawn about her relationship with Mr. Negotiator (and let's not forget either how smugly Lassiter essentially outs her to Shawn or enjoys it when Shawn insults the man).
And yeah, there is the fact that Juliet said she's not interested in romance in the workplace. But if we're gonna get that technical, let's not forget that Shawn is hired by the police department as a consultant frequently enough that he essentially works for them, too (especially now that Shawn's dad has accepted the job from Chief Vick to be in charge of external hires like Shawn.) And anyway, the FACT that she said that, and the whole incident with Lassiter's previous partner, makes things more interesting, makes it an obstacle to overcome! Not a reason why they shouldn't be together.
Okay, I think I'm done. Boy that felt good! Of course, it was so chaotic and all over the place that I don't even know if I said all I wanted to say, but... Lassiet forever~ <3