Pushing Daisies

Season 2 Episode 5

Dim Sum Lose Some

Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Oct 29, 2008 on ABC

Episode Recap

The Past Ned is at the school over the holidays with the few other children who have nowhere else to go . One of the students, Ingmar, has a roulette wheels and Ned and the other kids gamble. As Ned bets his chocolates, he finds a note saying the chocolates are a gift from his mother but loses.

The Present

Chuck is working on a new pie recipe when Olive comes in to point out a new customer that she finds attractive. Ned approaches the man who asks how Ned's mother is doing. Ned panics and runs into the kitchen, but eventually goes out to talk to the man. The stranger asks about Ned's father and then introduces himself as Dwight Dixon, who knew Ned's father. Dwight is trying to find Ned's father, and Ned informs Dwight he lost contact with his father 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, Emerson is at his office eating takeout from the dim sum restaurant when he finds a fortune cookie with a message asking him for help. Emerson goes downstairs and finds dog obedience expert Simone Hundin going into the restaurant. She claims not to know anything about the cookie warning and he still finds himself strangely compelled to obey her commands. He does spot a weeping woman, Lai Di Ting, the wife of the chef Bao Di Ting. She doesn't know who Emerson is but decides to hire Emerson to investigate her husband's recent murder. As it turns out, Bao and Lai Di migrated to the States where he worked in secret. Lai Di realized that Bao was under pressure, and he later died when his bun steamer blew up and drove a pipe through his head.

Emerson, Chuck, and Ned go to the morgue and Ned revives the cook. Chuck speaks Chinese but Bao panics and apologizes for losing a bet at the dim sum restaurant. Bao tries to run out the door without success due to the pipe.

After Ned re-kills Bao, Emerson goes to talk to his daughter Mei. Rubbie Wu, her fiancé, is the manager of the restaurant. Emerson asks about her father's gambling habit but Mei claims Bao was too busy and Rubbie says they don't have any gambling at the restaurant. Emerson lets Chuck and Ned know what's going on, and leaves to track down some leads. Olive reports that Dwight returned again and Chuck thinks that Ned should help him. Ned finally relents and gives Chuck his father's address, for her to give to Chuck. As it turns out, Ned has had the address for 20 years, ever since he learned that his father had moved on to start a new family without him.

Bao's old friend Hua Jaing comes to the Pie Hole and informs them he overheard Emerson at the restaurant. He explains that there has been a gambling ring at the restaurant since Prohibition, and it has been going ever since. The trio goes to the restaurant and hides between a curtain to spy on Simone, who is at a table with several other men. The team concludes that the meal is actually an elaborate game using food for cards.

Emerson calls Simone to his office to question her about the gambling. She explains how the game works and offers a review of the other gamblers and how likely they are to kill Bao. She admits any of them could have killed Bao and she has an ironclad alibi. As she leaves, Emerson insists he isn't intimidated but warns the more he likes someone, the worse it ends up. She kisses him and he responds against his better judgment.

Chuck and Olive visit Ned's father and find twins Ralston and Maurice rehearsing a magic trick. They're the teenage sons of Ned's father from his second family, and they explain that their father abandoned them too. They quickly exit while wondering what Ned would think of discovering he has two half-brothers.

After Simone leaves, Emerson goes over photos of the restaurant and spots a busboy in every photo, wearing an expensive watch. Emerson calls in Ned and Chuck, and the busboy watches them. Chuck tells Ned she went to his father's house and Ned is less than thrilled. The busboy makes a run for it and they follow him through the kitchen. Emerson spots a curtain but only finds the steamer for Bao's steamed buns behind it. It starts to rattle and explodes, firing a pipe through a shelf of jars and impaling the hiding busboy. Ned brings him back to life and Emerson notices a crimp in the pipe showing that someone sabotaged the steamer. The busboy reveals he was an undercover insurance investigator and Bao bought life insurance just before he died.

Emerson confronts Mei but she refuses to talk to them and doesn't believe Bao left her any money. The gambler in charge of the table, Shrimp Boy, warns them off and a waiter gives Emerson an order of carryout with a fortune cookie asking for a meeting. Emerson goes to the meeting and meets Mei, who set up Emerson to meet her mother so she would hire the detective. Mei couldn't hire Emerson because Shrimp Boy is watching her. She reveals that Bao lost heavily trying to make money to pay for the restaurant. Shrimp Boy extended him credit in return for his promise to have Mei marry Rubbie Wu, Shrimp Boy's socially-inept cousin.

Emerson figures Shrimp Boy killed Bao and they need to talk to him after getting around his bodyguards. Emerson dismisses Simone as a suspect, leading Ned and Chuck to conclude that he and Simone got together. After Emerson leaves, Olive comes over and apologizes along with Chuck for going to Ned's father's home without telling him. Chuck insists he needs to seek out his family but Ned says that they're his family now. Ned doesn't want to reach out to his half-brothers in case it makes his father happy.

Emerson tracks Shrimp Boy but spots Simone coming out of the restaurant. As it turns out, only one of them agreed to cool off the relationship. As he hides from Simone, he gets an idea… and sends Chuck and Olive in undercover as Chinese waitresses. They slip a drug into the tea for Shrimp Boy's bodyguard, forcing them to run to the restaurant. Olive locks them in the bathroom while Emerson and Ned arrive in disguise to enter the game. Ned and Emerson bring up Bao's bet and Shrimp Boy says that Bao bet against someone else, but then came back to try and win back his daughter but he had nothing to bet so he went to someone else. They realize that Rubbie killed Bao to collect the life insurance once he married Mei. Shrimp Boy wants to see their "cards" and Emerson reveals the winning hand. However, Rubbie has realized what's going on and takes everyone prisoner.

Rubbie Wu prepares to depart with Mei on their honeymoon. As it turns out, Rubbie had Bao wager his life insurance and then won. Rubbie sabotaged the steamer to kill Bao and collect immediately. Mei realizes that her father sacrificed himself for her and Ned reconsiders his own father. Simone arrives and realizes that Emerson hid from her, and tells him never to see her again. Shrimp Boy and his men take her prisoner but Simone's dog paws at Rubbie's pocket. They realize that he was cheating at poker by slipping in extra food. Rubbie tries to escape but Shrimp Boy realizes his cousin has been cheating him for years. Shrimp Boy lets them go because the game was rigged. Rubbie goes to prison, Mei collects the insurance, and Emerson gets paid. Emerson sees Simone outside and insists on talking to her, noting he was reluctant to be open with her given how she keeps her feelings. He offers an exchange of vulnerability and Simone agrees to give it another chance.

Ned goes to see his half-brothers and takes Chuck along. He admits he doesn't know what his family is really like and he's been going on assumptions all these years. Ned finally rings the doorbell and introduces himself to Maurice and Ralston. They hug… unaware that Dwight Dixon is watching them with a gun at hand.