Before discovering his ability to bring back the dead, Young Ned watches his father perform sleight of hand. After his mother dies, his father disappears and never returns and Ned stopped believing in magic. Later he found his father with his new family performing magic for his sons.
Maurice and Ralston are performing at the Conjurer's Castle and arrive at the Pie Hole to give everyone tickets for their show. Ned is uncomfortable with any mention of the word "magic" and takes a lozenge for acid reflux. Emerson isn't fooled or impressed, and they explain they're performing before the Great Herrmann. They think their father had something important that required him to leave. Everyone agrees to go except Ned, but Chuck convinces him to go anyway. At the show, Ned is still uncomfortable and taking lozenges for his acid reflux. As they watch the opening act, a Geek who regurgitates animals, Chuck admits that if she could talk to her real mother, Lily, she'd have dozens of questions.
Earlier Chuck called Lily pretending to be various salesmen and tried to get her to admit she was a mother. It didn't work.
The Great Herrmann comes out and hugs Ned, hoping Maurice and Ralston will be distracted by Ned since they're so needy. He tells Emerson not to heckle him and brings him up as a volunteer to check out his chains and handcuffs as he does an escape act, Cementia!, to escape a box filled with quick-hardening cement. However, Herrmann slips out and emerges from underneath Emerson's table and asks him to investigate the deaths of his assistants, before revealing himself to the audience.
After the show Herrmann reveals that his animal assistants have been murdered. Emerson doesn't want to lower himself to doing animal murder investigations… until Herrmann pays him a lot of money. Ned asks Herrmann how he knows Ralston and Maurice and he explains how he covered when Ned's father ditched them at his Sunday matinee performance. He admits he didn't have any chance but to look after them when they came to his house to see his magic tricks.
Lily and Vivian are at home when Dwight Dixon arrives at their door. He served with Charles Charles and Ned's father as UN peacekeepers in Egypt. He rambles on for a while until Lily cuts him short and asks for a common bronze pocket watch like the one he has. The aunts don't know about a pocket watch but when Vivian steps out, Dwight tells Lily that he can tell Vivian how Lily betrayed him by having a child with Charles, unless she agrees to see him again.. Vivian returns and secretly slips Dwight a note to meet with him later.
Herrmann gives his second performance of the night while the team investigates the dead animals. Going over the clues, they realize that someone was trying to kill Herrmann. They hear a scream and run out to find that Herrmann failed to escape and was suffocated in the cement. The scarf he holds out of the hole is still sticking out and Maurice yanks it in half ripping it out. The authorities rule it an accident but Maurice and Ralston don't believe it. Ned, remembering how Herrmann called him "son" in passing, braces himself and promises his half-brothers that he will bring Herrmann's killer to justice. He talks to Herrmann's assistant Alexandria, who admits she doesn't know how Herrmann escaped. She hated the animals but stayed with Herrmann for the promise that she'd get her own act. They point out the only one on stage but she notes there was one other person: the geek. They talk to him and he explains he used to be a plant in Herrmann's act, has been with him for years, and now he pickpockets the audience's items and regurgitates them earlier. As Chuck leans over to listen to the items he hasn't regurgitated, her necklace sticks to his chest: he apparently swallowed a magnet.
Olive has returned to the Pie Hole to feed Digby and Pigby, and Vivian comes in with Dwight. Dwight tells Vivian the story of the pocket watches and how the last surviving member of the squad was to drop all their watches off in the desert. Dwight admits he was in prison for 22 years. Olive secretly listens in as Vivian admits that they know about the watch and buried it with Chuck.
The trio goes to the morgue and the coroner breaks open the concrete block. However, there's nothing in the block but an envelope from Herrmann, saying he escaped. Ned gives the news to Maurice and Ralston and tries to explain that he had a good reason for explaining. They don't believe him and ask if Ned knows anything about why their father left. The facts are that nine years ago, Ned's father took his sons to see Herrmann as he was starting off, was called up as a volunteer, and disappeared never to be seen again. Herrmann tried to comfort the boys and told him their dad had important business, they believed him until now.
Ned breaks down and explains that their father was simply someone ditching his kids and didn't have something important to do. They bond over their bodily functions giving out when they think of their father. Ned notices that Maurice is holding half of a scarf but the scarf in the block at the morgue was in one piece. They go to the Pie Hole and Ned explains that someone switched concrete blocks: the one at the morgue is a fake. The concrete block must still be in the theater. Returning, they use metal detectors to try and locate the shackles in the block. Ned, Emerson, and Chuck find the block beneath the floors, and then hear the cement mixer working above. Olive, Maurice, and Ralston arrive and see a shadow on the curtain. They give chase and Emerson and Olive go after them. Olive spots the Geek, dead with a spike in his nose. They find Alexandria and Emerson accuses her of murder, but she explains that she's packing because she's wasted enough time.
Ned and Chuck chisel the block open and Ned brings Herrmann back to life. Herrmann explains to Ned how the escape works, and he uses a magnet in his shoe to open the trap door. However, someone stole the magnet and he wasn't able to escape. For his last words, he tells them to give Maurice and Ralston his magic book. Ned explains to Emerson and the others how the murderer killed Herrmann, and Chuck remembers her necklace sticking to the magnet in the Geek's body. Olive is with the corpse… but is unaware that it's getting up and approaching her with the spike. He takes her as a hostage and goes to the stage.
The facts are that the Geek saw Herrmann as a father, but Herrmann considered him as a novelty act with no future. The Geek swallowed the magnets in Herrmann's shoe and switched the concrete blocks during the performance. No body, no murder, and later he returned to bury the murder block in the theater's foundation. The Geek admits that Herrmann abandoned him and Ned can sympathize, but says that being angry didn't help. He still wanted his father back. Ned manages to distract the Geek long enough for Olive to break free, and Ralston and Maurice to pull the lever and send him down a trap door into the floor where he lands next to the corpse of the Great Herrmann.
Te Geek goes to jail and Maurice and Ralston collects the book. However, they offer a photocopy to Alexandria so she con become the Great Alexandria. Ned is more comfortable with the memories of his father, happy to talk to the family he has, and sets up a private magic show for Chuck. He takes her to her aunts' home and asks if she wants to talk to her mom. Olive is inside with Lily alone and suggests she role-play and say what she would say to Chuck if she were alive. Lily addresses her comments to Olive as Chuck listens in via a bee bug. Chuck sends her camera to Olive via a hidden earpiece and Olive asks them of Lily. Lily admits that Chuck was an angel.
Across town, Dwight Dixon is digging up Chuck's grave and finds that the coffin is empty.