Welcome back, lovers of whimsy! Hello again, pie-obsessed quirk masters! Jim Dale, how we've missed you. We are reunited with Chuck and Ned to find that, you know, things are basically the same. Chuck's still dead, they're still in love, they can't touch, Chuck's raising bees on the roof... you know, totally normal stuff.
Elsewhere, Emerson's still solving crimes, this week a bee-related one. Kentucky Fitz, head bee-girl of Betty's Bees beauty products, was wiggity-wiggity-wacked by a swarm of bees. Eeeek! Chuck goes undercover, using her specialized bee knowledge, and of course, finds trouble. TROUBLE in the form of a HUMAN-SHAPED BEE MONSTER. She survives this attack, though I may never sleep again. Person made of BEES! Siiiigh. There is bee-spitting involved, y'all. Who is writing this (awesome) show? Come to find, the new owner of Betty's Bees murdered Kentucky Fitz.
Meanwhile, Olive, she who holds the multiple secrets -- that Chuck is alive but supposed to be dead, and that Lily is Chuck's mother -- has had enough. She blows her stack in the Pie Hole and tenders her resignation. Lily sweeps her away to a colorful convent. Olive, you know, doesn't do so good with the whole vow of silence thing, but Lily "strongly encourages" her to stay (so that Olive won't spill the secret). Left alone, Vivian seeks solace from Ned, who can commiserate. He misses Chuck, too, since she decided to move into Olive's empty nest.
Hello, hello! Here we are, returned and reunited, post-strike, post-hiatus, post-appendectomy! What? Oh, I just had an appendectomy, yes, thank you for asking. Straight-up, the old-fashioned way -- and I could have used Ned to revive me when I woke up in the recovery room apparently having started an argument in my anesthetized head about who should play The Penguin in the next Batman movie. I was so mad that the nurses were not getting on board with my casting ideas, y'all, and I don't remember what they were right now, but I think they must have been pretty brilliant.
Were they as brilliant as Jim Dale, though? Unlikely. Back in the swing of things after too long an absence, he gives us a recap: Ned can bring dead things back to life, a crazy fact he found out when he awakened his own mother from the afterlife, only to concurrently realize that her coming back meant that someone nearby had to die. The Someone in that particular instance tragically being his best friend Charlotte "Chuck" Charles's dad, next door. Strangely enough, Ned gets to make it up to her years later when Chuck herself meets her untimely demise at the hands of a cruise-ship mercenary when she is just beginning, really, to live. Unwilling to live a half-life now that she has her second chance, Chuck inserts herself into the secret crime-solving profession of Ned and his blackmailing partner, Emerson, who knows of Ned's unique talent and uses it to bust murderers and collect crime rewards. She also picks up some work at Ned's pie shop, where he bakes delicious confections while his faithful employee, Olive, pines away for his weird ass. Across town, Chuck's grieving aunts remember her sweet love of bees and cheese and numb their pain with pies into which Chuck secretly bakes anti-depressants. Featuring all too infrequently into this scenario is Digby, Ned's lifelong dog, who he brought back to life after Digby was mowed down on the highway two decades ago. JEEZ, are we all caught up now? Jim Dale is tired of repeating all this stuff.
So, as you will no doubt recall, Ned and Chuck are back in love after a brief break when Ned foolishly admitted to her that he was responsible -- however tangentially -- for her father's death. His guilt over that still bugs me, but what's done is done. Chuck has returned to their living arrangement, despite its obvious problems: that they live together in a tiny apartment, running the very real risk that they will bump into or brush against each other, an occasion that would instantly result in Chuck's second and permanent death. They have devised a system of precautions including slippers adorned with bells and a Digby Alert whenever they get near each other. I am glad the show is addressing this. I am a person who very easily suspends disbelief (making me wholly unqualified for this job), but it really bugs me that they live together when he's the surest way for her to get killed. Whenever they sit in a booth at the Pie Hole, I feel so uncomfortable!