He asks Simone if she was the cookie messenger. "Wasn't me," Simone says. "I find there are more reliable ways to send a message." Rrawr. "Mmm hmm," Emerson giggles lustily, plucking another bun from her bag. CLICK! "Leave it" Simone says, causing him to immediately do so. As Simone walks away and Emerson shakes off the fog of his conflicting impulses, he finds the distraction he needs: a client. The proprietress of the dim sum house sits alone in a booth, weeping. When Emerson asks if she contacted him, she admits that she's seen his billboards. "My name is Lai Di," she tells him. Emerson: "uh...Lady?" Hee. She says she's married to Bao, the chef. "You're married to the chef?" Emerson interrupts. "Ma'am, may I just say, your husband's pork buns make me glad to be alive. The man's a true artist." Lai Di sighs. "Not anymore," she says. Apparently, Bao is dead. "But," she says, "I'll hire you to find out who killed him!" Here are the damn facts: Lai Di and Bao immigrated from Beijing whereupon Bao quickly established himself as the premiere expert on "the delicate art of bun steaming." Jim Dale, how I love you. But, even with his daughter working as a waitress in the place, Bao could never save enough money to buy his own restaurant.
Lai Di relates that recently, after working a 16-hour shift, Bao came home and could not sleep. In their tiny bed, Lai Di asked what was wrong. "Bao chose to reply in English," Jim Dale says, and I have to stop and laugh for a very long time. Bao simply and nervously answers with one word: "Pressure." Strangely enough, this is what I was saying right before I had my appendix out last month... Anyway, Lai Di would remember his reply as ironic, considering that he was subsequently killed when his pressure-cooker exploded and he was impaled on a pipe. "Let's be delicate," we see Ned say later at the morgue moments before giving Bao the touch. "He may not speak English." And, he adds, with the pipe the way it is -- THROUGH HIS HEAD -- they don't know if he'll speak at all. What follows is a few minutes of physical comedy so great it is hard to put into words. Ned touches Bao's chin, and a pause occurs in which it is revealed that Chuck speaks Chinese! Cute, cute. "Bao, ni hao," she starts, surprising Ned. "You speak Chinese?" he asks, and can't even comment the cuteness of that before Bao screams, sits straight up and starts turning this way and that, causing them all to duck and flail as the pipe sweeps the room. "Please do not hurt me!" he shouts. "I sorry I lose the bet!" What bet, Ned asks as dodges the pipe. "Gambling at the dim sum!" Bao screams. "Now someone's going to kill me!" Ned squeaks out a Going to kill you?" before Bao moves his head slightly and knocks Ned's temple with the pipe. It makes a clanging noise that caused me to openly guffaw. Is Bao their first Dead Guy of the Week not to understand that he's dead? I think he may be... Anyway, Bao wails on, saying he doesn't know how they're going to kill him, but that they're going to do it for sure. He cannot, however, reveal who it is that is "going" to kill him. "If I tell you that," he says spookily, "I'm a dead man!" Emerson, as an aside: "See, what we need now is a mirror." But, no, there's no time to convince him -- Bao is hot to escape. Thing is, he's uh, got a six foot pipe through his head, and his attempt to run out the door only leads to a clanging quick-stop. Ned: "Ouch."