(Listen, the music in the background is TOO LOUD. Do something, somebody, PLEASE! Missing one line from Jim Dale is the equivalent to missing three entire episodes of some other dumb show like Supernatural, or whatever. We're working on a higher plane here, people. Let us hear it!) Dead Guy of the Week is none other than Emerson's best buns supplier. What? The guy in the Chinese restaurant downstairs who made the pork buns! What did you think I meant? Bao Ting. Hee. Anyway, Bao's bounced. He was killed when his dim sum pressure cooker exploded, driving a stake through his head. His wife, La Di, is convinced he was killed over his gambling debts. The gang discovers that an age-old weekly poker game has been kept active, played not with cards but with dim sum and soy beans. One of the current players is none other than Emerson's old almost-flame Simone, of dog-training fame, owner of our beloved Bubblegum. Things get heated between them, and I ain't kidding.
When an insurance investigator posing as a busboy is also killed, the whole team goes undercover in the restaurant only to discover that the killah is Bao Ting's deceptively innocuous, unwanted son-in-law to be, Rubbie. Meanwhile, Ned is having all sorts of emotional drama about his long lost dad. A man named Dwight shows up claiming to be an old friend of his parents, and the association opens up all the old familial wounds. Chuck and Olive take it upon themselves to track down his dad, and find not only his cute-cute-cute twin half-brothers (Maurice and Ralston, parlor magicians!), but two tons of daddy-angst in Ned's heart. Ultimately, Ned goes to meet his brothers, but what's this? Dwight may not be the nice guy we assumed him to be. He lurks nefariously outside the happy scene, watching and in waiting.
In related news, there are rumors going all around that this show may get cancelled... and may I just say: that would be a heinous and unforgivable crime against beauty and intelligence. A slap in the mouth to creativity. A kick in the nuts to good humor. In conclusion, if it happens, I'ma karate chop some bitches.
OH MY GOD, Y'ALL. Are you ready for the ELECTION? I mean, did you realize the election was about to happen (could be this very day depending on when you are reading this)? I have never been so ready for something to just HAPPEN already. The anticipation, the nausea, the euphoric hope followed by the dreadful paranoia? This has got to be what pregnancy feels like. I mention it because this episode was so littered with nutjob commercials, I can hardly bear to bloop past them on my Tivo -- especially the local ones. Lord, the desperate insanity of Southern politics. Deliver us all.
Back at the Horrible School for Unloved Children, Sad Young Ned spent his long weekends with the other boys who had nowhere else to go. In the thrall of a weirdly Rubenesque boy, Ingmar Todd, son of "roving missionaries," the four lonesome rejects jump in a gambling ring, betting their most prized possessions in his roulette game. (Nerd alert: Though he appears to be German or Scandanavian, Ingmar's parents must have roved only through the U.S., the Caribbean and South America as he is running an American roulette wheel.) Ned has nothing to wager but the meager remains of a box of chocolates he hastily stuck in his suitcase before being carted away from home by his dad. He bets almost all of his remaining chocolates before suddenly noticing a note, previously unseen, from his mother. She had planned to give him these very chocolates before she died. JD tells us that, like many amateur roulette players, Young Ned had hedged by betting on both red and black, but failed to consider the nefarious green "double zed," upon which this game now unfortunately hinges. The crushing realization about his mother's chocolates arrives at the moment the ball drops. House wins, Young Ned loses. The lesson, Jim Dale tells us, was clear. "In gambling, no matter how well you think you know the odds, there's always an outcome you can't see coming." And oh, how bitterly true it is. (The previous paragraph is brought to you by closed captioning, since I can't understand half of the beautiful words of Jimmy D, due to the superloudness of the accompanying soundtrack.)
Anyhoodle, Ned's lesson hit home. He took few gambles in his life following that game, save opening a restaurant that serves only pies, and having a relationship with a girl he brought back from death and could kill again with a single brush of his hand. Huh. When I type it out like that, those sound like big gambles.