Pushing Daisies

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Al Lowe: A | 1 USERS: F
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Chinese, If You Please

Seeing her schmoopy face he rightly reads that she wants him to speak to Dwight. "I keep my feelings about my father behind a door that's closed for so long, it's wallpapered over and you can't see the seams," he tells her. "And that's how I like it." He says Dwight showing up is like a corner of that wallpaper peeling. "And I see that peeling corner," Chuck says, "and I want to rip it off." Ned says she wouldn't if she knew what was underneath, but she isn't buying it. She says her mother has been lying to her about who she is for three decades -- that they have a whole pile of stink to work out. "And I would, if I could, but I can't," she says. "And you can if you could, and you should." Faced with this logic and her fuzzy pink hat, he is left no choice but to whip it out. What? I mean his "clue pad, for writing down clues." Chuck is charmed. "I love that you have a clue pad," she says, as he snippily writes something, tears it out and hands it over. It's his father's address, he says, and she can give it to Dwight if she wants, but he's not going any further than that. In fact, JD reminds us, he's had this address for more than 20 years -- he remembers it from the really sad last time he heard from his father.

Into the Pie Hole now arrives a wizened and mysterious old Chinese man. He is, he tells Chuck, Bao's oldest friend. He overheard Emerson at the restaurant and he's come to tell what he knows. Also, he needs change for a dollar, because he's parked at a meter. Heh. Apparently, there's been illegal gambling at the dim sum since it opened in the days of Prohibition; Chuck translates as the guy relates his tale. We see a beautiful black and white flashback of a spirited card game going on. "When your luck was running," Chuck translates, "you'd have a woman on each arm, and all the milk you could drink!" Milk might not be the right word, she admits, as we see the huge milk jugs on the card table. Chuck's Mandarin is a little rusty. Anyway, the police finally caught on and shut them down, but the old man says they always figured out a way to keep the game going.

So, it's back to the restaurant with Emerson, who continues to bitch that he cannot find any kind of card room in the whole place. Chuck gives a little history lesson on the measures gamblers used to take during Prohibition. You know, speakeasies, secret passages, etc. "You used to have to know the password," she rambles. "Like 'Antwerp' or 'fiddlesticks!'" Ned chuckles and she asks him what's so funny. "I was just expecting Emerson to say something snarky," he says. Turning to see how this didn't happen, they find Emerson gone. In fact, he has slunk to a nearby curtain and is poorly concealing himself behind it as they speak. They join him on his spy mission, forming the three-head totem pole of all great detective stories and Scooby Doo episodes to look out from behind the curtain at a large table full of people apparently enjoying their dim sum. In fact, one of these diners is Simone. "The dog lady you dated?" Ned asks in wonder. "Is that why we're hiding?" Emerson: "We ain't hiding, and we didn't date." Chuck wonders why they didn't date, seeing that Simone is quite beautiful. "There are complicated issues in this situation," he says, tersely, as they continue to spy, "that you don't need to know nothin' about, except that their complexities are so complex, it makes this shallow conversation absurd." Ned: "Strange." Emerson is offended. "You calling my romantic life 'strange?'" he asks, amazed. No, Ned says, that's not what's strange. What's strange is that he's noticed that none of the people at the table they're watching -- the people who are passing food around in large quantities -- are eating. In swift unison, they realize: all the plates at the table were covered with lids. Before serving, the waitress would spin the dishes on a lazy Susan. Each diner would take five plates, look at their contents, and then place a number of soybeans in a center dish before revealing their dinner choices to all. Aha! "These folks," Ned says in shock, "are playing poker with food!"

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Pushing Daisies

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