Things weren't always miserable for Young Ned at Rejection Elementary. After all, he had the excellent Eugene, who was even willing to camouflage his headgear in order to play war games with Ned in the woods. This was a handy way, Jim Dale tells us, to escape from the torture of geometry. "However," JD ominously intones, "like all ill-advised troop deployments, it did not come without its share of unexpected casualties." No, in fact Eugene indicates, with official military hand signals, that some serious shit has gone down. Indeed -- a hunter, apparently dead, has fallen face down across a fence. Eugene, his emotional radar on overload, beats a hasty retreat. Young Ned, on the other hand, rationalized in mere moments that if he were to solve what looks like a murder, the resulting acclaim would bring his father back into his life. Thus, with Eugene gone, he gives the dead guy the touch. See, this was a bad idea. What's Ned like, eight years old? So he touches the guy, who has a massive hole through his chest, and it is revealed that the death was an accident. That's all well and good, but Ned touches him back to death just in time for the park ranger to come around the corner and see Ned standing there with the dead hunter's gun. Greeeat. "Waking the dead," Jim Dale says as we see Ned get put in juvie lockdown, "had landed Young Ned in jail." Thus, Young Ned learns the lesson that no, his father won't be around to help him when he needs it.
Also learning that lesson? Chuck, as we see her futile final moments from last week, chasing her father as he drives away in Ned's stolen car. I knew that dude was bad news. Chuck finds a button on the ground in the snow, and cries that her dad isn't supposed to leave her. "This is really bad," Ned says, extrapolating all the worst case scenarios. "This. Is really. Bad." Later, in their booth at the Pie Hole, it's confirmed: this is really bad. Chuck has been Dad Dumped, Ned is flipping that Charles Charles is about to reveal his secret to the world, and Emerson... well, he must bear witness to all these emotions, and y'all KNOW how that makes him feel. "What if he goes and tells people there's a piemaker who has a knack for baking and waking dead people?" Chuck asks, sorry that she ever got Ned into this. Ned sweetly forgives her: "Change of career?" he suggests as a solution. "No more waking and/or baking?" Cute, cute. "I just want to hold your hand," Chuck says, and though they WILL sit so close to each other that it causes my hair to clench in fear of them touching, they, of course, canNOT touch, and thus must hold hands using Emerson's two angry paws as surrogates as they gaze into each other's eyes. I'm sure some other mean ol' recapper with a heart hardened to stone after years of watching Chad Michael Murray and some chick with hair extensions walk on the beach would slap eyes on these two and be over their undying love in about three episodes. I mean, bad stuff keeps happening to each of them at other's hand, but they can't seem to stay mad about it. Still, I love them. "I am done with this by-proxy hand-jive," he spits, jerking his hands out of their dual grips. He asks, as we do, why they aren't squawking mad at each other. Chuck screwed up when she used Ned to bring her dad back to life and then kept it from him, Emerson rants. Ned then screwed up "by not tappin' her pops when you had the chance." Emerson goes on to blame himself for cahootin' with Chuck to cover up the subsequent dead body, which turned out to be Dwight. "And both of you ladies ought to be mad as hell at Dead Old Dead Dad," he concludes with an awesome flourish, "for stealin' your car and stealin' off into the night with a corpse face that ain't gonna do no favors for nobody."