Speaking of lovers, Simone has returned with the generally adored Bubblegum from a dog show and is clicking her way back into Emerson's heart. Simone, however, wants to be let in a bit more on Emerson's personal life. Let me put it on front street right now before I go any further: There are a lot of things going on in this episode. I mean, I know that is true of every one of them, but this time it seems overwhelming. I initially rated it higher than last week's wonderful show, and now that I have seen it again, I am having second thoughts. Still, any episode that heavily features Emerson I am going to love, so I'm not knocking it overall. The thing is, though, I only have the two hands, and my wrists are not made of titanium. Also, as much as I have loved Simone in the past, her accent is starting to grate. And there's not enough Bubblegum going on here. And I am cranky. And Simone is making a lot of animal training references, which is nice continuity, but we get it. Anyway, she is saying that she is intensely optimistic about their future, but doesn't like surprises when through the door strolls a surprise in the form of a new client. Ah, but though she may be a new client, she is not new to Emerson. She is the sister of Roland "Rollie" Stingwell, owner of the Papen County Dam. "I'd tell you more about it," he says, "except for, due to various reasons, we haven't spoken in nine years." Miss Stingwell says dramatically that those reasons are dead now, i.e. Rollie's dead. And, as she knows Emerson is the best in town, she is there to hire him to find Stingwell's killer, as well as "the Dam Ruby" which is missing. "After everything that happened all those years ago, Emerson," she adds, much to his lip-curling chagrin, "I'd say it was the least you could do." Simone is immediately on the scent. (See? I can make dog jokes, too.) "What happened between you and Rollie?" she asks. Emerson jovially tries to say that it was nothin', but Jimmy D gives us the facts. Which are these:
Rollie Stingwell, millionare builder and sole director of the Papen County Dam, was last seen by his secretary as he was getting ready to leave his office after a busy day. The next morning, however, his body was discovered in a dry riverbed, one half mile from the dam! Y'all, when my husband and I saw that Rollie Stingwell was played by blaxploitation legend Fred Williamson, we had to pause and give this show a slow clap. Total brilliance. Brother was in Three the Hard Way! He was also a Raider and a Chief! I honestly bow down to the casting department -- they have never made a misstep. Anyway, Rollie's final moments must have been quite traumatic, because when the finger-touch trio go to see him in the morgue, they find his head on backwards. Aaiieee! "Just think of him like an owl," Ned says nervously when Chuck audibly ughs. It helps when Rollie sits straight up and immediately asks "WHO?" He is, for more than the regular reason, surprised to see Emerson there. Surprised and mad -- he tells Ned and Chuck that Emerson stole away the love of his life, and that the worst part is, he paid him to do it. Emerson snarks that Rollie got his money back and plus, it isn't stealing if the thing being stolen wants to be stolen.