We learn that Young Emerson Cod (the cutest kid in the entire world), was an habitual school troublemaker. Not because he was a bad kid -- because he was in love with his hottie principal. Speaking of hotties, I am so thrilled to report that the beautiful Simone and adorable Bubblegum have returned to town to see the grown-up Emerson. Their relationship is progressing, but Simone is annoyed that Emerson won't open up to her and share his deep, dark secrets. Fate handles this for her when the case of the week shows up. The widow of a former client comes to hire Emerson to solve her husband's murder. The husband in question, Roland Stingwell, had hired Emerson nine years earlier to follow Lila Robinson who, as a result of that case, became Emerson's babymama and subsequently ran off with his daughter, Penny. ANYWAY. It's complicated. Especially because when Ned alive-agains Stingwell, he says Lila's the one who killed him. Emerson decides to pull out all the stops to find her, but of course she shows up first, with a gun. She says she didn't kill Stingwell, and that if Emerson can clear her, she'll let him see Penny again.
So, you know, Emerson goes a little nutso in search of the truth. There are multiple suspects, including a flower farmer whose water was cut off by Stingwell's company and a trio of Mennonite lawyers who are spiritually obligated not to lie. While the Pie Crew (plus Randy!) track Lila to find Penny, Simone helps Emerson work through the very last-chance theory to find the real killer, who is revealed, through various and complicated twists, to have been the flower farmer. So, Lila is cleared, but... she's still a bitch. Not only does she run off again with Penny, she does it in Emerson's car. But, wait. All is not lost. L'il Gumshoe is finally going to be published, and Emerson holds out hope that if he doesn't find her first, the book will help her find him.
Meanwhile, the budding romance between Randy and Olive continues apace. To which we all say yaaaaaay!
Young Emerson Cod was however many years, months and days old and he was... cute as hell. And in trouble. It seems the dapperly-dressed young man could not keep himself out of the principal's office, and while his three-piece suits were impressive indeed, the authorities were less impressed with the repeated wailings he infracted on future frat boy and current lunch money extorter, Guy Baxter. Nor did they love his inappropriate but brilliantly crafted science project featuring "Rings Around Uranus! Scientists Plan Probes!" All this troubs-making confounded his teachers and the specialists they called in to examine him. He was, after all, quite smart and had previously had nothing but respect for rules and regulations. "Young Emerson's mischief was a mystery," Jim Dale says. "Because what troubled him was not parental alienation or sublimated anger. It was a heart." Seems Young Emerson was in love with his beautiful principal, Eleanor Swindle. "That year," JD wisely tells us, "Emerson learned his most important lesson: Love makes you stupid." Ain't it the TRUTH? And, to prove a point, Young Emerson doesn't get one step out of the principal's office before his love forces him to pull the fire alarm to send him right back in. Love is pain, y'all.
Speaking of love and pain, Randy Mann is back on the scene to give it a shot with Olive. He enters the Pie Hole hopeful for both a metaphorical and physical mid-winter's thaw. An awkward but cute conversation with Chuck reveals that he sleeps in the nude, and thus was pleased to find the weather turning warmer. David Arquette is basically precious. When Chuck informs Olive of her gentleman caller, Olive flashes him a smile filled with mixed messages. Speaking of mixed messages, Ned watches the couple talking in a booth and has a momentary blanche of what looks likes the jellz. He says, however, that he's happy. "Olive's been through a tough patch that I may have made tougher," he says, "and by 'may have' I mean 'definitely did.'" He wants this to work out between Olive and Randy, he says, smiling. Plus, what better place is there to nurture a new relationship than the Pie Hole? "Warmth, pie, snuggly booths," he lists. "All the right ingredients." Swinging around her straightened hair that must weigh nine pounds for all the swishing she is having to do, Chuck says that love doesn't need all the right ingredients: "It's heartier than that." At this sweet double meaning, Ned beams, but Chuck insists that she's right. It is heartier, she says. "We're like those blind fish that live in volcanoes at the bottom of the ocean," she says. "Only we're two fish that can't even touch." Ned: "'Cause normally fish are all over each other." Chuck is unabated by his sarcasm. She makes a toast to their love, with coffee, for having grown and survived through a year of rough and complicated seas. "And here's to Randy and Olive," Ned adds. "May they have smooth sailing ahead." Oh, well, let's not get ahead of ourselves, because apparently the sailing has already been un-smooth. "Why is Randy leaving?" Chuck asks, in a panic as Olive sidles back to the pie bar. "Oh, we just decided to call it quits -- too much too soon," she says, casually. "Actually it was just me. Singular. So, more accurately, I would say it was me who decided to call it quit. I'll be in the kitchen, rationalizing my panic attack." Chuck swishes her hair around to face Ned, in her own panic: "Man overboard!"