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Episode 102: Dummy

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Dummy
Air Date October 10, 2007
Written by Peter Ocko
Director Barry Sonnenfeld
Next episode "The Fun in Funeral"

Ned revives a murdered auto safety specialist. The man doesn't know who killed him, but wants Ned to tell a co-worker that he loved her. Ned, Chuck and Emerson follow the lead to a car company about to launch an experimental new model. Chuck and Olive both hope to push through Ned's barriers and get to know him better, but the new car has a dangerous secret of its own...

Synopsis

At the age of nine, Ned was sent to a school for boys after his mother’s death. When his fellow students teased him, Ned reanimated the frogs in science class, sending the boys into a panic and getting his sweet revenge. Ned kept his secret from the teacher, and has been keeping secrets ever since.

Ned and Chuck are sparring over Ned’s past and who else he’s revived, and he avoids mentioning he kept his mother alive which resulted in the death of Chuck's father. Meanwhile, Olive is watching them to see if any touching is going on, and Emerson is relieving stress by knitting. Emerson gets a case and he and Ned head for the morgue with Chuck tagging along. They bring the dead man, a car safety tester Bernard Slaybeck, who was hit by a car. Distracted by Chuck and Slaybeck revealing he was in love with Jeanine in promotions, they almost run out the minute before Slaybeck reveals he was killed by a crash test dummy.

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They discuss the case at the Pie Hole but Emerson is more upset at Chuck's being alive. As Ned and Chuck go to chat and make pies, Olive tries to get info on Chuck from Emerson, but all he says is that Ned cares more for Chuck than he does about her. Ned and Chuck go to Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries where Slaybeck worked, testing a car that runs on dandelions, the Dandy Lion SX. They find Jeanine handing out dandelions but she denies knowing Bernard. The company CEO, Mark Chase, takes everyone on a tour of the crash-test facility and Chuck sneaks away to spot one demolished test dummy among the others, missing a face and its clothes.

Back at the Pie Hole, Emerson figures it might be a lead and they head back to the company, leaving Olive alone with Digby. She takes the opportunity to sing a romantic ballad. She is interrupted by Manuel, who has arrived to wax the floors, but she continues singing anyway, since she assumes the earphones he is wearing will prevent him from hearing her singing.

Chuck and Emerson both manage to get ID badges that will allow them entry into the crash-test facility. They find dead bodies strung up in the lab and revive one of them, Rick Page. Page doesn’t work for Dandy Lion so they move on to the next woman, Beth, who was riding a Ferris Wheel when she died and hasn’t heard of Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries. She does remember signing up to volunteer to test cars, however. Leaving, they spot Jeanine and take her back to the Pie Hole, where she reveals she was being watched and was in love with Bernard. She says that they grew apart as the testing of the Dandy Lion SX approached. She suspected Bernard was seeing another woman and followed him on nightly evening drives. She confronted him but Bernard didn’t reveal anything, but she figured out what happened. Bargaining for Emerson’s pie, Jeanine eventually offers to drive them there, driving the Dandy Lion SX. However, it blows up en route and Jeanine ends up in the hospital. She gives them directions to a pit where test dummies are buried. The dummies have onboard computers and someone buried the dummies to dispose of the computers. However, a man dressed as a test dummy shows up and tasers them all unconscious.

While Olive obsesses about Ned and Chuck, the others wake up and find themselves in plastic bags inside a Dandy Lion SX at the crash-test facility. The dummy unmasks to reveal… Mark Chase. It turns out Bernard had learned the Dandy Lion SX was a deathtrap, then went to Chase. Chase decided to cover it up by disposing of Bernard in an accident as the crash-test facility, putting him in a body bag. He then laid out the dead Bernard at a deer crashing to fake the accident. However, since the trio is in body bags, they can’t hear any of Chase’s explanation.

Realizing they’re about to die, Ned and Chuck share a kiss through their plastic bags. Emerson uses his knitting needle to cut himself free; he then frees the others. Ned drives the Dandy Lion SX out, unaware that it’s a deathtrap. Chase knocks them off the road, ironically in a Hummer, and down the hill to the next road, while the police pull Chase over. The others drive toward the Pie Hole and are about ready to hit 70 mph and explode, but they come across Olive walking Digby and are forced to slow. In a twist, if Olive had not been there, the car would have killed the three.

Chase is unable to escape and is sentenced, while Jeanine recovers from her eating disorder. Emerson braces himself for a lot of stress-relieving knitting, and Ned installs a plastic divider in the front seat of his car so Chuck can ride safely next to him.

Additional Info

Trivia

  • When this episode repeated in December 2007, the exterior of Dandy Lion Worldwide Industries changed. Instead of being a regular building with the "DL" logo on it, the entrance is shown with a large steel sculpture shaped like the spores of a dandelion.
  • In addition, a line for the Narrator was added after Jeanine says, "Well, I figured it out.": "The Flower was no fool. Her information was valuable and the price was pie."

Note

Music

Goofs

  • When Olive is singing "Hopelessly Devoted to You," she puts up a chair on a table for Manuel, but she sits down on the same chair in the end.
  • When Ned, Chuck and Emerson are following Jeanine in Ned's car, Ned keeps looking as if in his rear-view mirror at Chuck as they talk, however no rear-view mirror exists. The mirror returns after the plastic divider so Chuck can sit up front is installed in the car.
  • On the DVD, the parrot that imitates Chuck's Chinese translation of "The Jarlsberg is on the table" has lost his voice. However, if one switches the audio to Portuguese, the parrot's voice has returned.
  • At the Pie Hole, Jeanine asks if anyone would like a mint, then places the tin of mints of the table. An instant later, the tin has been turned around, without anyone touching it.

Cultural References

  • The opening scene with the frogs in the boarding school is an apparent homage to the frog dissection scene in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
  • In Jeanine's memory, when she and Bernard make love in the Dandy Lion SX, a hand appears in a fogged-up window, similar to the love scene in the car in the film Titanic.
  • This episode shares a common premise with the film Back to the Future (an ultra-modern vehicle with atypical doors, that does something unexpected when it reaches a specific, high speed).  The writers seem to signal that this was not coincidental, by scripting several scenes that arguably could have been lifted directly from BttF (the vehicle careening out of control, off road, and also when Mark Chase pounds on the Hummer's steering wheel, while an audible beeping, and blinking display, announce that the vehicle is out of fuel; both of which happen within minutes of each other, in the first few BttF scenes in 1955).
  • When Ned, Chuck, and Emerson are getting away in the Dandy Lion SX, they pass by a movie theater, and on the marquee is Arsenic and Old Lace, the 1944 Cary Grant black comedy.

International

  • This episode caused controversy when British channel ITV1 said that they would not air it because it did not affect continuity.

Cast

Regulars

Guest starring

Co-starring

Gallery

The gallery for "Dummy" can be found here.


Previous episode: Next episode:
"Pie-lette" "The Fun in Funeral"

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