Bad Habits
Air Date October 15, 2008
Written by Gretchen J. Berg &
Aaron Harberts
Director Peter O'Fallon
Next episode "Frescorts"
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Olive's younger days are explored. Additionally, another ghost case haunts the nunnery and she calls on none other than The Pie Maker and Emerson to solve it.


The Past

Young Olive Snook asked her parents for an Arabian stallion and they turned her down. She decided to dig to Arabia but came across a Triceratops fossil that caught the attention of a Saudi royal who traded a stallion for it.

The Present

Olive and Pigby are hunting for truffles at the nunnery under the supervision of Sister Larue. Larue shows Olive how pigs find truffles by scent, then leaves to polish the bells in the bell tower.

Ned and Digby bring breakfast to Chuck in her new apartment and find her talking to a Mr. Cyrus Pennybaker. She reveals she found a family tree she made in third grade which she couldn't finish because her aunts didn't know enough about her father's side of the family. Chuck has decided to don a disguise and meet with Pennybaker, a genealogist.

Olive is praying to God and asking for a sign if she should leave the nunnery, when Sister Larue falls out of the bell tower and lands right in front of her. The Mother Superior and Father Eduardo Dedonde declare that it was suicide but Olive doesn't believe it. She goes to hire Emerson Cod, who finds the fact that she's a nun endlessly amusing. Olive offers to pay in prayer. Emerson agrees, surprisingly, and she explains that Emerson needs to find a way in without acknowledging he knows Olive. She also insists that Ned and Chuck don't come along.

Emerson brings Ned and Chuck anyway, because he needs Ned's skills. They meet in the bell tower, disguised as two priests and a nun, and Emerson notes the place is covered in bat crap. Olive introduces them to the Mother Superior and Father Ed. The Mother Superior admits that the truffle harvest hasn't been what it used to be and that may have upset Sister Larue. Olive offers to assist but the Mother Superior gives her a penance list and directs Ned and Emerson to Sister Larue's body. Ned is more interested in discussing Chuck's sudden interest in digging up the past and Emerson tells him to get out of the way and let her. Ned finally brings back Sister Larue, who wants to know where her white light is. She notes that her diamonds are missing and wants to know where the person who shoved her off the bell tower is. She runs away and Ned is forced to grab her and render her dead again before she can explain anything else.

Chuck goes over the nunnery records and discovers that Sister Larue was formerly a fungi specialist from a long line of longshoremen. She assures Ned that Mr. Pennybaker should be finishing her family tree as they speak. Chuck then admits that she went through Olive's files but didn't discover the reason she joined the nunnery. Ned discovers a hidden door and they hide as the Mother Superior comes out of it. Meanwhile, Emerson tells Olive that Sister Larue was murdered and Olive is less than thrilled to hear that sin has followed her to the nunnery. Emerson discovers a hidden chamber in Sister Larue's room containing forbidden goods. Sister Maria Christina comes in and admits she did chores for Sister Larue in return for the forbidden goods.

Everyone compares notes and Emerson figures the Mother Superior found out about Larue's hidden stash and killed her, making it look like suicide. Chuck distracts the Mother Superior while Emerson and Ned investigate the hidden room and find the truffle cellar. It turns out the Mother Superior was bricking up a section of the cellar. Breaking through, they find a secret passage leading out. Chuck is checking the visitors log and discovers that Sister Larue had no visitors in ten years. She discusses her family and her lack of a mother with the Mother Superior, and then goes to call Pennybaker.

Emerson and Ned follow the secret passage to a nearby restaurant kitchen. The cook, Hansel Von Getz, ties them up and demands to know what happened to Larue. Ned reveals that Sister Larue is dead. As it turns out, von Getz came to America and opened a restaurant next to the nunnery. Sister Larue stumbled across the secret passage, and they made an arrangement: he provided her with illicit goods and she supplied him with truffles. They fell in love, but Larue missed their anniversary supper. Von Getz knew something was wrong when he found the passageway blocked up. Von Getz unties them and serves them a meal, and then shows them the rare Italian white truffle she gave him. Emerson finds a note from Larue breaking off their relationship. Von Getz says the truffle is nicknamed the "Diamond of the Table" and Ned and Emerson realize what diamonds Larue was looking for.

They take the note back to Olive and Emerson figures that von Getz killed Larue. However, Olive notes that Italian white truffles only grow in Italy. Other then that, she thinks their theory is correct. Ned suspects something is up and goes to confront Olive. She tells him she hasn't put the feelings she has for him behind her, and she went to the nunnery to get over him. She lets it slip that she's hiding a secret about Chuck and warns him to stop digging. Ned warns that Chuck won't stop digging when he tells her Olive has a secret, and offers to guess what it is. She shows him a picture of nuns from 29 years ago and points out a pregnant one. Olive mimes out hints to Ned's questions and he eventually figures out that Lily Charles is the nun and had a baby 29 years ago: Chuck. However, as they leave, Olive sees the penance list with the Mother Superior's handwriting on it that matches the note Larue left for von Getz breaking off their relationship.

Ned visits Chuck, who has discovered that Pennybaker has found out nothing about her. She notes that some of the nuns believe Sister Larue's ghost haunts the bell tower, and wonders if they've interrupted the natural transition. Chuck laments that she is stuck between life and death, totally alone. She wonders if she wants to go on and Ned asks if she wants him to touch her. Father Ed comes in to ask for his help.

Emerson and Olive confront the Mother Superior about the fact she gave von Getz the fake break-up note. The Mother Superior admits she composed the note, but tells them that she has discovered Emerson and Ned aren't real priests. Emerson and Olive turn to run, only to find the nuns have closed in on them.

Father Ed wants Ned to hear his confession, but Ned can't, and Father Ed offers to hear Ned's confession. They switch places and Ned tells him he's a disappointment to his friends because he doesn't like messy. He talks about how his father abandoned him. Father Ed tells him to change his life so he isn't abandoning people. The father then demands to know who he really is and locks him up with Emerson. The Mother Superior sends Father Ed to calm down Olive, who is locked in the laundry room, while she tries to find Chuck. Olive explains to Father Ed that she hired the trio to investigate Larue's death, and believes that Mother Superior is guilty. However, she spots Father Ed's dirty clothing, covered in bat guano from the bell tower, and realizes he's the killer. She knocks him out and runs for help. Emerson and Ned break out through the window when they hear Olive scream for help.

Chuck goes up to the bell tower to commune with Sister Larue's ghost. However, she discovers the bells are stainless steel and don't need polishing. She also spots Sister Larue's footprint on a bucket and pulls on a higher bell rope which opens a secret truffle laboratory. Chuck hears Olive screaming below and looks down to see Father Ed chasing Olive around the yard. Turning, Chuck sees the real killer and falls back through the window.

Father Ed tries to explain that he wanted to help Sister Larue. Emerson disarms him while Ned spots Chuck hanging from the top of the bell tower. Olive goes to the top of the bell tower and grabs Chuck's hands, apologizing for rejecting her. Chuck tells her that Pigby killed Sister Larue: the pig went after the truffles and accidentally knocked her out the window. Olive has Pigby pull her and Chuck back over the ledge into the tower. However, the chiming bell knocks Olive out the window. As she falls, she prays that everyone would be happy. However, Ned manages to get a wagon of straw beneath her just in time to break her fall.

As it turned out, Sister Larue was hired by a food company to develop white truffles, but she failed and her funding was pulled. She joined the nunnery to experiment with their truffles, then exploited von Getz to finance her laboratory. She was unaware the Mother Superior had followed her and discovered her affair with the chef. The Mother Superior bricked up the passage, leaving behind the fake break-up note, and sent Father Ed to talk to Larue. Father Ed ordered Larue to leave when he realized she was conducting illicit truffle experiments. Pigby pushed Larue to her death, and Father Ed assumed his condemnation caused Larue to commit suicide.

As they prepare to leave, Olive explains that the Mother Superior plans to continue Larue's work. The sisters want Olive to be the head of truffle operations and Ned assures her that she'll be great, because she is great. He apologizes for not treating her well, and tells her he knows how it feels to be abandoned. Olive thanks him and says she needs a ride home. Ned tells her he plans to tell Chuck about her mother, and asks Olive to trust him. She says she does, and admits she'll miss the place but will be taking a souvenir with her: Pigby.

Later, Ned and Chuck chat on the roof and he tells her who her mother is. Chuck cries with happiness and Ned is inspired, realizing he has some digging of his own to do. He then gives her her family tree back so she can fill it in.

Additional Info


  • Although credited, Field Cate, Ellen Greene, and Swoosie Kurtz do not appear in this episode.
  • Young Olive's house is the same house used for Lorelai's house in the show Gillmore Girls.
  • When originally aired, there was no preview for the upcoming week's episode during the credits. Instead, an advertisement for another ABC show, Life on Mars, was put in its place.

Cultural References

  • As priests, Emerson uses the moniker "Father Dowling", a reference to The Father Dowling Mysteries, Ned uses the name "Father Mulcahey", the name of a character from M*A*S*H, and as a nun, Chuck uses the name "Sister Christian", a 1983 song by Night Ranger.
  • Emerson asks Olive, "What got thee to a nunnery?" This is a paraphrase from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet.
  • In the fifth Hitchcock reference of the show, the bell tower is an exact reproduction of the bell tower in Vertigo.
  • Emerson makes a reference to "Leatherface", the cannibalistic serial killer in the 1974 thriller The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.



Guest starring


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"Circus, Circus" "Frescorts"

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