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Episode 205: Dim Sum Lose Some

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Dim Sum Lose Some
Air Date October 29, 2008
Written by Davey Holmes
Director Lawrence Trilling
Next episode "Oh Oh Oh...It's Magic"
Dim Sum, Lose Some (1)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (2)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (3)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (4)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (5)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (6)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (7)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (8)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (9)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (10)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (11)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (12)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (13)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (14)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (15)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (16)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (17)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (18)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (19)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (20)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (21)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (22)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (23)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (24)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (25)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (26)
Dim Sum, Lose Some (27)

The wife of a murdered chef, Bao Ting, hires Emerson to investigate the death of her husband. Meanwhile, Simone and Bubblegum pop back into Emerson's life.

Synopsis

The Past

Young Ned stayed at the Longborough School for Boys over long weekends with the few other children who had nowhere else to go. One of the students, Ingmar, had a roulette wheel and Ned and the other kids gambled. As Ned bet his chocolates, he found a note saying the chocolates were a gift from his mother. He tried to take them back, but instead he lost them to Ingmar.

The Present

Chuck is working on a new pie recipe when Olive comes in to point out a new customer that she finds attractive. Ned mentions that earlier the man told him that the pies are "just as good as your mother's". Ned goes out to ask the man about the comment. The stranger asks about Ned's father and then introduces himself as Dwight Dixon, who knew Ned's father. Dwight is trying to find Ned's father, and Ned informs Dwight he lost contact with his father 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, Emerson is in his office eating takeout from the dim sum restaurant downstairs when he finds a fortune cookie with a message asking him for help. Emerson goes downstairs and finds dog obedience expert Simone Hundin and Bubblegum leaving the restaurant. She claims not to know anything about the cookie warning and he still finds himself strangely compelled to obey her commands. He does spot a weeping woman, Lae Di Ting, the wife of the chef Bao. She didn't send the message to Emerson, but decides to hire him to investigate her husband's recent death. As it turns out, Bao and Lai Di immigrated to the States, where Bao became an expert at steaming buns. One night Bao was too frightened to sleep, telling Lai Di his problem was "pressure." He later died when his bun steamer blew up and drove a pipe through his head.

Emerson, Chuck, and Ned go to the morgue and Ned revives the cook. Chuck speaks Chinese but Bao panics and apologizes for losing a bet at the dim sum restaurant. Bao tries to run out the door without success due to the pipe.

After Ned re-kills Bao, Emerson goes to talk to his daughter Mei. Rubbie Wu, her fiancé, is the manager of the restaurant. Emerson asks about her father's gambling habit but Mei claims Bao was too busy and Rubbie says they don't have any gambling at the restaurant. Emerson lets Chuck and Ned know what's going on, and leaves to track down some leads. Olive reports that Dwight returned again and Chuck thinks that Ned should help him. Ned finally relents and gives Chuck his father's address, for her to give to Dwight. As it turns out, Ned has had the address for 20 years, ever since he learned that his father had moved on to start a new family without him.

Bao's old friend Hua Jiang comes to the Pie Hole and informs them he overheard Emerson at the restaurant. He explains that there has been gambling at the restaurant since Prohibition, and it has been going on ever since. The trio goes to the restaurant and hides behind a curtain to spy on Simone, who is at a table with several other people. The team concludes that the meal is actually an elaborate game of poker using food for cards.

Emerson calls Simone to his office to question her about the gambling. She explains how the game works and offers a review of the other gamblers and how likely they were to have killed Bao. She admits any of them could have killed him. Emerson asks her if she could have done it, but she has an iron-clad alibi. As she leaves, Emerson insists he isn't intimidated but warns the more he likes someone, the worse it ends up. She kisses him and he responds against his better judgment.

Chuck and Olive visit Ned's father and find twins Maurice and Ralston rehearsing a magic trick. They're the teenage sons of Ned's father from his second family, and they explain that their father abandoned them, too. Chuck and Olive quickly exit while wondering what Ned would think of discovering he has two half-brothers.

After Simone leaves, Emerson goes over photos of the restaurant and spots a busboy in every photo, wearing an expensive watch. Emerson gets Ned and Chuck to meet him at the restaurant, where they watch the busboy, who watches them. Chuck tells Ned she went to his father's house and Ned is less than thrilled. The busboy makes a run for it and they follow him to the kitchen. Emerson spots a curtain but only finds the steamer for Bao's steamed buns behind it. It starts to rattle and explodes, firing a pipe through a shelf of jars and impaling the hiding busboy. Ned brings him back to life and Emerson notices a crimp in the pipe showing that someone sabotaged the steamer. The busboy, Perry Long, reveals he was an undercover insurance investigator, investigating a life insurance policy Bao bought just before he died. Bao's daughter, Mei, is the beneficiary.

Emerson confronts Mei but she refuses to talk to them and doesn't believe Bao left her any money. The gambler in charge of the table, Shrimpboy, warns them off. A waiter gives Emerson an order of takeout, which contains a fortune cookie with a message asking for a meeting. Emerson goes to the meeting and discovers it is with Mei, who set up Emerson to meet her mother so she would hire the detective. Mei couldn't hire Emerson because Shrimpboy is watching her. She reveals that Bao lost heavily trying to make money to start a restaurant. Shrimpboy extended him credit in return for his promise to have Mei marry Rubbie Wu, Shrimpboy's socially-inept cousin, if he lost the next hand.

Emerson figures Shrimpboy killed Bao and they need to talk to him after getting around his bodyguards. Chuck suggests getting Simone to help them, but Emerson dismisses the suggestion, leading Ned and Chuck to conclude that he and Simone got together. Emerson says they agreed to let things cool down. After Emerson leaves, Olive comes over and apologizes along with Chuck for going to Ned's father's house without telling him. Chuck insists he needs to seek out his family but Ned says that Olive and Chuck are his family now. Ned doesn't want to reach out to his half-brothers in case it makes his father happy.

Emerson tracks Shrimpboy but spots Simone coming out of the restaurant. As it turns out, only one of them agreed to cool off the relationship. As he hides from Simone, he gets an idea… and sends Chuck and Olive into the restaurant undercover as waitresses. They slip diuretic herbs into the tea for Shrimpboy's bodyguards, forcing them to run to the bathroom. Olive locks them in the bathroom while Emerson and Ned arrive in disguise to enter the game. Ned and Emerson bring up Bao's bet and Shrimpboy says that Bao tried to win back his daughter, but he had nothing to bet. They realize that Bao bet with Rubbie using his life insurance, and Rubbie killed Bao to collect it once he married Mei. Shrimpboy wants to see their "cards" and Emerson reveals the winning hand. However, Rubbie has realized what's going on and takes everyone prisoner.

Rubbie prepares to depart with Mei on an early honeymoon. As it turns out, Rubbie had Bao take out a life insurance policy to bet against Rubbie, who then won. Rubbie then sabotaged the steamer to kill Bao so he could collect the money immediately. Mei realizes that her father risked his life for her, and Ned reconsiders his own father. Simone arrives and tells him never to see her again. Shrimpboy and his men take her prisoner but Bubblegum paws at Rubbie's pocket. They realize that he was cheating at poker by slipping in extra food. Rubbie tries to escape but Shrimpboy realizes his cousin has been cheating him for years. Shrimpboy lets them go because the game was rigged. Rubbie goes to prison, Mei collects the insurance, and Emerson gets paid. Emerson sees Simone outside and insists on talking to her, noting he was reluctant to be open with her given how she keeps her feelings close. He offers an exchange of vulnerability and Simone agrees to give it another chance.

Ned goes to see his half-brothers and takes Chuck along. He admits he doesn't know what his family is really like and he's been going on assumptions all these years. Ned finally rings the doorbell and introduces himself to Maurice and Ralston. They hug… unaware that Dwight Dixon is watching them with a gun at hand.

Additional Info

Notes

  • Though credited, Swoosie Kurtz and Ellen Greene do not appear in this episode. Additionally, neither Orbit nor Fiona (Digby and Pigby) appear for the first time this season.
  • The iTunes version of this episode is missing Act Two.

Cultural References

  • The title is a play on the phrase "Win some, lose some", and refers to a regional Chinese style of dining called "dim sum". Cantonese for "to touch the heart", "dim sum" is not a specific dish but a type of restaurant that constantly circulates a wide variety of appetizer-sized dishes. Common dim sum dishes include steamed pork buns (cha siu bao), steamed buns stuffed with other meat (gai bao), shrimp dumplings (shu mai or har gao, depending on how they're made), short ribs, potstickers, bowls of congee, sesame rice balls with lotus root paste (jin dui), and similar. More Westernized establishments will also serve things like tiny custard tarts, boba tea, and little servings of almond jell-o.

Cast

Regulars

Guest starring

Co-starring



Previous episode: Next episode:
"Frescorts" "Oh Oh Oh...It's Magic"

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