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Oh Oh Oh...It's Magic
Air Date November 19, 2008
Written by Katherine Lingenfelter
Director Adam Kane
Next episode "Robbing Hood"


Famed magician The Great Herrmann suspects that someone might be planning to kill him. He hires Emerson Cod to come to the Conjurer's Castle to track down the killer. Meanwhile, Ned makes a discovery of his own at the Castle.

Synopsis

The Past

Before discovering his ability to bring back the dead, Young Ned watched his father perform sleight of hand. After his mother died, his father disappeared and never returned, causing Ned to stop believing in magic. Later he found his father performing magic for his new sons.

The Present

Maurice and Ralston are performing at the Conjurer's Castle and arrive at the Pie Hole to give everyone tickets for their show. Ned is uncomfortable with any mention of the word "magic" and takes a lozenge for acid reflux. Emerson isn't fooled or impressed by their tricks. The brothers explain they're performing after the Great Herrmann, who has become a father figure to them. Everyone agrees to go except Ned, but Chuck convinces him to go anyway. At the show, Ned is still uncomfortable and taking lozenges for his acid reflux. As they watch the opening act, a Geek who eats glass and regurgitates animals, Chuck admits that if she could talk to her real mother, Lily, she'd have lots of questions.

Earlier Chuck crank called Lily pretending to be various salespeople and tried to get her to admit she was a mother. None of them worked.

The Great Herrmann comes out and hugs Ned, hoping Maurice and Ralston will be distracted by Ned since they're so needy. He tells Emerson not to heckle him and brings him up as a volunteer to check out his chains and handcuffs as he does an escape act, Cementia!, to escape a box filled with quick-hardening cement. However, Herrmann emerges from underneath Emerson's table and asks him to investigate the deaths of his assistants, before revealing himself to the audience.

After the show Herrmann discloses backstage that his animal assistants have been murdered. Emerson doesn't want to lower himself to doing animal murder investigations… until Herrmann pays him a lot of money. Ned asks Herrmann how he knows Ralston and Maurice, and he explains how he covered when Ned's father ditched them at his Sunday matinee performance. He admits he didn't have any choice but to look after them since they kept coming by to learn magic tricks.

Lily and Vivian are at home when Dwight Dixon arrives at their door. He served with Charles Charles and Ned's father as UN peacekeepers in Egypt. He rambles on for a while until Lily cuts him short. He asks about a common brass pocket watch that belonged to Chuck's father, like the one Dwight has. Lily says they don't know about a pocket watch. When Vivian goes to get his coat, Dwight tells Lily that he knows how she betrayed Vivian by having a child with Charles. Vivian returns and secretly slips Dwight a note asking him to meet with her later at the Pie Hole.

Herrmann gives his second performance of the night while the team investigates the dead animals. Going over the clues, they realize that someone was trying to kill Herrmann. They hear a scream and run out to find that Herrmann failed to escape from Cementia and was suffocated in the cement. His scarf is still sticking out of the cement and Ralston rips it in half trying to yank it out. The authorities rule it an accident but Maurice and Ralston don't believe it. Ned, remembering how Herrmann called him "son" in passing, braces himself and promises his half-brothers that he will bring Herrmann's killer to justice. He talks to Herrmann's assistant Alexandria, who says she doesn't know how Herrmann escaped. She hated the animals but stayed with Herrmann for the promise that she'd get her own act. They point out she's the only one who shared the stage with Herrmann, but she notes there was one other person: the Geek. They talk to him and he explains he used to be a plant in Herrmann's act, and has been with him for years. At the time of Herrmann's death he was pickpocketing items from the audience to be regurgitated later during his act. As Chuck leans over to listen to the items he hasn't regurgitated, her necklace sticks to his chest: he apparently swallowed a magnet.

Olive has returned to the Pie Hole to feed Digby and Pigby, when Vivian comes in with Dwight. Dwight tells Vivian the story of the pocket watches and how the last surviving member of the squad was to drop all their watches in the desert. Dwight admits he was in prison for 22 years. Olive secretly listens in as Vivian admits that they know about the watch and buried it with Charlotte.

The trio goes to the morgue and the Coroner breaks open the cement block. However, there's nothing in the block but an note from Herrmann, saying he escaped. Ned gives the news to Maurice and Ralston and tries to explain that he had a good reason for explaining. They don't believe him and ask if Ned knows anything about why their father left. The facts are that nine years ago, Ned's father took his sons to see Herrmann's act, was called up as a volunteer for a disappearing trick, never to be seen again. Herrmann tried to comfort the boys and told him their dad had important business; they believed him until now.

Ned breaks down and explains that their father was simply someone ditching his kids and didn't have something important to do. They bond over their bodily functions giving out when they think of their father. Ned notices that Ralston is holding half of Herrmann's scarf, but the other half wasn't in the block at the morgue. They go to the Pie Hole and Ned explains that someone switched cement blocks: the one at the morgue is from Herrmann's earlier performance. They figure the cement block must still be in the theater. Returning, they use metal detectors to try and locate the shackles in the block. Ned, Emerson, and Chuck find the block under the floor beneath the stage, and then hear the cement mixer working above. Olive, Maurice, and Ralston arrive and see a shadow on the curtain. They give chase and Emerson and Olive go after them. Olive spots the Geek, dead with a spike in his nose. They find Alexandria and Emerson accuses her of murder, but she explains that she's just packing to leave.

Ned and Chuck chisel the block open and Ned brings Herrmann back to life. Herrmann explains to Ned how the escape works: he uses a magnet in his shoe to open a trap door in the bottom of the box. However, someone stole the magnet and he wasn't able to escape. For his last words, he tells them to give Maurice and Ralston his magic book. Ned explains to Emerson and the others how the murderer killed Herrmann, and Chuck remembers her necklace sticking to the magnet in the Geek's stomach. Olive is with the corpse… but is unaware that it's getting up and approaching her with the spike. He takes her as a hostage and goes to the stage.

The facts are that the Geek saw Herrmann as a father, but Herrmann considered him as a novelty act with no future. The Geek swallowed the magnets in Herrmann's shoe and switched the cement blocks. The Geek says that Herrmann abandoned him, and Ned sympathizes, but says that being angry didn't help. He still wanted his father back. Ned manages to distract the Geek long enough for Olive to break free, and Ralston and Maurice to pull a lever and send him down a trap door into the floor where he lands next to the corpse of the Great Herrmann.

The Geek goes to jail and Maurice and Ralston collect the book. However, they offer a photocopy to Alexandria so she con become the Great Alexandria. Ned is more comfortable with the memories of his father, happy to talk to the family he has, and sets up a private magic show for Chuck. He takes her to her aunts' home and asks if she wants to talk to her mom. Olive is inside with Lily alone and suggests she role-play and say what she would say to Chuck if she were alive. Lily addresses her comments to Olive as Chuck listens in via the bee bug. Chuck sends her questions to Olive via a hidden earpiece and Olive asks them of Lily.

Across town, Dwight Dixon is digging up the grave of Charlotte Charles and finds that the coffin is empty.

Additional Info

Cultural References

  • The title refers to the famous refrain from the song "Magic", which was first released in 1974 by Scottish band, Pilot. In fact, this song was also used in one of the promos on ABC for Pushing Daisies' second season.

Cast

Regulars

Special Guest Star

Guest starring

Co-Starring



Previous episode: Next episode:
"Dim Sum, Lose Some" "Robbing Hood"

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