|Air Date||November 26, 2008|
|Written by||Jim Danger Gray|
|Next episode||"Comfort Food"|
A lawyer for the late Gustav Hoffer suspects his client's death was not part of a robbery gone wrong as was reported, but rather murder. He hires Emerson Cod and Ned to find out who realy killed Hoffer and why.
At the Longborough School for Boys, young Ned wasn't exactly surrounded by friends. He befriended equally outcast Eugene Mulchandani, whose two friends are a pet python, Bilbo, and Akbar the bite-sized bunny. One day, an unfortunate marble ricochet mid-game broke both aquariums and the two pets met in a most unfortunate manner. Tragically, Bilbo the snake choked on Akbar, killing them both. Ned took both to "bury" them and revived them instead, sacrificing other critters and believing his act of charity was justified.
Present Day, Ned stress bakes. He worries about Dwight dating Vivian, which means he's going to recognize a picture of Chuck and remember having met her - not dead. They decide to learn more about Dwight.
Olive visits Vivian, bringing her pie, but she already has her sweet for the day -- Dwight is there.
Emerson is visited by a Daniel Hill, a lawyer who gives him a ton of cash and wants justice for a dead client. Gustav Hoffer was his one client. He was in love with him, but Gustav was married. Gustav was robbed the night he died. He was loaded because of a yarn baller invention. He was killed by a falling chandelier, shot down over him.
The Pie Holers visit dead Gustav in the morgue, still hanging from the chandelier. He immediately gets down to business, accepting he's dead and giving directions on where to find his real will, in the trophy room. "Make sure that no-good, gold-digging wife of mine doesn't get one dime." He says the "bellman" killed him.
Off to the mansion. His young, dumb, blonde wife Elise greets them, inviting them to "pop a squat." The bellman, James-Andrew, is on his way. She invites them to the wake, where anybody who's anybody will be celebrating Gustav's death.
Ned creeps into the trophy room -- it's not trophies like awards but trophies like dead animals, a veritable minefield for a guy who can bring things back to life with a brush. He tiptoes his way to the largest trophy, as directed, and tries to figure out how to move a taxidermied polar bear without getting mauled.
James-Andrew corrects that he's a porter, not a bellman. A loud, polar bear-like roar rattles through the house from upstairs. "Y'all sure got a big ass dog," Emerson comments.
Ned reaches the safe behind the dead-again bear. It's empty, but inside is written: "Orbis pro vox."
Later, Emerson and Chuck explain to Ned that James-Andrews' alibi was that he was at a "key party." Chuck is charmed that Ned doesn't know the term, and Emerson defines it as a kind of raffle, "of the porno variety."
Emerson explains that according to the news there's a robber on the loose who leaves a cryptic Latin phrase at his crime scenes.
At the Pie Hole, they're coming up with nothing on Dwight. Ned suggests they just give Dwight the pocket watch belonging to Charles Charles that he's after. Or, instead, they could wake her dad, Chuck says, and ask about Dwight. Ned says no, he doesn't want her to have to watch him die all over again.
Emerson comes in with news on the robber. He always makes a donation to charity after he robs someone. And Emerson knows where to find "a bellman with a charity streak."
They head to the Bellmen's charity headquarters, where dozens of men are dressed in green elf-like suits and are ringing bells, Salvation Army-style. The leader exhorts them to "Ring for right" - or "orbis pro vox." The Holers hear a telemarketer, Tam Phong, haranguing a person on the phone and go to talk to him. He runs, but they check his phone list. It turns out he called all of the houses that were later robbed.
In the park, Dwight serenades Vivian with a clarinet. He's running a con, but also starting to like her a little. Dwight fishes for info on the watch and Chuck's death. Vivian says a busybody peeled back Chuck's eyelids when she was dead, just to check. Vivian takes out a copy of Chuck's obituary, which she carries with her to remind her to start living. Dwight recognizes Chuck's picture.
The Holers tell the lawyer, Daniel Hill, about the Bellmen organization and the angry bellman whose numbers they took, Tam Phong. Hill is surprised to learn there's another will and hopes it'll cut out the wife. He'll double their fee if they find it.
They conceive a sting. But no robber would hit Ned's apartment, so Chuck suggests her aunts' house. Using it would also allow her to find her secret cigar box of letters from her dad that's hidden in her bedroom and find out if Dwight's telling the truth.
Olive as "Mrs. Carville," dolled up in sequins, furs and jewels, drops by the Bellmen organization to lob threats at Tam Phong, telling him to stop calling. She leaves her number so he can remove her from the list, and mentions she'll be out of town that night. The trap is set.
Ned and Chuck sneak into her aunts' house where she's delighted to find they turned her room into a cheese locker, with Stilton wafting in the air. Chuck shows off her tin-can-on-a-string eavesdropping device so she can listen to the action downstairs and then finds her cigar box.
Downstairs, Ned lays out the plan to Vivian and Lily. Lily says there's not a chance in "Tinkerbell's tiny butt cheeks" that she'll go along with it. Quickly, Lily and Vivian are bickering about Vivian's romantic forays. Lily doesn't want Vivian to get hurt.
Ned dims the lights and puts out the candles, making the house appear empty. Chuck tires of listening to the arguing and starts going through her dad's things. A shadow appears in the window behind her.
It's the robber, but it's not Tam Phong, it's the charity's leader, Rob Wright. Chuck threatens to scream, but instead says his noble crusade of stealing from the wealthy has a hole in it when you count murder. Rob says that first, he stole Tam's phone list but otherwise Tam's not involved, and second, that Gustav asked to be robbed. The facts were these: Gustav was writing a new will and was questioning if his wife really cared about him, or just liked his money. Rob agreed to live up to his name so Gustav could see if his wife would stick by him. Gustav would keep half and Rob would give the other half to charity. But Elise, shotgun in hand, caught him and Rob ran. As he finishes his tale, in the dark, Rob and Chuck share a plate of cheese. He's trying to get enough money to save the dog shelter. Chuck commits her own act of charity and lets him go.
Ned thinks Chuck did the wrong thing. She suggests they look at Gustav's bellman again.
Emerson, Chuck and Ned go on a stakeout. Chuck thinks maybe Dwight finding out she's still alive wouldn't be that bad. Ned says it's a deep dark touchy subject for him. He's had a recurring dream since childhood about being found out. Chuck is touched that he's putting her own emotional health ahead of her fears by refusing to reanimate her dad, even if if means Dwight might expose them. Through his binoculars, Emerson spies Elise and the bellman going at it.
Dwight breaks into Chuck's apartment and steals the pocketwatch. He finds Olive alone at the Pie Hole. After totally creeping her out, Dwight leaves a message for her friends: Charlotte's obituary with a picture of her on it.
Olive stress-eats all of Ned's stress-baked pies, fretting over Dwight.
Dwight shows up at the aunts' house to see Vivian. Lily tries to warn Dwight off, but he brings up Charlotte. In response, Lily grabs her shotgun. The mention of Charlotte makes her sentimental and she goes to visit Charlotte's grave. She sees the recently dug up dirt and wonders if Dwight is responsible.
Emerson, Chuck and Ned confront Elise and the bellman. They still say they didn't kill Gustav. The bellman reiterates the key party alibi, and Chuck points out that Elise's alibi didn't check out. Elise asks them who they thought got the bellman's key. "Oh," realizes Ned, "I was still really wrong about what I thought that was." She denies, also, that she saw the robber or aimed a gun at him, citing her manicure and the fact she's "too blinged out" to pull the trigger. Emerson thinks Rob Wright did them wrong.
Back to the Bellmen's headquarters, where Rob accosts them with a knife. He says Gustav was the victim of a tragic accident, but produces the second will. And then he seems to think he gets to leave, cutting a rope which lowers the giant bell but lifts him up-up and away - at least until Emerson pulls out his gun, takes aim and shoots the rope in two. Rob drops to the floor like a sack of potatoes. There's a crunch.
Gustav had agreed to have Rob rob him, but Daniel Hill found out about the affair and confronted Elise and the bellman. Gustav heard everything, including the way his lawyer defended him. He rewrote his will to give it all to Daniel and, already knowing who his real friends were, he refused to play along when Rob arrived. Gustav turned the gun on him, they struggled, it went off and down came the chandelier.
Emerson gives the will to Daniel, who gets it all.
Lily sneaks into Dwight's hotel room to find proof for Vivian that he's no good. She finds automatic weapons laid out everywhere. Lily sees the two pocket watches and grabs them, but Dwight returns. Lily hides on the ledge outside, and Dwight, seeing the missing watches, thinks that Chuck has taken them. He picks up one of the guns and leaves. Meanwhile, Olive breaks the bad news that Dwight knows the truth to Chuck and Ned.
Ned has no choice, he has to unearth Charles Charles to get a leg up on Dwight. He worries how Chuck will feel when it's over. They're ready. They open the coffin lid.
- Originally, there was a subplot involving Gustav's servants having fake accents, but this was cut.
- The title is a play on the name of a legendary outlaw of English folklore, Robin Hood, who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, and was immortalized in many incarnations, including books, films, television shows, and music.
- The show references itself when Rob Wright states, much like The Narrator "the facts were these..." when recounting his own version of events.
- Lee Pace: Ned
- Anna Friel: Charlotte "Chuck" Charles
- Chi McBride: Emerson Cod
- Jim Dale: The Narrator
- Field Cate: Young Ned
- Ellen Greene: Vivian Charles
- Swoosie Kurtz: Lily Charles
- Kristin Chenoweth: Olive Snook
- Shelley Berman: Gustav Hoffer
- Danny Comden: Rob Wright
- Jennifer Elise Cox: Elise Hoffer
- Ethan Phillips: Daniel Hill
- Jamison Yang: Tam Phong
- Stephen Root: Dwight Dixon
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