“Dim Sum Lose Some”
Written by Davey Holmes
Directed by Lawrence Trilling
Ned learned a hard lesson about gambling as a kid, which is why he doesn’t take risks, usually. An old friend of Ned’s father shows up at the Pie Hole trying to track him down. Ned doesn’t like that. Someone from the Dim Sum restaurant below Emerson’s office sends him a distress message in his fortune cookie, and he bumps into Simone Hundin when he goes to find out who left the message. The chef who makes the food Emerson loves so much has been murdered. Emerson, Ned, and Chuck poke around and discover that there’s a secret poker ring at the restaurant. The game is played with food so that it’s harder for them to get caught. Emerson and Simone sleep together in his office. Chuck and Olive track down Ned’s dad’s house, which is currently populated by his twin magician half-brothers. The bun steamer explodes and kills a bus boy, who was actually an undercover insurance agent, checking out the life insurance policy of the dead chef. He gets another fortune cookie note from the chef’s daughter, who wants help. Her father lost all his money gambling and even gambled away her hand in marriage. Chuck and Olive try to convince Ned to meet his brothers. He doesn’t want to. Emerson finds Simone coming out of the Dim Sum poker ring, and he decides he, Ned, Chuck, and Olive need to infiltrate the poker game. Chuck and Olive go in as fake waitresses. They drug the gambling boss’s guards and lock them in the bathroom while Ned dresses up a rich cowboy and Emerson dresses up as a flashy gangster gambler so they can play the game. They realize that the daughter’s fiancé murdered her father for his life insurance (which he gets once they’re married). The gang gets caught and tied up. Simone stumbles onto the showdown, and her dog sniffs out that the killer was cheating to win all along. The engagement is broken, and the daughter is free. Emerson confronts Simone. He’s interested in her, but he wants her to be a little more open with him. She agrees. Ned and Chuck go to visit his brothers. His brothers are thrilled to meet him. However, the man who was looking for his father is still following them, and he is clearly something other than an old friend.
I love the gimmick of using food as cards in poker, and I like the developments with Emerson/Simone and Ned discovering his brothers, but something about this episode fell flat for me. Maybe it’s that it’s been a while since we’ve seen Lily and Vivian, or that Emerson’s storyline had nothing to do with his daughter, or that Olive and Chuck’s storyline was purely in support of Ned’s, but it felt like there was less for everyone to do than usual. Still enjoyable, but not one of the best ones.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Ned prefers to assume the worst rather than discovering the truth, possibly because assumptions hurt less than truth. I think I’ve just figured out another way I can categorize the four main characters. Ned is a pessimist, Emerson is a cynic, Olive is an optimist, and Chuck is a realist (albeit a whimsical one).
It just occurred to me that Emerson actually has a pretty good reason to be a cynic, especially when it comes to relationships. His wife ran away with his daughter! So now he hides behind a wall of snark and irritability, and he tries to avoid romantic entanglements. I’m curious to see how his relationship with Simone plays out, since they’re both Slytherins.
There’s not a lot of characterization stuff for Chuck or Olive, since they were just trying to find Ned’s father. Although I suppose it is interesting that Olive thinks Ned’s dad’s “old friend” Dwight is attractive. If her type is guys who are Ned-shaped, then why is she waving flirtatiously at a shorter, fatter, much older dude? Weird.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.