“The Legend of Merle McQuoddy”
Written by Chad Gomez Creasey and Dara Resnik Creasey
Directed by Lawrence Trilling
Ned is very disturbed and betrayed by what Chuck did. (Also, oops, I guess they did bury Dwight in Charles’s empty grave, so I’m retracting that criticism.) But he understands why she did it and stops being angry at her almost immediately, once they talk. Then they see the silhouette of a dead person inside the beam of a lighthouse. The victim is Mrs. McQuoddy, whose husband had been stranded at sea for nearly a decade before making it back home. His kid comes to hire Emerson to acquit his father of his mother’s murder. Ned still has some adjusting to do with Charles being alive, such as that he likes cake over pie and apparently Chuck used to too. Charles insists that Ned never see Chuck again because he could accidentally kill her. He’ll only follow Ned’s alive-again rules if Ned agrees to this. Emerson and Olive do most of the casework while Ned and Chuck deal with Charles. They are not cool with his offer. Charles is not above making Ned feel like a jerk for accidentally causing his death as a kid. Emerson and Olive meet with a lady in charge of this widows diorama society. She tells them there was a major rift between Eliot (the son) and the murdered mother over how much time he was spending with his father. Emerson thinks Eliot is scamming them so he and his dad can flee with a lot of money. Also, Emerson doesn’t like rain because his wife ditched him in the rain. Chuck enjoys the animosity between her dad and Ned because this is an experience she never had growing up with no dad. Charles isn’t keen on following all of Ned’s rules if Ned won’t stay away from Chuck. They end up fighting (without touching). Emerson and Olive search some sea caves for Merle and Eliot McQuoddy, and succeed in finding the former. He denies that he and his son killed his wife. He ran off to the caves because his wife had an affair during his ten years missing, but he didn’t kill her. Chuck finds the aftermath of the fight and Charles makes it look very bad for Ned. Git. It leads to a big argument between them. She wants everything to be fine but he’s convinced it can’t be. Charles wants to go on an adventure with Chuck. Emerson thinks he’s found the killer: Merle’s brother, who can turn the lighthouse into a theme park if he gets him and his wife and son out of the way. They find him dangling Eliot off the lighthouse, but he’s actually trying to save him. They get the misunderstanding straightened out and find a harpoon pointed at them. But that’s just a prop for a singing quartet. Turns out the killer is the lady in charge of the diorama society because they were having an affair with the same man and she was jealous. Olive tricks the killer into backing down by pretending to identify with her unrequited love. She ends up in jail and father and son go on their adventure. Emerson officially acknowledges Olive as a junior P.I. in training. He also offers her a cigar and a permanent job if she ever can’t handle Ned/Chuck anymore. Aww. Chuck chooses Ned over Charles. Who then leaves town for his own adventure without telling her.
We’re back to minimal involvement of the aunts, which is unfortunate, but even though Olive and Emerson’s plotlines aren’t going where I hoped they would yet, they have started up a different arc: being P.I. partners, and that was a very pleasant surprise. Charles Charles, on the other hand, is not as interesting an addition to the show as I was hoping. He’s belligerent and he’s at a really irritating place on the spectrum between passive-aggressive and overt-aggressive. I deeply sympathized with Ned over how difficult he was, but Chuck’s rose-colored glasses made slightly less sense given how obviously not awesome he was being. She should’ve been the one standing up for her relationship with Ned, but she kind of just left Ned to flounder. Also, I found the murder of the week to be less interesting than the last few, even if the stuff with Emerson and Olive was great.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Ned and Chuck dealing with her dad is fascinating. Chuck can push Ned out of his comfort zone because she’s usually pretty fun about it and he trusts her. Charles tries to shove him out of his comfort zone, but more importantly tries to shove him away from Chuck. Chuck loves her dad, so she wants to find their mutual animosity charming and fun, like any regular dad disliking his daughter’s boyfriend, but Charles is being very unfair. I’m kind of disappointed that they were able to get over Chuck tricking Ned into accidentally causing another death. They spent most of last episode with Chuck freaking out about it, but now Ned gets past it in like two minutes? I know he got over the death of the funeral director quickly because he was “a very bad man who stole dead people’s stuff and sold it on the internet,” but it was entirely his decision to let someone die then. This time, he was tricked, and Chuck hid it from him for a while.
Okay, I’m ready for the focus to go back to Emerson and his daughter and I’m still not happy about Olive’s relapse into unrequited love territory, but I do seriously love their budding friendship/detective partnership. Visually, it’s hilarious, because he’s over a foot taller than her. Also, I feel like the combination of personalities most likely to get crap done is Slytherin plus Hufflepuff, because you have someone with a drive to succeed and another who is willing to do all the hard work to get there. Which is what happened here. Olive was the one eager to pursue all the leads and reveled in the process of detective work, while Emerson mostly just wanted to reach the finish line.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.