“Today is my daddy’s birthday. You know he would have been sixty today if he were still alive?”
– Chuck

Ned still hasn’t told Chuck about accidentally killing her father. The secret is weighing on his shoulders, but that’s all about to change.

“Oh see, this is how it all ends. Some weird guy comes in, says stuff that don’t make no sense, and by the time your head realizes, ‘Hey, this weird guy don’t make no sense!’ your guts are all over the window.”
– Emerson

Dilly and Billy Balsam have opened a sweets shop across the street from The Pie Hole – or should I say Pie Ho? – and they’re attracting a lot of business. At first, it seems like they’re just friendly neighbours, but Dilly quickly reveals their more sinister motives: they want to run The Pie Hole out of business so that they can snap up its prime real estate for their burgeoning confectionery empire. So, they arrange for an inspector to shut down Ned’s business over health code violations.

“I don’t retaliate; I’m not a retaliator. You let your emotions get away from you and everything falls apart.”
– Ned

Olive and Chuck want revenge on the Balsams for their underhanded tactics, but Ned refuses to participate. He sees retaliation as a rash action, and Ned doesn’t like acting rashly. He worries that if he retaliates, then things will spin out of control. Ned likes to keep everything within his grasp. So much of his childhood was out of his control that he overcompensates as an adult, rarely taking risks. Moreover, Ned’s powers make rash action even more consequential. He carries with him the guilt of having inadvertently killed Chuck’s dad, and if he acts rashly again, then someone else might die. Sometimes, he’ll get lucky, and a horrible person like Lawrence Schatz will lose his life. But other times, fortune might not favour him, and someone close to him might have to bite the dust.

Given this history, it makes sense that Ned wouldn’t want to reveal his secret to Chuck. Doing so would cause his interpersonal relationships to spiral out of control. Having Chuck in his life is his new normal, and he’s loath to do anything that would disturb this equilibrium.

“Chuck… I killed your dad.”
– Ned

Unfortunately, Ned sometimes finds himself in the throes of passion and makes rash decisions on the spur of the moment. He never premeditates to do something stupid; these are always split-second choices, like his decision to keep Chuck alive in the pilot episode. Ned demonstrates this kind of emotional action early in this episode: when reanimated murder victim Tony hits on Chuck, Ned brings him back to death with a touch. It makes sense, then, that Ned’s confession to Chuck comes in a moment of weakness, when he has his guard down. Ned didn’t plan on it, but now things might be about to spiral out of control

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