Young Lily Charles watched as her mother gave birth to Vivian, who had a hole in her heart. As the sisters grew up, Vivian mimicked everything that her sister Lily did. As a result, they became expert synchronized swimmers and soon came to fame as the Darling Mermaids. However, the act ended when Lily lost her eye and had an affair with Vivian’s fiance, Charles Charles. She joined a nunnery to disguise her pregnancy, left soon after the birth of her daughter Charlotte, and stayed at home, depressed and dragging her sister and daughter/niece into depression with her.
Lily and Vivian hold their semi-annual birthday celebration for their daughter/niece Chuck, unaware that’s she not dead any more. Lily is reading a newspaper and Vivian notices an advertisement for the Aquacade. She suggests they go and see it, cheering themselves up, and Lily agrees.
At the Pie Hole, Ned and Emerson celebrate Chuck’s half-year birthday. Ned admits he can never find the perfect gift, so he ends up not getting anyone anything. Olive arrives with an armful of the Charles sisters’ fur coats and says that they’re going to the Aquacade that night and want to look their best, so she’s airing out their coats. Ned decides taking Chuck to the Aquacade would be the perfect give and buys tickets for the two of them and Olive and Emerson.
That night, everyone attends the Aquacade. Ned and company hide so the Charles sisters don’t see them. Unfortunately, the Darling Mermaids’ old rivals, the Aquadolls, are the Aquacade’s headlining act. The sisters, Blanche and Coral Remora, make catty remarks about the Charles sisters and introduce their manager and Blanche’s husband Shane Trickle. Vivian wants to go, feeling stressed, but Lily insists that they stay on behalf of the memory of Chuck.
Before the Aquacade begins, Chuck watches her aunts and decides to cheer them up by booing the Aquadolls. The announcer, Jimmy Neptune, opens the show and the Aquadolls perform their red-white-and-blue patriotic act. However, the performance comes to an abrupt end when Bubba the Shark, part of a shark-riding act, enters the tank and eats Blanche.
The next day, Vivian is writing a sympathy note to Coral but Lily tells her not to bother. Jimmy Neptune visits them and asks that they make a comeback and join the Aquacade as the new headliner act. Vivian wants to but Lily initially refuses until Vivian convinces her they need to perform again.
Emerson gets a visit from Galveston Gus, shark-rider extraordinaire and Bubba’s owner. Gus is being sued for negligence and insists that the lock to Bubba’s tank was secured and he had the only remote control to open it.
Emerson, Ned, and Chuck go to the morgue and they interrogate the dead Blanche. Blanche is more concerned about her hair, commenting that Coral thought it was going gray. Chuck notices the white streaks and Ned realizes it’s pig lard. They figure that someone tampered with Blanche’s hair gel to make her Bubba’s target. Blanche accuses Vivian and Lily of trying to kill her and Chuck defends her aunts and then has Ned re-kill Blanche before she can talk back.
Back at the Pie Hole, the trio discusses the case with Olive and figure it had to be an inside job. Chuck is forced to hide when Lily and Vivian come in, doing everything in sync as warm-up for their return to the synchronized swimming circuit. They’ve come to get their old costumes back from Olive, but Chuck writes a note to Emerson suggesting they use the sisters’ act to infiltrate the Aquacade. Emerson offers to help the sisters and Chuck asks Ned to do whatever he can while she has to stay behind.
At the Aquacade, Olive, Ned, and Emerson go in with Lily and Vivian. Emerson has Olive check out the Ramoras’ dressing room, he’ll check out Shane Trickle, and Ned as the sisters’ manager will stick near Jimmy Neptune. Jimmy tells the cast and crew that the famous Darling Mermaids will be joining the show as the headline act. Shane objects, noting that Carol has a signed contract, but Jimmy says they need a performing duo and Coral is now one short.
Olive goes into the dressing rooms and finds Sid Tango, professional single-synchronized swimmer, rehearsing his act. As they do splits together, Sid complains that he was supposed to eventually be the Aquacade headliner but now Jimmy is giving the Darling Mermaids the position. He says he’s not bitter, but Olive isn’t convinced. She does notice a jar of hair gel on Coral’s table and takes it with her. She checks it and reports to Emerson that it’s lard-free, confirming that Blanche was deliberately targeted. As they talk, Sid comes out to rehearse and they notice that every time he touches his belt, the door to the shark cage opens and closes. Emerson and Olive confront him and rip open his belt to reveal a remote control. They figure that’s the proof they need to convict Sid of murder.
However, Sid calls Olive and Emerson to prison and asks them to clear his name: he insists that he’s innocent and needs the PI to clear his good name. He figures Coral killed her sister.
At the Aquacade, Coral and Shane demand satisfaction from Jimmy, but he insists that the Darling Mermaids are the new headline act. He explains to Ned that he wants to bring in a daredevil motorcycle act to bring in the crowds. Ned gives Jimmy the Charles sisters’ contract demands and Jimmy readily gives in to all of them. He only has one condition: the Aquacade is going on a European tour and the Darling Mermaids have to go with it. Ned tells the sisters, and Vivian is reluctant. However, Lily surprisingly speaks up and says they should go. She insists that it’s finally time to put their own happiness first. Ned assures them that Chuck, if she were still alive, would want them to go. However, they’re interrupted when Coral sinks into the tank behind them. Shane rescues her and Coral admits she tried to do Jimmy’s daredevil motorcycle act so she could be on the show. Emerson notices that Shane is clutching Coral’s breasts and accuses him of having an affair with his wife’s sister. Lily, disgusted at herself and anyone else who would cheat on their sister, condemns her. Coral admits she did have an affair but she didn’t kill Blanche. Vivian, assuming Coral is grief-stricken, invites her to join the Darling Mermaids and make it a trio. Emerson figures she’s telling the truth. However, by process of elimination that leaves Shane as the leading suspect… and he escapes on the motorcycle.
Back at his apartment, Ned tells Chuck what happened and how Lily and Vivian are going to Europe. He figures Chuck would be pleased but she isn’t: she’s always tried to be there for her relatives, but now she can’t. Without Vivian and Lily there to look after, Chuck wonders if there’s any reason for her to stay.
That night, Olive tries to comfort a nervous Lily, unaware that Lily is upset because she’s forced to confront another woman who cheated on her sister. Worse, Olive notices that Coral is wearing an Aquadolls costume beneath her Darling Mermaids costume and realizes she plans to sabotage the act and spotlight herself. Lily has Olive leave and then tells Coral to get out. Coral responds by saying she remembers when they were in a dressing room together 30 years and Lily had the costumer let out her costume. Lily disappeared for nine months shortly thereafter and Coral figures she was pregnant. Lily tells her again to get out but Olive warns that she’ll be sorry. Vivian comes in and agrees with kicking Coral out. She thinks it should just be the two of them but Lily isn’t so sure she can go on. Vivian tells her that she has to, and that she has to do it for herself, not for Vivian and not for Chuck.
Before the show starts, Emerson spots someone up in the sound booth. He goes up and discovers it’s Chuck, disguised as a maintenance worker. Worse, Ned is also there, hiding in the shadows. Chuck planned to sabotage her aunts’ act by stealing their music CD, so they wouldn’t go to Europe and leave her behind. Ned lies and claims he was just there to protect the aunts, but Olive reveals he stole the CD first. Emerson is disappointed, pointing out that the two of them usually do the right thing but now they’re both doing the wrong thing.
As they leave the sound booth, the Charles sisters’ act begins. It goes swimmingly and everyone applauds… even Chuck, who is happy to see Lily and Vivian happy. However, Shane, dressed as a lobster, knocks out Jimmy Neptune and takes his microphone. He plans to throw it into the water and electrocute the sisters, restoring Coral to her former glory. Shane throws the microphone but Ned manages to catch it with a cleaning pole. Chuck captures Shane with a lifesaver and the Darling Mermaids receive a standing ovation.
Later, Ned gives Chuck a new perfect gift: a picture of herself as a child with her aunts. Ned took it when he was a child, and explains that he’s been lying to her. He’s insisted she can’t tell her aunts what happened because it would endanger his secret. Now he wants her to be truly happy.
At the Charles home, Lily is beginning to feel happy for the first time in ages. However, she comes downstairs to discover that Coral has told Vivian about the pregnancy. Coral leaves and Vivian admits that she always suspected Lily cheated on her but couldn’t bring herself to believe it. She’s called a cab and the doorbell rings. Lily says that she’s suffered enough, having spent half her life standing by Vivian rather than let Vivian know. Vivian tells her to leave and they go to the door… and find Chuck and Ned there.
Brought back together by Chuck’s return, Lily and Vivian go on two world tours together.
Emerson is reunited with his daughter Penny.
Olive and Randy Mann get together and open a macaroni-and-cheese restaurant, the Intrepid Cow.
And Chuck and Ned live happily ever after. Share this article with your friends