Written by Scott Nimerfro
Directed by Tricia Brock
Side-note about the way this show was aired: there was a ten month gap between the end of S1 and the beginning of S2, but this episode was the last one to air in sequence. Loyal fans had to wait another six months for the last three episodes. ABC wasn’t quite as mean to Pushing Daisies as FOX was to Firefly, but they certainly screwed up in a few places.
Charles flees in Ned’s car. Emerson tries to shoo Olive away from the conversation and neither Olive nor Chuck likes that. Chuck thinks Olive has earned the right to know the truth about everything. Ned doesn’t want to risk it and Emerson thinks it’s insane. Then Vivian comes to hire Emerson to find Dwight Dickson. He pretty much kicks her out, trying to convince her that Dwight is just a dog. So she hires Emerson’s rival detective agency, a team of Norwegians who came to the US after their homeland provided too few murders for them to solve. Chuck convinces Olive to try to talk Vivian down. In the course of that conversation, Olive realizes that she and Vivian are both being shut out from their loved ones’ lives and trust. She tells Vivian to go right on and investigate Dwight’s disappearance, then marches off to confront her friends. The Norwegians find the note from Lily at Dwight’s hotel room, and Vivian confronts Lily about it. She’s adamant in defense of Dwight, but Lily shows her Charles’s pocketwatch. Meanwhile, Ned and Chuck are still trying to figure out where Charles went. Chuck is sure he’s nearby. Also, instead of confronting her friends, Olive joined the Norwegians, who have an exhumation order on Charles and Chuck. Emerson learns this by eavesdropping, but they can’t do anything to stop the exhumation. Both coffins are empty, and Chuck thinks her dad must’ve moved Dwight’s body to protect them. Emerson distracts the Norwegians while Ned and Olive (who is actually a double-agent) steal their mobile forensics lab. Olive plays twenty questions for answers about Chuck, her dad, and Dwight and then they drive over a cliff. Ned and Olive are hanging from the cliff by a wobbly branch and Ned admits that maybe one time he looked at her the same way he looked at Chuck. Then they get pulled up by a mysterious rescuer. Vivian comes to apologize to Emerson, who tells her the coffins are empty. She thinks Dwight did that. The popular theory is that it was Charles who rescued Ned and Olive. The Norwegians know Olive was involved in the destruction of their mobile lab, but she pretends to still be on her side and gives them false leads. The Norwegians get a memo that Dwight’s credit card was just used at the hotel, but the only thing they find there is his dead body holding an empty cup. They think he burned the bodies he dug up and then died of natural causes. Lily and Vivian are devastated by what allegedly happened to the bodies. Ned starts making pies with alive fruit. He doesn’t want to use his power anymore. However, it turns out that it was Ned’s dad who rescued him and Olive, not Chuck’s.
I’m not a huge fan of the Norwegians, and we STILL aren’t going anywhere with Emerson’s missing daughter plotline, but there’s lots of stuff with the aunts, and I really like the way we get a lot of ensemble stuff with Ned, Chuck, Emerson, and Olive. Even though they don’t all work together the whole time, the group dynamic is the primary concern of this story. Have they pushed Olive too far away with their secrets? Has Emerson been taking too much advantage of Ned? Can they still work together after dragging Emerson into covering up the death of Dwight Dickson for them? They come out on top after all these issues, and it’s great. But they freaking need to tell Olive the truth already. Also, the Dwight Dickson storyline got wrapped up pretty well, especially because there’s still some mystery left.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Olive’s Hufflepuff loyalty gets put to the test, and she passes! I still want the team to tell her the truth about everything. She’s been keeping secrets for them for ages, and she just proved that she’ll still stay loyal to them even when they continue to shut her out, so why can’t they trust her with the rest? She has freaking earned it!
Vivian is a Hufflepuff too! And she’s had fleeting bursts of assertiveness before, but mostly she’s polite and unobtrusive. Now she’s determined to stand up for herself by way of standing up for Dwight Dickson when no one else will. I think that might be a key factor in getting Hufflepuffs to grow a spine. Put someone they care about in danger and have them be the only ones who can do something about it. In the past, the person Vivian would stand up for (and to) has been Lily, because she hated seeing how much staying shut up in their house was ruining any chance of happiness for Lily, even more than she hated it for her own sake. Another very Hufflepuff thing about Lily is her determination to believe the best in people and how very much it hurts her to realize that there’s evil in the world.
Wow, Emerson is being incredibly mature by assuming guilt for everything. Not that I agree with him. But he has never shown any signs before now of feeling bad about the fact that his greed roped Ned into this crime-solving arrangement, which has definitely put Ned’s life in danger multiple times. So it’s nice that he’s not blaming someone else.
Ned’s habit of making pies with rotten fruit that he touches alive again has always seemed like some kind of self-flagellation to me. He loves pie but can never eat it. (Also, side note, I just realized that it isn’t very consistent for the fruit Ned touches to suddenly turn gorgeously ripe again, but for the dead bodies he touches to still look very murdered and/or decomposed. What’s up with that?) Still, I had always thought of that as one of his quirks, not a neurosis he needed to work through. But maybe it was.
Like Olive and Vivian, Chuck wants to believe the best in people, particularly the ones she cares about. I imagine once she learns it was Ned’s dad who saved him and Olive, she’ll be just as excited as she was when she thought it was her dad. She wants Ned to have good relationships with his family, and his dad coming out of nowhere to save his life can only be a good sign, right?
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.