"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pushing Daisies: Comfort Food

On this episode of Pushing Daisies, Chuck stirs up all kinds of trouble in the graveyard, doing the one thing that Ned probably wishes she wouldn't. But Ned doesn't know about it till the very end, because he spends most of the time baking pies and fighting crime with Olive at the annual comfort food cook-off, complete with silly hats. This episode has intrigue, romance, jealousy, and singing.

So, Charles Charles is alive and well-ish, about as well as you can be if you've been buried underground for 20 years. Chuck had her 30 seconds with her dad all planned out, but when push comes to shove, she can't let him go again and devises a devious plan on the spot: If Charles wears a glove, Ned's touch won't work, and he can just play dead until Chuck comes back to dig him out. Great, except: 1) Now there's a dead man who actually looks dead wandering around because of Ned's powers, 2) Someone else had to die to keep Charles alive, and 3) Ned doesn't know about any of this.

Point No. 2 ends up not being such a big deal, though, because the victim of the "alive-againing" is Dwight Dixon, who was waiting in the graveyard to shoot Chuck. He could have killed the whole gang had his surprise not lasted 61 seconds, so to see him go down isn't exactly a shame — but he does give voice to Chuck's guilty conscience, saying that even if she did the right thing, she should have told Ned by now. Add that to Lily once again turning up dangerously close to Chuck's whereabouts, and that was definitely the plot holding my attention for most of the night.

With all of that going on, it was a bit hard to focus on Ned and Olive's plot at the comfort food cookoff — though it was fun to watch the two of them try to solve a case alone. Ned manages to wake up the victim without Olive finding out about his powers, follows clues to nab the murderer, and even wins a blue ribbon at the end, thanks to Olive's plan B of stashing a pie in the fridge. Through it all, Olive's realizing just what a big crush she still has on Ned, so when he reaches for her hand at the end, it's bittersweet — and it's enough to drive Olive back to the Pie Hole kitchen to sing a little "Eternal Flame" while Ned breaks her heart (again) by leaving her with cleanup duties while he searches for Chuck.

Some other thoughts:

The best part of the comfort food cookoff: the crazy costumes! Ned and Olive's pie hats were great, but my favorite was the ice cream cones. Close second may be the Waffle Nazi: "I do not speak a word of German. I speak English with a German accent. Pageantry!"

The Pie Hole's blue ribbon is nearly Olive-sized.

Did anyone else get confused when Dwight started talking to Chuck? In a show with so many dead people talking, it might be nice if the ones who were staying dead could stay quiet too!

Ha, Emerson: "'Less alive'? Nice euphemism, killer."

So, Ned's discovered the still-living Charles Charles, who's set up in the house across from the aunts. How much longer will Chuck's alive-ness remain a secret? And can we get a love interest for Olive so she pines for Ned less (and maybe sings more)?

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