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

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pushing Daisies: The Legend of Merle McQuoddy

On this episode of Pushing Daisies, Charles Charles is still alive and well-ish thanks to Ned's powers and Chuck's reckless decisions — but let's just say gratitude isn't exactly the first emotion he's showing. Meanwhile, Shane Botwin turns up as the son of a lighthouse operator who's been fried to death on her own spotlight. It may have been one of my favorite Daisies episodes of all time.

Chuck thinks that watching Ned and Charles fight is kind of cute — like she's any other girl whose boyfriend and dad don't get along. She says they can pretend to be the teenagers they never were, the star quarterback and the head cheerleader deep in puppy love, fighting against a dad who's protective and overbearing. But Ned? Ned's not so interested in going toe-to-toe with Charles Charles. Looming over their whole relationship is one uncomfortable little fact: Ned killed Charles (albeit inadvertently). And Charles doesn't seem at all interested in forgiving Ned's adolescent mistakes, dropping little reminders into every interaction (like putting "the last 20 years of my life back" on the grocery list).

This could be bad for Ned, very bad: Word could get out about what he does, and he figures it's not a big leap from there to angry mobs with pitchforks. But Charles has no interest whatsoever in obeying Ned's guide to the "alive-again lifestyle" (which involves things like announcing when you're moving around and, you know, not driving around in public with mummy bandages on your face — or, worse in the case of Charles, without mummy bandages on your face). He can't believe Chuck would choose such a small and restricted life and instead asks her to run away with him, to "choose cake over pie" and go on grand adventures like he promised her as a child. Ultimately, Chuck chooses Ned, but when they head upstairs for the apology they believe is coming from Charles, there's just an ominous note on his empty chair: "I chose, too."

Meanwhile, Olive and Emerson take on the lighthouse case together, which is quirky even by Daisies standards, involving a singing barbershop quartet of raincoat-clad sailors, a castaway rescued by a gay family cruise, and a murderer whose idea of a good time is making dioramas of her dead "notable husband" with glitter everywhere. Frankly, I didn't even bother to follow all its twists and turns — I was just in it for the spectacle. And, ultimately, there's a sweet ending: Olive cracks the case (!) by admitting her still-burning love for Ned, and Emerson tells her that if the Pie Hole ever gets too unpleasant as her crush cavorts with someone else, he has a PI job waiting for her.
Some other thoughts:

Olive's coordinated crime-fighting raincoats are genius! Olives for Olive, cod for Emerson, pies for Ned.

"Sometimes I just think to myself: Life. You can't make this crap up." — Annabelle

Also, "Such a depressing word, diorama." And "'Tis better to have loved and lost than to be you."

And "Shut the a-capel up." What a great episode for one-liners.

So many adorable Ned/Chuck plastic wrap kisses in this episode! I think my favorite, though, is the giant bear hug with the tarp after Ned tells Chuck he understands why she kept Charles alive.

I love Ned's aghast reaction to Charles saying he's not one for chocolate: "Everyone at least tolerates it!"

Will Charles Charles spill Ned's secrets? Are Chuck and Ned (especially Chuck) being too naive in believing that somehow, maybe they'll all be a big, happy family? And why am I not at all surprised that Lily hates clowns?

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