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Pushing Daisies: "Comfort Food"

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So, do you think if enough of us got together, put on our little pie-shaped hats, and stormed the ABC offices bearing lemon icebox pie and belting out old Bangles hits that the network might be convinced to let Kristen Chenoweth continue to do… something… anything in prime time, even once Daisies is done? I do believe I could watch that little sprite give the weather report and be absolutely delighted, but tonight she was far and away the most stupendous part of this particularly stupendous episode.

There were a couple of gasp-worthy moments in terms of the major plotlines tonight, but let's get this out of the way first: The murder mystery was lacking. Cute, yes, and a brilliant display of costuming, set design, and makeup–chicken-fried face will haunt my dreams tonight–but not nearly as twisty as usual. The two characters who basically screamed "I did it!" from their first appearance on screen–the duplicitous muffin fiend and the overly enthusiastic, scooter-bound bake-off organizer–did, in fact, do it, "it" being oven sabotage and murderous revenge via deep-fat-bath, respectively. Neither had a particularly interesting or complex motive or plot, but provided just enough whodunit juju to keep Ned and Olive busy while Chuck was busy sending everything straight to hell.


As for that: Hearing Chuck utter "Hi daddy," I couldn't decide which would be more appalling, that she was keeping his dead-again body around for funsies–proving once and for all that she is totally insane, and not just in the cute way–or that she knowingly sacrificed someone else's life so she could stroll down memory lane with his rotting, reanimated corpse. Of course, it turns out she made the right decision in helping dead old dad avoid Ned's fatal touch, as her sneakiness was the only thing keeping her from being murdered a second time, this time by the lurking Dwight. That put a nice, unexpected bow on that little dilemma–though Vivian's distress is heartbreaking, and might prove to be a problem for Lily–but doesn't change the fact that oh-my-God-Chuck-you're-insane.

And that's a good thing! I've long considered Chuck to be the weak link on this show–which is totally relative, being that she's actually quite enjoyable, just not AS enjoyable as the rest–but this season has really added some interesting new layers to both her personality and her relationship with Ned. Last season it was too much about the cutesy mannerisms and sad eyes–the flakey crust, if you will. But now the girl's got some hearty filling, what with all the grave robbing and sneaking around behind Ned's back.


Of course, Chuck being Chuck, she immediately feels remorseful and goes to Emerson to help her tidy up her mess, which he agrees to do even though it was just "friend help" and not "pay help." I have to admit, gullible fool that I am, as the two of them discussed the possible victims of Chuck's little stunt that might have been in the cemetery at the time, I literally gasped, "Not Lily!" And of course, it wasn't Lily, but she was there too, once again wielding an incredibly large shotgun, aiming to do to Dwight on purpose exactly what Ned and Chuck did to him by accident. So the fates aligned, and now Dwight is seemingly out of the picture, buried under six feet of dirt and the buttload of dignity Emerson sprinkled on top.

But really, who cares, because OLIVE SANG AGAIN! And it was lovely and heartbreaking and perfect, as Olive usually is. Even though the Ned-Chuck pairing has grown on me more over time–their plastic-wrap snuggling apparatus was both adorable and practical–I can't help but root for poor underdog Olive. Especially when she's trash-talking the muffin lady, hate-baking, and, my personal favorite, creating a distraction. ("My eyes are bleeding!") Can we get Raul Esparza back up in here to give the woman a little romantic relief? And maybe a duet?


Grade: A

Stray observations:

— Before you Wonderfalls fans explode, yes, that was the crossover you've been waiting for, with Beth Grant reprising her role as Marianne Marie Beetle from an episode of the dearly departed show. (Entitled "Muffin Buffalo," of course.) I still haven't seen the show, so I can't say how wonderful or perfect it was, but I assume it was very wonderful and very perfect.


— Lily should always be wearing knee-high boots and holding a gun. It just looks right, like she's a sassy pirate or something.

— In the Pushing Daisies universe, every restaurant proprietor must provide a cute theme and matching costumes. My favorite: Rest In Pizza.


— Hey, the Waffle Nazi is Jimmy Barrett!

— "Here lies Dwight, here lies his gun. He was a bad man, and now he's done."

— Anyone want to bet how quickly Ned will forgive Chuck for deceiving him and hiding her dad in his abandoned old house? I'm gonna go with three minutes, give or take a moony-eyed glance and adorable quip.


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