Well, that dangling sword has finally dropped. Pushing Daisies will not return after this season's 13th episode. It feels like we've been discussing the likelihood of this show's longevity since the first episode. And while it's no less infuriating that Daisies gets the ax while something like Private Practice continues farting right along, in a weird way it's nice to have the closure. Now we fans can appreciate the brilliance of these final episodes in a vacuum, without worrying if the eccentricity that we love so much will prove too alienating to potential audiences. We know now, it did. So screw them, let's enjoy it while it lasts!
Pushing Daisies has been on a roll since Stephen Root's character was introduced. Root's awesomeness aside, his involvement has ratcheted up both the suspense and the aunts' involvement, something that the first half of the season was lacking. While the weekly mysteries are generally engaging in their own way, they tended to overshadow the series' major story arcs in the first few episodes. Since Dwight came on the scene though, there's been a sudden sense of urgency and a looming danger for both Chuck and Ned, who stand to find themselves in a very sticky situation should he figure out where exactly that golden watch got up and walked off to.
And that's exactly what happened tonight, when Dwight–who's been courting Vivian, much to Lily's scowling displeasure at her "daring sashays into romance"–made the connection between the pigtailed face on the prayer card for Chuck's funeral and the perky waitress he'd met at the Pie Hole. After leaving the prayer card as a "message" for Chuck at the restaurant, then nearly telling Lily about it during a spectacularly tense confrontation–not to mention the armory Lily discovers in his hotel room–I don't think there's any doubt that Dwight's motives are not exactly aligned with those of the gang, but Chuck seems to think the best course of action is reanimating her father's corpse for a little recon. Ned, as always, balks, but his mounting fear of discovery–which no amount of stress-baking can alleviate–eventually overcomes his desire to protect Chuck from the trauma of speaking with skele-daddy. (Seriously, won't he just be a heap of bones at this point?) Which leads us to our second graveyard cliffhanger in as many weeks.
I thought tonight's thematic connection–charity–between the mystery and the ongoing Dwight saga was a little tenuous–Ned stands to lose just as much if Dwight discovers Chuck's secret, so his consenting to her request isn't that much of a sacrifice, really. But that theme did tie to a neat little mystery concerning a wealthy old curmudgeon, his blinged-out, philandering ditz of a wife, and the modern-day Robin Hood who leads to both of their downfalls–not to mention the Waylon Smithers-esque lawyer who sics Emerson on those seeking to destroy the legacy of his beloved client/friend/object of affection. Not only did this lead to the excellent scene of Ned trying to successfully navigate the departed's "trophy room" without reanimating anything, it also brought the aunts in again, as part of a sting operation. I think we got more Vivian and Lily goodness tonight than we have all season, and it's certainly welcome–particularly Lily, who seems to get more hilariously salty with each scene. ("I don't trust him farther than I can spit. And I can spit.") I could be wrong, but I think the sting marked the first time when all six principles have been together (well, Chuck was at the other end of her tin-can-and-string eavesdropping device, but still), and it really underscored what a fabulous ensemble cast this is, not a single weak link. If only every episode could balance them as well as this one did.
— First, apologies for the lateness of this post, I had holiday-related obligations that kept me away from the TV until this morning.
— Chuck and Olive were both rocking some amazing coats this episode, which makes me think I need to upgrade my gray peacoat.
— Mmm, champagne-juice-drinks
— Olive + Pigby + accent = GOLD.
— Ned's continuing ignorance of what exactly a key party entails was adorable, as was his reaction to Chuck's eavesdropping device: "That's VERY crafty!"
Those of you still in the denial stage of mourning should head over to savedaisies.com, which has a petition and contact info for ABC that will allow you to voice your displeasure.
— Tonight's pie: Too early in the day for pie this time, but I assume there will be much pumpkin pie to be had at some point today. Happy Thanksgiving y'all!