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Pushing Daisies: The Legend of Merle McQuoddy

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 11th 2008 12:08PM
Ned and Chuck(S02E09) "We're so together electrons couldn't get between us." - Chuck to Ned on the roof

Is it all right for me to say right up front that I don't like Charles Charles? Bear in mind, I'm not one of the "I want Ned and Chuck to wind up together" crowd. I'm with Olive; I want Ned to realize that Olive is the girl for him, but I digress.

The point remains that my blood was really boiling as I watched Mr. Charles threatening Ned, warning him to never see Chuck again, and even going after Ned physically -- with a broom! For a dead guy, the swaddled Mr. Charles sure is a pushy S.O.B.

You kind of knew that Ned would forgive Chuck for tricking him and keeping her dead father undead beyond the one-minute time period. The karmic death of Dwight Dixon neatly ended his threat to The Pie Hole team, but in some ways Charles Charles is just as much a problem. I like the fact that Charles isn't a nice guy, that he is, as Emerson Cod points out, not likely to take to the leash. Where this is going is very interesting and, I think, completely unpredictable. That, my friends, makes for a good TV show!

The case of the lighthouse keepers wife was all Pushing Daisies quirky, with dioramas, glitter, a capella singing groups and the like. Delicious stuff, but truly a background pageant when compared to the Ned-Chuck-Charles conundrum.

What the case did have that was fun was the as yet untried partnership of Olive and Emerson. They were terrific together, and the final scene in which Cod offered Olive a cigar and a job in his PI agency was adorable. Also, in the course of the case, Olive 'fessed up that she's still carrying that torch for Ned. We all knew it, of course. Remember last week's musical interlude -- "An Eternal Flame"?

As a writer, I really appreciate the literate quality of Pushing Daisies, the play on words and the attention to detail. You don't get the idea that they just throw in a word or pluck a name out of thin air. It's all constructed, crafted in a very fine way. If we were able to read the Pushing Daisies scripts, I believe, they'd read as brilliantly as they're performed. It's no wonder the Writer's Guild has honored this show.

So, Chuck chooses Ned in the end and Charles Charles takes off. He's not a good dad after all. Now what?

Interesting points of interest:
-- The claymation scene of the desert adventure was fun. It also set up the wanderlust element in Cuck and Charles' relationship...which lead to Chuck having to make a choice, Dad or Ned? The Pie Hole or worldly adventures?

-- Olive's ghost story about the lighthouse, complete with flashlight effects.

-- Who knew there was an Alive Again Lifestyle Handbook? Can I get a copy?

-- Cake vs. pie: is cake really more complex that a pie? I think this is symbolism.

-- Typhoon Tyrone nearly killed Merle, but he was ultimately rescued by a gay family cruise ship. Where was Rosie?

-- Junior lighthouse keeper Elliot McQuoddy (shades of the Gorton's Fisherman?) finding comfort in Olive's cleavage, then Chuck's.

-- Defaced corpse using Morse code to communicate.

Pushing Daisies' Photos

    PUSHING DAISIES Missi Pyle and Peter Cambor in the episode Bzzzzzzzzz! Chuck goes undercover as a Bee Girl at a honey-based cosmetics company after their new spokesmodel (guest star Autumn Reeser) is stung to death. She soon discovers that office politics are killer (literally) between the founder (guest star Missi Pyle as Betty Bee) and the new owner (guest star French Stewart as Woolsey Nicholls). Meanwhile, Ned cant stand her growing independence or the fact that she wants to move out of his apartment. In other developments, Lily spirits Olive off to a nunnery so she won't spill Lily's deep, dark secret. Airs Wednesday, October 1, 2008.

    ABC

    PUSHING DAISIES Anna Friel as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles star in the episode "Circus Circus"- Ned, Chuck and Emerson search for a missing teen (guest star Hayley McFarland as Nikki Heaps) who's run off to the circus . . . a circus where people keep turning up dead. Meanwhile, overcome with guilt, Lily pays Olive a visit at the nunnery. Airs Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

    ABC

    PUSHING DAISIES Chi McBride as Emerson Cod, Lee Pace as Ned and Anna Friel as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles star in the episode "Circus Circus"- Ned, Chuck and Emerson search for a missing teen (guest star Hayley McFarland as Nikki Heaps) who's run off to the circus . . . a circus where people keep turning up dead. Meanwhile, overcome with guilt, Lily pays Olive a visit at the nunnery. Airs Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

    ABC

    PUSHING DAISIES Anna Friel as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles and Lee Pace as Ned star in the episode "Circus Circus"- Ned, Chuck and Emerson search for a missing teen (guest star Hayley McFarland as Nikki Heaps) who's run off to the circus . . . a circus where people keep turning up dead. Meanwhile, overcome with guilt, Lily pays Olive a visit at the nunnery. Airs Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

    ABC

    PUSHING DAISIES Anna Friel as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles and Lee Pace as Ned star in the episode "Circus Circus"- Ned, Chuck and Emerson search for a missing teen (guest star Hayley McFarland as Nikki Heaps) who's run off to the circus . . . a circus where people keep turning up dead. Meanwhile, overcome with guilt, Lily pays Olive a visit at the nunnery. Airs Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

    ABC

    PUSHING DAISIES Lee Pace as Ned star in the episode "Circus Circus"- Ned, Chuck and Emerson search for a missing teen (guest star Hayley McFarland as Nikki Heaps) who's run off to the circus . . . a circus where people keep turning up dead. Meanwhile, overcome with guilt, Lily pays Olive a visit at the nunnery. Airs Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

    ABC

    PUSHING DAISIES Anna Friel as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles star in the episode "Circus Circus"- Ned, Chuck and Emerson search for a missing teen (guest star Hayley McFarland as Nikki Heaps) who's run off to the circus . . . a circus where people keep turning up dead. Meanwhile, overcome with guilt, Lily pays Olive a visit at the nunnery. Airs Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

    ABC

    PUSHING DAISIES Lee Pace as Ned, Anna Friel as Charlotte "Chuck" Charles and Chi McBride as Emerson star in the episode "Circus Circus"- Ned, Chuck and Emerson search for a missing teen (guest star Hayley McFarland as Nikki Heaps) who's run off to the circus . . . a circus where people keep turning up dead. Meanwhile, overcome with guilt, Lily pays Olive a visit at the nunnery. Airs Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

    ABC

    PUSHING DAISIES Chi McBride as Emerson Cod and Lee Pace as Ned star in the episode "Circus Circus"- Ned, Chuck and Emerson search for a missing teen (guest star Hayley McFarland as Nikki Heaps) who's run off to the circus . . . a circus where people keep turning up dead. Meanwhile, overcome with guilt, Lily pays Olive a visit at the nunnery. Airs Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

    ABC

    PUSHING DAISIES Chi McBride as Emerson Cod and Lee Pace as Ned star in the episode "Circus Circus"- Ned, Chuck and Emerson search for a missing teen (guest star Hayley McFarland as Nikki Heaps) who's run off to the circus . . . a circus where people keep turning up dead. Meanwhile, overcome with guilt, Lily pays Olive a visit at the nunnery. Airs Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

    ABC

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Maryon

Help us save tihs awesome show
SAVE PUSHING DAISIES!!!!!
Sing this petition and write letters to ABC to renew the show
Sing this petition and tell all your friends to sing it too
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?daisies

It's the best we can do to save this amazing show, we need a lot of sings

December 12 2008 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vickie katschke

The biggest Pete's Dragon tie-in is that the narrator of Pushing Daisies is well-known Broadway actor Jim Dale ("Barnum"), who was a feautured bad guy in the movie!

December 12 2008 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Haggis

I love the a capella scene for the simple fact that Olive immediately joined in singing, despite the danger of a killer in the room. Absolutely hilarious. And yes, that Olive/Emerson chest bump was hilarious, although for Olive it was more of a "beer belly bump"

December 12 2008 at 11:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lauren

I too caught and appreciated the disney references. It kind of makes me wonder what other movies they've done that with.

December 12 2008 at 4:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Peter

I caught the references to Pete's Dragon almost immediately - after all, it is my favorite movie from my childhood. But the moment Jim Dale mentioned Nora's name, I knew something was up. It was fully confirmed when they started singing Candle on the Water. By the way, how adorable is Kristen Chenoweth? I got her Christmas Album and love it. I can't believe ABC is letting another amazing show go. This is one of their better shows.

December 12 2008 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Blake Smith

The facts are these:

On Wednesday, December 17, Pushing Daisies fans will unite in a protest of a flaky and delicious nature. In order to protest the recent cancellation of ABC's show "Pushing Daisies", fans all over the world will each send a pie to ABC's studios as a petition to reconsider their decision.

Ground Rules:
This is a friendly petition. Make your purpose known, but politely, because pie should NOT have any bad connotations. "Pie is home. People always come home." And be safe!

Try to send to arrive at ABC studio headquarters in Burbank ON the 17th. This is our aim, but we can't control the U.S. Postal Service.

Frozen pies seem to be the best bet. It will be safer NOT to bake your own pie, for the sake of credibility. If you have suggestions as to pie delivery sources, please let us know. The current plan is this: send a FROZEN PIE via mail however is easiest for you. If it is boxed in your own wrapping, it is probably best to have some written indication on the outside as to what it is for. Please do not bake your own pie.

ABC, Inc.
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-4551

December 11 2008 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Richard Lawler

Elliot McQuoddy - I salute you.

December 11 2008 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shel

I'm going to throw in with John Frost here. I was thrilled that this episode was, in its own way, an homage to Pete's Dragon, right down to the names and the music. I'm surprised our reviewer didn't catch it.

When they first showed us the lighthouse and the voiceover, I mentioned to Kevin that the backstory for the lighthouse folks was Pete's Dragon. Then I realized we had an Elliot, a Nora, a McQuoddy, and Candle on the Water - well, the song just really took the cake, so to speak.

Cheers!

December 11 2008 at 4:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Shel's comment
phray

John Frost and Shel totally have this one pegged! Also don't forget that the narrator was Doc Terminus in Pete's Dragon.

This show is great, we need Ned to touch it, so it can come back to life. There are plenty of other shows on that can die to take its place in death.

December 11 2008 at 5:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JT

My favorite thing was that the lighthouse keeper looked like a fried egg! Her hat was the yolk! well, maybe not my favorite thing, but it made me laugh for a long time.

December 11 2008 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Takayo

Why the hell did ABC cancel Pushing Daisies?

I think I'm going to start off every comment on the internet everywhere with that comment!

Anyway, I loved the episode too- the Olive and Emerson team up was hilarious as anything, and how cool was that fight scene between Charles and Ned?! It wasn't all high octane with explosions everywhere or some such, but it still had me at the edge of my seat! All the rhetoric was so great in this episode, loved the conversation between Ned and Emerson in the morgue!

I'm going to miss this show so much...

December 11 2008 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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