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'Pushing Daisies' returns, in a not un-heavenly way

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Pushing Daisies, the screwball comedy that comes in candy-fruit colors, returned for the first of its final three episodes. All was right with its world: there were two murders to be solved, but also a new complexity between the show’s essential romantic triangle of pie-maker Ned, his love Charlotte “Chuck” Charles, and Olive, the Pie Hole restaurant waitress. Plus extensive study of the double-negative as a clue to the true meaning of love. Is this not a recipe for bliss?

Personally, any time a major subplot involves Kristin Chenoweth’s Olive, the happier I am with Daisies, and last night’s was Chenowonderful. We saw a glimpse of Olive’s childhood (unloved, neglected) and met two men who were once accused of kidnapping her. They were played, to my delight, by George Segal and Richard Benjamin (two stalwarts of 1970s cinema and television — look them up on YouTube in Johnny Carson-era Tonight Show videos, and in films such as Blume in Love and Goodbye, Columbus). Both men played these two shady characters (not really kidnappers but petty thieves) as slapstick bumblers.

The plot paired Chuck with detective Emerson Cod to solve a double homicide, with a side order of alliteration. (Chuck called herself the Alive-Again Avenger, and they investigated crimes at Dick Dicker’s department store.)

Meanwhile, back at the Pie Hole, Olive was being courted by David Arquette’s Randy Mann. Olive, of course, spent much of her time mooning over eternally-unattainable Ned, parsing his every remark for signs of affection. (That’s where her study of the double-negative in grammar came in.) When Ned kissed Olive, we got a brief, lovely musical number, with Olive/Chenoweth trilling the Lionel Richie hit “Hello,” a song I thought I never wanted to hear again until that moment.

By the end, the murders were solved (bravo to you, Sex and the City guest-star Willie Garson), and Ned shocked himself by admitting to feeling jealous of the budding romance between Olive and that Randy man, if you catch my drift.

All this, plus Pearway To Heaven pie. Can it all possibly end in a mere two episodes?

Did you watch Pushing Daisies? What were your favorite moments?