Ned, Chuck, Olive, and Emerson investigate a dog breeder's murder, and Emerson finds a possible romantic interest; meanwhile, Chuck tells Olive the half truth about her and Ned

By Leah Greenblatt
Updated November 15, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
Chi McBride, Pushing Daisies
Credit: Ron Tom

”Pushing Daisies” recap: Spreading the love

After the rude interruption last week by the CMA Awards, our favorite rom-com flower returned with an episode aptly titled ”Bitches.” But more on that later. As always, the show, like Rodney Dangerfield, went back to school. The extra little dose of magical realism in young Ned’s attempt to return from boarding-school sadness to his happy home of yore was a cute touch, but I honestly racked my brain to ID a reference to those ”hope on their head” hats sported by him and Young Chuck. His looked kind of like a devil with antlers, and hers was blue and a little bit alien-y. Readers, any ideas? Then again, maybe a cigar is just a cigar.

So! Excuse the digression. We’ve got a double-header major makeout session to discuss, and here’s my take: Yeah, for a second it seemed that the writers had decided that viewers couldn’t be trusted to hold out for a chaste relationship carried out via increasingly odd prophylactics and had given us the goodies with a mysterious solution to the touching-equals-death problem. But then, of course, It Was All a Dream Sequence. Ever since Bobby Ewing stepped out of that stupid shower on Dallas, we’ve been subjected to tricks like this, so whatever — at least viewers did get their fix, with a serious kiss sesh for not just Chuck and Ned but Olive too. (No, not all three together, you dirty birds.) The writers did seem to be breaking through the show’s enforced chastity belt — by setting up Olive as a serious romantic possibility for Ned. Still, even if Kristin Chenoweth is 59 inches of perky blond sex appeal, she’s no match for predestined childhood sweethearts. Also, Olive swallowed Chuck’s squooshy explanation of why she and Ned can’t touch without blinking. Allergies, schmallergies. Most people would suffer some psoriasis and sneezing for a little nookie. Though the line ”That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard — excluding the big-ticket items like genocide and famine” was awesome.

Onward, now, to the crime of the week. Nice to see Joel McHale, the host of E!’s underrated show The Soup, get some prime network face time as a dog-breeding polygamist — though, of course, most of the time it was a dead face. His murder scene was appropriately slapstick ridiculous, an unholy trinity of poisoned coffee, a slippery-floor, and a lethal dog brush, and his United Colors of Benetton array of wives was amusingly odd. (Side note to the writers: While it may be easy to dismiss a four-timing man as a dog, it does come off as a tiny bit offensive to liken each wife to the type of canine breed she specializes in.)

Our crew’s decision to divide the four wives among themselves for questioning allowed Emerson to flirt with the saucy Jack Russell obedience teacher, Chuck to beguile with honesty (after failing miserably at pretending to be blind) the seeing-eye-dog instructor, Olive to stick a copper wig on her head and call herself Pimento for the canine-couture wife, and Ned to get his psychological ya-yas out by misrepresenting his own romantic qualms as Digby’s at the puppy psychologist’s.

Bubblegum the CollaDoreRusselPoo — a.k.a. the perfect hybrid at the center of the murders of both Harold the Polygamist and Snuppy the Shady Dog Breeder — didn’t look so perfect to me (that wiry hair would stick to dark fabrics like the devil, seriously), but it was nice that the whole polygamy angle allowed Chuck and Ned to discuss, and then dismiss, the idea of different partners for different needs (i.e. you kiss who you can without killing, and I’ll hold the hand of a man who can’t strike me dead). Still, the idea of an identical dog cloned from Bubblegum is just stupid. What everyone wants for Christmas is the exact same dog with identical markings and characteristics, to have and to hold until of course they all die off because they can’t be bred? I know — overthinking the fantasy again, but it’s hard to switch that brain function off.

NEXT: Emerson gets a little romance

It was fun to see Emerson actually get into a sexy little tussle with Simone, the hot obedience-instructor wife. (After all, what’s a little chloroform between lovers?), but honestly I couldn’t stop obsessing over his amazing outfits. That pink silk patterned shirt with the ochre pinstripe suit? Detective Snazzyboots! Also, nice they left that door open for more romance between Emerson and Simone at the post-funeral wrap-up.

This was the first time, I think, that we’ve seen a dead person revived in front of anyone other than Ned, Chuck, and Emerson. Bringing back Snuppy at the funeral in order to force a confession out of one of the wanton wives worked like a (too easy) charm. No big shock the guilty party was Hilary, who turned out to be not so much one of Chuck’s ”baby zebras” as a lioness tired of sharing both her man and her beloved Bubblegum with the world. And soon after, Ned saved himself from jerky bastard-dom by apologizing to Olive for saying that their saliva was incompatible; she sweetly wished him the best, but it’s clear where her heart remains. Emerson’s chance at romance has me thinking it’s time, though, to throw the poor girl a bone. As in, a man. Who is not Ned.

Because Lord knows he’s all the way smitten with Chuck. That bedtime pillow talk? ”You’re the only one for me” is pretty definitive, and, if we may say so (to borrow the common phrase from this episode) truly gangster love. Readers, do you agree? The evil DVR cut off my preview of next week’s episode, so I can’t discuss what’s in the future, but I have a feeling you’ve got some opinions. Start posting below!

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