Mark Watches ‘Pushing Daisies’: S02E03 – Bad Habits

In the third episode of the second season of Pushing Daisies, Ned and Chuck struggle with their difficult pasts while the team investigates a death at Olive’s nunnery. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Pushing Daisies.

This show needs to stop, I swear.

  • Is anyone surprised that I absolutely adored an episode that features two characters dealing with traumatic pasts? No. None of you should be. This was written just for me.
  • Seriously. Seriously. I have so many feelings caused solely by “Bad Habits.”
  • THIS EPISODE OPENS WITH YOUNG OLIVE SNOOK. SHE GETS HER FIRST FLASHBACK WITH HER AS A CHILD. SHE IS THE BEST.
  • And it’s the respect that Olive gets as a character that’s endlessly pleasing to me. Yes, this show is funny, and there’s always a strain of humor to nearly everything, but that doesn’t mean that the writers have to make fun of Olive, you know? If the events that got her into the nunnery were ridiculous, her reasons for staying there are presented as rational, justifiable things. I appreciate that.
  • That’s something we’ve seen time and time again from this show. It’s never downright mean to most of its characters. When Chuck expresses interest in digging into her past, her journey is given to us quite seriously, as is Ned’s struggle with the very idea of going back into one’s past. Ultimately, these characters’ motivations matter, and I love that about this show. For example, the narration reveals the reason why Emerson took on Olive’s case for free, and it’s an instant punch to the heart. This show is always grounded in these intimate emotions and experiences, and it’s so fulfilling because of that.
  • NED AND EMERSON AS PRIESTS AND CHUCK AS A NUN. BLESS THIS SHOW. Bless their terrible disguise names and their awkward Catholic-ness, and everything about this episode.
  • I hadn’t thought about it until “Bad Habits,” but it’s totally possible that Ned could wake someone up, and they could run away from him. That is a scary thought, especially if they got away.
  • THAT HIGH FIVE. NOOOOOOOOO.
  • Anyway, a great deal of “Bad Habits” is devoted to the trio of Chuck, Olive, and Ned dealing with their own habitual behavior when it comes to their past. As Chuck is more insistent (and excited!) about learning about her past, Ned is downright rude about Chuck’s desire to do so. It’s understandable, though! Ned’s past is heartbreak, and trust me, I so implicitly understand what he’s going through. There was a point in my own life where I was reluctant to do the same thing, and then I did it publicly through writing Mark Reads Harry Potter. So I’m sure y’all can sympathize with this idea when you’ve got a traumatic past. All I wanted to do for years was run away from my past, but I found that I instead repeated the same awful cycles over and over again simply because I refused to acknowledge what had happened to me.
  • And then we’ve got Chuck, who wants to dive into her past specifically to repair the sense of loss that she feels after losing her father and never knowing her mother. It’s fitting to me that this journey is adorned with so much Catholic imagery, since the Church puts so much emphasis on the Holy Mother. (Which, to be honest, was my favorite part of being a Catholic? Not that my experience with that religion could be compartmentalized in “parts,” so to speak, but that I found much more solace in the idea of the Virgin Mary than I ever did in Jesus or (especially) the God of the Bible. God seemed like such a dick to me.) Given that Chuck’s grief is rooted in her lack of a mother, we know that eventually, Ned is going to have to reveal who Chuck’s mother really is. But beyond this conflict is Chuck’s fear that she can’t ever escape the weirdness of her second life. Is she stuck? Or is this really a second chance, given the limitations of her life? How can she truly live if she can’t touch the one she loves or be with her family?
  • In Olive’s case, this episode is less about her bad habits and more about how Ned’s bad habit of abandonment has affected her. Their frank conversation about why Olive is in the nunnery at all was extremely striking to me, especially since it showed us that Olive really does want to tell the truth all the time. If that’s the case, then how could she be around Ned anymore if she truly had such strong feelings for him?
  • PIGBY!
  • Sorry, I just needed a bullet point with Pigby’s name in it.
  • The murder mystery for “Bad Habits” is a doozy, isn’t it? WHO COULD HAVE GUESSED THAT PIGBY KILLED SISTER LARUE?
  • Can we also establish that Ned’s apology, while late, is one of the best examples of how to apologize? He explains what he did wrong, he doesn’t belittle Olive, and he says he is sorry. Bravo.
  • I’m glad Olive is coming back to the Pie Hole and that Pigby is coming with her!!!
  • SO OKAY. There has to be some sort of interaction between Chuck and Lily at some point because I need these things. I’m also certain that the end of “Bad Habits” is foreshadowing the reveal of Ned’s father. WHO IS HE????

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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