In the eleventh episode of the second season of Pushing Daisies, Chuck and Emerson investigate a murder of jealousy while Olive asks Ned for a difficult favor. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Pushing Daisies.
Oh, holy emotions. I am running out of ways to tell y’all how much I am enjoying this show.
- Honestly!!! I want to try and make this a fun and varied thing for the people reading this, but I find more and more that I just want my entire reviews to be me shrieking about feelings and faces and how I think Pushing Daisies is the best show to ever show or something. I don’t know, I just want to be hyperbolic and ridiculous. It’s in my nature, obviously, but have you seen this show? I am completely overwhelmed by how adorable and charming it is, even when it’s crushing my heart.
- “Window Dressed To Kill” deals with the complicated emotions surrounding jealousy, which is necessary after what Ned said to Olive in the heat of their imminent death. Understandably so, this upsets Olive because why wouldn’t it? I know this is the same thing I said recently, but I’m so impressed with how Pushing Daisies has dealt with unrequited love. The writers respect Olive’s feelings while never approaching anything that invalidates the fact that Ned has chosen to be with Chuck. Olive never feels like Ned owes her his love, either. She only wants it to be genuine, you know? And that’s the whole point here and why she ultimately has such a public rant about why she can’t lie about her “marriage” to Ned.
- You can see the same issue manifested in Olive’s “kidnapping.” I’ve loved the way that the flashbacks on this show have informed the character development for everyone, and Olive’s story of being accidentally kidnapped is a great example of this. This is not the first time we’ve seen signs that Olive was ignored by her parents, but her disappearance for two days is easily the worst demonstration of that. Her parents didn’t even know she was gone!!! They lashed out at Buster and Jerry specifically because those two called them out for being such awful parents.
- (I know it’s never confirmed, but I’d like to think that Buster and Jerry were a couple themselves. It would explain so much. Plus, I’m a huge fan of queering up every narrative ever, so take that.)
- In this sense, jealousy comes naturally to Olive in the context of the attention she receives. It’s never from who she wants it to be from or in the context she wants. While she enjoyed the time she spent with Buster and Jerry, she really wanted her parents to love her. There’s no denying that she enjoyed pretending to be married to Ned. I mean, she got to kiss him!
- But the inclusion of her singing Lionel Ritchie isn’t meant to be kitschy. It’s a brilliant way of explaining why this doesn’t work for Olive. This isn’t the way she wants Ned’s love. (PS: OH MY GOD, I AM SO HAPPY THAT THE WRITERS FOUND A WAY TO GET KRISTIN CHENOWETH TO SING BECAUSE IT’S SO PERFECT.)
- Of course, no one scene demonstrates why this is wrong than when Ned says he’s had fun “trying on” their relationship. Bless the writers for Olive’s necessary and scathing call-out of Ned. She is not something to just “try on.” She is a person with her own feelings and needs, and it’s callous of Ned to think otherwise. He knows how she feels about him, and toying with her like that, even if it was unintentional, is just not fair. And it’s not like Olive doesn’t appreciate Ned’s friendship! She adores him for that, but this is about what her own desires are. And the show respects that. And that’s awesome.
- I feel weird about the idea of Olive and Randy as a couple? Like, clearly he cares about her, but just because he’s nice and dedicated to her doesn’t mean that makes him a compatible partner.
- Anyway, then we’ve got Emerson and Chuck being awesome PI partners! And they actually solve the case before Ned swoops in at the end. The only role he provides is to confirm Emerson’s theory. I AM WAY INTO THIS, Y’ALL.
- Chuck struggles with her own jealousy as well, while investigating a case that appears to be about a jealous designer getting revenge in order to get her chance to be in the spotlight. As much fun and joy Chuck has gotten out of her relationship with Ned, the idea that he gets to pretend to be in a normal relationship gets to her. He gets to touch Olive. He gets to do everything that’s normal that she doesn’t get to do. And that’s a totally fair assessment of things from Chuck’s perspective! She isn’t jealous of Olive, per se, because she trusts the two of them. She just wishes she had some of that normalcy because she knows she’ll never get it.
- This is paralleled with Ned’s own journey of trying out normalcy for a while, and he comes to realize just how much more complicated everything becomes when he tries to deny his gift. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. It doesn’t make things simpler for him and Chuck. She still can’t touch him! But that also doesn’t mean he can’t be the “super” Ned and love Chuck, either! I really like that idea that these people can find happiness without being normal!
- So I’m interested to see what the writers will do with that final revelation. Is Ned jealous of the fact that Olive gets to touch someone else? Or is he jealous of Randy? Is he developing some sort of feeling for Olive that’s not platonic or what? Things aren’t exactly clear, so I didn’t want to freak out or jump to conclusions just yet. I want to see where things are headed.
- Otherwise, this was a damn fine episode. The writers are still able to give us a compelling murder mystery while escalating the serialized drama that is spread throughout this season. I’m so impressed with how strong this season feels, and it makes me sad to think there are only two more of these left.
- Life is unfair. 🙁
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