Mark Watches ‘Pushing Daisies’: S02E12 – Water and Power

In the twelfth (and penultimate) episode of the second season of Pushing Daisies, Emerson is asked to solve a murder and discovers a way he might be able to see his daughter again. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Pushing Daisies.

Well, this was just one of the best episodes of the entire show, and I am so sad that this is ending.

  • How? How could you cancel this?
  • Okay, I shouldn’t even be asking this question because I already know the answer: not enough viewers. Too expensive. ABC hates joy. All right, I’m being facetious, but y’all, this sucks. This sucks that a show so original, so full of life and feelings and creativity, was cut short. I haven’t even seen the final episode, and I already know it’s not going to be enough. I want forty thousand seasons of this show. FORTY THOUSAND.
  • I want this show with a canon that’s bigger than Star Trek. I want 80 years of canon.
  • I don’t even know what I’m saying at this point. Perhaps I’m just terrified that it’s going to take me two-and-a-half years to get through the Star Trek canon on this site. (Someone counted! It’s verifiable by science!)
  • Fair warning: I am going to be absolutely insufferable in this review and the next one because it’s the only way I can deal with the wave of rage and sadness that I feel because of Pushing Daisies coming to an end. Yes, I am incredibly excited to find out why everyone ever has wanted me to see Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, but I will do it kicking and screaming about this show.
  • And the theme of this episode is just so perfect for me: Love makes us do things that make no sense at all, but that’s the beauty and the curse of it. Which has been my personal experience, and I’d like to present my entire past love life as evidence to the jury. Not only have I done things that out of the context of the time would seem foolish and absurd, but I’m currently enjoying the fact that I’m in love. Even then, love is scary. Opening yourself up as you are to another person is always going to be a frightening thing for me, even platonically. I have a lot of friends these days, but I wouldn’t say I have a lot of close ones. It’s hard to do that sort of thing, you know?
  • And yet, Emerson did this. We learn why he hasn’t seen his daughter, and it involves him falling in love when he knew he shouldn’t. He did it anyway, and he doesn’t regret it, least of all because his daughter Penny came about because of it.
  • Penny.
  • Which made me think of LOST.
  • Hey, at least ABC didn’t sink that ship before it’s time.
  • Okay, this isn’t about LOST. It’s about GINA FUCKING TORRES BEING LILA ROBINSON.
  • Can we also talk about how incredible it is that there are seven characters of color in this episode, that there are no terrible stereotypes used, that they’re all presented as full people with their own stories and motivations, and that I LOVE THIS SO MUCH? We’ve got Lila, Roland, Simone, Amelia, Penny, Taylor, and Emerson. Most of them are black, too! I know this may seem silly to point out, but it’s so rare for a show that’s marginally popular to feature so many characters of color in significant, meaningful roles. That doesn’t excuse some of the more egregious stuff that we’ve seen on the show, but it makes me very, very happy.
  • Gina Torres’s character alone is endlessly fascinating to me. She’s presented as an amoral femme fatale initially, and the show plays off this stereotype to give us a very noir feel to “Water and Power.” However, Lila is a million times more complicated than that, namely because she never actually killed Roland. I got the sense that the writers planned a lot more for her character and Emerson, so there’s not that much closure for her story. Which then makes me real mad that this is going to end. Real mad.
  • I mean, Lila’s story is so interesting because it’s about her trying to resist her impulses while raising a child as best as she can! Sometimes, she gives in to her desire to be a grifter, but then she’s also got this daughter who seems to be full of life and joy, and then we’ve got Emerson, who didn’t do anything wrong and still lost his daughter, but he doesn’t hate Lila for what she did, and EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS IS PURE FUCKING GOLD.
  • I won’t stop being mad about this even though I am like five years too late. I don’t care. I am not retroactively mad.
  • BECAUSE CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW AWESOME THE RELATIONSHIP IS BETWEEN EMERSON AND SIMONE? I know that Simone is often played for humor, but there’s a genuine attraction between her and Emerson that’s undeniable. It was nice to see her come back at the beginning of the episode, but even better to see her assert her right to honesty once she was surprised by Lila. It felt like a nice bit of continuity with “The Norwegians,” which was all about various characters struggle with the weight of secretive lives, and Simone is very straight-up about wanting none of that.
  • And when she does come back, it’s on her own terms and out of her own desire to help Emerson. WHICH SHE IS VERY GOOD AT, FYI.
  • I LOVE THAT EVERYONE, RANDY INCLUDED, IS A PART OF THE TEAM TO HELP EMERSON. Bless these people and their big hearts. It’s one of the most redeeming features of Pushing Daisies.
  • We can see this same theme play out between Olive and Randy. Initially, Randy wasn’t supposed to be much more than a rebound for Olive, and I could tell Randy would be deeply upset if this were the case. Like many of the other writing choices for this show, I was impressed that the writers respected how Randy would feel in this situation while also giving Olive room to acknowledge how uncomfortable she was with trusting someone who gave affection much more readily than Ned. She was so used to love being unrequited that it essentially scared her that someone would be willing to return any emotion she gave right from the start. I don’t know if there’s a future between Randy and Olive, but I can definitely say that I like the idea of them exploring something.
  • Even Chuck and Ned get in some time to discuss how their relationship might be too hard. Their case is obviously unique, but it’s also not comparable to Olive and Randy. Both characters are ready to give one another affection, but physically can’t. However, that doesn’t mean their love is invalid or impossible. Which is awesome because love doesn’t have to involve sex or physicality, and I never really thought about how this whole show has been saying that love can be more than the physical. (Not to ignore the physical part, obviously, since Ned and Chuck want to touch one another. It’s more of something that’s been incidental the whole time.)
  • Hi, I’m Mark, and the last couple scenes of “Water and Power” just ruined me. Something seemed wrong when I noticed that Lila was blocking Emerson’s view of her car, but I didn’t know if the writers would commit to something so heartbreaking. Instead, they only sort of commit to it. Penny is alive and well, and Emerson gets a glimpse of his gorgeous daughter as she leans out of the back of his own car and waves to him, a glowing smile on her face. On top of that, Emerson book is finally accepted by a publisher.
  • And I already know the last episode won’t wrap this up. I’m not expecting it. So I’ll just sit here, fuming at a decision I cannot have any effect on because I don’t own a TARDIS, and I shall join the legions of folks who are eternally distraught that there is no more Pushing Daisies.
  • Also, I hate y’all for getting me into this show.
  • Pure hatred for each and every one of you.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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