Mark Watches ‘Pushing Daisies’: S01E06 – B****es

In the sixth episode of the first season of Pushing Daisies, Ned continues to struggle with the complications of being in love with Chuck while the team tries to solve the murder of a polygamist dog breeder. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Pushing Daisies.

This is such a beautiful show, y’all.

  • I realize that the context of the word b***h used here refers to dog breeding, but can we just be a bit careful about it’s use in the comments? I choose to censor it just because it’s such a visible slur that is hard to avoid even when you know the context, so just be nice! Thank you!
  • I already feel like I’m running out of ways to say HOLY SHIT, THIS IS GREAT because Pushing Daisies has been consistently entertaining, funny, and thought-provoking so far. It’s both an inherently serialized show and a murder-of-the-week mystery adventure. Jim Dale’s narration does one hell of a job telling a story and keeping us up-to-date with whatever plots are serialized, too!
  • But I wanted to open this up by talking about how Pushing Daisies really does follow the format of fairy tales and why that’s so important to the charm of the show. One thing struck me at the end of this episode: Not one person pointed out that technically, polygamy is illegal? Like, no one seemed to have a problem with this at all. On the one hand, any attempts to normalize polyamory are perfectly fine with me, so I’m glad that the writers didn’t make the wives out to be a freak show, you know? But then I thought about how many little details that concern characterization, worldbuilding, art direction, or plotting are all deliberately fantastical. I mean, a lot of these episodes have a very distinct moral message at the end of them, recalling the fables that a lot of us grew up with. (And still love, let’s be real.)
  • Plus, Pushing Daisies will always be about magic. Even more so than Fuller’s past shows, there is no indication that we’ll ever learn anything about Ned’s power beyond the fact that it’s magic. And as I said about both Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls, ultimately I don’t need that explanation. I’m far more interested in how this power affects Ned’s life and the world around. That is what intrigues me about the show.
  • So “B****es” takes this idea – a young boy afflicted with the power to raise the dead – and gives us this painful romance amidst it all. There are call backs to issues already addressed, but after Olive kissed Ned at the end of “Girth,” Ned now has a new problem to deal with. Can his relationship with Chuck be sustained? And can Olive deal with the fact that there’s no chance left that Ned will reciprocate what she feels for him?
  • Okay, freak out time: OH MY GOD, IT’S JOEL MCHALE. Oh my god, TWO REFERENCES TO ALFRED HITCHCOCK. Wait, those were intentional, right? I assumed Emerson’s dream sequence was a clear nod to Vertigo, but I think Harold’s death sequence felt very Psycho-esque. Yes? Sort of?
  • The whodunit at the heart of this episode was entertaining, and I definitely didn’t figure out the killer before it was spelled out to me, but I don’t know that I was necessarily engaged because of the murder. I was much more enthralled by the characters, especially Simone and the way she secretly trained Emerson. (Emerson is so great in this episode, too.)
  • But you know, I don’t even really watch procedurals for the crime solving. I don’t! I always like Law & Order: SVU or Bones or The X-Files for the character development and the way the writers could find ways to reflect growth or struggle in every mystery-of-the-week. Sure, I was immensely entertained by trying to figure out the murderer, but I was in love with how the writers chose to address the awkwardness between Ned, Chuck, and Olive. These people aren’t malicious, and all of them want happiness in their own way. But what stands in the way of them achieving that happiness? Essentially, it’s all out of their control. Ned and Chuck can’t control Ned’s powers. Olive can’t force Ned to love her. (And I’m glad that so far, the show hasn’t gone in that direction.) And so all three of them find a way to survive and to live. Yeah, maybe their lives are a complicated mess at times, but all is not lost. It’s that sort of anti-defeatist tone that I’m drawn to.
  • Well, and I’m interested to see what other ways Ned will use his power to solve a murder. This is the first time he’s brought a murder victim to a possible murderer and brought them back to life. What a genius idea!!! I would never have thought about that.
  • Fuck, this show makes me want pie for every meal. Fuck.
  • Ned/Chuck is one of the most painful pairings I’ve ever experienced, y’all.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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