This week's episode of Pushing Daisies — well, really the whole series, but this episode in particular — is about the silly things we do for love. In this installment, it's level-headed, eye-rolling Emerson who falls head over heels into stupidity when a case leads him to his daughter's mother. Olive, meanwhile, makes some questionable relationship decisions of her own about how to proceed with Randy Mann. To chat about this episode,
Love really must be a powerful thing if even Emerson Cod can fall victim to it. Beneath that hardened exterior, Emerson's been a fool for beautiful and mysterious women ever since he willingly got himself in trouble as a child just so he could sit in the office of his lovely principal. More recently, there was Lila, of whom he probably should have been suspicious from the start considering she met him in the middle of a con job. She was supposed to steal the "dam ruby" but ended up with Emerson's heart instead — and, eventually, his Penny. She comes back into Emerson's life in this episode as a suspect once more, this time not just as a thief but as a murderer of the dam ruby's owner. What I loved about this story is how the whole crew gets involved: Chuck, Ned, Olive, and even Randy Mann turn out to help Emerson, who they fear is blinded by "Lilaberry juice." And in many ways, the hero of the whole operation turns out to be Simone, who pulls Emerson away from a rushing flood just in time to save his life and the ruby. For a moment, Emerson even looks redeemed: the killer isn't Lila after all.
But Emerson still falls victim to the "maneating, shape-shifting grifter" who mothered his child. I couldn't believe he would give Lila his keys without walking over to make sure Penny was in the car first, but I guess that's what Lilaberry juice will do. He's expecting to see a little girl with braces; he instead just sees a doll. Luckily — in an ending that felt a little tacked on; I wonder if it was added later when the producers knew they were only getting a few more episodes? — Lil Gumshoe is getting published after all, so maybe Penny will find her way back on her own.
Meanwhile, just as Ned and Chuck are feeling all schmoopy about Olive and Randy, Olive cuts him off. She's not ready to plunge into a real relationship — and even as Ned is convincing her that a rebound is exactly what she needs, Randy's telling her he doesn't want to be her second-best. Ultimately, she confesses everything: that she did want to use him, that he's a difficult person, that she doesn't want to get him caught up in her issues. But before they can work out a real solution, Randy leans in for a kiss — and that seems like a good answer for now.
Some other thoughts:
- Though it ultimately gets them discovered in Lila's trunk, the conversation Ned and Chuck have about the nature of love is precious. Chuck's been saying their love is "hardy" (Ned chuckles because he hears "heart-y"), but she really means their love is hard. Why love at all? Chuck wonders. It just leaves people with more to lose. Ned gives a perfectly Ned-ish answer: "Why love something? Because we can."
- Olive on her relationship hangups: "I'm that girl in high school who's afraid of real relationships, so she's attracted to guys in college. Or Canada."
- How funny was it to hear Jim Dale narrate "dam" over and over again?
- Emerson on Lila's shifty eyes: "She's lied so much in her life, her eyes are like that permanently."
How did "Water and Power" work for you? Have you braced yourself for next week's finale?
Photos courtesy of Warner Bros