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Pushing Daisies Recap: Episode 9, "Corpsicle"

Pushing Daisies Rundown: Episode 9, "Corpsicle"

When I first heard that Pushing Daisies would be ending the first part of this strike-addled season on a major cliffhanger, I assumed it would be Ned telling Chuck he killed her father. But then that happened, and I was left wondering: What could be more major than that? Well, I'm not sure if the cliffhanger that closed "Corpsicle" was bigger, necessarily — but it certainly wasn't something I saw coming.

The good news: If that's our last Pushing Daisies for quite some time, it left on a high note, with a great balance between drama and chuckle-out-loud cleverness. To talk about the episode, just


It's a little embarrassing, but I wanted to cry from the second Young Ned took us back to Play-Doh world. That scene of Chuck stomping around in her dino costume was the moment in the "Pie-lette" that I knew this show was a keeper. And it set the tone perfectly for the episode, which was oh-so-cute and yet oh-so-heartstring-tugging — from the aunts comforting Ned and Chuck on the day they both lost their parents to Lily's drug-induced revelation at the end.

About that: Lily is Chuck's mom? Wha-huh? I'm glad there's something tying the aunts (er, mom-and-aunt duo) tighter into the series, but I wasn't expecting this. Lily's so caustic — "motherly" wouldn't come to mind — but I wonder how much of that is due to losing her only daughter. Plus: Does Vivian know? It seems like Chuck certainly doesn't. That twist also answers my question about what the show would do when the secret about Chuck's father was revealed: Why, they'll introduce a new secret!

But as for that first secret: Poor Chuck. Usually so chipper, she was really down in this episode — and no surprise, given that she'd just learned her soulmate killed her dad. She came so close to letting Oscar know her secret, to let it escape and "warm its toes in the sun." But she pulled back, for some reason, so now the only person who knows is Olive — and Olive thinks the whole "I was dead" thing was just a way for Chuck to stop talking. (Olive at her literal-minded best: "Is this an insurance scam?")

It would be easy to skip over the Corpse of the Week, but the case offered some comic relief in a heavy episode. It must have been fun for the writers, who usually work with such cheery material, to create the character of miserable little Abner ("I said lap dance, not tap dance!"). And the Wishy Wish lady being the "killa killa" was perfect, down to the jaunty tune that played as she claimed her victims and the benobo named Bobo who took care of her in the end.

Some other thoughts:

  • Oh hey, Emerson has a daughter! Yet another new secret.
  • Sight Gag O' The Week: I've gotta give it to the shotgun through the mail slot and straight into Ned's crotch.
  • Much as I loved Emerson and Ned's exchange with the coroner in his holiday sweater, Emerson's word vomit line was my favorite: "And you slipped in word vomit and fell on your ass and now you're covered in word vomit."
  • Oscar calling a bludgeoning "a unique sensory experience" was super creepy. I hope he's back when the show returns.

Do you think it was the right call for Ned not to wake up Chuck's father? Could Lily's revelation be just a hallucinatory rant? And how will you cope with that cliffhanger?

Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

geohiker geohiker 9 years
I just love this show! I'm so happy it will be back.
newmiyamoto newmiyamoto 9 years
Why has no one discussed the other connotation of the new secret? The possibility of incest in the Charles family, or is this just too much of a sickening turn to bare thinking about more than momentarily (it is for me).
demeter demeter 9 years
I love all these characters! Except Chuck - I like her the least. But Olive is my fave!
Padraigin Padraigin 9 years
This is easily one of my favorite shows. This and "Samantha Who". I love the deft wordplay and the characterizations so much.
alllacedup alllacedup 9 years
Going to miss this show so much! Let's hope the writer's strike ends soon. I love "killa killa" and "I said lap dance, not tap dance!" I think Ned made the right decision to not wake up Chuck's dad. His reasoning was so adorable; like most everything he does.
lynettes lynettes 9 years
Love this show, i think it is visually beautiful, going to miss it while it's gone. I think Ned was wise not to wake up Chuck's dad, it would have been harder on her in the end and it's better to have the good memories. I think Lily really is Chuck's mom, and gave her up for her career and could never come clean to Chuck. Can't wait for season 2!
jmast jmast 9 years
Great episode. I think it made it better that Chuck wasn't as chipper as normally annoys the crap out of me...I liked her more quiet and reserved. It was a nice break.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
Great recap, Buzz. Loved being let in on the secret(s)but I too am wondering if Lily's revelation is "just a hallucinatory rant." The show is brilliant, perfectly paced, perfectly balanced. So happy to see that the Golden Globes noticed its brilliance as well.
lilegwene lilegwene 9 years
Great recap! Emerson has had some hilarious lines lately. Last week "Truth ain't like puppies; a bunch of them running around and you pick your favorite!" LoL :)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
I love this show.
tiabia tiabia 9 years
This was a great episode. I loved the Christmas sweater exchange, and I surely hope they bring Oscar back!!! Somethings I noticed: In the beginning their was the quote that came straight from Willy Wonk and the Chocolate Factory...when the guy yelled "Stop squawking you twit", that's exactly what Violet Beauregard told Veruca Salt...LOL And the snowy walk way outside of Abner's house, looked just like the snowy walkway in Groundhog's Day. Boy I love this show!!!
tralalala tralalala 9 years
I hope Oscar is back too, and I'm sure he will be unless they do make Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Movie.
briggs313 briggs313 9 years
Great episode and great recap! I like that a new secret(s) was introduced to keep it going. I also think Ned made the right decision to not wake Chuck's dad ... and his reasoning for it was so cute! Plus, wouldn't he look all gross?? I loved how Ned couldn't concentrate on the case while Chuck was mad at him, and when he asked if she still hated him it really got me! I kind of want Oliver to be in on the secret but I guess we still need as many people in ignorance for the show to go on. I am so sad that was the last episode for a while, although hooray for the three GG noms!
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