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Dead Clowns, Teenage Runaways, and Triple-Berry Pie on "Pushing Daisies"

While I saw the second episode of Pushing Daisies ("Circus Circus") a few weeks back, I can't help but want to discuss it some more now that everyone has seen the episode.

After all, there are few series as sweetly infectious as Pushing Daisies and I find, once I've watched an episode, that I can't get it out of my mind for days... or often weeks. So just a few more thoughts about "Circus Circus" that didn't make it into the original three-episode review I did.

Last night's episode, written by Peter Ocko (who wrote last season's "Dummy"), furthered some of the plots established in the season opener (Olive at the nunnery, Vivian reentering the world, Chuck moving into her own apartment, etc.) while also offering up a bizarro mystery of the week about a teenage runway named Sweet Nickie Heaps who literally ran off to join the circus... only to encounter murder and mayhem in the most unlikely of places. Hell, what other series could pull off sending an entire carload of clowns into a lake and then offer up a parade of the dozens of resulting corpses? Not bloody many, I'll hazard.

How utterly exquisite was the scene in which Aunt Vivian went to The Pie Hole for some triple-berry pie (or, really, comfort of some kind) and nearly saw her dead niece Chuck? The sight of Vivian closing her red umbrella (which luckily shielded her gaze) was one of the most beautiful things I've seen on television this year. Director Lawrence Trilling (Alias) deserves an Emmy just for that single shot alone. Artful, dazzling, and touching, the scene between Vivian and a guilty Chuck--hiding behind the counter--was one of the most heartbreaking and realistic portrayals of grief and hope that I've ever seen.

I'm really hoping that we eventually get to see Emerson's daughter... or at least see Emerson attempt to track down his wayward ex-wife and daughter. It's clear that Emerson has been suffering through some hard times on his own and looking for a way to express his sense of loss. "Lil' Gumshoe" was the first attempt that we've seen of him setting down some breadcrumbs for his daughter to find him. I only hope that she doesn't turn up dead in one of their many investigations and that there's an actual happy ending here.

As for Chuck and Ned, I am glad that Bryan Fuller and the writing team split them up physically, with Chuck getting her own space and a new lease on life by, well, taking over Olive's lease on the apartment. Yes, these two star-crossed lovers are meant to be together (well, somehow anyway, given the fact that they can't touch) but I am glad that we are seeing a Chuck with a new perspective about life after death. She spent so much of last season in hiding that she has only now realized that she needs to enjoy the rest of her life, given how tragically short it was cut the first time around. And I like seeing Ned all jealously squirmy. But how adorable were the would-be lovers as they pretended to be strangers? If it wouldn't kill Chuck, I would have pushed them together right then and there.

Will Chuck's new outlook about life and living push her and Ned further apart? Or closer together? I'm not sure but it's clear that the walls are closing in for our Charlotte Charles, with Lily and Vivian turning up everywhere from The Pie Hole to Olive's nunnery. Chuck's homeopathic medication may have worked a miracle in getting the former Darling Mermaid Darlings out of the house but no good deed, as they say, goes unpunished. And with her aunts newly mobile, there will come a time when Chuck can't hide from them any longer.

One can only imagine how Lily and Vivian will react when they learn that Chuck is alive (again). Until then, I'm absolutely hooked and can't wait to see just what happens next.

Best line of the evening: "I could throw up in my mouth a little and not even know the difference." - Olive, speaking of the convent's notoriously bad porridge.

Next week on Pushing Daisies ("Bad Habits"), Olive calls in Ned and Emerson to investigate the suspicious death of a nun whom she believes was murdered; Chuck adapts to her new life; Lily comes clean about a decades-old secret.

Comments

The clown car bit was fantastic!!!
I read on tvguide.com that the ratings were low again this week. Boo. I just hope that the 13 episodes that were ordered for this season won't be the last we'll get.

I missed Olive being at the Pie Hole in last night's episode. But I loved how Lily tried to convince her that she didn't actually have an affair with Chuck's father. I felt like that was a nice little wink to us Pieholes who were speculating about Chuck's parentage. Whether it was meant as that or not, I enjoyed it.

**Spoiler Alert**
Ask Ausiello on ew.com this week says that in an upcoming episode "Olive (Kristin Chenoweth) is going to sing "Eternal Flame" to Ned (Lee Pace)! Only, well, he won't be there. (That's so like Olive.)"
**Spoiler Over**
mB said…
This show is fantastic, and it always bewilders me how crazy its antics can be and yet how sweet and emotional it can get. I'm terribly excited for next week's nunnery episode since I have been missing my Olive-rest of the cast interaction.

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