I’ve been mulling on what constitutes a great Pushing Daisies episode, and then I saw The Norwegians and it was all presented for me like those pictures of animals that butchers use to explain where it all comes from.
This episode is like a perfect identikit picture of Pushing Daisies, so perfect that it wouldn’t be able to send a Morse code message from the bottom of a coal mine without being immediately identified.
It starts as the previous story left us with the review of the situation regarding the once dead, now mobile Charles Charles, who stole Ned’s ride and disappeared into the night. He’s a missing person they must find, but he’s not the only one.
Vivian Charles turns up at Emerson Cod’s office and demands that he go find Dwight Dixon, with whom she’s formed an attachment before he died and Emerson put him in Charles Charles’ coffin. Obviously, he doesn’t mention that he knows exactly where he is, and instead tries to dissuade her from this disastrous course of action. His dialogue is so good I can’t help quoting it verbatim:“Well, then allow me to put this to you delicately. You see, men are dogs. They come, you know, sniffin’ around, barking up your tree. But if they don’t see a kitty cat up in that tree, pretty soon they stop barking. Dwight ain’t missing. He’s barking up somebody else’s tree!”
Brilliant! But unfortunately she doesn’t take the hint or analogy and instead finds the very best investigators she can: The Norwegians.
They’re lead by the decidedly un-Scandinavian-looking Orlando Jones as Magnus Olsdatter with his able assistants Nils Nilsen (Michael Weaver) and Hedda Lillihammer (Ivana Milicevic), all dressed in matching uniforms incorporating the Norwegian national flag. This makes Ned, Chuck, Emerson and Lily all very nervous, as they’d all prefer that Dwight remained lost forever. It would make Olive nervous if anyone would share that secret, but, as usual, they keep her out of the loop which causes other problems.
I won’t spoil all that happens but it transpires when the Norwegians open the graves of Charles and Chuck that both are empty and Dwight really is missing. To avoid any evidence being found from the coffins. Ned and Olive steal ‘Mother’, the Norwegians’ RV mobile crime lab, and drive it over a cliff. They only just get out in time and are left dangling from a branch about to fall. They’re saved by a heavily disguised man, who they assume is Charles Charles. More amazingly, Dwight’s body turns up in his own hotel room, with evidence that suggests he died of natural causes. Again, the masked man has been saving their respective bacon cuts.
But they were wrong; it wasn’t Chuck’s father who had come to their rescue, but, incredibly, Ned’s. And in the closing shot we get to find out who he is…want to know? This freaked me out entirely…it’s George Hamilton!
No, seriously, it’s frickin George ‘Zorro, the Gay Blade’ Hamilton! It just doesn’t get any better, does it?
So we have no more idea where Charles Charles went, but we now know where Ned’s father is. Where this might go from here isn’t obvious, so I won’t even try to guess. I want to see the next episode very badly indeed, like how much I want to straighten my legs in economy class after I’ve been around the world seven times.
Three more stories have been shot, but currently I haven’t got any indication when they’ll screen. ABC has promised they will show them, but they’ve made promises before and then failed to keep them.
If they do, then I’ll be reviewing them here, I promise, and I keep mine.
Check out Mark’s review of the previous episode here.
23 January 2009