This week’s Pushing Daisies was written by a man for whom danger really is his middle name, as in Jim Danger Gray. It’s called Robin Hood, although it doesn’t take place in Nottingham or involve men in tights from what I recall.
A lawyer played by prosthetic makeup-free Ethan Phillips (yep, Neelix from Voyager) comes to tell Emerson that his long time friend and client, Gustav Hoffer, has been killed in mysterious circumstances when he was hit by a falling chandelier. It’s time for Ned to get touchy for 60 seconds, and then find out if his ditsy young bride, Elise, is the culprit. Actually, what Gustav tells them only confuses matters as he makes reference to a will that’s gone missing and a ‘bell boy’. The bell boy in question isn’t a fancy dresser with a low paid hotel trade job, but part of an organisation dedicated to getting money from the rich and giving it to the poor.
The leader of those merry men is the aptly named Rob Wright, a charming man who runs an office full of pushy charity direct selling agents.
The resolution of all this is frighteningly complicated, so much so I’m going to avoid regurgitating it here. But it does have a surfeit of classic Daisies moments. The one I enjoyed most was Ned attempting to get through an entire room of stuffed animals without touching any of them. His ultimate failure isn’t seen but we do hear the brief sound of a very angry polar bear.
The crime solving element is actually more of a distraction this week to the larger plot regarding Chuck’s origins and the various other secrets.
It might be useful to review what secrets exist, and who knows what. Here are the Daisies secrets:
- Ned can bring people back to life with a touch, and kill them with another
- Lily is Chuck’s mother conceived with Vivian’s then fiancé
- Chuck is ‘alive’, not dead
- Emerson Cod has a lost daughter, Li’ Gumshoe.
- Ned unintentionally killed Chuck’s father
The only person that knows all the secrets is Emerson Cod. Chuck and Ned know most things but somehow Olive doesn’t actually know what Ned can do, but has most other secrets. Conversely, Vivian seems to know just about nothing, it appears, and neither she nor Lily knows that Chuck is alive. Digby’s exact understanding of the plot is difficult to know, but with his doggy abilities he may be able to smell that Chuck is, in fact, dead if not actually immobile, as is he.
There are also a few things that we don’t know, namely the agenda of the devious Dwight Dixon and why he needs the pocket watch of Chuck’s father, Charles Charles.
Lily makes her dislike of Dwight Dixon obvious, even telling him to stay always from Vivian, and pointing a shotgun at him to emphasise that point. It’s after this that Lily starts her own investigation, which unearths that Chuck’s grave has been disturbed (previously by Dwight looking for the watch), and that he has a frightening arsenal of guns filling his hotel room. She also discovers two of the pocket watches there, and takes them back! Meanwhile, Ned and Chuck know the way to crack this particular case, and it’s a New York minute conversation with Charles Charles. They open the grave, and the credits roll…damn it!
Lily is getting close to the truth about Chuck, but Dwight might well kill her to get whatever the pocket watches represent. As you might gather, I’m enjoying the bigger plot than the piecemeal detective stories here. There also wasn’t enough of the small but perfectly formed Olive Snook in this particular story, for my liking.
Next week Ned brings back chicken mogul Colonel Likken, who mysteriously died in a deep fat frying incident, to find out how he kicked the big bargain bucket.
Check out Mark’s review of the previous episode here.