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'Pushing Daisies' recap: Tilting at beehives

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “Pigeon” | Aired Oct 24, 2007

This has to be one of the most fragmented groups of people ever to be so attached to each other. Ned needs to be close to Chuck, who wants to be close to her aunts, whom Olive has recently come to love, even though she’s jealous that Ned loves Chuck, who can’t tell her aunts that she’s alive. They all care about each other, but through back channels. They hold hands, but only by proxy. It’ll take a carrier pigeon with a bejeweled wing to start bridging these gaps.

When a pigeon crashes into the window of the Pie Hole, Olive begs Ned to help, and he accidentally does just that when the bird brushes against his hand. Chuck suggests that they give the one-winged pigeon a little miracle, so as another bird falls dead (“It’s raining dead birds!”), Olive takes “Pidge” to Chuck’s aunts. Lily and Vivian supply Pidge with a sparkly new wing. While the bird heals, Vivian debates reading the message tied to Pidge’s leg, but she admits that reading something she shouldn’t have once got her in deep trouble with Lily.

Meanwhile, a crop duster barrels through an apartment window. Chuck trips over debris while investigating the scene, and Ned is forced to watch as Conrad Fitch, apartment owner and khaki-pant wearer, catches his childhood sweetheart. Chuck and Conrad bond over having to start fresh, because drowning and broken nautical plates are totally the exact same level of traumatizing.

The pilot’s wife is convinced that he didn’t commit suicide, so Ned and Emerson wake the pilot at the morgue while Chuck stays behind to help Conrad rebuild (his apartment. Again, he literally just has to rebuild his apartment. It’s not like his only loved ones think he’s dead). Despite the fact that no other body was found at the scene, the pilot says that there was a stowaway aboard the plane, so Ned and Emerson head back to the apartment for a more thorough investigation. Their search turns up an older man stuffed into a trunk, but he’s not the stowaway — he’s the real Conrad Fitch, and he’s got a sweet bowling shirt to prove it. So who exactly caught Chuck?

ned window pigeon

Whoever he is, he’s now holding her hand. Ned isn’t pleased by that, though he doesn’t realize that Chuck is actively fantasizing about holding Ned’s hand instead. It’s hardly the first time one of them has expressed a desire to touch the other, but it is the clearest indication we’ve had yet that Chuck is craving physical contact. (Ned is not, because Olive is in a constant state of guiding his hand toward her chest.) Before Chuck can explain herself, the man who is not Conrad is out the door and around the corner, leaving only his fake arm behind.

Emerson identifies the one-armed bandit as escaped convict Lemuel “Lefty Lem” Weingar, whose old cellmate Jackson Lucas hid stolen jewels in a nearby windmill. Lem knocks on the windmill’s door to claim the loot and is greeted by a woman named Elsita, who knows Lem is not to be trusted but is tired of waiting for the wind and lets him in anyway. She doesn’t even seem to mind when he ties her to a chair, though she would appreciate being tied with a little more class. (“Oh, no. You didn’t use bows to tie me up, did you? You take a hostage like you tie your sneakers!”) This is the most banter a windmill has seen since Quixote. Their flirtation is interrupted by the arrival of our favorite alive-again carrier pigeon.

Pidge has returned to her owner, with Lily, Vivian and Olive in tow. Both Elsita and Lem recognize the bird as their own, because it turns out they’ve been using Pidge to correspond with each other. Lem’s cellmate Jackson met Elsita’s mother while stashing the jewels in her staircase, and they struck up a romantic correspondence, which Lem took over for Jackson just as Elsita took over for her mother. The two are excited to finally meet, but it’s cut short by a knock on the door; Ned, Chuck, and Emerson have tracked Lem to the windmill.

pushing daisies windmill 104

 

All Olive has to do is open the door and Chuck’s secret will be out. As far as Olive knows, that should be enough to wedge Chuck out of Ned’s life, but her lovesickness suddenly matters less than her affection for Lily and Vivian. Thinking of how it would break Chuck’s aunts to find their niece alive, Olive instead slips outside to issue a covert warning before ushering the aunts out back. As they drive off, Lily catches a glimpse of Chuck in the rearview mirror, but with only one eye and all of those windmills, there’s really no way to be sure. The police arrest Lem with an effective one-handcuff technique, and Elsita promises to write him.

Back at the Pie Hole, Ned takes Chuck upstairs, where he’s gifted her an illegal urban rooftop of bees. They dance in their beekeeper suits, because there’s no limit of creative solutions to this no-touch problem. Is it a problem, or more of an obstacle? What’s the most important issue facing Ned and Chuck? And how great is Olive’s friendship with Lily and Vivian?

ned chuck bees pigeon

Best lines:

“It’s a miracle bird! It’s swimming in miracles, not disease.”

“What’s a rooftop full of bees compared to someone who can catch her when she falls? I can’t catch her, Emerson!”
“Can’t suck on her toes, neither.”

“And P.S: Not only is he an escaped convict; he’s also a hijacker who prevented thousands of crops from being aerially fertilized.”

“I was born into the life of windmillery.”

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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