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'Pushing Daisies' recap: Bitter much?

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “Bitter Sweets” | Aired Nov 28, 2007

There’s a line between Pie Hole Ned and Relationship Ned. In the Pie Hole, Ned is all business and confidence, ordering Olive to tend to customers and staying calm when new competition moves into the neighborhood. In his personal life, he’s aw-shucks, hair-falls-in-his-eyes bashful, keeping his hands behind his back near Chuck and generally worrying about when his luck will run out. Ned doesn’t trust his own happiness. Then again, when you can’t even jump into a pile of dead leaves without ruining a friendship, trust issues are inevitable.

pushing daisies 108 world hello dayToday is Chuck’s dad’s birthday. It’s also World Hello Day, which is a much happier occasion and the one Ned would rather celebrate. He still hasn’t told Chuck that he accidentally killed her father. With that looming over his head, the Define-the-Relationship talk doesn’t seem quite so terrifying. Of course he’s Chuck’s boyfriend! They’re just a boyfriend and a girlfriend with no lingering secret murders between them whatsoever. Before they can properly enjoy their new distinction as a couple, Emerson shows up with a case.

A woman by the name of Tina Arongino stands accused of murdering her boyfriend, Tony, and she wants Emerson to clear her name. It seems like a fairly open-and-shut case: Ned questions the dead Tony, who affirms Tina’s innocence. He was actually killed by a man named Burly Bruce Carter, who invited Tony and Tina over for a double date. Tony showed up before Tina, which is when things got interesting: Bruce’s girlfriend Sheila turned out to be a life-size doll. Tony pointed out to Bruce that his lady was made of plastic, and Bruce killed him for it, using Sheila’s hands to do so. When Ned, Emerson, and Chuck pay Bruce a visit, he admits that he blamed Tina to protect Sheila—who is clearly real in his mind—from harm. Bruce is arrested, and Tina is set free.

Back at the Pie Hole, traveling salesman Alfredo Aldisario (Raul Esparza) has returned to win Olive’s heart, but she’s preoccupied by the new candy store on the block. PRIORITIES. Ned and Chuck bring a pie to welcome Balsam’s Bittersweets Taffy and Sweets Emporium to the neighborhood, but the smell of freshly baked fruit tempts customers back to the Pie Hole. As far as owners Billy and Dilly Balsam are concerned, this is a war now. In a turn of events that is definitely not a coincidence, the Pie Hole gets a surprise visit from the health inspector. Ned has certain secrets that are best tucked away before inspections, and he hasn’t had the time to clear Digby out of the kitchen or move his rotten fruit from the Chamber of Secrets (not its given name). The Pie Hole is shut down until further notice.

pushing daisies 108 molly shannonNed refuses to retaliate, but Chuck and Olive want revenge, so they break into Bittersweets and release cages of rats. Did I mention that the Balsams also broke the lights in the last two letters of the Pie Hole sign? This is a mature dispute between professional businesspeople. Ned finds out and treks to Bittersweets to collect the rats, but just as the cops show up, he finds Billy dead in the taffy vat. Ned is arrested for murder.

While Olive tries to convince Ned to accept a pie with a gun in it, Chuck and Emerson work to find Billy’s actual killer. The autopsy reveals that Billy bit off the finger of his attacker, so at least everyone with ten digits is off the hook. Dilly is briefly a suspect, as she holds Chuck and Emerson at gunpoint and locks Olive in the trunk of her car, but as it turns out, she just misses her brother and likes wearing mittens. Dilly agrees to let everyone go if they can solve Billy’s murder.

Chuck and Emerson find handprints at the scene of the crime and run them through the system, which reveals the culprit to be health inspector Andrew Brown. Brown blackmailed the Balsams after they bribed him to inspect the Pie Hole. His name cleared, Ned is released from the cell that he’s been sharing with Bruce, whose murderous rage Ned cleverly diverted by asking for stories of Sheila. The experience has taught Ned the virtue of delusion, and he determines not to tell Chuck about her dad. That night, though, as they lie in their beds and trade stories of phantom limbs, he feels so close to her that he can’t help himself. The truth pops out.

pushing daisies 108 nedWhat will Chuck think of Ned now? Will Olive, who realizes too late that she has feelings for Alfredo, get another chance? How fun is Molly Shannon as the Martha Stewart of taffy emporiums? And will Dilly get away with murdering Brown in retaliation for her brother’s life? The first-season finale is next; this is about to get real.

Best Lines

“I feel excitement is so much better than a lot of things.” —Ned

“Wouldn’t it just rock and roll if liking someone meant they had to like you back? ‘Course, that would be a different universe, and something else would probably suck.” —Olive

“The expression ‘like a rat in a candy store,’ though slightly less popular, is equally true.” —Narrator

“Well, it’s a broad generalization, but my guess is, an attractive man who makes pies for a living shouldn’t even spend a short amount of time in prison.” —Emerson

“The Pie Maker considered how not telling Chuck the truth about her father was a lot like being locked in a prison. Then he considered how being locked in a prison was actually much worse than some silly metaphor about truth.” —Narrator

Pushing Daisies is available at Amazon.com, Vudu, Xbox Video and Sony Entertainment Network.

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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