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'Pushing Daisies' recap: You can call me queen bee

Season 2 | Episode 1 | “Bzzzzzzzz!” | Aired Oct 1, 2008

The average show spends its finale tearing down the world it spent all season building, only to rebuild in the next season’s premiere and get back to business as usual. Pushing Daisies is not the average show, partially because it never had the luxury to be. Since the season 1 finale was initially written as only a midseason capper, everything that could have fallen apart in a proper finale falls apart at the opening of the second season. It’s exciting. We’re back with our favorite people, but not without consequence. Isn’t that basically Ned’s story?

To share his apartment with Chuck, Ned has choreographed an elaborate daily routine that involves wearing slippers with bells on them (something Chuck still refuses to do) and announcing his every movement. Ned is happy. Chuck might be happy. Olive is decidedly unhappy, living next door to the man she still loves, hiding the fact that Chuck is still alive, and now keeping the secret that Lily is actually Chuck’s mother. Worst of all, she’s lost her friendship with the aunts, as Lily shut her out for knowing too much. Vivian never got an explanation for any of this, so she drags Lily to the Pie Hole to be sure that Olive is all right. (“I was beginning to take everyone’s dying personally.”)

Olive has finally had it. She tenders her resignation in the hopes of disappearing to a world with fewer secrets—and a world where it’s easier to keep the secrets she already holds. Lily knows a place. Just like that, Olive’s apartment is empty, and Chuck is thinking of moving in. She’s never lived alone before, and she imagines knocking on Ned’s door at midnight as a kind of Parisian rendezvous. Ned sees it more as the abandonment he’s come to expect in life, and he doesn’t cope very well, especially since Chuck has gone undercover to solve their latest case.

pushing_daisies_bzz_chuckKentucky Fitz, number-one Bee Girl at honey-based company Betty’s Bees, was found stung to death, and her husband Dusty suspects murder. He also suspects her of having an affair. When Ned wakes Kentucky, she insists that she wasn’t having an affair, but she was murdered, likely for the fact that she was trying to sabotage the company “with a lot of might.” Chuck, already an expert in honey harvesting, gets a job at Betty’s to investigate, only to find out that Betty has already been pushed out of her role as CEO. Former rival Woolsey Nicholls bought her out and installed Kentucky as a new, younger face of the brand.

When Betty mentions that her bee colony was killed by mites, Chuck realizes exactly what kind of “might” Kentucky meant. Ned gets a temp job at Betty’s Bees to watch out for Chuck in all of this, which we all know is a cover for his fear of abandonment. Emerson calls it stalking, but Chuck thinks it’s cute. She sneaks into Betty’s office to recover a mysterious key and is confronted by a figure covered in bees—the same figure Kentucky saw just before she died. The man spits a small case containing the queen bee into Chuck’s mouth, and she’s swarmed by bees, but a lifetime of harvesting has taught her how to keep calm until Ned and Emerson find her. They open a window, Chuck spits out the queen, and the bees follow their leader outside. Someday Ned will probably use this in an argument on the virtues of stalking.

pushing_daisies_bzz_ned_chuckThe number on the key matches the address of Betty’s childhood home, where she raised the bees that presumably died in the colony collapse. Ned, Emerson and Chuck pay Betty’s home a visit, where it becomes apparent that her bees are very much alive. Betty and Kentucky were actually working together to fake the colony’s death and sabotage Woolsey’s attempted takeover. DNA on the queen bee’s container confirms that he was responsible for spitting it at Chuck and Kentucky, which sends Woolsey away for murder. Betty partners up with Dusty to start again, renovating her old home into the Honey House it once was.

Olive, meanwhile, has disappeared to a nunnery that looks to be set in the hills of The Sound of Music, though we’re assured that it’s actually a convenient drive from everyone else. (I’m working on a theory that Coeur d’Coeurs is a little bubble town that goes wherever you need it to be.) Olive wants to go home until Lily gives her another secret to keep: Chuck’s father was Vivian’s fiancé, and Chuck resulted from his fling with Lily. Vivian has no idea about the affair, since Lily hid away in the convent during her pregnancy, so it’s still unclear how her relationship with Chuck’s dad ended. In any case, this is all too dramatic for Olive, who stays at the nunnery with a pig she calls Pigby.

pushing_daisies_bzz_oliveVivian, having lost Lily too, goes to Ned for guidance, and he tells her that she has to accept the new empty spaces in her home. Concluding that Olive’s place could be empty for a while, and that having Chuck next door is really not such a bad deal at all, Ned moves all of Chuck’s belongings. Chuck has a lot of books, by the way, and it’s beautiful. Just as they’re settling into their new lives, Ned’s dad shows up at the Pie Hole.

Ned hasn’t seen his dad for 20 years. Is his father even planning on announcing himself, or just on stalking? (It’s genetic!) How long will Olive stay at that nunnery? And how absolutely gorgeous was this episode, visually? It’s so good to have this show back. I know we just looked at the season 1 finale last week, but I still feel the whole length of that hiatus every time I rewatch this episode. What did you think of the premiere?

pushing daisies bzz ned booksBest lines:

“She was having an affair. She said she was gonna leave me, or him. I’m not sure which. She wasn’t using proper nouns, but thank God I was eavesdropping.” —Dusty

“Ned, they’re not gonna kill me during office hours.” —Chuck

“I’ve got something to say. I’m gonna say it to you, and you, and you, and your hump!” —Olive

“Olive, you don’t have to quit. You have to calm down. You want a drink? Lily, hand me your purse.” —Vivian

“But I like my belongings. That’s why they belong to me. I want to be poor in other ways.” —Olive

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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