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'Pushing Daisies' recap: Sisterhood of the traveling Pigby

Season 2 | Episode 3 | “Bad Habits” | Aired Oct 15, 2008

There are plenty of TV characters with tangled family trees, but maybe only one who drew hers in puffy paint and glitter glue. In third grade, Chuck failed her family tree project because she didn’t have anything to go on: Her father had just died, and her mother died in childbirth. She only had her aunts—who were really step-aunts anyway, since Lily and Vivian’s mother married Chuck’s grandfather when Chuck’s dad was already in his twenties.

Or at least, that’s how Chuck sees it. Lily and Vivian have to be lying about being her step-aunts, because the only other option is that Chuck’s dad was all set to marry his stepsister before he cheated on her with Lily, his other stepsister. No wonder Olive fled to a nunnery.

Olive is in the spotlight this week, and it’s about time. She’s starting to build a life for herself as a nun, particularly when it comes to truffle harvesting. (In retrospect, I don’t see how I ever thought that nuns who wear turquoise could do anything other than harvest truffles.) Olive discovered a love for digging at a young age; when her parents denied her a stallion, she decided to dig her way to Arabia and get one herself, but what she found instead was a triceratops fossil—which she traded to a Saudi royal in exchange for a stallion. It’s good to know that Olive has always been so tenacious. Whether it’s gossip-dirt or dirt-dirt, she’s all about the digging.

olive pushing daisies 203

A nun named Sister Larue wants to nurture Olive’s talent, but that mentorship ends when Larue tumbles from the bell tower. Most in the convent assume that she killed herself, but Olive is sure that it was murder, so she sneaks out to Emerson’s office. After Emerson has laughed every laugh in his arsenal, he agrees to take the case, even though Olive’s vow of poverty means she can only pay him in prayer. As long as his daughter is missing, he’ll take all the prayer he can get.

Despite Olive’s request that Chuck and Ned be left out of this, they both come along. Emerson says that it’s because Ned is the only one who can touch dead people back to life, which is fair, but the fact that Ned looks so good as an undercover priest doesn’t hurt. When he wakes the beloved nun, she explains—colorfully, and cleverly censored by the tolling of the bells—that someone pushed her out of the tower, and now they’ve taken her diamonds. Chuck, disguised as a nun, investigates and discovers that before she entered the convent, Larue specialized in fungi. That explains her interest in truffles. She was also descended from a long line of longshoremen. That explains her language.

Chuck also takes the opportunity to investigate Olive, since her sister act comes as a bit of a surprise. She never seemed like the type to enter a nunnery—what brought this on? There aren’t any answers in her file, so Chuck questions the Mother Superior, whose suspicions are raised when Chuck isn’t up on her nun vocab. The team stumbles on a secret passageway out of the truffle cellar, which leads to the kitchen of a Swiss chef, Hansel von Getz. Von Getz and Larue had worked out an arrangement: She gave him truffles, and in exchange, he provided her with goods from the outside world. (“CDs! Magazines! TOP-SHELF FEM CARE.”) Von Getz says that he and Larue knew each other in the Biblical sense and on the very table where he’s now feeding Emerson and Ned. Emerson isn’t hungry anymore. Ned still is. The pie maker loves his gourmet food.

pushing daisies 203 made love

And how could anyone turn down a meal topped with shavings of a rare white Italian truffle? Von Getz says that the truffle was a gift from Larue, but he calls it the “diamond of the table,” so it’s likely the same “diamond” Larue claims was stolen. After Larue missed their anniversary dinner, von Getz found the passageway sealed off, with only a note to end their relationship. He assumed that she had written it, but Olive recognizes the handwriting from her daily penance lists. The note was penned by the Mother Superior. Emerson confronts her about it, but after that conversation with Chuck, the Mother Superior did some digging of her own. She knows they aren’t really members of the Vatican Police.

Secrets are coming to light all across this nunnery. Ned goes to Olive to find out what’s bothering her, and she tells him that she’s hurt by the way he brushed aside her feelings for him. Ned doesn’t do messy very well. He would rather pretend that things are fine, but they’re not, because he never gave Olive a chance to put her feelings behind her. Olive lets slip that she’s also at the nunnery to keep a secret from Chuck, so Ned badgers her to tell. Rather than break her promise, Olive just leads Ned to a photo of Lily and plays some serious charades until he figures it out. Lily is Chuck’s mother. He immediately regrets making her tell him.


Ned finds Chuck in the midst of her own crisis. She feels stuck—not dead and gone to wherever her parents are, but not with her aunts as she was before. Chuck worries that she’s interrupted the natural order of things, and it almost seems like she wants Ned to touch her again. Ned hides out in the confessional and is joined by Father Ed, who wants to confess something but ends up hearing Ned’s confessions instead. Ned worries that he’s only ever messed up the lives of the people he cares about, and Father Ed suggests that he stop abandoning people emotionally. That was Ned’s dad’s game. Ned can do better. Father Ed then locks Ned in a room with Emerson, because they’re both terrible at pretending to be priests.

Olive notices that Father Ed’s robes are covered in bat poop, just as the bell tower is, and presumes him to be the killer, but the real killer is in the tower with Chuck. That’s where Sister Larue kept her secret truffle lab; she only joined the convent to experiment with their truffles in the first place. Larue’s relationship with von Getz was just to finance the operation, but when the Mother Superior caught them, she sent Father Ed to talk to the wayward nun. Father Ed discovered the illicit truffle operation and ordered Larue to leave, so the two of them did have a confrontation up there with the bat poop, but it didn’t end in her death. That was Pigby’s fault. He smelled the truffles and was trained to go after them, pushing Larue out of the tower as he did.

Pigby does the same to Chuck. While she clings to the edge of the wall, Ned runs to move a wagon of hay into place, and Olive runs to grab her friend’s hand. She and Pigby pull Chuck to safety, but a bell knocks Olive right back out of the tower. As she plummets, she makes peace with her life and wishes for Ned and Chuck’s happiness—because if it’s not already clear, Olive Snook is a really good person. Imagine this show without her. Imagine if she hadn’t landed in that wagon of hay. I don’t even want to.


Ned finally, properly apologizes for the way he treated Olive, and he does it right. He doesn’t ask her to forgive him; he just wants her to know that he’s sorry. Olive accepts, because it’s time for her to come home. She’ll miss the nunnery, but she’s keeping the murderous pig. Ned, who’s clearing the air all over the place right now, tells Chuck that Aunt Lily is actually her mother. Chuck is just glad to finally be able to fill in her family tree.

Will Chuck’s optimism inspire Ned to dig into his own past? Are you glad that Olive is back at the Pie Hole? Who’s this new waitress they got to take her place? Someone terrible, probably. Until next week!

Best lines:

“I’m…I’m busy.” —Olive, with the contraband fem care

“When being chased, Olive Snook harkened back to an educational film on alligators and what to do when pursued by one.” —Narrator

“Is it now many nuns, like a number puzzle? Uh, something to do with the sacred feminine. A Freemason is involved!” —Ned

“Sister Christian is nothing but a heavy-petting power ballad.” —Mother Superior

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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