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'Pushing Daisies' recap: Men in plights

Season 2 | Episode 7 | “Robbing Hood” | Aired Nov 26, 2008

Ned is a stress baker. He’s also a professional baker. That’s his secret: He’s always stressed. He has an extra reason to panic now, though, as the mysterious Dwight Dixon is officially dating Vivian. Since Dwight has met Chuck, it’s only a matter of time before he realizes that she’s Vivian’s niece, presumed dead but very much alive.

And the situation is even more complicated than Ned can guess: Dwight has already dug up Chuck’s coffin to retrieve her father’s pocket watch, only to find it missing both the watch and the dead girl. He doesn’t know Chuck’s face yet, but he knows that she’s out there somewhere.

To find out what Dwight is after, Olive does the old “counterintelligence via pie delivery” routine, but she learns nothing from the tight-lipped stranger or the lovestruck Vivian. Even Lily can’t figure out exactly what kind of game Dwight is playing. Chuck suggests waking her dad to find out what he knows, but Ned refuses to make her sit through her dad’s death a second time. He says that it’s all for her, but it seems like he’s also afraid of what it might do to their relationship. Chuck wouldn’t just have to watch her dad die; she would have to watch Ned kill him. In any case, he’s not doing it. He’d much rather wake an adorable rich old man in adorably thick glasses who died from a fallen chandelier, like a character in Clue.

Attorney Daniel Hill has hired Emerson to look into the death of his only client, wealthy inventor Gustav Hoffer. Daniel loved Gustav, but Gustav was married to a young woman named Elise, who only wanted him for his money. Still caught in the chandelier that killed him, Gustav instructs Ned to find his real will, hidden in the trophy room, and make sure that Elise doesn’t get any of the money. He also says that the bellman killed him, but his only bellman, James-Andrew, has an alibi: Fifteen people saw him at a key party that night. Ned has no idea what a key party is, but he can infer it from Chuck and Emerson’s raised eyebrows.


Taking advantage of Elise’s self-absorption, Ned sneaks away from the interrogation to find the trophy room. Naturally, Gustav was referring to hunting trophies. A room full of taxidermied animals is a minefield to a man who can touch dead things back to life, especially when he has to move the largest trophy to access the safe that holds the secret will. When did Ned turn into Indiana Jones? Chuck and Emerson hear a roar from the parlor (“Y’all sure got a big-ass dog”), but Ned touches the polar bear back to death before things get crazy. He opens the safe, but the only thing inside is a Latin phrase written on the wall: “Orbis pro vox.”

A robber has been leaving that same calling card all across town, so Emerson does a little digging. After every robbery, a sizable donation is made to charity. Someone is robbing the rich to give to the poor—like, perhaps, a charity organization called the Bellmen. Their motto, “Ring for right,” is the English translation of  “Orbis pro vox,” they’ve got a list of the town’s wealthiest inhabitants, and they’re certainly pushy enough to pull it off. The Pie Hole team sets up a sting to test their theory. Posing as Eva Gabor in Green Acres (complete with Pigby), Olive informs the Bellmen that she’s very wealthy, and she’s going out of town tonight. She leaves them Lily and Vivian’s address.


Lily and Vivian have no choice but to go along with the scheme while Chuck waits upstairs in her old room, which her aunt and mother have turned into a cheese locker. She’s delighted. Ned, completely genuine, says, “It’s nice that they filled this room with something you all loved so much.” This show’s unapologetic love of cheese completes me. Ned goes downstairs to wait for the robber, who visits Chuck’s room instead. It’s Rob Wright, head of the Bellmen, and he swears that he only uses the money for good things like saving animal shelters. He actually uses the puppy argument, and Chuck actually buys it.

Ned isn’t happy that Chuck let their lead suspect go, but she suggests that they check out James-Andrew again. As they stake out the mansion, Ned admits that he’s afraid of what might happen if Dwight finds out that Chuck is alive. Since he was a kid, he’s had the same dream: People learn about his ability, and he inevitably becomes a lab rat. Chuck thanks him for continuing to shield her from the pain of watching her dad die again, even if he might have the knowledge to put Dwight away for good. Either Ned risks his relationship with Chuck by making her watch him kill her dad, or he risks his life—and possibly hers—if they can’t find another way to stop Dwight. Even when Ned tries to control every outcome, he still ends up in trouble.

Chuck, Ned, and Emerson spot Elise kissing James-Andrew, so they confront the couple. Elise’s alibi didn’t check out after all, but she says that she was at the key party with James-Andrew. She got his key. (Ned: “Oh! I was still really wrong about what I thought that was.”) Anyway, Elise couldn’t possibly fire a gun with the amount of bling she wears on her fingers. It’s back to the Bellmen after all. Rob corners them with a knife at the charity’s headquarters, but when he tries to swing away, Emerson shoots the rope.

As it turns out, Gustav suspected that Elise only married him for his money. He asked Rob to rob him to test Elise’s devotion, but he changed his mind after Daniel caught Elise and James-Andrew making out. Gustav listened as Daniel defended his honor, so he rewrote his entire will to leave everything to his lawyer, his one true friend. When Rob arrived to stage the robbery, Gustav refused to play along, and Rob brought the chandelier down on his head. Daniel gets the will, and everything is wrapped up nicely—or it would be, if Dwight weren’t in town.


Dwight takes Vivian on a date to find out if she knows about her niece’s empty coffin. She clearly doesn’t. She even gives him a copy of Chuck’s obituary (pleasant second-date stuff), which includes a photo. Dwight recognizes the girl from the Pie Hole and breaks into her apartment to steal the pocket watch, then leaves the obituary with Olive as a message. Lily, after trying to steer Dwight away from her sister, seeks comfort at Chuck’s grave, but she finds the dirt recently overturned. The pocket watch Lily finds in Dwight’s hotel room seems to confirm that he robbed her daughter’s coffin, so she takes it back, but Dwight assumes that Chuck is to blame. Will he go after her? In the biggest and yet most inevitable twist of this already twisty episode, Ned finally agrees to wake Chuck’s dad and find out what he knows.

Are Ned and Chuck making the right call? Will Chuck’s dad know how to stop Dwight? And can Olive go undercover every day (preferably with Pigby)?

Best Lines

“Maybe he’s the old priest and the young priest is coming.” —Olive

“I find that interjecting at precisely the right moment often diffuses conflict. Wouldn’t you agree?” —Olive

Rob: I know how this must sound, but the facts were these.
Chuck: Huh?
Rob: These were the facts.

“I’m out of counter space, so I’m stress-baking in my head.” —Ned

“My manicure means I’m a mani-can’t for manual labor.” —Elise

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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