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'Pushing Daisies' recap: No to super, yes to man

Season 2 | Episode 11 | “Window Dressed to Kill” | Aired May 30, 2009

Maybe the best thing about Olive Snook is that she’s a sidekick in our story who refuses to be a sidekick in her own life. It’s been that way since she was a kid. Her parents were more focused on throwing parties than they were on her, so she snuck out of the house and hid in a nearby car, which got hijacked by two petty thieves. The men, Jerry Holmes and Buster Bustamente, wanted to return Olive to her family at once, but she refused to tell them anything. She ended up staying with them for the two happiest days of her childhood, only to be sent home to parents who hadn’t noticed her absence. When Jerry and Buster shamed them for it, the Snooks had them arrested for kidnapping.

Olive wrote to Jerry and Buster every week while they were in prison. Now they’ve busted out, and they want Olive’s help to get across the border. (What border? It doesn’t matter. Whichever one the roaming hamlet of Coeur d’Coeurs is closest to this week.) Ned decides to help, partially because he’s sworn off touching dead people in favor of regular problem solving, and partially because Jerry and Buster think that he’s marrying Olive. It turns out that she wasn’t entirely truthful in those letters.

The engagement is crushing news for taxidermist Randy Mann (David Arquette), who’s come to the Pie Hole with two stuffed doves for Ned’s magician half-brothers. The doves are really an excuse to flirt with Olive, but even after learning that she’s taken, he doesn’t hesitate to drive everyone to the border in his taxidermy van. The gang hits a roadblock, so Ned suggests visiting Lily and Vivian for disguises. When Jerry and Buster happen to mention Olive’s engagement, Ned and Olive are forced to keep up their act in front of Lily and Vivian. They share a kiss that’s sweeter than Ned expected.


Meanwhile, Emerson has a case, and with no dead-waking pie maker to help, he’s been forced to go old school. He reluctantly agrees to let Chuck help him investigate the death of Erin Embry, window dresser at Dicker’s Department Store. She seems to have fallen drunkenly into a fountain and frozen to death. Chuck isn’t so sure. The last window that Erin designed predicted her death, right down to the dress on the mannequin. They meet with Erin’s devotees, who explain that Erin was the true talent of the team, but she did have a window dressing partner named Coco Juniper. Coco thinks she’s the talented one, but she didn’t wish Erin dead.

Store owner Dick Dicker unveils Erin’s memorial window. Designed by Coco, the window depicts a woman surrounded by escalators. (“It’s an essay on the afterlife.”) Inside the department store, Coco’s dress catches on an escalator, cutting her body in half and killing her. Chuck and Emerson sneak into Coco’s workspace after hours and find sketches of the windows, but they’re all signed by Coco and Erin’s assistant, Denny. Did he kill them because he felt ignored and wanted the acclaim? Dick Dicker figures into one of the other sketches, so Chuck and Emerson assume that he’s next on Denny’s list, and they head off to protect him.

Emerson has clued Chuck into the situation with Ned’s fake engagement, and she doesn’t like it. She worries that Ned will get used to being able to hold someone’s hand without gloves or kiss without plastic wrap. Emerson kindly reassures her, but she’s not entirely off base. Ned is enjoying himself. He likes helping Olive. He likes feeling important for something other than his finger. He tells Olive that this relationship has been “fun to try on,” which hurts her. She asks if this is what he meant when, clinging to that tree branch, he said that he wouldn’t say he never thought of her in this way. It wasn’t about his feelings for her; Ned was just using Olive to project his own fantasies of a normal relationship. Olive tells everyone that the wedding was a lie, apologizes, and asks Ned to go. He would, but the house is surrounded by cops.

Ned just wanted to be Clark Kent for a while, but, as Randy points out, Clark Kent didn’t get girlfriends all on his own. He needed to be Superman. Special powers are meant to be used, especially to help the people closest to you. Ned realizes that he can do something for Olive after all. He sneaks into the taxidermy van and wakes Aloysius, the rhino that Randy was about to work on. As Randy wonders how he mistook the animal for dead, Aloysius distracts the cops long enough for Olive to get Jerry and Buster out of the house. Ned touches the rhino again and, ready to embrace his super power, returns home.


Chuck and Emerson have found Dick Dicker and taken him to police headquarters. They leave him and go to the morgue to check out Erin’s head injury, which seems to match Dick’s decanter. Ned rushes in and offers to touch as many dead bodies as they need, so Erin and Coco are able to confirm Chuck and Emerson’s theory: Dick killed them because he was tired of being saddled with the family store. He wanted to run it into the ground to be rid of it without getting disowned. He’s coming for Denny next, but the cops get there just in time.

Back in the van, Jerry and Buster tell Olive that when someone really loves her, she won’t have to second guess his feelings. They also point out that Randy has done everything for her without hope of getting anything in return. She thanks Randy and clarifies that she and Ned were never an item. Back at the Pie Hole, Olive’s former Mother Superior arrives with a group of nuns. Olive offers them two free pies, and the nuns smuggle Jerry and Buster across the border. It pays to have connections.

As Ned trades out his fresh fruit for rotten fruit, Chuck admits feeling insecure about Olive. Ned assures her that she’s the only one for him, plastic wrap and all. Anyway, Olive is over him. He watches her with Randy and is surprised to realize that he’s jealous.

So are Ned’s feelings too little too late? Is he right to keep using his super power? And how do you feel about Olive’s new relationship with Randy?

Best lines:

“I don’t like giving funny names to the pies. Does it not seem disrespectful?”—Ned

“If there’s anything you’d like to say to me, now would be the time. And if you could speak in the declarative only, using affirmative or comparative modifiers.”—Olive

Ned: Olive, who are these guys?
Olive: Who are any of us, really?

“We havent had this many visitors since our most recent home invasion.”—Vivian

“The only thing that smokes in this house is the gouda.”—Lily

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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