is so damn cool. Really. There is no pretension or unnecessary cynicism attached to Bryan Fuller's creation, just a heaping pile of ridiculousness that has one goal and one goal only – to put a smile on the viewers' face. It's a free-for-all every week, and it's always somehow satisfying. I think I figured out one of the reasons why tonight – while the cases each week are often convoluted and loosely plotted, all of the character stories, the mythology of Pushing Daisies
, is intricately woven throughout the episodes in increasingly intelligent ways. Emerson's daughter, Lily's emotional state, Olive's decision, Ned and Chuck's relationship – all these things were tossed in effortlessly into tonight's Pushing Daisies
Emerson's phone lines are ringing off the hook, but he is generally unconcerned. He knits instead. A woman enters his office, and explains her story. Her teenage daughter, Nikki Heeps, is missing. Emerson doesn't usually take any non-murder cases, but Mrs. Heeps asks him if he has any children. Emerson, thinking about his estranged daughter, impulsively takes the case.
Emerson starts by interviewing Nikki's best friend. She gives him nothing. Chuck takes her turn interrogating, and she tricks the dumb girl – Nikki ran off with a mime who owned a cool van. Ned and Emerson check out the van – the mime is dead and Nikki is gone. Ned wakes the mime up, ask him what happened. Someone must have poisoned his make-up, but before that Nikki ran off to the circus.
Ned and Emerson check out the circus. They run into an acrobat who isn't very helpful. Later, they talk to the owner. He says he doesn't know anything about the girl, but his secretary acts suspicious. When the owner leaves, they talk to the secretary – she knows about Nikki, she wasn't well-liked. It turns out that Nikki, the night before, had run off with the head clown, Jackie Johnny.
They drive off, notice something suspicious. Ned and Emerson find a clown mask near a ravine. A clown car full of dead clowns is pulled out of the ravine. Jackie Johnny is one of them. Nikki is nowhere to be found. Ned wakes Jackie Johnny up at the morgue – he says that Nikki wasn't in the car with the clowns because they had sent her to clean up after the mess they had made at that day's show. Once Jackie thinks about it, there was a man named Fondinas who threatened to kill the clowns – that may have been who ran the clowns off the road.
Emerson sets a trap for this man Fondinas, and he ends up at The Pie Hole. Fondinas had been brought to the center stage by the clowns, stripped to his underwear, had chocolate pies thrown on him and then got defecated on by a elephant. He was with his kids, and they stayed at the circus until his clothes dried. Fondinas didn't do it.
Emerson remembers what Mrs. Heeps told him – Nikki hates being alone. Emerson thinks she might still be at the circus. After almost getting hit by a human cannonball, they snoop. They eventually find Nikki – she was scared that she might get blamed for the clown murders. It turns out that the clowns were meeting quietly about a possible labor dispute and Nikki was sent by the owner to spy on them. She was a snitch. In return, she was allowed to perform. The real culprit in all this was the french acrobat, who knew about the labor disputes, and wanted everything to remain the same as it always was. He loved the circus as is. They catch the acrobat (via softball to the head) and that is that.
Ned has a difficult time with Chuck living next door...at first. They both decide to start anew later on, and it seems to give both an extra spark. Chuck has to take over Pie Hole duties in Olive's absence. Vivian shows up at The Pie Hole, but Chuck manages to hide – Vivian is struggling with Lily's departures. At the nunnery, Lily tries to take back the secrets she's told Olive. Olive calls her on her nonsense. Olive eventually lets slip that she's in love with Ned. But she convinces Lily to go home, telling her to embrace the memory of Chuck, not try and get behind it (the opposite advice Ned gave Vivian last episode). Olive stays, dealing with her own crazy secret (Chuck being alive), but she falls into Lily's trap and starts drinking at the nunnery.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of ABC)