In watching this week's Pushing Daisies, "Bad Habits," I was struck with the fact that part of the reason these characters are so fascinating (besides being able to bring people back from the dead and being back from the dead), is that they're pretty miserable yet cheery people.
In this episode, Olive was forced into breaking her "no Ned" rule when she called on Emerson to investigate her fellow nun's murder, and despite her wishes, Emerson brought along Ned and Chuck to pretend to all be Vatican police/fake priests and nun. As they investigated the crime, Chuck was also investigating her past, which turns out to be very tricky, even with a genealogist, when your family has completely lied to you.
And in Chuck's search came my revelation of her (and Ned, Olive, and Emerson's) cheery misery which isn't all that much different than how she and they have been all along, but it was definitely emphasized in this episode.
Chuck was not only feeling down about not knowing her past, but she was feeling as if she had no past, no future, and was hanging in this "reborn" limbo that may have ruined everything that was meant to be for her life. It was heartbreaking to hear her to tell Ned - though of course with that perfect touch of humor as they were dressed as a nun and priest - that she felt completely alone, like she wasn't really alive, and maybe she wasn't meant to be alive - and she actually was considering a wish to have him touch her, aka kill her.
Ow, my heart! Poor Ned. Obviously he's understanding of Chuck's situation, but I can't imagine the pain of having the one you love wishing to be dead - but yet not in an utterly depressed way, but in the way Chuck and others on this show always are - living in somewhat miserable circumstances, but with people they care about and with a basic good and sarcastic disposition that gets them through it.
But on the bright side, it seems this was worked out to a point for our dear characters by the end of the episode. Emerson and Ned discovered the dead nun's secret of her affair involving a chef and truffles, and Chuck discovered the real murderer which turned out to be just a little piggy - Pigby - wishing for some yummy truffles himself! But Chuck's discovery was only because she was tossed into the same situation as the nun right before she died, leaving Chuck hanging on the window of the bell tower, to be saved by Olive, then Olive to be saved by Ned and Emerson (by accident) as they brought a wagon of hay meant to save Chuck! Phew!
In those moments, it seemed Chuck did not want to die and Olive did which was a bit of a switch from what we'd seen so far that episode, but led to Olive deciding to come home, which especially after Ned's apology probably means she's dealing with getting over Ned just fine, and also that she trusted Ned to tell her/Lily's secret as needed. And so Ned did, and the secret of Lily truly being Chuck's mother brought tears of happiness to the eyes of the girl Ned loved, making her no longer breaking her own heart and his for wishing to be dead.
So now are our characters back to their original state of semi-misery as Ned and Chuck still care for each other, but can't be together and Olive may not be in love, but still is not happy?
It seemed the issue of Chuck figuring out her life would be a good distraction and complication to the Ned-Chuck issue, and maybe it's not all set, but I feel as if it's generally worked out, and that means there's not much plot to work with since nothing can change for Ned and Chuck.
I loved what this episode did for the new season storylines and for the development of the characters as well, so I can only hope this leads to other developments for them instead of falling back into their first season dilemmas!
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