TV Recap: Pushing Daisies - Legend of Merle McQuoddy

Pushing Daisies mocks me every week with its fabulousness, and the fact that it’s time is limited. I’m trying to enjoy these last few episodes, and while they are wonderful, the nagging voice in the back of my head tells me to be detached – because it ain’t gonna last. Ah well, let’s make the most of it while we can.

As a little girl, Chuck and her father were very close – he helped her through several hard times, but was gone before she had the chance to grow up. So, when she had her chance to get him back – she jumped at it. And she just happened to save her and Ned’s lives in the process. Ned is none too happy about the deception – and when Lily and Vivian come barging into Ned’s old house (where the dead dad is squatting).

But, when Ned realizes that Chuck bringing her dad back is pretty much the same as him bringing her back – he caves and they share a hug separated by a large brown tarp. They determine to work through the issue of her dad being alive together.

And just when it seems everything is happy and wonderful, a large spotlight comes streaming across the sky with what at first looks like a batman symbol – but no, it’s a dead body. The lighthouse keeper’s body is found on the light – and her husband is the main suspect.

Merle McQuoddy – the husband was a sailor who had disappeared for 9 years, with his wife Nora waiting and praying at the lighthouse. He was rescued by a gay cruise ship (the people on board were gay, not the ship itself – just wanted to clarify that…), but things were not the way they were before. And now Nora is dead. Just as the Pie Gang is freaking out over Olive’s rendition of the story, the young son of the McQuoddy’s comes in asking for help.

Ned and Emerson are discussing what to do with Chuck’s dad with Ned balking at Emerson’s suggestion to “tap” him. Since this is Pushing Daisies, tap thankfully refers to sending dad back to the grave – not Ned having some weird threesome with his girlfriend and her dad.

Back to the lighthouse lady – she’s lying on the table at the morgue looking like a great big fried egg (the yellow slicker hat acting as the yolk). Since she’s basically melted, she can’t speak clearly, and instead taps out the letters P-C-H-S in Morse code – which Ned just happens to know. How handy dandy can you get?

Obviously, P-C-H-S isn’t exactly a case breaker, and they are still pretty clueless. Olive shows up at the Morgue with some sweet personalized raincoats – pies for Ned, olives for Olive and cod for Emerson. Sweet!

Chuck’s dad is unwilling to move into Ned’s apartment, because he doesn’t want to be around Ned (so he doesn’t get tapped accidentally) and he doesn’t want Chuck and Ned to see each other anymore either. A few other revelations occur during this conversation – namely that Chuck doesn’t like pie – she’s more of a cake kind of gal. We also learn that her dad is a total control freak, and he freaks Ned out.

Turns out PCHS could be the Papen County Historical Society who helped Nora out when she could no longer afford the lighthouse upkeep. The head of the society is one Mr. Gus Papen, the black sheep of the Papen family. Olive lured him to the Pie Hole by asking if it could be included as an historical location – he scoffs at this suggestion because of the stucco pie sticking off the front of the building.

Gus’ revelations include the fact that the McQuoddy’s son is the owner of the lighthouse, but if he bites it, PCHS becomes the owner. Hmmm…seems suspicious.

Ned and Chuck’s dad are trying to work out their differences – while Olive and Emerson are questioning Nora’s best friend. The best friend is a bit of a nut job, but she does tell them that Nora had recently put her foot down about a father-son sailing trip. She believes Merle killed Nora because she put the kibosh on his bonding time with his son.

When they arrive at the Lighthouse, the find a flamboyant realtor who is flipping out because he gave Elliott a $10 grand deposit – and then he finds out that it’s protected and he can’t sell it. Olive realizes that Elliott and his papa are hiding in the nearby caves – because there is no way they are taking off on their trip in the storm that is going on.

Back at the Pie Hole, Ned and Chuck share a plastic wrapped kiss witnessed by her angry father. Ned tells him that he can’t be seen in public – basically because he’s decomposing, and people might start to wonder. Mr. Charles Charles very nearly kicks Ned’s ass in his own kitchen – and Ned is just trying to keep Chuck’s beloved dad from touching him. He locks him in a storage room, and waits.

Sure enough, Olive and Emerson find Merle in the caves. But it seems that ole Merle was in the caves when his wife was killed. He had fled there after Nora told him that she was in love with another man. He doesn’t know the name of the guy, but he’s got a dutch love spoon – with the initials NM and AP. Clearly Nora McQuoddy, but who’s AP? Augustus Papen? Hmmm…

Chuck comes back to the pie hole to find her dad locked up in the storage room. He pretends that he didn’t do anything – and Chuck and Ned fight. Basically Ned draws the line in the sand telling her that what is going on is NOT a normal father-daughter-daughter’s boyfriend dynamic. He tells her to handle it, and I’m starting to wonder if their romance can handle Charles Charles being alive. Every good love story has to have a kink, right?

Up in the Apartment, Chuck and her dad are arguing about the situation they are in. Charles tries to get Chuck to flee to the far reaches of the earth with him – because he doesn’t want her to live in the freak show Ned has created. She is stuck with a rough decision.

Olive and Nora’s best friend are discussing the sadness of Olive’s situation, when Emerson busts in with a scoop on Mr. Papen. He’s got a proposal to develop the lighthouse into a waterpark. He also has a meeting with the young Master McQuoddy that evening. They head out to the lighthouse just in time to help Mr. Papen save Elliott. In an effort to be a good lighthouse keeper, Elliott was trying to hang the signal flags, but fell accidentally. Mr. Papen and Elliott are trying to explain when the light turns on, and there’s a guy with a harpoon gun pointed right at them. Yikes!

The harpoon gun shoots out a flag that signals an acapella group to pitch the water park and day spa idea to Elliott. Elliott is upset, and the papier mache handprint in his hair – much like the one that Nora’s best friend left on Emerson Cod’s suit coat.

Turns out the best friend was in love with Gus too, and killed Nora to eliminate the competition. Olive sympathizes with the crazy lady because she too loves someone who does not return the feeling. After they bust her, and she gets 30 years in jail, Emerson invites Olive to join his business and drop Ned and the Pie Hole. Interesting…

Olive’s love for Ned may be the undoing of Chuck and Ned – or maybe her dad will be. Either way, it looks like happily ever after isn’t going to be an option for these two love birds.

On a side note, I just realized the correlation between this episode and the Disney Classic Pete's Dragon - Pasamcquoddy, Earl McQuoddy; the lighthouse; the boy's name is Elliott; the mom's name was Nora; and the caves. Plus, the acapella group sang Candle on the Water - yeah I've seen Pete's Dragon a few dozen times - what's it to ya...