What did we learn this episode? Ghosts are real (except when they’re not)! Olive Snook is really, really short! Aunt Vivian is a sex addict! Emerson loves money! Horses can breathe fire from their noses for some reason! Ned has abandonment issues! Chuck wore headgear as a way to keep from having babies! Horse races are better with really badly done green screens!

This Week’s Case: Someone is going around murdering jockeys. Olive hires Emerson to investigate. It turns out the murders are attributed to John Joseph Jacobs, who was killed during a race and now seeks revenge from beyond the grave on the jockeys who trampled him to death, including Olive. Meanwhile, Ned deals with his own ghost while trying to come to grips with how his father abandoned him on Halloween twenty years earlier for a new life, and Olive threatens to reveal Chuck’s secret to Aunts Vivian and Lily. Rated C for extensive cleavage.

Because Scooby Doo stopped making new episodes some time ago, “Pushing Daisies” decided to do the whole “The-ghost-who-seeks-revenge-turns-out-to-be-someone-you-met-earlier-in-disguise” routine. I mean, in a world where some dude touches dead people and brings them back to life, the idea of a ghost is just ludicrous! Ned gets pretty defensive about the idea of ghosts saying something (and I’m paraphrasing here) along the lines of “Just because I can use magic doesn’t mean shitty magicians like David Blaine or ghosts are real.” Turns out he’s right, since the dead jockey isn’t really dead, but rather living in his mother’s basement. So he’s less a ghost and more a fan of World of Warcraft.

One great thing about this episode was how it took another step back on the fairytale feel and upped the bitterness. I’m all for the whimsy and fairytale elements, but with too much romance and too much sweetness, the show could get old quickly. Luckily Olive is a bitch, Aunt Lily is a bitch, and Emerson is a total bitch. In fact (Spoiler Alert!) the next episode is entitled “Bitches,” so expect more of the same.

One of the strengths of the show is in the relationships. The drama between Chuck and Olive really sizzled, and not just because of the ongoing cleavage war. Olive loves Ned, Ned loves Chuck, and Olive has power over Chuck by threatening to reveal to Chuck’s aunts that she isn’t really dead. In this episode, there is a lot of bitterness between the two Pie Hole employees; it’s so thick at times that it feels like a catfight is about to break out. And if Seinfeld taught us anything, it’s that catfights can end in the two participants first tearing each other’s clothes off and then kissing. Olive and Chuck kissing would pretty much be every wet dream I’ve had since I watched the first episode. I really thought it might happen when they agreed to have a sleepover involving booze…it seemed like a certain recipe for sexipe.

The relationship between Emerson and Olive is also progressing nicely, although it’s doubtful there will be any sex, unless Olive has a thing for getting flattened by gigantic black dudes (I know some of you girls are out there). They’re so snarky toward one another and their conversations are so witty and demented that I want them to just talk for half the episode. If there’s ever a “Pushing Daisies” spin-off, I hope it involves Olive and Emerson in some sort of crazy scenario, like traveling through time or working as singing cops or something. The scene when they visit the jockey bar was priceless, especially when Emerson thought he was getting racially profiled. Speaking of jockey bars, as a man of a shorter stature, I need to find one of those so I can finally be the tallest guy in a room. I could pick fights and have my swings connect with something other than some dude’s thigh.

The more we learn about Ned, the sadder his life becomes. First he has to watch his dog Digby die. Then his mom bites the dust. Then he accidentally kills his girlfriend’s dad. Then he gets carted off to a private school and abandoned by his father on Halloween. Now each Halloween holds such awful memories for him, kind of like how I’m always afraid of ghosts molesting me after going into that one “haunted house.” Could things get any worse for Ned? Oh yeah, I forgot about how he has the bluest balls this side of a racquetball court because he lives with the love of his life but can’t touch her. No wonder he’s so screwed up. At least he can turn to his dog for some affection! Oh wait…

Things are also sad in the house of Aunts Lily and Vivian. They still don’t know Chuck is back from the dead, and they’re still cooped up in their house. Luckily they have hallucinogenic pies being delivered each week to take the edge off. The pies are so good, in fact, Aunt Lily compares her addiction to the pies to a sex addiction. Although I can’t imagine what a woman who lives alone with just her sister would know about sex…wait a minute…is it still incest if it’s with a member of the same sex? We’ll get our crack research department on that one right away while you picture the two aunts dyking it out.

Random Thoughts:

  • “Pushing Daisies” got away with a second filthy joke (remember the beaver one?) when the name of the series of races was “Jock-off 2000.” And yes, I wish Olive would jock me off.
  • If I could get a part of a horse added to my body, it certainly wouldn’t be the legs, if you know what I mean. And if you don’t, I mean the cock. After all, the episode –was- entitled “Girth.”
  • Speaking of cocks, Emerson needs to knit himself a girlfriend so he can stop cock-blocking Ned.
  • I really, really wished that Pinky had screamed “Why the long face?!” when he was about to get trampled by that horse in his bar. Oh well.
  • When Ned killed the strawberry with his tongue, it ruined any hopes I’d had that he and Chuck had found at least one way to be intimate.

“Pushing Daisies” is on a break next week, so I’ll see you in two!