After a one week hiatus due to some turkey-related obligations, The Morning After Pushing Daisies is back! Sorry to all who looked for a recap of last week’s episode “Smell of Success.” All you need to know is Olive got Aunts Lily and Vivian to swim again and wore a SUPER HOT mermaid costume herself. I scoured the Internet for a screenshot, but came up dry until a comment below directed me to the source. Scroll down for some sweet Olive cleavage. Also, the gang solved a murder along the line and PeeWee Herman was the guest star.

What did we learn this week? Molly Shannon sure knows how to play crazy! Olive may have room in her gigantic chest for another man! Chuck can actually solve crimes! Lars isn’t the only guy who has invented himself a real girl! Ned doesn’t like standing up to bullies! Seinfeld’s Banya still gets occasional work! The town ain’t big enough for a candy shops and Pie Hole!

The Case: Tony is strangled by a pair of tiny hands belonging to the girlfriend of one Burly Bruce Carter’s fake girlfriend Sheila. Yep. She’s fake, as in a doll. The mystery is solved relatively quickly and a second case develops when Bittersweet Taffy and Sweets Emporium co-proprietor Billy Balsam, a.k.a. “Just a Guy,” is murdered and the killing is pinned on Ned. Chuck and Emerson must race to find the real killer and free Ned before the prison crowd decides to feast on the pie maker. Rated C for Crazy Guest Stars.

When we visit Young Ned we see a brief reprieve from his normal awful childhood. Ned makes a friend in science class in the form of a gawky, awkward Indian boy who makes kick-ass paper airplanes. Of course, happiness is short lived for the boy who brings dead things back to life when he, well, brings a bunch of dead leaves back to life and scares his friend. Then Ned gets his ass kicked by some bullies. I didn’t think anyone had a childhood worse than mine, but whenever I feel low about how things went, I remember that I, unlike Ned, didn’t kill my mom or my girlfriend’s dad, get left at a boarding school, or have an awful haircut. I just had to deal with B.O. and braces. Not too bad, comparatively.

In the present, Ned decides to initiate one of the absolute WORST moments you can have with a girl: the dreaded “What are we?” conversation. Normally this conversation proceeds as follows:

Girl: So we’ve been seeing each other a bunch.
Guy: Yeah (Farts).
Girl: Are you seeing other girls?
Guy: (Thinks for a minute) No, why?
Girl: Cuz, you know, I stay over pretty often…does that mean I’m your girlfriend?
Guy: Gotta go! (Jumps out window, farts)

Instead of jumping out the window, though, Ned actually brings up the question of whether or not he is Chuck’s boyfriend. Chuck says he is. They smile at each other and plan to a mutual masturbation party for later.

The one person who isn’t pleased, of course, is poor, underappreciated Olive Snook. When she overhears the dreaded “What are we?” conversation, it’s Chuck she wants thrown out a window, but since she’s small and that’s illegal, she just gets mad until she’s mildly cheered up by Alfredo. In case you’ve forgotten or didn’t see the episode, Alfredo is the traveling salesman who panders homeopathic mood enhances that Chuck has been baking into pies for her aunts. Alfredo is also in love with Olive, who is too obsessed with Ned to notice, despite Alfredo sporting a pretty sweet beard. It’s not until the end of the episode when Olive is cleaning up Alfredo’s coffee cup and, apparently spurred by the domestic servitude that all women must eventually succumb to, realizes that maybe this Alfredo with the sweet beard isn’t so bad.

The case Emerson takes is almost so trivial this week that it’s hardly worth mentioning. There’s Tony and Tina. They’re crazy for each other. They speak with stereotypical Italian New Yorker accents. Tony is strangled, presumably by Tina, but it turns out his corpse comes back to flirt with Chuck and accuse his friend Burly Bruce Carter’s imaginary girlfriend of the murder. Burly Bruce confesses and things are wrapped up pretty neatly.

The real conflict of the episode comes in the form of a candy shop opening across the street, The Bittersweet Taffy and Sweets Emporium. The candy shop is owned and operated by Billy and Tilly Balsam, played by Some Guy and Molly Shannon. The Balsams have it out for the Pie Hole and want to put it and its owner, The Lord of the Pies, out of business. A not-so-friendly war ensues, but Ned wants no part. After getting his ass kicked as a child, he doesn’t like to stand up to bullies (see how neatly things tie together?) for fear of getting spanked in a non-fun way.

The Balsam play dirty, however, and mess up Ned’s sign to read “Pie Ho,” which better not refer to Olive or I’ll fight someone. Then they sic a health inspector (played by Banya of Seinfeld fan, who dines somewhere other than Mendy’s for a change) and get the Pie Hole shut down. When Ned refuses to get his hands dirty, Olive and Chuck dress up like sexy burglars and release a bag of rats into the candy shop. When Ned finds out though, he turns into a little bitch and rushes to the store to collect the rats. Waiting for him is Billy Balsam, who has been murdered and drowned in taffy. The cops rush in to discover Ned holding a corpse, and think he’s the culprit for some strange reason. Ned goes to jail and is in danger of having his pie hole violated. He ends up rooming with Burly Bruce, who shows him love matters or something. Or maybe shows him that dating a dead girl is better than a girl who was never alive.

We should have learned by now by Molly Shannon’s guest spot history that she is not a woman to mess with. After all, she kicked the crap out of Elaine on Seinfeld when Elaine made fun of the way she walked without swinging her arms. So when her character on Pushing Daisies thinks the Pie Hole employees are at fault, she traps Olive in a trunk and pulls a gun on Emerson and Chuck. Seriously, you wouldn’t think working at a restaurant that serves only pie would be so dangerous, yet our heroes find ways each week to nearly die or, in the case of Chuck, actually die.

Luckily, Banya turns out to be the real killer when his finger is found in Billy Balsam’s stomach. Not even a joke about Ovaltine (they should call it ROUNDtine!) can save him, and he ends up dead at the hands of Tilly Balsan.

Another case solved! Everything seems great. Then Ned admits to killing Chuck’s dad and we’re left with another two weeks to wait to see what happens.

See you in two weeks!

Random Thoughts:

  • I hold my breath each episode hoping there won’t be any singing. With a cast of singers, though, it’s too much of a temptation, I guess. The guy who plays Alfredo is a big Broadway star, by the way.
  • Emerson is the perfect counterbalance to the romance and whimsy. We could all use a little Emerson in our lives.
  • Either Molly Shannon looks better these days or the makeup and hair department on this show can work real wonders. If they can make Molly Shannon look alright, though, maybe Olive isn’t as hot as I think she is? No, that simply can’t be possible.