And so Pushing Daisies has ended. (In a way.) (That’s your hint that spoilers lie ahead.)
The episode, entitled “Kerplunk,” was a dizzy doozy, one that focussed on some of the series’ most crucial subplots. It was largely a Vivian-and-Lily episode, in which we learned more about their past career as The Darling Mermaid Darlings — “the Serena and Venus of water ballet,” as Chuck called them. The synchronized-swimming duo had a rival: Coral and Blanche, the Aqua Dolls, played with madcap glee by Wendy Malick and Nora Dunn.
If the episode’s crime was the death of Dunn’s Blanche (swallowed by a shark), the pleasure as always arose from the main characters’ emotions and the clever supporting players. Chief among the latter for me, at least, was the welcome sight of Wilson Cruz — Rickie from My So-Called Life! — looking fit and sly as a fellow aqua-show performer, a suspect in the murder, and possessor of what the show called with its usual arch euphemisms an impressive “banana hammock” of a Speed-o.
Vivian and Lily’s rivalry with the Aqua Dolls lured them out of their house to watch their enemies perform. (Vivian uttered my favorite line of the night: “This is an unanticipated stresser.”) The result was a spilling of more than water. Coral’s infidelity reminded Lily of her own indiscretion (she’d had a fling with Vivian’s fiance), and eventually everyone finally knew: that Lily is Chuck’s mother, not her aunt. Lily and Vivian learned that Chuck (their Charlotte) was still alive.
The series did a necessarily hasty but satisfying wrap-up of its subplots. Emerson was reunited with his daughter. Olive, emboldened by her love for Randy, left the pie shop to open a macaroni-and-cheese emporium called The Intrepid Cow.
And narrator Jim Dale gave this lovely, graceful, witty, and mischievous series its farewell by coming full-circle (a pie-shape), by uttering the final, fairy-tale words of Pushing Daisies: “Endings are where we begin.” That’s what I meant at the beginning of this piece: It ended, in a way. But in another way, it began again, for now we can imagine the lives these characters are leading with their new knowledge of each other.
How much are you going to miss Pushing Daisies? Did you like the way it ended?