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Headscratchers / Pushing Daisies

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...Don't they have security cameras in a morgue?
...Or does the coroner secretly know about Ned's powers, but keeps erasing the tapes because of Emerson's bribes?
  • My guess would be that they don't have security cameras. If the coroner knew, I think Ned would be fairly worried about it.
Why didn't young Ned touch Digby again between the time he reanimated him and the time he figured out that to touch again would be permanent re-death?
There was quite some time in between.
  • Pure luck. Though finding out about the second-touch part when his mother kissed him goodnight was an even worse way to figure it out.
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  • Digby ran off into the ginormous field of flowers and apparently didn't come back to Ned until his mother's second death.
  • Dogs will do that.
  • Digby seems to just know, for some unexplained reason, that he and Ned can't touch. This is explicitly stated by the narrator when Digby tracks Ned down at the boarding school.
  • I thought that, had the show continued, he'd accidentally touch the dog again, and it wouldn't die; thus Ned discovers that after waiting a certain amount of time, he can touch somebody he brought back to life, and they wouldn't die. So the question is, how long does he have to wait before he can touch his girlfriend?

"The Fun In Funeral" established that Ned's powers work the same way on a person who's dead because he resurrected someone else as on any other dead person. But what would happen if Chuck died (from some other cause than touching Ned) and he touched her? Would she come back to life again, or stay dead forever?
(I'm guessing the writers will only deal with this if the answer is that she would come back to life, because killing her would end the series.)
  • It hasn't been discussed yet in the show, but judging from how Digby has not aged at all since Ned was a child and the fruit he brings back keeps for such a long time, it seems the people who he brings back may be immortal until he touches them again.

Not aging is one thing, but what if Chuck gets run over by a bus? Is she immune to accidents, too? And if she did die in an accident, what would Ned's touch do to her afterwards?
All very good questions. Has Digby never been hit by another car, or had any sort of accident that resulted in him having to go to the vet? We know he is alive as normal, from the fact that one can shave his butt and it grows back like any other dog's would.
  • Well, depending on the accident, he would not be able to bring her back to the point of walking among regular people. You've seen the victims he wakes up in the morgue.
  • Ned seems to think that Chuck can die. He gets quite cross in the Season 2 opener when he thinks Chuck's being reckless; even goes so far as to say that "there's a reason I don't let Digby play in traffic". Ned doesn't say why he's so sure, but I'd imagine that some of his early experiments confirmed it for him. Given the intensity of his reaction, I further infer that he wouldn't be able to bring back something that's already been revived.
    • Of course, the more horrifying implication here is that Chuck and Digby wouldn't die and become a disfigured but "living" corpse, like all the victims Ned revivesnote . Even if those revived have regained their natural healing, it's entirely possible they could get "stuck" in a state from which they can't heal or be surgery'd better... forever... or until Ned re-deads them.
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  • Ned seems to be a bit neurotic [with justification!] — he probably has been very careful of Digby since then.
  • Chuck hurt her ankle in one episode, so she and Digby can definitely be injured. I don't know what would happen if she was killed and Ned touched her, but my guess would be that it would have the same blue sparks seen when Ned re-deads someone, and nothing would happen. I'm not even that sure that Digby still being around means that alive-agains don't age, given the fairy-tale like nature of this show. Especially given that one episode had a pet pigeon that lived for at least 20 years. It is possible for a pigeon to live that long, but it's unlikely, and the bird didn't look any different in the flashbacks.
  • I have imagined someone repeatedly killing someone with a Death Note and Ned continually reviving them. Would it work? Let the fanwank commence...!
  • Chuck seemed to think she was going to die in "Dummy" when the car was about to be forcibly rammed into the wall.
    • Yes, but it's not like she actually knows the rules. Anyway, even if you have good reason to think you might be immortal, wouldn't that still be your gut reaction to the situation?

What would happen if Ned touched a stuffed dead animal? It wouldn't have any organs to support it.
  • It happened anyway. Bearskin rug came to life during "intimate relations," according to Ned. It's not a natural ability, so presumably natural laws don't apply. The funeral home owner would have been embalmed in preparation for his funeral, but somehow that didn't matter. So presumably the Ned Touch fixes all that.
  • On the subject of the bearskin rug, why hasn't Ned gotten into the habit of tapping anything dead and within reach twice, quickly enough that it doesn't have time to move? (for that matter, does he bring back leather upholsery, dooming it to an unlife of torture until he touches it again? And might a psychic eventually walk into the Pie Hole and become really messed up from all the squick of some or all of the booths screaming in eternal pain?)
    • I think it's been said somewhere that he's a vegetarian, and that could possibly mean he wouldn't want to use leather for his booths. It might just be really nice pleather. Or, if that doesn't work for you, just assume that since Ned and Chuck can kiss through plastic wrap and other things without her dying, Ned's clothes could prevent him from alive-again-ing the booths. Besides, if neither of those work, he's probably sat in all of the booths at least twice, what with him owning the place.
    • I can't recall but I believe it was stated somewhere that as long as it retains its alive shape (or most of it, seeing as how the woman cut in half could still talk) that it comes back, if not then it doesn't

What about people whose death mangled them so severely that they should die instantly? Communication ought to be out of the question.
  • I didn't get the impression that the Uber Life guy couldn't be resurrected, just that Ned was too squicked out by him coming to life in his current state to even try.
    • Maybe it's not so much that he couldn't be resurrected, it's just that he would be unable to communicate in any way.
  • He's also been able to revive people/things who aren't in great shape (the long-dead cellmate in "Pigeon" springs to mind), but the show's somewhat inconsistent about what's fixed for you by the reviving process. Dead fruit is restored to its pristine peak-of-life state; dead people generally aren't, but they're able to function even if their physical condition is such that, had they REALLY been alive, they'd have died instantly (i.e. being a cinder isn't a problem, having a twisted neck isn't a problem).
    • The function of fruit is to be edible.

If Ned died in such a way that his hand hit him in the face after he was dead, would he bring himself back to life?
And if so, would he then be unable to touch any two parts of his body together? He'd have to walk around in a gimp suit all the time or something.
  • I suspect that if Ned died, he would stay dead. Assuming he can die. Or wait... maybe he's a Time Lord! If he died, he would just regenerate into a different body, and since that body had never been dead, it wouldn't be a problem.
  • I'd think the second he died, his power also dies with him. He can't resurrect himself because the ability disappears as soon as his life does.

Am I the only one who noticed that Aunt Lily actually should have seen Chuck near the end of the Pie-lette?
  • The eyepatch gag was funny and all but the patch is on her right eye, so she sees from her left, which means that her line of sight includes everything that was on screen when the camera was to the left ... which includes Charlotte.

Why, during some of the early episodes, is Chuck constantly near Ned, considering that any accidental bump can kill her?
Or, alternatively, considering that they can kiss with Saran Wrap, why doesn't Ned just wear gloves (and maybe a hoodie) when he's around Chuck so that all accidental touching is sufficiently insulated?
  • I suppose that during the early episodes, they're still getting used to their arrangements. And always wearing gloves would be more than a little suspicious, although he could make up an excuse for it.
  • I think he wears gloves during piemaking anyway, to avoid touching the fruit twice.
  • I always put it down to Chuck's personality, she was never very cautious.
  • Ned is almost always wearing long sleeved shirts, and when standing or sitting next to Chuck he holds himself very tightly, hiding his hands in his pockets, under his arms, or sitting on them. To be fair he holds himself tightly anyway (as seen when he hides his hands sitting next to Vivian) but this could be habit by now.

How did the sign on the roof go from reading 'The Pie Ho' to 'The Pie Hole' between the end of the eighth episode and the beginning of the ninth?
The sign is still damaged when Ned gets back at the end of the eighth, yet when Ned is there at the beginning of the next episode, it's fixed, even though very little time has passed and it's still late at night.
  • Enough time had passed for Olive to overhear Ned and Chuck's slanging match, and Ned to go all Tennessee Williams - maybe he fixed it in the process...?
  • Maybe it was fixed during the eighth episode but Chuck and Olive decided to leave the L and E turned off as psychological warfare?

When Ned freshens up his strawberries and other fruits, what dies in return?
  • One instance showed the flowers in his kitchen dying. I suspect that being brought back by Ned makes one immune to being killed by his proximity thing when he brings someone else back, otherwise he might accidentally rot fruit while it was being eaten. And also, his 'no re-gifting!' comment to Chuck in 'The Fun In Funeral' suggests that that might be the case.
  • The trade-off is shown to be something of equal "value": squirrel for a pigeon, person for a person. As fruit isn't high up on the list (one imagines), it'd probably just trade off flowers, or fruits from another, lesser store.
  • What about the mold and bacteria on the fruit? Since they go all pristine and superfresh, all the rot is gone, which is caused by mold and bacteria, which are alive.
  • The buildup of bacteria on the fruit is what dies in return, which is why the fruit goes superfresh.
  • Maybe he started with one lot of spoiled fruit, and one fresh. He revives the spoiled ones, which kills the fresh. He gets another lot of cheap, almost spoiled fruit, then 'pays' with them for reviving the previous sacrifice. And then just keeps that circle going.

How was LeNez planning to have his book be discovered as explosive, short of someone actually blowing themselves up with it?
  • Since he knew it was booby-trapped, he planned to set it off himself, in such a way that he wouldn't actually be hurt. Anita didn't know, so she wasn't able to take whatever precautions he had planned.

Why did it take so long for Ned to get let out of jail after the finger was discovered?
Shouldn't the fact that he has all his digits intact exonerate him straight away?
  • Welcome to the Legal System - where nothing is done until 12 people have signed 18 forms in triplicate! I exaggerate, of course, but that'd be my argument. That and it served the plot, I suppose.

Charlotte Charles's dad was Charles Charles. And her maternal aunts are Lily and Vivian Charles. So Chuck's parents were apparently both Charleses independently of each other. How?
(It's not an inconsistency or mistake, and it really doesn't matter, but I feel like the writers want us to assume that the Charleses are all family, when they're not.)
  • The end of "Circus, Circus" makes it clear they're not related. During Chuck's self-pep talk at the end, she says she was raised by two unmarried women she called her Aunts.
  • This has been clarified (a little), as of "Bad Habits": they WERE family, but not biologically. Charles Charles' dad married Lily and Vivian's mom, thereby making them Charleses. (Chuck also states that all three kids (Charles, Lily, and Vivian) were already in their twenties at the time). Chuck refers to them as "Step-Aunts."

When Ned dies, what will happen to Chuck, Digby, and anyone else he happens to revive?
Will they die when he does, or would they keep living indefinitely, waiting for the touch that won't come? If the second answer, if Chuck was to touch his body after his death, would the touch still apply? (And if you were to, say, cut off Ned's finger and throw it at Chuck's face... would she die from that contact?)
  • First of all... ew. Second of all, I don't think it would count if Ned was dead. Presumably, if Ned was dying, he'd touch Chuck and Digby before he died, or they'd stay immortal. And I don't think that something removed from Ned would count.
    • As mentioned further up the page, Ned seems to think it's possible for them to die from other circumstances, like bee stings or being hit by a car. So if Ned died before Chuck, she could carry on until she got fed up of life (which might be quite a while knowing her personality), then put a bullet through her head or something.

How (rather, what) does Ned eat?
I would assume only fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Ned states in "Frescorts" that he is a vegetarian. Methinks this is why.
  • Oh, god. Thanks for that.
  • I wonder what would happen if Ned touched a piece of steak? Or a fish head? Or, looking in the other direction, if he touched a dry-as-dust skeleton? And are all his clothing synthetic fibers?
  • Isn't it disturbing that anyone who eats at the Pie Hole is eating delicious, mashed and cooked, but still-living fruit? Normally, if if the fruit is sill sort-of alive being fresh-picked, it would be considered dead by the time it's chewed up, and especially after it's been digested.
  • Err... why does the above troper have such a strong aversion to eating fresh-picked fruit? The purpose of fruit is to entice animals into eating it and spreading the seeds, similar to how colorful flowers entice insects for the purpose of pollination. It's about as living as a fingernail or a lock of hair on a human, and it serves no other purpose to the plant. That being said, the way Ned "revives" fruit is a little inconsistent with how he revives other dead things— why do leaves and fruit become green and healthy again, but decomposed/heavily damaged bodies do not regain their "alive" form?
    • For that matter, can Ned eat his own pies? He revives fruit by touching them, but then his tongue would touch them again. Or maybe his tongue doesn't count. This provides some possibilities for erotic fan fiction.
      • He cannot eat his own pies. One episode had him visit the Charles sisters and eat a piece of pie, which instantly went rotten in his mouth. Cluing him into the fact that Chuck was still in contact (in a way).

What's the minimum for touching something or someone dead?
He could kiss Chuck through the plastic wrap, brought the taffy guy back to life but I don't remember if he brought back the dead rat. Has anyone been brought back by touching their hair? Or a disembodied limb. Would it come back if the person was still alive? Would it bring the person back? If the person was touched, would the limb come back to life? The fruit used for pies and the leaves in one flashback show that it doesn't need to be a central part of the living thing, nor anything with a brain.
  • Apparently, the brain doesn't need to be intact for the person to function (as strange as it may seem). Bradan Caden from "Pigeon" has glass shards stuck in his head, Bao Di from "Din Sum, Lose Some" has his impaled by a pipe and Erin Embry from "Window Dressed to Kill" suffered a fatal blow there.

The cancellation. Why, Dear God? Why?
  • Because God Is Evil. And he wants us all to suffer.
  • Because The Piemaker touched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, bringing it to life, during the WGA strike. Equivalent Exchange dictates that another awesome work must die in its place, and that work happened to be Pushing Daisies. The time limit for works, rather than one minute, is approximately one season.
  • Because Ned's condom broke.

Where did Alfredo go?
  • He went back to roaming the space-time continuum. He's a Time Lord. Didn't ya get the memo?
    • I was the one who made that theory, but I still missed him in season 2.
    • Maybe he was coming back late in season 2, but since they cut the second half of the season nobody knew? (Casting contracts would have to confirm this.)

Why did Ned have moldy fruit (most noticeable in Bitter Sweets)?
His touch of life shouldn't have killed the mould, would it? Just brought the fruit back to life?
  • He doesn't touch the fruit until he's actually making it into pie, presumably to minimize the chance he'll accidentally touch it twice and ruin it.
    • That doesn't answer the question, unless I misunderstand your point. The mould should still be there after he re-alives the fruit. Even though the fruit is no longer rotten, the mould should mean that it is still inedible.
      • Clearly, his touch doesn't treat all kingdoms equally. It brings dead animals and plants back to life, but kills living fungus.
      • My guess is it works more according to fairy-tale logic than scientific reality. Fungus in that universe isn't fungus, it's just an aspect of death.

Why does Ned have to use rotten fruit anyway?!
  • It's cheaper. He can buy it in season and store it until needed.
  • Also, it tastes better, since the fruit (after being re-alived) is fresher than any other fruit.

More on the subject of Ned's powers: What would happen if he remained in constant contact with a person after alivening someone?
Would touching them with another pert of his body cause them to die, or shifting back and forth between two parts? Would a buildup of dead skin count as "not touching" or, even after it came off and turned into a disgusting paste of rotting skin flakes and sweat, would it count as "him" since it never left contact with his body?

Why didn't Ned discover his power until he was nine?
Had he never touched anything dead before - old leaves, rotten fruit, dead beetle?
  • When you touch an apparently dead beetle and it then jumps up and scuttles away, your first thought isn't "Oh, i brought a beetle back to life," you just assume it wasn't dead in the first place. My guess is Ned had never been presented with something quite so big and quantifiably dead coming back to life until then.
  • Maybe it didn't work until he was nine.
  • Wasn't the power refered to as a "gift" that he was given in the first episode? Maybe he wasn't given it until then.

Are we to infer that they ended up telling Olive the secret at some point after the show ended? Because from her point of view, Digby should be dead soon, and then you get into Chuck's lack of aging...
  • I think he did, eventually. He made a major breakthrough in "Kerplunk!" when he let the aunts in on his secret; he'd never willingly done that before.
    • Chuck did tell Olive. It was in the "if I told people they wouldn't believe me" "I told Olive, she didn't believe me" conversation in a season one episode.
    • Did Ned actually reveal his secret to Lily and Vivian in "Kerplunk!"? Did he just go with the faked-death idea?

"Excuse me Mister <insert suspect here>, a PI and his two unqualified mates are here to ask you probing questions." Who would allow themselves to be questioned by a PI, a piemaker, and some random chick?
And (I only have the 1st season, but) I don't think I've ever seen a cop in this show.
  • In the episode "The Norwegians" from season 2 it's established that because of Ned's power helping him solve cases, Emerson is fairly well-known; there are billboards with his face on them. Also, innocent suspects probably talk because they want the case solved, guilty suspects because they think not talking would be suspicious. And as for cops, you will see Emerson's rival on the force in "Water and Power".
    • The show makes it clear that the majority of Emerson's cases are investigating deaths which have been written off by the police as accident or suicide, people who are not satisfied with the offical explanation, or the police themselves offering a reward when they have no other leads.

How did Charles Charles know that Ned had killed him?
The other victim of Ned's killer touch (the funeral home guy) had no idea how he died.
  • I thought Ned told him. Or Chuck did.
  • He could have figured it out from various things Chuck said, as he probably asked her how he died and she would have been too emotionally fried to lie to him.

How is cake more complex than pie?
  • Not that I support the premise of the question, but with pie, you put the filling in (probably from a can, if you're not a professional baker or baking enthusiast), top off the crust, and after baking, often serve it straight from the pan. Cake has all the mixing, and getting it out of the pan without tearing it up, and icing it, and maybe arranging the layers. Personally, I find beginner's-level pie to be, on average, less easy than beginner's-level cake. And it's more difficult to eat, since you've got the filling to deal with (sloppy and potentially scalding), whereas with cake you just choose the section to cut off, spear it or scoop it up with a fork, and eat. Pie, in my opinion, is only easy compared to, say, baking a souffle, or driving a car through a helicopter while angry Germans are shooting at you, or making a hot-dog octopus whose eyes don't fall out without the use of toothpicks. Not compared to cake, unless you count piping sketches.
    • If you're making it from scratch, there are plenty of pies you can make that are relatively easy. For example: milk, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and corn starch can be made into a chocolate pie filling, and crushed graham crackers and butter can be made into a crust. Pour one into the other and refrigerate. Cake, on the other hand, is always going to be complex. You have to have the right combination of ingredients mixed together in the right way, otherwise you don't get a cake. Too much leavening? It'll run over, or collapse. Too little? It'll never rise. Wrong pan? It'll burn, or set too quickly and cook unevenly. If you mess up making a pie, you still get a pie. It might be a bad pie, but it's still a pie. However, messing up a cake recipe doesn't guarantee that you have a cake when all is said and done.
    • You put eyes on your hot-dog octopuses?
  • Maybe Mr. Charles was just trying to annoy Ned.

If the fruits Ned uses for his pies are brought back fresh, why are all the dead bodies still horribly disfigured (burnt, melted, or merely decomposed)

  • Actually the fruits are just dead from decaying, It's probably just part of the rule where the fruit rots for the others to be ripe again.
  • Ned holds the fruit while he revives it, he only barely pokes corpses, I think the duration of the touch determines level regeneration, If he held a corpse, maybe that would heal its wounds.

Who did Vivian think Chuck was?
  • They told Chuck that they were her aunts and her mother died giving birth to her. Chuck could be excused for buying into it, but Vivian must have known that she didn't have a sister who died when Chuck was born. Why did she think that they were taking in her ex-fiancé's daughter? She says in "Kerplunk" that she must have known deep-down inside that Lily was Chuck's mother, but how did she rationalize it to herself?
    • Vivian and Lily are Charles' (Chuck's father's) step-sisters. Vivian knew that Charles cheated on her with someone and had a daughter, and thought that the mother died in childbirth.
    • Vivian is also a total sweetheart who probably would take in her ex-fiance's daughter.

How did the "kidnappers" end up in jail so long? Sure, maybe the court wouldn't buy the word of a twelve-year-old, but if she's still shouting from the roof-tops about their innocence at twenty-one, there should have at least been a retrial.
  • Double Jeopardy. In America, you can't be tried twice for the same crime. They could have appealed, which is a long and intensive process. Even then, the best the courts can do is let you out early with an apology.
  • Olive's parents were clearly rich and vindictive. For all we know they paid people to keep them in prison and to subvert any appeals processes.

In "Corpsicle," insurance adjusters decide who gets a heart?
I might be wrong, but since when do insurance companies decide who gets an organ? Isn't there some kind of medical board for that? And it's not to "quantify a life," but to determine who is more likely to survive/compatibility/availability so the right person gets it in time to save their life. I really doubt insurance companies have that much power. It seems the only thing adjusters can do is refuse to pay for the operation. In that case, the dead lady leaving her heart to him at the end wouldn't have made a difference anyhow.


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