Skip to content

Wake Up and Smell the Daisies (Pushing Daisies: The Smell of Success)

It’s Thanksgiving and the smells of the holiday are wafting through the house—turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie and unfiltered cigarettes. Huhh? Whoops! Unfiltered Cigarettes–that was our murder weapon in Pushing Daisies last night! Well, kinda. It was more like a scratch-n-sniff book of unfiltered cigarettes. Confused yet?

Let’s start from the beginning…

Young Ned. Still grieving for his mother, he begins baking pies in the school’s dark kitchen. Clutching onto that warm pie brings him a sense of security, warmth and love. And obviously, a new career.

Current Ned and Chuck.
Chuck is searching out new rooftops for her Urban Bee Pioneer Expansion program. Chuck is busily bringing up flowers for the bees and Chuck. There is a whole exchange here that I just didn’t quite catch.  But the underlying theme is Chuck is all about change and risk while Ned is happy without it.

This is reiterated when Ned discovers her cupcake pans. She wants to serve pie-cakes, single self serve pies similar to cupcakes. But Ned is a purist, he only wants real pies served at the Pie Hole.

The Murder. Anita Gray, an olfactory science student. She followed the teaching of Napoleon Lenez, smell genius. His new book, The Smell of Success was a scratch-n-sniff book beginning with the smell of unfiltered cigarettes, the one big memory Anita had of her now dead from cancer grandmother. The newly published but not released book was secretly sniffed by Anita and when she scratched she was detonated on the spot.

The Pie Trio. After their smoky interview with Anita, they discover that Napoleon was the only one who should have seen the book. So, they head to Napoleon’s apartment, to find out who could hate him enough to kill him via scratch-n-sniff. And here is where Napoleon sniffs each one of them to discover “who” they are.  Emerson, the knitting detective; Ned, the pie man and Chuck, who smells like death. (This may come back to haunt us!) With a little more sniffing around (ha!) they discover the book’s release date was pushed up, meaning someone else’s got pushed off. Namely, a pop-up book. A pop-up book called, “Pop Up Pin Up” by Chas Spielman owner of Pop-Up Palace. (Some other great pop-up titles at the Pop-Up Palace, “The Pop Up Book of Sports Related Deaths”, “The New Patriots Pop Up Book: A 3D Instructional Telling You Everything You Wanted To Know About Building Bombs Of all Shapes And Sizes”  *snicker*) Alas, the pop-up man, is not our man. In fact, a new clue (a stinky sock labeled, “U Can’t Save Lenez" stuffed in the Pie Hole’s sink) leads them back to Napoleon’s nose. Napoleon’s nose leads them to Oscar Vibenius. Oscar is Lenez’s former partner. Napoleon, the olfactory purist, only putting his sniffer to the good sniffs had parted ways with Oscar, the smelly smeller, who loves all smells good and bad.

As the Pie Trio investigate Oscar, who sometimes lives in the sewers, they see him blow up Napoleon’s car. That’s attempt on Napoleon’s Life #2 for those of you keeping score.

Ned and Emerson go back to Napoleon’s and soon discover another sock entitled, “U Can’t Sav”. Our heroes discover Napoleon’s dastardly plan to push up sales of his book with several attempts on his life. But Napoleon decides to have the last laugh and attempts to use Attempt #3 on Ned & Emerson.

Meanwhile back at the Pie Hole…
Chuck & Olive are sharing a piece of pie (more on that later) when they see Oscar’s face splashed across the news and walking through the front door of the Pie Hole. He wants to tell his side of the story. He knew someone was trying to kill Napoleon and was trying to stop it—however, the person who was trying to kill Napoleon was in fact, Napoleon. Chuck, Olive & Oscar race to Napoleon’s house where they save the rest of our Pie heroes. The End.

The Female Pie Heroes. Chuck and Olive are becoming fast friends while focusing on getting Chuck’s aunts, the Darling Mermaid Darlings back into the water. With a little olfactory science of their own, they deliver chlorine tablets to the sisters. But when Lily says she doesn’t care if she ever gets back in the water, Chuck is devastated. She cries in front of Olive and a new bond is formed. (Oh, and a few new great mermaid costumes for Olive. LOVE IT!)

The Finale.
Mermaids swimming.
Detective Pop-Up Books.
Honey Cup-Pies.
Singular Hugs.

Favorite Lines.
Ned to Chuck “I don’t do loose. I prefer tightly wound.”

Ned when seeing the charred Anita, “ooooooh.” (and pumping his arms—so funny!)

Emerson, “Death by scratch and sniff. What the hell happened to people shooting each other with guns?”

Chas Spielman, “My pop-ups are designed for their original audience.”
Ned, “Perverts?”

In conclusion.
I liked this one for some new reasons! Besides the fun costumes (oh, the mermaid costumes!), the great great lines (Emerson, oh!) and the usual sweetness—this week had some parallelism! How fun! Ned and Chuck’s relationship extremes were mirrored in Napoleon and Oscar’s olfactory extremes. And if it is a little bit of foreshadowing, I think we see which way our Pie Couple may end up. I am still totally loving Olive & Chuck’s friendship. And I’m hoping a love interest might show up for Olive. Could the Pie Trio, sometimes Quartet become a Quintet? Plus, we got to see something that may show up in a future episode–Oscar sniffing Chuck’s clothing, wondering about the stench of death. Hmmm…

Happy your smells are happy this Thanksgiving!

(and if you’re bored over the holiday, come see me at!)