The Wife:

We finally got around to watching this episode this weekend, after a good chunk of last week’s TV time was taken up by either Bruce Campbell or assorted holiday parties, and I have to agree with all the buzz I’d been hearing about this episode. It was amazing. It fully utilized all of our main characters (finally giving the fabulous Ellen Greene a chance to shine on this show), added a team of foils for our detectives, complete with a seemingly double-crossing Olive Snook and, in addition to fully illuminating some of the somewhat muddled Dwight Dixon plot points, also handed us a heavy dose of the show’s mytharc. I don’t think this episode will be appearing on my Ten Best TV Episodes of the Season list (coming soon!), but that’s only because I’ve already chosen a better Daisies episode, and I’d rather not submit two episodes from a series to the list.

Olive, after having been inducted as a potential business partner for Emerson at the end of the last episode, is fed up with the Pie Holers keeping secrets from her. They debate telling her everything, not wanting to push Itty Bitty away, but ultimately decide that their secrets might be best for her not to know. Meanwhile, Emerson Cod is presented with a very heavy case when Vivian comes to his office, asking him to look into the disappearance of one Dwight Dixon, complete with a hand-drawn charcoal portrait of the man rivaling Leo DiCaprio’s of Kate Winslet in Titanic. (Has Stephen Root ever looked so serene as in that drawing? Well, maybe when he’s creepily enraptured with Lafayette drawing his blood over on True Blood.) Not wanting to do research on a case he very well knew the answer to, but also not wanting to break Vivian’s heart or implicate himself in Dixon’s murder, Emerson tries to get Vivian to drop the case by telling her that Dwight, like all men, is a dog. If he stopped calling, it’s because he found another woman to romance.

“He’s not missing. He’s just barking up somebody else’s tree.” – Emerson Cod

Emerson tells the Pie Holers that he successfully diffuses Vivian’s search for Dwight, admitting that he does feel terrible for Vivian, the party unwittingly harmed by this whole Dwight business.

Chuck: Poor Vivian. She’s carry a torch for a flame I extinguished.

Ned: With my finger.

But no sooner have the Pie Holers begun to feel badly for Vivian and who should enter the establishment but a team of Norwegian detectives who look suspiciously like their Pie Hole counterparts. Orlando Jones plays the Norwegian equivalent of Emerson Cod, complete with hat, suit and loud shirt, while Hedda, Chuck’s Norwegian equivalent, shows up in a red wool coat and matching fabulous hat and the Norwegian Ned is pared down to a dark suit and a tie. These Norwegians, while they may look like the Pie Holers, are actually bitter rivals with Emerson Cod, whose PI business seems to somehow always trump their superior technical skills in forensics, aided by their traveling RV, whom they’ve dubbed Mother. It irks the Norwegians to no end that Emerson is more successful than they are when they consider him an inferior detective. The Norwegians infer that if Emerson snubbed Vivian’s case, which has now fallen into their laps, that Emerson and crew must somehow be involved. This rattles everyone at the Pie Hole, with Ned ultimately kicking the Norwegians out.

Ve vill not be denied pies!

Ve vill not be denied pies!

“No clues, no dirt, no service.” – Ned

Seeing how her friends react to the presence of the Norwegians (especially Chuck hiding in the kitchen because if they saw her the Norwegians would know that she “faked her own death”), Olive wants in on the action. Emerson decides that she can be useful to the operation, especially if she heads over to try and talk her good friend Vivian into dropping the case.

“I don’t need protection. That’s what I have several long-standing restraining orders for.” – Olive

Olive only agrees to talk to Vivian if she can have full-fledged membership into the detective clique in return, no more secrets. When talking to Vivian, Olive notices the intense pressure Lily is placing on her sister to drop the case, admitting further that there are things about Dwight that she simply can’t tell Vivian. Olive realizes that Vivian is the only person more on the outside of the truth than she is and so she convinces Vivian to continue to case. Spurred into action, the Norwegians find Lily’s note to Dwight in his hotel room and Vivian, for once, decides to take action and confront her sister with it. Lily tells her sister all about what happened: how she found out that Dwight had stolen Charles Charles’ watch from Chuck’s grave and that she, in turn, stole Charles’ watch and Dwight’s watch and asked Dwight to meet her in the graveyard so that she could put Charles’ watch back where it belonged. But Dwight never showed. Vivian is crushed by this news. She starts to realize that maybe everyone around her was right in their claims that Dwight was a bad man.

Meanwhile. Chuck and Ned go looking for Charles Charles. Chuck hopes to find him through a series of big brass buttons that she’s seen around town, displayed prominently in places, she believes, her father would have wanted her to see them, like he was leaving a breadcrumb trail of buttons. During their search, they come across the Norwegians’ roving investigative van and uncover something they hoped they never see: Olive, donning the Norwegian colors, turning turncoat. He also overhears that the Norwegians have an exhumation order for the bodies of Charles and Charlotte Charles. Ned reports this news to Emerson, who realizes that Olive can out them, even with her limited knowledge of the situation. She knows Emerson’s investigative methods. She knows Chuck faked her death. And she knows about Dwight’s relationship with both of the aunts. Furthermore, the whole team knows that when they go to the graves, the Norwegians will find only one body.

Seeing the potential for disaster, Emerson agrees to take the fall, but Ned convinces him to tell the Norwegians everything, as a diversion for Ned to steal Mother, the very thing which would render the Norwegians completely unthreatening and unable to discover the truth. Olive nearly foils Ned’s plan by popping up in the van, but then she tells him that she would never turn traitor at all and that she simply took it into her hands to go deep deep undercover in order to prove herself to the gang. So she hands him the keys and helps him drive away with Mother. In exchange for her help, Olive asks Ned to answer some of her questions. He refuses outright, but agrees to answer yes or no, so that Olive comes to the conclusions on her own. Eventually, Mother crashes in a ravine, but Olive and Ned escape, clinging to a limb for dear life. As they are about to die, Ned admits that he once had feelings for Olive, which renews Itty Bitty’s hope that her pining hasn’t been in vain. They two are then pulled from the limb by a mysterious masked man.

Emerson calls in Vivian to clear the air, apologizing for turning her off the case so cruelly. He tells her that he was only trying to protect her, and that the Norwegians weren’t going to spare her feelings. Fundamentally, Emerson believes that detective work is not about the facts, but about the people involved. The Norwegians, on the other hand, don’t give a damn about the people as long as the empirical evidence adds up. Vivian agrees, owing this preference to their Viking ancestry in what I thought was the funniest line of the night:

“It would be difficult to rape and pillage with the subtlety of a humanist.” – Vivian Charles

Emerson tells Vivian that both Chuck and Charles Charles’ graves were empty (the additional empty grave being a surprise to him and everyone else, as that means there’s one dead Dwight Dixon out in the world somewhere instead of in the ground where he’s supposed to be). This fact convinces her that everyone was right all along: that Dwight was a bad man, nothing more than a common grave robber who was using her heart to get to her dead ex-fiancé’s dead body, as well as that of her beloved niece, Lonely Tourist Charlotte Charles.

After being saved by the mystery man, Ned tells Olive all about how Charles Charles, like his daughter, faked his own death. She then thinks that the mystery man who saved them must be Chuck’s dad. Meanwhile, the Norwegians are furious about their stolen van, feeling that their investigation is halted in its tracks now. Olive tells them that Swedes stole it, hoping to incense their inflated sense of nationalism, but then they get a hit on Dwight’s credit card.

Everyone races to Dwight’s hotel room, where they find him dead, slurpee in hand, surrounded by his various guns and grave robbing tools. As the Norwegians inspect the body, they discover only what their limited scientific equipment would discover: that Dwight Dixon was a thief and a dangerous man. He acted and died alone.

After this brush with near-exposure, Ned decides to quit dead people and dead things cold turkey (refusing even to use rotten fruit in his pies) and the masked man shows up in the Pie Hole, revealing himself to be not Chuck’s father, but Ned’s own! (Husband Note: George Hamilton alert!)

This episode marks the last we’ll see of Daisies this year, with the remaining three episodes to be burned off on ABC sometime next year, probably all three at once on a Sunday night when the network can’t think of anything else to put there. If ABC doesn’t find a chunk of time to air those episodes, we will have to accept this as our finale (until the DVD release, that is). In which case, I’d like to look at this, briefly, as though it were a finale. If it were, how satisfying would we find this episode as an end to a series?

It is satisfying in tying up the Dwight Dixon storyline and resolving the conflict between the aunts, although still leaving their secrets in tact. However, it sets us up for a Ned’s Dad arc that, if it were the finale, would never, ever be resolved. (Except maybe in that comic book we keep hearing so much about.) Were this the finale, it would be a pretty shoddy one, an episode that takes us out on a good, big mystery, and serves the characters well, but ultimately leaves the show’s larger themes untouched, as well as certain other story threads. Olive needs to find out more about these characters. Lily and Vivian need to be honest with each other. Chuck and Ned need to make a big decision about the nature of their relationship. (Can they sustain a life where she, like a vampire, doesn’t age because she’s already dead and made alive again, a life where they can never touch, where Ned grows old and eventually dies?) And they need to find Charles Charles.

So, please, ABC, make sure you air these episodes. Don’t leave the fans hanging, having to accept this as a plausible finale, which it isn’t. And when you do burn off these episodes, please do it respectfully. Give this show a tasteful funeral, like it deserves. It’s the least you can do for killing something so incredible. Look forward to hearing similar gripes from me about Eli Stone, if I ever get around to writing about it.

Clothing I Loved from This Episode: The All About Hats Edition

  1. Hedda’s red hat with the black beaded filigree at the front? I would want that if I only had an occasion to wear it, and a matching red coat.
  2. Same goes for Chuck’s adorable fuchsia hat and coat get-up. It’s cold. I want hats and coats.

The Husband:

To alleviate any worry, the remaining three episodes are going to be aired, and there is no word that they’re shifting them to anywhere other than the Wednesday at 8 p.m. spot. It’s not like competing NBC has anything worthy to put over there (since Knight Rider is bombing hard). ABC has not said anything about any changes, only that these are the final episodes. I’m not sure where my wife got this information.

Again, the final three episodes will air and will, until somebody official says otherwise, air in a normal way at a normal time.