Pushing Daisies/Pie-lette

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Season 1, Episode 1
Airdate October 3, 2007
Production Number 276027
Written by Bryan Fuller
Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

1x02 →
Pushing DaisiesSeason One

Pie-lette is the first episode of the first season of Pushing Daisies. Ned uses his power to bring the dead back to life in order to return his childhood sweetheart to the living and solve her murder.

Starring: Lee Pace (Ned), Anna Friel (Charlotte "Chuck" Charles), Chi McBride (Emerson Cod), Jim Dale (Narrator), Ellen Greene (Vivian Charles)

With: Swoosie Kurtz (Lily Charles)

And: Kristin Chenoweth (Olive Snook)

Guest Starring: Patrick Breen (Leo Gaswint)

Co-Starring: Terry Anzur (Newscaster 3), Ed Brigadier (Minister 1), Field Cate (Young Ned), Ted Garcia (Newscaster 1), Murray Gershenz (Rabbi), Tina Gloss (Ned's Mother), Brad Grunberg (Funeral Director), Sammi Hanratty (Young Chuck), Geraud Moncure (Newscaster 4), Leyna Nguyen (Newscaster 2), Sy Richardson (Coroner), Greg Suddeth (Gravedigger 1), David Trice (Martin Miltenberger), Julie Wittner (Deedee Duffield), Jeff Wolfe (Shiny Shoes Killer)


Plot Overview

A nine-year-old boy named Ned is shown running through a vast field of daisies, chasing his dog. The dog runs out into a street where it is hit by a truck and killed, but death doesn't take as it usually does. Ned, hunched over his dog, touches its fur and miraculously revives it. The two go running back home and Ned watches his mother baking a pie while a narrator explains that no one in particular bestowed these powers onto him and that their consequences were not of any immediate concern to the boy. His thoughts, instead, were focused on a girl named Chuck next door, whom he was in love with. He and Chuck, in their imagination's world, were conquerors who destroyed a town. After they were done, Ned's mother attempted to clean the dust off him and died suddenly when a blood vessel in her brain burst. He brought her back to life, but discovered that he could only bring someone back to life for one minute. Any longer and someone else would have to die in their place. In this case, Chuck's father dies and Chuck is forced to move away.

But there was one more caveat to Ned's gift. He could bring someone back to life with his first touch, but the second touch would render the reanimated person dead forever. This, he discovered later that night when his mother tucked him into bed and kissed him good night. Following her funeral, Ned was sent away to boarding school by his father and he decided that he could not form any more social attachments, fearing the consequences. He also became obsessed with pies.

Nineteen years later, in the present, Ned is a pie-maker in a shop called "The Pie Hole," where he uses his power to keep the fruit he uses everlastingly brilliant and alive (so long as he only touches it once). In the aforementioned pie shop, Emerson Cod is served by a waitress and his relationship with Ned is recounted. Emerson, a private investigator, was chasing a criminal on the roofs near the Pie Hole when the criminal fell and landed on Ned. He was revived and tried to escape, but Ned used his death touch to zap him before someone innocent would take his place. Emerson and Ned formed a partnership, because it's far easier to figure out a murder when you could simply ask the dead person who killed them.

In this partnership, Emerson tells Ned about a case where a Chou owner was apparently mauled by his own dog. Chous are notorious for turning on their owners, but the family remained convinced that the dog was framed and is offering a $20,000 reward if someone could clear its name and find the real killer. As it happens, Leo wasn't killed by his dog Cantaloupe. His secretary sicced her Rottweiler on him for something that happened at the Christmas party. Ned kills him before he can give the entire story.

After all that is accomplished, Ned picks up his dog, Digby, and fends off sexual advances by Olive in her apartment. All of this is seemingly standard whenever he leaves the dog with her. What isn't usual is the news report of a murdered woman whose name was not released to the public which haunts him. Late one night, Emerson calls Ned in on the murdered girl's case and Ned finally discovers the girl's name: Charlotte "Chuck" Charles. Knowing that, Ned goes back to his childhood town for the first time in many years.

He brings Chuck back to life, but she doesn't know who killed her. She was on the cruise ship and she accidentally dropped her room key in the ice maker. As she tried to get it back, she was strangled with a plastic bag and her body was dumped overboard. Now alive again, Chuck offers to let Ned be her first and last kiss, but Ned stalls. He stalls to the point that the crooked funeral home director dies in his office because they go past the minute limit. Ned tells her that she doesn't have to be dead, but he needs her to pretend to be dead so that they can figure something out. He ditches Emerson, but when he looks back in on Chuck, the hearse is already driving away with her in the coffin. He eventually catches up with her after the funeral service and rescues her from being buried alive.

Later on, he takes her back to the city and to his pie shop where he explains the restrictions involved in saving her, namely that he can't touch her. He also offers to let her stay in his apartment for the time being. That night, while watching the news, Chuck learns about the $50,000 reward and questions him about whether or not she'd still be alive if it weren't for the reward. He tells her that he wouldn't know that she was the mystery murdered cruise ship passenger if it weren't for her and that he doesn't want the reward. Satisfied, Chuck goes back to bed.

In the morning, Chuck deliberately disobeys a note asking her to not leave the apartment and butts in on a meeting between Ned and Emerson. She suggests that they figure out who killed her and collect the reward. Emerson takes Ned aside, after agreeing on the terms, and tells him about how bad an idea it is to keep Chuck alive. She eventually intrudes and divulges more information about her Tahiti trip. She was booked on the ship for free, but only if she could smuggle some plaster monkeys back to the manager. They go to see the manager, but she's already been killed by the same plastic bag as Chuck, presumably by the same killer. Ned brings her back, but she dies again when she tries to pinch Ned's cheek. Since that jaunt was a failure, the three go off to see Chuck's aunts since the monkeys were likely sent to them.

Charlotte is told to wait the car so that her aunts won't see her again and Ned goes to speak with the two, who are surprisingly sociable for being anti-social shut-ins. She leaves the car, eventually, and steals the monkeys from the briefcase lying in her old room before ducking out onto the balcony. Her aunt Lily grabs the empty case, but is intercepted by the killer and his bag. Eventually, the awkwardness of being with Vivian makes Ned go to check on Lily and he, too, is attacked. Chuck clubs the assailant with the suitcase, but it isn't until Lily shoots him after making a comment about how she can hold her breath for a long time.

With the robber dead, Chuck offers Ned one of the monkeys and the two, after a rather silly moment of making the two monkeys kiss, realize that the monkeys aren't plaster but actually solid gold. Vivian and Lily also collect the reward and move out into the world. Meanwhile, the trio of Chuck, Emerson and Ned go off to solve more murders.



  • Digby: Ned's dog, and the first thing to feel his reviving touch. Digby was hit by a truck when he and Ned were playing in a field of daisies. He was brought back to life permanently, which incidentally killed a nearby squirrel.
  • A Fly: Ned's mom swatted a fly and he brought it back to life without thinking.
  • Ned's Mother: Because Ned revived the fly, its death was transferred to his mother. A blood vessel burst in her brain and killed her instantly (although, this may have been unconnected to the fly as it happened longer than 60 seconds after its death). Ned brought her back to life, but she died that night when she kissed him on the forehead.
  • Chuck's Father: Chuck's dad died in the middle of the yard when Ned's mother's death transferred to him.
  • Criminal: A criminal, who was being chased by Emerson, fell off the roof and smacked his head on a dumpster. His body hit Ned, which brought him back to life, but Ned quickly chased after him and killed him before anyone else had to die.
  • Leonard Gaswint: An entrepreneur was mauled by a vicious dog, originally thought to be his chou Cantaloupe. In actuality, it was his secretary's Rottweiler that mauled him. Why she sent the dog to kill him is unknown because Ned killed him again when the time limit was up.
  • Charlotte "Chuck" Charles: Chuck was killed on a cruise liner to Tahiti by a masked strangler who killed his victims with a pink plastic bag that had a smiley face on the front. When he couldn't get into her room, since she lost her key in the icemaker, he dumped her body overboard. She was brought back permanently by Ned.
  • The Funeral Director: A side-effect to Chuck being brought back to life, he died on the toilet after the sixty seconds were up.
  • Deedee Duffield: DiDi was also killed by the same man who attacked Chuck on the cruise ship. She suffocated on the pink bag and was brought back to life by Ned. But, it wasn't long lasting because she pinched Ned's cheek and died again.
  • Chuck's Killer: The killer who killed Chuck, Deedee and attempted to murder both Lily and Ned was shot by Lily, who held her breath during the attack and pretended to be dead so that she could retrieve her shotgun.


The Show

Behind the Scenes

  • Leak: Like several new pilots for the Fall 2007 season, this episode was leaked onto the Internet via BitTorrent and a number of other file distribution methods. Unlike those series, however, this pilot was actually leaked by an anonymous ABC executive who thought that the series deserved more attention than it might get if it were promoted in a traditional fashion.

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments