Pushing Daisies

Season 2 Episode 2

Circus Circus

Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Oct 08, 2008 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
241 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Georgeann Heaps hires Emerson to find her missing daughter, and the trail leads to a circus. Meanwhile, Ned and Chuck try to deal with the change in their relationship, and Olive considers staying longer at the nunnery.

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  • in the best way possible as the cast move settings to mysterious goings on at a circus...spells fun:)

    after a marvelous season finale the excitement really builds up here in an equally captivating yet remarkable cartoon in its style with plenty remarkable sequences and a hilarious sequence at the nunnary to which Olive is keeping herself away from Ned and Chuck from revealing any more secrets to which Lily reveals she is Chucks birth mother...poor Olive and the grub isn't particularly great either as she provides 'the line' of the episode.

    also the car crash itself is pretty masterful as not one or two clowns were killed in the mini van but a whole load of them are wheeled out of it on beds into an ambulance, just plain hysterics mount up for the viewer.

    oh yes the setting of a circus is really marvelled in and taken advantage of by the cast and writers of this peculiar yet fantastical episode of pushing Dasies.moreless
  • Another chance to revel in Pushing Daisies fun - this time at the circus.

    As one of my favourite shows, Pushing Daisies never disappoints me. The humour in the scripts never dims and Jim Dale as the narrator just gets better and better. Sometimes the narrator's lines even outdo Emerson's for wit and outright laughter. The main plot with the circus murder was great, very funny. This is just the sort of case I enjoy seeing Emerson and Ned working on. Olive's subplot at the nunnery was not so well done. I felt sorry for her and want her to rejoin everyone back at the Pie Hole. Pushing Daisies still needs to draw a bigger audience though so will have to pull something really spectacular out to do that.moreless
  • Ned and company take on the circus

    Despite the fact that the episode is initially not at all about the circus, it dovetails nicely into freaks and ringside seats. The cliches are all nicely bashed, from clowns to mimes to acrobats in leotards, this episode has all the classics done with the spectacular imagery of Pushing Daisies. Though the plot is not much furthered, character development remains a critical aspect of the show, expanding upon this seasons departure from the static situation of last season. The only downside lies in the Olive/nunnery diversion. It feels unhelpful, tacked-on, less whimsical than the series as a whole. Moreover, it diverts critical character interaction that could otherwise take place. Overall, I think this was a fine episode, though I would like to see the nunnery wrapped up and Olive returned to the series proper.moreless
  • How long can it last?

    There were a few theories in various comments to the previous review on the season premiere as to why that episode didn't quite help the season hit the ground running. One very good theory was the massive amount of exposition, designed to bring new viewers up to speed in a minimum amount of time. Good in concept, rough in execution. (And sadly, the premiere doesn't look like it managed to bring back all the old viewers, never mind new ones.)

    This is unfortunate, because this episode managed to explain some of the same material in a more elegant manner. In fact, with so many of the new plot threads established in the premiere, the story was allowed to evolve more organically. The result was a better episode overall, especially in terms of the quirky humor and syrupy relationship drama. In other words, it was a great example of what makes "Pushing Daisies" unique.

    I'm still not sold on all the subplots, at least not so much that I'm compelling to comment on them at length. This might be a problem if I found them all dreary, but they're all worth the time given to them. Perhaps that's because of the humor that is evenly distributed, giving every situation a satirical edge. It's a very nice touch.

    That said, it looks like the show is struggling in the ratings, along with most of the shows that were forced to close out last season in the fall, thank to the writers' strike (or, I should say, thanks to the production companies who forced the strike). "Pushing Daisies" is a hard enough sell as it is; it doesn't need to be fighting an uphill battle as well. There's enough material in the can to justify keeping the show around for a little while longer, but if the ratings continue to fall, how long can the network remain patient?moreless
  • Nice one. :)

    The clown car was the best. And Aunt Vivy is such a sweetie. Post first-class-tantie Olive is truly the Keeper of the Secrets Chuck and Ned seemed a little low energy, which is always troubling to me. They should always be crackling, and it breaks my heart when they're upset with each other. I did like their "meeting" at the end of the show. That was charming.

    Also, whoever is writing Jim Dale's narrative is starting to mail it in a little bit. The segues among metaphors was losing some of its poetry.

    Meanwhile, the visuals are as stunning as ever, which keeps it wonderful.

    I loved the clown they brought back to life. Hilarious! That was a mean trick to play on that guy with the horse (how would they time that?) but at least we only had to hear about it. That would've been really, really disturbing to watch. Eww.

    I also wanted to hear the limerick. :D

    The mime was great. I thought he'd keep miming throughout his whole minute. Bad mime! Emerson: "If this van is a'rockin', I'm probably being murdered." Also, Chuck's interrogation technique was first rate.

    I liked it a lot. I didn't love it, but I loved quite a few things in it, and overall it was charming. Nice one! :)moreless
Anna Friel

Anna Friel

Charlotte "Chuck" Charles

Chi McBride

Chi McBride

Emerson Cod

Jim Dale

Jim Dale


Field Cate

Field Cate

Young Ned

Ellen Greene

Ellen Greene

Vivian Charles

Swoosie Kurtz

Swoosie Kurtz

Lillian "Lily" Charles

Lee Arenberg

Lee Arenberg

Arnaud Bailey

Guest Star

Diana Scarwid

Diana Scarwid

Mother Superior

Guest Star

Googy Gress

Googy Gress

Bryce Von Deenis

Guest Star

Sy Richardson

Sy Richardson


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Randi Jean says Rocky's last name is "Baselli" when talking to Chuck, but the end credits identify his last name as "Milano."

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Lily: I'd forgotten how much I
      hated this morning porridge when I was here.
      Olive: I could throw up in my mouth a little and not even know the difference.

    • Emerson: This ain't no circus. A circus is supposed to smell like popcorn and cotton candy, not wet saw dust and underarm.

    • Emerson: It's a traveling circus, not a wait-around-for-you-two-to-work-all-your-junk-out circus!

    • Chuck: "There was a young man named Von Deenis..."
      Ned: "Who they said had a very big..."
      (cut to black)

    • Narrator: The Pie Maker had grown accustomed to the feeling his heart made when it looked out his eyes and saw her sleeping in the next bed.

    • Emerson: That thing should have said, "If this van's a-rockin', I'm being murdered."

    • Emerson: You know how to knock?
      Georgeann Heaps: I did knock. I came in, I said to myself, "I hope this good man can help me, knock wood," and then I knocked. My name is Georgeann Heaps.
      Emerson: It's my nature to reward pushiness with inattention, Mrs. Heaps.

    • Chuck: You didn't sleep well.
      Ned: It was deep and perfect, like a nap in the backseat of a car after a day at the beach.

    • Ned: Emerson needs me.
      Chuck: Why? There's no dead body to wake up.
      Emerson: Nice. Anyone not hear that?

    • Ned: I promise I'll let you come next time.
      Chuck: Thank you for your permission.
      Ned: You don't need my permission.
      Chuck: Thank you for the permission not to need your permission.

    • Pierre: But remember, there are two things clowns make around here. Balloon animals and enemies.

    • Ned: Where can we find these clowns?
      Bailey: Drunk in a ditch would be my guess. They usually stumble in just before showtime, and they always travel in a pack.
      Ned: Like wolves.
      Bailey: More like cigarettes.

    • Narrator: In less than 16 seconds, the dead girl who was not dead would be involved in the smallest of ironic coincidences. For just as she said to herself…
      Chuck: I wish I were where the action were at.
      Narrator: …she was where it were at.

    • Ned: It's hard enough being in a relationship where we can't touch. But… we improvise, figured out ways around that. I've even built contraptions.
      Emerson: Do you understand how a head works? Do you? Because every time you say something I got to think it. You say "Monkey in a bellhop suit driving a car," I think "Monkey in a bellhop suit driving a car." Don't tell me what you all do together.
      Ned: There's a weird mask.
      Emerson: Please, now I'm begging you to stop this.
      Ned: No, there's a weird clown back there in the bushes.

    • Ned: Why the change of heart about Nikki?
      Emerson: I guess my glass is half full on this one.
      Ned: Generally speaking, I would say you don't even have a glass. You just have a wet ring on the coffee table where the glass used to be.

    • Narrator: Olive and Lily ate the morning porridge and wondered if the truffle-hunting pig might be retrained to hunt for a packet of sugar.

    • Ned: How do we make it work? I knew the caterpillar, but maybe it's time for you to become the butterfly.
      Emerson: You did not just say that.
      Ned: Did not know you were there.

    • Ned: My name is Ned. I live a simple life. I wake pies and make the dead. That was creepy. I make pies and wake the dead.

  • NOTES (1)

    • International Airdates:
      Germany: January 21, 2009 on ProSieben
      Australia: June 16, 2009 on W
      Slovakia: August 9, 2010 on Markiza
      Czech Republic: October 6, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Finland: January 9, 2011 on Sub