“I had a sexy dream about Olive last night, and I’m sure it was influenced by a reality-based kiss.”
– Ned

Ned and Olive are still reeling from the events of the previous episode, when Olive planted a kiss of gratitude on Ned’s lips for saving her life. With news of the kiss reaching Emerson and Chuck, everyone’s thinking about it. But this isn’t a simple Olive-or-Chuck? dilemma for Ned, and a case about a murdered polygamist illustrates why.

“That’s the most tragic story I’ve ever heard, notwithstanding the big-ticket items like genocide and famine, but tragic nonetheless.”
– Olive

Olive is feeling guilty over her actions, so she confesses to Chuck about the kiss, which in turn leads Chuck to admit to Olive that she and Ned can’t kiss. Of course, she lies about why, instead claiming severe allergies, but this builds trust between the two women nonetheless.

“Maybe there’s something to this polygamy thing. Maybe one person isn’t enough.”
– Chuck

But despite the fact that Olive’s admission builds trust between her and Chuck, Chuck can’t help but be affected by the news. It doesn’t help that she’s currently working on a case about a murdered polygamist dog breeder, Harold Hundin (played by Joel McHale in a pre-Community role). Each of Harold’s wives fulfilled a different purpose in his life – heck, his third wife, Simone, was essentially just a business partner – which gets Chuck thinking that maybe Ned needs multiple women in his life to fulfill his needs.

It’s worth noting that Chuck doesn’t really want multiple men in her life. Her thinking on this issue is driven by her own insecurities, nothing more; she thinks that Ned wants physical contact from some other woman (like Olive) while she continues to provide him with emotional intimacy. It leaves her with a feeling of inadequacy: if she can’t be enough for the man she loves, can she truly be enough for anyone?

Emerson: Some people like vanilla, some like chocolate, others like their Neapolitan.
Ned: I like Neapolitan.
Emerson: Then you’d do well as a polygamist: one woman to have, one woman to hold.

Ned, for his part, can’t even brook the thought of polygamy. He doesn’t want to be with more than one person, and though he wishes Chuck could touch him, he doesn’t want to be touched by anyone other than Chuck. He’s a monogamist by nature, and even investigating Harold’s case can’t change his mind about that. Ned tells Chuck this at the end of the episode, thus resolving the issue for now. Those two crazy kids are going to try to make it work, even if they can never touch.

It’s worth nothing that the episode itself doesn’t espouse a negative view of polygamy. Even Ned, who couldn’t dream of being a polygamist himself, doesn’t really judge for Harold for his choice to have multiple wives. Overall, Pushing Daisies is excellent at presenting multiple points of view without passing judgment, which is no small feat.

For more information on the Pushing Daisies rewatch project, please click here.

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