“Young Ned realized that his father was not going to fight his battles for him, for in jail – as in life – he needed to take responsibility for his actions.”
– The Narrator

“The Norwegians” is about taking responsibility for one’s actions. Thus far, Ned, Chuck, and Emerson haven’t faced much in the way of consequences for Dwight Dixon’s death. But that might change now that Charles Charles has left and a crack team of Norwegian PIs is looking into Dwight’s disappearance.

“I am done with this by-proxy hand-jive.”
– Emerson

At the start of episode, nobody wants to take responsibility for the situation at hand. Chuck wants to hold onto false hope that her father didn’t just abandon her, and Emerson says that everyone should be blaming everyone else for Charles Charles being out in the world unsupervised. In his view, Ned and Chuck are responsible for creating a veritable Frankenstein’s monster, at the cost of another human life, and who knows how it will come back to bite them in the ass?

Well, now we can partially answer that: the ass-biters are a group of Norwegian PIs hired by Vivian, who solve crimes in a bus they’ve affectionately dubbed “Mother.”

Totally mature, guys.

Real mature, guys.

These investigators are tenacious, and they’re not going to stop until they’re satisfied that they’ve learned the truth.

“I’m not some yo-yo you can jerk up and down on some ‘today let’s include her, tomorrow let’s not’ whim, ’cause if I am, there are only so many knots I can tie my yo-yo string in before it snaps, for good.”
– Olive

But the Norwegians aren’t the only threat facing our heroes; there’s also a pint-sized one waiting in the wings. Chuck, Ned, and Emerson have been excluding Olive from their secrets for over a year now, only bringing her in on investigations when they absolutely need her. A frustrated Olive is a loose cannon, and there’s no telling what she’ll do.

When Olive appears to join up with the Norwegians, it seems as if the worst-case scenario has transpired; Olive, in her frustration, has chosen to play for the other team. At this point, Chuck, Ned, and Emerson realize that they have to start blaming themselves for their actions – Chuck for tricking Ned into keeping Charles alive, Ned for bringing Chuck back to life in the first place, and Emerson for encouraging Ned to employ his formerly rarely-used powers. Moreover, they’re all to blame for pushing Olive away.

“I don’t want your dad – or anyone else’s – to fight my battles or clean up my messes.”
– Ned

But Ned is the only person who actualizes his decision to take responsibility. After a near-death experience where he and Olive (who was actually spying on the Norwegians) are saved by a mysterious stranger (whom everyone thinks to be Chuck’s dad but is actually Ned’s dad), Ned realizes his power has too many consequences to be used responsibility. He decides to stop bringing people back to life; he’s done helping Emerson solve crimes. Maybe now he can live a normal life… or as normal a life as one can leave when one’s girlfriend can’t be touched lest she fall into a permanent slumber.

Lily: I don’t get any satisfaction from seeing you hurt.
Vivian: Now I really don’t believe you.

Meanwhile, there’s one other person who has to take responsibility for what she’s done, and that’s Lily. She still hasn’t come clean to Vivian about sleeping with Charles all those years ago. In this episode, she finally explains to Vivian what Dwight was after – a set of expensive pocketwatches – but Vivian can tell that Lily is holding something back. The main reason Lily hated Dwight was because he knew her secret, but Lily isn’t ready to admit that Vivian yet. Taking responsibility comes one step at a time for Lily.

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

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