Monday, November 19, 2007

Season 1 Episode 4
Written by Rina Mimoun
Directed by Adam Kane

This could very well be the best episode since the Pilot.
Opening with another flashback to Ned’s private school days, we see the faithful Digby make the three-day journey to find his master, “guided only by the compass of his heart.” He even saves lives and property along the way. It’s a nice, moving little sequence that sets up an episode that delves into the power of love, and how it can overcome any obstacle.

Even as Chuck bakes another pie (tart apple filling) for her aunts—a pie that Olive again intercepts, planning on delivering it so she can continue to lay her plans of exposing what she believes is Chuck’s faked death—a one-winged carrier pigeon smashes into the Pie Hole’s window.
In the bustle around the dead pigeon, Ned inadvertently touches it, bringing it back to life. (“It’s a miracle bird!” shouts Olive.) There’s some panic as Ned and Emerson wonder what will pay for the pigeon’s return (another bird, as it turns out), followed by a crop duster crashing into a nearby building.

What follows involves several symbolisms and parallels—a birdcage as metaphor for the house Chuck’s aunts live in; a one-winged bird, a one-armed man, a one-legged woman; love that is meant to be, but only at a distance—as most of the show’s characters (save Emerson, perhaps) witness and experience the potency of love.
There is even the (heh) daisy chain of Digby loving Ned who loves Chuck who loves her aunts, while Olive also loves Ned, and then comes to love Chuck’s aunts too. Emerson, of course, loves money…

This one’s directed by Adam Kane, who also directed the first episode of Heroes’ sophomore season where the story is actually allowed to breathe, “The Kindness of Strangers.” It’s the episode where I feel Season 2 took its first genuine step towards rehabilitation, getting past that awfully cluttered sensation that pervades the first three episodes. And though I am aware that a big reason for that is the script, I’d like to think that Kane also had something to do with this welcome turn-around.
Kane began as a cinematographer (he worked on the Heroes pilot), then went on to his directorial debut with “.07%” from Heroes’ first season.
Kane’s an excellent choice for Pushing Daisies, which is, by its very nature, a very visual series. Kane’s experience as a cinematographer clearly serves him well here, as this episode looks gorgeous.
Here’s hoping we see more of Adam Kane the director, not just here or in Heroes, but elsewhere on the cathode ray—or silver screen—landscape as well.

Parting shot: Kane was also the cinematographer on Jim Isaac’s Skinwalkers (review in Archive), and also shot Isaac’s upcoming feature, Pig Hunt.

(Images courtesy of and [Adam Kane on the set of Heroes].)

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