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The Ending Of Pushing Daisies Explained

Once in a while a TV show comes along that pulls on the heartstrings, tickles the funny bone, and makes viewers believe in true love, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when that show is taken off the air before its time. Pushing Daisies is a charming and quirky romantic comedy from creator Bryan Fuller, who also brought viewers the thriller series Hannibal and season 1 of American Gods. The show stars Lee Pace and Anna Friel as Ned and Charlotte "Chuck" Charles, a pair of lovers inhibited by the fact that they can never touch — a concept that should resonate in a pandemic-stricken world. 

While the show was cancelled after just two seasons, it has retained a huge following of devoted fans that still holds out hope that one day the story of Ned and Chuck could be resolved in a feature film; Fuller thinks it would be even better as a musical (via Vanity Fair). However, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, including Pushing Daisies. To their credit, the show's writers did their best to give the series an ending that would provide its audience with a sense of hope and optimism.

The ending of Pushing Daisies is also a beginning

The plot of Pushing Daisies is a fairly complicated one, so let's keep it short. Ned is a pie-maker with the ability to bring dead people back to life with his touch, but touching them again will make them dead for good. When Ned revives his childhood sweetheart, Chuck, the two begin a blossoming romance that unfortunately can never be consummated. At the end of season 1, viewers learn that Chuck's Aunt Lily (Swoosie Kurtz) is actually Chuck's mother. When Chuck discovers Lily's secret, she naturally wishes to be reunited with her dear mother, but Ned convinces her that the consequences are too dire for her to reveal herself. The Pushing Daisies series' finale, "Kerplunk," finally shows Ned coming to terms with his true motives. He realizes that he's been keeping Chuck away from her family for his own selfish reasons, wanting to keep her all to himself.

In the final scene of the show, Ned and Chuck ring the doorbell of her aunts' house and are met with shocked faces at the sight of their presumed-dead niece/daughter. This is where Pushing Daisies attempts to wrap up the series with a message of hope, albeit in the midst of a sudden and seemingly unresolved ending. The recurring narrator says, "At that moment in the town of Coeur d'Coeurs, events occurred that are not, were not, and should never be considered an ending — for endings, as it is known, are where we begin." It spite of the sad news that the show had been cancelled, the writers promised viewers that their beloved characters would live on after their stories were no longer being told. It's not exactly "happily ever after," but it's the best we're going to get — for now.