Written by: Scott Nimerfro
Directed by: Lawrence Trilling
The One Where: A woman’s interest in smell leads to her untimely death when she opens an exploding book meant for her olfactory teacher. The gang uncovers an intense rivalry between two pro sniffers, but it turns out the deadly rampage is just a stunt to boost book sales. Meanwhile, Olive coaxes reclusive aunts Lily and Vivian back to swimming.
Verdict: By all rights this obsessively quirky show should be running out of steam by now, but “The Smell of Success” is another example of its ability to milk the most bizarre of situations out of an otherwise run-of-the-mill procedural format. An appearance from Chuck’s weird aunts is always welcome, but a succession of withering one-liners make sure Pushing Daisies is in danger of being stolen by the magnificent Emerson Cod.
Flashback: Ned’s young self sneaks into the school kitchen to bake pastry products that remind him of his mum.
Elaborate death: A student of olfactory is blown up by an explosive, preview copy of scratch-and-stiff self-help guide The Smell of Success.
Olive vs Chuck: The love rivals work together to tempt Lily and Vivian back into the water – with a little bit of help from eau de chlorine.
Nice quirk: Keen knitter Emerson reads “Knit Wit”, an outlet for knitting-related humour, but he finishes the episode with a fixation on grown-up pop-up books.
Emerson: "Death by scratch and sniff? What the hell happened to people shooting each other with guns?"