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Ned

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Quote1
I bake pies and wake the dead; I lead a very sheltered life.
Quote2
Ned[1]
Performer:
Lee Pace • (The Pie Maker)
Field Cate • (Young Ned)
Ned

Ned, also known as "the pie maker", is a man with the unique magical ability to bring dead people back to life. He uses this ability to solve criminal cases by bringing victims temporarily to life and learning from them the circumstances of their death, a financial arrangement with Emerson Cod that has allowed him to finance his pie restaurant, The Pie Hole.

The ability allowed Ned to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart, Chuck, who he resurrected after discovering she was murdered. Both have strong feelings for each other, but Ned is unable to touch Chuck again, or she will die forever.

Biography

Young Ned

Coeur d'Coeurs

Ned grew up with his mother and father in a bright and colorful home in Coeur d'Coeurs, next door to Charlotte Charles and her father. Ned harbored a childhood crush on Chuck, about a year his junior, and the two regularly played together. Ned also enjoyed spending time in Coeur d'Coeurs' fields of yellow daisies with his dog, Digby, which is where he first discovered his magical touch.[1]

When Ned was nine years, 27 weeks, six days and three minutes old, according to the Narrator, Digby ran into the street and was struck by an 18-wheeler truck, which killed him instantly. Speechless and horrified, Ned touched his deceased dog just under his left eye and, to his surprise, Digby came back to life. This was the first time Ned had resurrected a living creature, and was the first moment he discovered that he had the ability to bring the dead back to life.[1]

Later that day, when Ned's mother was baking a pie and helping Ned get cleaned for dinner, a blood vessel in her brain burst, killing her instantly. Shocked, Ned touched his mother once under her left eye and she was brought back to life. She had been completely unaware of what happened to her and assumed she had slipped. Moments later, Ned and his mother saw Chuck's father fall dead while watering his lawn next door. This was the first time Ned realized if he kept someone alive for longer than one minute, another life had to be taken.

While tucking Ned into bed that evening, Ned's mother kissed her son once upon the forehead, and she died a second time. Ned touched her again but she remained dead. This was the first time he realized that touching a resurrected person a second time would kill them forever. Ned avoided social attachments after his mother's death, fearing what he would do if someone else that he loved died.[1]

Nevertheless, during the funerals of their respective parents, Chuck and Ned, who were "dizzy with grief, curiosity and hormones" according to the Narrator, exchanged a kiss, the first for both of them. Ned would not return to Coeur d'Coeurs for 19 years.[1]

Boarding school

Shortly after the funeral, Ned's father dropped Ned off at the Longborough School for Boys in North Thrush. The last words he heard from his father when he was dropped off were, "I'll be back," which would turn out to be a lie. Here Ned learned more about his power and how to control it. For instance, he would bring frogs that were about to be dissected back to life as a prank on his classmates.[2] He would also bring fireflies back to life and time how long it actually took until other living fireflies in a jar would die.[3]

Still broken-hearted over the loss of his mother and the life he'd known, Ned waited for his father to come and collect him. He spent hours in the school chapel, praying for his father to come for him.[4] But his father made no contact whatsoever--except on one Halloween, when he sent Ned pre-written postcard that said, "We've Moved" on it. Worse yet, as Ned discovered a day or so later, Ned's father had remarried and had a new family at his new address, and did not recognize Ned. Ned's father had moved on without him.[5]

Ned's grief turned to rage at his father's abandonment. He wrote letters for himself to read at a later date, urging his future self to never forget the pain his father had inflicted.[6]

Because of his avoidance of social attachments, Ned often felt lonely, and rarely interacted with his fellow students. His loneliness was eased somewhat when his beloved Digby came; as dogs were not allowed at the school, Ned kept Digby in a trunk when people were around.[7].

Ned eventually found a role for himself at school; the pies he sometimes baked late at night, when he especially missed his mother, were eagerly consumed by the school's other boys. [8]

Ned was not academically outstanding [3], and was so hopeless at sports that he was not even issued gym clothes[9]. He used the time allotted to physical education to sneak off to the kitchen and bake pies[9].

Not much is known of Ned's education after boarding school, though he apparently had some formal training as a baker[4].

The Pie Maker

It his love of pies that would prompt Ned to, as an adult, open the Pie Hole, a restaurant specializing in pies. He lives in an apartment above the restaurant, next-door to his employee, Olive Snook. Ned and Olive both bake the pies but Olive is unaware of Ned's magical touch, and thus does not realize the fruit in their pies are so ripe with flavor because Ned touches dead fruits and brings them back to life.[1] Unfortunately, this means that Ned can never eat his own delicious pies; when he does so, the fruit turns rotten in his mouth due to his "second touch", making it inedible.[5]

The Pie Hole began to fall into financial ruin, but was saved by an arrangement Ned entered into with private investigator Emerson Cod. One day, while Emerson was chasing a fleeing criminal along the rooftops of several buildings, the man slipped and fell to his death, landing on a dumpster outside of The Pie Hole, where Ned was emptying his garbage. The criminal's hand grazed Ned's face as he landed and he was brought to life. Emerson witnessed this and watched as Ned touched the criminal a second time, killing him again. Emerson proposed a partnership in which he would find unsolved murders offering rewards for information, and then Ned would bring the victim back to life. They would learn the circumstances of their death and solve the crime, thus collecting the reward and splitting it between the two.[1]

Reunion with Chuck

Emerson Cod brought to Ned's attention a $50,000 reward being offered for solving the murder of a drowned woman, who Ned quickly learned was Charlotte "Chuck" Charles. Ned had not seen or heard from Chuck since their kiss 19 years ago, but his romantic feelings for her remained. Ned resurrected Chuck at the Schatz Brothers Funeral Home, but could not bring himself to send her back to death; her life was inadvertently exchanged for Lawrence Schatz, the grave-robbing funeral home director. Although Chuck would later admit to Emerson that he had given thought to bringing her back for good, he said he didn't realize he would do it until the moment occurred.[1]

Chuck helped Emerson and Ned find her killer and split the reward between them. They soon tracked the very valuable plaster monkeys, which Chuck was killed over, to the home of her Aunts Lily and Vivian, where the Shiny Shoes Killer attacked Ned. Aunt Lily shot and killed the killer and the monkeys were given to Chuck and Ned. They soon discovered that the monkeys were actually made of solid gold, and split the wealth from them with Emerson Cod.[1]

Chuck not only starts working with Ned and Emerson Cod in solving their mysteries, but she also brings a new, friendlier element to the relationship. When Ned resurrected Matthew Miltenberger, the first victim Chuck accompanies them to help, she asks whether he has any final words or requests, something that Ned admits he had never considered in the past.[1]

Alternative forms of affection with Chuck

Although Chuck and Ned are unable to touch, the two have developed several alternative ways to demonstrate their affection toward each other. While Ned is unable to hug Chuck, he once had Emerson Cod hug her and said it was from him. During one night in which they slept in different rooms, the two both touched the same spot on their respective walls, as a way of holding hands. They have held their own hands together behind their backs, pretending to be holding each other's hands.[1] Ned and Chuck have kissed through plastic. [3] They also danced together on the roof of the Pie Hole in beekeeper suits.[10]

Personality and traits

Ned is a kind-hearted and mild-mannered man who maintains a calm and mellow demeanor even when confronted with extraordinary situations, in large part from frequent encounters with death and resurrection. Due to his part in the death of his mother and Chuck's father as a child, Ned generally tries to avoid social attachments, as demonstrated by the discomfort he expresses from Olive Snook's sexual advances. Ned also has what the Narrator describes as "an obsession" with pies, which he inherited from his mother. [1] He made his first pie in the Longborough kitchen, on his ninth birthday, and later slept with the pie. Making pies makes Ned feel closer to his dead mother, and he became the pie maker because of this.[11]

As a result of all the death he has encountered, Ned has a high threshold for gore and experiences none of the awkwardness most experience around death. Ned is respectful for the dead and those he brings back to life, as demonstrated by his insistence to Emerson Cod that they be called "alive again" rather than zombies, undead or the living dead.[1]

Due to his "ability", he seldom makes physical contact with other people, and doesn't like hugs, though Chuck remarks that a hug can "turn your day around".

He dislikes change, and prefers to be "tightly wound", rather than a "shapeless mass with room for surprises".[11] This is shown when he rejects Chuck's "cup-pie" idea, claiming to be a purist, and not wanting to sell her "hybrids".

Due to events during his childhood, he has a fear of Halloween, but does not fear blood and gore, most likely because of his close relationship with death.

He's also a fan of Star Wars and studied the lightsaber duels in the movies, which came in handy when he dueled Wilfred Woodruff with real swords.[3]

Ned is a vegetarian. [9].

The Pie Maker is often seen wearing dark colored clothes, usually the color black.

As we learn from the episode [12] Ned is indecisive, and likes to find the perfect present.

Ned's touch

Ned is able to bring the dead back to life with just a single touch, an ability he first discovered at age nine when he resurrected his dog, Digby. A second touch renders the target dead forever. Ned has no idea how or why he was given this ability, which the Narrator described as "a gift" that was given by no one in particular. The dead that Ned brings back to life are only permitted to be alive for one minute before another life must be taken in exchange. The life exchanged for another is taken from a random living creature (generally a human for a human, or a small animal for a small animal) that is in the general proximity at the time. In addition, the gained lifespan seems to be indefinite, as seen in Digby's case. [1] Ned's touch has no abnormal effect on a person who was never dead, as demonstrated by Olive, who often touches Ned.

Any wounds or injuries inflicted upon a person in life are not healed by the Ned's touch, but the "alive again" do not seem to feel any new pain from those injuries; when Leo Gaswint was brought back to life, he did not seem to be suffering from the horrible injury on his face, which was inflicted by the Rottweiler who mauled him to death. The effects of Ned's touch, however, are apparently different regarding organisms such as fruit, fungi, or any other living entity of that sort; while they remain in the physical form they had in death, a strawberry that Ned touched while preparing to make a pie blossoms into the plump, ripe form it had in life.[1] Whilst attending Longborough, he made a friend in the exchange student, and, while playing together, he jumped in a pile of dead leaves, bringing them back to life, and thus scaring away his friend.[13]

Ned's touch not only works on dismembered corpses, but each of the parts from that body are able to operate independently from each other once resurrected. Ned first discovered this when he brought back to life a criminal who was accidentally decapitated by a falling fire escape ladder while fleeing Emerson Cod; the head was still able to speak, and the headless body was able to move and attacked Ned and Emerson.[14]

As seen with Lawrence Schatz, even those lives taken by bringing back the dead can be brought back. However, since the revived are immune to the proximity rule, the life can never be "traded" back, according to Ned. [3]

Known Family

Characters resurrected by Ned's touch

Character Episode Notes
Digby "Pie-lette" The first creature that Ned brought back to life. A squirrel died sixty seconds afterwards. Ned hasn't touched Digby since.
His mother "Pie-lette" He kept her alive for more than a minute, causing the death of Chuck's father.
Unnamed criminal "Pie-lette" He fell to his death from a roof after being chased by Emerson Cod and was touched when Ned was taking out the trash. Fortunately, Ned touched him again before the minute was up.
Another unnamed criminal "Head" (from Pushing Daisies: The Comic Book) This touch is interesting because this criminal was accidentally decapitated by a fire escape ladder. Ned touched his head and he was still able to communicate and his body was still able to move.
Leo Gaswint "Pie-lette"
Charlotte "Chuck" Charles "Pie-lette" Chuck is the second creature that Ned has kept alive for more than a minute without touching again.
Deedee Duffield "Pie-lette"
Matthew Miltenberger "Pie-lette" The cause of his murder is not revealed. The narrator says that he was a professional scuba diver who was found dead in the lobster tank of a franchise steak and lobster house.
Bernard Slaybeck "Dummy"
Rick Page "Dummy" Was one of the cadavers hanging in place of crash test dummies.
Beth "Dummy" Was one of the cadavers hanging in place of crash test dummies, the one whom before she died, was riding a Ferris wheel at a county fair.
Lawrence Schatz "The Fun in Funeral" Ironically, it was Lawrence who died in exchange for Chuck's life.
Louis Schatz "The Fun in Funeral"
30s Woman "The Fun in Funeral" Was accidentally touched by Ned in the basement of the Schatz Brothers Funeral Home. Once she is revived, she mistakes Ned for her husband and asks him if he turned off the gas.
Elderly Man "The Fun in Funeral" Was accidentally touched by Ned in the basement of the Schatz Brothers Funeral Home. Once he is revived, he asks not to be resuscitated.
Pidge "Pigeon" A messenger pigeon who was picked up by Olive. Ned revived her accidentally when Olive brushed her against Ned's hands. A crow died sixty seconds afterwards.
Bradan Caden "Pigeon"
Conrad Fitch "Pigeon" The real Conrad Fitch, not Lemuel "Lefty Lem" Weinger who was posing as him when Ned, Chuck and Emerson first came into the crashed apartment.
Jackson Lucas "Pigeon" At the time, Lucas was already buried so very little of his eyeballs were left. Chuck showed "a little dignity" by putting her sunglasses on him.
Lucas Shoemaker "Girth"
Pinky McCoy "Girth"
Harold Hundin "Bitches"
Ramsfeld Snuppy "Bitches" At first, Ned wanted to touch him at the scene of the crime. But Emerson had a better idea of touching him at Harold Hundin's funeral because, according to Emerson, people "run when they're guilty".
Anita Gray "Smell of Success" Anita was charred when Ned touched her.
Tony DiNapoli "Bitter Sweets"
Billy Balsam "Bitter Sweets" This touch was accidental as Ned was looking for a rat in the vat of taffy at Bittersweets. When he touched Billy again, he struggled to get Billy out only to have Billy's sister, Dilly believe that he killed him.
Victor Narramore "Corpsicle"
Bill Richter "Corpsicle"
Kentucky Fitz "Bzzzzzzzz!"
Rocky Milano "Circus, Circus"
Jackie Johnny "Circus, Circus"
Sister Larue "Bad Habits"
Joe "Frescorts"
Barb "Frescorts"
Ares Kostopolous "Frescorts"
Bao Ting "Dim Sum, Lose Some"
Perry "Dim Sum, Lose Some"
The Great Herrmann "Oh Oh Oh...It's Magic"
Gustav Hoffer "Robbing Hood"
Charles Charles "Comfort Food"
Colonel Likkin "Comfort Food"
Nora McQuoddy "The Legend of Merle McQuoddy"
Aloysius "Window Dressed to Kill" A Rhinoceros that Randy Mann had in the back of his van. Revived as a distraction to police.
Erin Embry "Window Dressed to Kill"
Coco Juniper "Window Dressed to Kill"
Roland "Rollie" Stingwell "Water and Power"

Ned has also touched various insects, frogs, as well as dead fruit so that his pies have everlasting flavor.

Characters dead from Ned keeping someone else alive

Character Episode Who was kept alive in exchange
A squirrel "Pie-lette" Digby
Charles Charles "Pie-lette" Ned's mother
Lawrence Schatz "Pie-lette" Charlotte "Chuck" Charles
A crow "Pigeon" Pidge
Dwight Dixon "Comfort Food" Charles Charles

Other things that have died due to Ned keeping things alive for more than a minute include pigeons in exchange for frogs, a spider in exchange for a firefly, fireflies for other fireflies, and flowers in exchange for the dead fruit he uses for his pies.

Behind the scenes

The nine-year-old Ned is played by Field Cate.

Sources

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 Pie-lette
  2. Dummy
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 The Fun in Funeral
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bad Habits
  5. 5.0 5.1 Girth
  6. Oh Oh Oh...It's Magic
  7. Bitches
  8. Comfort Food
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Frescorts
  10. Pigeon
  11. 11.0 11.1 Smell of Success
  12. Kerplunk
  13. Bitter Sweets
  14. Pushing Daisies: The Comic Book

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