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Desperate Housewives blog, Desperate Housewives season one
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The top new drama of the season ends with a bang--but perhaps not the one most people were expecting. There are revelations galore, and seeds of a new mystery in the making, yet a few loose ends keep the finale from delivering quite as much satisfaction as it might otherwise have done.

First and foremost: Damn those writers to hell for killing off one of the most interesting and nuanced characters on the show. In the pilot, Rex appeared to be a stand-up guy tormented by his obsessive-compulsive wife. As the show progressed, we learned that Rex had issues of his own--issues perhaps equal in scope to those of his wife. Despite his infidelity, his nastiness to George, and other failings, you had to root for Rex simply for being able to stand up to Bree. That he died believing that his wife murdered him--and forgiving her for it--is just another illustration of the two sides to this complex coin. He will be sorely missed.

Bree’s life will be turned upside down without Rex, but she’s not the only one experiencing major change. Tom sends Lynette back to work as a form of payback for sabotaging his promotion--perhaps making her finally realize how much she actually does enjoy staying home with her four hellions. Gabby defends Carlos in court in return for certain child-rearing “conditions” (e.g., she gets to sleep while Carlos does bottle duty), only to have Hot Gardener John appear in court and wonder aloud why Carlos’ was the only lawn on Wisteria Lane that needed to be mowed three times a week.

Zach goes off the deep end, attacking Felicia with a hockey stick and holding Susan prisoner in her own house, awaiting Mike’s return. Zach knows that Mike ambushed Paul with murder on his mind…but what Zach doesn’t know is that a) Mike had a change of heart, and b) Mike is Zach’s real father. Think Mike will be able to get all that out before Zach shoots? You’ll have to wait ‘til next fall to find out.

Fortunately, the writers don’t keep us waiting through the summer hiatus to learn the full details of Mary Alice’s sordid history. Turns out the Youngs didn’t steal Dana/Zach from his mother; the dumb junkie sold her baby to them--and then, years later, wanted him back. She showed up on Wisteria Lane, attacked Paul with the fire poker when he tried to stop her, and got a great big chef’s knife in the belly--courtesy of none other than Mary Alice herself. Desperate housewife, indeed.

So the big question was answered, but a few loose threads linger. What is Andrew planning to do to Bree--and how will his father’s death affect that plan? Why has no one clued in to the fact that Rex’s drugs were switched? And what is the deal with the new family on the block, who won’t let Edie in their house?

A few more details on each of these fronts would have been nice…but alas, for that too, we must wait until the leaves of Wisteria Lane turn brown.

In the meantime, enjoy your summer.

That sassy, sexy Bree: She just doesn’t realize the effect she has on men. Well, George, at least. Trying to get him to miss a putt on the mini-golf course, she walks her fingers down his back and whispers coy taunts in his ear. Small wonder the man sports some wood while holding his putter! Bree is shocked and appalled--and tells George that they can no longer be friends, but that he is free to break into her house, take pictures of her lingerie, and discover Rex’s dirty little box of S&M toys in the closet.

Meanwhile, Lynette tries to out-shark “pretty shark” Annabel--and, instead of getting her rival hired at a competing firm, succeeds in enabling Annabel to nab the VP promotion that Tom has always wanted. Worse, when Tom storms into his boss’s office demanding to know why Annabel got the job instead of him, the boss reveals that Lynette complained to Mrs. Boss about how much any increase Tom’s travel would hurt the family. Winner this round: the pretty shark.

Gabby sets the stage for the eventual revelation of her affair with John, telling Carlos that she’s leaving him and suggesting that the baby isn’t his. He follows her to John’s apartment, sees her hugging gay Justin, and gets himself arrested for a hate crime. On the bright side, though, with his olive skin and dark hair, Carlos looks surprisingly good in his orange jumpsuit.

Life gets giddy for Susan, who appears at Mike’s shoulder in a slinky robe and lingerie just as Edie is dropping by his place with a box of donuts and two enormous …um…cream puffs…falling out of her too-tight tank top. Never one to gloat, unless it’s a day that ends in ‘y’, Susan also hastens to tell Edie about Mike’s plans to move in with Susan and Julie. Even an intervention (covertly organized, of course, by Edie herself) can’t dissuade Susan from moving in with the confessed murderer and former drug dealer. Would a second murder?

That’s what sly Bebe seems to have in mind, as she laments the lack of a death penalty in Wisteriaville--and then lets Mike know where to find Paul on Thursday night. Mike shows up, sees Paul, and, bam! Bitch goes down. Not down for the count…yet…but there’s still time.

And speaking of murder: How ‘bout that Bree, calmly making the bed while poor Rex sits slumped on the stairs? He’s having a heart attack, waiting for Bree to drive him to the hospital--which she will do just as soon as she gets the last of those darn wrinkles out of the bedspread. It’s understandable that she feels humiliated, thinking that George heard doctors at Rex’s hospital gossiping about her sex life (when in fact George is the real pervert, sniffing her empty stockings like that), but she goes too far.

Will Bree lose her husband at the hands of a man she’d never dream of sleeping with? Will Susan’s true love commit a second righteous murder--and, in doing so, lose her forever? And, hey, what the heck is Andrew still plotting, anyway?

Only one episode left to find out.

Ahhhh, Mother’s Day, Wisteria-Lane-style.

You’ve got mommy-to-be Gabrielle making the above wisecrack to Carlos, and hoping to be morning-sick all over his mother’s grave.

You’ve got stay-at-home mom Lynette being criticized by her husband for smelling like baby drool, and telling her that “guys sometimes like it when you put a little effort into things.”

You’ve got paragon of all-things-maternal Bree still awaiting whatever dire prank her beloved son Andrew plans to pull, and getting caught engaging in a little platonic spoon-feeding with Pharmacist George (Edie: “You could have an affair with anyone you want, and you choose a pharmacist? You’re such a Republican.”), and probably planting the seeds for Rex’s future heart attack, however unintentional those seeds may be.

You’ve got childlike mother Sophie getting engaged to Morty, demanding a bigger rock than his ex-wife got, and giving Susan yet another reason to curse her own bad luck in love (at least temporarily).

And, best of all, you’ve got childless Felicia swooping in to save Zach from his evil father, removing the boy from Paul’s custody after discovering the tranquilizers Paul had been feeding him. She shows Paul several incriminating pages from Martha’s journal, describing how Paul and Mary Alice stole Zach from an unfit mother, and mentions that she has put a duplicate copy of the pages in a very safe place. “It seemed a reasonable precaution, since you murdered my sister,” she says casually. “Would you like a cookie?”

Felicia then explains that she will be acting as Zach’s mother from now on, and Paul will be allowed to pack up and leave town, starting over as a fugitive once again, without even getting a chance to say goodbye to his son.

The homes of Wisteria Lane are positively bursting at the seams with motherly love. It’s enough to bring a tear to anyone’s eye during this time of the year, whether mother or child.

It had to happen eventually. The writing was just too good to be sustained for an entire season. Sunday’s episode of “Desperate Housewives” was wildly inconsistent, and raised questions about whether the payoff of Wisteria Lane’s season-long mystery can possibly deliver satisfaction.

First and foremost, what the hell was up with Lynette this week? How did she suddenly turn from the feisty, confident heroine we all know and love into this quivering, insecure mess? Her unprovoked confrontation with Annabel at the office is embarrassing (and only serves to spur Annabel’s interest in antagonizing Lynette), and using her kids to put on a blatantly coached “happy family” routine at dinner is beneath her. Her behavior is completely out of character, and the writers should know better.

George the pharmacist also reveals traits not demonstrated in prior episodes, snapping rudely at his assistant, and behaving abominably towards her after forcing her to pretend to be his girlfriend at Carlos’s Big House Barbecue Sendoff. True, we’ve seen the pharmacist swap out Rex’s heart pills for something undoubtedly more sinister, so we knew George was not exactly Mr. Rogers, but that behavior was in direct response to Rex’s smug dismissal of George. Ginger, in contrast, hasn’t done anything to George; at least not as far as we know.

More concerning is the flashback scene between Mrs. Huber and her sister Felicia. It is not made clear how long ago the conversation occurred, but the implication is obvious: Mrs. Huber was informed about Zach’s past, yet told no one about it. Given what we know about Mrs. Huber’s gossipy ways, how likely is it that she would keep that secret to herself for any length of time? Not very. It is equally unlikely that, assuming she were able to keep it a secret, she would not at least attempt to profit from it via blackmail (after all, that’s what she did to Susan after Edie’s house fire), yet the note to Mary Alice made no mention of money.

The threads of the story are all coming together, with just a few episodes left in the season, but the writers had better be careful. They’ve spoiled us these past several months, and set the bar incredibly high. If they let us down in the home stretch allowing inconsistencies such as these to sneak through, we won’t soon forget it. We’ll have all summer to think about it.

We want to love you, but we’re afraid of getting hurt again. Promise us you’ll change?

Hats off to the writers who make Wisteria Lane such a delightfully perverse place to live. They outdid themselves this past Sunday, providing us with an episode that was positively bursting with quotable quotes. Let’s revisit them, shall we?


10. “Why don’t you move someplace less expensive…like a nursing home?” (Lynette, to crotchety old neighbor Mrs. McCluskey)
9. “I can’t; I’ve got a roast in the…freezer.” (Lynette again, unsuccessfully trying to avoid spending time with McCluskey)
8. “Mom, could you please not flirt with the ice cream man?” (Susan)
7. “What’s our new rule?” “Stop pretending we have a future together.” (Gabrielle/John)
6. “I can’t talk to you while you’re being hysterical.” (Gabby again, in response to John’s suggestion that she return her new shoes)
5. “I brought peppermint schnapps.” (Susan’s “date,” Lamont, trying to impress her)
4. “Huh?” (Rex, blatantly pretending not to hear Andrew ask who the fourth place setting at dinner is for)
3. “Could we at least have dessert before you start calling our son a sodomite?” (Rex, to Bree)
2. “What a fun night. We should really do this again sometime.” (Andrew, to the family minister, after Bree has disclosed Rex’s S&M proclivities to the table and both parents have fled the room)
1. “When that happens…trust me, I’ll know paradise.” (Andrew, describing to the minister his plans to take revenge on Bree by doing something so awful, her world will be permanently rocked)

So, we’ve got dialogue so sizzling it’s setting living rooms on fire; we’ve got Bree handing Andrew a map of all her hot buttons and daring him not to push them; we’ve got Mike Delfino smoldering away with the knowledge that Paul Young may be connected to the murder of dear departed Deirdre; and we’ve got that nearly-forgotten pharmacist still burning with the need to take revenge on smug Rex.

Better fix yourself a cool drink. It’s going to be one hell of a hot spring on ABC.

The Y chromosome carriers play a pivotal role in this week’s episode, with Zach covering for his father’s lies in front of the police--and then finding out that Daddy lied to him, too. Not only did poor, demented Zach not kill Dana all those years ago; Zach is Dana. The closer we get to May sweeps, the more the plot thickens.

Meanwhile, Mike learns exactly how Susan wound up becoming the lovably frazzled klutz she is…when Susan’s lovably frazzled mother accidentally hits his car. Mom has dropped in unannounced, distraught from the “abuse” she received from the ever-so-intimidating Bob Newhart--and she wants to move in with Susan. Cut to: a frantic Susan begging Dr. Bob to take her mother back…followed by Dr. Bob reluctantly apologizing to Susan Senior--who then bites him on the arm. Good luck working that one out.

Over at Kamp Krusty’s Juvenile Home for Wayward Youth, after being snubbed by son Andrew, Bree gets a taste of how the other half lives, overhearing an exchange between two deliciously white-trash mothers:
Mom 1: “I caught her going through my purse.”
Mom 2: “Was she looking for weed, or money?”
Bree: (Presses lips together tightly, constricts sphincter, and turns paler than the powdered sugar on those lemon bars she smuggled in).

And, back at the Scavo compound, precious Porter, Parker and Preston (how do the writers expect us to keep them all straight? Can we please have, like, a Steve, or something, next time around?) drive Bree to distraction--and then to spanking one of them. Lynette is mortified and furious, until she realizes that Bree has just given her a brand new (and highly effective) threat to pull out every time her kids misbehave. Bree gets to be the bad guy (as usual), and Lynette gets to maintain her no-corporal-punishment policy. It’s a win-win!

But of course, the Y chromosomes that matter most are those belonging to Carlos--who shows an ugly side in his dealings with duplicitous Gabrielle--and to John, into whose bed Gabby goes running when Carlos bruises her arm while literally forcing her to sign a post-nuptial agreement. Between the tampered birth control pills, the pregnancy to come, and the baby whose true paternity will be unknown to everyone but Mary Alice…it sounds like the perfect recipe for a sweeps month to remember.

So this is what it has come to: Instead of comparing average SAT scores and having the “private vs. state school” debate, the Van de Kamps are pouring over glossy brochures from juvenile correction facilities and discussing how well electrified fences do or do not teach respect for boundaries. It’s two months from graduation, and Andrew has gone and gotten himself expelled. He steps out of line with Bree once too often, and Rex does what we’ve all been wanting him to do: he slams the boy up against the wall and threatens physical violence. That, too, is an efficient way to teach respect for boundaries…

But Andrew’s not the only one getting in over his head. Lynette “Are you saying I’m not tactful?” Scavo verbally attacks the rude husband of a friendly acquaintance who happens to be deaf--and, in return for defending the deaf woman’s honor, gets called a bitch for her trouble. Meanwhile, Gabby just can’t stop checking out that gift horse’s teeth. Not content with her blind luck in having Juanita emerge from a coma, yet die before revealing her indiscretions, Gabby insists on doubling down: she plans to accept a $1.6MM wrongful death settlement from the hospital…without Carlos finding out. Oh, and while sending him to jail on a plea bargain first, so the government can’t get their hands on the money.

Anyone want to place a bet how this one turns out? There’s no way Gabby’s going to pull this off, and there’s going to be hell to pay when it all falls apart. Gabby should have taken a closer look at those coffin catalogues while she had them, and maybe asked about a two-for-one sale.

At this point, she’ll be lucky if Carlos even buys her a pine box. ~

Good question, Edie. After more than a month of repeats (!), our favorite housewives are back, and more desperate than ever. Gabby steals a porta-potty because she and Carlos are too poor to get their pipes fixed, and Lynette suffers the indignity of having her boys falsely accused of spreading lice throughout their fancy-pants school.

The real desperation, though, belongs to Bree. Once Maisy Gibbons is arrested for solicitation, it’s only a matter of time before those names in her little black book will come out. Out at dinner one night, Bree’s worst nightmare comes true when she realizes that every other patron in the restaurant is in fact laughing at her and her husband. True to form, Bree sticks it out -- refusing to give her tormentors satisfaction by leaving -- and gives Rex a glimpse of the true meaning of humiliation.

Here’s the real question, though: Are there any other names in that book we should worry about? The smart money (specifically, husband MedTV) says yes…but we’ll have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, Rex grows more fatigued as a result of whatever mystery drug the pharmacist gave him, and Paul discovers Felicia’s link to his late wife -- and realizes that others may know about it as well.

Long-hidden secrets coming to light…past mistakes spinning out of control…and perhaps another murder (or two) on the horizon.

“What just happened?” Bree asks during the women’s weekly poker game.
“The stakes were raised,” Lynette replies.

I couldn’t have put it better myself. ~

: On the heels of much real-life press speculation about actress Marcia Cross’s sexual orientation, comes the episode in which Bree Van De Kamp’s son Andrew is caught kissing another boy. Every good nighttime soap needs a gay teen, right? Kelly Taylor dated one on “90210” (briefly, since he wouldn’t put out…), and so did poor, lovesick Joey (Katie Holmes) on “Dawson’s Creek.” Even as we speak, drunken, mixed-up Marisa is locking well-glossed lips with hot alterna-bombshell Alex over on “The O.C.”

Is it a sign of the apocalypse? Another example of the rumored Hollywood “gay mafia’s” influence in action? Proof that homosexuals really are trying to take over the world?

Actually, no. It’s a sign of progress. That writers can feel free to explore these storylines without undue fear of network reprisal is a breath of fresh air -- and opens up new opportunities for storytelling. Kelly Taylor’s gay boyfriend appeared in a paltry few episodes, then disappeared. Years later, Kerr Smith fared a little better on “Dawson,” but never quite attained the same status as the show’s other characters. Andrew Van De Kamp is a regular character, with issues above and beyond his sexual orientation (don’t forget about that drinking and drug use…or his remorseless hit-and-run). I for one am looking forward to the gay teen issue being handled as an ongoing storyline as opposed to a “very special episode.”

As for the rest of the characters…shame on Tom Scavo (Doug Savant) for angling to snare his co-worker’s promotion while the guy is recuperating from quadruple bypass surgery. The more I learn about Lynette’s husband…the more I wonder why she married him. Gabby earns bonus points for her savvy handling of the Justin situation -- and more bonus points for calmly suggesting to Carlos that it might be time to sell their house (despite what downsizing to an apartment might do to her pride). Looks like someone sent the writers that trunk of Valentine chocolates and money like I suggested.

The police confront Susan with Mike’s conviction for drug trafficking and manslaughter…but it’s not really Mike that Susan should be worried about. It’s Zach.
That scene between Zach and Julie by the pool, where Zach points a finger-gun at Andrew and says ‘pow’?

Not harmless childplay. Not harmless…at all.

Run, Julie -- as fast as you can. ~

: Several new revelations this week. Back when her name was Angela Forrest, Mary Alice Young used to work with Martha Huber’s sister Felicia at the Dorothy Drake Rehabilitation House in Utah. Let me guess: previous, and possibly current, residence of the missing Dana, perhaps? Also, Lynette’s kids are a bunch of thieves, and Rex finally gives in and asks Bree to dominate the one area of his life she doesn’t already fully control. Which dishwasher setting do you use for handcuffs, by the way? Hi-temp scrub, with sani-rinse?

This episode had two key players acting out of character, unfortunately. Gabrielle has always been arrogant, but not quite the raging bitch she was to Yao Lin, as well as to her “mattress king” employer and his customers. Sounds like Eva Longoria needs to send a giant box of Valentine chocolates -- or maybe just a bag full of money -- to the DH writing staff, stat, before her character loses any hint of likability.

Lynette, too, has always been feisty…but never the type to throw an egg in her elderly neighbor’s face. Granted, crotchety Mrs. McCluskey (aka Dolores Landingham from “The West Wing”) should never have run over Lynette’s son’s bike…but there are lines that good people don’t cross, and egging dear old Mrs. Landingham in the face is right smack on the wrong side of that line. Still funny, though.

In contrast, Susan is perfectly true to form, finding herself involved in yet another slapstick moment with consequences. This time, it’s her too-short dress, combined with her inexplicable inability to notice a waiter crouched under her table (!), that leads to a scream and a fall and a crash -- and the ripping of the stitches from Mike’s shiny new gunshot wound.

Mike decides the best course of action is to sit there bleeding through dinner, then realizes his tough-guy genes aren’t that dominant, after all. He gets up to leave, falls to the floor, and has to make up some lame story about how he shot himself cleaning his gun. The doctors don’t buy it…so neither does Susan….

…And that’s BEFORE Susan sees the dead woman’s bracelet Lynette’s kids stole from Mike’s garage. Better beef up that alibi, tough guy. ~

: As was bound to happen, Zach kisses Julie, and is walked in on by Susan -- who is understandably mortified to see her daughter embracing the father-beating, breaking-and-Christmas-decorating, mental-hospital-fleeing boy next door. It’s terrible; it’s awful; Julie positively cannot date him, says Susan…but, sure, yeah, go to the school dance with him. Shouldn’t be any problem with that.

At said dance, suspicious chaperone Paul asks overprotective chaperone Susan to dance with him -- to freakin’ “Dust in the Wind,” of all things, because apparently all the hip kids are listening to Kansas these days -- in order to learn which, if any, of Zach’s secrets Susan knows. Susan pretends she’s heard all of them, and gets Paul to spill some details about Dana…but she still doesn’t learn the full truth -- and neither do we. Is Dana still alive? The episode leads you to believe otherwise, but my money says yes, and it also says she will be showing up just in time for sweeps.

John the Hot Gardener’s parents show up at Gabby’s house looking for a favor: They need her to talk their no-longer-jailbait son into attending college as planned, rather than giving it up to launch his gardening business full-time. To keep her secret secret, Gabby complies, and John surprises her by proposing with his grandmother’s engagement ring. He wants to start the business to earn an income so he and Gabby can get married. Gabby’s response? “I’ve been poor but happy. Guess what? I wasn’t that happy!” For once, she does the right thing -- and breaks the kid’s heart.

Lynette is troubled by her father-in-law’s infidelity, and husband Matt, shmuck that he is, appears to have followed in Daddy’s footsteps at least once. This revelation will undoubtedly also be unveiled during sweeps, possibly carried onto the set in a locked silver briefcase, handcuffed to Dana’s wrist. Or maybe not.

Rex and Bree enjoy games of one-upmanship with their divorce lawyers, each claiming rights to items they know the other covets. Bree, the non-skier, takes the condo in Aspen; Rex takes the good china so he will have something nice off which to eat takeout. To quote Rex, “Isn’t divorce fun?”

It is when it’s these two. But watch out for creepy George -- and, Rex, seriously, dude: don’t leave your prescriptions with the guy you’ve just insulted, and who wants to bang your wife. It’s just good common sense. ~

: Poor, sad little Edie is distraught to have conclusive evidence that her only real friend is dead. She plans to scatter Huber’s ashes in a nearby river, and asks the usual suspects to come along. Bree, Gabby and Lynette all have valid excuses, which leaves Susan holding the short straw. Susan tries to pull a Homer (“I’d love to wanna help you, Flanders…”) -- or perhaps that’s a Phoebe (“Gee, I wish I could, but I don’t want to…”) -- but eventually realizes she needs to go to help make up for burning the poor slut’s house down. Especially if the poor slut is about to find out whodunit, since Felicia is reading her late sister’s journals.

Susan ends up being covered in Martha’s ashes and hosed down by Edie on her own front lawn after fessing up about causing Edie’s house fire -- which is about par for the course, for Susan, and actually she got off pretty easy this week. It’s Bree who wins the Slapstick Moment of the Week award, when George tries to kiss her and he winds up shooting himself in the foot both figuratively and literally. Watch out for the lonely guys who give you guns wrapped in pretty boxes. They’re trouble every damn time.

Looking for an oasis of calm in this mad, mad world, Lynette tries to get into a popular yoga class, but only succeeds when the desk clerk sees Parker’s bald head and assumes that he is suffering from cancer instead of brothers with gum. Hey, she’s the one who jumped to conclusions; you can’t blame Lynette for doing what’s needed to achieve her one brief moment of Zen. Well, not much, anyway.

Gabrielle has her hands full with Carlos home but not working -- and, worse, pushing hard for her to reconsider their mutual “no kids” agreement. She promises not to leave him no matter what, but she may renege on that deal once she discovers that her loving husband has replaced her birth control pills with placebos. Just a hunch.

Okay, time for a poll: Who else enjoyed watching the model eat fried chicken? Coming off Teri Hatcher’s description at the Golden Globes of Eva Longoria as “the cute young one who eats a lot,” watching Gabby sit on the curb with a bucket of KFC and curly fries was just about perfect. The fact that she did it just out of range of Carlos’s house arrest anklet, taunting him, was gravy for those biscuits you know were in the bucket too.

Last, but definitely not least, there’s Mike Delfino, who turns out to be investigating the residents of Wisteria Lane not because of Mary Alice’s death, but to unravel the mysterious death of his late wife, Deirdre. He’s been hired by Deirdre’s father, who mentions that Mike must be dedicated to finding the truth and delivering justice -- since, after all, Mike has killed once before for Deirdre’s sake.

Whom did he kill? When? Under what circumstances? Nobody knows. He’s a riddle, cloaked in an enigma, smothered in secret sauce, that Mike. ~

GOD BLESS BEBE: Just when -- come on, admit it -- you were starting to miss Mrs. Huber’s prickly personality, in walks her equally prickly sister, Felicia…played by…Harriet Sansom Harris, best known as Frasier Crane’s prickly agent Bebe. “Every person on this street is praying for your sister’s safe return,” quoth the man who killed said sister. Responds Bebe: “Oh, I seriously doubt that.” Delicious! Can’t wait to see more of her in action; this bitter pill will nicely offset the sickly sweetness of some of the Susan-oriented storylines.

Speaking of which, Susan finally – finally! -- gets what she’s always wanted: an apology from Carl, and the knowledge that he wants her back. Better yet, she realizes that she’s really, honestly over him. Too bad the moment is half spoiled by her karaoke outburst, though we do get the pleasure of watching Edie sing about “exploring subtle whoring” during her rendition of “I’ve Never Been to Me.” Could more appropriate lyrics have been chosen? Methinks not.

Meanwhile, Gabrielle is hard up for cash -- so hard up that she has to take an icky spokesmodel job hawking the new model Buick at the mall for $300/day. Buick paid a promotional fee for their involvement in the episode and, to their credit, the plug does actually mesh seamlessly with the storyline. But here’s the question: if your product placement effort puts the heroine in a situation in which she is humiliated to be plugging your product…is that really a wise outlay of cash? Does it really speak well for your brand? Again, methinks not.

As for Lynette, her dream nanny situation turns into a nightmare when husband Doug Savant accidentally spies Nanny naked -- and is turned on by it. Nanny is sent packing, post-haste. Two problems here: First, don’t we all remember that Matt from Melrose Place is gay? He doesn’t care about seeing big naked nanny boobies; he wants to see Hot Gardener Dude naked. Second, Nanny gets fired for being attractive (and accidentally naked), because Matt can’t handle having her around (even though, again, he’s gay, people)? Lawsuit, baby! Take ‘em for all they’re worth.

On the Van De Kamp front, the kids coerce Bree into letting Rex coalesce at home. To Rex’s face, Bree insists she has no feelings left for him (“Please do not mistake my anal-retentiveness for actual affection.”), but she still feels enough to want to make him jealous -- so she brings a date home, leading to the best exchange of the episode:

George (Bree’s date): “Good evening, Dr. Van De Kamp.”
Rex: “Please, you’re dating my wife. Call me Rex.”

I’ll call him…someone we need to see more of. ~

: "Edie, what did you do to your dress?"
"I made it audience friendly! Can you tell I’m not wearing any underwear?"

Enjoy these moments, gentlemen. Edie has her good points, but – oh, who am I kidding, she’s basically an awful person wrapped up as a delicious slice of cheesecake. In fact, as they position Susan Mayer as the soul of the show (a move that took significant strides this week), Edie looks even worse. Don’t look for her to make it to season two.

LOTS happened on Wisteria Lane this week, although much of it was by VERY contrived circumstances. Susan leans down to pick up something on the floor, and catches Gabrielle teasing sexy gardener. Please. Who actually sees that stuff in real life? Then, John and his buddy carelessly talk about his banging a local housewife while John’s mother comes out of the house and overhears. Puh-LEEZE. No teenager has that conversation in public, and if he does, he sure as hell doesn’t have it in his own driveway, when mom’s inside.

But that all pales in comparison to the revelation that Dead Dana was not in fact the baby daughter that even Zack believed he had, but rather an adult. But who? Mary Alice’s sister? Her mother? Her lover? Paul’s mistress? And just when we think that Gabrielle is about to get hauled off for statutory rape (she confessed to John’s mother in order to clear Susan’s name, in yet another contrived setup), it turns out the cops were there for Carlos. Shocked, shocked and appalled, we are.

It all may have been done using hackneyed tactics, but it appears to be for the greater good of the characters. But one question remains: will we call them in the morning once they give up Mary Alice’s secret? ~

Lo, we were prophets.

Last week on "Desperate Housewives," we were led to believe that Edie wrote the note that caused Mary Alice to commit suicide. From the onset, we knew this was bogus, for two reasons. For one, Edie may be a lot of things, but she’s not a sneak. If she wants something of yours, she’ll pretty much ask for it, or declare her intent to steal it. Second of all, everything Edie owned burned to the ground, forcing her to shack up with… Mrs. Huber, who’s already shown a propensity for opportunism when she blackmailed Susan into buying her groceries once she discovered who was responsible for Edie’s fire. The easiest explanation is usually the right one, so sayeth Occam’s Razor.

Having Paul clock Mrs. Huber with Mary Alice’s unreturned blender was a nice touch, but the real masterstroke was how the episode had its cake and ate it, too. We were horrified when Bree’s son showed no remorse for running over Carlos’s mother, then minutes later, we were actually rooting for the weasel Paul while he choked Mrs. Huber to death. Funny how sometimes a life is much more, and much less, than a life.

So now we know who wrote the note. We still don’t know why. Who’s Dana? How did Mrs. Huber (who will appear in flashbacks) find out about the Young’s secret? When will Zack get out of the loony bin? And is Mike working for Mary Alice’s parents, or are we just being led to think that? (Quick thought: Was Dana their daughter or their niece, whose accidental death they covered up?) And how about that dream sequence of Lynette’s? Barring the scenes with Gabrielle in lingerie, that may be the best moment of the show to date. ~

Every show needs its George Costanza, apparently. Me, I find Costanza to be one of the most unlikable, unwatchable losers in TV history, and watching Teri Hatcher’s Susan Mayer stirs up the same fits of frustration. She just can’t ever help herself, can she? It’s one thing to be unlucky, or clumsy, or less than witty, but the way Susan is set up, in every episode, in the most painfully obvious way, to be the fool (witness her uncharacteristically talking smack with Edie, only to be unceremoniously rejected by Shady Mike seconds later), is bordering on unbearable. Perhaps they consider the Silly Susan Show to be enough to balance how dark the rest of the show is, but let’s have more bits where they’re all funny and they’re all dark instead. That, my friends, is balance. That is real life. We all take our turn playing the fool, not just one of us.

Plus, Edie is exposed as the anonymous author of the letter that drove Mary Alice to kill herself. If you think that she actually wrote that letter, you haven’t watched enough television. ~

Awesome, awesome, awesome. ABC might be apologizing for it now, but their initial reaction to the Terrell Owens/Nicollette Sheridan spot had to have been the same as ours, which was something along the lines of: "SWEET!" Who knew T.O. was a fan of white meat?

At this point, ABC looks like the Republican depiction of John Kerry: they loved the spot, right up until someone dared to disagree with them. They should have stuck with their gut; they contend that they're a family "product" (one look at that word shows you just how fabricated this all is), yet they positively deluge their viewers with ads on erectile dysfunction. Um, sorry guys, but I'd rather have a conversation with my son about the birds and the bees than a chat about why ole Pops can't get it up no more. ~





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