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''Desperate Housewives'': Alma's hidden evidence

On ”Desperate Housewives,” Alma settles in at the Applewhite house, where Bree finds Monique’s teeth; plus, Gaby’s secret admirer makes his move

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Desperate Housewives, Valerie Mahaffey
Desperate Housewives: Danny Feld

Desperate Housewives

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”Desperate Housewives”: Alma’s hidden evidence

Do anyone else’s teeth hurt right now? That sack of bloodied, yellow fangs Bree found under Alma’s loose floor board will stay with me all week. I better do some extra grinding in my sleep to make sure they’re all still there. I may even use Whitestrips. Okay, maybe the teeth weren’t that gross. I did appreciate how Alma took the time to package them so beautifully in some sort of velvety jewel pouch. Now that Bree’s got her hands on them — literally, she cupped them bareback — they’re a regular neighborhood treasure.

The sense of danger and general doom at Casa Alma in that final scene, especially with the soundscape of broken glass and a squawking parrot, rivaled some of the Applewhite escapades in the same house, so at least Alma is respecting neighborhood tradition. She also fits in because she’s acting really (get this) desperate for Orson’s affection. ”Don’t take away my hope,” she pleaded. Huh? I get the feeling she’s not for real with the pining and might be plotting something further against Orson. And what do we think of the whole Monique thing at this point? If those were indeed Monique’s teeth, it’d seem that Alma killed her, but last night, while talking to Orson, she referred to ”what you did to Monique.” And where does the elusive Gloria Hodge fit in? In Alma’s ready-made dungeon perhaps?

Otherwise, January has been the month of the teens. There’s the ongoing Julie-Austin-Danielle drama, and now Gaby’s being aggressively stalked by Zach Young, who has reinvented himself as a poorly styled Monkee. Zach’s really rich now, which apparently qualifies him to date Gaby, even though he broke into her house to give her a fugly blue dress, and never mind that time he broke into her friend’s house and held Susan at gunpoint. Is he seriously two months older than the gardener? Is he seriously not kidding with that hair?

What’s important is that Gaby took what Zach said — ”everybody knows you need someone to take care of you” — to heart. She’s always going through character-development fake-outs (good person! seemingly sincere! unselfish for once! not a ho in this episode!), but since she gave up security-blanket Carlos in favor of an actual security system, it looks like this life change might be more lasting than usual. Of course, she didn’t let Zach get away with his presumptuousness, or their totally-ew impromptu make-out sesh, without one of her signature preprogrammed Gaby lines: ”Don’t hijack a Ferrari if you don’t know how to drive!” You tell him, one of the 10 most beautiful people in the world!

I was glad Susan had something to do this week other than argue with men. She did revert to her past-seasons persona, the Insufferable Klutz (isn’t she adorable?) by chug-a-chugging down a flight of stairs, but she gets bonus points because that would hurt like hell. Speaking of stunts, did anyone catch that hurdle Susan leapt before chasing Edie down the street? Totally impressive. You know she tried so hard to make it look effortless, and the result just might be worth a rewind.

Susan’s initial freak-out at the prospect of Julie’s having sex was pretty realistic, or at least more so than the idea that Julie would stow her new birth-control pills in a fake tape in her VCR. That’s, like, so many levels of stealth. Stick ’em in your purse! I’m surprised and glad that Danielle and Austin got caught so soon — and that Edie and Susan found them instead of Julie. I always prefer it when more characters get involved in stuff like this, as long as it’s believable. Otherwise, the subplots can become so separated that it’s hard to care about them. This one allowed a sweet bonding scene between Susan and her spawn on the front steps. What is it about front steps that I’ve been lately loving so? I was also riveted when Edie tossed a set of keys to Alma on her stoop. Porches are huge this season, too — the ladies had their lime-throwing marg fest out there, and Gaby and Carlos have done most of their healing and relationship rebuilding outdoors as well.

When is Lynette at work? It’s not that I want to see it (or more than one of her five kids at once, for that matter); I just want to understand her schedule. She and Tom revisited one of their earlier problems — Tom feels like a loser compared with his can-do-anything wife — which always saddens me. But this time Lynette convinced him she couldn’t accomplish anything without his help, which is good because now Lynette’s back in the Pizzeria Oh-No loop and is free to order napkins, schedule exterminators, show her boobs, etc. Even better: No one is banned from any openings. Except maybe Austin and Danielle. And what the hell, Kayla.

What do you think? What favor will Paul Young want from Mike? If Paul had his son’s hair, would he last another day in prison? Why isn’t Alma shooting up her serum of indefinite perkiness anymore? And is there a greater mystery than we think involving those teeth?