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Desperate Housewives recap: The Important Things

Lynette digs a deeper hole while trying to save Porter, Carlos’ restored eyesight helps him see all that Gaby has sacrificed, while Bree and Andrew take a big step toward the mother-son relationship they both want

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Felicity Huffman
Ron Tom/ABC

Desperate Housewives

TV Show
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We’ll get to plotline and story deconstruction in a minute, Desperate Housewives TV Watchers, but just a bit into last night’s final episode of 2008, I couldn’t help but wonder: Where is Bree’s painstakingly perfect Christmas tree? Gaby’s budget-conscious attempts at holiday festivities for her two munchkins? Edie’s sure-to-be tacky holiday efforts? Maybe even just a Yuletide get-together for the folks on the street? Does no one on Wisteria Lane celebrate the holidays? My central, yet tedious, question: How is it that a show so about domesticity and suburban life ignores cultural events that are typically so important to the real-life set it seeks to depict?

Maybe I’m just overloaded with holiday spirit myself and think everything else should be. That’s probably the case. But ah, well, I guess when you’ve got arson, eyesight restoration, a gay wedding, a possibly rekindling romance, and blind rage to deal with, season’s greetings don’t matter so much, do they? No big thing, though, because this episode was quite the perfect holiday present itself last night, even if it wasn’t cheery at all.

First and foremost, Dave’s story line delivered, even if it only enjoyed a few precious moments of screen time. By now, we know that he wants to exact his revenge on Mike. That’s been boiling up over the season and culminated when he pulled Mike out of the fire two episodes ago and ruefully croaked, “I’m not done with you.” But last night, we learned a lot more about Dave’s increasingly creepy sickness and rage. It’s no longer speculation: The mother-daughter duo — Lila and Paige Dash — who died after being involved in a car wreck with Mike and Susan were, indeed, Dave’s wife and daughter. In fact, what I’ll assume were ghosts of those two deceased family members followed Dave around for most of the episode, culminating with him morbidly standing before their grave, telling the tombstones (which, from his perspective, were their life-like forms) that he’d make Mike “lose what I lost.”

And that’s the line that intrigued me, because it twists who, exactly, I envisioned Dave targeting all along. After all these weeks of seeing Dave befriend Mike, I figured he was going to use that continued closeness to really take him down in some kind of a personal way. But now, it seems that Dave isn’t actually going to target Mike himself, but those closest to him instead — namely Susan and M.J.. It just seems to me that if Dave wants Mike to feel the same pain, he’s got to take away the same things he lost. Susan and M.J.: You’re on notice, unfortunately. Now, I wouldn’t mind seeing Susan get offed (although we know that’s never going to happen, as she’s one of the original housewives), but I can’t stand the thought of something happening to that cute-as-a-button little M.J. Seriously, he’s got to be the most precious tyke on TV right now.

That is, when he’s not tormenting Katherine by throwing hot fudge sundaes at her or dropping bowling balls on her feet. (His sadistic actions were giving me visions of Desperate‘s past evil child, Kayla Scavo.) Well, actually, his scrunched up little face — and his reason for being mean to her — was still pretty cute and earnest. He just wanted his parents, Mike and Susan, to get back together. He’s a kid, so he obviously can’t understand the complexities behind while they’re apart. But, actually, wait — I’m a twenty-something, well-educated regular viewer of this show, and I can’t quite understand why they’re apart either. Really, it all goes back to that car wreck? Something tragic like that would likely only serve to bring people closer together. To me, by the end of last night’s episode, it seemed like Mike and Susan were headed for reconciliation. “We’ve never looked each other in the eye and said that there is no chance that we are ever getting back together,” Susan said to Mike, who seemed blindsided her half-hearted bid to rekindle things. I have a sinking feeling that we might just see this family reform just in time for Dave to execute his sick plans for revenge, and that breaks my heart.

NEXT: Andrew and his doct-ah friend