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Desperate Housewives recap: Burnin' Down the House

More of Dave’s story is uncovered after his doc comes to town and the local rock club is set ablaze, while Lynette makes a misstep trying to sort out Porter’s mess

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Desperate Housewives
Ron Torn/ABC

Desperate Housewives

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
Pending
seasons:
7

Desperate Housewives loves a good fire, doesn’t it? As I was watching last night’s episode — which saw Fairview’s rock club, The White Horse, go down in flames during a Battle of the Bands competition — I couldn’t help but quickly flash back to that early season 1 episode that featured Susan accidentally torching Edie’s old house on Wisteria Lane. At first I brushed off the thought, thinking there was no connection. Then I realized the two blazes are very similar indeed: Plain and simple, they were both kind of a let down.

Now, I know I shouldn’t be reveling in something as tragic as a fire, but this is TV, so we’re allowed to want bad things to happen because it equals good plot development. After all, that’s why it’s called drama (well, in this case, dramedy), right? There was little point to Edie’s house fire. And last night’s blaze seemed rather gratitutious, as well. Besides destroying some replaceable structures and likely ratcheting up ratings (it’s sweeps, folks!), I’m not sure how much either contributed to the dynamic on the street.

For all the racket I’d been reading leading up to this particular episode, I expected at least one big death. But all we got was the demise of Dr. Heller, Dave Williams’ former doctor who traveled to Fairview to shut down the madman’s plans. I guess I shouldn’t be disappointed just because it was such a minor death — it’ll obviously have some implications. The guy who held the power to stop Dave is now out of the picture. On the note of his death, I just have to add that I was completely creeped out by the way Dave killed him. Dave took Dr. Heller into a storage room, then ruthlessly strangled him. (I suppose strangulations are always ruthless, yes?) Then came the part that really made my stomach turn: He doused him with liquor — several bottles of bar booze from the shelves in the storage room — and lit the guy on fire. I repeat: He lit the guy on fire using booze as the fuel. I understand wanting to cover up evidence and all, but good lord. I was surprised by how graphic it all was, seeing as how Desperate Housewives is a network show. I almost felt like I was watching something that’d be written into a Stephen King novel. If the producers were trying to make Dave look even crazier, they succeeded with flying colors.

Maybe I’m not giving the fire enough credit, though. I suppose it did reveal a few more tidbits about the Dave Williams mystery. It’s now totally confirmed, via the now-deceased Dr. Heller, that the man Dave is targeting is, indeed, in his garage rock band, Blue Odyssey. So the options are Mike, Carlos, Orson, and Tom. We can never just assume anything with Desperate, but it seems like Mike Delfino is almost certainly the person Dave is after. When Dave learned that Mike was still in the burning club, he ran back inside to save him. (Just a temporary diversion for us viewers to think he wasn’t targeting Mike, maybe?) Then, after dragging him out, Dave gave us the biggest hint that Mike’s his target: “Hang in there. I’m not done with you yet.” So this fire was never intended to kill the person he’s after. That’s why it felt like a letdown. I was ready for some real answers to the Dave mystery.

But even as the big blaze dropped a few more revealing morsels into the mouth of this spiraling mystery, it blurred the whole situation even more. At least for me. Question: Why did Dave lock Jackson in the bathroom after he set the fire? (And, less importantly, but still perplexing: What public restroom has a lock on the outside?) That little action of his really startled me. Dave had just set the fire and knew that Jackson would have a harder time escaping if locked in the john. Maybe it is that Dave is really targeting both Mike and Susan? He’d surely be able to torment Susan quite a lot if he killed off her new love. Or maybe the motive was as simple as the fact that Jackson saw him coming out of the storage room and could later tell the cops when the body was discovered. Whatever the reason, I was glad to see that Jackson survived. I also thought it was such a nice thing for Mike to risk his neck and go back into the club and search for Jackson.

NEXT: Motivationally speaking

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