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Desperate Housewives recap: Fire Sale

As the folks in Fairview sort out life after the big fire, Susan finds out Mike and Katherine’s big secret, and Gaby and Carlos get good news

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Ricardo Antonio Chavira
Ron Tom/ABC

Desperate Housewives

TV Show
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Post-Thanksgiving weekends are always a smorgasbord of leftovers. But last night, as I settled in to watch the first new Desperate Housewives in two weeks, I didn’t bring along any treat-filled Tupperware containers for commercial-break snacks — but, alas, I was still inundated with leftovers. Yes, TV Watchers, this episode was packed with story lines a lot older than that turkey rotting away in your fridge.

Seriously, folks, last night’s episode felt woefully like more of the same: Porter was accused of burning down a place of business in Fairview again. (Just last season we had the Rick’s restaurant debacle.) Gaby underestimated the maturity level of her now-sensitive husband Carlos. (This has defined their relationship all season. We get it! Carlos is now sensitive and Gaby is still self-obsessed!) Bree held one of Orson’s major missteps over his head. (Remember that jail time imposed by the ice queen?) One of the ladies did crazy things while drugged! (Flashback to Lynette’s pot-brownie episode last season.) Dave continued to reveal little about why he’s so dang creepy. (Hello to the defining, dragging theme of the season.) And Susan annoyed me as usual. (This is a series-long struggle.)

Honestly, with the gift-giving holidays right around the corner, just one thing is on my wish list for Desperate Housewives: a fresh story line or two. Maybe I’m just thinking about it far too much — goodness knows writing this much about a show each week can’t be good for my sanity — but it seems like we’ve seen all of this before. Am I crazy? I know it’s hard to sustain a show for five seasons, but surely there’s got to be something else to mine out of the lives of these characters.

This week’s drama launched with more infirmary time than a week of Grey’s Anatomy, natch, as the residents of Fairview were picking up the pieces at the hospital after the tragic fire at the White Horse club. Did you notice, however, that it was only the men of Wisteria Lane who were injured in the fire? Lynette, Susan, Bree, Gaby, Edie, and Katherine were all just fine and could be found tending to their battered and bruised men. Also in pristine shape was the dastardly Dave Williams, who, despite going back into the burning building to save Mike, escaped without a scrape or even a touch of smoke inhalation. What does it say about a person who walks out of a five-alarm blaze unscathed? Maybe it’s that he’s not human, but then again, I think we all kind of already knew that.

The one part of him that was bruised? His confidence. You could see him quivering as the police questioned him about what happened the night of the fire. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Dave look so concerned before. He looked kind of like a sneaky little child does just seconds before they’re caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I simply loved seeing the evil guy sweat — he deserved it. And that bit about asking Mike to be his good friend as a way to say thank you — what was that all about? Guess it’s that old idea of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer? Or are we just being tricked into thinking that Mike is his target? Again, this is a tired story line that’s moving at a snail’s pace. Oh, and as for Dave blaming the fire on Porter Scavo? Never would have seen that one coming! I kid, I kid, of course. Dave jumped on that opportunity as soon as Edie served it up for him, and I doubt that was a surprise for any of you viewers.

While the Gaby-Carlos story line from last night was a retread of the general struggles of the Solis clan this season (Gaby fights tooth and nail for her old life, while Carlos assures her their new lifestyle is fine), there were two parts that struck me as interesting. Of course, I do appreciate the tenderness between Carlos and Gaby, but I really love the interaction between Gaby and her two daughters. I’m specifically talking about that scene when Gaby was trying to get the girls to eat the fish-and-broccoli dinner she fixed. It led to some of the night’s best lines. For instance, Juanita’s comment on the dinner’s odor: “It smells like the beach that time you wouldn’t let us swim.” Hehe. Or when Gaby chided Celia for her part in wrecking the former model: “And you! With the head, you ruined me!” What strikes me here is the mix of maturity and immaturity that continues to define Gaby. Sure, she’s always been a strange combination of bratty and sophisticated, but I’ll go on record as saying that one of the bright spots of the season has been watching that dynamic play out with children. Remember that scene in which Gaby made Juanita run after her car so she’d lose some weight? That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

NEXT: Lynette’s heart-to-heart with Porter