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Desperate Housewives recap: Imagine All the People

Deaths, injuries, and reconciliations follow in the wake of the Lane’s plane crash, along with lots of wondering about what might have been

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Desperate Housewives

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Despite the somewhat gimmicky nature of last night’s plane-crash-resolving, flash-forward episode of Desperate Housewives, this was one hour of television that was more than worth the nearly month-long wait through the holidays. The alternately dreamy and scary and, at least in once case, tear-jerking (you did it to me again, Lynette!) ”what if” structure of the episode more than made up for the bloated, messy plane-crash hour that was dropped before us like a lump of coal right before Christmas.

To begin, however, let’s talk about the actual damage that the plane crash caused — because that’s how the episode itself took off. ”The truth is,” intoned Mary Alice is her usual saccharine tone, ”No one knows who survived that tragic plane crash. Or more importantly, who didn’t.” Right away, at least, there were no causalities. We found out that Orson and Karl, the pair who’d been fighting over Bree in Santa’s workshop when the disaster happened, were both in surgery. And lots of blood had been lost, so things weren’t looking particularly good for them. Bree was banged up but fine. Mona Clark, that crazy nurse lady who was blackmailing the Bolens right before she got hit by the plane, somehow made it to the hospital alive and was also under the knife. Celia Solis, who Lynette managed to get out of the way of the plane in just the nick of time, suffered only a concussion and would be fine. Everyone else, it seemed — at least at that moment — was well and accounted for.

It was after those initial updates that the episode descended into its gimmick of focusing on each of the housewives and a particular ”what if” scenario that dovetailed with the actual outcomes from the plane crash. First up was Susan, who wondered what would have happened if she’d stayed with Karl. And — shocker! — her dream made her realize that, despite everything, Karl would have continued to cheat on her. And, the best part (for us viewers at least!): She would have gained a whole bunch of weight after channeling her rage about the situation into cookie dough and other baked goods. Simply seeing Teri Hatcher in a fat suit — and oh my, that double chin of hers especially! — was worthy of a few knee slaps. In some weird way, Susan’s dream made me like her character a bit more — mostly because the producers sort of stuck it to the always-annoying klutz for 10 minutes. She’s fat now! That’s funny stuff.

NEXT: Farewell to Karl