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Desperate Housewives recap: Suicide Isn't Painless

In the aftermath of Beth’s suicide, Paul Young grieves, Renee parties, and Susan finally gets her kidney.

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Desperate Housewives
Ron Tom/ABC

Desperate Housewives

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“We never know the moment our lives will change forever.”

That was Mary Alice’s fortune-cookie insight last night during “Everything’s Different, Nothing’s Changed.” A fittingly-titled episode considering that Paul Young just suffered through having a second wife kill herself. Seriously, he’s the Scottie Ferguson of primetime soaps. Like Jimmy Stewart’s haunted private dick in Vertigo, he’s lost the woman he loved twice. Or rather…women.  And he didn’t even realize he loved Beth! Such is the poetic irony of Marc Cherry.

Actually, though it’s easy to pick apart Desperate Housewives these days, that beginning still bore the scent of freshly cut Wisteria: Susan receiving the joyous news that she had a kidney donor, while Paul learned about Beth taking her own life. That’s the kind of borderline sadistic juxtaposition that defined DH before the paint started to peel off the ol’ picket fence, so to speak.

The women of Fairview were shocked—shocked!—by the latest suicide in their midst. Truth be told, though, none of the housewives had really reached out to The Second Mrs. Young in any meaningful way, so I’m not certain why they should be surprised she had no one to turn to. Anyway, people react to tragedy in very different ways. Bree was full of regret that she wasn’t there for her: “She seemed off, but she always seemed a little off, so I left.” Susan understood Paul’s grief and his reason for not wanting to sign over Beth’s kidney. And Renee? Well Renee was upset that any perfunctory mourning for Beth would interfere with plans for her “Spring Fling” party.

Paul was adamant that he would not give Susan his wife’s kidney, even though Beth had arranged for the donation before her death. As he put it, Susan had never given anything to Beth during her life—no invitations to poker night!—so why should Beth give anything to Susan after her death? Okay, Susan did rent Paul and Beth her, um, house to stay in for the duration of their marriage when there weren’t any other properties available on Wisteria Lane, so a little gratitude would be nice. But Susan did see it from Paul’s point of view, even if Mike wanted to sue. After all, why would she want Beth’s kidney when she felt that Beth killed herself just so she could give it to her. I mean, it’s wasting a perfectly fine kidney, but it’s how you get the organ that counts.

NEXT: Renee’s not going to let a little thing like suicide ruin her Spring Fling.

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