On ''Desperate Housewives,'' as each lady follows a different plotline, the show continues to unravel
Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives
Credit: Eva Longoria: DANNY FELD/ABC

”Desperate Housewives”: The ladies fall apart

Okay, something feels a little off — and not just because I’m new to the Desperate Housewives TV Watch (I’m filling in for the vacationing Michael Slezak). I mean something feels wrong with our girls: They almost never seem to come together anymore, and when they do, it feels forced and inconsequential. What happened to those delicious moments when the ladies ruminated about men, marriage, and murder? Oh, that’s right — that was last season, when there was one major plotline pulling these women together. Now that we know why Mary Alice killed herself, the ladies only seem to meet out of a sense of obligation. That wonderful sisterly bond that made this show so relatable — who can forget that moment last season when a hysterical Lynette broke down on a playing field while Susan and Bree attempted to console her? — is now sadly and noticeably absent. What’s really happening on Wisteria Lane?

I know I’m not the first to ask this, but is Housewives facing the dreaded sophomore slump?

I’m thinking the answer is yes — for some of the gals, that is. For the lovely Eva Longoria, it’s a resounding no. This, without a doubt, is Eva’s season — a veritable f-you to Emmy for overlooking her at nomination time. Every episode since the show’s return has been a weekly showcase of Eva’s acting prowess, and it’s been a thrill to watch. Now if only I could say the same thing about Teri, but rather than get all Nina on her ass, I should review the night’s activities.

Lynette figured out a way to pull the burr out of boss Nina’ butt: take her to a bar so she could let loose. And it seemed to work — so much that Nina began to drag Lynette out regularly because she was a nonthreatening companion while Nina picked up guys. Meanwhile, we finally learned more about the man in the basement at the Applewhite house — he’s a young guy named Caleb, who I’m pretty sure is the ”slow” son of Betty and appears to have killed a girl named Melanie Foster in Chicago. The news reported that someone was arrested in the Foster case, putting Betty’s son Matthew at ease, but Betty inexplicably sent an anonymous note to the Chicago police saying they’ve got the wrong guy. Over at the Van De Camps, Bree discovered that Rex thought she was responsible for his death, so she gladly returned his body to the ground and threw her wedding ring in after him. And in the least interesting story of the night, Susan learned that her longtime book agent, Lonnie (Wallace Shawn), was fired for embezzling money from his company.

Okay, there were actually several surprises last night. We now know that Mehcad Brooks works out. (Did you get a good look at the size of those guns when he donned that wifebeater?) But the major surprise was that I could actually get bored while watching my favorite show. The fact is, I don’t give a hoot about Susan’s agent, and I care even less about Lynette’s bitchy boss, although I sure as hell would like to know why Lynette keeps working for her. Honestly, our girl wouldn’t put up with that! My fear is that (gasp!) DH‘s head honcho, Marc Cherry, is preparing for the eventual moment when Lynette, exasperated by the soulless Nina, decides it is better to be home than at work and begs Tom to switch places. I so hope this isn’t the case because Lynette continues to be the one character I find the most relatable (and not just because we share the same name and both have a set of twins).

Most importantly, I’m surprised at how little in common the Housewives seem to have these days. I thought that by now the ladies would be convening regularly to deliberate the strange behavior of their newest neighbor, Betty, but Susan seems to have all but forgotten those loud sounds emanating from the basement of the Applewhite home. Too bad; if there’s one thing these girls could use, it’s another problem to solve together. Hell, maybe they can just figure out what happened to Lynette’s twins. All I can say is, get these hens off to a much-needed girls’ weekend in Palm Springs, and quick (and send plenty of carbs with them so Hatcher can finally get something to eat).

One last note. Maybe I’m just imagining things, but it sure as heck felt like we were spared a few minutes of Mary Alice’s incessant voice-over last night. Now if only she’d stay in the ground where she belonged! Honestly, Mr. Cherry, it’s time to bury this lazy exposition once and for all so we can figure things out for ourselves. And speaking of which, it’s also time to kill those ”secret scenes” that Good Morning America always promises to show us the morning after. Honestly, who wants to see deleted scenes that were cut for a reason — because they showed us almost nothing?

So what do you think? Is this season weaker than the last, or are we being too hard on the Housewives? And how impossibly tight can Bree’s bun get?

Desperate Housewives (TV Show)
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