On ''Desperate Housewives,'' Gaby's loss could be Eva Longoria's Emmy gain; plus, we suddenly care again about the Applewhites
Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives
Credit: Eva Longoria: DANNY FELD/ABC

”Desperate Housewives”: Losing the baby

For me, Desperate Housewives is always hit or miss. I can tell based on my reaction to the opening scene whether I’ll enjoy an episode or roll my eyes at it. (”It” usually translates to ”Susan.”) If the teaser is too cheesy or preachy or involves Paul Young, I mentally check out and spend the hour wondering what all the fuss was ever about.

Not last night. From the moment Karl shot the camera that cheeky grin on his way out of Edie’s bedroom, I was so down with this episode. Never mind that Bree still insisted on associating with a psycho, or that Eva Longoria would have been only a trifle more obvious about her plea for an Emmy nomination if she had held up a sign that said, ”Check it out — I’m acting! Also, you should care about my baby even though I didn’t until I realized she could help me get the most out of yoga.”

It’s probably better that Eva went with the tears and shrieking. And I’ll admit it: Whether it was her performance or the horrific idea of Stripper getting her baby back because she and Frank were ”gonna give the whole family thing a shot,” I was bawling at that closing scene.

I suppose I should thank God, who (unfortunately for Karl) ”was in the mood to be entertained.” Hey, so were we. That was convenient. God herself played a big role last night, showing up in Bree’s AA meeting, saying ”nuh-uh” to Gaby’s being a mom, and providing the inspiration for Dale’s football team to win their big game. Jesus never punts, after all.

My personal favorite God nod was when the students had to pray during their pep rally and one kid was wearing one of those giant foam hands with one finger pointing straight up. That was almost Arrested Development-esque in terms of cleverness and use of props. Speaking of which, I’m convinced that the wide-eyed, earth-shatteringly stupid Dale Helm was modeled directly after Arrested‘s Steve Holt, right down to their booming voices and navy-and-white letterman’s jackets. We already knew that DH creator Marc Cherry was an Arrested fan, after witnessing his hilarious cameo (”It’s a satire!”) in that show’s season 2 finale.

Edie and Susan shared some quality time at a restaurant that I think might have been a parody of Hooters. Susan played the supportive-friend role pretty well, especially when she reluctantly leapt headfirst into the pack of women writhing in wings. I loved when the three waitresses perked up at attention like wolves upon hearing the whistle, then dove onto Edie like good little soldiers. And I’m so glad they did something productive with those thousands of wings rather than setting them down near Teri Hatcher. What a waste that would have been.

I haven’t even gotten to the most intriguing part of the episode. Get this: Lynette, Tom, and Ed all write like 12-year-olds in their instant messages! I did not see this coming.

Just kidding. Here’s the real juicer: The rarely seen Drippy Danielle and Mysterious Matthew (maybe Susan could illustrate these characters in her next children’s book) are evil, conniving, and quite possibly perfect for each other. Their plan (which involved Matthew instructing his brother to go molest his girlfriend…ew) seemed to work out just as they’d hoped, though it’s hard to believe they could forecast the awesomeness of Bree coming in and shooting up the ceiling. Did they want her to kill Caleb? I’m guessing not; that’s apparently Betty’s job. I’m getting the feeling that Matthew could be more of a threat to Danielle than his impressionable brother. I’m also getting the feeling that it’s hilarious that I care again about the Applewhites and their drama. We’ve spent so much time complaining that nothing ever happens with them, and here we are suddenly engaged in their story all over again. Joke’s on us!

Just three episodes left. So many doors to go up in flames, so little time.

What do you think? How long will Edie and Susan remain sisters? When is Danielle not brushing her hair? And will Gaby and Carlos get Lily back, or will that saga end as swiftly as it began?

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