On ''Desperate Housewives,'' Andrew finally gets his revenge on Bree by seducing her boyfriend; plus, Susan confesses to Edie, and Gaby and Carlos try to rent Xiao Mei's womb
Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives
Credit: Marcia Cross: RON TOM/ABC

”Desperate Housewives”: Bree’s world is rocked

I’m not sure who pulled the better stunt tonight: David Blaine, whose ubiquitous commercials for his latest death-defying special sullied what was otherwise an intriguing hour of Desperate Housewives, or Andrew Van De Kamp, who seduced his mother’s sex-addict boyfriend just in time for her to come home and catch them in her bed. Both young men have a unique sense of priority and a knack for maintaining their power-tool personas in the face of extreme pressure. Hmmm…I’m still undecided. If either of them takes his game-playing to the next level and ends up dead, then I think we’ll have a winner.

It was difficult to feel sorry for Andrew during that final scene in which his mother banished him from their home. He had slept with Peter (ew, Peter) and uttered the words ”strip down to your bra and panties…now” to his own sister (ew, Danielle). Not surprisingly, Bree seemed decidedly un-Bree while abandoning her son. Her hair was stringy, her line readings were monotone and defeated, and her face looked even more ghastly than its usual shade of eggshell. Marcia Cross didn’t even need to speak to act the hell out of that scene. When Andrew tried to convince her (and himself) that he had ”won,” she looked like the life had been sucked out of her. More than their other fights in the past, this seemed to be a final turning point — instead of fighting back and prolonging the tension as she usually does, the exhausted Bree simply drove away.

Lynette exercised some similar restraint in her interactions with Tom after she learned he had done something bad involving flowers and ”a show” in Atlantic City. Has Tom ever heard of an ATM? I liked that we didn’t figure out this whole story tonight — whatever Tom did, it must be juicy enough to dominate the final two episodes.

Whoops! The winner of the Tonight’s Best Stunt contest should have been obvious to me before: the Amazing Arsonist Edie! She’d been waiting for the chance to avenge her own torched home, and Susan’s mailed confession (which we knew Susan was going to make a farcical attempt to retrieve) provided just the trigger. To be fair to Edie, that letter did look really annoying. I paused on the shot of the envelope and wasn’t too impressed, especially with that loopy handwriting — it was like one of those fonts that are supposed to look childish. The producers could have just phoned it in entirely and printed the address out in Comic Sans MS. On the plus side, all of us who have wondered where Wisteria Lane is now know that it’s in ”Eagle State, USA.” Is that an inside joke? (If this were Lost, eaglestate.com would be crashing right now.)

Fortunately, Julie appeared out of nowhere to stand with her mom and neighbors to watch all of her possessions go up in flames. Up till that point, I had been scared for Julie — I would have appreciated a thorough house check for disaffected preteens by Edie, who either was certain Julie wasn’t home or had forgotten she existed. Then again, judging by the gusto with which she went around ”watering” each room, Edie probably would have run into the poor girl eventually.

Speaking of close calls, during the eeriest picnic scene ever, Caleb took time out from scarfing down his poisoned fro-yo (I counted only three bites, but they were biggies) to inform Betty that Matthew had told him to kiss Danielle. Mama Applewhite certainly isn’t in the running for Best Stunt for locking another son in the basement. Ho, hum, Betty. Been there, done that. Next time, try locking him in a bubble of water. That’s impressive.

The only heavily comic story line this week was Carlos and Gaby’s — a little ironic, don’t you think? After a few moments to cry over Gaby’s lost appetite, it was on to bigger and better baby-making schemes — namely, enlisting Xiao Mei as a surrogate mother. ”I can’t let her go to China and be somebody’s slave!” exclaimed Gaby, who should have clarified: somebody’s else’s slave. Her dumpling-in-the-oven analogy was hilarious, as was her exasperated line to Carlos: ”Who knows why virgins do anything?” Oh, Carlos. First a nun, now a virgin: When it comes to extramarital obsessions, Papa Solis certainly does have a type.

What do you think? Was Bree’s action justified? What was Tom up to in Atlantic City? Are both Andrew and Peter out of the show, and will each of them ”grow considerably” as he learns from his mistakes?

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