On ''Desperate Housewives,'' after last week's deaths, the show reverts to its stock-in-trade: parent-child conflicts, thwarted romance, and scary neighbors

By Lindsay Soll
Updated November 13, 2006 at 05:00 AM EST

Desperate Housewives

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”Desperate Housewives”: Back to normal

So I didn’t know how the writers were going to follow last week’s episode, which went out with a bang, but I think they did a pretty good job. My jaw completely dropped at the end. It was a given that when Lynette headed into Art’s house, she would uncover some kind of secret, but the whole pedophile angle blew me away. (The P on his shirt totally has a double meaning now.) I’m happy to see a new twist that has nothing to do with affairs or comas. Art seemed so genuine and decent. This just goes to show that you can never judge a book by its cover on Wisteria Lane.

Case in point: Orson’s painful past. I don’t understand why he would ever disclose to Bree that his mother is at a nursing home not far from Fairview if he’s so angry at her for God knows what. (I’m guessing something having to do with suicide and perhaps Monique.) He could’ve given Bree a fake address, but instead he opened up a can of worms. At least it gave us a chance to see where he gets his bipolar-like behavior. The elder Mrs. Hodge seemed sweet one minute, then the next she was telling Orson, ”I should have smothered you in your crib when I had the chance.” Dixie Carter is a great addition to the show, and I laughed out loud when Andrew followed her outburst with ”So, can we call her Grandma?”

Speaking of families dealing with drama, I’m glad we got to see the Scavo household react to last week’s supermarket shootout. (Plus, Lynette was especially funny when she kept saying, ”Or?wherever,” when Tom said Auntie Nora was in heaven.) I am wondering, though, where the heck was Kayla? Nora made it pretty clear right before she died that Tom and Lynette were to take care of her. Lynette said she told her kids that Kayla was staying with her grandmother; hopefully the little girl hasn’t just been written out of the show.

For the first time since season 1, I have actually not wanted to fast-forward through Susan’s scenes. I loved her fight with Julie, when she said she would ground her for getting hot and heavy with Austin. This exchange was great:

Julie: Fine, I’ll just see him at school.

Susan: Well, then you won’t go to school; I’ll home-school you.

Julie: Right, you’re going to teach me trig? You can’t even balance your own checkbook.

Susan: Yes, and you will be poorly educated and you won’t get into college and you will work for minimum wage for the rest of your life, all because of that boy. I hope you’re happy.

We didn’t get any Carlos in this episode, but we at least got Karl! They should give him more screen time, because whenever he’s involved with anything, it’s inevitably funny. Sometimes I wish it would’ve worked out with Susan and him. When they argue, it brings out a side of Susan we rarely see when she’s with Ian or even Mike.

As for Mike, not only has he lost his memory, but he also has apparently lost his ability to smile. Seriously, I know he was in a coma, but it wouldn’t hurt to not be so much of a Debbie Downer all the time. He only seems happy when he’s around Edie. (Maybe it’s because she put provocative pictures of herself all around his house.) I guess if the police had a warrant to search my home, I wouldn’t be smiling either. It was interesting that Mrs. McClusky had the toolbox with the possibly incriminating wrench that the cops were looking for. How much does she know about the crime they’re investigating?

One part of the episode that was a tad anticlimactic was Gabby’s return to model land. I find it a little hard to believe that she not only was on the cover of Vogue but had also shot 36 covers by the time she was 20. Wouldn’t she be somewhat famous if she had been so successful? Wouldn’t she have had a drug problem, too? It was sad to watch Gaby’s face as the camera zoomed in on her after her agent told her she was washed up. But the scenes of her modeling class in the preview for next week look promising.

I leave you guys with a few questions: What did Grandma Hodge do that pissed Orson off so much? Will Lynette try to go after Art or just stay away from him? Did Mike murder Monique? And finally, should Mrs. McClusky be voted in as a sixth desperate housewife?

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Desperate Housewives

Eva Longoria Parker, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, and Felicity Huffman star in the soap set on the dangerous Wisteria Lane

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