On ''Desperate Housewives,'' Rex comes back to narrate an episode focusing on the guys' struggles with their romantic lives

By Annie Barrett
March 05, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
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”Desperate Housewives”: Desperate man week

This week we got a visit from everyone’s favorite Desperate Housewives dinosaur: Rex! Having swiped voice-over duties from Mary Alice (maybe she’s been ”dominating” him in heaven this whole time, but this week she somehow lost?), Mr. Van De Kamp was on hand to let us know just how depressed women and men are, in every suburb, all around the world. Thanks, Rex! Lovin’ life over here!

I found the Rexinator’s candor a welcome respite from Mary Alice, and I appreciated the focus on the men this week, but the episode still was a little flat. Lynette and Tom are the MVP Couple of History but still have major problems; Gaby gets pursued by some hyper-zealous dude; Julie is a nice and innocent girl; Ian’s presence is utterly painful no matter what’s going on (even if he’s not on screen you can just sense him lurking there in the background, continuing to exist, ugh) — I just feel like it’s all stuff we’ve seen before. The episode was basically a pit stop between the quite remarkable previous one and the few more to come (but not until April 1, or so I gather).

One part I did really enjoy was the scene in the jewelry store with Mike and Susan. It would have been easy for that whole moment to feel clichéd, but it didn’t. Compared with how stilted and pseudo-formal things get when Ian’s around, Susan and Mike seemed comfortable and at ease, even with the high-stakes game of Whose Ring Do You Want, Susan? happening on the counter. I thought it was sweet, and I was glad there wasn’t some grand Susan klutz moment involving Mike’s ring. Next to Ian’s clunky, oversize rock, Mike’s was ”perfect.” Awww. No, really!

I can’t tell if Ian actually did win the last poker hand against Mike or if he’d just drawn a few ”knaves” again and was putting on a brave face for Susan so he could try to enjoy the rest of the night. Either way, I’m glad Mike is a more formidable presence in the story at this point. We need someone to root for, and it ain’t gonna be Victor Land, so why not Mike? As an added plus: He’s an American!

”Fish ‘n’ Chips,” Carlos’ apt nickname for Ian, was the line of the night for me. Whenever Carlos gets a lot of scenes, he steals the show. His interactions with ”crzydncr206” were campy in the good way. (Was that a full-on escort service, by the way? Or something MySpace-esque? Eh, same diff.) And his heart-to-heart with Edie was probably the most poignant scene of the evening, just because her motherhood (or actually, anything that delves much deeper than the surface of her character) hasn’t been discussed before. I’m not sure Carlos and Edie should pair up romantically, but I’m all about the increased closeness. Travers is pretty cute, too. Maybe he and Edie can get matching Uggs and sell houses together.

It appears that Austin and his eerily sculpted hair are dunzo for the season, because Danielle is pregnant and no way will Orson and Bree-over-the-phone let that fly without some major relocations. Is Danielle really going to ship out and have this baby? Would Bree really allow her grandchild be raised by strangers? What if they didn’t set the table correctly? It’s all very far-fetched, as was the notion that viewers would care about Austin’s reconciliation with Julie. I wasn’t rooting for them in the first place — why would I after all the cheating? Though I do have to give props to the show for setting a scene within a car wash. Those are the best! I love putting the car in neutral, then zoning out to watch magic occur, which it seemed like the hilariously stoner-faced Julie was about to do before Austin muscled his way into shotgun. And Austin’s shower of hot wax fit nicely with the next line uttered: Andrew asking Danielle, ”How long does it take to pluck that unibrow?” Andrew just rocks in general. Hair removal all around, kids!

Or maybe it’s middle-aged history teacher’s baby? Ewww…

The best part about this new Victor Land guy is that Gaby got to say, ”Check, please!” in an appropriate context. Oh, and that part about there being ”no place harder to get into” was good, too. But on the whole, their rapport didn’t work. Gaby was clearly running the show, and the politician (John Slattery seems to play the same role in everything he’s on) didn’t come off as confident as he kept insisting he was. Weird. I do like the shock of white hair. He’ll stick around for a bit, just to escalate the Gaby-Carlos tension before the reunion we all know is coming. Maybe!

Let’s not forget Lynette and Tom, since Rex clearly hasn’t. Despite what Rex said at the end about Tom being a ”lucky SOB whose dreams have all come true,” and even though Tom really did look like he couldn’t stop smiling, there’s something consistently unsettling deep within his and Lynette’s relationship. But I dig it, because it’s realistic. They keep stressing over the same major, likely unsolvable problem regarding their power dynamic, and yet they’re still the happiest couple on the show. I liked the way Rex pointed that out. I couldn’t tell if he knew better or not, but maybe that’s the point. Wisteria Lane revolves around surface impressions, after all.

How great was it that Rex called Tom a ”silly bastard” for opening a pizza place? And said he was glad he was dead considering how his kids turned out? Oh, Rex. We miss you. Return!

What do you think? How close will Edie and Carlos get? Do you want to see more of Victor’s ”chase,” or have you had enough? And when is Mike going to snap out of the post-coma haze and wipe out Susan’s knave for good?

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