On ''Desperate Housewives,'' Edie strips in front of Carlos; meanwhile, Susan, Lynette, and Gaby have their own fashion crises

By Karen Leigh
Updated April 09, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Desperate Housewives

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”Desperate Housewives”: Edie bares all

So, Ian’s straitlaced British dad is a cross dresser? Having watched Dougray Scott prance around in Ever After in that giant codpiece, I can’t say I’m surprised. And so begins my stint writing the Desperate Housewives TV Watch, replacing Annie Barrett, who has moved on to the plum position of Dancing with the Stars Watcher, leaving behind Mary Alice’s ghost, Carlos’ semi-toned abs, and a newly vulnerable Edie.

We kicked off with a great shot of Susan slapping Ian in his sleep (go, girl!) as Mary Alice talked about indestructible love. This is where we saw the great difference between Mike, who once sweet-talked Susan even though she’d just fed him raw pancakes (ugh), and Ian, who rubbed his face like a baby when she accidentally blasted a wine cork at his eye (yes!). He has to put up with her klutziness and she has to deal with his terribly cliché British parents, Graham and Dahlia. In short order, Graham awesomely described the outdoor barbecue as ”gloriously primal,” and Susan set Dahlia’s shirt on fire and outed herself as a divorcee, making Ian’s superrich parents nervous about their son’s lack of a prenup. Season 1 gave us murders, adultery, and crazy stolen children. Now all we get is a financial dispute?

Meanwhile, it’s official: Ex-husband-stealing, I-redefine-the-word-”tramp” Edie is back. ”You should never buy lingerie when you’re horny,” she said. ”It’s like buying groceries when you’re hungry.” Apparently she’s itching for one Carlos Solis, which is so going to rankle her neighbor Gabrielle — especially since Gaby has to put up with all kinds of awkward sexual innuendo from the guy who wanted to tinkle on Carrie Bradshaw. (Apparently, the fact that Gaby was cold — and clad in a thin top — was the highlight of his entire evening. O-kay.) Here’s why I don’t believe this romance: There’s no chemistry between Eva Longoria and John Slattery, and Gaby would never, ever turn down a loaded, politically powerful guy willing to give his girl a shopping allowance. (Lang, call me.)

Over at Casa de Britt, Edie used her spawn (who’s clearly going to need Mike’s therapist one day) to bait Carlos into making a booty call; she then called her son ”champ,” handed him a cookie, and told him he’d be having an early night tomorrow. Classic. Down the street, Ian’s dad tried on his future daughter-in-law’s robe and sexy lingerie — in other words, the things she wears while seducing his own son. In television soaps, there’s a line between risqué (crazy Zach stalking his dead mother’s friend) and vulgar, which — call me a prude — this show has officially crossed.

Just when I started to worry that this episode was fading fast, the First Couple of Pizza stepped up to the plate with Uniformgate. Tonight, the Scavos — who, taking into account their incessant bickering and low-key sex life, practically define ”indestructible love” — went to the mattresses over the pizzeria’s morale-killing, Cheez Doodle-orange uniforms. I think Lynette should focus on the unflattering boy cut of the tees (and hello, visor alert!), but at least the harried mom was finally following in Gaby’s well-dressed footsteps. Lynette’s employee roundtable was priceless (”Right now, we’re talking about these ugly-ass uniforms!”), but why are we spending all this time dealing with such trivial drama? Remember the days when something life-defining (illegitimate kids, job loss) actually happened to the Scavos? And I’m not counting Tom’s thrown-out back (that ”I will not let you die!” speech was a little overwrought) or Lynette’s nervousness about assuming full responsibility at the restaurant. This woman used to be a top advertising exec, right? Shouldn’t she be able to take the heat? (Heh, heh.)

At last, we got a few poignant moments. Mike, who has been lounging around all traumatized on his therapist’s sofa, remembered a funny scene about a woman feeding a man pancakes. He thought it was from some chick flick starring Sandra or Julia, but when he later went to check with Susan, he learned that it wasn’t a movie at all — it was her botched attempt at cooking him breakfast on their first morning after. With any other couple, a woman’s attempt to spell her lover’s name in runny pancake batter would be cringe inducing, but every week, these two manage to overcome the snobby British fiancé and that whole amnesia deal to remain a truly affecting pair. I’ve generally never been particularly engrossed in Susan’s love life, but with each episode I’m getting more excited about her and Mike’s reconciliation (likely to come during sweeps). After her flapjack reveal, Mike quit therapy, too lovesick to want to remember anything else about his time with Susan.

After Carlos gave Edie an angry reality check (”You nailed me,” she cracked, but ”maybe not the way I wanted you to”), she finally got a chance to give him a show, stripping while she went on and on about her tough public persona and how she wants someone to see the ”real” her. Wait, I thought she just wanted to get laid. I can’t tell if this speech was genuine, but after all the drama with jail and the housekeeper-cum-surrogate, Carlos is due for some good lovin’.

So, TV Watchers, what did you think? Were you hoping for an all-out catfight between Gaby and Lang’s ex? Are Edie and Carlos two peas in a pod, or is it just a fling? And did you miss Marcia Cross (who was on pregnancy leave when the show was shot), or did they get along fine without her?

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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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