While Gabby and Lynette deal with crisis involving their growing children, Bree manages her burgeoning career, and Susan struggles to move on
Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

You have to hand it to the creator of Desperate Housewives, Marc Cherry. The five-year fast-forward was a stroke of genius, effectively increasing our insight into these ladies’ world by twofold. Could any other move have opened up even more secrets on Wisteria Lane quite like this one did? As evidenced by this first episode back, we now have so many new mysteries and years of new sordidness to dig into. And that’s delicious! To be honest, I was loving season 5 before it even began.

My only little beef was that — big ugh — it began with a story line about the ever-annoying Susan. As we glimpsed at the very end of last season, five years in the future the street’s resident klutz had ditched plumber Mike Delfino for a new, handsome man played by Gale Harold. But as we came to find out in this episode, Susan isn’t really with Jackson — he’s just the house painter she hired and is now dallying around with on the side. (Also, what’s with Susan’s penchant for home repair guys? Seriously, lady.)

Besides sharing custody of son M.J. with Mike, Susan doesn’t have much contact with her ex. So what happened? Finally, at the end of the episode, we learned the truth: The pair survived a horrific car wreck that killed another mother and child, but Susan couldn’t pull it together enough afterward to stay with Mike. (Another note: I thought it was so cheap that the show tried to make us think Mike was dead for most of the episode.) I thought a five-years-later Susan might be less annoying, but alas, no. I wholeheartedly understand why she was upset, but as Mike said, the wreck wasn’t their fault. The lady unfortunately pulled out in front of the SUV! And was Susan really complaining about Mike not getting the brakes checked? C’mon dearie, that’s just plain unfair.

But on to the next unfair thing: Gabby. Woe, woe, woe is her. A blind husband, two rotund little children, a few extra pounds of her own. I’m not going to sit here and lambaste her for gaining weight and missing facials because there is no warped world where Gabby — even in her current state — is the slightest bit unattractive. Honestly, I feel like this new depiction of her character is very true to motherhood. (And I’m not trying to say that all moms pack on pounds, but everyone deals with stress in different ways!) It’d just be strange if she had two small children, a blind husband, and a household to run, but still rocked size zero couture and Harry Winston. Personally, I love seeing this new side to Gabby. I was really touched by the moment she shared with Carlos when she said she was happy that he couldn’t see her, and he told her she’d always be beautiful. Awwww. I don’t doubt for a minute, however, that Gabby will get back to her old glamorous ways before long.

NEXT: Gabby’s weighty issue

The Gabby story line produced what I thought were two of the more hilarious moments of the evening. First, when Gabby decided to play a new “game” she created for her freakin’ cute, chubby little daughter, Juanita. But a traditional game it was not! Promising Juanita a doll if she “won,” Gabby had her princess-dress-clad daughter run after the car so she’d get some exercise. When Juanita complained about being tired, Gabby hilariously replied that she thought running through that guy’s sprinkler would have refreshed her! Hands down, this felt like a really classic Desperate Housewives moment to me that harks to the outrageousness of the old days. In what world does something like this happen? On Wisteria Lane, of course! The other moment was a comment Edie made to Gabby about her new disheveled appearance. The exchange went like this:

Edie: “So Gabby, I have to ask: What the hell happened to you? Carlos might be blind, but the rest of us aren’t.” Gabby: “I had two children.” Edie: “For what? Breakfast?”

Ahhhhh! Seriously, amazing exchange and zingers from Edie. Speaking of, she’s baaaaaaack! With a creepy new husband, Dave, played by the always-creepy Neal McDonough. The most interesting about him was the weird power he held over Edie, who inexplicably bakes muffins now. Why is it that he calmed her down like no one else ever could? Putting aside that cash he offered, what’d he do to make that guy leave Edie’s old house so they could move back in? And seriously, that scene at the end where Edie’s sleeping and he’s sitting there, deep in thought, with his eyes open was so creepy. Does this guy have some super-human power? Some ability to not sleep and rule over Edie? He’s back to take out revenge on one person on the street and he’s going to be at the center of this season’s mystery. But I can’t put my finger on who he’s got it out for. It can’t be Katherine, since she was last season’s mystery. Honestly, I have no way of guessing intelligently, since we know so little about him and his past. What do you readers think?

One thing I did think was strange about Edie’s reappearance was that it was the only thing that actually brought all the ladies together. You know what I’m saying? They didn’t have any street function that wasn’t related to Edie — no poker, no wedding, no games night. So I find that to be a bit strange. Of course, I enjoy all the separate story lines, but there’s something too delish about the ladies getting together to dish on a regular basis. Bring back poker!!

NEXT: A piece of pie

I’m not going to devote too much space to Lynette and her story line because, honestly, I wasn’t that intrigued by it. More drama with her rowdy, now-teenage twins. How’s that different than all the drama with her rowdy, then-younger children? In fact, I think I’ll go as far as saying that Lynette might be getting gypped in terms of fascinating story lines this season. It’s just more of the same from her and Tom. I will mention one part of it all that I loved: her continued cunning with Tom. After he went easy on the boys for their casino night at the pizzeria, she offered her hubby’s prized red convertible to Parker and Preston for homecoming night. According to Tom, Lynette should trust the boys. So why not give them the convertible? Which she did! You can always count on Lynette to teach not just her kids a lesson — but Tom, too.

And finally, we’re on to Bree and Katherine. Bree’s Martha Stewart-esque empire is no shocker, but I love the reveal about why she’s thrown herself into her career with such fervor. Daughter Danielle came and took her baby away! Which is tragic. Of all the ladies, Bree always seems the most desperate, and that’s no different this season. Could she really not find fulfillment without having a baby around? It was believable, and only made her that much more crazy about being perfect at work and whatnot. In addition, it’s clear the writers know what we viewers want: showdowns between Katherine and Bree! Their spat about Bree stealing some of Katherine’s recipes — and then, the on-camera showdown about spun sugar — was pitch-perfect.

Oh, before I go, there were a couple other moments I loved from last night. First, remember when Jackson jumped out of Susan’s window because Lynette stopped by unexpectedly? I just thought it was so cute that Lee snapped a photo of Jackson in his boxer briefs. It was a simple moment, but totally effective and screwball. Hehe. And then, also, some big news! As Edie said with such hilarious surprise, “Mrs. McCluskey, you’re still alive!” I know you were all waiting to find out if Mrs. McCluskey survived the five years, and I apologize for not leading my TV Watch with that news. Haha. Even better, though, was Mrs. McCluskey’s retort to the snide remark: “So how did you two meet?” she said, referring to Edie’s new man, Dave. “You run a free clinic or something?” Genius.

So TV Watchers, what do you think? Are you on board with season 5? Whose story line are you loving the most? Who do you think Edie’s new hubby is out for revenge on? Should Susan make it official with Jackson — or maybe go back to Mike? And, do they really only make princess dresses for girls up to age 7?? (Now my plans for Halloween are ruined!)

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