Lynette digs a deeper hole while trying to save Porter, Carlos' restored eyesight helps him see all that Gaby has sacrificed, while Bree and Andrew take a big step toward the mother-son relationship they both want

By Tanner Stransky
December 08, 2008 at 05:01 PM EST
Ron Tom/ABC
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We’ll get to plotline and story deconstruction in a minute, Desperate Housewives TV Watchers, but just a bit into last night’s final episode of 2008, I couldn’t help but wonder: Where is Bree’s painstakingly perfect Christmas tree? Gaby’s budget-conscious attempts at holiday festivities for her two munchkins? Edie’s sure-to-be tacky holiday efforts? Maybe even just a Yuletide get-together for the folks on the street? Does no one on Wisteria Lane celebrate the holidays? My central, yet tedious, question: How is it that a show so about domesticity and suburban life ignores cultural events that are typically so important to the real-life set it seeks to depict?

Maybe I’m just overloaded with holiday spirit myself and think everything else should be. That’s probably the case. But ah, well, I guess when you’ve got arson, eyesight restoration, a gay wedding, a possibly rekindling romance, and blind rage to deal with, season’s greetings don’t matter so much, do they? No big thing, though, because this episode was quite the perfect holiday present itself last night, even if it wasn’t cheery at all.

First and foremost, Dave’s story line delivered, even if it only enjoyed a few precious moments of screen time. By now, we know that he wants to exact his revenge on Mike. That’s been boiling up over the season and culminated when he pulled Mike out of the fire two episodes ago and ruefully croaked, “I’m not done with you.” But last night, we learned a lot more about Dave’s increasingly creepy sickness and rage. It’s no longer speculation: The mother-daughter duo — Lila and Paige Dash — who died after being involved in a car wreck with Mike and Susan were, indeed, Dave’s wife and daughter. In fact, what I’ll assume were ghosts of those two deceased family members followed Dave around for most of the episode, culminating with him morbidly standing before their grave, telling the tombstones (which, from his perspective, were their life-like forms) that he’d make Mike “lose what I lost.”

And that’s the line that intrigued me, because it twists who, exactly, I envisioned Dave targeting all along. After all these weeks of seeing Dave befriend Mike, I figured he was going to use that continued closeness to really take him down in some kind of a personal way. But now, it seems that Dave isn’t actually going to target Mike himself, but those closest to him instead — namely Susan and M.J.. It just seems to me that if Dave wants Mike to feel the same pain, he’s got to take away the same things he lost. Susan and M.J.: You’re on notice, unfortunately. Now, I wouldn’t mind seeing Susan get offed (although we know that’s never going to happen, as she’s one of the original housewives), but I can’t stand the thought of something happening to that cute-as-a-button little M.J. Seriously, he’s got to be the most precious tyke on TV right now.

That is, when he’s not tormenting Katherine by throwing hot fudge sundaes at her or dropping bowling balls on her feet. (His sadistic actions were giving me visions of Desperate‘s past evil child, Kayla Scavo.) Well, actually, his scrunched up little face — and his reason for being mean to her — was still pretty cute and earnest. He just wanted his parents, Mike and Susan, to get back together. He’s a kid, so he obviously can’t understand the complexities behind while they’re apart. But, actually, wait — I’m a twenty-something, well-educated regular viewer of this show, and I can’t quite understand why they’re apart either. Really, it all goes back to that car wreck? Something tragic like that would likely only serve to bring people closer together. To me, by the end of last night’s episode, it seemed like Mike and Susan were headed for reconciliation. “We’ve never looked each other in the eye and said that there is no chance that we are ever getting back together,” Susan said to Mike, who seemed blindsided her half-hearted bid to rekindle things. I have a sinking feeling that we might just see this family reform just in time for Dave to execute his sick plans for revenge, and that breaks my heart.

NEXT: Andrew and his doct-ah friend

But there’s more heartbreak on Wisteria Lane, and it has to do with the of-late tragic Scavo family. First it was the Anne Schilling cougar situation. Then, Porter was formally and unjustly arrested for the arson at the White Horse. But the plot thickened: Lynette used the family’s emergency fund to send Anne packing and then mortgaged the pizza shop for Porter’s bail, unbeknownst to Tom. She also returned Edie’s stolen gun (Porter took it just as the White Horse was being set on fire to take revenge on Mr. Schilling), and Porter skipped town, leaving twin brother Preston to appear on his behalf in court. Jesus, when are Lynette and Tom going to catch a break? And when is Lynette going to stop breaking the law? One word: mess.

Lately, Lynette has really been anything but the pillar of ethics and morals she purports to be. But I suppose all of these sacrifices and lies she’s executing are just part of her do-anything-to-protect-my-children attitude, which I can appreciate. However, I can’t help but wonder if, in this case, it wouldn’t have been better to just tell the truth. Seems a lot less sticky. Even if Porter’s alibi had him going to Edie’s to steal her gun, wouldn’t the sentencing for that crime (possibly just community service?) have been quite a lot less than the multiple life sentences he’ll get for killing seven people in a club fire? Trusty old Mary Alice foreshadowed quite a lot in her voice-over about Lynette’s situation: “She couldn’t know that it would be many years before her family would have breakfast together again.” I guess it’s the thought of that — her entire family never being together again — that’s driving Lynette’s bad decision-making. Something tells me, however, that it may not be Porter who pays the price for this mess — it may just be Preston, who’s currently standing in for him in the court proceedings. I understand brotherly love, but my two brothers (hi, Tyler and Tucker!) should know that I probably wouldn’t take it that far for them. Thank goodness neither one is my twin.

The story line I was worried about last week — the revelation of Andrew’s new live-in fiancée, Alex — turned out to be quite a bit less one-note than I had imagined. The promos zeroed in on Alex’s past as a gay porn star, but in fact, it was Bree and Andrew’s distant relationship that was the focus. It was touching to see Bree take a little bit more of an interest in Andrew’s personal life, after ignoring it for so long. Or as Andrew said last night, “Not every boy can say that his mother is willing to rent gay porn for him.” Awww, now that’s the relationship I’d like to have with my mother.

Before all that, though, the dinner party Bree threw was perfectly Bree-ed out and humorous. “Look at you two, sitting so far apart. Scootch over!” she encouraged Andrew and Alex, trying to show that she was totally fine with them being together. And then this little funny, but totally throwaway line: “Now, who would like a strawberry daiquiri?” Yes, Bree, because the gays love a good strawberry daiquiri! Always! And, just for fun, Bree, you should use the word “fabulous” over and over! It’s just funny to see this played out via Bree, because it’s kind of exactly emblematic of how well intentioned, but clueless, some people are in these kinds of situations. When gay neighbors Bob and Lee showed up at the door for the party, too, Andrew saw right through all Bree’s attempts and cut the crap, humorously questioning her, “Bob and Lee? Are you sponsoring a float?” Now that I would like to see — Bree atop a gay pride parade float.

Down Wisteria Lane a ways, the Solis family was celebrating the fact that, after surgery, Carlos’ sight had returned. And the Gaby-Carlos story line was yet again touching: Basically, we saw how much Gaby had given up while Carlos was blind, depressed, and poor. A look through her once label-filled closet showed one pair of shoes and clothes that were anything but designer. She’d sold everything — including Carlos’ beloved Lou Gehrig baseball. Long story short, Gaby and Carlos really love each other now. And it only took a five-year stint with blindness for them to prove it to each other. I’m fine with that. And actually really, really fine with the fact that the blind story line is over. Hallelujah! I’m ready for Carlos to get some of his boldness back and for Gaby to (hopefully) get a bit of her sassiness (and style) back. It’s all so desperately needed.

Overall, TV Watchers, a darn delightful episode packed with lots of (non-holiday) goodies. But what’d you think? How happy are you that Carlos is no longer blind? Did Jackson accidentally get locked in a room at Susan’s and hasn’t been able to get out? (Of course, we all know Gale Harold was injured a while back, but shouldn’t Jackson’s absence be explained to us viewers?) And, most importantly, does Lee’s increasingly elfish look and constant annoying mugging bother you too? Discuss!

Episode Recaps

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