Bree catches on to Orson's latest penchant, Lynette realizes what she wants to do next, and Gaby's clearing of her conscience leads to a fatal act

By Tanner Stransky
March 09, 2010 at 07:00 PM EST
Ron Tom/ABC
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How weird is it when the most exciting thing to happen on an episode of Desperate Housewives is carried out by a third-string character? That was certainly the case last night when Maria (if that name doesn’t instantly ring a bell, just know that she’s Carlos’ boss Brad’s wife) offed her husband after she found out he was cheating.

Despite the oddity of such a minor story line going in such a drastic direction, I must say it was all carried out in the most Desperate of ways. The crazed woman stabbed her hubby in the back with a big ol’ knife in the kitchen. You know what they say: If you can’t take the heat, then get out the kitchen. (Which is rather sage advice on Wisteria Lane.) I guess poor Brad just didn’t run fast enough.

Truth be told, I really didn’t see the stabbing coming. You fervent fans undoubtedly remember that Gaby caught Carlos’ boss Brad having an affair a while back. To keep Gaby quiet, Brad gave Carlos a big bonus, which allowed our favorite little spitfire to return to her life of spa treatments and shoe shopping. But by last night, Brad was expecting the $30,000 check he wrote to be more than just hush money: He forced Gaby to distract Maria so he could run off and sleep with his trashy new girlfriend, Shelia.

But, as we’ve all seen over the past season, Gaby does actually have a conscience and seemed to realize she was doing something bad by allowing the adultery to continue. (Especially when prodded by her do-gooder husband Carlos.) So, armed with an arsenal of nasty quips (”I want a new style that says I’m not a giant turd of sin!”), Gaby went to Shelia’s mall salon to talk some sense into Brad’s other woman. (Who, when I first saw, all I wrote in my notes was ”Skanky McSkankerson.” I mean, did you see how she had those melons out? Trash.) Gaby’s ambush did no good, and instead, Brad found out, which led to him to telling Maria about the affair. Which got him killed. (I mean, at least he looked pretty dead there on the floor. But as we know with Desperate and other shows — looking squarely at you, recent offender, Brothers & Sisters — dead doesn’t always really mean dead.) ”I just wanted him to stop talking,” a distraught Maria told Carlos and Gaby when they arrived. Maybe you should have asked him nicely to shut up instead of stabbing him? Or a little duct tape could have worked wonders, too.

Anyway, the weirdness of this situation is that, now, how does any of what transpired really spin things forward for Gaby and Carlos? I mean, unless Maria finds out about the hush money and reacts badly, this story line doesn’t have much more of an effect on Gaby and Carlos’ lives. That is, besides any residual guilt they may be feeling for covering up the affair for so long. (And I’m sure they can get over that.) Is there anywhere else to go with Brad’s death and Maria’s impending incarceration? (Since we viewers weren’t really invested in either of them anyway, it doesn’t seem likely.) Carlos had already lost his job before Brad was killed, so the Solis family was headed toward dealing with that regardless. Unless, maybe Carlos will get Brad’s old job? (Translation: even more spa treatments for Gaby.) Or Maria goes free and becomes the Solis’ live-in maid? Doubtful. That lady is going to the slammer, case closed.

NEXT: Interview with the craziesThe other odd story line of the night was Orson’s growing rage/kleptomania. For the entire episode, whenever Orson was on screen, I just found myself going, Huh? Between him stealing Tom’s favorite salt shaker (and then bringing it to life for Bree with an insane Italian accent) and throwing a tart at Bree’s publisher during dinner, more than anything I was confused by his behavior. And his explanation for why he was acting so hostile — that he doesn’t get the respect he used to, now that he’s no longer a dentist — doesn’t add up in my mind. Shouldn’t a person who committed a crime (running over someone with a car) sort of realize that it takes time to earn back respect? I realize he’s been working toward it for a long time, but please. This story line seemed like a lame attempt to give Kyle MacLachlan something to do after a few episodes of him being more or less absent. Where’s the truly sordid Orson that we all know and love? I’d love for more secrets from his devious past to come back up. That’s when Orson was at his delicious best — during all those crazy Alma/Carolyn Bigsby story lines that dredged up his past.

I suppose that the one redeeming quality of Orson’s story line was the funny jabs Bree’s publisher made as he digitally recorded potential book ideas at Orson’s expense. After Bree introduced the schmuck to Orson, he said, ”Idea for a children’s book: kid who gets the crap kicked out of him because he has a goofy name. Could be Orson.” And, after Orson mentioned he’d made the tart the publisher was about to eat, the publisher said: ”Idea for a novel: Woman who’s married to a gay man and doesn’t know it.” Ah, thank you, Desperate, for the small pleasures.

The reason the publisher was even over at Bree and Orson’s for dinner was, of course, to give Tom the chance to woo him for potential hire. Bree’s book publisher was on the hunt for a new ad/marketing guy, so Lynette and Tom joined them for the meal/interview. Despite Lynette’s best efforts to get Tom jazzed about the potential job, her depressed husband (fresh from having to sell off his pizzeria) seemed more interested in guzzling beer and wallowing in sorrow than highlighting his resume. That is, until Lynette decided that if Tom wasn’t going to take the job, she would. Of course, Tom finally became interested. And that’s when things got really nasty and, by nature, really fun: It devolved into a pissing contest between Tom and Lynette. Who could embarrass the other more to score the job for themselves? Lynette dinged Tom about running the pizzeria into the ground (ouch!), and Tom mentioned that Lynette’s cancer could come back (double ouch!).

The real refreshing moment between Tom and Lynette came, however, afterwards, as they were licking their wounds for both blowing the interview: They laughed about it. I love that they could, despite everything, come back together and be good-natured about their craziness. Or as Lynette joked in reference to the publisher’s propensity for spouting off his ideas, ”Idea: Check local mental hospital for escaped married couple.” In the end, Tom and Lynette decided that it’d be her turn to go back to work. Which is exciting. Remember when she went back to work the last time and played opposite crazy boss Nina (Joely Fisher)? I could really get behind Lynette heading back to the corporate world. She’s good in the kitchen, of course, but she’s a natural in the boardroom, too. Other big action of the evening transpired between Susan and Katherine. Basically, they were fighting over a painting that Susan has done of the beach her and Mike went to on their honeymoon. Katherine originally loved it when Mike unpacked it and quickly hung it over her mantle. But upon discovering that Susan was the one who painted it (and that it was a symbol of their now-defunct love), she removed it. And then lied about it. I thought maybe this all would yield some sort of end-all-be-all catfight between the pair, but really it just lead to Katherine and Susan growing closer. I got a tad choked up when Susan took the bullet and acted like the crazy ex-wife and demanded the painting back, just so that Katherine wouldn’t have to see it every day. Mike didn’t get it, but the ladies shared a wink and a knowing nod. Too sweet.

Oh, and I suppose I should mention the Crumb of the Week on the Dave Williams front. And really, it’s not even a crumb: Edie found out that Dave’s real last name (or the last name he was using while married to his deceased wife, Lila) is Dash. But — what do you know? — we viewers already knew that, after we saw the creepster hanging out at the gravestones of his dead wife and daughter. But, ooooh, there’s more! The episode ended with Edie typing ”David Dash” into some sort of generic web search engine… The! Shockers! Just! Don’t! Stop! Do they? Sigh. If you can’t tell, I’m rather fed up with the drawn-out nature of this story line. But I’m not going into yet another rant about that right now. Just click back through my past TV Watches for that, if you’re interested.

Now I’m interested in what you thought of last night’s episode, TV Watchers. So let’s get the discussion started: Do you have theories on how Edie is going to bite the dust? Where can we get the recipe for the tart Bree and Orson made? And, how excited are you that Swoozie Kurtz is guest starring (as a teacher at Susan’s school) next episode? Love that lady!

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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