Desperate Housewives recap: Knowing is Half the Battle
As Lynette used her personal connection to navigate office politics, Edie played her hand with Dave after getting a final piece of information
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Since we all knew it was coming, Edie’s (presumed) death truly wasn’t that shocking. But — surprise, surprise! — the writers of Desperate Housewives managed to still make it somewhat of a shocker. That’s, of course, because it came via a sparking, downed power line, which sent an inhuman amount of voltage through her poor brokenhearted body.
To be honest, I thought Wisteria Lane’s slutty realtor was a goner twice in the five minutes before she met her (again, presumed, at this point) fate with the power line: First, she escaped the determined clutches of hubby Dave, who went into a rage after she confronted him with the truth about why he married her and wanted to move to Wisteria Lane. And second, she crashed her car into a pole after veering off the street to avoid hitting Orson, who’d just been hit with a bat by a batty old lady he’d been stealing from. And the car accident was just before she met her (presumably) final demise with the voltage.
I say ”presumed” in this context because her death is not yet totally official. There’s a three-point argument against her actually dying:
A) Desperate Housewives has tricked us into thinking Edie was dead before. Remember when she ”committed suicide” at the end of season 3? (In the end it turned out she faked it as a ploy for Carlos’ attention.) Yeah, not falling for that one again.
B) Did you notice Edie’s hand twitch there in the last shot of the episode? Of course, it’s common knowledge that bodies can sort of still have some function after they’re dead, but that shot was obviously put there to cast a little doubt about her death. (Although, were we supposed to notice something about her diamond ring, too? Or just to make the point that she’s sort of dying at the hand of someone — that’d be Dave — who supposedly loved her? Cameras zoomed in on her hand when she slunk out of the car and then again — this time, the ring was totally obscured — after Edie had been shocked.)
C) Look to the episode-ending preview for the next new installment. (Which unfortunately ABC hasn’t set a date for yet. There aren’t new episodes for a least the next two weeks.) Even in the teaser, Edie’s fate is unclear. We just hear Susan saying, ”We could have been good friends.” Who’s she talking to? Edie? And: On what planet? Those two were usually at each other’s throats! And then at the end of the preview, we saw Susan crouching over Edie’s body (which is still lying in the street) as she says, ”You’re gonna be just fine.” Again, huh? Since when is Susan coming to Edie’s rescue? But again, we’re not seeing Edie’s funeral — we’re seeing the possibility of her still being alive.
But I don’t believe the doubt the producers are casting around Edie’s death for one minute: She is done for on Wisteria Lane. Since she figured out Dave’s secrets, though, what her death ultimately allows is for him to be continually creepy until the finale, which — hope upon hopes! — will see his increasingly predictable story line wrap up. Dave has yet another chance to ruin Mike’s life — whether that be by following through with his plan to kill Katherine, or possibly, by just taking Mike out himself — now that the only person who knew what he was going to do is incapacitated.
All the drama with Edie, of course, flowed from what’s going on with Mike. This week, the long-planned camping trip actually happened. Before Mike, Katherine, and Dave even got to the cabin (also: since when is going to a cabin in the woods considered ”camping”?), we viewers saw how everything was supposed to go down. In Dave’s demented mind, he was going to call the park’s rangers and tell them there were illegal hunters near where they were staying, then he’d let Mike and Katherine go scamper off on a hike by themselves before shooting Katherine with a hunting rifle. (Yes, then the blame would be on one of those phantom hunters.) This was just a preview of how it was supposed to go down — and I say supposed to because, naturally, it didn’t happen like that. After figuring out Dave’s true motivations, Edie texted her hubby, and it was that text that threw him off his game and made him miss Katherine. So, folks, Mike’s lady is not dead. Yet.
NEXT: Bree takes a standBut the way this story line was set up this week really helped me figure out more about why I’ve been unhappy with the Dave mystery so far this season. It’s pretty simple, really: We know about most of what’s going to happen before it actually does. Here we saw how the whole camping/hunting trip was going to unfold in the first few minutes of the show. And then it was just slightly tweaked when it all went down. But most importantly, it was just a big ol’ repeat. And that’s what the story line has been all season. Just more of Dave being creepy, getting closer to people, never really doing anything. Anyway, not much of a payoff in the Dave world. Edie’s (presumed) death trumped anything he did this week.
The other big story was Orson and Bree’s continued problems — namely, that he can’t stop stealing because he feels belittled by her success. Nothing irked me more than this story line. Just because his wife is a success, Orson felt like he was ”in the background, an afterthought.” Well, waaaah, you big baby! His sentiments may be true to a point because she is a rather determined businesswoman, but they’re no reason to bring Bree down and make her sell her business, which she almost did. Granted, the story line is good because it gets people thinking and talking about issues of couples and breadwinners and the role of the man and the woman and so on. But really, I felt like Orson’s actions set feminism back like 20 years. In the end, Bree’s son Andrew said it best: ”If he loves you, why would he want you to stop doing what makes you happy?” I couldn’t have been happier when Bree decided not to sell the business and told Orson this: ”Steal what you must, my love, but it won’t be my company.” That’s right, Bree, you tell it! For Gaby, Carlos, Lynette, Tom, and Susan, it was a rather snoozy week. Carlos was back to working as much as he did in the old days, so he didn’t have any time for Gaby or the girls anymore. Cut to his sexpot wife seducing him and then him, in a total Desperate Housewives move, tying her up to the bed frame — just so that he could get a minute of peace. And, of course, as has become par for Gaby-Carlos course this season, Carlos eventually learned the error of his ways and scaled back at work. (And, thankfully, fired that icky woman, Lucy. She was a heinous beast!)
Lynette was feeling the same pressure as Carlos at work. Mostly from the soon-to-be-fired Lucy, who insisted that the staff work nearly every night of the week — including Friday. Lynette’s cunning move to get Lucy fired was inspired, as she sent Carlos’ two daughters into the diva’s office to play with her glass figurines. When Lucy saw the two Latino girls playing, she assumed they were the offspring of the cleaning lady, so she promptly ripped into the poor woman. Carlos witnessed it all and told her that her kind wasn’t needed around the company anymore, which made Lynette’s day — and Friday nights. The weirdest part for me? When Lynette walked back into Lucy’s office after it all went down and, in the most mocking voice of all time, said, ”Don’t forget your little animals.” She was referring to Lucy’s precious glass figurines. I suppose it wasn’t necessarily out of character for Lynette, but it felt like a childish and silly moment.
Susan also faced troubles at work when her ex-husband Karl enrolled his son, Evan, at the school she works at. And then, Evan, started drawing really disturbed photos because his mother had abandoned him. It was mostly all pointless, with just a few laughs as far as sound bites go (”Alright, Suzy Q., what’s wrong? Get it off that chest you wouldn’t let me enhance”), but this all led to a semi-touching scene where Karl told Susan he finally knew how it felt to be left while raising a child. Despite the story line’s rather inconsequential nature, the very last few minutes of it scared me. It had them holding hands. Um, no. If producers are thinking about this, I want to squash it right now — do not put these two back together. I repeat: Do not do it.
TV Watchers, what’d you think of last night’s episode? Were you shocked by Edie’s (presumed) demise? Are you gonna miss her? What’s your favorite Edie moment in Desperate Housewives history?
Eva Longoria Parker, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, and Felicity Huffman star in the soap set on the dangerous Wisteria Lane