Desperate Housewives recap: The Price of Success
Dave draws Mike further into his web, while Bree starts to find it a little lonely at the top of her burgeoning empire
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Hi there, Desperate Housewives TV Watchers! I’ve been thinking more and more about what Dave Williams could possibly be up to on Wisteria Lane, and since his actions in last night’s episode prove that he’ll remain on the front burner, I’ll hash out my theories in just a second.
First, we saw the lane’s resident creepster hanging out with Tom, as the pair auditioned other sad-sack guys for their pathetic garage band. Tom was all about the bespeckled Donald because his version of “Voodoo Child” was like “Hendrix had risen.” (On a side note, I have to say that I’m rather enjoying Tom’s enthusiasm lately. Isn’t he the most excitable middle-aged guy you’ve ever seen? It’s infectious. Why don’t we all run out and buy a sports car and then start a band? Oh yeah, it comes with that whole giving-up-on-life feeling. Pass.) But, natch, Dave Williams wasn’t into Donald; he’d already set his sights on someone else for the band — Mike Delfino.
Who knows why Dave wants to get this band going, but maybe he wants to get closer to the guys of Wisteria Lane? You know what they say: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. (I don’t know another street where it’s harder to tell when your friends turn into your foe, so close proximity is a must.) Maybe one of the band members is his enemy. His targeting of Mike — even going so far as to rent the guy a cheap house on the street under the guise of helping Mike live closer to M.J. — would certainly reinforce the theory that’s been going around that Dave wants revenge on Mike (and by association, Susan) possibly for killing his wife and child in that car accident that opened the season. Granted, we have no idea if that mother and child were Dave’s family, but it does seem like a good guess.
If you don’t like spoilers at all, please skip this paragraph. (SPOILER ALERT) I was thinking about a Mike-Susan revenge theory more, especially after I saw photos from the Desperate Housewives set last week that showed Wisteria Lane residents being ushered out of a club after it caught on fire. What happened? Does anyone die? Who knows! The ladies and their husbands were at the club to see Tom’s band perform. Maybe Dave started the fire in an attempt to kill someone or multiple people? Possibly his future band mate, Mike Delfino? Well, I guess at this point, we’ll have to wait to find out as the story unfolds.
The other idea that’s been mentioned (and that my colleague Lindsay Soll espouses) is that Dave is related to the crazy pharmacist, George, to whom Bree was engaged in season 2. They do share the same last name. Yes, Williams is a very common name (and why would Dave risk letting something so simple link him to George and unravel his scheme?), but maybe, just maybe, Edie’s new man is out to take down Bree because she kind of caused George to overdose three seasons ago. There are some roadblocks to this theory, including the fact that Dave hasn’t really had much contact with Bree or her family since he moved onto the lane, but maybe that’s all just a part of the plan: He gets everyone else on his side and that somehow helps him take down Bree. It’s a long shot, but it’s possible.
Okay, so that’s enough Dave Williams talk for this post. Before I go any further, I should at least mention the biggest Desperate news of the week: Gale Harold’s accident. While early reports of his motorcycle accident made things sound so grim, it now seems like he’s going to recover just fine and that production on the show won’t really be affected. It’s still pretty awful…and a little weird, considering that it happened right before the airing of an episode that found his character, Jackson, taking off the training wheels for young M.J., who would later get hurt after falling off his bike. That fall had everything to do with Susan and nothing to do with Jackson, but still, what a coincidence.
NEXT: Truth in advertising
Now, on to that little fiasco of a story line. Susan was none too happy to find out that Jackson had taught M.J. how to ride his new bike because she knew that her ex Mike would want be the one to do that. But I absolutely loved Jackson’s explanation for why he just couldn’t resist helping the little tyke: “I couldn’t! He said ‘pweeeese’!” Honestly, Susan and Mike’s kid (Mason Vale Cotton) might just be the cutest kid ever on the show. I turn to mush when I hear words like “pweeeese.” But the whole idea of Susan forcing M.J. to fall off his bike was just so Susan, wasn’t it? I mean, it was relatively funny, but I’m just so over her wacky posturing and misguided attempts at being the perfect mother and fixing situations. Not! Gonna! Happen! That’s why it was so fulfilling to watch her act like a responsible adult and finally lay it all out for Mike at the hospital, telling him that they’ve both got to come to terms with the fact that they’re divorced and not everything is going to be so easy. That felt real and true.
Another formerly solid relationship that’s now fraught with peril (just one of many, though, really) last night was the usually solid one between Lynette and Bree. I forgot how long it has been since Lynette was a high-powered advertising executive. At first I thought, oh, that wasn’t so long ago! But no — since the five-year fast-forward, Lynette has been a total housewife, while Bree became a high-powered businesswoman. The juxtaposition of Bree’s and Lynette’s lives — now completely opposite what they were just a few short years ago — was an extremely smart and effective tool. And I honestly felt for Lynette, who missed her career and just wanted to make a splash again. (Which she certainly did when she dived head first into those martinis at Bree’s luncheon and got totally trashed. “You know what this tastes like?” she questioned a waiter while pointing at her empty martini glass. “More!” Ha!) My heart broke for her a little bit when she told Bree, “You’ve got your book and your big fancy award, and I’m just a housewife.” Somehow the joy of co-owning the pizzeria doesn’t even enter the equation.
So my only question for Lynette is: Why not just get back into the game? When the show began, she was a stay-at-home mom with small children, and her desire to get back into the ad game led her into the workforce full-time, where she eventually overshadowed her husband. At the time it hurt the family and she chose to stay home but her kids are older now. She should get her old job back! Or wouldn’t it be fun if she went to work for her old assistant Stu? That’d undoubtedly generate some laughs. Maybe that’s partly why that story line existed last night — to set up Lynette’s return to the working world. I surely hope so. Lynette was always quite the tiger in the conference room, and I’d be more than happy to revisit that.
NEXT: Blind sex ed
Bree, on the other hand, wasn’t having problems with just the jealous Lynette. With her cookbook about to be released and her attention stretched in every direction, she’d also managed to alienate both Orson and her business partner, Katherine. The rest of the ladies on the street — Susan and Gaby — didn’t seem too happy with her either. So it was nice to see Bree make amends with Orson last night by offering him a spot working for her company after he was fired for lying about his felonious history on his application. And she certainly made up with Lynette, who offered her love and support through her marital strain. But what about Katherine? Where was her apology or gold-embroidered chef’s hat? I’ve been really disappointed with Katherine’s story line in general this season. It was a smart move to keep her character around, but why not use her a bit? Otherwise it seems like a waste. She doesn’t feel like a real person at this point — just half a character there to shake her head and add the occasional funny quip or reaction. I’m hoping she’ll get a juicy story of her own — besides just being the bitchy foil to Bree — before too long.
The couple that has been getting decent — but rather self-contained — story lines is Gaby and Carlos. This week’s was another doozy, with the couple getting caught having sex (Gaby was in a blindfold so she could experience blind sex for herself) by their ever-curious daughter, Juanita. Of course, this led to the now-altruistic Carlos (who’s gooier than ever these days) to spill the beans on the birds and the bees to Juanita. (Personally, I liked Gaby’s original explanation about what they were doing: “No, that wasn’t real. Sometimes I fake it when I wrestle with daddy.”) The chubby little girl promptly told her new play-date friend, Bethany, who started screaming “sperm!” and “intercourse!” like she actually knew what those words mean. Understandably, her parents — who wanted little Bethany to be innocent for as long as possible — were just a little upset, meaning that Juanita’s play dates, and thus, Gaby and Carlos’ more adult play dates, were over. And sadly for Bethany — thanks to Carlos’s big mouth and blind eyes — so was her belief in Santa Claus.
You’ve got to love Gaby and Carlos’ wacky version of Lucy and Desi, which feels both loving and real. But my one complaint is that they’re not involved with much Wisteria Lane activities or other families. Granted, this season it has seemed like the ladies are a bit more separated than usual, but the Solis clan seems especially distant from the rest of the characters, who are just now beginning to intersect more. Maybe that’s the goal of the producers. Since the Solis family no longer has the social standing they used to, we’re supposed to feel like they’re not so much a part of the street? Hmm, I suppose it’s possible.
But what do you think, my TV Watching friends? Are Gaby and Carlos too separated from the rest of Wisteria Lane? Can Bree repair all the relationships she’s so damaged? Is Lynette poised for a career comeback? Why does Carlos sit on the couch and watch TV with Gaby when he obviously can’t see it? Will the “just like riding a bike” adage prove true for Mike and Susan? Does his move back to the lane mean they’ll find their way back to each other?