Robin, the stripper with a heart of gold, impacts the lives of the women of Wisteria Lane

By Tanner Stransky
February 22, 2010 at 06:17 PM EST
Eric McCandless/ABC
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You know the old TV adage: When you can’t think of anything else to write an episode about, just throw together an hour that centers around a stripper, and you’ll be golden. Well, there is no such adage, if you detected the sarcasm of the previous statement, but you wouldn’t know that if you watched last night’s episode of Desperate Housewives, which fully embraced the silly, stripper-focused mantra, even if it is made up. Even poor Julie Benz, who yet again portrayed new-to-Wistera Lane-stripper-with-a-tiny-annoying-baby-voice Robin Gallagher and got top billing last night, couldn’t make the low-rent story line work.

In the absence of an episode that either (A) moved forward old story lines that need to be dealt with (like the Bolen situation, hello!) or (B) launched new, interesting story lines that could propel we viewers through to the end of this season, the producers chose to show a one-off episode that was divided up by how each of the housewives on the Lane interacted with the new, former stripper resident that Susan had brought to live with her.

Naturally, each 10-minute-or-so segment was just so hilarious and enlightening! (Not. That’s more sarcasm, in case it wasn’t clear yet again.) Robin’s interactions began with the Scavos and were introduced as ”Lynette & the Stripper.” (And so on from there for each different lady.) Basically, the Scavo-Robin story line boiled down to Lynette and Tom finding out that their son Parker had offered Robin money to have sex with him. ”We’d hoped,” Lynette said to Parker, in quite the tone after finding out what he’d done, ”that it’d be another year before we had the parent-son conversation where we tell you not to offer your neighbor money for sex, but….”

Such a story line should have been shocking and unexpected, but it just came off as desperate… which maybe is just how it should have seemed, considering. The highlight? When Parker confessed that he was the only virgin amongst his dorky friends. ”First of all, we’ve seen your friends,” Lynette assured him, ”and Pimples, Braces, and Beam Me Up Scotty aren’t gettin’ any!” That was amusing for a minute. The mess also brought to light the fact that Tom thinks that all men pay for sex — through flowers, dinners or jewelry — which put him in the doghouse… for a few hours. (When isn’t Tom in the doghouse with Lynette?) Natch, the Scavos’ story line circled back around to the aforementioned doghouse! Or, rather, the resolution to the doghouse. The stripper saw Lynette and Tom doing it, apparently. ”The next time you’re giving it to your husband,” Robin said to Lynette, when she dropped by to apologize, ”could you draw the drapes?” Goodness, this is where we are with the Scavos? Strippers spying on them getting it on? Ewwww. Lynette is still pregnant!

Next up: Bree! Robin stopped by Bree’s industrial catering kitchen to find out how to make a cake (um, right) and ended up telling the happy homemaker that she could still please Orson, or at least satisfy him in some way, without having sex with him. Um, yah. So that led to the most awkward stripping scene in the history of television, as Bree proceeded to try to give an unknowing Orson an impromptu lap dance. Gross. Ultimately, though, the awkward situation got Bree and Orson talking more — looks like this is one marriage that is going to be saved! Although, it’s really still very unclear about whether it should be saved. Right?!

NEXT: Katherine gets someone interested in her (and may get interesting herself)Gaby’s run-in with Robin sort of pushed forward the Solis’ ongoing drama with Ana dating Danny Bolen, as Gaby had Robin tell Ana about how giving up her dreams for a boy early in life was a bad decision. The chat gave Gaby the result she wanted, as Ana then broke up with Danny and ran off to NYC, but not before Robin realized what she did and went to talk to Danny, who apparently then followed her to New York. Hmmm, I honestly don’t have much to say about this seemingly very in-the-works story line. And in all reality, it doesn’t seem like you needed Robin to make any of this happen, but alas… Robin was the catalyst yet again.

Susan, despite being the one who brought Robin into the lives of the Wisteria Lane ladies, was the one who ended up having the most trouble with her last night. Why? Turns out that, in addition to her stripping skills, Robin also had chiropractic skills and — what do you know?! — Mike just happened to be suffering from a bad back. Cue jealous Susan! Eventually, Susan told Robin that she was uncomfortable with her spending so much time ”cracking” Mike’s back in so little clothes. Robin’s retort: ”After working nine years in the club, I just don’t know where the line is anymore.” Clearly, clearly, dear.

After bouncing through all the other ladies on the lane, Robin finally showed up on the doorstep of Katherine Mayfair, who’d just returned to the Lane. (The episode launched with her welcome-back party, where all the men proceeded to stare at former stripper Robin, and the ladies of the Lane bitched about her.) Robin proposed that they live together. ”No one judges the woman from the loony bin,” Robin told Katherine, in her plea to move in, ”when there’s a stripper next door.” Good point! Putting Robin and Katherine together, however, does seem to be part of a larger scheme to give Katherine a new and rather controversial story line this season where she’ll explore the possibility of — hmm, how should I say this? — of buttering her bread on the other side. Oh hell, let’s just say it: Katherine might go lesbian for a little while! Because, surprise! Robin is a lesbian, and made that abundantly clear when she passionately kissed Katherine in front of two dudes who were courting them at a bar.

At first, Katherine didn’t seem willing to want to go there, in terms of Robin’s lesbian advances: ”I think I’ve got the right tree,” Katherine assured Robin, after she suggested that she might want to try barking up a different tree, like she does. ”Just sick of barking.” But by the end of the episode, however, it was clear that Katherine might be thinking of switching teams. That little glance she made at Robin did not go unnoticed. Intriguing for the moment. I’ll have to wait and see how they handle this possible Katherine-as-a-lesbian story line before I make too big of a judgment on all that could be wrong with it.

Overall, this episode was much like a 2 a.m. visit to a strip club with your too-bombed friends: a thoroughly bad idea that you always regret in the morning. Do we think the Desperate Housewives producers are feeling hungover this morning and regretting what they did with Robin the former stripper? How much more of her will we have to endure? (From the looks of the Katherine-related story line, she ain’t going away soon.) Does anyone even care about what’s going on with the Bolens anymore? Did you guys find the episode boring and jarring, too?

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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