Could Wisteria Lane's serial killer be any duller?

By Tanner Stransky
Updated July 29, 2020 at 06:44 PM EDT
Credit: Florian Schneider/ABC

Desperate Housewives

S6 E19
  • TV Show

I used to love watching soap operas back when I was younger — Days of Our Lives, Sunset Beach, Another World, and eventually Passions were my favorites. (I was a die-hard NBC guy when it came to soaps, for some reason.) Something happened every so often on most of the shows that would signal that the writers were out of ideas: A serial killer would appear and start offing people. And, truly, the bar was low for those shows, but the murderous storyline would land like a big ol’ pointless ton of bricks. So what was that thud you just heard on Wisteria Lane? Yup, the once-hot Desperate Housewives just landed its own serial killer storyline. Wah-wah…

Granted, the Fairview serial killer has been terrorizing the town since early in the season when Julie nearly bit it and that one coffee shop girl died. But last night, it finally heated up and we learned the identity of the killer: Preston’s shaggy-haired friend, a character whose name wasn’t even uttered during the sub-par episode. The storyline strikes me as strange because I don’t feel much affinity for this serial killer — or the women he’s targeted so far. Julie? I could take her or leave her — she’s mostly annoying and seems so inconsequential. The coffee shop girl? I didn’t even know who she was. And Preston’s former fiancé Irina? Good riddance to bad rubbish! (Last night’s hour only sealed my hatred for her, what with her continual plot to screw over Preston and all.) Why, exactly, should I care that this guy is killing non-important characters on Wisteria Lane? If anyone can tell me that, I’m honestly all ears.

I suppose I’m expected to shake in anticipation of the moment — soon maybe? — when Preston’s shaggy-haired friend tries to kill one of the ”important” ladies on the street. From what EW scoopmaster Michael Ausiello has told us, it sounds like Lynette is the person who will take the brunt of this kid’s future plans in the season finale when she’s delivering her baby. But, c’mon, in the end, we all know none of the four principal ladies will bite it.

It’s sad, but the other mysterious, killer-related storyline on the show right now — the Bolen drama surrounding Patrick Logan, which had seemed like a flaming hot mess of a story previously — looks like smart plotting in comparison. At least with the Bolen mess, it sort of makes sense why Patrick Logan is back to take revenge on Angie, based on the fact that she took away his son years ago.

NEXT: A boy’s best friend is his mother…As another note on the Bolen front, the way the story unfolded last night actually came off as clever, in my opinion. The creepy Patrick Logan (why is it that I always feel the need to use his full name?) took advice on how he should seek his revenge on Angie Bolen from Danny Bolen himself, under the veil of writing the ending to a fictitious novel. ”Seems like the guy would kill her,” Danny suggested to his coffee shop customer Patrick Logan, without realizing that he was suggesting that his own mother be offed. Ultimately, though, Patrick Logan couldn’t kill Angie and seemed poised to take Danny’s new piece of advice — that he take the woman’s son. Which, of course, is Danny himself.

But kidnapping a child when he’s Danny’s age doesn’t have nearly as much effect as it would if Danny were a lot younger. Right? I guess I just feel like Danny himself could probably wriggle out of the kidnapping or somehow defend himself, if this show was at all realistic. So maybe it’s not so compelling for Patrick Logan to kidnap Danny? Let’s face it: This story isn’t too compelling in general — although, like I said, it is more compelling than the Wisteria Lane Serial Killer storyline that has trumped it in lameness.

Lynette and Tom’s storyline, of course, connected squarely to the serial killer storyline, as Irina was targeted only after she was revealed to be a fraud and kicked out of the Scavo house. Not to keep questioning the reality of a television show that is clearly not steeped in regular world, but why exactly was Preston upset about Irina’s departure? I get that it would be shocking to find out that your fiancé was trying to dupe you, but wouldn’t your feelings of happiness that you didn’t get duped overtake those of sadness? Whatever.

I honestly felt bad for Lynette, as she stood there telling Preston that she brought Irina down so that he wouldn’t make the biggest mistake of his life by marrying her. Lynette told Preston, too, that she understood if he needed to cut her off for a while to deal with his pain — and that she’d be waiting with open arms when he was ready to reconcile. ”Try not to take too long,” she said, with tears in her eyes, ”because I miss you already.” But again, I don’t get why he’s irritated. Literally, she helped him dodge a huge bullet in the form of a con artist bride.

Everything else that happened on Wisteria Lane this week seemed rather run-of-the-mill and mostly concerned rifts between main characters. Gaby and Carlos sparred over her decision to donate one of her eggs to Bob and Lee, so that they could have a child of their own. Carlos told Gaby she couldn’t give up one of her eggs. ”I pay for the clothes it wears, the massages it receives, and the implants it will one day require,” he told her, after she said he didn’t own her body. ”If I don’t own it, I’m at least a major stockholder!” It quickly became clear, however, that Gaby also couldn’t handle the pressure of the situation, as Bob and Lee realized she wouldn’t be able to distance herself from the child. Bob and Lee broke up afterwards, too, cracking because of the stress of trying — and failing several times — to have a child. I expect nothing but a reconciliation between Bob and Lee before the season is over.

NEXT: Ugh, Mike’s financial woes are bringing us downBree, meanwhile, was sparring with her son, Andrew, who Sam revealed was stealing from the catering company’s clients. Bree quickly fired her son, but Orson — who seems to have totally simmered down and accepted his wheelchair-bound life — pointed out that Sam might be the real con-artist in the situation after Bree realized that only he could have screwed up her big dinner situation. Again, I’m still intrigued by Sam: What’s his situation? Why does he want to mess with Bree’s life? What’s his real deal? In the preposterous column for Bree’s storyline was, first, her ridiculous hair color. Maybe the colors need to be recalibrated on my own television set, but did anyone else note the extreme, fire engine red of her hair last night? Maybe I haven’t paid attention recently, but wow — Bree really seemed like she amped it up in the color department. And secondly, the sprinklers at the restaurant: No. That just doesn’t happen. That’s all.

As for Susan and Mike, could this storyline be any more yawn-inducing at the moment? Mike has no money and is majorly in debt — talk about frumping-it-up, Desperate Housewives! How truly unsexy. I thought we were supposed to float away on the fantasy that was primetime television, especially on a show like this. And money woes seem like something that should affect the likes of Tom and Lynette, what with their zillions of children. I guess we’re probably building toward something more grand with this storyline, but are we really supposed to be tickled by Susan’s plots to get money into Mike’s pockets in the meantime? I hope not. At least M.J. was cute to watch. I loved it when he was shoveling the kitchen sink full of dirt so that his dad would have some work.

What did you think of the episode, Desperate Housewives TV Watchers? Are you, like me, as confused about why we should care the Wisteria Lane Serial Killer storyline? Does Sam intrigue you as as me? Were you also as startled by Bree’s hair color? Let me know in the comments below!

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Desperate Housewives

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

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