On ''Desperate Housewives,'' Bree throws a dinner party for Orson's first wife; plus, Lynette confronts Tom's illegitimate daughter, and Julie trusts the wrong people

By Annie Barrett
January 08, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
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”Desperate Housewives”: Relative difficulties

Welcome back to Wisteria Lane, where the morals are good and strong and the friendships are enduring. Well, at least according to what Alma Hodge offered to Edie as her first impressions of her new hood. I loved the way Alma provided the voice-over to the closing shots last night instead of Mary Alice — Alma’s ironic naïveté showed how sneaky she can be, and offered some relief from the singsong platitudes we usually get in M.A.’s wrap-ups. And in another switcheroo, we learned that Alma left Orson not because he was a control freak about hand towels and she felt trapped but because she realized he was having an affair and she desperately wanted to matter to him. I liked that this episode began exactly as the season premiere did, but with a different context due to all we’ve observed about Orson’s character since then.

Alma arrived just in time to heighten the level of Bree and Susan’s fight from ”tense” to ”Susan’s gonna get her house burned down again.” Susan decided to ”drop a dime” on Orson by informing Detective Ridley about his affair with Monique. (”Drop a dime” is her phrase, not mine, though if I were to say it, I’d probably sound as awkward as Susan did, and I’d definitely be making flagrant quotation marks with my hands as I did so, which means I’d be even worse at it.) I guess ratting Orson out wasn’t too cool of Susan. But neither was throwing a fancy dinner party with the sole intention of humiliating a good friend, Bree. And Susan’s info was kind of essential to the case. By the way, does anyone else get slightly annoyed when one of the characters says ”Monique Pollier”? As if there’s any other Monique on the show? I think they only do this to remind us that she was a floozy and French. May she rest in peace.

Susan and Bree’s daughters will get into their own feud as soon as Julie finds out that Danielle, a.k.a. Little Miss Van De Tramp (ha!) has been ho-ing it up with Austin. I should have guessed this twist based purely on how odd it was for Danielle to say anything wise or worthwhile (”Hold on to your virginity,” and so on) in that fabulous kids-only scene. (Danielle’s sundaes bring all the teens to the kitchen….) Julie did end up losin’ it to Austin, because apparently there are no other possible stepping-stones between kissing and intercourse, and all of this must be done outdoors.

Speaking of misbehaving daughters and ice cream, Kayla, the latest addition to Lynette’s brood, is a total brat. Luckily for her, she’ll fit right in with the rest of ’em. But poor, poor Lynette. We all know she doesn’t want any of her children. How much more can she take? Lynette and Kayla’s restaurant scene was cringe-y at nearly every moment — very well played. And that thing with the doll? Tears, I tell you. Kayla does win points for creativity, though. Stuffing chili into a doll’s arm sockets is pretty advanced. The meanest thing my friends ever did to my ugly-ass childhood doll, Carwie, was hang her in a noose from my bedroom’s ceiling fan, turned on high, because they found her so repulsive. I really can’t blame them. But what Kayla did was more of a blatant personal attack. I guess, just as with Bree’s hilarious ”Well, when you’re wrong, you’re wrong!” quip to Susan, if you don’t like a doll, you don’t like a doll. Or Lynette. Pretty simple.

I really liked what the writers did with Gaby’s new boyfriend’s character, Bill. I find the guy terribly cute, so it was hard for me to not fancy him, but the point made last night was that it was impossible to like the two of them together. A picnic, a documentary film, and charity? Oh hell to the no! Now that Gaby and Carlos aren’t screaming and throwing things at each other all the time (just one of those scenes last night, and it was funny), it’s easier to see how their romance must have begun in the first place. They flirt deliciously, and they seem to just effortlessly ”get” each other. Carlos’ ability to name four types of flowers — let alone what they’d mean to Gaby — was completely awwww-worthy and generally delectable to any female watching. I’m sure these two will get back together at some point, but right now they make excellent pals.

What did you think? Will Mike and Paul Young (!) start their own prison gang? Is there any way Andrew and I can become friends immediately? Where was Mama Hodge this week? And what really happened to Monique Pollier?

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