The Paul Young mystery deepens, while Susan Delfino receives rather grave news

By Tanner Stransky
January 03, 2011 at 09:15 AM EST
Danny Feld/ABC
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Who shot Paul Young? That query may not have quite the intrigue of the extremely famous “Who shot J.R.?” question brought to the masses on Dallas in the 1980s, but it’s the conundrum we’re currently working through on Desperate Housewives. Last night’s episode explored that, as well as other fallout from December’s insane disaster episode, including the state of Susan’s injury (the producers somehow managed to make her even more tragic than she already was!) and Renee’s big confession to Lynette. The Grace drama in the Solis household also continued to drag on, and there was a totally unnecessary bonus: Orson returned to screw things up between Keith and Bree! The year is off with a bang on Wisteria Lane!

First, let’s start with the Paul Young issue. Who did shoot him? It’s a good question. At the beginning of the episode, we viewers were led to believe that Felicia Tilman somehow orchestrated the attempted assassination from prison. Felicia’s daughter (and Paul’s wife) Beth arrived at the prison to talk to her about how she pulled it off, but Felicia denied having anything to do with it. And hark, here’s where Mike Delfino returns to the Desperate fray after his Alaskan exile—Felicia immediately called him to thank him for unexpectedly trying to take out Paul. (Umm, these two are in touch? Bizarre.) “Somebody’s been a naughty boy,” she told him via a clean cell phone she got from a corrupt prison guard. “I guess you changed your mind about that proposal I made. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled. I just wish you had waited until I gave you the signal.” But, not so fast! Mike claimed he didn’t do it.

Which, of course, led us to back to Felicia…and ultimately her daughter Beth, who the detectives working on the case seem very interested in. In fact, when the detectives came to question Paul about Beth, they revealed a detail that we’re led to believe he was unaware of until then—that Beth is indeed Felicia’s daughter. It’s a revelation that could have huge effects for the pair because as we all know, Paul loves revenge—he doesn’t take being wronged lightly, and I’d guess this is wronging him in the mostly wrongful way. Paul also especially loves revenge served really, really cold. So maybe we can expect Paul to not let Beth knows her little secret and drag her into some hateful scheme by the end of the season? That seems quite possible, if I had to guess. Also, it does somehow still seem possible that Beth could have been the one who tried to shoot Paul. But I’m confused as to why. Up until now, we’ve been led to believe that she’s actually really into Paul, despite her mother’s pleadings otherwise. It seems unlikely that she’d shoot Paul and then try to accuse her mother of it, but weirder things have happened on Wisteria Lane before.

On the subject of weird things happening on Wisteria Lane, Susan Delfino now apparently is having kidney issues. It’s as if producers wanted to send the message: Look, Ma, we can make Susan’s life even sadder! At the top of the episode, doctors informed her that her injury during the riot led them to remove one of her kidneys and that her remaining kidney was barely working. They told her that dialysis was in her future, most likely. She scoffed, said she’d try some alternative treatments, and then promptly dropped to the floor of the hospital and went into convulsions while trying to take her son MJ to the cafeteria for ice cream. Also, she had lots of weird legions on her face.

The whole thing just feels so oddly egregious. I mean, I really am not a fan of Teri Hatcher, but the writers on this show must really not like her. Earlier this season, she made her money by stripping for a website and now she’s writhing on the floor with a really bad makeup job? Give this lady a break, for chrissakes! Even I don’t hate her that much.

NEXT: Susan makes a Desperate plea; Renee confesses; and Gaby replaces Grace with a doll.

The other Wisteria Lane ladies came to visit Susan during the episode, and she begged them all to help take care of MJ if she dies. Here’s a good question: Why didn’t she just ask one of them for a kidney instead? Giving away a kidney is nothing to take lightly, of course, but wouldn’t it be better for her to ask them for help to stay alive over asking for help should she die? One of those ladies could have forked over an organ. As per usual, I’m not sure why I’m trying to apply logic to television shows. And this storyline in particular is cuckoo, so no rules really apply.

The biggest other happening in last night’s episode was when Renee finally told Lynette that she’d slept with Tom 20 years ago. You know the funny thing about that situation? Lynette didn’t seem that mad. She actually rode home in the car with Renee after the reveal, and she spoke to her—even though it was with quite a bit of disdain. “Yes, I hate you. A lot,” Lynette said. However, she added: “But I do foresee a day far in the future when I might only hate you a little.” Interestingly, Lynette asked Renee not to tell Tom that they’d spoken about the secret. Why? Seemingly, so that she could enforce her own form of punishment for the misstep—this week that took the form of her serving him really, really hot hot chocolate. That’s how you show him! According to next week’s quick preview, it appears she messes up a coffee or some other drink of his. Is she really going to get her revenge by screwing with his beverages on a daily basis? C’mon!

The other two storylines of the evening seemed less important. Gaby found herself still obsessing over the loss of Grace, which eventually sent Juanita to the therapist. Gaby also very creepily bought a doll that looked sort of like Grace as a sort of weirdo replacement. Who needs therapy in this situation? The wrong Solis lady is being treated.

Lastly, over in Bree’s world, Orson made his rather non-valiant return to Wisteria Lane. He rolled up to Bree’s doorstep, peddling the story that his flame Judy had dumped him. Of course, Bree fell into Orson’s trap of doing sophisticated things together, which enraged Keith. The episode basically compared Orson to coq au vin, and diminished Keith to nothing more than a sloppy joe. (Both rather apt comparisons!) Bree eventually professed her love to Keith, despite the revelation that Orson was still in love with her. It was actually kind of sweet, the way Bree tackled Keith in her muddy yard. All of which seems to beg the question: Could Keith revisit that marriage proposal again soon? Seems more than likely! Also: Orson should never return to Wisteria Lane in my mind. What’s the point? This visit was rather pointless, and any more would just be silly.

What’d you think of tonight’s episode, Desperate TV Watchers? Do you have theories on who shot Paul Young? Will we see Grace back on Wisteria Lane? Are Keith and Bree really going to head for the altar this time? What’s next for Renee now that she’s told Lynette the truth about Tom? Sound off in the comments!

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