Surprise! Zach Young makes his return to Wisteria Lane, further deepening the Paul Young mystery

By Tanner Stransky
January 10, 2011 at 09:13 AM EST
Ron Tom/ABC
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Do you remember when Desperate Housewives really hit the skids this season? Yeah, that was last night, when three of the show’s major storylines—Gaby’s freaky doll obsession; Lynette’s silly, fifth-grade-esque revenge on Tom; and Susan’s find-me-a-kidney supposed tear-jerker—all went into a tailspin at the exact same time. Thankfully, it wasn’t for too long. Somehow, the show managed to pull it together and semi-salvage two of the three storylines by the end of the episode.

Before we get to the saved storylines, let’s start with the one that fell the most flat during the hour: Gaby’s. I’m not even sure what we’re supposed to do with this storyline besides just feel awful for Gaby and, by proxy, Eva Longoria. And my feelings aren’t a feel-so-bad-it’s-good kind of way—the whole thing is more sad than anything. Gaby has, in essence, transferred her feelings about the loss of her switched-at-birth daughter Grace to a doll that she’s named Princess Valerie. Ummm, am I the only who thinks that is all a tad crazy? Just reread that line: “Gaby has, in essence, transferred her feelings about the loss of her switched-at-birth daughter Grace to a doll that she’s named Princess Valerie.” Unfortunate! I’m being generous by only calling it a “tad” crazy. Because it’s actually a whole big ol’ heaping serving of crazy. Let’s just hope that when Gaby put Princess Valerie to bed in that box stashed in her closet that this wacky storyline was also put to bed. Honestly, it can’t really go much further, can it?

Like I said before, Lynette and Susan’s storylines—while also insane like Gaby’s—managed to come together as somewhat meaningful by the end of their run through the episode. In Lynette’s case, the way she acted about Tom’s indiscretion from 20 years ago at first was mind numbing. Really? After serving him super-hot hot chocolate last week, you’re still doing things like making his pants split down the back and causing him to slip down the stairs? I thought Lynette was a little bit more mature than a 10-year-old! Adults deal with their problems by talking about them. I suppose, however, maybe it’s not as interesting as pouring a bunch of salt in someone’s tea and watching them spit it all out.

And I suppose I do get Lynette’s justification for such immature actions. “I’m not ready to get over it,” she explained to Renee, after she noticed Lynette’s revenge tactics. “I have a lot of anger to work through before we sweep this under the carpet and move on.” That makes sense: Lynette just didn’t want Tom to be able to apologize for sleeping with Renee and then move on. She wanted him to pay! It’s a weird form of therapy, what she was doing, that’s for dang sure. By the end of the hour, though, Renee revealed to Tom what was going on, and the pair worked it out, of course. “I hope you can forgive me for this,” Tom pleaded before Lynette finally caved. “It would be a shame, a shame if some meaningless encounter 20 years ago ruined this life we’ve built together.” The Scavos always get me with their whole we’re-a-cute-couple-with-a-sweet-family-who-actually-seem-to-love-each-other thing.

NEXT: Susan’s mom Sophie (played by the lovely Lesley Ann Warren) returns!

Susan was also inhabiting Crazyville for much of last night before she pulled up stakes right at the end and moved to the Land of Sensibility. As I said in last week’s recap, Susan’s broken-kidney storyline is deadly in so many ways. I get that it’s portraying something real and all that, but I don’t come to Desperate Housewives for reality and sad, dumpy things! I come for fantasy. Can she do something more fabulous that be holed up in a hospital room begging her aunt and mother for a kidney?

I did, however, enjoy the return of Lesley Ann Warren as Susan’s mom, Sophie—she and Teri Hatcher look like they should be a real-life mother-daughter duo. Whoever cast Warren is a genius! And the casting of Valerie Harper as Susan’s aunt Claire was a smart move, too, although at first I couldn’t help but think: Why is Claire even here? And: Did no one ever have the idea that Clarie should consider being tested to give Susan a kidney? I suppose Claire was just there to deliver the news about Sophie’s cancer to Susan, which worked but did feel a tad pointless. And despite the schmaltzyness of the whole thing, that’s actually where this otherwise heinous storyline took a turn toward the great. The scene that found Susan and Sophie telling each other how much they really did love each other was touching and sweet. Or maybe I’m just having an overreaction to anything that feels somewhat normal after all the insanity with the terrible storylines? Regardless, Susan and her mom were touching in the end there.

The final thing worth mentioning from last night was the trickle of a detail that emerged in the Paul Young mystery. After being urged by her priest, Bree invited Paul’s wife Beth over for an evening with the rest of the gals from Wisteria Lane. As you might have guessed, the other ladies were none too happy, but Bree eventually persuaded them to get on board. After lots of awkwardness, Beth ended up changing seats at the gathering and immediately discovered a .38 caliber pistol under the couch pillow. And that’s where the finger-pointing started, with Beth pulling out several conspiracy theory charges against the ladies, saying they the planted the gun there to frame her for Paul’s shooting. The point is this: The gun may or may not be the one that someone used to shoot Paul Young, as Beth mentioned that the police said a .38 did the job. But just as Beth was pointing fingers at the hostess Bree and the other ladies, they pointed back, saying it was the perfect opportunity for her to drop the gun at someone else’s house if she actually did the deed. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who’s lying? Who knows!

NEXT: The Paul Young mystery deepens.

Hmm, it’s all very interesting isn’t it? Where did the gun come from? Who put it there? As we’ve seen throughout this season, several people on Wisteria Lane have that same .38 caliber pistol. The other twist to this storyline was the mysterious vase of flowers that was delivered to Bree’s house. At first, she just assumed that they’d come from Keith, but he revealed at the end of the episode that it wasn’t him. And that’s when we viewers were treated to a shot of the delivery man removing his wig and fake mustache to reveal none other than…Zach Young! He’s back! As much as I’m not really a Zach fan, that was a good twist.

Now what Zach Young is up to becomes really fascinating. Is he there to get revenge on Paul? Was he possibly the person who shot Paul on that riotous day on Wisteria Lane? Did he deliver to flowers to somehow harm one of the ladies at Bree’s—or just to grab a glimpse of them? Is he after Beth? Has he come for Mike? Honestly, just some sort of update on him would be intriguing. He’s one of Desperate Housewives’ most intriguing characters and villains. There’s a great possibility that he’s actually working with Felicia, right? Could she have commissioned him to shoot Paul? I guess we’ll find out in the coming weeks—or, more realistically, by May.

What do you think, TV Watchers? Do you have any good theories about Zach Young’s return? How hilarious were all of Renee’s digs at Beth’s hair? Why does everyone on Wisteria Lane have the same exact gun? Also, who really has guns in a nice suburban neighborhood like that?

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