Desperate Housewives recap: A Suicide Shocker
The ladies of Wisteria Lane are always doing something in a desperate fashion, as we’ve come to learn over these seven seasons, and in last night’s episode “Searching,” they were all — well, most of them — very desperately looking for something. As has become a rather dumpy theme for the season, Susan was on her continued hunt for a kidney, with the help of the crusading Bree, who made finding a matching organ both a personal and spiritual mission. Meanwhile, Gaby was determined to find some kind of talent in her daughter Juanita; Beth searched for a way to move on from Paul — and eventually did so in an extremely dramatic way, that we’ll get to in a second; and Renee spent her time looking for a deeper meaning in her life, which proved, as usual, to provide much of the episode’s most humorous moments.
“I want a baby,” Renee said in her very blunt way near the beginning of the hour, upon entering Lynette’s house. “One of my own. Preferably a boy. And in brown.” The line killed. I could have just stopped the episode right then — less than 15 minutes in — and have been satisfied with what I’d seen. But the storyline got even better. “I already made an appointment with an adoption agency, which was right next door to my manicurist,” Renee continued to tell Lynette. “It’s like it was meant to be.” Although the folks at Desperate Housewives have tried to say that Vanessa Williams wouldn’t be bringing her famed Wilhelmina Slater character from Ugly Betty back to life, I beg to differ. I can literally hear these same bitchily biting words stream from the former Mode editor’s mouth. Anyway, I digress.
So that Renee could see what having a baby is really like, Lynette agreed to let her friend watch baby Paige for an evening, while she and Tom went out on a date at a fancy restaurant. Of course, as soon as Tom and Lynette sat down, what did they hear? Ah yes, a baby crying — one that sounded suspiciously like Paige. And that’s because it was — Renee was sitting across the restaurant with the baby. “It’s Renee!” Lynette exclaimed. “On a date! With our baby!” To teach Renee a lesson, Lynette had the waitress “lose” the baby, which sent Renee into a tailspin. Lesson learned: Renee realized that she’s not cut out for motherhood. Also: Why does it feel like Renee is always in restaurants? We’ve literally rarely seen her inside her own home. Weird.
Bree’s “Searching” storyline crossed over with Susan’s — and eventually Beth’s, too. Bree opened the episode serving baked goods to her reverend in her home. This scene proved to be funny. “So, have you killed someone?” Bree’s reverend asked, after taking a bite of her infamous treats. “I’ve always found the treats you prepare for my visits are a reliable indicator of your level of your spiritual turmoil. The more exquisite the baked goods, the more anguished your soul.” But it’s true: Bree was in anguish, after her breakup with Keith, and wanted to fill that void in her life. The pastor suggested she look to give to others, which is what inspired her campaign to find the still-ailing Susan a kidney.
NEXT: “I have nowhere to go,” Beth says. “What is going to happen to me, Mama?”
Susan’s condition, it turns out, was only getting worse. “If there are things you’re thinking about doing,” her doctor told her, “do them now.” So while Susan planned a return to the wooded site where she and Mike got married, Bree went into overdrive to find her a kidney, as a way to fulfill her life. She peppered the neighborhood with flyers, asking for help, and even threw a brunch where the myths about kidney transplants were dispelled by a doctor and where folks could get a test to find out if they were a match for Susan. And ta da! Both Beth — who got tested not at the brunch, but independently — and Bree herself were matches.
This is the point at which the storyline took an unexpected turn and collided with Beth’s downward spiral. Paul Young, as you likely remember, had kicked Beth out of the house, after he found out that she was Felicia Tilman’s daughter. This week, Beth attempted to act like nothing happened and headed back into the house. To scare her away, though, Paul revealed that yes, indeed, he had killed Martha Huber. Beth took this information to Felicia in the jail, but her mother was disgusted that she didn’t have the confession recorded. “I can’t allow you back in my life. You have failed me in every possible way,” Felicia told Beth. “You have never done anything right in your life. I have no more use for you. Goodbye.” It was indeed a very sad moment for Beth. “I have nowhere to go,” Beth told her mom. “What is going to happen to me, Mama?”
It was right after this, then, that Bree revealed to Beth that she was a match for Susan. But no matter, Bree said, basically, because she was going to give Susan her own kidney. But deranged Beth pleaded to Bree that she be the one to sacrifice her organ. “Please, Bree,” Beth asked. “Let me help Susan. It would mean a lot to me.” Bree said no, and before I know it, we’re at a scene that finds Beth turning in paperwork to the hospital emergency room before —and here’s where it gets freaky — putting a pistol (was it that pistol?) to her head and pulling the trigger. “It’s the most important thing I’ve ever done,” Beth told the nurse of the paperwork she’d filled out, just before she offed herself. Well, guess Susan has her kidney now! And Bree was spared.
This isn’t the way I thought we’d see Beth leave Wisteria Lane. I’m guessing there’s little chance that Beth survived that gunshot to the head. I thought Paul would probably somehow kill Beth on the sly somewhere closer to the end of the season on account of her transgressions against him. But I actually like this way better since I didn’t see it coming — that’s always the best: a surprise. But where does this leave us with the Paul Young mess now? Will we get more Zach in the picture now? Does Felicia have something else up her sleeve? Weirdly, I’m really sad to see Beth go, actually. She didn’t do much, but there was something inherently nice and innocent about her. She was like a little confused porcelean doll who only wanted to fit in. In a weird, morbid, creepy way, she will always sort of be fit in with the ladies now, assuming that Susan does indeed receive one of her kidneys. Hell, Susan can actually take them both! Too soon? Oh, shut up.
NEXT: Gaby continues to be mean to her daughter Juanita.
The rest of Susan’s storyline — the picnic, the bizarre run-in with the Civil War reinactors, Mike’s continued crankiness — yielded little beyond bland filler. Like, did I really just write the words “Civil War reinactors” there? Kill me.
And Gaby’s storyline was more of what we’ve been seeing the last couple seasons from her: The former supermodel is mean to her daughter— in this case, she forced Juanita to learn tap-dancing, to only “misplace” her shoes at the last second after realizing she wasn’t very good — before realizing that she shouldn’t do that and makes good on it. On a side note, it’s clear to me that Juanita should have done stand-up comedy as her talent. The girl is hilarious! She’d be good in front of a microphone with a few jokes.
Truly, I hate Gaby’s tired old storylines that we’ve seen a zillion times (like, why is she always mean to Juanita?!), but I don’t know what was wrong with me last night — I actually sort of got a bit misty when she stopped the talent show at the end and put Juanita up on stage. It felt like a moment, like the way a mother should be proud of her child, no matter how bad they might suck at something. It was actually watching Bob and Lee obsess over their adopted daughter Jenny, despite her messing up a few notes on her violin solo, that really got the waterworks going for me. They were so proud of her, no matter what. And it’s official: I’m a sap.
So we’re off for at least the next two weeks; Desperate will be in repeats. But what’d you all think of last night’s episode? Pleased with it? Wishing for more? Sad, like me, to see Beth go so soon? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below!
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky