The devilish Felicia Tilman surprised Paul Young by returning to Wisteria Lane and taking him on a trip to the woods. Bree, Gaby, Carlos, and Andrew headed into the wild for some wild adventures, too.
Leave it to a little death to inject a little life into Desperate Housewives. The end of the road for two of the show’s characters — Beth Young, recently, and Juanita “Mama” Solis, years ago — provided enough fodder to fuel the nighttime soap through yet another strong episode last night, and that was after a particularly robust outing two weeks ago. Last night’s hour was titled “Moments in the Woods,” so it was fitting that it took these two linchpin story lines and their attached parties — Paul and Felicia in one camp, and Bree, Gaby, Carlos, and Andrew in the other — to the woods, albeit separately, to sort out their issues.
Bree and Gaby headed to the great outdoors after finding out that Andrew had gone there alone with Carlos. What’s the issue with these two being alone? Well, after it came to light two weeks ago that Andrew was an alcoholic, the young gay entered Alcoholics Anonymous, like his mother, and began his 12 steps to recovery. Step 8 proved a difficult one for him: Andrew was to list the people he’d done harm to and make amends. At the top of his list wasn’t Bree (she was predictably and hilariously miffed at that!) but instead Carlos, who Andrew wronged by running over his mother with a car when he was a teenager. So now you see why Gaby and Bree — who both were aware of the situation, too, and thought Andrew would take the opportunity to bare his soul to Carlos — ran up the mountain to find the pair on their solo hunting trip. A mad Carlos is never a good thing, especially in a setting with guns readily available.
In that wonderful way that she always does, Gaby summed up the whole situation in a delicious sound bite: “Okay, this is the problem with sobriety — it ruins lives!” Well (and crassly!) put, you insane beast. Andrew’s secret was eventually revealed, rather stupidly by Gaby and Bree, of course, and Carlos flew off the handle and tried to force Andrew to take a drink in remembrance of his ill-fated mother. “Oh, great, we’ve got tension and firearms,” Gaby zinged. “Let’s add alcohol!”
Carlos then ran off, before Bree, Gaby, and Andrew caught up with him at his family mausoleum, where he was mourning his mother’s death in light of the new information about how she died. Andrew earnestly apologized, and vowed to make it right, and Carlos forgave him. But Bree wasn’t so lucky when she marched up to his house with a basket of muffins as an apology for keeping the secret for all these years. “Listen carefully because this is the last thing I am ever going to say to you,” a fuming Carlos told her. “We are no longer friends, not you and me, and not you and Gaby. No barbecues. No cocktail parties. No poker games. You are not to even wave to us on the street. That’s how it’s going to be. You can keep your muffins.” Ouch.
NEXT: Felicia returns and begins to unspool her plan for revenge on Paul Young.
While the Carlos-Andrew story line was certainly rich — and no doubt sets up some juicy future drama between Carlos and Bree — I think most of the credit for making last night’s episode rather memorable goes to Felicia Tilman, who showed up again on Wisteria Lane after being paroled from prison. There’s something so creepy and unsettling about Felicia — maybe it’s that three-fingered hand of hers, which always seems to so define her? — that is just alluring. But putting her with the equally-as-unsettling Paul Young is even better. Anyway, the two of them also went to the woods — actually, a lake that Felicia claimed Beth loved as a child — to spread her ashes and simultaneously bury the hatchet stuck between them.
The nastiness and barely below-the-surface seething between these two is what makes their pairing so enticing. Their woodland adventure turned dark quickly, as Felicia stole the gun that Paul brought along (not sure if he had it to protect himself or off her…) and threatened him with it. “I could kill you right now and go cot-free, or I could do this!” she said, as she threw the firearm into the lake. Then she straight-up lied to his face: “I don’t want you dead, Paul, and I don’t want us to fear each other, I just want this over. Don’t you?” Riiiiight.
Felicia’s true plans came to light — as if we couldn’t already figure them out — after she returned to Wisteria Lane from the lake and poured Beth’s real ashes back into the urn. “I would never scatter you in the woods,” the increasingly unhinged Felicia said to Beth’s ashes. “No, you’re going to stay where you belong, right here, with me. And don’t you worry about Paul. I’ll make him pay for what he did to you. And not by just shooting him, no, that’s too quick, too merciful. No, death is the easy way out. Look at who I’m telling?” What can we expect from her with Paul? I’m guessing torture. Or humiliation. Or some combination of the two. Can’t wait.
NEXT: “Look, after this game, I’m taking you to a clothing store that doesn’t also sell patio furniture,” Renee told Lynette. “And meat.”
As far as the rest of the episode’s story lines went, they were kinda not too exciting. Mike was MIA, but Susan found herself on a lucky streak, fueled by her good fortune from her recent kidney transplant. (Do you still call it “good fortune” when you get a kidney from a woman who offed herself? Not sure.) She handily won poker with the gals, and then, after finding out that her old dialysis pal Dick had died, took the $100 he left her to the casino he so loved. Ultimately, Susan couldn’t understand why some people are lucky (her) and others aren’t (her pal Dick), and Mrs. McCluskey’s sweet old man Roy had to explain to her that it’s a question that’s not worth asking. “What happens when my luck runs out?” Susan asked Roy, before employing what he taught her. “I know: Why ask?” My question: Why should I care about this snoozer of a story line?
As for Lynette, she was sidelined in an equally inconsequential story line with Renee, who was stuck teaching her old pal how to spend the heaps of cash hubby Tom was now bringing in. “Look, after this game, I’m taking you to a clothing store that doesn’t also sell patio furniture,” Renee told Lynette. “And meat.” It has become increasingly clear that the minds behind Desperate Housewives still don’t know what to do with Vanessa Williams’ delightful character Renee, who comes off only as a sidekick in her story lines. If she didn’t have a zillion zinging one-liners, there’d be no point for her to even be there. But speaking of her brilliant bites, I loved this one from Vanessa as Renee last night, too: “Please don’t make me go to the enormous hassle of buying this place, just to fire you.” She said that to the snotty salesgirl at the clothing store where she took Lynette.
Oh, and on the note of Lynette, she wasn’t given too much to do either. She spent the hour bemoaning the fact that Tom’s new job keeps him away from her most of the time. Shocker: She doesn’t like that! Part of me just thinks that you choose, Lynette: Either you get the paycheck with no man, or you get the man with no paycheck. Sometimes I don’t know if Lynette is every really happy. But I suppose that is indeed the life of a suburban housewife.
So, Desperate Housewives watchers, what’d you think of “Moments in the Woods”? Were you similarly pleased with the story lines that took us out into nature? Do you think this was one of the stronger outings of Desperate Housewives this season? What do you make of the teaser for next week that promises big changes and seemed to depict Paul in bed with…Susan?!?
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky