Desperate Housewives recap: Abs-olutely Fabulous
Bree fights her attraction to her handyman; creepy Paul forces the chemistry with his new wife
Plenty of important things happened on last night’s episode of Desperate Housewives that’d be worthy of opening this recap: A bombshell that Tom and Renee are hiding from Lynette began to unfurl; Paul introduced us to his weirdo new prison bride, Beth; Gaby discovered the truth about Juanita’s biology; and Lainie Kazan, as website madam Maxine, cleaned smudges off a dinner table with her extremely ample bosom. (Sorry for conjuring that troublesome image yet again.) But let’s take a minute to focus on the most important revelation of the evening: Brian Austin Green’s ridiculously sweet abs!
As Mrs. McCluskey told Bree—who fired Keith and his washboard before hiring him back at the end of the episode—you could “grate cheese” on those abs. (On a related note, am I the only one fantasizing about picking up a block of Monterey Jack and making nachos for dinner tomorrow?) Yes indeed, bless the ladies of Desperate Housewives for preferring their handymen (John Rowland, Mike Delfino, etc.) sexy and shirtless. The potential of having a gardener or plumber or contractor tearing off his shirt will forever keep me coming back to Wisteria Lane. (How many of you Housewives aficionados are with me?!)
But let’s get back to the plot-based intrigue. As I mentioned, last night was indeed revelatory—and not just in the six-pack category. First and foremost, there’s trouble brewing in the Scavo household. Turns out that Tom and Renee—Lynette’s best friend from college played by Vanessa Williams, who was introduced last week—are hiding a past indiscretion from the ever-suspicious Lynette. With the way this is being played, it seems we’re supposed to believe Renee and Tom previously hooked up or somesuch, but my hunch tells me to never trust my first instinct when it comes to Desperate. So then, what could they be hiding that would be just as devastating to Tom and Lynette’s relationship? Maybe a sickness Tom hid from Lynette that Renee helped him through privately? A loan Renee spotted a younger and poorer Tom? A truth about Renee’s life in NYC that only Tom knows? The possibilities are endless, especially considering the almost nonexistent amount of information we currently have.
But, to the producers’ (and our) delight, we have the whole season to figure out what’s up. Last night, Renee told Lynette that she’s moving into Edie’s old house across the street. My only hope with Renee’s permanent residence on Wistera is that she’ll break out a bit from Lynette and wreak a little havoc on the rest of the ladies, too. Judging by the previews for next week, that’s the case and she’ll start with Bree—namely, by attempting to crack into Brian Austin Green’s six-pack! I’m all about the potential battle between Renee and Bree. Only, I can’t even begin to figure out who’d win. (Place your bets down in the comments section, everyone!)
Three other noteworthy things about Lynette-related storylines from last night: 1) Loved the scene between Renee and Penny, when Renee asked her: “What did Auntie Renee teach you about marriage?” Penny: “Never sign a pre-nup.” Spoken like a true NYC gold-digger! 2) Apparently, Tom wasn’t lying—men can have postpartum depression! I looked it up. (That is, if a quick Google search counts as “looking it up.”) And 3) Tom was reading Muscle Mover magazine while lying in bed. I mean! Huh? Or, rather: Where can I get a subscription? I want abs like Megan Fox’s hubby, too!
NEXT: Um, Gaby? That’s your daughter you’re talking about!
Another juicy revelation of the evening came not for us viewers, but instead, for Gaby, who finally learned that Juanita isn’t her biological daughter. Bree backed her car into the tubby little child, which sent Juanita to the hospital, where a nurse (Amy Pietz, late of The Office and Aliens in America, among other series) gave Gaby a disturbing lesson in math and science: Gaby’s blood type + Carlos’ blood types could not = Juanita’s blood type. Eventually, after a wacky storyline where Gaby thought she’d slept with a Frenchman on a ski vacation eight years ago, Carlos told her the truth. Which, naturally, devastated her.
More devastating, though, in my mind, was the avalanche of one-liners that poked fun at Juanita’s weight. There were three from Gaby alone: “Have you seen my daughter?” she yelled, after Bree claimed she didn’t see Juanita while backing out of her driveway. “She never comes out of nowhere!” And then to the nurse at the hospital: “If this is about Juanita and the dessert cart, I told you not to leave it unattended!” And finally, Gaby also told the nurse: “I know it’s hard to believe that the little acorn gave birth to the mighty oak, but believe me, I did.” I have to admit, I did chuckle at all of these lines, but then I immediately felt evil about it. It’s not okay to laugh at the expense of an overweight child, is it? (Asks the TV recapper who was an overweight child. I don’t know how to feel—I suppose this is only TV…)
The last big reveal of the night was another new addition to Wisteria Lane: Paul Young’s wife, Beth. (I loved that she said the cabbie dropped her off on Hibiscus—what a clever nod to the horticultural nature of Fairview’s idyllic street names.) It’s no secret that Paul would be introducing a wife—the news about the casting of the delightful Men in Trees refugee Emily Bergl has been out there forever—but what we don’t know is how he acquired her, why she would marry him, etc. I mean, we’re talking about a man who’s been in the state pen for the past several years. Why would this goldfish-loving lady marry a prison-bound dude convicted of murder? “It was a fantasy,” Beth told Paul as he pressed her to have sex with him. “I never thought it would be real.”
My advice to Beth: Now that this is “real,” look up D in the yellow pages and scan down to the section titled “Divorce Lawyers.” Problem is, I suppose, that Paul is holding something over her to keep her married to him. But what? We don’t know for sure yet, but blackmail, of course, is a very old-school Paul move. He’s got to have something to keep her there because we all know that having a wife—even if she is a scared, unhinged woman who married a convict—only helps the image rehab project he’s got going on with the women of Wisteria Lane.
NEXT: The other TV show starring a sad lady in lingerie.
Just like last week, I can’t really fully discuss Susan’s storyline because it pains me so. All I want to ask the show’s writers is: Why? Why must we viewers be subjected to Teri Hatcher dusting and vacuuming in lingerie? The whole thing—outside of it being extremely desperate, as the show’s title suggests—is disturbing and, honestly, feels inorganic to the show. Susan had no contact with the other housewives this week, except for a short trip to the hospital to comfort Gaby. Is Susan on a totally different TV show that we don’t know about? (Maybe it’s a secret cellphone ad campaign that’s being slipped into our weekly dose of Housewives.) Are the producers prepping a Desperate spin-off that (God willing) will never get picked-up? Somebody shut this storyline down before it pulls this entire show into the grave. I never thought I would wish this, but can we please get Susan back over on Wisteria Lane? She doesn’t do trashy that well, honestly.
Overall, last night’s episode was solid (yes, that’s a partial reference to BAG’s abs!), but I feel like we’ve got a ways to go yet to get to this season’s juicy center. There’ve been no ginormous bombshells. No deaths. No huge mysteries…yet. But now it’s time for your opinion and input, fans: Do you think it’s possible Bree will use the word “beige” in every episode this season? (So far, she’s two for two!) Which was better: Brian Austin Green’s chest shot or butt shot? Does Renee have the potential to be Wisteria Lane’s new man-eating Edie? When do you think the show’s producers will get around to giving Bob and Lee a bit more of a storyline? And finally: When are we going to really delve into a juicy mystery, and what should/will it be?
DON’T MISS: Embedded below, listen to the first edition of EW.com’s TV Insiders podcast. Dalton Ross, Michael Slezak, Annie Barrett, Michael Ausiello (who also gives his picks for best and worst new show of the new season), and Jeff “Doc” Jensen break down the week in television and present it to you in an easily digestible audio format. Or click here to download TV Insiders to your MP3 player!
Eva Longoria Parker, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, and Felicity Huffman star in the soap set on the dangerous Wisteria Lane