Monday, November 12, 2007

A Deceptive Desperate Housewives

The theme for last night's episode of Desperate Housewives was "Deception" and it was pretty accurate given how many secrets and lies are being told. On one end of the scale, you have Lynette trying to get her mother, Stella to go home now that she has beaten her cancer. After Stella shows up one morning with her boyfriend Stan (Stanley and Stella--get the Streetcar reference?) having spent the night, Lynette decides enough is enough. Lynette objects to Stella's "Smoking, swearing and teaching the kids to make a whiskey sour." Turns out, Stella has no place to go. She has no money--the $10k she lent Tom and Lynette was everything she had--and Lynette's sister Lucy had kicked her to the curb. "Your cancer couldn't have come at a better time," she tells Lynette. Lynette arranges a lunch date with her other sister, Lydia, to try and fob Stella off on her. But Lydia comes prepared with affirmations provided by her therapist in order to ward off another stay of her toxic mother. Lynette sneaks out and transfers Stella's luggage into Lydia's car and takes off. But her sisters return the favor trying to dump Stella back on Lynette's doorstep the next day. After a long argument where it comes to light that neither Lucy or Lydia care about what happens to their mother, Lynette decides Stella can stay with her. But Stella has overheard her daughters' discussion, and takes off in a cab.

Bree passes off baby Benjamin as her own but runs into a stumbling block over Orson's objections to circumcision. He feels that it's an unnecessary mutilation and remembers his own vividly as his mother went against his father's objections and had him circumcised at age five. To prevent Bree from taking matters into her own hands, he sends registered letters to all hospitals in the tri-state area making his objections known. Bree is behind herself because she feels an untrimmed penis is "unsightly." "I thought we liked conformity!" she tells Orson. "Not at the expense of pain and reduced sexual pleasure," counters Orson. Bree tells him that someone is going to be experiencing "reduced sexual pleasure bigtime!" While at the Bris of a friend's baby, she convinces the rabbi to perform one on Benjamin by pretending to be Jewish and telling him that "This child will be as devout a Jew as I am!" Orson is understandably angered when he finds out what Bree has done (although if he was like most daddies, he would avoid diaper changing at all costs and probably would have never noticed...) and even more so when Bree asserts that Benjamin has "my blood." That leads to a discussion as to whether or not Bree feels Orson is Benjamin's father, to which Bree agrees and makes the conciliatory gesture of handing Benjamin over to his "father" to hold. I can't believe Orson let her off that easy--that was a pretty major betrayal.

Speaking of betrayal, that's how Susan feels when Bree alerts her to the fact that Mike is popping pills. Using her past addictive behavior as an example, she tells Susan that "Addicts are experts at deception. Trust but verify!" Which Susan does by tearing the house apart searching for the pills. She finds them hidden in a flashlight and confronts Mike asking is it so horrible living with me? Yes, Susan. It truly is that painful to put up with your incessant neurotic behavior. Sheesh, the writers really must have it in for Teri Hatcher...Mike finally admits to using, but blames it on needing to continue to work--despite a wrenched shoulder--to pay all the expense of the impending baby. Uh, hello? Plumbers make GOOD money. Some rake in more than DOCTORS. He demonstrates to Susan that he will quit by throwing the pills down the drain--but it's an empty gesture, because he has another stash of pills hidden away.

After being given a report on genealogy to do for school, Dylan decides to research and report on her father--much to Katherine's dismay. They get into a big battle of the wills, with Dylan standing up to her control-freak mother for the first time. Later, Katherine relents and offers to give Dylan her father's address--but makes her promise not to bring him to Wisteria Lane or tell him where she is. She tells Dylan about how he was abusive to her during their marriage and beat her up badly when she told him she was leaving him. Her Oscar winning performance works and Dylan decides to ask her teacher for another assignment. But still no more information about what her father DID (is he even actually alive?) or what happened in Chicago.

In fact, there was no Adam in this episode--and even more regrettably, no Bob or Lee. But there was plenty of Carlos and Gabby last night--their storyline had more secrets and lies than all the others put together. Victor's secret is that he knows all about Gabby's affair with Carlos. He plays dumb and arranges a romantic weekend getaway on a boat--for just the two of them. He tells her not to tell any of her friends where they are going. Gabby's secret is that Carlos is still calling her--trying to get her to change her mind about leaving Victor. She's still mad at Carlos for lying about his embezzled money. Edie's secret is that she showed the pictures of Gabby and Carlos kissing to Victor--and she spills that one with great delight to Carlos. Carlos calls Gabby to warn her that Victor knows--and when Gabby realizes that she's out in the middle of the ocean alone with Victor, she panics. Victor confronts her with his knowledge of her affair--Gabby, claiming to be cold, wants to go back to shore to discuss it on dry land. When Victor reaches inside a bag, she knocks him off the boat with an oar and leaves him sputtering in the ocean while she drives the boat away. Carlos meets her back at the dock and, when the "gun" Gabby thought Victor was reaching for turns out to be a sweater, convinces her that they have to go back and rescue Victor. Which they do--but then for some inexplicable reason Carlos starts goading Victor about his affair with Gabby! Victor lunges at Carlos with a knife--and Gabby once again knocks him off the boat with an oar. This time, Victor is not sputtering in the ocean. And Gabby and Carlos are left to create a new deception of Victor depressed over his wife leaving him, who took a boat out into the middle of the ocean and disappeared...

Every thing's building up to a big finale. I wonder if Marc Cherry and company had a chance to write it before the strike...

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