Monday, November 5, 2007

A Scarily Funny Desperate Housewives

As I mentioned before we are in the midst of the Nielsen November ratings sweep and last night's Desperate Housewives was certainly a "sweep-worthy" episode. Although we got no further clues as to what happened to Dylan or in Chicago, the core cast certainly had juicy storylines to bite into. The writing was sharp and witty making this "Halloween" based episode filled with both laugh-out loud moments and some poignantly tender ones as well.

The show began with Carlos leaving Edie and as expected, she did not take the news well. Delightfully vindictive, her first course of action was to inform the IRS of Carlos' Caymen Islands account. But when the IRS checked into it, they could find nothing. Edie confronted Carlos about the missing money and threatens him by saying, "This game is not over!" To which Carlos replies, "Yeah, it kinda is. And if you haven't noticed--I won." Meanwhile Gabby breaks up with Victor via voicemail, but as she tries to move out and move on, she is approached by Victor's father Milton with an offer she can't refuse. If she stays with Victor for 13 more months--until he's elected Governor, she'll receive a very generous payoff. Since she and Carlos were planning to wait 6 months to be together, she thinks--what's 7 more? Carlos says to her, "You're taking money to stay with a man you don't love. Gee, if that was a job, what would they call it?" Gabby retorts that she's not sleeping with Victor--that the money is more like a "modeling fee" for photo ops. Carlos then tells Gabby they don't need Milton's payoff since he has almost $10 mil that he embezzled from his former employer stashed away. But when Gabby finds out he hid assets from her in the divorce, she feels she longer can trust him. When she decides to take some time away from everyone and everything, Victor shows up to woo her back. He tears up his schedule and even tells her he won't run for Governor. So Gabby decides to stay with Victor--but the spurned Edie has still has one card up her sleeve. The photos the P.I. took of Carlos and Gabby kissing which she naturally shares with Victor. Will Victor make Carlos disappear as he threatened a while ago?

Susan and Mike go through fertility counseling--which seems pointless since she's already pregnant. But the point is to bring to light the fact that Mike's father isn't dead as he told her early on in their relationship. Through her usual prying and pouting, Susan finds out that Mike's dad is in jail for murder. She then insists on meeting him--ostensibly for the baby, but really so that she can be her usual obnoxiously neurotic self. It doesn't take long for Susan to pop the big question--"Who did you kill?" The answer: his boss. How? Strangulation. Why? Jealousy over a misappropriated promotion. Susan grows obsessed with the fact that Mike's dad seems to show no remorse or regret over his actions--so she goes back to the prison to meet with him alone. She tells him that she can't bear the thought of her child inheriting his genes when he seems to be soulless. He tells her what he regrets most is how his actions affected Mike and that he feels that Mike never recovered from how he was treated as the son of a murderer. He tells Susan that Mike has a dark side and she should watch out for it. (Does Mike's pill-popping have anything to do with that "dark side"?) Ooooohh--one more thing for Susan to obsess about. Anyone want to lay odds on how long it takes her to drive Mike away?

On the eve of Lynette's test results on whether or not she beat her cancer, she finds that a possum has been digging through her garden. This starts her off on her own obsession with beating the possum--which her kids have named "Scruffles." When her Home Depot fueled attempts to rid her garden of the wily varmint fail, she turns to Bree for more deadly methods. Namely, a gun. Bree tells her she should get an air rifle which won't kill the possum but should scare him off. She says, "Try Gun City on route six by the Baptist church. Tell 'em I sent you and they'll give you a nice discount!" Lynette stakes out the possum to Tom's dismay. She tells him, "Now he's playing mind games with me--but I laid out some candy to draw him out. And when he does--trick or treat!" To which Tom replies, "You've declared Jihad on a possum!" Lynette's passionate response about ridding this vile creature that's invaded their home makes it clear that this is actually about the cancer and not the possum. Later that night her doctor delivers the test results personally--she is clear of the cancer. As Lynette looks up at the sky in a silent prayer of thanks, she notices the dead possum and is filled with regret.

The rest of the neighborhood is involved with Bob and Lee's Halloween party. When they start extending invitations, Lee is worried no-one will come because "they hate us." Bob says the neighbors hate Lee, not him and then spying Bree says they should ask her. She has a gay son, so she should be friendly. Lee says, "My mother has a gay son and she's not." When they invite Bree to their party, they catch a glimpse of Danielle peering out the window. Noticing the long dark hair, they ask if Danielle is home. Bree lies and tells them that it was Andrew in his Halloween costume. "He's going as Cher." "Oh, he's invited!" the gay couple says. Bree relays the invitation to Andrew who asks her for help with his costume. "How familiar are you with pop icons of the 70s?" she asks him. Danielle wants to go to the party but Bree refuses and tells her she's going back to the convent tomorrow. She worried that Danielle might develop feelings for the baby after it's born--but Danielle insists she won't.

At Lee and Bob's Halloween party, Katherine and Adam show up. Adam is dressed as Frankenstein and Katherine as Marie Antoinette. Lee says, "You came as a self-important Queen who lost all her power! Isn't that a bit on the nose?" To which Katherine snarks to Adam, "Lee's making jokes about queens. Isn't that ironic?" Andrew comes to the party as Cher and the very pregnant Danielle crashes it as--Bree! When Bree commandeers Danielle away from the other guest--right in the middle of a spot-on catty impression of Bree--Danielle's water breaks. Bree thinks fast and tells Bob that it was a water balloon meant to unleashed as part of the costume later in the evening. She then corrals Orson and Andrew and the family makes a quick getaway back home. Bree goes back to grab OB/Gyn Adam from the party. She tells him he must swear to keep what he witnesses confidential. "Does this have anything to do with the pregnancy you've been faking?" Seems Adam's not as spineless and clueless as we thought...While Adam is delivering Danielle's baby, the Scavo kids come to the door trick or treating. When there's no answer, they prepare to play a "trick." They hear Danielle's cries of pain and go to peer through the window, where they see "Frankenstein" holding up a screaming and slimy newborn. They run off screaming. Later, Bree brings the baby to Danielle to see if she wants to hold him. Danielle does but hands him back to Bree, saying, "You should take him." She tells Bree that giving him up is the right thing to do for everyone--especially him. The next day, she heads back to the convent. But will she change her mind?

All in all, one of my favorite DH episodes! Good job Marc Cherry and writers Susan Nirah Jaffe and Dahvi Walle. Excellent work!

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