Here we are, 2006′s body isn’t even cold yet, and 2007 has already delivered a fresh episode of Desperate Housewives. Now, this recap undertaking isn’t quite as painful as it was earlier this season, when the question still loomed large as to whether or not Wisteria Lane would continue its Applewhite induced shame spiral into mediocrity, or if it would grab life by Edie’s balls and enjoy a creative resurgence. As I’ve mentioned many times, creative resurgence has won over mediocrity in the first half of the season. And yet, here I am sitting through the first fresh episode of DH of the New Year, and all I keep thinking is: “Only one more hour until Brothers & Sisters” or more importantly, “Only three more days until Friday Night Lights.” (Best. Show. Ever.). The episode was pretty good, some nice twists and zingers, and yet much like Star Jones and a size 6, I just couldn’t get into it. Is it just me or has absence NOT made the heart grown fonder when it comes to the happenings on Wisteria Lane and our favorite Household Hussies involved? Determine for yourself after the jump.Starting off on the big shock of last year (Alma’s alivvvve!), we get an inside glimpse into the marriage of Alma & Orson Hodge. It seems that Alma used the oldest trick in the book to get Orson to marry her: Accidental Pregnancy. Ahh yes. It’s how Eve snagged Adam, after all. It was too late for Orson to fly the coup when Alma miscarried, even though he never loved his wife. This, of course, led him to resent her. But you know who did love her? Orson’s psycho mom Grandma Sugarbaker, that’s who! Anyone think that it was weird that Grandma S., was standing right next to Alma on the altar when she married Orson? Man, the evidence for Orson’s affliction of the Crazies being justifiable just keeps mounting. Pretty soon, he’ll have as good an insanity defense in the Mike’s attempted vehicular manslaughter as the DA in that Duke case. Oh wait. God, so much has changed already in 2007! Alma discovers that Orson was having an affair with the ubiquitous Monique and is devestated. Seriously, this bitch is everywhere. She’s like the Gwen Stefani of Wisteria Lane. And NO, that is NOT a compliment (hearing that Wind It Up song is like an abortion for the eardrums). Alma decides that the only way to get Orson to appreciate her is to runaway/fake her own death. Hmm… with all the Orson OCD about his cabinet’s being stocked a certain way and Alma’s disappearance, it seems to me that at least one of the writer’s of this show has been watching their copy of Sleeping With The Enemy. And who could blame them? Any movie that sets a Julia Roberts montage to Brown Eyed Girl in complete seriousness is, by definition, art. So that scene we caught at the beginning of the season wasn’t Orson about to kill Alma as he found out she was leaving him, it was him telling her that it was a great idea for her to leave. Ouch.
Alma, finally makes her big debut to Bree, who promptly faints at Alma’s introduction. Yawn. Yeah, maybe I’m splitting heirs here, but shouldn’t this particular piece of “physical comedy”- the faint due to shock – take it’s buddies “Overbearing Mother” and “I have something extremely important to tell you/So do I!/You Go First” and just pack it in? Regardless, it seems as though, Alma wanted people to think that Orson killed her, because, you know, he “hurt her very badly.” That reminds me that Danny Lee stole my blocks in Kindergarten, let me make sure that I send some hair fibers and blood stained shirts to his house and anonymously tip-off the police.
Say what I will about Bree and her face made of silly putty (thank you oh wise Stewie Griffin for tipping me off on that), no one else on Network Television can give someone a recipe and make it sound like a death threat. Well, no one except Martha Stewart that is. Orson and Bree, tiring of this little reunion, decide that this might be a good idea to send Alma packing. That is until Bree spots Susan across the street, and still reeling from their Mike vs. Orson fight, decides to throw a dinner part to introduce Alma to her friends.
Elsewhere, Gabby & Susan have congregated on Lynette’s front porch (porch is the new card table, I suppose) for a little coffee clatch to gossip about Bree and Orson. Susan, that tenacious little cockroach, hasn’t given up on proving Mike’s innocence and Orson’s evilness. She cops to breaking into Orson’s office and learning about his past in the Cuckoo’s Nest when he was 17. 17, really? When I was 17 there were a lot of things that I did that I wouldn’t want to be held accountable for as an adult (yes, I’m talking to you, Britney Spears concert).
And the award for the night’s most painful B-story goes to… Gabby! What is it with her this season, it’s all snore, snore, and snore. Someone find this chick another gardener to start banging. Currently, Gabby is still bedding the father of that Children’s Beauty pageant contestant she was training, and we know it’s not going to last, because he isn’t a big enough star. She gets a call from Carlos, who is still staying at Mike’s house across the street, mocking her for her lame front lawn picnic date.
At Lynette’s house, the question of what the hell happened to The Babe’s daughter Kayla is answered as she is finally arriving to live at the Scavo’s. Everyone is mucho nervous about this. Except of course for her evil minion children who are just thoroughly annoyed at the thought of having another sibling to contend with. No matter, they have already devised a plan that uses her innocent blood to call forth Voldermort, their dark leader. I really hate these kids. Anyway, Kayla doesn’t seem all too keen on being at the Scavo’s either. You know, dead mother and all. To break the ice, Lynette gives her a doll that she had from her childhood. Kayla is as excited as Mel Gibson at a Senator Leiberman campaign rally. Lynette once again gets points for her complete lack of anything resembling compassion as she complains about Kayla not being “blown away” by the doll. Umm that’s because her mother was “blown away” enough for the both of them!
At the Mayer house, Susan is borrowing her daughters lip gloss, so she can complete her transformation into Amy Poehler from Mean Girls (Susan’s not a regular mom, she’s a cool mom). Susan’s on her way to go see Mike at the jailhouse, and since they are just friends she needs to make sure her lips are nice and glossy and her vagina is waxed. Slut. Julie questions her on this, and for the first time all season we get a glimpse of season 1 Julie, who I sorely miss. Sure she still had no discernable chin-neck separation, but she was level-headed, wise, and far less annoying. Then I remember that she is still dating that Duckfaced Platypus Bad Boy Austin, and my hatred for her roars back to me. Fool me once Julie, shame on me!
Susan being completely aloof, and possibly loopy from lack of nourishment, doesn’t understand the big deal about going to see Mike, even though part of her deal with Ian was that she couldn’t see Mike anymore in order for Ian to pay for Mike’s lawyers. Get that? Susan’s logic is that surely when Ian said “never” he didn’t mean like “NEVER”. Otherwise he probably would’ve used “never-ever” which would’ve been clearer.
At prison, Susan sees Mike, and tells him that she can no longer come to visit him. He may not have any recollection about the two years, but something, deep down inside him has got to know that this isn’t the worst news in the world.
Back at the Scavo house, the kids are eating dinner sans Papa Scavo, when Kayla makes a power play on Taco Night. She wants to eat on the couch in front of the TV which is strictly verboten in the Scavo house. However, Kayla gives Lynette the old puppy eyes, and plays the dead mother card, so Lynette relents. Her Death Eater children can’t believe this, as Lynette is more cyborg than mother most nights. Score One for Little Orphan Kayla.
Later that night, Tom comes home, and Lynette fills him in on the night’s events, including Lynette’s discovery of her precious doll, mutilated in the trash. Tom tells her that it’s okay to be a little tough with Kayla, because the fact that she’s acting out is completely intolerable. She’s had days, possibly even weeks, to get over her mother’s murder. It’s time to grow up. By the way, did I miss a beat? Did Lynette leave her job? Why the hell is she home all the time?
Gabby returns from a date with Snoresville McGee to find a large bouquet of flowers on her porch with no card, and immediately assumes they are from Carlos. She leaves her new BF and heads over there to confront him, but Carlos had nothing to do with the flowers. So how does Gabrielle Solis change a light bulb? She just holds the bulb to the socket and waits for the world to revolve around her. Someone needs to get over themselves a little bit. Carlos clearly has better things to do then to mess up Gabby’s doomed relationship anyway. Like, you know, pump iron and trim his goatee.
Ahh, here comes Andrew to save the day. Formerly my least favorite character, and now his scene or two an episode is always a highlight for me. And it’s funny how it switches like that. In this case, he’s chiming in on Julie and Danielle’s girl talk, after Julie gave Austin another severe case of Blue Balls. Danielle is trying to convince Julie that everything is fine, but Andrew scoffs. Based on some scientific research that Andrew conducted when he was a street urchin, he argues that there are only two reasons a guy won’t pressure a girl for sex: 1) if he’s gay and 2) if he’s getting it somewhere else. Austin isn’t gay (“Not even after three beers.”), so he must be getting a little something something on the side. Oh Andrew you’re so wise. You’re like a gay little Buddah.
Susan, never one to leave well-enough alone, calls the police department to tip them off to the fact that Orson used to be in an asylum and had an affair with Monique. As she’s on the phone with Ernie Shaft Hudson (who much to my dismay has trimmed his 70′s fro – although that won’t affect his moniker), Susan gets a call from Bree inviting her to a dinner party. Susan is touched, as they haven’t spoken since their fight.
On the way to some charity thing with her boyfriend (honestly, this guy is so short for this world, I don’t even need to know his name), Gabby asks if they can stop at the Florist. Gabby of course wants to confirm her suspicions that Carlos sent her the flowers. The Florist can’t give her the information, as the sender asked to remain anonymous. This all culminates in hijinks with Gabby locking the florist in the flower refrigerator, as boyfriend walks in and breaks up with her. Also, she doesn’t find out who sent the flowers. I’ll give credit where credit is due, Eva Longoria plays the scene pretty well, but, ehh, who cares? I mean who thought this was a good idea:
In round 2 of Lynette versus Little Orphan Kayla, the princess decides that she wants to take her sweet time finishing her ice cream at lunch, which is a problem for the harried Lynette. Kayla won’t budge and at the slightest insistence by Lynette, Kayla starts bellowing. Lynette doesn’t know what to do, so she sends the evil minions in to force Kayla into the car. Lynette, it looks like you’re back in the game.
In the town park or something, Julie finally gives it up to Austin. Later, we discover that Austin is in fact getting some vag elsewhere. From none other than… DANIELLE! Shocked? Yeah, me neither. To prove that Austin “isn’t so bad” (aka worthy of Julie’s love in the end), he wants to call things off with Danielle, since, you know, he can hit that sweet chinless ass of Julie’s anytime he wants now. Danielle isn’t so keen on that idea however. Apparently, there is a shortage of inappropriate men that she can sleep with on Wisteria Lane. Talk about walking in your mother’s footsteps.
In prison, Mike is chatting up a fellow convict, and pleading his “amnesia” case. And wouldn’t you know it, sitting at the next table, enjoying a nice bowl of grool, is none other than Paul Young. Alright. That was pretty good.
Before Lynette and Tom head over to Bree’s for dinner, Tom tucks Kayla in, and tells her that she needs to ease up on Lynette. Kayla isn’t really too into that idea, since she blames Lynette for The Babe’s death. Tom tries to deny this, but Kayla’s got the facts: The Babe would’ve never been in that store if Lynette wasn’t trying to get custody of Kayla. At the urging of her father, Kayla promises to be good, but also swears she’ll never love Lynette. VENDETTA!!!!
Gabby confronts Carlos about the flowers, and she finally accepts the fact that he didn’t send them. They have a long talk about how much it sucks to be divorced, and all I keep thinking is how annoying it’ll be in two seasons when they put these two back together.
Bree goes up to the guest room to ask Alma if she’ll stay hidden for a while, as she wants her appearance to be a surprise. The REAL surprise here is that Alma is injecting herself with something in the thigh. I wonder what it is? My first guess? She’s slowly poisoning herself, to frame Orson for her death for real this time. Just throwing it out there.
Everyone is assembled and Bree introduces the main attraction: Alma Hodge ladies and gentlemen. Bree then leans over to Susan, and with all the passive aggression that lies in her Waspy lineage says: “Oh about that apology? Anytime you’re ready.”
Tom is fascinated by Alma’s story of Winnipeg, but it truly shocks me that no one flips out on Alma for the mess she’s caused. I mean, she drove poor, poor Carolyn Bigsby crazy. If she never “disappeared”, Carolyn probably wouldn’t have gone nuts, which means her husband might never have cheated on her, which means Carolyn wouldn’t have held the town hostage. Lynette’s arms would work fine; The Babe would be alive. Hell, Monique might even still be aound to sleep with the three guys on Wisteria Lane she hasn’t banged yet (she’s coming for you Andrew!). But instead, Tom goes on and on about Winnipeg.
Ernie Shaft Hudson shows up to question Orson about Monique’s death, because of Susan’s tip-off. This leads to a showdown between Bree and Susan, where Bree is betrayed, and Susan lets it slip in front of Ian that she went to see Mike the other day. Bree kicks Susan out, and ends their friendship with an icy stare. The scene ends on a funny note though. Gabby and Lynette scramble to make nice with the wayward friends. And then there is Tom, awkwardly left at the table with Alma: “Sooo Winnipeg? It must get pretty cold up there.”
Susan is a mess, but Ian doesn’t care. Of course, this starts Susan rambling and she blurts out an “I love you,” which warms Ian’s heart. Suddenly all is forgiven, because on a TV show, when someone says “I love you,” it’s the end of all ends. All that would complete this scene would be if Ian “comically” fainted.
Oh. And Alma’s moving to Wisteria Lane.
So there it was the first fresh episode of the year. What’d you think?