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It was inevitable that after the best episode in years last week, Desperate Housewives would hit a lull with the follow-up. I mean, you can only kill The Babe and Aunt Jackie once, so how do you come back from that? But while I was expecting a complete and utter collapse, we were still treated to a pretty meaty episode that gave us a few new shades to old mysteries. Why was Mike’s large tool was needed in the Monique murder investigation? What is the secret that Orson’s mother is holding over her son’s head? Meanwhile, we were introduced to some new mysteries, most notably: Just how nice is new nice guy neighbor, Art? Find out after the jump…I know that this is going to be a humdinger of a Desperate Housewives episode because my lady love, Karen McClusky is a major part of the open. You see Karen, besides being a Grade-A hottie, is also the Wisteria Lane “helper”. She goes around to people’s houses and paints there garage doors when they are starting to look a little lackluster, takes down errant Christmas lights in mid-Spring, etc. She’s even been know to shave Edie Britt’s scrotum when it’s become too unseemly, making her the best neighbor ever. But you see, like the true bad girl she is, Karen isn’t doing these things out of the kindness of her heart, but rather to gain the upper hand on her fellow Wisteria Lane dwellers. Believe me, I know from experience, Karen McClusky likes to be on top.
On this particular day, Mrs. McClusky is lurking around Mike Delfino’s house as Edie is fixing it up for her returning amnesiac beau. I guess Mike’s seemingly endless Health Insurance finally ran out and he is being evicted from Chez Hospital. Mrs. McDoMe needs a favor, but Edie isn’t too keen on it. It seems Edie is too busy getting ready for that bank job she has planned at Wisteria Lane Federal Credit Union:
Mrs. McClusky thinks that Edie will see things her way, when she correctly deduces that Edie is at Mike’s house to hide any trace of Mike’s relationship with Susan. Unfortunately for Edie, Mrs. McClusky has a stash of pictures of Mike and Susan look happy as two skeletons can look. Seriously Mike, eat something. Mrs. McClusky not-so-vaguely threatens that she can show these pictures to Mike at anytime. Wait a second, I thought that Vampires DIDN’T show up in pictures? Weird. Edie breaks and Mrs. McClusky is bought off with Mike’s lawnmower.
It’s that horrible time of the year again: Girl Scout time. Sure, who doesn’t love a Samoa cookie (frozen Samoas… mmmmmm), but come on, aren’t Girl Scouts like the scariest ever? No? Just me? Whatever. Sadly, these little bloodsuckers don’t even have a Samoa or Thin Mint under their arms but rather are selling magazine subscriptions. One has the misfortune of heading over to the Solis household where Gabby is doing her best Norma Desmond meets Naomi Campbell impression. This girl is wildly impressed by the fact that Gabby used to be a model, thus giving Gabby an excuse to bust out her overstuffed portfolio. I suspended the belief that Eva could be such a successful model, despite her 5’2″ stature, but so many covers in so little time? However, it is hysterical that while Gabby is sipping Red Wine (isn’t it like 10 am?) there is a wine glass full of Milk for her new little fan.
Later on Gabby, Bree and Susan are waiting in front of the Scavo house for Lynette, who is returning home from the hospital after her brush with Aunt Jackie-style death. While they are waiting Gabby tells Bree and Susan that she is planning a triumphant return to modeling. The women feign concern that this career move could take Gabby away from Wisteria Lane and to New York, but let’s be honest, even when “acting” this scene SkeleHatcher and KimberBree were probably fantasizing about getting this Maxim-cover stealing hussy off their show for good.
Lynette finally arrives to cheers and adulation from her friends and children. She offhandedly mentions that Kayla, the orphan whose mother just took a slug to the chest and whom The Babe left to Lynette’s keeping with her last dying breath, is staying with her grandmother. It seems that the Minions of Darkness Lynette refers to as her children are unaware that she was shot, involved in a hostage situation and that The Babe is no longer with the living.
Upon getting home, Lynette notices new hero on the block Art in his yard across the street and rushes over to thank him. She gets a little choked up, and promises to bake the guy a cake. The scene is played rather well, as there is a touch of many different things, that the wonderful Felicity Huffman touches on in the scene, most notably, obviously, gratitude.
At the Hodge house, Andrew and Bree are stuffing the Christmas family newsletter together. I imagine it reads something like this:
Now I understand, and fully enjoy, the fact that Andrew is no longer an evil genius, but stuffing Christmas family newsletter with his mother? Come on…
Anyway, Bree needs Orson’s mother’s nursing home’s address. Orson gets all Shady Von Shadenstein on this point, wrapping himself in lies deeper and deeper. Dr. Giggles, you can do better than this. It is revealed that Orson’s mother is something of a monster who lives in nursing home not miles and miles away, but simply in the next town. Bree thinks this is totally awesome, but Orson gets his scary on, when he yells at Bree telling her that she is not to invite his mother to the house. She may however, send her the newsletter. Orson, boobie, don’t you realize that giving your meddling wife your mother’s address all but guarantees you that she will, in fact, bring your potentially evil mother to the house for tea and crumpets? On a related note, Bree doesn’t even blink at the fact that Orson has leveled yet another lie on her. In Bree’s defense, it may be because Marcia Cross has lost the ability to blink. WHY DOES SHE LOOK LIKE THAT!?!?!
Across the street (I say that somewhat in passing, as in three years I have no real clue as to where these women live, geographically speaking, on Wisteria Lane), Susan and Ian are returning early from their date. Susan is concerned about Julie since she was just in a life threatening hostage crisis. If only Cindy Walsh had been so concerned with Brenda after her stick-up at The Peach Pit maybe she wouldn’t have run off to Paris – indefinitely.
What Susan and Ian find in the house is not so much a post-traumatic stress afflicted Julie as a horned up sex-pot. Yes, that’s right, Julia and Austin are finally getting their swerve on! Sure, they may be the teenagers with the worst reflexes ever – Susan and Ian fumble for the lights and chat up a storm for a few moments in the living room, before Julia and Austin realize they have Parents in the Mist – but they are tots in love!
Susan doesn’t handle this well, because, after all, Austin is a Bad Boy. Didn’t you know? Well in case you didn’t, it’s all be assured, when Susan tells him to get his shirt and go and he answers: “I didn’t bring one.” Okay, that was funny. Austin is kicked out of the house, and Julie and Susan get into a pretty entertaining brawl. Julie makes some good points by saying she can date whom she wants, and that Austin may have saved her life in the Grocery Store (although he couldn’t even wrestle Aunt Jackie with much success). But Susan steals the scene with this hilarious, yet completely irrational rant after she tells Julie that she is going to be home schooled so that she is kept away from Austin: “Yes, and you will be poorly educated and you won’t get into college and you will work for minimum wage for the rest of your life, all because of that boy. I hope you’re happy.” Well-played Susan. Well-played indeed! And just to reiterate my thoughts of the last few weeks, and to solidify my 180 degree turn on Julie Mayer, when you can’t hold your own opposite Teri Hatcher, a talented woman, no doubt, but no Helen Hayes, the First Lady of the American Stage, it’s time to retire from the acting game.
Remember a few weeks ago when I snored through some Carlos and Gabby scenes, well this week it’s Mike and Edie. Who cares? The only relevant aspect of this scene is the fact that upon Mike’s arrival home, Edie has redecorated with naughty pictures of herself everywhere. Oh Edie! When Mike gets his memory back you are going to be in so much trouble!
Gabby has flown to New York and taken a meeting with her old boss. The woman is only moderately happy to see Gabby since, as we have learned, our little Latina spitfire can be somewhat volatile. Gabby is ready to jump back into the modeling game, even though she is way over the hill at the ripe old age of 30. You see in the modeling world, you age rapidly, sort of like dog years, but with a better general odor. At 16 you’re young, at 22 you’re ripe, at 30 you’re over the hill and once you hit 40 you actually start to devolve into Janice Dickinson.
Bree, finding it impossible to stand by her man, heads to the nursing home where his mother has been stashed. Bree finds Orson’s mom, and expects her to be an old, senile, bibbling granny pants. Qu’ell Surprise! (Sorry I have Taylor Townsend Tourette’s), because not only does this woman have all her faculties, but she’s also Julia Sugarbaker! Under that salt and pepper wig lays our favorite Designing Woman (okay, second favorite – who didn’t love,
Charlene?), the woman who practically invented the comedic rant. Remember how in like every
episode of Designing Women, Julia would get all riled up about something and go on some longwinded and righteous tirade about it? Sure, it was a little cloying, but admit it, you always felt that you’d like Julia on your side in a fight, whether it be with the debate team or a bar brawl. We immediately sense something is afoot with this lady as she is clearly manipulating Bree into bringing her home with her. We also know that Bree is going to fall for whatever Grandma Sugarbaker throws at her since Bree is completely devoid of any kind of Spidey Sense.
Lynette and Tom are waiting for the kids to get off the bus, when we learn that Lynette is getting time off with pay to recover from her bullet wound. When the Devil’s Rejects get off the bus, they immediately attack their mother with questions about getting shot and Auntie Nora’s death. It seems that Lynette and Tom underestimated the children in their kids’ classes’ ability to get pretty basic information and pass it along. The jig is up Scavos! Tom and Lynette tell their kids the truth and that Auntie Nora is in heaven. This leads to one of the more unfortunate lines of the evening when Lynette responds to that under her breath with, “Or wherever…”
So I understand that I’m biased because I was in the minority of people who loved The Babe (it’s you and me Donna Martin Graduates!), but can this be seen as anything BUT cold when Lynette, who in no small way was the conduit of The Babe’s death, shows no remorse over the fact that the woman is dead? More over, she condemns her to hell? Not cool.
All this mayhem and bloodshed only gets the twins more excited. In fact they are beginning to plan their own mini-massacre on the spot, and let’s just say things aren’t going to end so well for poor, barely seen Penny. Parker, however, isn’t so pleased. He’s scared that his mother is going to get shot again even though Aunt Jackie took one to the skull.
At Susan’s, Julie is sneaking out of her grounding with Austin on his Bad Boymobile. That’s right – Austin’s got a motorcycle! I can’t wait until the Very Special Episode in which Austin gets a tribal tattoo on his bicep. True Bad Boy!
This leads Susan to confront Edie about the unnatural pairing. Edie, as usual when it comes to her confrontations with Susan, ends up looking like the sane rational man, woman, I mean woman, in the argument. Susan, wants Austin to stay away from Julie, considering everything from attack dogs to building a moat to inviting her mother to stay with her (if Leslie Ann Warren doesn’t keep people away from Susan’s house, I don’t know what will) in order to keep the kids apart, but Edie offers the more rational choice of letting it run its course. Edie’s right when she suggests that trying to keep the two horned up teenagers apart will only drive them closer together. It’s just like me and Scarlett Johansson – the harder her lawyers try to keep us apart the more aggressively I stalk. But Susan is beyond logic (shocker, I know), suggesting that if things continue to progress like this Julie could end up giving Austin her carnal treasure. Edie laughs at this, since she has a box of condoms in her house, and she can only account for the few she and Mike have used. Could it be? Did Julie do the nasty with the Bad Boy of Wisteria Lane? Edie gets a good parting shot in by saying that she knows that if two people are meant to be, then they will be together no matter what. Enter Mike on the porch.
Lynette needs to go to the dreaded grocery store but Parker is freaking out. I’ve started to create a nickname for Parker, but I think it is somewhat inappropriate for a 7 year old so let’s go with Parker the Wussy. He clings to his mother’s leg, begging her not go. He sends Mrs. McClusky instead, because if anything happens to her no one will care. Well, almost no one. My heart. My soul. My everything.
In what is presumably New York, Gabby is getting ready for her photo shoot where she is trying to befriend, a younger model who she mistakes for inexperienced, buy I mistake for Mufasa:
The young model, not so subtly is a symbolic of the successful model Gabby once was. This point is even more thoroughly driven home when Gabby finds out she is playing the mother in the photo shoot. Ouch.
Of course Gabby, having no sense of reality, is completely shocked by this develpment. She decides that she’ll take matters into her own hands and dress up as the sexy older sister coming home from college to cause trouble, although in this outfit she looks more like the cheap hooker dad brought home while mom was out.
This gets Gabby in trouble with the photographer, and later her agent who tells us what we’ve all been thinking: YOU’RE TOO GODDAMN SHORT TO BE A MODEL. Oh, wait. That’s not right. She says that she’s too GODDAMN OLD TO BE A MODEL. My bad.
Meanwhile, Susan has hatched a plan to make Julie and Austin, what are the kids saying nowadays, donezies? Isn’t that the catchphrase Nicole Richie uses on Laguna Real Rules Challenge? Susan is much better at playing the good cop so she invites Carl over to scare some sense into Austin. The plan backfires though because if Carl were to be depicted in animation form he’s really just a dumber version Homer Simpson. Sweet, I guess, but dim. Austin spills the beans about Susan dating Ian, which sends Carl right into a tizzy. Yes, that’s right a jealous tizzy! He forbids Susan from seeing Ian anymore, but when Julie chimes in saying that no one can tell a woman who she should date (except Borat, I suppose), Susan 100% agrees. Wait a second. Did they just Duck Season/Rabbit Season Susan Mayer? Yes, yes they did.
Parker the, uhh, Wussy, is still scared that his mom is going to get gunned down, unlike his Damien-like brothers, who are out playing war, so Lynette calls over to Art for some help. Art comes to the house and Lynette and he perform a lame skit to convince Parker that Art is a superhero protecting the Scavos. Parker is skeptical at first, but is totally blown away when “Protector Man” shows costume which is a t-shirt with a big “P” on it (Art went to Purdue). The fact that Parker fell for this is sad, mostly because in the upcoming weeks Lynette will find out that her son is diagnosed with mental retardation. Dude, seriously, Protector Man? You bought that?
Ernie Shaft Hudson is headed over to Mike’s house after discovering that the potential Monique murder weapon was a pipe wrench that is mostly used by professional plumbers. Unfortunately for E.S.H. there is no wrench, or toolbox, to be found at the Delfino residence. Well, except for Mike of course.
In a nice little twist, Mrs. McClusky heads over to Mike’s later to return the toolbox she borrowed from him. She even tells him that he might want to clean his wrench because there is something on it. Hmm… Where does Mrs. McClusky fit into this whole Monique-murder mystery? Was she also getting a taste of the increasingly promiscuous dead Monique? I wouldn’t be surprised. Who could turn this down?
Dinner with Grandma Sugarbaker isn’t going all that well, considering that Orson is furious that his mother is even in his presence. Okay, you win! I’m interested in what the deal is here. Grandma Sugarbaker even seems like she’s getting a bum wrap with Orson announcing that he sold her home and all her belongings out from under her. But instead of gently sobbing and garnering sympathy, true colors are revealed when she tells Orson that she should have “Smothered him in his sleep.” Andrew gets the best line, when after Orson’s mother leaves the table, he asks: “So… can we call her Grandma?” New favorite character alert! Well, maybe if he shaves his Justin Timberlake-who-do-you-think-you’re-kidding facial hair.
Julie and Susan somewhat make up, but Susan is really in the dumps about Mike and Edie. There’s that self-centered stick figure we all know and love!
Grandma Sugarbaker is being sent back to her Nursing Home with little fanfare from her son, Orson. Bree, on the other hand, wants to make amends. She’s so blind to the fact that Grandma Sugarbaker is a loon that she even gets into the car with her. This leads to a not-too-funny scene where Grandma Sugarbaker drives the car like a madwoman into a fire hydrant. Snore.
Now Bree wants Grandma Sugarbaker to stay with them, because nothing says family bonding like attempted vehicular manslaughter. Orson and his mother have a moment to themselves, in
which she blackmails him into letting her accept Bree’s offer. There’s some kind of major secret that these two share, which could be potentially very dangerous to Dr. Giggles life. I’m just very interested in how the Monique and Alma mysteries intersect, what they have to do with Mike’s time in the big house, and how suicide factors in to all of it (remember when Orson lost it when Andrew jokes about Danielle’s melodramatic suicide attempt?). Hey, it’s better than a mentally challenged brother locked up in the basement.
The next morning, Susan intercepts Gabby coming home from New York, while she’s on a run. The SkeleHatcher frame doesn’t keep itself, you know. Gabby announces that she’s done with the modeling thing, and poor Teri Hatcher has to pretend that sh’es happy to not lose her friend.
In one of the creepier twists of the season, Lynette is dropping off the Gratitude Cake that she promised Art. Lynette heads over with Parker, but Art’s not answering the door. But wouldn’t you know it, the door is open. How convenient! Lynette lets herself into this stranger’s house (who does that? Oh that’s right – EVERYONE on television), planning to just leave the cake and a note. Parker is entranced by a train set on the floor, which leads him into Art’s basement. With Lynette in hot pursuit, they check out the basement which is filled with tons and tons of toys. Much like Neverland Ranch, however, it isn’t just toys in the basement, but also a wall of pictures of children in various stages of undress.
So I’ve watched the scene again, and I smell a red herring. I’m pretty sure that we’re going to discover that Art isn’t really the pedophile Lynette thinks he is. The pictures on the wall, while disturbing, are all of boys with their shirts off and in swimming trunks, and for some reason, I’m thinking that maybe Art is some kind of Children’s photographer for like magazines and things. That would explain the toys and the pictures. I could be totally wrong, and actually hope I am. I think that Lynette taking on a pedophile in the neighborhood would be really effective television. I just think it’s too easy. And remember, Art has that invalid sister that he’s taking care of; perhaps she has something to do with the pictures? Like child pornography is the only cure for her type of cancer or something. I don’t know, I just get the distinct vibe that all is not what it seems here.
So what do we think? Is Art a pedophile?