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My uncle used to have a saying that went, “Smile and the world smiles with you; cry and you laugh alone.” He was of course suffering from syphilis related dementia and lost his life in a tragic prostitution sting gone awry, but that doesn’t make this adage any less valid. As usual this week’s episode of Desperate Housewives has a theme and that theme is smiles. How a smile can mask pain, drip with deceptive hatred, or in some cases, your face really does freeze that way when the syphilis attacks your central nervous system.
We pick up this week’s episode with several residents of Wisteria Lane puzzled by a rash of unexplained vandalism through the neighborhood. Katherine’s laundry was torn from the line and muddied, Bree’s Char-King 5,000 was upended, and one of Lynette’s ginger kid’s skateboards was stolen. ‘Tis truly a case for Sherlock Holmes. Our other resident dead super sleuth, Mary Alice, informs us of the true culprit: Carlos.
It seems Carlos was in the midst of a torrid liaison with Gaby, his ex-wife, when his current life partner, Edie, knocks on the door. As Carlos hides safely around the corner, Gaby opens the door and almost forgets to remove her strap on and zipper mask. Edie is concerned since Carlos left for a run hours ago and still hasn’t returned. It’s obvious that Edie feels something is rotten in the state of Tijuana since she says that Ida Greenberg saw Carlos on Gaby’s porch earlier. Gaby has been living a lie since the day she said she was a 4 foot tall super model, and once again quickly thinks on her size 2 feet. She tells Edie that it’s impossible for him to have been at her house since…..since…..he’s going in your door right now. Oh there he goes. You missed him. Luckily gullibility is a side effect of Edie’s hormone pills so she believes her.
Gaby returns to Carlos, proud of herself for coming up with such a believable lie, until he informs her that Edie will realize he’s not in her home when she goes there. But come on, it is Edie. She’s pretty self obsessed and doesn’t really notice anyone but herself. Gaby runs out and stops Edie as she’s driving away while Carlos scampers off through the neighbor’s back yards. Gaby attempts to stall until Edie finally says, “blow me, munchkin,” or something less direct and speeds off. Carlos goes all Ferris Beuler to beat Edie home as she drives down the street, three houses away. Seriously if anybody has a relief map of this street I really need to see it because I still can’t figure out where everyone lives. Anyway, Edie enters her home to see Carlos standing over broken glass from the back door, which he caused to get in. Carlos tells Edie that someone must have broken in and when Edie tries to hug him, he’s just sweaty enough to have been running for several hours. Edie is still in the dark and the game is still afoot, dear Watson.
“That Bree bitch pooped on my laundry again.”
Mary Alice rambles on telling us that in the suburbs there is nothing more deceptive than a smile. The married husband from Jersey who sneaks off to the Manhole After Dark comes in a close second on the deceptometer, but I digress. We see our core ladies, sans Lynette, sipping their chamomile tea (straight tequila with milk and honey for Bree), gossiping about Julie’s cliffhanging revelation from last week: that Dylan isn’t the same girl she grew up with. Gaby asks Susan to clarify if she means that Dylan has changed or if she was replaced by a robot which is just stu…..hmmmm? I’m filing that theory away for future investigation.
As the ladies chat, they are sidled by Katherine who sneaks up and asks the ladies who their early morning gossip session was about this morning. Like any character on television the ladies fumble and are unable to lie convincingly, which always makes me upset. “I left that report on your desk.” “O, I love Jazz.” “I was tested last month.” How hard is that? Anyway, Katherine says the real reason she came over was to talk to the ladies about Lynette. Since Lynette has been so weak from her chemo she thought it would be nice if they did something nice for her in a nice way. Like a nice lunch? Wouldn’t that be nice? Aww, Katherine is so nice!
Bree loves the idea, although she’s pissed that she didn’t think of it first, and takes the lead to delegate responsibilities. Susan gets drinks since she’s an idiot, Gaby is assigned vegetable lasagna, Katherine can do a simple green salad and Bree says that she will make the dessert herself. Katherine obviously doesn’t understand how the ladies roll there on the Wist Si-eed, and contradicts Brees’s declaration, saying that she would like to make the dessert. Bree ain’t havin’ none of it and says that she always makes dessert. Katherine replies that the movers lost her salad bowls but her pie plates are available. The two volley niceties back and forth, until Susan chimes in that she will be happy to lend Katherine a large salad bowl since Bree’s pie is perfection. Tangy, sweet and flaming red. Katherine rescinds and says that she can’t argue with perfection, but she certainly can correct it. She removes her sewing scissors from their scabbard to cut a loose thread from Bree’s dress. Bree gets that reserved angry look on her face, but it’s probably just the fake-pregnancy hormones.
They both look like they’re in their 20s. See how hard is it to lie?
Next we see Lynette and Tom in the chemo room trying to play cards, and Tom is being a raging pussy. He’s almost on the verge of tears and keeps talking about the good old times, and how much he loves Lynette and does the worst thing a husband can do: lets her win at gin. Lynette is as awesome as ever and kicks Tom out for being such a pussy telling him that he’s bringing her down. I’m totally going to be her for Halloween this year.
“Madam Lynetta sees greeeeeaaaat plot holes in your future”
Carlos comes home to find a sporty little import with a big bumper in his driveway. No not Gaby, it’s a sports car. Edie comes out and explains that it’s Carlos’s birthday gift to her that he is going to purchase with some of his embezzled money from the Cayman’s. Carlos tells her that people will start to ask questions if he begins buying $80,000 cars when he’s supposed to be a poor….whatever he does. I’m not exactly sure what Carlos’s job is supposed to be these days but I’m guessing cigar model. Yea, he’d make a great cigar model. Anyway, Carlos is standing on the receiving end of Edie’s throbbing, veiny hissy fit as she tells him she’ll take the car back before speeding away with another veiled threat about the secrets she knows somehow coming out.
Remember on Six Feet Under when this actor got caught getting pounded in Federico’s living room? Now he’s dating Edie. He’s typecast.
Susan comes to Katherine’s to bring her that salad bowl she mentioned and we are treated to one of those flashback scenes when the ladies were in their 30′s and the bob haircut was wildly popular. Tommy Dorsey topped the charts, headlines declared “Dewey Wins” and the “talky” was the latest invention sweeping the nation. We see Susan and Mary Alice coming to Katherine’s door to inquire about the moving van in her driveway. Katherine tells them that things have been really crazy since she was offered a new job in Chicago and they’re leaving that night. Again, a character on television is unable to lie, even though that’s all these people seem to ever do.
A loud crash is heard from the other room and Katherine yells, “That’s OK. Just keep packing.” Susan’s Botox-senses are tingling and she asks Katherine if she’s OK since she’s so jumpy, but Katherine says she’s fine and tells Susan through tears that she’s really going to miss her before closing the door. Mary Alice then says, “I came back to life for one freakin’ line?” We flash back from the flash back to modern times as Katherine answers the door and once again all hair is right with the world. Susan does some investigating and asks Katherine about her alleged job in Chicago, and right on queue, Katherine lies about it poorly.
“Honey, those creepy Jehovah’s Witnesses are back.”
The next day, Susan and Mike, the most boring snoozer couple in the world, are enjoying a hearty breakfast complete with pancakes, fresh fruit and loads of Mrs. Buttersworth since Susan has quickly adapted to eating for two. Mike asks Susan if she wants to be fat, only exacerbating her already terminal eating disorder. I’m ecstatic when their boring conversation is interrupted by someone to liven up this dull….Oh dear lord it’s that lantern-jaw stick in the mud Julie. What fresh hell is this? She tells her mom that the party she’s going to at the Johnson’s place doesn’t start until 10 so she would like to stay out until 1 AM. Super mom Susan says sure, and reminds her daughter that sex gets you love, before Mike interrupts.
He says that he’s worked on the plumbing after one of the Johnson boy’s parties and snaked some pretty questionable items out of the toilets. Julie says that she doesn’t drink, or poop, so it won’t be a problem, and then Mike shares some of the wild moments from his misspent youth, including the time he renewed his subscription to the Sunday New York Times and successfully completed the crossword puzzle, in pen! Susan is caught in the middle of the back and forth and when she wakes up she sides with Mike saying that the party doesn’t sound safe for a teenage girl. Julie storms out, well actually more like saunters out boringly, to the next room to finish her DNA model. Not for school, just for fun!
Dear God, he even puts himself to sleep.
Miss McCluskey, the patron saint of all things sexy, stops Dylan as she’s passing and mentions how much she’s grown up. McCluskey tells Dylan that she used to baby-sit her (to earn money for her modeling headshots) and mentions something about Dylan’s dad. Dylan is visibly confused since she has no memory of her dad and her mom had always told her that her dad ran off before Dylan was born. The thick plottens.
Just a little something for the male and lesbian readers.
The chemo lunch is well under way as all the ladies buzz about and dote on Lynette. Salad, lasagna, and drinks have already been served and now it’s Bree’s time to shine as she serves up her world famous lemon meringue pie. The ladies all take a bite and announce that it’s the best pie they’ve ever had and could just bury their face in that pie all day. Bree takes a taste and realizes that she’s fallen victim to the oldest trick in the book: the pie switcharoo. Katherine declares she is guilty and switched them out when Bree was busy cleaning her gun and keeping Jews out of her country club. Katherine is a master of passive aggression and says she just wanted Bree to taste her pie and give some tips since everyone says she’s the master baker on the block.
You can cut the tension in the air with a plastic surgeon’s scalpel, so Susan decides to discuss something more pleasant and asks Lynette about her chemo. Lynette tells the ladies that she married a raging pussy and would like one of her friends to come with her to chemo instead of Tom from now on. Everyone, including Katherine, agrees to sit with her but Gaby remains oddly silent. The main reason I love Lynette is that she never backs down from a confrontation and this is no exception. Later Lynette confronts Gaby about her refusal to offer her services as chemo buddy. Lynette tells Gaby that she’s the most fun and she needs that during chemo. Obviously Lynette doesn’t think Susan’s pratfalls are fun either. Gaby gives in and agrees to come to with Lynette to her next good old fashioned chemo party.
You com-a with me to chemo or I’ll mess up-a you-a face!
Later that day, Bree is buzzing about her kitchen while angrily explaining Katherine’s deception to her husband, Agent Dale Cooper. Bree is experimenting with all different kinds of ingredients in an effort to surpass or match Katherine’s pie. Of course Bree prides herself on having the best pie in the neighborhood and this bridge and tunnel cross eyed bitch isn’t going to usurp her power. Agent Cooper tried to convince Bree that she has to bite the bullet and ask Katherine for her recipe. Bree agrees since her cooking is the only thing that makes her special. Agent Cooper reminds her that she can also do that trick with a stack of quarters.
Bree gives in, proceeds to Katherine’s house, and offers up her recipe for her world famous mince meat pie in exchange for Katherine’s lemon meringue recipe. Katherine takes Bree’s offering but says that she doesn’t share her secret, family recipes. Bree says that it’s not fair since she just shared a secret recipe and then Katherine has the audacity to suggest that Bree got her recipe from a Betty Crocker cookbook. At this point Bree whips out a throwing star from her bra and impales Katherine’s skull. Back in reality, Bree actually loses her waspy cool and asks Katherine why she is so determined to get off on the wrong foot. Katherine didn’t appreciate Bree assigning dishes for the lunch that Katherine recommended. “It’s tradition,” Bree replies. “I always organize the lunches.” Katherine replies, “Well how lovely I’m back and can shoulder that burden for you.” Katherine does give Bree one word of advice and says that to surpass Katherine’s pie recipe she just needs to find the perfect blend of sweet and sour. Bree says, “You’ve certainly mastered that, dear.” Remember the scene with Uma Thurman and Vivica A. Fox in Kill Bill? I wanna see that with these two.
Ya see when a problem comes along, Bree knows what she must do.
Since Susan’s chest has filled out a little bit due to the pregnancy, she is planning an evening of skinny, boring, nerdy sex with Mike. To do this she has to get Julie out of the house because, well because Mike’s a screamer, so Susan secretly lets Julie go to the party as long as she doesn’t tell Mike. Later that night Susan strides into the bedroom wearing her new revealing lingerie, daringly cut above the ankle. Before they can begin their elbowy, pasty, quiet-sex Mike mentions that he drove by the party earlier in the evening and saw how raucous it was and predicts that the police will be called any minute.
Susan remembers she has a daughter and unconvincingly lies to Mike saying that they can’t have sex without whipped cream so she’s going to run to the store. Mike believes her and chalks it up to pregnancy cravings as she frantically runs out. Susan rushes to the party to save her daughter from the clutches of horny teenage boys, and barges in with her baby boobs knocking over kids left and right. The birthday boy can’t believe that his friends actually got him a stripper, but can’t understand why the stripper looks like a Wal-Mart greeter. Susan stumbles away from the horny boy (something I would never do, but to each their own I suppose), and finds Julie sipping orange soda and behaving herself. Susan has never remained rational in her life so she continues this streak and drags Julie and Dylan home.
“Oh my God, Mom. Your face is scary this close up.”
When mother and daughter get home they share a heartwarming moment when Susan confesses that she’s having a difficult time balancing her new boring husband and her old lame daughter. Julie is of course the level headed one and says that she knows that her mom loves her and she just needs to be honest, make decisions and stick to them. No more flip-flopping. Binge, purge. Binge, purge. Pick one and stick with it, Mom! They enter the house and the jig is up since Mike got a call from someone asking why Julie left the party early with a sexy stripper. Mike, it’s pronounced, sexagenarian stripper.
When did Janice Dickinson join this cast?
Meanwhile Carlos and Edie are celebrating her birthday alone with a sad little cake. Carlos gave Edie carte blanche to purchase her own birthday gift, within reason, and she chooses to surprise him with the gift in an envelope. Carlos opens it to find a card with the word “yes” written in tranny script. Edie gets down on one knee and Carlos gladly begins to unzip. He quickly realizes that Edie is blowing, she’s proposing. Edie warns Carlos that angry, disappointed people talk and the IRS may find out about his shady dealings. Poor, selfless Edie is making this sacrifice only to save Carlos when the time comes that she is asked to testify against him. Carlos begrudgingly agrees and begins making plans to move to Vermont where their love that dare not speak its name will be recognized.
Edie’s dream wedding gown.
After coercing Gaby to join her at the hospital for chemo, Lynette is left sitting alone in her head scarf. Gaby finally comes back in after a half hour with some magazines to keep Lynette entertained including Us Weekly and Black Inches. Gaby continues to make excuses to leave the room until Awesome Lynette finally calls Gaby on her bullshit. Gaby confesses that when she was a little girl her father was diagnosed with bone cancer and died ten months later. Thanks for the pep talk, Gaby! Gaby’s father would never let her cry as he lay in the hospital dying and thanks to his stern instructions; Gaby learned how to make a career out of smiling for the camera even when she didn’t feel like it. Tears flow and the two bitches hug it out.
Nobody even cares about my sex tape!
Bree is still obsessing over Pie-gate ’07 when she finally realizes that as the head of the neighborhood watch association, she has the keys to Katherine’s house. When Katherine and her daughter drive off to run an errand, Bree breaks into Katherine’s house looking like a cat burglar with a beer belly. Before she can cut the lock to the recipe box with bolt cutters she borrowed from Mike, Katherine, Dylan and Sam return from their errand and walk in the house with Dylan questioning her mother about the location of her alleged deadbeat dad and spouting off the information Miss McCluskey spilled.
Bree stands in the room with a lampshade on her head and listens in on the conversation as Dylan grows angry and screams at her mother. Katherine don’t take no crap, so she hauls off and slaps her daughter across the face, causing Dylan to run to her room crying. Bree then overhears Sam and Katherine saying that they have to start coming up with better lies or they’re going to get caught. Bree realizes that the pie recipe isn’t nearly as important as potential blackmail so she returns home to tell Agent Cooper what she overheard.
Luckily she already looks like a mannequin so she just has to stand perfectly still.
As Mary Alice speaks to us from beyond the grave about the power of a smile, we see all the ladies, including Katherine, holding a chemo party with Lynette at the hospital. The room is decorated with balloons and streamers and the only thing lacking is a big “GO CHEMO” banner. Meanwhile Carlos is across the tracks at a seedy bar talking to a mysterious stranger. We overhear him saying that he has a real chance to get back together with his ex-wife but there’s this dude-looks-like-a-lady standing in the way. Carlos slides an envelope of cash across the table and says that he needs her to go away. The man takes the cash and agrees to help Carlos get rid of his little problem.
“I’ve never done one of these speed dating things. What do you do? Oh, a hired killer. That sounds interesting. Tell me about that”
Will Edie be a victim of tranny-cide? Will Bree figure out this whole pie fiasco? What is the deal with Katherine? How can she find time to mastermind an intricate conspiracy against her daughter and the neighborhood AND create the perfect lemon meringue pie recipe? Hopefully all these questions will be answered soon, but until then let us know what you thought.