So IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m confused. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been recapping Desperate Housewives all season now and I think IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m fairly familiar with how the show goes. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s essentially a big soap opera that mixes all sorts of elements from comedy to drama with the added benefit of watching Teri HatcherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face morph into the Joker (donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe me? Look at this). But there has always been a dark undercurrent to the storylines. Murders, lies, suicide, etc. Last night’s episode, however, took me by surprise. And not in a good way. It had to be one of the most absurd hours of television IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen all year. I mean think of the weirdest premise you can think of, like the Vice President of the United States shooting a 78-year-old man in the face with a shotgun. OK, maybe thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a little too weird, but you get my point. Every aspect of virtually every storyline was so over the top and the acting by the entire cast was so shticky that I actually said Ã¢â‚¬Å“WTF?Ã¢â‚¬? out loud at least three times. Which was weird because I normally donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just blurt out letters. Now sure, the title of the episode was Ã¢â‚¬Å“Silly PeopleÃ¢â‚¬? so I guess thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what they were going for, but for me it was less Ã¢â‚¬Å“sillyÃ¢â‚¬? and more Ã¢â‚¬Å“bizarrely annoying.Ã¢â‚¬?
But first let me apologize. My TiVo, otherwise known as “The greatest invention in the history of man. Even better than penicillin,” had a brain fart and didn’t save the episode so the screencaps are culled from the internet. My apologies because I was really thinking of using a great shot of Teri Hatcher’s disintegrating face to go with my undeniably funny title. Ah wellÃ¢â‚¬Â¦The tone was set right from the beginning when we saw Bree attending a dinner party with yet another nameless group of high society types. The hostess is Maxine Bennett, played by the otherwise hilarious comedic actress Jane Lynch. Her parties are always wonderful and her food is always perfectly prepared and served. Maxine insists that she does all of it herself, but Bree doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t buy it. Everything is just too perfect and she knows for a fact that the food she serves takes hours to prepare. Once Bree voices her suspicions to the others, there is a knock at the door. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the F.B.I. with a warrant. They go into the kitchen and lo and behold there is a young Chinese immigrant woman preparing the food. Maxine is arrested for involuntary servitude. So the show starts with a woman getting caught for having a Chinese immigrant slave. A Chinese immigrant slave who is a better chef than Wolfgang Puck.
As Gabrielle is coming home from a day of shopping she sees the former Chinese slave with the priest and Carlos in her front yard. Carlos tells her that he has agreed to keep her there for a few days while they arrange a trip for her to return to China. At first Gabrielle is fuming at the idea, but then one day she sees that the slave girl is cooking gourmet food and doing a super professional job at sewing her fancy garments. If only Russian mail order brides were this talented, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be living on easy street. Instead IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got cigarette burns on the carpet and an itch that wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go away. Also, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worth pointing out that throughout this entire episode Eva LongoriaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s idea of comedic acting is to overact every line to such a degree that it is painfully unfunny.
She tries to regain her reputation with the viewers (namely me) in the next scene with Carlos as he strips her down to her underwear trying to get some. She isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that interested and spends the entire time trying to convince him that they should keep the Chinese girl on as their maid, and when Carlos refuses to agree, she refuses to surrender the pink. Oh Gaby! At least she didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t call Carlos a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mexican bike copÃ¢â‚¬?.
Later we see Gabrielle sitting in front of the mirror while Xiao Mei (thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the maid’s name) is brushing her hair as Gabrielle tries to convince her to stay. Unfortunately while Xiao Mei can make a perfect five star, six course meal for 12 people, she cannot speak rudimentary English, cuz that makes total sense. When Xiao Mei spies a bracelet on her table Gabrielle says that it isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worth much and she can have it. Xiao Mei is so thrilled that later when she is about to go she refuses and tells the priest, through her interpreter, that she thinks of them as family and wants to stay and work for them.
When Bree is coming home from the grocery store Susan and Edie walk across the street to talk to her. I’m not sure if their comical walks are supposed to be on purpose or if they both have an odd sort of hip dysplasia due to their advanced age. Either way it’s annoying. They are confronting Bree about why she is all of a sudden buddy buddy with the Applewhites when only yesterday she was the one who was the most suspicious. Bree is of course being blackmailed so she can’t say anything, so she just tells them that she knows what she is doing.
Later she is berating Danielle for betraying the family by telling Matthew about Andrew running over Mrs. Solis. Danielle tells Bree that if sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really nice to Mrs. Applewhite then she would tell her why they are hiding Caleb. Bree then realizes that her daughter isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the sharpest tool in the shed. I say, sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about as sharp as a bag full of wet mice. She reminds me of Paul RevereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ride. A little light in the belfryÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. Sorry, I just canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t resist pulling out my Foghorn Leghorn impression.
The next morning Bree decides to take things into her own hands. When Betty and Matthew leave the house she decides to break into the house herself to confront Caleb. She of course brings some apple cobbler for him. When she asks him why he is hiding in the house he says he is normally in the basement. He shows her his room and when she sees the shackles she asks him why. He says itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s because he hurt a girl, and she died. Her name was Melanie, and Ã¢â‚¬Å“she was pretty. Just like you.Ã¢â‚¬? Wow. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s awkward.
When next we see Bree, Betty is knocking at her door. It seems Caleb told her a pretty red haired lady came visiting today. She starts to threaten Bree until Bree interrupts her and tells her Ã¢â‚¬Å“DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you want to know what we talked about?Ã¢â‚¬? in that smug Ã¢â‚¬Å“I got you by the ballsÃ¢â‚¬? tone that we have come to know so well. Bree knows about Melanie Foster and how he hurt her. He tells Betty that it’s time for her to tell her everything. Betty then spills the beans. Matthew was dating a girl named Melanie Foster and after they broke up, Caleb convinced her to meet him at a local lumber yard. Yep, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right. A pretty debutante was talked into meeting a retarded guy in her middle of the night at a lumber yard. Oddly enough things donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go as planned and in a fit of rage, when she rejects his pleas of love, Caleb kills her. Betty blames herself and says that it is her job to protect him. That is when they decided to move away with Caleb and keep him hidden. And at that moment, the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most boring storyline was born.
At the office with the Scavos, we see Tom’s character has devolved into a bumbling oaf, as pretty much everyone has this episode. He begs Lynette to help him get in good with Ed the boss, who has been killing all his pitches. She says that he is going to have to find a way to click with him on his own. When we see him bombing over a bacon pitch, he offhandedly mentions that he was in a fraternity. This gets fellow frat boy Ed going and he invites him to lunch. The ploy works, as in the next meeting Tom and Ed are buddies, with Ed making bets about how many M&M’s Tom can catch in his mouth. Ed ends it by hurling one in his eye, laughing. Yeah, this happens in corporate America. Things escalate when next up Ed bets Tom that he canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t eat an entire glazed donut out of the toilet. The CEO of a corporation is betting an employee to drink urinal water to the cheers of the employees. Even though Lynette tries to stop him he goes through with it saying that Ã¢â‚¬Å“this is his moment.Ã¢â‚¬? Oh Tom. Eating a urine-soaked donut wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make you cool. I know, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been there. Mrs. KuhlenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first grade class. I bet everyone I could drink the urinal water. For those few hours I was no longer the quiet shy kid in the corner furiously writing a snarky recap in my Trapper Keeper about last night’s Riptide, the cool show about detective brothers who live on a boat, hoping that someday I could do something with my talent. No, for those few precious hours, I was the coolest guy in school. Then I realized that I was about to, you know, drink urinal water, and even in first grade I had the wits about me to realize that that was a bad idea. Tom doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have these wits.
The next day when Ed calls Tom Ã¢â‚¬Å“Toilet BowlÃ¢â‚¬? he realizes that he made a mistake. But, he says, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how Ã¢â‚¬Å“guys do business.Ã¢â‚¬? Funny, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve worked for many Ã¢â‚¬Å“guysÃ¢â‚¬? in the corporate world for years now and they never dare me to drink my own urine. That went out in the eighties after the big Ã¢â‚¬Å“CEO of Aetna eats his own feces at board meetingÃ¢â‚¬? brouhaha. Lynette, being the loving wife she is, decides to put an end to it and calls Ed out in front of everyone. She tells Ed to dare her to do something and if she wins he will agree to stop the shenanigans. At first she suggests that she show up to work topless, but thankfully he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go for it. Instead he dares her to eat a pound of raw bacon. CÃ¢â‚¬â„¢mon. A CEO of a company daring someone to eat raw pork? The Apprentice is more believable. The only way this show can regain my respect is if next week we see Lynette dealing with the onset of a trichinosis infection from eating raw meat. Namely diarrhea, vomiting and muscle fatigue. That show I would love to recap.
Susan meanwhile, has once again found herself in a bit of a pickle. She needs an operation on her Ã¢â‚¬Å“wandering spleen,Ã¢â‚¬? because things like Ã¢â‚¬Å“cancerÃ¢â‚¬? and Ã¢â‚¬Å“kidney transplantÃ¢â‚¬? just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the slapsticky name quality that Ã¢â‚¬Å“wandering spleenÃ¢â‚¬? has. The problem is that her former manager, who was charged with embezzlement, let her insurance policy lapse. Now, I know the insurance industry and can assure you that stuff like that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen and if it does she can get COBRA insurance to cover it. But hey they needed to fill an hour of air time this week and we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have Susan slipping on banana peels the whole time. Susan is going to Karl and Edie for help. Paul offers to get into it with the insurance company, but her surgery is scheduled for next week. Edie then comes up with a brilliant idea. She can marry someone and get their coverage. They just need to find someone to go along with the sham marriage. Voila! Problem solved through good old insurance fraud.
Edie sets up a meeting at a local diner with her friend Gary who has agreed to go through with the fake marriage. It turns out that Gary needs a sham marriage as well. Gary is gay and his aging mother told him that the only reason she hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t died yet is because she is waiting for him to get married. And Gary needs the inheritance. This causes Susan to pause, which makes me laugh since it was her idea to commit the insurance fraud in the first place.
The next day Susan shows up at the local quickie marriage chapel. Apparently this show takes place in Nevada. When Susan goes inside she meets GaryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life partner Steven who is inexplicably jealous and angry at her for fake marrying his boyfriend. Once they are at the alter Gary and Steven get into a huge fight about why he will go through the fake wedding but not fly to Holland and get married there. No sure why they need to go to Holland. They can go to Vermont and even the fair state of Connecticut, both of which offer civil unions for gay couples. And hey, while youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re here why donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you take in the sights. Visit the USS Nautilus, AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first nuclear submarine, at the Navy shipyards in Groton. Go to beautiful Mystic seaport and have some Mystic Pizza, which isn’t really that great, but hey they kinda filmed a movie there. And donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t forget our capitol city of Hartford, CT, home of the historic Old State house, site of the Amistad trials. Hartford: New EnglandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Rising Star!
Anyhoo. The fight gets out of hand and Gary is forced to not go through with the wedding. This sends a dejected Susan back to Karl who reluctantly agrees to marry her himself. He figures they did it before they might as well do it again. And it will help alleviate some of his guilt for walking out on her. She agrees but they both promise not to tell Edie, as she would go nuts.
Finally we end the episode on the only semi Ã¢â‚¬Å“seriousÃ¢â‚¬? storyline. Mysterious dying millionaire Noah Taylor, who for some reason is being nursed by the evil Felicia who is no doubt hatching all sorts of evil plans, gets an anonymous letter. The letter simply states Ã¢â‚¬Å“You have a grandson.Ã¢â‚¬? The grandson of course being the oh so creepy Zach. Mike Delfino, you see, never told him about Zach and even told him that DeirdreÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s killer was some random drug dealer who is already dead. Noah has Mike come over to explain himself. He tells him the truth about Zach, that he lives with his father etc. He doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mention the fact that his father killed Deirdre and stuffed him in a trunk, but why quibble over details. Noah tells him that he has two days to bring him to him or else. All of this conversation is overheard by the evil Felicia in the next room. Will Zach finally get the beat down that has been coming to him oh these many months now? Tune in next week to find out. Or next month, knowing how ABC works.