Recapped: Desperate Housewives – Episode 2
“Ah, but Underneath”
So, Desperate Housewives debuted big for ABC, #1 show of the week, and I’ve seen men and women admit to liking this show that seemed to be more geared towards women with only a few plotlines thrown in to keep some men hooked. That and Teri Hatcher and that Eva chick. Actually, all of the Housewives are hot, let’s not kid ourselves.
Anyway, on with the recap.
Previously, on Desperate Housewives: A woman kills herself so that she can narrate her own TV show (talk about a deal with the devil), and the Housewives think that there was definitely something wrong with her family, if not her. One housewife is annoyed by a businessman grabbing her ass, but the hubby thinks that the grabass is justified if it brings in the money. So this housewife decides to have sex with the young gardening boy and admit that she wanted all of the wrong things until she discovered the joys of infidelity. The housewives rummage through Mary Alice’s stuff and find a mysterious letter that suggests that something is definitely amiss. At this point, I can’t even begin to speculate just what the hell that letter meant. Hopefully this next episode will clue us in.
The episode begins as it looks like we’re going to get another introduction to just what the hell this show is all about. Mary Alice talks about how her sight of the world increased when she died, but that she still could’ve seen more when she was alive. She begins with Gabrielle, explaining that she could’ve seen how unhappy she was, but she only saw the flashy clothes and jewelry. Turns out that all was not well with Gabrielle until the young gardening boy comes along, but even then, the boy wasn’t supposed to be her savior…just something to inject a little excitement into a boring, grabasstic marriage. Of course, who should come home while the two infidelic lovers are drying off after a bath but the faithful husband. Oh my. Gabrielle hurries the boy downstairs and sends him out the window, losing his towel in the process as he’s naked as a jaybird. But Gabrielle is saved. Her husband is still curious where John, the gardener is since his truck is out front, and Gabrielle is frozen…until John appears in the window…clothed? And shearing a hedge? Alas, John managed to scrounge up a t-shirt and nothing more. Clever, this gardener is.
You’re watching Desperate Housewives, it’s TV-PG, but LDSV, baby! This is actually a much longer opening compared to the pilot episode, as we actually get to see the names of the actors who are in this show.
Back to Wisteria Lane, as the Housewives are gathered to discuss the letter that they found in Mary Alice’s belongings. Susan wants to give it over to Mary Alice’s husband, and Bree agrees that it can be done peacefully, over coffee and a pastry. Lynette strikes that down pretty quickly and is quickly establishing herself as the quotable person on this show: “Paul, we have proof your wife killed herself over some deep dark secret–another bearclaw?” Susan thinks this is no laughing matter, and wants to know more, but Bree asks how much we really want to know about our neighbors.
On to the pool now, and Mary Alice confirms that the Housewives are right to be concerned, because now there’s a big hole in the middle of the pool. Mr. Mary Alice brings a rather large chest into his workbench area as his son stares at the obvious hole in the pool. But we don’t get to find out what’s in it, because…
…the housewives decide that they can’t figure out the mystery behind the letter tonight and try to sleep on it. Unfortunately, none of them can sleep thinking about how lonely Mary Alice must be–understandable since all four of the alive ‘wives are lonely themselves, each in their own little way. We go to Bree as she talks to Rex, her husband. Bree wants Rex to go into counseling with her instead of going to the divorce lawyer, talking about how Rex promised to love her forever. Rex agrees to it, and Bree goes to celebrate by making more milk.
Susan watches Mike the Plumber out her window in the middle of the night, while Julie–who for some unknown reason is still awake–taunts Susan by telling her Mike doesn’t even know she’s alive. Susan tells Julie to go make the brownies Julie is supposed to make, but she can’t find the measuring cup. Alas, Susan dropped the measuring cup back at The Slut Wife’s house, which has now burned to the ground.
Carlos returns home from a hard day’s dinner with a client, and Gabrielle scolds him because she ends up eating dinner alone six nights a week. She was so bored, in fact, that she actually thought about cleaning the house. Carlos silences her with another gift, telling her to put it on, and then make love to him. Well, Carlos knows what he wants. Too bad Gabrielle doesn’t want to give Carlos sloppy seconds. Gabrielle suggests that they stay up and talk, but Carlos will have none of that, as he’s expecting sex. Gabrielle doesn’t take too kindly to that and chucks the gift at Carlos, and Carlos immediately wants to know what’s wrong. Gabrielle admits that it’s no longer exciting to have sex with a mexican Santa Claus, and Carlos wants to know what he can do. Gabrielle wants to be surprised, and Carlos immediately sets off on finding ways to accomplish this task.
Back to Susan, and she takes out the trash in her bathrobe as Mike looks on. Susan thinks that she’s not ready to face the world yet today, and as she turns around…the dog starts barking wildly. That’s just awesome. The creepy plumber tries to calm his dog as Julie looks on from inside the house. Mike explains that “he scares easy” and Susan forgives him. As Mike walks away, Susan blurts out an invitation to dinner, just Mike, Susan and Julie…an old tradition. Mike remembers that Susan sucks at cooking, but Susan explains that she decepts these people by getting takeout when they’re expecting a homecooked meal. Mike decides to change the “tradition” by offering to cook and having Susan and Julie come over to his place. Susan is so happy, she decides to say goodbye to Bongo (the dog) and gets a nice barking in return. Susan rushes back to the house and explains that they were both invited over to Mike’s for dinner, but Julie is supposed to come down with something semi-serious that would require bed rest. Julie is happy that she doesn’t have to be the cockblock, and is happy for Susan too. However, she doesn’t know that Susan likes to play with fire…
…and now we go to Edie’s house, where she complains that everything her ex-husband worked for is now gone in the fire. Mrs. Huber is with Edie, and she finds something that Edie can salvage–her measuring cup. Womp womp. Edie points out that her measuring cup was plastic, but she doesn’t know how the glass one got in the house, and she doesn’t care. But Mrs. Huber is suspicious. However, Edie forces Mrs. Huber to start looking for jewelry and forget about it.
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…we’re back in the marriage counselor’s office, who’s thought he’s seen it all until he met the Van De Kamp’s. Bree’s greeting comes with homemade potpourri. Rex explains that he’s about to make a fortune off of Bree’s Stepford Wife Syndrome.
Now to Lynette’s car, as she tries to control the three little devils in the backseat with the fourth littler devil is in the front seat. Isn’t there some kind of law against that? Lynette tries to warn the kids to buckle up, but no such luck…right as a motorcycle cop drives by. He makes a U-turn and starts tracking down Lynette, and then explains to her that she has to keep them under control…after all…that’s her job. Whattadick. Mary Alice narrates that even though this policeman had never been in a dangerous situation before, he had also never told a woman how to raise her children. Lynette snaps and steps out of the car, telling the police officer how hard it is to raise all of those kids, and basically scaring the cop straight until he finally says that he’ll just let her off with a warning, reminding her to buckle up as she drives off.
Back to Gabrielle, and she comes up to John’s place. She doesn’t want Mr. Solis to get suspicious by having John over and not having him garden…so they can’t have sex in the Solis’ home anymore. However, since John’s mother is out watching John’s brother at soccer practice…why not just have sex in John’s house! Yeah! Gabrielle looks over at a picture of John’s brother, however, and decides not to give herself any more ideas, turning the picture over.
Now it’s over to the Van De Kamps, as Bree is talking with the counselor. The counselor cuts Bree off before she can show him pictures of the family, saying that for most of the hour Bree has been engaging mostly in small talk, while Rex has been very vocal about…you know…issues with the marriage. Bree stumbles over her words before Rex cuts in, telling the doctor that Bree doesn’t really like to talk about her feelings: Rex wonders sometimes if she has any. Bree zones off, however, as she notices that the doctor has a button that could use some sewing. Seemingly without even thinking about it, Bree pulls out her sewing kit, not listening to a damn word that Rex has to say. Bree denies that she uses housework as a way to cut her off from actual emotion…and then quickly stows the sewing kit back in her purse.
Back to John’s house, and John is glad that Gabrielle had sex with him, because it’s so much easier to concentrate on homework after sex. Gabrielle is glad, because “education is very important.” Yes, and I’m sure there’s something in one of those books about being faithful to one’s husband. Then again, you know. Separation of church and state. John gives Gabrielle a perfect rose, “just like her”. It hits her that John is starting to fall in love with her, and Gabrielle accepts the rose and off she goes.
Creepy Plumber Mike is bringing in the groceries as Susan bounces over and asks what he’ll be cooking. As they talk about that, Edie pulls up and greets Mike, as Mike explains that there’s no party over at his house, just a welcome-to-the-neighborhood dinner as organized by Susan…at Mike’s house…while Mike is cooking. Edie didn’t get one however, and Susan is steadfast to her claim that it’s a new tradition. Edie’s a five-star slut, however, and starts whining about how she hasn’t had anything but fast food for a long time. Finally, Mike silently looks over to Susan…and Susan, even though she saw it coming a mile away, invites Edie over for dinner. Edie doesn’t want to intrude, but Mike says that Susan’s bringing Julie, so it’s all cool like Carlito. Edie’s off to do some other slutwork, and Mike comes back, wondering if he should have told her they were having steak. But Susan insists that it’s okay, and as Mike walks away, she insists that she’s a carnivore. Damn right.
Over to Mrs. Huber as she tries to spy on the Mike/Susan/Edie situation, but Lynette interrupts her as she brings out her clothes for Edie–though they’re not stylish. Mrs. Huber talks to Lynette about the whole police thing, and Lynette is distraught because she doesn’t know what she can do to get her little brats to sit down and shut up. Mrs. Huber talks about her mother leaving her on the side of the road and driving off when she was a kid, which shocks Lynette. Mrs. Huber explains that the mother came right back to pick her up, but that when it comes to discipline, you gotta be creative. Lynette is so shocked by the idea of something like that, that I bet she does just that later in this episode.
Mrs. Huber is off to continue the clothing drive, and she questions Susan if she has anything, since Edie has nothing to wear. Susan wonders why that’s a problem: Isn’t that the look that Edie’s going for? But Mrs. Huber insists, “she may be trash, but she’s still a human being.” As Mrs. Huber walks off for more clothes, Susan notices Zach, Mary Alice’s son, in the front lawn. She pulls out The Letter and then asks for Zach’s dad.
Cut to the garage where Mr. Mary Alice is putting the finishing touches on the Mysterious Chest Pulled From The Depths Of Suicide Lady’s Pool, and he doesn’t really have time to talk right now; he’s getting ready to go somewhere. Susan feels the pain of the family not knowing why Mary Alice decided to commit suicide, and offers to help with Mr. Mary Alice’s Mysterious Chest. Mr. Mary Alice has got it, however, and wants to be frank with Susan. Well, unless his name is Frank. *rimshot* Anyway, Mr. Mary Alice says that he doesn’t really care what the reasoning was behind the suicide; she abandoned a husband and a son, and he’ll never forgive her for that. Okay, now that’s kinda weird. The husband of Mary Alice is just about as creepy as Creepy Plumber Mike, but there is just something completely amiss about him. My theory? Mary Alice cheated on Mr. Mary Alice, but Mr. Mary Alice found out. He didn’t have the gall to confront Mary Alice about it in their own home, but he was still so enraged that he sent an anonymous letter addressed to Mary Alice with an ominous message that he knows what she’s doing and that he’s going to end up killing her. Mary Alice is so freaked out about this that she doesn’t want to cause a scene by having herself murdered in such a peaceful neighborhood, that she decides to muck the whole thing up by killing herself. It doesn’t seem too likely, since this show is already confusing as it is…but it’s possible. Anyway, Mary Alice feels sorry for Susan who is so desperately wanting to find out why Mary Alice killed herself. She knows that Susan wants to know the truth, but she has to know where to find it: That’s hard, because the truth is elusive, and it knows where to hide. That speaks volumes for a lot of storylines in this show.
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…back with Julie, who gets a visit from Mrs. Huber. Huber is dead-set on getting some clothes from Susan for Edie, but Susan is away at the Van De Kamps. However, Julie foolishly leaves the door open, allowing Mrs. Huber to slide right in and snoop around. She sprays on perfume that she doesn’t like, and then uncovers a measuring cup. Mrs. Huber knows that there is something very wrong…but she doesn’t get to analyze it too long, as Julie comes stomping down the stairs. Mrs. Huber is fine with that, however, saying that there’s no need for her to do anything more.
Bree is now at the marriage counselor, and the counselor explains that Rex isn’t going to be able to make it, but he suggested that maybe the counselor should have a one-on-one with Bree. Oh, this should be most excellent. However, Bree sees the broken button again and denies the offer, as the button reminds her that she has some things to do–probably more housework. Bree just can’t let it go, however, and asks the counselor to take off his coat.
Now with Gabrielle and Susan, as Gabrielle is shocked that Julie is coming along with Susan on her date with Creepy Plumber Mike. However, Susan will need emotional support if she has to deal with Edie being there as well. Gabrielle suggests that Susan spend a little time with Mike before Edie gets there. Susan does the math and decides to go at 5:00, since Edie will be there at 5:45 and her breasts will arrive at 5:30. Nice. Susan notices the perfect rose as she gets ready to leave the Solis’ house, and Gabrielle lets it slip that John gave it to her. However, Gabrielle covers her tracks, lying when she says that John simply gave it to her as a color palette for new bushes to be planted outside.
The marriage counselor is befuddled as he watches Bree sew the broken button back onto the counselor’s coat. The counselor does not think that Freud would approve of this, but Bree goes off on a rant, explaining that Freud isn’t a very nice guy because his mother did backbreaking work from sunup to sundown and then Freud grows up and becomes famous for a theory that problems for most adults can be traced back to something their mother did when they were young. Well, I think it’s becoming obvious what happened to Bree. The counselor seems to have a revelation as well, but Bree turns to her cheery self and is ready to leave, but the counselor stops to tell her that many of Freud’s theories have been discredited. I think this one is right on the mark, though.
Back to Lynette and the boys…here we go…Lynette warns the boys that they are going to be in trouble. However, the boys seem to be planning something nefarious, and Lynette can see it coming. So she pulls over the car and tells the boys to get out. She gets back in the car, and off she goes. The boys seem shocked and Lynette is praising herself as a genius, but as she comes back…we can see this swerve coming. The boys aren’t there, and Lynette panics. Never listen to a snoopy woman like Mrs. Huber.
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…Lynette is freaking out, and she comes upon a neighbor who tells her that she saw her kicking them out of the car and leaving them behind. Lynette tries to explain her actions, but the rotund neighbor lady says that the boys are in her kitchen. She claims that Lynette has anger management issues, and thinks that she should calm down before the boys are abandoned again. This just makes Lynette more upset, as the boys come up the door. The rotund lady has cookies, however, and Lynette insists that they leave. Rotund Neighbor Lady wants them to stay right there, however, and as Lynette goes to get her kids, the lady holds her back! The kids are incensed at this, and immediately rush the lady, as one of the kids BITES HER LEG! The other one rushes around and PUSHES HER OVER, and at this point I’m marking out. Lynette looks at her kids in shock: “Run, boys, run!” The four of them run for safety, and they all get into the van. The lady is looking for revenge, but Lynette doesn’t have to warn them twice to put their seatbelts on–they’re already on. Lynette and the kids rush off as the rotund lady threatens to call social services. Awesome segment.
Back to Gabrielle, as she admires the perfect rose from her staircase. Gabrielle then hears a car honking and discovers that Mr. Solis…has bought Gabrielle a new car! Well, that’s certainly surprising. Gabrielle is overjoyed, and Mary Alice narrates that Carlos wouldn’t be able to understand the truth. Only a rare man understands the value of a single perfect rose…and that man is watching Gabrielle and Carlos embrace in the front yard. I’ve got a hankering that John is going to do some serious yardwork on the Solis’ relationship before this is all over.
Susan goes to arrive early, and Bongo growls at Susan as she arrives. Mike is surprised at Susan’s early arrival, but Susan just wants to help set things up. Edie was all over it, however, and she’s already there…they’ve got everything covered. Wow. Bongo barks at Susan again, but Edie, of course, is able to charm the dog into silence. Now, Susan knows that she’s losing the race for Mike, but what’s beautiful about this is, as a viewer, we know that Mike is doing something very bad anyway. Theory time, once again: Mike moved in to keep tabs on Edie or Susan to help out a very well-meaning friend, who also happens to be an ex of Susan or Edie. Edie seems more likely; what are the odds that the rich ex-husband hired Mike to keep an eye out on Edie, watching her every slutty move? What’s the motive? Who knows? But I think Mike is looking out for a friend, and I think Edie is going to get the brunt of it. Susan just thinks that Edie’s sluttiness is taking over.
The Van De Kamps are counseling, and Rex is speaking his mind again. However, the counselor is wondering if Rex has ever thanked Bree for the housework that she has done. Has he really been a good husband and acknowledging the benefits of living with Bree? Rex is stunned and Bree is very pleased. God, Bree just creeps the hell out of me. I feel for Rex here.
Back to the dinner, and the dog is slurping up on Edie’s food and not Susan’s. Oh, the plot thickens. They make small talk around the dinner table, and Edie tries to go for the knockout blow by saying to Susan that she thinks that Susan and Carl are going to get back together. Edie insists that she’ll never find that kind of chemistry with another man, and you can tell that Susan is just itching to reach out and choke her. However, Julie jumps into the battle and tells Edie that she always liked Edie’s fourth husband. Edie insists that she’s only been married twice, but Julie remembers that she was married to the guy with all the tattoos who was carried away in handcuffs. Susan corrects Julie–Edie wasn’t married to Javier. Susan wants to change the subject, unless Edie wants to keep talking about it, and Edie is less than pleased at the public release of her slutiness to Creepy Plumber Mike. However, Bongo interrupts again and Edie shows off the way that she’s trained Bongo to beg for food. Susan goes to get the desserts and think about what she could possibly do next to upstage Edie…suddenly, Susan comes across a gravy container? Oh my. Susan actually dabs the gravy behind her ears and on the back of her hands, and as she brings in the dessert…she coaxes Bongo into licking the gravy off of her. Mike and Edie notice this, and Mike notices that Bongo is beginning to gag. Mike checks on his dog and this is just getting surreal…because Bongo just ate Susan’s earring. Mike takes Bongo off to the vet, and Edie offers to get everything cleaned up. Susan wants to know if there’s anything she can do to help, and Mike gives an emphatic no as he drives off. Edie notices that she won round two of the battle, quite handily.
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…back at the vet, and Susan is there and very sorry. Mike is sorry for snapping on her, but the doctor interrupts and says that they won’t have to operate to get the earring out, as they’ve given Bongo something to help pass the earring through. The doctor wonders if they want it to be retrieved, but Susan is definitely going to say no to that offer. Mike explains that he was worried because it was his wife’s dog, and the last thing that she wanted him to do would be to look after him, and he promised that he would. That feels like such a lie coming from Creepy Plumber Mike, I’m just waiting for the phone call from the spy guy. However, Susan believes it completely, seeing that Mike was still very much in love with his late wife. Neither Susan nor Edie would be winning the battle anytime soon. So Susan settled to just being a friend.
Back at Creepy Plumber’s house, and Edie is cleaning up…as the camera pans over in the pantry and reveals a gun, a map showing the entire Wisteria Lane, and a bundle of cash. Holy crap. Mary Alice finishes off the episode by explaining that there is so much truth waiting to be revealed, but no one takes the time to search for it. Which is a shame, because there is so much to see…
…right as the Mysterious Chest reappears in the water.
It’ll be interesting to see what John does with Carlos fighting to keep his marriage alive. There’s still something wrong with Bree, but I just can’t put my finger on it. There has to be some kind of skeleton in her closet. As for the Mary Alice family, I can only guess that the chest will be found next week, and the wives will immediately take interest in it. At least Susan will. Speaking of Susan, whatever the hell Creepy Plumber Mike is doing, I really want to know because it makes things so entertaining to watch Edie and Susan fight over Mike and yet they don’t know what’s going on behind that cabinet door with the gun, the money, and the maps. Much like Lost, this show is leaving a bunch of open storylines just begging to be closed, and the writers will have plenty of material for the next few episodes, because I don’t think they’re losing an audience anytime soon.