Desperate Housewives – Recap – Episode 23

After a season of ups and downs, with some excellent episodes and some episodes where you wonder how they got the good ratings, we’ve finally reached the season finale of Desperate Housewives.

Tonight, I’m sure we’ll get an answer or two, but we’ll get dozens more questions to talk about during the summer.

And so, with nothing in the mailbag, on with the recap!

Previously, on Desperate Housewives:

There is a motive to every mystery…evidence of every crime…and an answer to every question…all you have to do is take a closer look…and eventually, every secret…will be revealed.

Taking a look back at the entire season, Curious George the Pharmacist is screwing with Rex’s medication and causing Rex to have a heart attack, Carlos beats up two gay guys and gets thrown in jail, Mary Alice committed suicide, Paul Young throws a chest into the river with a chopped up woman inside, Manslaughter Mike uses Felicia to get to Paul Young and knock him silly, and Mary Alice is being blackmailed as the Housewives wonder what she could have done. Notice that there is no mention of Lynette in any of this. Poor Lynette. Remember when she got addicted to ADD medication? Yeah, that was the most meaningful storyline for her, by far.

Fade to white…

My name is Mary Alice Young, and before I died, my life was filled with love, laughter, friendship, and sadly…secrets. The secrets had begun 15 years earlier when my name was Angela Forrest, and I was living a life of quiet desperation. I’d feel it every morning as I made breakfast for my husband…and during the errands I ran in the afternoon…even at my work every evening. To me, each day was gray and meaningless. And then one night, suddenly…there was color.

Mary Alice’s life is boring, before none other than Dierdre shows up needing money. Angela senses that she is using again, but Dierdre says that she needs to get food for the baby. Angela tries to be hospitable, but Dierdre can feed her own baby, thanks. With that, she tries to sell her watch to Angela for fifty bucks. Dierdre starts begging Angela, since she was the only one in rehab who treated Dierdre like a real person. Angela can’t help her and opens the door to show Dierdre the way out, so Dierdre offers her baby for money. Turns out Angela can’t have one and Dierdre knows this, and she thinks it would be providing Dana with a nice home. Paul wants Dierdre to leave but Angela cuts Paul off. Dierdre gets in over her head, however, asking for all the money in Angela’s house.

Cut to Some Random Hospital in Utah, as Dierdre is wheeled in on a stretcher. Felicia is going nuts trying to find out what happened to the kid as the police officer assures her that they wouldn’t leave a baby sitting in the middle of a crack house if they knew where the baby was. Angela watches from a distance as Felicia and the officer continue to bicker, agreeing to put an officer at Dierdre’s bedside so when the junkie wakes up she can tell the officer where she’s keeping her baby. Dierdre is taken away and Angela’s eyes drift to the calendar at the receptionists desk…a calendar of Fairview.

The Youngs arrive in Fairview with Dana in tow as the real estate agent hopes they’ll be happy in Fairview.

And we were. We were as happy as any family could be. Until one night…three years later…when there was a knock at our door. And I was desperate once again.

Paul, Zach and Mary Alice look as happy as can be until Dierdre arrives at the front door three years later, assumingly cleaned up and ready to take back the baby.

You’re watching Desperate Housewives, with closed captioning sponsored by Ford, but we don’t really have time for opening credits as we jump right back into the episode.

It was 5:00 in the morning on Wisteria Lane when the phone calls started. Of course, each of them knew something was wrong from that first ring. After all, it’s one of the unwritten rules of Suburbia. Don’t call the neighbors in the middle of the night, unless the news is bad. And so they came with their uncombed hair and their unmade faces. They came because, after all these years, they were no longer just neighbors.

The phone calls are regarding Rex’s heart attack, as the Housewives gather with Bree at the hospital. Turns out Danielle called all of them. Rex has to get a pacemaker, so they’re going to have to operate on him. Bree feels really guilty about not getting him to the hospital sooner, but all three Housewives comfort her in various ways until Bree tells them that she’s really trying to be strong but all this comforting is going to make her lose it. So the other wives back off and try to talk about other things. So Susan comes up with one: She found Mrs. Huber’s journal and thinks that Martha knew Mary Alice’s secret and was blackmailing her. Lynette congratulates Susan on calming things down with that one.

Zach is running away from Felicia’s house, going next door to his old house as Felicia tries to bring him back. Felicia tries many different ways to comfort Zach but Zach is just going nuts, telling Felicia to stop trying to be his mother and go home. So Felicia decides to break the news to Zach that his father isn’t coming back. Zach should probably just pack up and go right back next door so Felicia can make her some pudding. But Zach is furious and when Felicia gets to the bottom of the stairs, Zach comes down as well…with some kind of weapon! Zach hits Felicia with it off-camera as he wants to know what Felicia did to his father.

Down the street to Mrs. Applewhite’s house as Edie comes to greet the new neighbors. Turns out that they bought the house without looking at it themselves, but Mrs. Applewhite knew that it was what she was looking for from the advertisment. And here comes Mrs. Applewhite’s son, Matthew, making sure to keep the door closed behind him. Edie asks if the Applewhites are finding everything okay since they didn’t do the walk-through, but despite Edie’s insistence, Mrs. Applewhite is fine and thanks Edie for stopping by. Figures that even this family would have something weird going on. As Edie leaves Matthew comments on how nice people are in this neighborhood, and Matthew’s mother agrees. It’s at this point that I see that this episode was written by five different writers. Jesus.

Susan is leaving messages for Mike, starting with one message about Mrs. Huber’s journal and how Susan knows about all the blackmail and thinks that Mike should talk with her about it. Another message has Susan worried as she talked to the other girls and they all are beginning to think that Paul Young might have killed Mrs. Huber. A third message has Susan angry as she thought that the purpose of a cell phone was to reach someone when they needed to talk to them. A fourth message has Susan asking for Mike’s forgiveness as Susan thinks that that was the worry talking. She has another phone call though…and it’s Mike. The reception is pretty lousy but Mike got the messages. Susan suggests taking Mrs. Huber’s journal to the police, and Mike thinks that’s a good idea and as soon as Mike gets back they’ll make an appointment with the detective…Copeland? Isn’t that the crooked one? Susan wants Mike to hurry back home, since she has a feeling that Paul Young is in the middle of all this, but Mike suggests that she not rush to judgment, hanging up the phone and looking at Paul Young tied in the back of the truck with tape over his mouth as Mike drives off in the desert.

And now, a word from our sponsors… Excellent opening as this has been by far the best start to any Desperate Housewives episode yet. The lack of credits really helped as well, as those have a way of slowing down the episode quite a bit.

Gabrielle arrives to testify for Carlos, as Carlos changes out of his jail clothes and thanks Gabrielle for helping him out. Gabby wants something in return though: Having to help quite a bit with the baby. That includes getting up to get the baby back to sleep in the middle of the night, being on bottle duty and putting a car seat in Carlos’ car as opposed to the Maserati. As Gabby is ready to leave, Carlos asks about the breast-feeding, and Gabrielle thinks that if Carlos can swing that one, more power to him.

Lynette comes to a pizza place with the kids, but she’s surprised to see Tom there as well, but not only that, playing air hockey as well. And winning quite handily against someone much smaller than him. Lynette wonders why Tom isn’t at work, but Tom quit, of course, when Annabel got the huge promotion over him, thanks to Lynette talking with Peterson’s wife begging Peterson not to give the promotion to Tom. Tom doesn’t want to go home and talk about it, but Lynette wonders if he’s just going to stay here and play games all day. Not true, since Tom is actually going to go get some ice cream, go to the lake and maybe rent a boat…a kid scores on Tom and Lynette tries to plead with Tom to go home and talk about this but Tom wants Lynette to leave before he says something he regrets. Lynette slowly starts to back away from this scene as Tom tells the kid that if he scores again, he gets his bike back. Tom is awesome. Underrated character.

Bree is at Rex’s bedside in the hospital, as Rex wants to know what Bree was thinking about. Bree was thinking about having not done spring cleaning yet, and she goes through the list of things she needs to do, as Rex finishes off the list with wedding silver, having paid attention all those years when Bree thought otherwise. Rex doesn’t know why Bree saves it for last, though, and it’s because Bree’s aunt Fern told her after the wedding that the best was yet to come, so as Bree polishes it she thinks of Rex, the kids, the house, and how right aunt Fern was. Rex changes the tone to his operation, and he wants to say some things, just in case something should go wrong. Bree doesn’t want Rex to say anything, but Rex apologizes for everything he did, the moving out, the infidelity, the sex stuff. Bree doesn’t care, she just wants to consider Rex and her even now. Rex can agree to that, and Bree tells Rex that he’s going to be just fine. After all, Bree told Rex already that the best is yet to come. Bree lays her head on Rex’s chest…

…as Karl Mayer makes his grand return to take Julie off for the weekend. Julie goes to the car as Karl wants to talk to his ex-wife. Karl brings up Mike and asks if Susan is going to continue living in sin, but Susan thinks it’s funny he mentions that since adultery happens to also be a sin. Karl doesn’t want Mike around Julie all the time, but Susan assures him that Mike’s a nice guy. And Julie agrees, having heard everything, telling her father not to mess this one up for Susan.

As soon as Karl leaves, Susan heads over to Mike’s place, as Bongo greets her with a couple of barks and a growl. Susan warns him to be a good boy or he’s going to go to bed hungry, but the barking seems to be about someone else…Zach Young. And he’s got a gun. Zach asks Susan to take a seat.

And now, a word from our sponsors… I don’t think anyone can really appreciate how long I’ve been waiting for two things out of this series:

1) For Tom to show a little anger towards Lynette and spice up that Housewife relationship.

2) For Zach to go off the deep end and just lose it.

Now I’ve gotten both in one episode. I must have been a good boy.

Zach’s still got the gun, and Susan has grabbed a seat, as she looks for possible ways out of this. Or possible weapons. Susan wants to go get some water, but Zach points the gun at her and asks Susan not to. And now Edie arrives, and Susan is stuck in the window as Zach tells Susan not to answer the door. Edie can see Susan and asks Susan to hide next time she doesn’t want to talk to Edie, and Zach finally allows Susan to answer the door, but not to let Edie in. Edie wants to know if Mike is home, as she’s warning all the neighbors that Felicia was attacked, having just been taken away in an ambulance. The construction workers haven’t arrived yet, so Edie was wondering if she could stay at Mike’s for awhile. Susan tries to mouth something to Edie about Zach, but Edie reads lips terribly and thinks that Susan is saying something about sticking it up Edie’s whatever. Susan finally tells Edie to get the hell out and Edie calls her a bitch before Susan shuts the door in her face. Susan automatically knows that Zach did it, and asks why. Turns out Felicia told Zach the truth about Zach’s father. He was taken away by Mr. Delfino so that Mike could kill him. And now Zach is going to kill Mike.

In the courtroom, Gabrielle is testifying as she claims that all of this happened because of Gabrielle’s lonliness. After Carlos was convicted of his first crime, he was placed under house arrest and went crazy every time Gabrielle left the house. Carlos knows how women look at her, and Gabrielle didn’t exactly ease his mind, putting him under the false notion that Gabrielle was having an affair. She thought that maybe Carlos would love her more if she admitted to having an affair. Gabrielle’s point is that Carlos is an angry, jealous Neanderthal, but he’s not a gay-basher. The judge calls the counsel to the bench and doesn’t think that there’s a hate crime going on, and things are looking up until John arrives and tells Carlos a little truth:

“Just so you know, you beat up the wrong guy. Didn’t you think it was strange that you were the only lawn on Wisteria Lane that needed to be mowed three times a week?”

John walks off, but Carlos tries to go after John, telling him that he is so dead. Of course, Justin is in Carlos’ line of sight, so it makes it look like Justin is being bashed on once again. John doesn’t get a scratch on him as he’s retained by the police inside the court room. Gabrielle can’t believe what just happened.

And now, a word from our sponsors… Still moving along quite nicely, as John makes the big reveal to Carlos and Carlos seems to have blown a fuse. Once again, yet another thing that I desperately wanted to see.

Mike arrives in the Middle of Nowhere, dramatic music playing as he drags Paul Young out of his truck. Paul tries to reason with Mike by explaining that Mrs. Huber ruined many people’s lives for fun, including his family’s life. But Mike surprises Paul by revealing that it’s not about Martha. With a shovel in hand, Mike moves Paul along, as they seem to be going to some kind of canyon/quarry formation.

A doctor is talking to Rex about his potassium level, which has been rising despite a lack of banana eating. The kidney is working fine, so it has to be something he’s ingesting. Rex takes a look at the charts, not believing the numbers, but the doctor wants to know who prepares his meals. Oh no, don’t take it this direction. The doctor begins to suggest that Bree is the one poisoning Rex, based on not only their recent marital problems, but also on the salad bar incident WAYYYYY back at the beginning of the season–Bree gave Rex onions when she knew he was allergic to them. Rex dismisses it as an accident, but the potassium had to come from somewhere. Rex kicks the doctor out of his room calmly, but asks him to leave the charts. Quick question: Wouldn’t they be able to see the kind of drugs that George has been putting in place of Rex’s usual drugs through testing?

Tom comes home to the Scavos with a fish, throwing it on the dinner table and sitting down with his wife. Lynette asks about his day, and Tom had a fun day, the most fun he’s had in a long time. Lynette tries to defend herself by saying she didn’t ask Tom to quit, but Tom doesn’t care, since Lynette made damn sure that he’d go nowhere for the next 20 years. Lynette doesn’t know what to say. “I hear ‘Please forgive me’ is popular!” Lynette was just trying to protect the family, since Tom would’ve been away from the family in excessive amounts with that promotion. Tom thinks that Lynette is so right, and that’s why everything is going to work out. Tom’s got it all planned out, you see: He’s going to become a stay-at-home dad, and Lynette’s going to be bringing home the bacon from now on. Lynette’s weak protests fall on deaf ears, as Tom’s made the decision to send Lynette back to work.

And now, a word from our sponsors… Just when you think Lynette is going to go through something heart-breaking, things get turned right around and she becomes good ol’ quirky Lynette without a storyline in the world.

Zach is still holding Susan at gunpoint as he waits for Mike to arrive home, and Susan offers to get Zach something to eat. Zach breaks down and asks for a soda, but follows Susan to the refrigerator. Susan tries to get through to Zach, wondering if this could just be a misunderstanding since Susan believes that her main squeeze couldn’t just kill someone. Ms. Mayer tries to play the “would this be what your signifcant relative would want you to be doing” card, and then brings up the trauma of his baby sister. Zach says that he never had a baby sister, but Susan is clueless as Zach reveals everything to Susan, as Zach has been lied to his entire life, by his parents, by Felicia, and even Julie. Susan wants to sit down and talk about it, but Zach points the gun at her face and doesn’t want to be lied to anymore, so the talking has to stop.

Back at the hospital, Rex is done reading the charts, grabbing a piece of paper and beginning a note to Bree: “I understand and I forgive you.” He begins to pant heavily as he writes.

But the best is yet to come as Bree polishes the wedding silver, here comes a phone ring, and it’s Dr. Craig. He’s got some bad news: Rex passed away 10 minutes ago. WHOA. Bree is in shock, but quickly gets over it, going into defense mode and putting the phone gently down on the counter, quickly polishing the last of the silver and putting it back in its proper place. The spring cleaning is done, and that includes cleaning out the clutter of characters, apparently. Bree sits at the neat and clean table, looking across at the empty seat…and finally begins to break down.

And now, a word from our sponsors… Into the home stretch and Curious George is screwed now. When Bree finds out about that, I think that wedding silver might need to get the blood polished off it.

In the Middle of Nowhere, Paul is tired of walking so much and begins to doubt that Mike is sure of what he’s about to do, since he could’ve had it done in Paul’s backyard. Mike is fine with stopping right here, putting Paul on his knees with his hands still tied behind his back. Mike cocks a gun, pointing it at Paul as Paul asks for just one thing: Why they’re in the Middle of Nowhere. Mike throws down the Dierdre picture, as Paul recognizes her immediately. Mike says that Dierdre did have a lot of problems, but nothing could’ve made her deserve death at the hands of someone like Paul. Paul thinks it’s complicated, and that’s all he can say.

And just like that, my husband began sharing my secrets. Secrets I had died to protect.

Mary Alice gives Zach some carrots, making small talk about building a fence around the pool tomorrow, and then begins chopping some celery, when the knock comes at the door. It’s Dierdre, and they gather in the living room to talk about how Dierdre managed to find them. Alas, she used some of Noah’s money to track them down (read: a lot of money). Mary Alice congratulates her on a job well done, and Dierdre tells them that she never explained what happened to her to the police. They would’ve put Dana in foster care or given him to Noah, so Dierdre kept the secret. Paul appreciates that, but Dierdre has cleaned herself up and doesn’t even have to say that she wants her baby back before Mary Alice tells her she can’t have the baby. Dierdre warns that she can go to the police now even if she didn’t then. Mary Alice thinks Dierdre is crazy if she’s going to give away the baby to a junkie like her. Dierdre goes on a spiel about how Mary Alice was high and mighty looking down on the degenerates at the clinic, and Mary begins to flip out a bit, trying to see if Dierdre is still using but she pulls away and goes off to get Dana and take him home. Paul, at Mary Alice’s beckoning, goes to stop her, throwing her back down into the living room, and now Dierdre’s angry, grabbing a fireplace poker and swinging it at Paul, hitting him a couple of times. Dierdre assures that Dana will have a good home, but she gets too close and Mary Alice snags the nearest sharp object…the knife she used to cut the celery and the carrots, and slams it into Dierdre’s stomach. Paul looks at his wife in shock. “Oh, Mary Alice, what did you do?” Mary immediately empties the toy chest that belonged to Dana, but now Zachary’s awake, and Mary Alice explains that she just needs to borrow it. With that, the toy chest goes downstairs and Mary Alice suggests burying the box and then pouring the concrete for the pool the very next day. Mary Alice suggests that they make Dierdre fit, and then she tries to look for signs of using. Alas, Dierdre was right, she was clean. And there’s Dana, Dierdre’s son, watching from the top of the stairs as his other parents stand over his real mother, who is very dead. To the Middle of Nowhere, as Mike didn’t realize Dierdre had a baby, and Paul nods and then asks to get this over with. Mike raises his gun again…but can’t shoot Paul and just walks away. Paul takes a breath watching Mike walk away, as we get a wide shot and then fade to black. And that, my readers, is probably the best scene that Desperate Housewives will ever have and has ever had this entire season.

It’s an odd thing to look back on the world, to watch those I left behind. Each in her own way so brave, so determined, and so very desperate. Desperate to venture out, but afraid of what she’ll miss when she goes. Desperate to get everything she wants, even when she’s not exactly sure of what that is. Desperate for life to be perfect again, although she realizes it never really was. Desperate for a better future, if she can find a way to escape her past. I not only watch, I cheer them on, these amazing women. I hope so much they’ll find what they’re looking for. But I know not all of them will. Sadly…that’s just not the way life works. Not everyone gets a happy ending.

The “Desperate” lines belong to Lynette, Gabrielle, Bree, and Susan, respectively. Finally, Mike arrives back at his house, not knowing that Zach Young, or Dana if you prefer, is waiting right behind his front door pointing a gun at the woman he loves, a gun that will soon be pointed at him. Mike opens the door and shuts it behind him.


Rex’s death was a nice big swerve, and the cliffhanger focusing on Zach’s actions is awesome. Major props go out to Zach and Tom for having breakout performances in this episode, establishing themselves as major players, especially Tom. Lynette was the weak link of the Housewives, but just barely, as her storyline worked well and will create funny situations in Season 2. Hopefully they will be interesting as well.