The sixth season of Desperate Housewives has finally returned fellow watchers, and in this eleventh episode, the show took a big risk. For me, it was a risk well taken!
While there is little plot in this episode, there is a hell of a lot character development. If you enjoyed the 100th episode of the show, you will love this one too. We see the housewives like we have never seen them before (and I really do mean “never”). Towards the end of the episode there is a golden moment which looks like a scene from a well made movie. Mary Alice this week really touched an issue that revolves around a very common question. Plus, we learn who died on the plane crash, and get a bit more insight on the season’s mystery, including Angie’s real name.
A strong return both ratings-wise and quality-wise. The show could have played it safe and done an over-dramatic aftermath of the plane crash, and while the episode was dramatic it had certain elements that made a much more subtle bittersweet aftermath. The main element was the whole concept of the episode, were the five housewives (the 5th one being Angie, not Katherine) ask themselves “what if?”.
To begin with, when Susan arrives at the hospital and learns that Karl is seriously injured, she begins to wonder what would have happened if she hadn’t divorced him. Then the episode flashes back to Susan stopping Karl from leaving the very first day she kicked him out of the house. We then go to a few months later where poor Susan has filled her despair with food. While she is not exactly fat in an obese sort of way (I doubt it if the crew could make Teri Hatcher that fat) she is still very chubby in a cute way. We see her trying to hit on Mike (who was then a newcomer on the street) but sadly failed. It looks like Karl had continued his multiple affairs, and it was taking a toll on Susan. After hypothetical fat Susan lost her weight, Karl moved out of the house leaving Susan with no man… again! The “what if” ends there and we then find out that Karl died. I think that even though Karl is a more fun character than Orson, if the writers had saved him it would lead to a dead-end story line. Plus, this season I have really warmed up to Orson.
In Bree’s story (who only had some small injuries), Mary Alice explains that the doctors sedated her after she found out about Karl’s death. During her sleep she dreams about life with Karl, and how it would have been if she dumped Orson and married Karl instead. As expected, their relationship was presented very sexual, but unfortunately for Bree, it was more sexual for Karl than it was for her. When she catches him sleeping with her yoga instructor she kicks him out of the house. Her flash back ends when she finds out that Orson had passed, and she visits his flat and notices a table with pictures of her and him. Orson did look like a bit of a creeper, but it did remind us and Bree the good times that their marriage had. Unfortunately, when Bree wakes up the doctor informs her that while Orson was not going to die, he still had a spine injury that could result to other complications.
Before Angie begins to think “what if”, we see that Mona hasn’t died quite yet, and Angie worries that she might wake up and blackmail her again, or tell people the truth about her true identity. She then wonders what if Mona had survived and opened her mouth. The episode then flashes forward to Angie in prison, where she talks with an officer who calls her “Angie DeLuca”. It is also revealed that she is running away from someone dangerous that she once knew. After that we see Angie in court were it seems she is accused of killing someone. She is, later on, sentenced to prison and then her “what if” scenario ends. It also seems like it won’t turn out true since the doctor informs Angie that Mona died. A funny line follows when the nurse tells Angie to “not be angry at God” and Angie says “No, me and God are good!”. Hihihi, I giggled!
Gaby’s “what if” was an interesting one. It didn’t serve anything to the plot but it was really funny and interesting to see a heightened version of how Gaby imagines her future. Gaby is at the hospital with Celia feeling grateful that she wasn’t seriously hurt. She says to Carlos that she thinks that God saved Celia because she is going to achieve something special. Then she remembers Celia’s lack of talent in hobbies such as playing the piano, sports and art. I just love the actress that plays Celia because she is one of these kids that doesn’t have to say something to be funny. Just her banging a piano or eating clay makes my day. Anyway, after that, Gaby falls asleep next to Celia and begins to dream of a life were she tries to push Celia to become an achieved actress. For her first audition, Celia had to cry so of course Gaby told her that her hamster had died. Then the dream moves about a decade forward and we see Carlos (with longer and greyer hair than usual) trying to help Celia sneak out to go to a camp. Gaby catches them and forces Celia to stay and tells Carlos that she doesn’t care if he leaves. The dream flashes another decade then and we see Gaby looking really old in her house. The living room basically reflects her current state which is old and dusty. I loved what the production did in that scene. Gaby reminded me of that old actress in the movie “Great Expectations”. Anyway, in that scene it looks like both Juanita and Carlos have left and all that Gaby has is a Celia under pressure. Celia tells her that she doesn’t want to do this anymore but then is again convinced to go to yet another audition for mama’s sake. The dream ends then and it’s obvious that Gaby realises that her daughter is already special. I liked that they established Gaby’s relationship with Celia because she is usually used as a background character.
Finally, the last and probably best “what if” was Lynette’s. Unfortunately, one of the baby twins didn’t look healthy so the doctors had to operate on Lynette. The doctor told to Lynette that the baby might be born with some mental or physical problem. Lynette then starts to think of her life and how it would change when she would have to deal with a disabled child. First, we see Lynette in a desperate (no pun intended) state as she tries to do some movement exercises to the baby. Tom encourages and then demands from Lynette to try her best and that she is only frustrated because she chooses to not try harder. The next scene really blew me away. There is no music and not much dialogue to explain the scene. It starts with the disabled child being around 10 years old and asking for a sandwich. After being constantly asked, Lynette tells her son to go make one himself. The son gets really irritated but Lynette keeps pushing him because she feels that he needs to do stuff for himself. The kid finally makes a sandwich and smiles to Lynette. The episode then cuts to the son (around a decade older) graduating and thanking his mother for pushing him and making him achieve in many aspects of life. That last moment is so grand and positive which contrasts to the next scene where Lynette wakes up. Tom tells her that the one baby didn’t make it. We understand Lynette at that moment because there was so much build up to that kid and his journey, and now she will never experience anything similar. After some time Gaby visits Lynette and without saying much they imply to one another that they have passed their differences.
The episode closes with Karl’s funeral and Mary Alice talking that the only way to avoid the “what if” question is to focus on what “was” rather than what “could be”.
Lynette’s storyline I think proved that this episode was more than just another episode, another theme. The question “what if” is one that we have all asked ourselves and has really tortured some. Witnessing Lynette’s son grow in such a short time is like a short film on its own. Like the 100th episode, this episode shows the importance of one’s life but also the importance of life in general, since it dealt with both survival and death. I can’t wait for next week!
Tags: desperate, Desperate Housewives, housewives, season 6