Courtesy of: TV GUIDE, TV SHOW RECAPS
Desperate Housewives Episode Recap: "Connect! Connect!"
Jan 18, 2009 08:41 PM ET by Mickey O'Connor
[First off, let me put on my hairshirt so I might apologize for a moment. In a totally boneheaded move, I forgot about my recapping responsibilities last week. While there is no excuse, let me explain. I was out of town for the Golden Globe Awards and the winter-TV previews in Los Angeles. On Sunday night at 9 p.m., I was backstage at the Globes smack-dab in the middle of transcribing Mickey Rourke's never-ending list of past and present canine companions, and without a TiVo hookup in my hotel room, it wasn't meant to me. Still, I should have found a replacement. As atonement, I submit my extremely entertaining Golden Globes and winter-TV preview coverage, and this week-late recap.]
So (last) Sunday on Desperate Housewives, we finally got more of the Dave Dash/Williams backstory, which we've sorely needed all season. Still, I have a few questions concerning the timeline. Presumably, Dave and his wife lived in the Fairview vicinity when Mike and Susan collided with and killed Dave's wife and daughter, right? Then, he had a nervous breakdown. Then, "weeks after" his release, at a hotel, he met Edie, who was in Boston, right? Was that a coincidence or did he plan it, knowing that Edie was originally from Fairview? Did he really get married just to kick-start his revenge fantasy? We don't get any of those answers this week, but it's fair to say that unless a few are forthcoming, I will not be happy.
Yellow Satan... Cupid?
Since Edie threw Dave out, he moves in with Mike, because Mike says he owes Dave one for that whole life-saving thing, and the producers didn't want to build another "insidious, sad bachelor apartment" set. Now, Mike has never had the best judgment, but is this a good idea -- even if Yellow Satan wasn't a delusional homicidal maniac?
Here's something that the writers have always gotten kind of wrong on this show: the compatibility of the Desperate Husbands. While it is definitely the case that men often befriend the husbands of their wives' friends, that friendship is usually tacit, polite and infrequent (ask your dad). They don't go form a jam-band together or invite each other to move in. Think about all the differences among the personalities and lifestyles of Orson, Mike, Carlos, Tom and Dave. I know it's a TV show and the writers have to mash people together by necessity, but ultimately it doesn't add up for me.
Also, tonight I learned that, as much as I love James Denton, he is the weak link in this cast. His scenes with Teri Hatcher through all their on-again, off-again have been painful, and now he's dragging down my beloved Dana Delany.
Where did Katherine's substantial backbone go? In a very uncharacteristic move, Katherine decides to try to emotionally blackmail Mike. She lets it slip that she might move to Baltimore to help Dylan with the baby, to gauge Mike's reaction to the possibility of her leaving. Mike dodges the elephant-in-the-room non-question, and it's only when Dave intervenes ("We're friends; I care," he sleazes) that he realizes that he does love Katherine. So he sends her roses with a card that says simply, "Don't go." It's sweet, but when Katherine asks if Mike sent the flowers, I got the impression that maybe she didn't recognize the handwriting or something and that actually Dave sent them to give Mike a little kick in the ass. But... why? Is he making Mike fall in love so he can kill whoever he happens to be dating/in love with/knowing Biblically at the time? Please, writers, just no.
Edie calls in the ladies for reinforcements to announce that she's broken up with Dave. While they're initially supportive, when Susan announces that she's moving to Riverton to be with the still-unseen Jackson, all the attention turns to her good news. Needless to say, this irks Edie.
When Susan stops by Andrew and Alex's new house to return some mail to Edie, they end up getting locked in the basement together, and that's where the fun begins. Edie tells Susan that announcing that she and Jackson "are moving to a fairy castle" at her moment of need was selfish and rude. "I thought we gave your latest breakup the three seconds of shock it deserves," Susan meows back. Game on!
Then something interesting happens. Since Edie assumes that Susan doesn't want to make out (heh), they actually use their time in basement purgatory wisely. First, let me say that I love how Edie always calls Susan "Meyer" funny and contemptuous, all at the same time! In a revealing, and let's face it, entirely truthful exchange, Edie tells Susan that she's a serial girlfriend and Susan tells Edie that she's, well, the opposite, that she treats men like tissue. (Let it be noted: This is a total rip-off of a line that Madeline Kahn delivered with her usual brilliance as Mrs. White in the criminally underrated movie Clue. "Husbands should be like Kleenex: strong, soft and disposable." That is all. Except I miss Madeline Kahn.)
"I go after men because I want them; you go after men because you need them," crows Edie. "You have holes in your heart that can only be filled by a pair of trousers." She's right, of course. Then Edie tells a sad story about her father abandoning her family, and her breezy views about having a male partner for longer than the average airing of Cinemax After Dark start to make a little sense. Susan sees this as a breakthrough, but when she goes in for the hug, Edie makes a face like she smelled some bad pickles and stands rigid and then she slaps Susan, in a Cher-like, "Snap out of it" kind of way.
After they're rescued by the exterminator, there's a quick moment of dιtente where they realize that they've both made breakthroughs of sorts. So they're buddies again for a moment. It's immediately clear that this enforced girl talk will have future repercussions, as Susan breaks the news to Jackson that she won't be moving to Riverton and Edie decides to take Dave back. It's clever writing, especially since, ironically, these are probably terrible moves for both ladies.
[Aside: Admittedly, I'm a Muppets fanatic, but does anyone else love the new "Hungry" character in those new Weight Watchers ads? Such expressive eyebrows!]
Alex thinks that Bree emasculates Orson, which reminds him of how his mom treated his dad, and he's speaking up about it. Bree was kind of a pill in this episode, and I hate seeing Orson all henpecked, but this storyline didn't really work for me, mostly because Alex is such a new character that it was hard to root for him.
The relationship that one has with their mother-in-law is fertile ground for a TV show, and they got certain elements exactly right. For example, Bree tells Alex that he should respect her because she bought Alex and Andrew a house. This is totally wrong of her, of course, but it rang relatively true to me. Amirite?
That said, Todd Grinnell, who plays Alex, is a fine actor, I guess, but I don't think he conveys the sack necessary to take on as worthy an adversary as Bree. Re-watch that first scene where they have a brief staring contest and you'll see what I mean. No contest. Marcia Cross would wipe the floor with him. Maybe Andrew should have married Lee. Now that would be a staring contest!
While there are a few tense moments "For all I know, telling Orson his steak tastes like charcoal might be de-balling him" ultimately Andrew (who is kind of becoming Bree's truth-teller this season) sets her straight, telling his mother that not everyone has to obey her. Bree takes his criticism to heart and apologizes to Alex. By the episode's end, they're picking out paint chips together. Aw. (I guess.)
Did anyone notice that the hair, makeup and wardrobe peeps are gradually re-glamming Gaby? No more fat suit! She'll be in Prada within the month, mark my words. But otherwise it wasn't a great week for Eva Longoria Parker, so let's get through this quickly. With Carlos off working for Bernie Madoff or whatever, Gaby can no longer control her obstinate daughters. "I love Daddy more," spits Juanita, which makes Gaby cry. When Reggie, the landscape guy (?), sees her weeping, he tells her she needs to nut up and be in charge. "Fear is the foundation of good parenting," he reports. But why do it yourself when you can get someone to do it for you, especially if you're Gaby Solis? So Reggie terrorizes the kids into obedience. Obviously, Carlos is unhappy about a stranger disciplining his kids, so he pitches in or whatever and then unicorns fly over rainbows or whatever. Blah.
Random neighbor Mr. Fishman (aka Mr. Plot Advancer) spills the beans that Porter is hiding out at the old folks' home. (Aside: There is a retirement community near my parents' place in Florida that is actually called "Journey's End," because, I guess, "Heaven's Waiting Room" was taken.) Otherwise, Fishman's appearance is distinguished only by the way he barked at "Phantom Scavo" Parker: "Don't just stand there; make me a sandwich," which reminded me of my own grumpy, 96-year-old grampy. Aw.
This means that Lynette had to confront her hellacious mom, Stella, again, which, predictably doesn't go well. But damn, can Polly Bergen sell "difficult mom." She refuses to give up Porter, and also plot-develops that Lynette stuck her there three years ago after Glenn (was that the gay ex-husband's name?) died, and she has been miserable ever since.
On the way home from this fun little visit with Mom, Lynette appears to get in a car accident while she's on the phone with Tom. When Tom presumably tells Stella, she and Porter rush to the hospital to see Lynette. But! It was all yet another Scavo scam to smoke out Porter, and it works. So they rush off to the courtroom (where Lawyer Bob is presumably having an aneurysm) and in short order yay, TV justice! Porter's case is thrown out for lack of evidence, like arson cases that resulted in six deaths often are, lickety split. This development brings Lynette and Stella back together, and they agree to spend more time together and be nice to each other or something. We last see the pair laughing together over a stiff drink because, as Stella reports, "[she] can't be nice, forgiving and sober all at the same time!" Which is my new motto. Learn it, live it, love it!
NEXT WEEK! The 100th episode wow! Edie's boobs are named Perky and Firm! Beau Bridges is there! It appears to be some sort of flashback because... a very-much-alive Mary Alice is there! Edie is slutty! A crow pecks at a dead (?) body on a rooftop (?), as Alfred Hitchcock spins like a top in his grave!
So... what did you guys think of "Connect! Connect!"? (And why is it called that?) Is Desperate Housewives on the right storyline path? Or are you losing interest?