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Desperate Housewives Episode Recap: "A Spark. To Pierce the Dark"
Mar 23, 2009 01:02 AM ET by Mickey O'Connor
Marcia Cross and Kyle Maclachlan
Sunday's episode of Desperate Housewives is full of nasty shocks, according to Mary Alice. Susan has an unwelcome visitor at school. Bree surprises herself by making a life-defining choice of her career over her marriage. Carlos' new job has unexpected consequences for both Lynette and Gaby. Edie learns the truth about Yellow Satan. And Katherine's shock comes via Dave's shotgun.
WATCHING THE DETECTIVE
Ye Olde Newspaper Clipping Office finally gets around to faxing faxing! Edie the article that reveals that Mike and Susan collided with Yellow Satan's late family. But Edie is out of fax paper! So she doesn't get the message that is stored on her antiquated plot device. (Hello! Email? Fax interface? Who uses fax paper anymore?).
The friendship between Edie and Mrs. McCluskey is one of the nice details among this strong ensemble; I totally get it. They share a certain shorthand that involves a lot of good-natured, though barbed ribbing. But when Karen makes fun of Dave for going camping "How fun! Enjoying the great outdoors, gutting a bunch of teenage kids on prom weekend, good for him!" she chides Edie shuts her down by filling her in on his tragic history. This moves Karen, as we learn that she too has lost a child, so no wonder he's such a creepy psycho. (Also: Nicollette Sheridan looks insanely skinny in this scene.) To apologize, Karen invites Edie over for drinks, which prevents her from loading the damn paper in the fax machine. It beeps a forlorn song that echoes through the empty Williams house like bagpipes over the Scottish moors.
HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT
Mary-Alice tells us Dave's simple plan: to shoot Katherine and make it look like the work of illegal hunters. Spookily, we see how his plan would play out, including the felling of Katherine, which surely means this is not at all how it will go down at all.
The next morning, things are going according to plan, when... Dave's cellphone rings. Edie has sent a text-message (Why not send a postcard, Edie? Or a carrier pigeon? Or a fax, hmm?) that says: "I know everything. Come home now. Edie." This cramps Dave's marksman style, and when he pulls the trigger, he misses. He covers for his blunder, but Mike and Katherine are so spooked they just want to go home. Poor Dana Delany. I hope next season is better to her.
Hooray, Karl is back! Karl, it seems, has a young son named Evan (remember when Susan and Karl were in the same Lamaze class?), and he's transferring to the schmancy private school where Susan teaches now in March. But I'll ignore the gaping plot hole since it allows us more Susan-Karl shenanigans.
Remember how I said that Teri Hatcher had piss-poor romantic chemistry with all her beaus? I forgot about Karl! Hatcher and Richard Burgi crackle with the same antagonistic screwball energy that Eva Longoria Parker and Ricardo Antonio Chavira have, and Hatcher's subpar story arc this season is already better for it.
Susan doesn't want anyone at the school to know that they were once married, lest she look like the blowsy divorcee that she, um, is. Clearly understanding the situation, Karl asks, "Can I bang your erasers after class?"
Little Evan has a dark streak just like M.J.! He draws gruesome, violent pictures, which prompt the headmaster to call in Karl for a come-to-Jesus talk. At the meeting, Susan and Karl reignite their unorthodox passions by saying things like "bite me" and throwing paint. It's awesome.
When Evan's next objet d'art is just as disturbing, Susan tells Karl privately so that Evan isn't expelled, and something surprising happens. Karl reveals that Evan's new interest in bloody art stems from Karl's child bride, Marisa, leaving them six weeks ago because she was overwhelmed. In a tender moment, Susan concedes that while she always wished he knew what she felt like when he abandoned her, now that he does, she is sorry. Poor Gale Harold. The strength of the new possibilities of this storyline has surely sunk his chances of returning to the show.
MONEY CHANGES EVERYTHING
Gaby misses Carlos, since he's working so much and they haven't had sex since Bradley died. She wants to have a quickie on the dining room table "like old times," which Carlos hilariously reminds her was when she had sex with the teenaged gardener. (Whither Jesse Metcalfe?) "Move the creamed corn and do me," Gaby demands anyway, to no avail.
In the interim, Gaby and Tom, the only nonworking residents of Wisteria Lane, form a bizarro housewives club, giving Longoria Parker and Doug Savant the rare scene together. "I heard Ed Sims got a Harley," Tom says, trying and failing to gossip like the gurls. When he hears that Carlos doesn't want to have sex, though, Tom is in his element. He advises Gaby to locate the horny teenager within the tired adult. And since ABC clearly has a product-placement deal with Frederick's of Hollywood, for the umpteenth time a Desperate Housewife uses lingerie as a weapon. Silly, seductive Gaby says she's hot, and opens a robe to reveal... well, basically everything. (Not complaining!) "Two boobs, no waiting," she says.
Before Gaby's date rape of her husband can commence, though, Carlos has a better idea: tie her to the bedposts. Meow! But in a nice reversal, he does so to get some sleep before he has to be up for a 7 a.m. meeting. He bought her some shoes to make up for it, but something tells me that Gaby will... keep the shoes.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
Lucy is a hard-ass. She announces that until they close a $10 million deal, everyone has to work around the clock. Lynette has already irked the boss by touching her figurine collection (a sure sign that someone is batsh-- crazy: they have a figurine collection) and asking for time off to coach Penny's basketball team. Lynette and Carlos have a moment where he makes it clear that, in the office, he's her boss no special favors. Nevertheless, Carlos does Lynette the opposite of a solid by basically telling Lucy that Lynette complained about her. This makes Lucy angry, and you wouldn't like her when she's angry.
"We're turning into what we used to be," Gaby says, like she thinks it's a bad thing, when she storms the castle/office with the kids to complain yet again to Carlos about how much time he's away from home. While Carlos is sympathetic, he stands firm on the fact that he made a commitment to the job a job Gaby pushed him to take, by the way, so they could put the whole blind masseur phase in their past.
Then something funny happens. While "Aunt Lynette" is watching Celia and Juanita, she accidentally on purpose encourages them to play with Lucy's crazy-town figurines, and when Lucy catches the two cute Latinas touching her things, she takes a turn down Racist Boulevard and berates the cleaning lady for bringing her kids to the office. ("Office, sí; daycare center, no.") Carlos sees this, and realizes fresh off Gaby's little speech that Lucy is not creating the right environment, and fires her. "Don't forget your little animals," Lynette croaks. Heh.
Poor Leslie Boone. Though it was a thankless role, she did some good stuff with Lucy in her short time on the show.
THIS WOMAN'S WORK
Did I mention that I hate this storyline? Dr. Bernstein thinks that Orson steals to hurt Bree because she didn't make him her partner. To which my dad would make that thumb-and-finger gesture that means "the tiniest violin in the world playing 'My Heart Bleeds for You.'" Cry me a river, Orson. "Each day over the past year, you have, inch by inch, slice by slice, brought me closer to being a eunuch," he says to Bree, rather uncharitably. [Author reflexively crosses his legs.] I miss Orson the horny dandy who delighted in Bree's every success. Because now he's like this: "Every day I get smaller and smaller" and soon "Orson Hodge is going to disappear altogether." Poor Kyle MacLachlan? Foreshadowing?
Bree makes the difficult decision to sell her company, since her success has put strains on her marriage. "Her sole ambition is to be Mrs. Orson Hodge," Orson says creepily at the meeting with the buyer. Just as she's about to sign the contracts, though, Andrew asks a pertinent question: If Orson loves Bree, why would he make her give up something that she worked so hard to create and obviously makes her so happy?
Bree spews some nonsense about how, since she's traditional, she'd be a hypocrite if she didn't make sacrifices for her man. Andrew, like the truth-telling Greek chorus he has become this season, has planted a seed though, which ultimately leads Bree to reconsider, asking Orson for one more year. "I need this for my recovery," Orson whines selfishly. So he says no, and so does she to the buyer. "What about my problem? I might start stealing again," Orson asks. "Steal what you must, my love, but it won't be my company," she replies with a lyrical flourish. And just like that, their marriage becomes a Mexican standoff.
A bruised, immature Orson sets up camp on the sofa, so to better facilitate his new nighttime hobby: burglary. He sneaks into a neighbor's house and gets caught by a feisty old biddie who chases him out the front door with a baseball bat and a threat to call the police.
FIRE AND RAIN
Once Dave gets home, Edie confronts him with the evidence. "Did you move us here to hurt Mike Delfino?" she asks, and he basically comes clean. It's a credit to Sheridan's acting that in the face of such devastating news (aka so she married an ax murderer!), the actress remains true to the character, who has larger cojones than any man on Wisteria Lane.
Yes, Edie is defiant, reaching for the phone to warn Mike. Dave tries to choke her, but she escapes, charging out of the house and taking off in her car. Orson dashes out in front of her and removes his jaunty ski mask. Edie swerves to miss him and collides with an electrical pole. Though she's only slightly injured, as she stumbles from the car, she steps into a puddle and is electrocuted. "Life is full of nasty shocks," Mary Alice snarks. Except that Edie's death was the worst-kept secret ever. So R.I.P., Edie. You will be missed, you crazy slut. Poor Nicollette Sheridan.
What did you think? Was Dave's plan worth the wait? Have the writers done Kyle MacLachlan a disservice? And how will Edie's death reverberate on the Lane?