Desperate Housewives – Season Eight
Desperate Housewives is a personal favorite of mine. I’ve been following the show since the pilot debuted on October 3rd, 2004 and have been watching avidly ever since. Over this past summer, when I heard that this season would be their last, I was completely devastated. I grew up on this show over the last 7 years and couldn’t believe that it was all going to end with this season. Of course, all good things must come to an end at some point.
We start right where we left off from last season during Wisteria Lane’s house-bouncing dinner party as Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria) prepares for the neighbors to come to her house as she was about to be…well…”molested” (for lack of a better term) by her sexually abusive stepfather, Alejandro (Tony Plana), who followed her after a visit to her hometown earlier in the season. Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), her husband, comes in the nick of time to save her by hitting him with a candlestick, which ultimately kills him.
The other three housewives, Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross), Susan Delfino (Teri Hatcher), and Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman), arrive at the scene, and, with some smart thinking by Bree, the women and Carlos help in hiding the body right before the arrival of the other neighbors. The episode starts with all of the guests leaving Gabrielle’s house, which then leads to the burial of Alejandro deep in the woods. It is then that they make a pact not to tell anyone about it. From there, it fast-forwards a month and focuses on how each of them copes with being an accessory to murder.
Bree tries to put on the greatest facade as she’s dating detective, Chuck Vance (Jonathan Cake). Bree seems to debate throughout the episode if she has feelings for him or if she’s just using him as a way to keep him close-by as an insider. One of the funnier moments of the episode comes when Detective Vance mentions to Bree of a man who was arrested for murder because the car of the person he killed had too many tickets on it. From there, Gabrielle and Bree look for the car and find it, only to realize that it’s a stick shift. It is Detective Vance himself that finds them as they try to drive the car, which they pretend is owned by Gabrielle’s fictional lesbian aunt. The car suddenly gets carjacked, much to Bree’s delight (and a very hilarious dialogue between her and the carjacker), covered up as the aunt picking up the car.
Lynette, on the other hand, has been having nightmares about Alejandro coming to her house. On top of that, she is in a middle of a separation from her husband, Tom (Doug Savant), and has yet to inform their two remaining children (her 20-something twin boys moved out last season), and raising a newborn baby. At the end of the episode, Tom and Lynette have a moment of passion after she wakes up from a nightmare. Lynette confesses that sleeping together was due to her fears of being alone and that having Tom nearby makes her feel safe. It is then that Tom finally sits the children down to tell them the truth about their separation in a fit of anger.
Susan feels the guiltiest of them all and barely leaves the house. After an ironic scene that features Susan burying the class hamster in her substitute teaching job and going for a run to where Alejandro is buried, she tells the girls at a barbecue at the Solises that she plans to talk to her husband, Mike (James Denton), about it as he starts to feel distant from her. Susan later confirms with the other women (after an amusing near-fight and fall in the pool scene) that she can’t tell Mike about the murder and that she has to get over it.
Meanwhile, Carlos looks for forgiveness in a higher power through his priest who is about to leave the country to do charity work abroad. After Gabrielle gets Father Dugan (Sam McMurray) to their house to talk to him (through a bit of grand theft airport shuttle), Carlos doesn’t get the peace of mind he was looking for, which makes for a lot of tension between him and Gabrielle, who tries to get everyone to move on as quickly as possible.
With everything that’s going on in this episode, it seems hard to notice the new neighbor that moved in, Ben Faulkner (Charles Mesure). The newest housewife (as of last season) and the only single lady on the block, Renee Perry (Vanessa Williams), goes after him, only to be rejected though she uses her sex appeal and straight-forwardness to let him know exactly how she feels about him.
While Desperate Housewives always keeps an equal balance of humor and drama, the dominance of this season’s storyline seems to overshadow the humor of this particular episode completely. As with every season of the show, veteran viewers are on the edge of their seat to figure out what’s next. They want to know where things will take their favorite (or least favorite) characters. Will Lynette and Tom ultimately divorce? Will Susan ever be okay? How will Bree take the letter that was sent to her at the end of the episode? Can Gabrielle help Carlos through his depression over being a murderer while acting in self-defense for his wife’s sake?
With this being the last season, Desperate Housewives still has a lot more life in it than one would expect. The theme for this year’s season may be “Kiss Them Goodbye,” but are fans of the show ready to do so? If this season is like any other season of Desperate Housewives, viewers may be left with wanting much more from the ladies of Wisteria Lane.
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