Desperate Housewives – Episode 4

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As a dark murderous cloud continues to hang over our wives ofWysteria Lane, episode 4 seems keen to remind us that they’re all mothers dealing with the regular suburban dilemmas along with that guilty conscious.

Gabrielle’s tribulation of the week comes in the form of school politics. A petty feud with the head of the PTA leads to good ol’ Gabby rallying up the troops- 300 style. Only this isn’tSparta-its Suburbia and the weaker ones amongst her troops are soon swayed with the promise of a parking pass for the green drop-off zone. Gabrielle’s sheer stubbornness prevents her from accepting defeat and she faces the PTA leader head to head. Only this time it’s the underside of Gabby’s car that she is moaning at. An accident of course.

Whilst turning to self help books and well organised schedules to smooth over the separation, Lynette discovers that Tom has been dating somebody else. Is it the young, fit aerobics teaching airhead that she has spotted at his house? Of course not- this is a show that panders to pre-conceptions, revelling in its ability to have you believe the obvious before turning it on its head. It is, of course, her older, wiser mother. Is it worse for poor Lynette to feel replaced by a vacuous lingerie model- as the old cliché goes- or by a woman that is her intellectual equal? A lust fuelled fling or a deep connection over coffee? It will be interesting to see how this plays out because I’d love to believe that the end of the final series will see Tom and Lynette reunited. But then againWysteria Lanehas never really been a place for happy endings.

It’s somewhat of a common ploy by TV writers, and Desperate Housewives is no exception, to have minor, expendable characters pop in every now and again to stir things up. This time its Bree’s turn to be paid a visit and it comes in the form of her down and out daughter Danielle. After being dumped by her husband she turns up, son and suitcases in tow, with the hope of ‘vegging out’ and healing on a lifestyle of ice-cream and TV game shows. But when Bree pesters her to consider her future she pulls out the ‘starting my own business’ card. She claims to have designed exercise equipment with good sales potential; she just needs the initial capital so without so much as a raised eyebrow Bree offers her the money and her old test kitchen to use a start-up. Little does she realise that the only exercise you will be doing with Danielle’s designs is in the bedroom, which leads to an hilarious palaver when she tries to fathom how to work out with a sex swing!

As withLydiathe week before though, there is wisdom to be gained from the visitor and Bree confesses that certain ‘recent events’ have led her to realise that she is in no position to be judgemental. Rather than be damn right disgusted, as the old Bree would have been, she offers to come in as a silent and UNTRACEABLE business partner.

And what about Susan? Has she gotten any closer to defeating her demons now that she is able to confide in Mike? Well, not really. She tries to impress an art class teacher with her children’s illustrations but as he encourages her to dig deeper she unleashes her dark and angry side in a flurry of red and black paint, ripped canvas and messy hands. So clearly she is coping well. Though you do get the impression that Mike is really on her side with this, and that, given his history, he is able to help her as perhaps nobody else would. It is strange that the other characters barely mentioned their criminal secret this time round and the complete absence of Carlos this week makes me wonder if there is another big surprise in store for the next episode. After all, though ‘the girls’ DID cover up a murder and dispose of a body it is Carlos that has the blood on his hands- and something tells me that that nut is sure to crack before this series is out.

Chelsey Burdon

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